Grass Shear Vs String Trimmer: Pros, Cons, Differences

What's the difference between a grass shear and a string trimmer? Is the use of a grass shear more effective in trimming than a string trimmer? Each gardening tool has its pros, cons, and disadvantages. We have done the research to help you choose the right gardening tool for your lawn.

A grass shear is a tool used in cutting grass and keeping your decorative grasses in shape. It looks like a pair of large scissors with a sharp blade and an attached handle. This is a perfect tool to neatly trim the difficult spots of your sidewalks, flower beds, and decorative trees.

On the other hand, a string trimmer is a gardening tool with a rapidly rotating monofilament cord powered by gasoline or a battery. It is a tool for cutting larger lawns and trimming tight spots such as fences, rocky hillsides, and other barriers. 

Selecting the right tools for your lawn maintenance seems simple but it can make a difference. Weighing the pros, cons, and differences among your options can help you save money and time. Keep on reading as we help you pick the right trimming tool.

Differences Between Grass Shears and String Trimmers

Grass shears and string trimmers differ in various ways. We'll differentiate grass shears and string trimmers in terms of physical features, uses and application, and cost.

Physical Features

Grass shears are scissors with a sharp blade attached to a large handle. You can grip a grass shear with your entire palm. It has two kinds of blades; horizontal blades and vertical blades.

Check out grass shear on Amazon.

Whereas, a string trimmer is a machine powered by either a gas or electric motor. It has monofilament nylon located on the edge to cut grass.

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Uses and Application

Hands with scissors for cutting bushes and grass shear boxwood in the shape of a ball. garden works.

A grass shear tool can trim grass manually. Specifically, it can trim hedges, cut branches to keep them in shape, and cut grass in difficult spots. Grass shears make trimming simple due to the blades' right-angle positioning.

Cutting the lawn with cordless grass trimmer, edger, close-up.

A string trimmer can cut grass on a larger lawn. It can trim around trees, steps, and rocks that a lawn mower can't. When the trimmer is on, the monofilament nylon will spin rapidly at a high speed which enables it to cut the grass. It is commonly used in cleaning driveways and sidewalks.


A collage image of a grass shear and a string trimmer, Grass Shear Vs String Trimmer: Pros, Cons, Differences

The cost of manual grass shears typically starts around $20. Grass shears can usually last longer if used with extra care and proper maintenance.

Amazingly enough, string trimmers do not cost much more than manual shears. You can find some that cost as low as $30. However, the price goes up the more features it has. 

The Pros and Cons of Grass Shears

Selecting the best trimmer for your garden or lawn maintenance is simple yet tricky. So, here are the pros and the cons of using grass shears that might help you.


  • It can perfectly trim decorative grasses around your garden, sidewalks, flower beds, and trees.
  • You have full control over trimming narrow spots and even the areas that are hard to reach.
  • Grass shears have a sharp blade which makes it easier in cutting small stems with ease and accuracy.
  • Grass shears are easy to use and doesn't need much maintenance.
  • You do not have to pay any additional cost because you can do it manually.
  • Grass shears are a versatile garden tool.


  • The blades of grass shears can dull easily if used on a larger lawn.
  • It is time-consuming.

The Pros and Cons of String Trimmers

Close up on string trimmer head weed cutter petrol or electric brushcutter working in the yard or field cutting grass in garden in day low angle view.

We have listed below the pros and cons of using a string trimmer that might be a great help for you in choosing the right gardening tool.


  • A string trimmer can take care of larger lawns.
  • It can trim grass and remove weeds that a lawn mower cannot reach.
  • It makes trimming faster and easier.
  • It is great for touch-ups because the spinning nylon can evenly cut and clean the edges of driveways and sidewalks.
  • String trimmers are versatile enough for all kinds of areas on your property.


  • The string trimmer weighs between 10 to 12.5 pounds, which may make it inconvenient to the user.
  • A string trimmer is expensive.
  • It produces a loud noise.
  • It causes pollution due to extremely high unburned HC emissions.
  • It needs proper maintenance, which makes it more costly.
  • The additional cost of gas before use (if gas-powered).

Should I buy an electric trimmer or a gas-powered trimmer?

If you are planning to buy a trimmer, you should first consider the coverage area. If the coverage area is wide and has taller grass and brush, we recommend a gas-powered trimmer.

On the other hand, we recommend an electric trimmer for small coverage areas like your backyard. Both trimmers have two types of blades: first is the nylon blade recommended for smaller brush and grass, while the metal blade is recommended for overgrown weeds, brush, and grass. This blade is also intended for heavy duty use.

Electric Trimmer

Electricity powers this kind of trimmer and it can be cordless (battery type) or corded. This trimmer is very handy to use because it does not produce exhaust and has less noise compared to a gas-powered trimmer. When it comes to maintenance, you can save a lot of money on the electric trimmer.

Gas-Powered Trimmer

This kind of trimmer runs on gas. We recommend a gas-powered trimmer for heavy duty cleanup. It can cover large areas with taller grass and brush. It has a high strength capacity.

What shears should I use in my garden?

There are various types of shears. Based on our research, hedge shears are best for garden maintenance. They look like giant scissors with a long handle. Hedge shears can cut long and soft branches up to 2cm in diameter, but they are not recommended for thicker branches because it can damage your blade.

Woman hands holding scissors and cutting bush in the garden.

The hedge shear blade is the perfect tool for shaping decorative grasses. It is highly effective for trimming branches and can also help plants grow if used in the right way.

Consider the following when choosing the right shear for your garden—

Blade Type

The blade type can either be straight, wavy, or serrated. Straight blades are ideal for cutting small and soft branches. This is comfortable to hold and flexible to operate.

Handle Length

A hedge shear's handle length typically ranges from 20 to 25 inches. Depending on your intended use, a long shear will enable you to provide stronger cuts. Longer shears are best for experienced gardeners as this tool is heavy.

Intended Use

In choosing a hedge shear, it's important to consider the intended use, comfortability, and weight of the tool. Heavy tools can cause fatigue. Therefore, the weight of your tools must match your strength level.

In Closing

The right gardening tools will make a difference in your garden. Weighing the pros and cons of each tool will help you make the right choice so that you can perform your task efficiently and effectively.

You may also check out the suggested articles below that might help you in your gardening:

How To Use A Stihl Hedge Trimmer [Step-by-Step Guide]

My Hedge Trimmer Keeps Jamming - Why? What To Do?

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