Pruner vs Shears: What is the Difference? (Uses and Types)

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With a pruner or shear, you can easily cut about 2 cm in diameter and not kill the plants.

Since you have a choice to make between a pruner vs shear, which one should you choose? Is there a difference?

To help you out, here’s what I discovered after using both cutting tools:

The major difference lies in the size. A pruner is shorter in length, and is best used to cut tiny tree branches using one hand, while a shear or lopper is a longer cutting tool best-suited for thick or large branches and stems using both hands.

What does a garden pruner do?

Garden Pruner

It’s a tool used to trim, groom, and remove unwanted or unused branches from a garden, lawn, or shrub. It also includes the tools to prune certain plants and flowers, like hedges, vine borders, trees, etc.

There are two basic types of Pruners:

  • The soft-plastic types that run over a wheel and have a handle
  • The hard-plastic types that are hand held, but have little wheels that turn with the hand

These tools can be used for trimming, sculpting, and pruning. They come in different sizes to suit the needs of different shrubs, trees, and plants.

How to identify a Pruner

hand pruner

A pruner tool uses a series of cutting devices made of blades that spin. There are many varieties of such tools that are available today.

Some pruners have cutting tools attached to a chain, which is used to pull up a branch, and some even have tools attached to the pruning shears (the large serrated blades).

The length and width of the blades will depend on the size of the pruning shears to be used.

How do Pruners work?

When a pruning shear or blade is inserted into the shear, it pushes it deeper into the plant or tree until it cuts a “knife’s edge” at which time it is released.

This continues until all the way through the stem. This action continues until the desired angle or direction of the cut is achieved. It is as simple as that.

The main thing to remember about garden pruners is that it is simple tool used to cut grass or weeds.

A garden pruner is also used to shape shrubbery and larger plants. It requires precise timing and a lot of practice to master how to use the various tools available.

It can be quite dangerous to use the wrong pruning tools because they are more likely to get caught in the roots of a larger plant or tree resulting in a pruned plant. Also, if too much pressure is applied on the pruner itself, it can break, especially if it is a metal pruner.

The best place to find the best garden pruners is from a reputable store. While there are many great discount stores that carry a wide variety of tools, the quality will be lowered.

A store that sells high quality pruners will also have pruners with different types of blades for different jobs.

Also, they will offer customer testimonials on how well each of their tools works. When you shop for pruners, check out the customer testimonials, and only then make your purchase.

Garden Shears (Overview and Benefits)

Garden shears are a great tool to have in your garden toolbox. They can make the trimming of lawn and shrubs much faster, giving you more time to enjoy the beautiful lawn or garden you have spent time on.

They can also be used for removing large branches from your roof or fences, making the job easier.

When it comes to choosing a pair of cordless grass shears, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to ensure that you make the best purchase for your needs.

What type of Shear do you need?

One of the first things you should decide is if you need an all-purpose grass shear, or if you need a specific type of grass shear for a certain task.

For example, you may only need a grass shear to trim around shrubs and trees in your yard, or for general yard maintenance. If you are planning to do professional lawn work, such as tree trimming or mulching, you will probably want a different kind of grass shear to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

The same is true if you plan to do residential lawn work, such as mowing and trimming the lawn. You may want to invest in a quality electric lawn mower to get the job done faster and to make the job healthier for you and your family.

Size of the blades

The next thing you should look at is the size of the blades that the grass shears have. The smaller the blades, the less likely they are to dull quickly.

The smaller the blades, the longer it will take to dull the blade, causing it to lose its ability to cut effectively. 

Cheaper grass shears often have blades made out of steel or aluminum, which are not nearly as durable as the blades that are made from carbon or titanium, which are much more expensive.

Even the cheapest blades tend to last longer than the more expensive kinds, so it’s a trade off that you will need to make depending on your needs.

The angles of the blades

The next feature you should look at is the angle of the blades. Most garden shears will have straight blades, but there are some designs that have a unique angle to them.

Some of these, such as cross-cut blades, have a unique angle that will work well for certain kinds of trees or plants.


It’s also important to check how the blades will work best with your chosen gardening tool. If you are planning on doing any serious re-trimming in the future, you should consider buying an edger specifically for hard-to-reach areas like the ends of your lawn.

Other options include lawnmowers with long, thin blades that can easily trim through grass or shrubbery that is too thick for a regular trimmer.

These are just a few examples of which garden tools are designed for particular tasks, so be sure to ask your supplier what else is available to you.

What is the main purpose of the garden shear?

Remember, the primary purpose of garden shears is to cut. They can be used to prune, shave branches, and even cut down unwanted flowers.

This is why they are so important if you have a large garden or plan on maintaining it. If you don’t already have some sort of cutting tools, I suggest you look into some of the above items, as they can make trimming grass and other garden-related tasks easier down the road.

How to use a garden Pruner

When using a garden pruner, you want to make sure that all of the plants in your garden get the best growing conditions possible.

If you don’t do this, you will find that some of the plants may actually die out during the colder times of the year. This can be a great shame, especially if you spent the time and money to care for those plants.

You should try and prune your garden pruner so that it is not cutting down the life expectancy of the plants. It’s best to make sure that you don’t prune too much, or else you may cut down the number of flowers that you have.

Using your garden pruner

One thing to keep in mind is that your garden pruner does not only need to be used when the leaves are dropping, but also in certain times of the year.

Fall is one of those times, as it is the season when you are more likely to use a pruning tool. However, it is important to realize that summer is not the only time that you can use your garden pruner.

The tool can be used in spring, summer, and autumn, each of these seasons has their own reasons for needing to be pruned, trimmed, or cut. Knowing how to use a garden pruner can help you trim branches and other growth around the yard.

Use pruners with other garden tools

If you have a large garden, you may want to get a few extra tools to help you trim the trees and shrubs that you need in your yard.

If you plan to plant shrubs or trees in your garden, you should consider learning how to use a garden pruner and some of the other tools that are available.

In addition, you will need some seeds to begin growing. There is no point in buying seeds, when you know how to use a garden pruner to help you start them off.

Many people do not enjoy the process of pulling prunes out of the trees or off of the bush, but if you learn how to use a garden pruner properly, it will save you a lot of time, and make pruning easier.

When you learn how to trim, cut, and pull plants from the ground, you can choose which parts of the plant you would like to keep. If you are looking to save money on seeds, it is best to prune off all of the summer growth.

When you are ready to harvest your garden pruned branches, it is much easier to go through all of the smaller branches to pick up the smaller seeds that will be useful for next year.

The most important part of learning how to use a garden pruner is to be patient. If you do not have the patience to wait while the pruning is going on, you may end up with branches that are broken, damaged, or broken off of the bush.

This does not happen very often, but it can, and you should be ready to replace the pruner if you cannot take care of the task right away.


Essentially, both the pruner and shear can be used interchangeably if you know what you’re doing. The goal is to have a well-pruned and healthy plant, not necessarily to flaunt your next gardening tool.

The truth is that the difference between the pruner and shear is only but a thin line. Keep that in mind when shopping for your next cutting tool.


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