Scissor-action shears, pruning saws, hedge shears and loppers make a basic set of hedge-trimming tools. Manual tools rather than power tools work better for thinning and trimming hedges, as the branches and stems are thin and usually tender.
Traditional scissor-action shears make clean, close cuts and are suitable for grooming any type of hedge. The gardener typically uses basic hedge shears for trimming and forming hedges into specific shapes. Pruning saws and loppers can cut thicker branches that the hedge shears are too small to handle. Loppers can snip through branches up to 2 inches in diameter. Pruning saw teeth are positioned to avoid binding in live wood.