Last Updated on July 12, 2021
Learning how to use edging shears can seem like a challenge when you don’t know much about lawn maintenance and landscaping. However, if you’re willing to dedicate a little time to this practice, you could find that it leads to a more beautiful garden for years to come.
A set of edging shears is often a common part of a professional gardener’s toolkit. Although these products seem simple, they can completely transform the look of your yard or grassy space by giving the area a clean finish.
Today, we’re going to look at how you can clean up your lawn edges with the right set of edging tools. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is the Difference Between Lawn Shears and Edging Shears?
The first thing you need to know is what edging shears actually are and how to differentiate them from lawn shears.
Lawn shears are gardening products generally intended to deal with grass that grows too long in areas that trimmers and lawnmowers might not be able to reach. The main difference between lawn shears and edging shears is that while lawn shears are horizontal, edging shears are vertical.
Edging shears are made of two levers working in tandem around a pivot – a set of vertical shears similar to a pair of scissors. Lawn edging shears can come in a variety of styles; some have carbon steel blades, while others, called long-handled edging shears, allow for a better grip.
Choosing the right pair of shears for your lawn edges will help you to get a better result. Just like lawn shears, you’ll get a feel for what’s best to trim your lawn edge the more you work with different kinds of grass shears.
How to Use Edging Shears
The first thing you should do before you start trimming your lawn edges is to check the instructions that come with your grass shears. Some products will ask you to sharpen edging shears before you use them. However, many new products will come pre-sharpened.
In certain cases, you’ll also be able to adjust the blade tension or experiment with adjustable blade angles to get the best results. Once you’ve read the instructions, you’ll need to learn how to grip your shears for lawn edging. Unlike a standard pair of garden shears, you don’t need to open and close both handles at once.
Instead, you should be pushing one of the telescopic handles against the others to create a motion that cuts your grass. As you cut grass with your lightweight shears, try to keep the blades as upright as possible. Moving the handle on the upper blade while keeping the lower blade still should deliver the best results. You’ll also find you’re maybe more comfortable when using the shears in this way if you’re working on a large area. This is because you’re making use of the pivot point and only using one arm to apply force.
To cut your long grass, keep the blade level with the edge of the lawn and begin cutting from left to right. You can start from the other cutting edge if you have a pair of left-handed swivel blades. Work at a steady pace, but we recommend avoiding going too slowly, as you can end up exhausting yourself.
Maintaining Your Edging Shears
Part of knowing how to use edging shears is being able to look after them correctly. Even if you have a set of Teflon coated blades, it’s a good idea not to cut wet grass if you have the choice. Before you put the edging shears away, you should also wipe away any wet grass left on the blades. If you have longer blades, they may end up with dirt on them when you’re cutting around flowering grasses and your flower bed. So, whatever type of lawn edging job you’re undertaking, always give your tools a good clean to ensure a life span.
Additionally, we recommend running an oily cloth over the blades every so often to protect against corrosion and provide rust resistance. You may also need to consider a sharpening kit if you’re using your sheers frequently on a large lawn or cut a lot of grass. Over time, you may need to consider replacing your edge shears if they struggle to cut at the right angles. Having said that, you should be able to trim small gardens for a decent amount of time before you need a replacement, particularly if you’re trimming dry grass.
The Pivot Point
Keep an eye on the pivot point, and make sure you tighten it if it looks like the central pivot is coming loose. If the pivot point is too tight, consider oiling the blades to make them easier to use. This is particularly important if you have a shorter blade.
Whether you have long handed shears or shears with wooden handles, check the quality of the handles regularly. The more comfortable you are when using this tool, the more likely you are to have the perfect lawn edges. A comfortable cutting motion allows for a more efficient technique – particularly on larger lawns.
If your garden or lawn is larger, keep an eye on how pristine the edges of your lawn look. If your long-handled shears are no longer providing the right quality finish on your edges, you may need to think about investing in a new set of garden edging shears.
Give your Garden an Edge
Using the right set of shears on the edges of your garden can really give you an edge when it comes to creating the perfect lawn. The more you use your shears for lawn edging, the more you’ll see your lawn edges improving. Just remember to look after your shears correctly. Even if the shears claim to be self-sharpening, you’ll be able to tell from the edges you’ve worked on whether the upper blade and lower blade need to be a little sharper.
If you find that you struggle with trimming your lawn edges with a standard pair of shears, you could consider looking into a longer blade length to cut more grass faster. Alternatively, you could try a new handle length to give you more comfort when cutting the edges of your lawns.
Some gardeners who deal with larger edges in big lawns and gardens prefer to go for electric edges or grass trimming products with a dedicated edge mode. Some strimmer’s come with a function to neaten the edges of your grass. However, you’ll need to learn how to use a strimmer for lawn edging before you can see the best results.
Whichever strategy you choose, a little practice should give you great lawn edges in no time.