They say that “necessity is the mother of invention”, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to Corona.
It’s a company that was born out of need. Seeing a requirement for easy and efficient orange-picking that did not damage the fruit, it developed the first ever orange clippers back in 1928.
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Since that date, the company has gained a reputation for reliable garden cutting equipment. Will Corona’s new hedge shears cut the mustard—or more importantly—the hedge? Let me take you through the detail behind these clippers.
As a company founded on innovation, the question has to be, “Is there anything new in these shears?”
Well, there’s one nice little touch that is not often seen in standard clippers. At the base of the blades, there’s a separate cutting notch. This enables single branches to be cut, reducing the chance of slippage.
While a nice addition, it does have its limits. Being 0.37 inches in diameter, it’s quite restrictive in the size of branches it can cut. My first impression was to wonder whether they could cope with the larger woody material. More about that later.
The 9-inch blades have a non-stick coating, to reduce the chance of blockage. An interesting characteristic is how these blades are formed.
Instead of following a perfect line with the handles, the blades are angled at around 35 degrees. This means that your wrists do not have to bend to allow cutting of vertical hedges. Theoretically, this should reduce the chance of fatigue—allowing you to cut for longer periods of time.
The handles are finished with Corona’s own “ComfortGEL” hand grips. They have a certain amount of flexibility and cushioning, which does make them comfortable to use. It should reduce the aches and pains felt after a long trimming session.
Yet, they do lack surface relief, which could make them difficult to grip in damp conditions.
At 2.4 pounds, they don’t place much stress on the arms, even during extended use. I quite happily cut my bush for 30 minutes and could have easily carried on longer.
These shears include “bumpers”—absorbing the force after the cut, which protects the blades and reduces vibrations continuing down to the arms. As they are quite large, this virtually eliminates the chance of “knuckle-clash” when cutting the harder branches.
Quality of Cutting
As someone familiar with using flat shears, the 35-degree angled blade did cause me a few initial issues. After about five minutes of cutting, I had adapted to using this style. However, personally, I prefer shears without the angle.
The notch cutter was adequate, although I did find that branches sometimes got caught on the oversized shock absorbers. When cutting the largest branch, it was a struggle. It took strength and did not leave a clean cut.
The 9-inch blades coped with ground shrubs, roses, and my round boxwood hedge. It managed to tidy up the shape nicely, with a satisfying finish. If you are interested in getting a perfectly trimmed hedge like mine, here’s a video to show you how.
The shears can deal with about 10 branches around pencil size at once, although I found a lot of momentum was required to make it through in one pass.
I then tried for thicker material, and these shears began to fail. Cutting anything more than around 0.3 inches requires a lot of effort. It definitely could not cope with more than one branch at once at this thickness.
Are they Worth buying?
If you are someone who suffers from hand fatigue, the gel handles may appeal. Although, I would say they are definitely for fair-weather use, as I feel they would slip at any sign of moisture.
These shears are more suited to light work. If your garden has small ground shrubs, roses, and ornamental grasses, they will perform perfectly well. However, if you have thicker bushes, you may struggle.
The inability for these shears to cope with more than one thick branch results in larger plants taking a long time to cut.
While I had no problem with the construction of these shears, I do have some reservations about their strength. When pushing them to the limit, I did get the feeling that the pivot and blades were straining. Although no damage was caused, I am concerned they may not stand up to heavy use.
These are functional shears made by a respected U.S. manufacturer. The separate notch cutter is a nice addition, although I would like to have seen a larger diameter capacity.
These shears would suit the occasional gardener with small plants—one who wants a little more than pruning shears. But, for really heavy branch work, these Corona shears may not be sufficient.
If you want to see more noteworthy garden shears, head on over to our Top 5 picks for hedge shears.