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Trimming hedges using one hand

Trimming is the job of cutting your hedge regularly to encourage strong growth for a full, dense, hedge. Trimming maintains shape and keeps the hedge at a manageable height and width.   

Top tips to make trimming hedges easier

  • Use one handed battery powered shears to trim hedges or secateurs to trim any thicker stems. One handed shears are also useful for trimming smaller hedges.
  • Keep shears and other cutting tools sharp, clean and well oiled and adjusted. Don’t try to cut material that is too thick with shears – carry secateurs to cut through any thicker stems.
  • Have a barrow or plastic sheet positioned beneath where you are cutting to catch most of the trimmings.
  • Avoid very fast-growing species and keep the hedge to a height that is easy to reach. 
  • One handed shears
    If you find cutting the hedge difficult, an alternative such as a wall or fence - with climbing plants - can be wildlife-friendly, attractive options.
  • Depending on the size of your hedge, this is a job that you might decide to get regular help with.   

Taking care

  • Always ‘warm up’ with a few gentle stretches, keep your back straight and only work for short periods, to avoid strain.
  • Try to keep the one handed shears close to your body and hold them just below chest height. Only trim within your reach to avoid straining and losing your balance.
  • Tackle a section of the hedge at a time to avoid getting over tired.
  • Reaching up to the top of a hedge or shrub can put extra strain on the neck, arms and back. Be careful if you use steps or ladders to reach a taller hedge as it is easy to lose your balance.  


Equipment and tools

  • Topiary shears
    One-handed battery powered shears are ideal for trimming soft foliage and for light hedge trimming. The blades can be rotated through 180° for a more comfortable cutting position.
  • For light trimming jobs you can use one-handed shears or cut and hold secateurs.
  • Classic shears can also be used with one hand and are useful for light trimming of topiary.


Classic English shears  

Classic English shears

The sprung blades on these shears are easy and straight forward to use.

Find out more about Classic English shears


Cut and hold secateurs  

Cut and hold secateurs

These top quality steel secateurs with anvil blades have plastic handles and a mechanism that holds on to the stem that has been cut off.

Find out more about Cut and hold secateurs


Battery powered hand-held shears  

Battery powered hand-held shears

These shears can be used for trimming hedges and the blades rotate from the horizontal to vertical. There is a long hedge trimming blade for use on larger plants.

Find out more about Battery powered hand-held shears


One handed shears  

One handed shears

These shears are ideal for edging and trimming hedges and for use one handed. The non-stick coated wavy-edged blades give a precise cut.

Find out more about One handed shears