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5 Best Loppers for Pruning – Buying Guide and Reviews

When you have those branches in your garden you would like to cut, the best and most reliable equipment that plays the part without having to run the risk of breaking, or having to use too much energy is the Lopper. They are far much better and more effective than a pruning saw or even a pruning shears.

However, given the number of Loppers available in the market, it can get quite confusing to know the right one to choose. I will provide a guide on what to look for when selecting one and a review of some of the best brands.

Our pick

THE BEST LOPPERS FOR PRUNING

Fiskars 32 Inch PowerGear 2 Lopper

It has the biggest cutting capacity. The cutting mechanism allows minimal energy use when cutting harder and thicker brances. Different handle lengths is also a plus.

How to Choose the Right Loppers

The first thing you will notice when looking at the different kinds of Loppers in the market is that they come in different sizes, designs, and prices. Therefore, the kind of Lopper you will select for yourself should be determined by the exact kind of activity you will be doing, your strength, your body size, and also your budget constraints.

Type of Blade

There are basically two types of loppers blade; anvil lopper and bypass loppers. The kind of lopper you buy depends on the kind of pruning needs you have.

The Bypass Loppers are the most common and are used by most people. They have two blades that glide past each other when you are doing the cutting. They provide a very clean cut – obviously depending on how well the blades are maintained. Using this kind of lopper is also advantageous to your plants as the smooth cut allows for the plants to heal much faster.

Their downside is that they get jammed when cutting dry or dead branches causing its blades to bend, and thus making them quite ineffective.

The Anvil Loppers, on the other hand, have only one straight blade. They work like a knife and are best for dead wood or trimming back live wood before using a bypass lopper to make a clean and final cut. They can handle much thicker branches as compared to the bypass loppers. Their mechanism is actually crushing the stem.

You should not expect a clean cut when you use the anvil lopper.

Blade Quality

Another aspect of the blade is its quality. The most preferred blades are those made of high-quality carbon steel that has been hardened to withstand the kind of force that will be exerted. These blades have a higher probability of lasting long and have a lower likelihood of bending and the need for frequent sharpening.

The blade should be coated with a material that allows it to resist sap and any kind of sticky material, should be flat and smooth, and should also look at how close the blades are together. Most loppers have the option of adjusting how close and tight the blades are together to give you room to adjust to your own specifications and preferences.

Cutting Mechanism

This aspect goes a long way in determining the amount of energy you will use. There are three kinds of action employed by most loppers; ratcheting, compound action, and geared.

The ratcheting loppers latch when you squeeze them, they allow you to release and squeeze again. This makes the cutting rather easy. The compound lopper has multiple moving parts and pivots. With the compound action lopper, you have to open it further to have the blades cover the branch entirely. Geared lopper use the gear mechanism providing more leverage when cutting.

Remember, the more parts and the more complicated a lopper looks like, the higher the likelihood of having difficulties when using it. I always like to think of keeping things simple.

Grip and Weight

The handles for the different loppers have been manufactured differently and uniquely. They come in different shapes and sizes. Some handles are made of soft material while others have contoured grips. The ones with the soft material can be comfortable but have a higher damage risk. The one with grips is a good option, but it may not be comfortable with some people.

The size of the grip is also important. Some may be too short, which can be limiting given the kind of work that one does with these equipment.

On the aspect of weight, consider a lopper that has a weight that you can comfortably handle and work with effectively. Heavy-duty lopper requires that they are made of steel which is much heavier, while lighter duties can still be handled effectively using a lopper made of Aluminum.

Replacement Parts Availability

At one point in time after the lopper has been used for long, some part will wear off and become ineffective. This will require that you either get a new lopper altogether or look for replacement parts. Getting a new lopper can be rather expensive. Therefore, right at the onset, consider getting yourself a lopper that has replacement parts available.

The availability of replacement parts also speaks much of the quality of the lopper. A high-quality lopper should have replacement parts available from the manufacturers themselves or the distributors.

Cutting Power to Weight Ratio

This is where the combined action and the effectiveness of the lopper come to play. The effectiveness of a lopper is determined by the weight and comfort of the lopper, the length of the handles, and the quality and effectiveness of the lopper blades.

When inspecting, or rather considering the power to weight ration of a lopper, consider its weight and relative power against your strength then ask yourself, if you can handle them comfortably. Lighter loppers are always a good option since you can use a pruning saw to handle the heavy branches and the lopper for the small and light ones.

In the case that the cutting capacity of the lopper is not sufficient, and the lopper is used to handle a rather heavier task, then you will be running the risk of spoiling the lopper rendering it completely ineffective.
These are just but some of the considerations you could look into before buying a lopper.

