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Are there any alternatives to edging shears?

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Swivel shears

Swivel shears with long handle Swivel shears, also known as multi-shears, are a combination of lawn and edging shears, with blades that can be set at different angles.

Unlike normal edging shears, they have a single handle with a trigger which you squeeze and release to open and close the blades.

Swivel shears in use horizontally and vertically You can use swivel shears vertically for cutting lawn edges, and horizontally for trimming the surface of the grass.

They’re lighter than two-handled shears, and are useful if you don’t have much storage space. Their short blades make them most suitable for small gardens, or for trimming awkward spaces that would be hard to reach with blades of normal length.

Trimming flowers in hanging basket with swivel shears Swivel shears are quite versatile and can even be used for a little light overhead pruning, as long as you don’t try and tackle thick stems.
Person in wheelchair using swivel shears Some people with limited mobility find these shears convenient as they can be used one-handed, at a pinch – although two hands give more stability. However, a firm grip is required to work the trigger.
Small shears with spring-loaded handle and serrated blade You can also get small swivel shears. They have a spring-loaded handle that opens automatically when you release it, letting you use the shears with one hand. Some also have serrated blades, giving more grip on the grass.
Short-handled swivel head edging shears in use Just as with the long-handled versions, you can rotate the blades for trimming horizontally along the surface of the lawn, and vertically along the edge. The blades are locked into place by pressing a button on the handle.

These shears are lightweight and easy to store, although obviously not suitable for large gardens or for anyone with back problems.

Locking button on small grass shears Left-handed gardeners should avoid shears with the locking button on the left side of the handle, as it’s hard to reach.

Look instead for a pair with the button on the front, which is easy to press with either hand.

Powered shears

Hedge and grass blades on battery grass shears Battery-powered shears are capable of trimming lightweight shrubs and hedges as well as lawns. They come with changeable blades to suit the task at hand.
Battery powered shears in use trimming lawn surface You can usually buy a long handle to add on for ease of use. Most of these shears can trim the surface of the lawn horizontally…
Trimming edge of lawn with battery powered shears …or be rotated to cut vertically along the edges.
Battery charger and cable While a cordless trimmer is easier to move around the garden than one that needs to be plugged in, you have to remember to charge it beforehand.

Powered grass trimmer

Electric grass trimmer being used to trim lawn edge Most grass trimmers, or strimmers, cut the grass using thin nylon cord which spins round at high speed, although a few use rotating plastic blades.

Corded trimmers have an electric motor with a cable which has to be plugged into a mains socket, so are best suited to small gardens – unless you get an extension lead. Cordless versions are powered either by petrol engines or rechargeable batteries.

Edging wire on powered grass trimmer Many grass trimmers include an edging guide wire to help you achieve a neat finish…
Grass trimmer with edging guide wheel …and some have an edging guide wheel as well. This literally takes some of the strain off your shoulders because you can roll the trimmer along the ground instead of having to hold it up.
Heavy item Although grass trimmers can speed up lawn edging, particularly when cutting around neglected borders, some users find them a little heavy and difficult to control compared to manual shears.

Increased noise is another factor to consider, along with the extra time it takes to plug in, charge up or fill a powered trimmer with petrol.

Donkee says single line nylon cord is less likely to stick