I'm thinking about getting manual hedge clippers. Has anybody reverted from
electric to manual? My first thought is that it'd take a lot longer that way,
but I want to ask if anybody has experience and found that to be true.
Any other comments on using manual clippers?
I had both, got rid of the manual ones quickly. It's much harder to
get a level line when you are closing the shears while trying to
maintain a certain height (or whatever). WIth the electric, you just/
only have one thing going on at a time.
Besides the time factor... as others have stated, it's a LOT tougher to
make a smooth surface with manual shears.
Plus, with a manual it's also harder to reach the top face of taller
hedges. Much over chest-height, and you're needing a ladder.
There's a reason power mowers and trimmers were invented.
Most consumer level hand hedge shears are blunt and need one blade
sharpened at some angle of 30 degrees or less.
Keeping a straight line requires using the tool properly which is
rarely ever seen. You keep one arm straight and open and close the
shears with the other.
Operating them like you are trying to clap your knuckles together
makes for a poor job.
There is no shame in dragging out a string to set a reference , nor is
there any shame in going down the line with a pair of lopping shears
to remove heavier wood first.
Properly done you should not see any woody stubs on the surface you
have trimmed, these should all be back a few inches.
For around 100 bucks you can buy a pair of ARS k-1000 or k- 1000l
which are a joy to use.
There are knock off's which are not too bad as well ,Lee Valley
For less money you can still find good quality Wallace, Wiss, or
Wilkenson shears in yard sales and flea markets and tune them up or
have your local sharpening shop do the work.
master gardener, 25 years full time sharpener, beekeeper, curmudgeon
Everybody talks about a flat, level surface on hedge. But there is
another appearance, preferred by some.
Ex: At the Getty Museum in LA, where the magnificent gardens are
better, some opine, than the collections <g>, hedge clipping is
viewed quite differently. There, the gardeners meticulously clip
individual stems, precisely in order to create a more naturalistic
line. "Flat", yes, in the sense that a given twig doesn't stick way
up above the others, but this method gives a more lush, natural
appearance. I have seen them at their work, and appreciate the
difference. (Of course the Getty has beaucoup $ to pay its landscape
Ya pays yer money & ya takes yer choice.
It depends heavily on the plant. IF the plant really needs a planar
trimming, electric is the way to go. But many hedge plants do better
if they don't get a planar trimming, but are thinned and cut back with
pruners. Laurels, myrtles, photinia and other branchy or leafy hedge
plants fall into this category.
Using pruners on such plants not only produces healthier results, but
can be faster to clean up, and fairly quick to perform.
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