Manual vs Electric Garden Shears Which is Better?

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As a gardener, you have a set of responsibilities, and hedge maintenance is one of them.

We know that you spent a lot of time on their upkeep.

However, there is a problem. Your hedges might appear unhealthy and dull if you choose unworthy shears.

So, which one to pick; manual, electric or petrol powered?

You can try high-quality manual shears, but it could be tiring if you have to maintain lots of hedges.

Then, there are electric and petrol variants that can accomplish the hedge trimming task very efficiently.

Here, we will discuss all the three available types of garden shears so that you figure out which one of them suits your garden.

Manual or Electric Garden Shears- What Should You Go For?

Manual Garden Shears

Most expert gardeners state that a manual shear is beneficial regardless of the size of hedges you have to maintain. And we agree with them.

Arguably, manual shears provide better cutting results when compared to automatic variants.

Electric or petrol propelled shears makes a lot of noise, especially the latter. But, manual shears work silently.

So, you can use such a gardening tool any time of the day without disturbing any of your family members or neighbours.

Some handheld shears are also available with shock-absorbing features, which keeps your wrists and elbows stress-free.

Unluckily, hand shears are not suitable for heavy-duty hedging projects because such tools need your physical strength to work.

So, you might start feeling tired after cutting some rows of hedges.

Continuous hedging using manual shears can also lead to muscle strains, which is almost impossible if you use an electric or petrol variant.

Hence, manual shears are perfect only for small to medium-duty tasks. We agree that they offer high cutting cuts, but this feature alone cannot compensate for your extra efforts.

Also read: How Do You Maintain a Healthy Hedge?

Electric Garden Shears

Motorized shears are available in two categories; corded and cordless.

As you can understand, corded models use mains power to cut the hedges, and cordless variants depend on the battery. Both use electrical energy to operate and are suitable when you have to trim lots of bushes.

These gardening tools can accomplish big projects without creating any muscle strains.


Petrol Garden Shears

If the hedges in your garden are thick, then petrol powered shears might be an ideal investment.

Lots of these gardening tools can easily handle branches up to 1 inch in diameter, which is higher than electric versions.

Moreover, petrol shears are generally available with a significant blade size, which helps you cover long hedges without investing much time and energy.

Petrol dependent shears are comparatively heavier than the electrical versions.

But, these machine gives you the freedom to work anywhere. Some of these models are available with an anti-vibration mechanism that keeps you comfortable.

Keep in mind that petrol propelled shears operates at high sound levels.

Hence, it will help if you have hearing protection while using such a gardening machine. Plus, you cannot use it at odd timings. Otherwise, your family and neighbours will wake up.

Also read: Corded Vs Cordless Vs Petrol Hedge Trimmer- Which Is Better For You?

Corded vs Cordless Garden Shears

As we discussed, two types of electric shears are available in the market, corded and cordless. Corded works on electricity and offers clean energy without polluting our environment.

As there are no carbon emissions from the corded shears, they don’t need any fuel.

Corded models are also lightweight if compared to gasoline propelled variants. But, the biggest problem with these trimmers is their connecting power cable.

So, there are chances that you might cut the cord if not careful.

Plus, a nearby electrical outlet is a prerequisite to use such gardening equipment.

If you don’t have an outlet, then an extension box is required.

If you want to enjoy an emission-free and lightweight hedge maintenance solution, then cordless trimmers could be the right option.

These battery dependent models do not have any connectivity, which means you don’t have to worry about cable management. Charge such a gardening tool, and it will do the needful.

None of the electric shears can cut branches with more than a diameter of ¼ or ½ inches, which is lower than petrol-propelled models.

So, if you want to maintain bushes or hedges with thick branches, consider a petrol-dependent variant. Otherwise, go for an electric model because of its eco-friendly, lightweight and affordable nature.



After discussing all the points, we can state that all kinds of shears are helpful, and each has some weaknesses.

So, not one shear can suit all the hedges.

You might think that cordless models are the best, but they might not be helpful when the branches are more than ½ inch. Then, you can only try a petrol-propelled variant.

So, manual or electric garden shears, which is better? Well, we both of them work great ad are perfect according to the conditions. Use manual shears for small pruning tasks so that you make precise cuts.

For big projects with branches within ½ inch, you can go for an electric shear. However, petrol-dependent variants are perfect if you are dealing with thick branches.

About M H Sharaj

Sharaj is a passionate garden enthusiast and expert gardening tool reviewer with more than 5 years of hands-on experience. His love for gardening blossomed in his childhood, nurtured by weekends spent in his family's vibrant garden. Sharaj holds a degree in Management and enjoys the unique challenges and rewards of roof gardening. He combines his horticultural knowledge with a keen eye for innovative tools and equipment, providing readers with insightful, unbiased reviews. When he’s not testing the latest gardening gadgets, Sharaj is cultivating his own lush rooftop garden oasis, filled with a variety of plants and flowers. His mission is to inspire others to create beautiful, sustainable gardens using the best tools available.