Master Precise Lawn Trimming with Hand Held Grass Clippers

A neatly trimmed lawn with clean, crisp edges can really take your yard to the next level. But lugging around heavy gas-powered mowers isn’t always practical for quick touch-ups. That’s where hand held grass clippers come in. These lightweight, portable tools allow you to precisely trim lawn edges in tight spaces the mower can’t reach. Read on to learn how hand held grass clippers can help you achieve a pristine, manicured lawn edge with ease.

When Should You Use Hand Held Grass Clippers?

Hand held grass clippers, also called grass shears, are ideal for trimming and edging along borders, sidewalks, flower beds, trees and other lawn edges. They can trim delicate areas where large mowers would be clumsy and imprecise. Their compact size gets into tight spaces around garden fixtures and landscaping features that riding or push mowers simply can’t access.

hand held grass clippers

Hand held clippers are perfect for maintaining a crisp, clean edge between your lawn and garden beds. No more wavy, uneven borders after your mower passes by. And unlike large mowers, the lightweight clippers won’t damage delicate plants or tree trunks while edging around them.

These nimble tools also come in handy for quick touch-ups in between mowings. Knock down a few stray blades poking up along your sidewalk or driveway. Tidy up edges around patio pavers that get missed by the mower. Hand held clippers make lawn maintenance a breeze.

When NOT to Use Hand Held Grass Clippers

While hand held grass clippers excel at detail trimming and edging, they aren’t meant for large mowing tasks. Their small cutting width of around 4 inches is no match for large riding or push mowers. You’ll want to stick with gas or electric mowers for cutting broad expanses of lawn. Save the hand held clippers for detail finishing work.

Key Features and Considerations for Hand Held Grass Clippers

When selecting hand held grass clippers, there are a few key factors to consider so you choose the right tool for your needs:

Blade Size

Blade width on hand held grass clippers typically ranges from around 3.5 inches on smaller models up to 5.5 inches on larger tools. If you just have a small yard or need tools primarily for detail trimming, a 3.5-4 inch blade will suffice. For clipping larger lawn edges, look for a wider 5-5.5 inch blade to reduce time spent edging.

Power Source

Hand held grass clippers are powered either by electricity or battery:

  • Cordless, battery-powered models offer greater portability and freedom of movement. But you’re limited by battery life.
  • Corded electric models provide unlimited power as long as you stay within reach of an outlet. But the cord can be cumbersome.

Cordless models work well for quick small tasks like edging after mowing. For frequent heavy-duty use, corded electric provides constant power. Some users also prefer a corded model for extra grip and control when trimming.

Blade Types

Several blade styles exist, each with pros and cons:

  • Serrated blades stay sharp longer and offer clean cuts.
  • Swivel blades adjust to allow trimming at different angles.
  • Quick-change blades make it easy to swap in new blades as needed.

For the average homeowner, a standard smooth or serrated blade will handle most trimming tasks. Swivel and quick-change blades provide added versatility if you need to trim at tough angles or frequently replace dull blades.

Safety Features

Look for important safety features like blade guards, locks, and rounded safety tips. These help prevent painful injuries or accidents, especially around children. Cordless models should have a safety lock to prevent the trigger from accidentally being pressed.

Ergonomic Handles

Since hand held grass clippers are powered by hand strength alone, an ergonomic handle is key. Padded, textured grips make the tool easier to control. Curved handles allow for a natural wrist position. This prevents fatigue so you can trim for longer periods comfortably.

Weight and Portability

Lighter grass clippers around 2-3 lbs. are much easier to maneuver and control than heavy bulky models. But very lightweight models may sacrifice power and durability. Find the right balance of weight and performance for your needs.

Pro Tips for Using Hand Held Grass Clippers Like a Pro

Once you’ve chosen the right hand held grass clippers for your lawn, follow these pro tips to use them effectively:

Proper Stance and Body Positioning

Stand with your feet hip-width apart for stability. Keep your elbows tight to your sides as you clip for control. Bend your knees slightly and avoid overarching your back. This prevents fatigue and allows you to make even, consistent cuts.

Make Smooth, Fluid Cuts

Allow the clippers to do the work rather than forcing them. Gently squeeze and guide the blades along your cutting path without straining. Relax your grip to avoid hand and wrist cramping.

Trim at Angles and Curves

On straight edges, keep the clippers perpendicular to the ground. When you reach a curve, tilt them at a slight angle to follow the contour smoothly. Take extra care on sharp angles near plants or other objects.

Know When to Service Your Blades

Replace your grass clipper blades about once per year, or sooner if they become damaged or dull. To extend the life of blades between replacements, sharpen them 2-3 times per year depending on your usage frequency.

Popular Hand Held Grass Clipper Brands and Models

Trusted brands like Craftsman, Black & Decker, and Scotts all make high-quality hand held grass clippers. Here are two popular options to consider:

BLACK+DECKER 3.5-Inch Cordless Grass Clipper

This lightweight 3.5-inch cordless model offers freedom of movement and portability. It runs on a 20V MAX lithium ion battery. The clipper stays powered for up to 50 minutes on a single charge. Easy to maneuver at just 4.4 lbs.

Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Grass Shear

For corded power, the Scotts grass shear is a top choice. Its 5-inch blades make quick work of larger edging tasks. An ergonomic handle and cushioned grips provide comfort. At just $34, it’s a budget-friendly option.

Costs and Where to Buy Hand Held Grass Clippers

You can find hand held grass clippers at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Prices typically range from about $30 for basic battery-powered models up to $100 or more for heavy-duty corded electric models with premium features.

Online retailers like Amazon also carry a wide selection of hand held clippers. Be sure to check the warranty when purchasing online in case any defects arise.

Care and Maintenance Tips

With proper care and maintenance, your hand held grass clippers will deliver reliable performance season after season:

Regular Cleaning

Remove gummed up clippings from blades after each use. Wipe the blades clean and apply a light oil to prevent rusting.

Proper Storage

Keep clippers in a dry indoor space like a garage or shed when not in use. Store safely out of reach of children.

Annual Blade Replacement

For optimal cutting performance, replace your grass clipper blades every year. Quality replacement blades are inexpensive investments that will save hours of frustration wrestling with dull blades.

Sharpen Every 2-3 Months

In addition to yearly blade replacement, sharpen your blades 2-3 times per season depending on your usage frequency. This removes nicks and restores a clean cutting edge.

Exercise Caution for Safety

While very useful tools, hand held grass clippers also come with some inherent hazards. Following basic safety precautions will keep you safe during use:

  • Always wear thick gloves and closed-toe shoes when using your clippers.
  • Wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from flying debris.
  • Keep your hands and feet away from the sharp cutting blades.
  • Avoid using hand held clippers in wet conditions where you could slip.
  • Exercise extra caution when trimming on slopes, hills, or uneven terrain.
  • Store clippers safely out of the reach of children when not in use.

Maintaining a professionally manicured lawn edge is simple with hand held grass clippers. Their lightweight maneuverability and precision allow you to trim delicate areas the mower can’t reach. Follow the tips in this guide to select the right model, use proper technique, and keep your clippers performing at their best.

In no time, you’ll have the cleanest, sharpest lawn edges on the block. So put away that ungainly mower and discover the secret to garden magazine-worthy lawn edges with hand held grass clippers!

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