Now and then, a gardener is faced with the task of cutting branches that are too thick for pruning shears, and too small for a pruning saw. What do you do? Get yourself a pair of lopper’s! In case you don’t know what these are, they are a manual gardening tool used for pruning twigs and branches.
They resemble a pair of pruners or secateurs with long handles. There are various types in the market classified according to the type and style. So I will help you pick the best according to the type of pruning you will be doing and according to your budget.
Fiskars 32-Inch Steel Bypass Lopper
Have a characteristic PowerGear non-circular gear mechanism that increases the force of cutting near the middle of the cut where there’s more resistance.
UltraBlade coating makes sure the edges stay sharp for longer, and reduces friction to make cutting smooth and easy. It also makes it rust resistant, making it last longer because rust is never good on metal.
The handles are designed from aluminum which is light hence convenient since you will need to carry these as you work. They are ergonomically designed for your comfort to offer an easy grip; however, you choose to hold them.
- Easier cutting as compared to single pivot tools
- Lifetime warranty
- Long handles provide a lot of leverage
- Razor sharp and offers less resistance
- Lightweight aluminum handles designed for comfort and better grip
- There are no replacement blades in the market
Fiskars 28-Inch Bypass Lopper
As one of the best loppers in the market, this pair has a precision-ground blade that is hardened, and stays sharp, even through heavy use. This makes it ideal for people who do heavy pruning especially on live wood.
The blades are coated and non-stick, preventing friction and helping the blade to glide through the wood smoothly, without it gumming up with tree sap and dust and other debris. The coating also makes it resistant to rust, enhancing durability and reliability promoting longevity.
Its bypass style makes it ideal for cutting green growth like tree branches with ease and maximum reliability. It also has shock absorbent bumpers that eliminate that striking feeling at the end of a cut.
- Smooth and easy cutting of trees
- Non slip comfort grips
- Steel handles for durability
- Replaceable blades
- Handle might break where it is attached to the jaws if used heavily and regularly
- Steel is heavy
Fiskars 32 Inch PowerGear2 Lopper
The PowerGear tech on this one makes it one of the best loppers in the market, giving it three times more leverage and power with every cut. Some say it even goes ‘beast mode’ on those twigs and branches you want pruned.
The design and gear mechanism optimizes cutting power where you need it most, in the middle of the cut where there is resistance, leaving a clean, neat cut with no ugly wound on the green trees and branches
It can cut through thick branches of up to 2 inches thick in diameter and is as powerful as it is easy to operate and maneuver.
- Super-easy cutting
- Lifetime warranty
- Mechanical advantage
- Requires wide opening of the handles
- Works best in certain circumstances, e.g. not best for dense trees for there isn’t enough space to open the handles to grip on a branch
Fiskars PowerGear2 18 Inch Lopper
This lopper is fondly referred to by gardeners who have tried it as ‘the small lopper with big results’. It can power through thick 1-1/2 inch diameter branches that regular pruners and loppers cannot.
Features a patented gear technology that maximizes your power as well as your leverage with each cut, optimizing cutting power at the middle of the cut. The gears improve the cut because they give the lopper a mechanical advantage.
Comes with a lifetime warranty that gives a buyer a sense of assurance in case of anything for example breakage
- Nonstick blade
- Powerful and easy to maneuver in non-dense trees
- Gear mechanism maximizes your power
- Handles have to be opened wide, almost 180 degrees to cut one branch.
- Impractical, the non-ergonomic design makes it uncomfortable to hold.
- Heavy and can cause fatigue in your hands
Power-Drive 28 Inch Heavy Duty Ratchet Pruning Anvil Hand Lopper
Provides effortless cutting with the ratcheting mechanism. This mechanism works by clicking and moving to the next setting as you cut through a branch. This provides increasing pressure as you cut, but you aren’t using as much physical strength as you use with regular loppers. It does most of the work for you and cuts thick branches that regular loppers wouldn’t.
Because of this mechanism, your hand power is multiplied by up to 5 times. You don’t have to get tired holding the lopper up and using strength to cut the branches, making itgreat since you don’t tire.
The body is made of aluminum, making it light and thermoplastic rubber grips ensure comfortable pruning. The blade is ultra-strong and nonstick, because it is Teflon coated, tempered and high heat treated.
- Effortless cutting
- Good for small hands and women
- Minimal strength
- Cuts bigger branches
- Hard to get to branches in tight quarters
Tabor Tools GL18 Medium Sized Bypass Lopper
This is one of the finest loppers, allowing you to power through branches of up to 1.25 inch diameter thickness, effortlessly.
The blade is tempered, fully hardened carbon steel that is strong and will stay sharp even with heavy, frequent use. It is also nonstick and coated to reduce friction and enable smooth gliding as it cuts. It can be sharpened when it gets blunt, and it will keep serving just as good as new.
