Press & Media
Our shears have already received high praise from the UK's top gardeners:
"M.L. asks me to identify the interesting-looking scarlet-handled snips, as she calls them, that I was holding in a photograph that appeared here on February 27. They are my beloved Jakoti one-handed shears. They were sent to me to try for a magazine feature and I have been almost literally attached to them ever since. I use them for all sorts of jobs, including topiary (better even than my trusty kitchen scissors of yore), and for neat and speedy cutting down of herbaceous plants and grasses"
Anyone mistaken enough to grow ornamental grasses should be starting to think about how to tidy them up now we've come to the end of their winter 'display' of gloomy brown heaps topped with bits of seed head. Sheep shears are great for the job but Jakoti hand shears, a new tool from Greece, are even better.
For those more familiar with secateurs, hand or sheep shears have straight blades which ping back as soon as you have used them - just as secateurs do. The difference is that they are lighter, longer and handy for lighter cutting jobs - like grasses.
Given that I have never grown ornamental grasses, I have never had to tidy up their lamentable forms. Instead, I use conventional sheep shears to tidy up topiaries and perennials. As far as I am concerned, the only downside to these is that the blades part company or warp when faced with larger jobs such as cutting a rose stem.
No longer. I have been converted to Jakotis, which look like heavy-duty, long kitchen scissors. Like sheep shears, they are used with one hand, allowing the other to lift or steady stems in need of cutting. Unlike sheep shears, they slice through three-year-old box stems without difficulty. Jakotis also cut through grasses which defeat secateurs and their 14cm blades will deal with more stems in one go than secateurs can ever manage.
"Best Buy" garden shears
Easy to spot, even in undergrowth. A very basic design, but made to last a lifetime. They cut cleanly and precisely and have real quality, weight and presence. A pleasure to use - the handles are nicely shaped to fit the hand.
"Helen's favourite" topiary shears
"As soon as I slipped the integral clip off the end of the shiny, scarlet handles of this beautifully balanced shear, I knew I had found something special. Handmade in Greece - very much in the Japanese style - and newly available in Britain, these are just lovely. The blades are super sharp, the action is smooth and sprung like a good pair of secateurs, the handles have comfortable "hips" at the top - and, of course, as regular readers will know, I am a complete sucker for bright-red, un-losable tools."
"I had read about a pair of hand shears that were extremely useful for cutting back all those faded and jaded perennials we have in our borders right now. Any gardener will know that to do this job efficiently in the autumn is not without its trials.
Secateurs won't cut through every stem as some of them are too succulent and merely squash. Scissors work to a point, but are not really robust enough and they are not particularly user-friendly on the hands of the person working with them. What's really needed here is a simple pair of efficient hand shears and I have found them. They are called Jakoti Hand Shears and are ideal for cutting back, trimming, dead-heading, topiary work and many general gardening tasks. I find the stories behind some of these 'finds' fascinating. A pair of these shears were bought from a hardware store on a remote Greek island three years ago by a holidaymaker and given to her mother. So satisfied was she with the shears that she told her son about them and he, on mother's recommendation, began importing them so that we can all now enjoy them.
If all this sounds too good to be true you haven't heard it all yet. The handles are ergonomically designed so that they are comfortable to use even for those with small hands and the low tension spring between the handles makes them easy to operate. They are made from high quality carbon steel and the blades are self-sharpening, although not self-cleaning, which you must do regularly. All that is needed is to wash them in hot soapy water, dry them and then wipe over with an oily rag. If you would like to see them check out the website at www.handshears.co.uk or write to Jakoti, Churchmoor Barn, Martin St, Baltonsborough, Somerset BA6 8QT (tel 01458 850066) for a catalogue.
"These shears were comfortable to use, well made and nicely balanced. The long sharp blades meant it was easy to get into difficult spaces and make precise cuts. As well as shaping topiary, they were useful for trimming other plants such as heathers and lavender that needed bringing back into shape gently. And while colour is not the most important thing, the bright red handles were very attractive".