Today's Topic and Podcast Episode

Learn the difference between using loppers and hedge shears on this quick garden minute podcast.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The difference between loppers and hedge shears.
  • Depending on what plant you want to prune, which of these pruning tools should you use.
  • Resources and links for more information.

Loppers vs Hedge Shears, What’s the Difference?

Fall is fast approaching and some plants will need to be pruned by single cuts with manual loppers and other plants you will need to use manual hedge shears. Here is the difference between loppers and hedge shears and plant examples to use them on.


  • These are a two-handled tool to use with both hands.  They also work by squeezing together the two handles to make a complete cutting action at the end of the two handles, but only has one cutting blade.  This tool is used for making single cuts on stems and branches. Loppers have two different cutting systems to choose from; bypass or anvil. Loppers are great to prune back medium to large stems and smaller branches no bigger than 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.

Manual Hedge Shears

  • These are similar to loppers in that they also are operated by using both hands. Opposite loppers, though, they only come in one type of cutting system where there are two long cutting edges, each on the end of handles that are connected to a central pivoting point that make a scissor motion to cut away multiple stems at once and this can help shaping a plant much easier. Hedge shears are great to prune back plants in the fall like Shasta Daisy’s, lavender, and campanula.

And those are the differences between manual loppers and hedge shears. And, if you have questions about pruning your plants this fall (or anytime of year), we are here to help, so please email us.

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