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What Are the Different Types of Grass Clippers?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated May 16, 2024
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The two primary types of grass clippers are units with horizontal blades that are made for trimming grass that was missed by a lawn mower, and vertically oriented blades for doing edge work. These basic categories of grass clippers can also be found with a range of different designs and options, including different handle configurations and lengths. Clippers can also be made out of a variety of materials, and some have non-stick blade surfaces to prevent the accumulation of grass while working. Some grass clippers are electric, while others can be connected to an extension pole for easier use.

Grass clippers are similar to pruning shears, though they differ in blade configuration, handle length, and intended use. Unlike pruning shears that are meant to cut through woody plants and bushes, grass shears are designed to help clean up the edges of a lawn, and any long grass that might be missed by a regular lawnmower. The blades are often long and straight like scissors, though the handle configuration is typically different.

There are two main designs of mechanical grass clippers, and an electric variant as well. The most common design involves blades that are oriented horizontally, which is achieved by placing them at a 90 degree angle in comparison to the handle. This allows the clippers to be placed tightly against the surface of a lawn, which would be difficult with traditional shears. Different clippers can also have a variety of blade and handle lengths, and some are even designed to be used while standing up.

The other main type of grass clippers have vertically oriented blades. These clippers have blades that open and close on the same plane as the handle just like regular scissors, so they are not well suited for closely cropping the surface of a lawn. They are instead meant for doing edge work, and can be used to achieve a tight, clean line along each side of a lawn, or around trees, bushes and other objects.

In addition to the two main types of mechanical grass clippers, there are also electric models. These shears have a configuration that is similar to hair clippers, in that they use two comb-shaped blades that vibrate back and forth. An electric clipper can be passed over a lawn, or along the edges, and any grass that is caught between the blades will be cut. These clippers can sometimes be used with extension poles and other attachments, and may be battery powered or make use of extension cords.

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Discussion Comments
By Terrificli — On Oct 08, 2014

@Vincenzo -- People do still use grass clippers. It is true that some people may use string trimmers instead, but in some cases that is too blunt of an instrument.

A string trimmer wouldn't do well if you had to trim grass that was growing around your flowers. The problem is the string trimmer would cut down the flower as well as remove the grass because it is hard to be very precise with one.

When you need that precision, the good old pair of grass clippers is the right tool for the job.

By Vincenzo — On Oct 07, 2014

I actually haven't seen any of these in quite some time. I thought they had pretty well be phased out by more reliable lawnmowers that cut grass better and string trimmers. I know a lawnmower can't get everything (grass close to a house, for example), but isn't that what a good string trimmer is for?

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