Pros: Saves strain on the back, no recharging or cords to lug around
Cons: Difficult to position, takes longer to get the job done, hard to find
I purchased the long-handled grass shear as a replacement to an Black and Decker electric (rechargeable) hand-held grass shear. I hated having to bend over with the old unit. I also hated having to recharge it all of the time. When it finally gave out as all rechargeable products do after a few years, I decided to purchase something that would be a little more convenient. I can't use a string trimmer because I have delicate flowers and plants near the edge of the grass. The Fiskars long-handled grass shear seemed like it would be perfect for me.
I could not find this product in any local store. A call to the Fiskars Customer Service line confirmed that no retailers in my area carry it. I finally ordered it from Amazon.com but had to wait for delivery because it was backordered.
Upon first use, I found that it did prevent a great deal of strain on the back. No more bending over! It works very well in trimming around trees, lamp poles, rocks, etc. However, the blades are difficult to position when edging a border when there is nothing to place one of the blades against as a guide. The long handle acts like a pendulum and swings back and forth unless you hold it firmly with both hands. It takes me 3 times as longer to trim the borders (compared to the electric shear) and I still miss some spots. I have hundreds of feet of border to trim every week and I don't have the extra time it takes to use the manual shear.
I noticed that Black and Decker now makes an electric grass shear with an optional long handle and wheels. Maybe this would have been a better replacement for my old electric shear.
If you have a small yard or very little trimming to do, I would recommend this product. Otherwise, get a string trimmer or electric shear!