It has 20 inch handles that give leverage and help you reach the high branches, and offer an ergonomic grip with rubber levers.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Tough and versatile
- Ergonomically designed handles for optimal grip
- Sharp and durable blades leave a clean cut and last long
- It is best for small trees. Bigger trees might be a challenge
- A little short for some jobs
Tabor Tools GL16 Bypass Lopper
Extra leverage with this longer 30 inch model with handles that will help you reach the highest branches with ease. They are rubber coated to offer a sturdy, comfortable grip and a shock guard.
The blade is razor sharp and nonstick and hardened that cuts with very little resistance, as compared to thicker blades. They are also made to reduce friction and make cutting smooth. They can cut through thick branches with up to 1 ¼ inch diameters.
Storage is easy. It has a hole in the handles with which you can hang the up side down. The brand that makes them, Tabor Tools is a reliable name in the gardening tools market with customer satisfaction guarantee.
- Non slip gripper
- Extra leverage with the long handles
- Clean cut, effective cutting
- Short for tree trimming
Fiskars 18 Inch PowerGear Bypass Lopper
This bypass lopper is so good, and it actually earned the Ease of Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation. The PowerGear characteristic gear technology is known to increase leverage and power by up to 3 times. Powered gears make cutting easier, even through woody and thick stems.
Makes cutting easy as compared to other tools and that is how it earned an Ease of Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation because people suffering from it had no difficulties using this tool.
It can cut through thick branches that are a problem for secateurs and traditional loppers with a maximum cutting capacity of 1-1/2 inch diameter thickness
- Easy to use
- Light weight with good performance
- Great for weak arms or arthritis
- The jaw is shaped in a way that the tool requires a maximum opening of the handles, so access in dense vegetation is limited.
Fiskars Ratchet Drive Anvil Lopper
Incorporates the easy to use ratchet design, which reduces the effort you use to cut through thick tree branches. You just place the branch between the anvil and the blade, and with just a few squeezes, it compounds force to cut through the branch without straining your hands.
The blade is fully hardened and razor sharp, coated to reduce friction, resist rust and to prevent accumulation of sap and other debris. It also resists friction and makes cutting through stems and branches smooth and easy with minimal resistance.
It has a tough design that includes a steel exoskeleton, making it stronger to last longer. It has rugged DuraFrame handles which is also a durable and reliable material
- Requires minimal effort because of the ratcheting
- Sturdy design
- Provides extra help with larger branches
- Can be difficult to learn
Fiskars 25 Inch PowerGear Bypass Lopper
The razor sharp blades cut with precision, with little resistance. They have a coating that reduces friction and prevents sap from accumulating on the blade. It also makes it rust resistant, making it durable.
Steel PowerGear technology serves to increase leverage and make cutting easy and increases pressure in the middle of the cut where it’s needed the most, making cutting 3 times easier than standard single pivot tools.
The handles are tough and ergonomically designed and fit in the hand perfectly and comfortably for a better grip. The handles are ultra-tough and made of DuraFrame which is stronger than steel but is also lightweight.
- Easy to use
- Medium weight
- Cuts with little effort
- Nice, powerful and sharp
- Lifetime warranty
- Minimizes fatigue
- Bigger trees might be a challenge.
- Cannot cut dry wood for the blade may bend
Things To Consider When Buying The Best Looper
To assist you get the best looper, I have prepared a simple buying guide with some important things to consider when buying.
Loppers come in a variety of different lengths, ranging from 15 inches to up to 32 inches and even longer. Length greatly influences leverage for the longer the handle, the more leverage you have making it easier to cut thicker branches or stems. These can be heavy, so pick a length you can comfortably work with.
Type Of Cutting Blades
There are two basic types, bypass loppers that work like a pair of scissors, in that they have two blades that slide past each other. They have a clean cut on greener live wood or branches, for dead dry branches may jam them or bend the blade.
Anvil loppers, on the other hand, have one straight blade that closes onto an ‘anvil’ and are best for dry and thicker branches. It is recommended that you pick one that best fits your pruning needs.
Weight is majorly determined by the weight of the handles. Steel handles are the heaviest; wood is of medium weight while fiberglass and aluminum are the lightest. Lighter is better in the sense that you won’t get tired fast as you hold up the loppers to cut.
Although, steel handles are for more heavy duty loppers for larger cutting capacities while lighter ones are light and sturdy enough for everyday use.
Quality Steel Blades
Lopper blades are made of steel, with the best in the market being made of carbon steel or hardened steel. They are less likely to bend, and they last for longer.
Some models are covered with a nonstick coating that prevents gumming up on the blade while cutting green branches. Also, the blades should be flat and tightly held against each other, so as not to damage or wound the branch you’re cutting
This review is to help home owners and gardeners find the best loppers to suit their pruning needs. They vary in price, style, material, brand, cutting mechanism and more and these are some of the best pruning loppers, and each of them has something unique to offer.
Since pruning is a repetitive task, it’s not just enough to find one that suits your pruning needs, but also one that will be comfortable and just right in every sense of the word, every time.
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