Having a reliable pair of hedge shears is essential for your gardening armory.
With the versatility to take on a number of tasks, these Gilmour hedge shears can deliver rewards greatly exceeding their apparent simplicity.
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Gilmour is one of the most respected U.S. gardening equipment brands—and one based on innovation. They were started back in 1949 when Robert Gilmour invented the world’s first pistol-grip watering hose nozzle—a common sight today.
These 50 years of experience means that the company’s products are designed with the gardener in mind—this pair is no exception.
As the name suggests, these shears bring everything back to the basics. There are no fancy gimmicks, such as extending handles or blade guards, but that isn’t to detract from these cutters.
They have been designed for ease of use and to perform the job they were intended for. That is, lopping small branches, cutting hedges and trimming shrubs.
Whether you love gardening or see it as a chore that just needs completing, you want to be comfortable. That’s an aspect that Gilmour has taken into consideration in these shears.
The handles are finished with over-molded hand grips, which are both cushioned and textured. This leads to a nice tactile feeling in the hands, which hopefully will alleviate any signs of “grip fatigue” during use.
The textured grips also ensure that the shears can be held with confidence and are less likely to slip. This is especially useful if they are to be used in wet weather.
Furthermore, if you are an experienced gardener, you know the frustration of dropping your tools while at the top of a ladder—the grips ensure that this is minimized.
For more comfort, these shears include shock-absorbing bumpers. Hence, when you are pushing them to the limit on a thick branch, the handles will not clash together. This prevents damage to the shears and reduces vibration down the arms.
The blades are coated with a non-stick material. This is especially useful if you are trimming a plant that holds a lot of sap, such as maple or elm. Or, very handy if you have extremely leafy hedges.
In the above examples, leaves and sap can lead to clogging of the blades. This reduces their cutting ability and means the shears have to be frequently cleaned. The non-stick feature means that this downtime is less likely to occur, as these shear blades repel the detritus.
The blades themselves are built to last. Made from tempered steel, they will not bend nor become liable to rust. However, as with all outdoor equipment, I always recommend frequent oiling of the blades to protect from oxidation.
A further helpful feature is the dual cutting action of the blades. The top one is a flat-edged precision cutter, the bottom serrated. This enables the shears to cope with both delicate trimmings, such as on privet hedges, or more hardcore work in lopping small branches.
Quality of Cutting
I found that, for a basic pair of shears, these worked well. Shaping and reducing hedges was simple and accurate.
The blades functioned as expected, without delivering any surprise cuts—which can leave your hedges looking patchy.
They cut easily through thin twigs of hedges. The non-stick coating meant that I only had to clean off the blades once in half an hour of use.
On thicker branches, such as my ground shrubs, they worked fine. I found that they could easily cope with branches from 0.25 to 0.5 inches with few issues. The serrated edge certainly helped here.
However, with anything above a half inch, the shears began to struggle a little. But then, considering they are designed for hedges, that was neither a surprise nor a disappointment.
After a few weeks of use, like any shears, the blades do lose their edge. Here’s a handy video which explains how to sharpen them.
Are They Worth Buying?
A good pair of honest, down-to-earth shears is essential for the gardener, alongside other staples like a spade, watering can, and trowel.
These basic shears will fulfill this role. They are able to cope with hedge trimming and slightly more challenging small tree branches.
The aluminum handle construction, together with the over-large hand grips, could make these a good choice for those with little dexterity, or seniors. The lifetime guarantee also inspires buying confidence.
If you need special features though that these shears don’t offer or simply want to see other equally reliable brands and models, check out our complete list of our top picks for hedge shears. You’re sure to find something suited to your needs.
These are a reliable set of basic shears. They’re ideal for light-to-medium tasks, and comfortable to work with. Easy gripping and dual cutting blades make trimming hedges light work.