Garden scissors have many uses. They can be used to harvest herbs, such as chives and parsley. They can be used to deadhead flowers on plants that benefit from the operation. Garden scissors can be used to prune dead leaves if the stems have a thin diameter, and to cut fresh flowers. They can also be used to cut garden twine and open bags of fertilizer or mulch. Garden scissors are also used for shaping bonsai and topiary.
Garden shears, on the other hand, are generally more heavy duty implements. They may have a bypass or an anvil design. Often, the former have heavy, curved blades, while the latter’s blades look something like a parrot’s beak. Even when the blades are more scissors-like, the handles often aren’t, having squeeze handles like those characteristic of pruning shears, or long straight handles like hedge shears, neither of which design features finger holes. This is true whether one looks at pruning shears, grass shears, hedge shears, thinning shears, or lopping shears.