Best Loppers for Pruning - Reviews

I did a small survey in the market to determine the best lopper brands available. I sampled out a few from the top brands and provided a brief review of the loppers and their features. So let us have a look at the Loppers I have sampled.

1. Fiskars 32 Inch PowerGear 2 Lopper

Durability:

Performance:

Our Rating:

This lopper is designed to provide up to 3 times more power with every cut. This is one of the best loppers in the market as it allows one to cut much heavier branches and twigs with very little effort. It is way better than the traditional loppers. It uses the gear mechanism in its functioning making it even more efficient.

The handles have different lengths, so it is up to you to choose the one that is perfect for you. It can either be 32 inches, 25 inches or 18 inches. The longer handles allow you to reach those branches that are somehow far from reach.The blades are replaceable and can be sharpened without necessarily having to open up the lopper entirely.

The blades are replaceable and can be sharpened without necessarily having to open up the lopper entirely.

What we like:

  • The lopper is super strong, and has great output power, making it easy to cut harder branches.
  • They come in different handle lengths making it flexible and comfortable
  • Works perfectly for all situations
  • Big cutting capacity (2" diameter) for a bypass lopper

What we don't like:

  • The space needed to open the lopper fully is quite large
  • Some people prefer the older version (PowerGear 1)

2. Corona SL 3264 ComfortGEL Bypass Lopper

Durability:

Performance:

Our Rating:

The Corona SL 3264 ComfortGEL Bypass Lopper is the ultimate equipment for pruning medium sized and small trees. It offers soft and comfortable feel in the hand allowing you to take full control. An impressive aspect of this lopper is the shock guard bumpers that reduce fatigue and strain when handling your pruning task.

The blades have a dual arc design that greatly enhance the lopper’s performance. The handles have grips, ergonomically shaped for maximum comfort and control. The handles are also made of steel, so you should not worry about the handles breaking.

What we like:

  • A nice lopper for its price
  • Lightweight
  • The handle is sturdy and the grips are comfortable

What we don't like:

  • The blades rust pretty fast
  • Blades may chip easily

3. Spear and Jackson 8290RS Razorsharp Heavy Duty Telescopic Ratchet Anvil Loppers

Durability:

Performance:

Our Rating:

The lopper uses ratchet action that makes the cutting off of twigs and branches. As its name suggest, it is suitable for handling rather heavier tasks; easily cuts branches that are thicker and harder
The blade’s performance is also impressive. The blade is made of carbon steel that is resistant to rust, hence, providing long lasting sharpness.

The arm length when not extended is 18 inches and when extended is 32.5 inches.

What we like:

  • It can handle rather heavier tasks which make it convenient
  • The long handle and the ratchet mechanism allow for use of less energy in cutting strong and thicker twigs and branches
  • The handle is sturdy and the grips are comfortable

What we don't like:

  • The equipment weighs a lot making it uncomfortable to handle
  • The handles may bend easily making its quality questionable

4. Tree Power Lopper Tabor GL-18 Garden Bypass Pruner

Durability:

Performance:

Our Rating:

This lopper provides a clean cut thanks to its blade designs. The blades have a non-stick coating to reduce friction and make work much easier. The handles are small and fit just right in the hand; though this might not be very convenient in some circumstances. If you consider a case where you have to prune branches that are quite high, then it means you to get a stool or a ladder which is not convenient and can also be dangerous.

What we like:

  • The blades are effective enough and can cut through the branches quite smoothly
  • The handles are comfortable thanks to the rubber covering which also provides a better grip
  • Cheaper than the others, but still good
  • Available in 2 sizes

What we don't like:

  • It might not be as strong as you would expect
  • The 20" handle is awkward. 18" or 25" is much more comfortable in most situations

5. Craftsman Compound Action Bypass Lopper

Durability:

Performance:

Our Rating:

This is just the right kind of Lopper to use when you want to save yourself time and energy. It is made with expandable handles to reach those great heights. It employs the compound cutting mechanism which allows for handling of much thicker and tougher twigs and branches quite easily.

The blades are strong and PTFE coated for reduced friction and providing anti-rust properties. It is also of a desirable weight hence, comfortable in the hand.

What we like:

  • Decent high cutting capacity
  • Comfortable to handle

What we don't like:

  • The handles are not replaceable

Conclusion: The Overall Best Lopper

All the reviewed Loppers above have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, Fiskars 32 Inch PowerGear 2 Lopper is the winner, given the kind of features and functionality it provides.

Our pick

THE BEST LOPPERS FOR PRUNING

Fiskars 32 Inch PowerGear 2 Lopper

It has the biggest cutting capacity. The cutting mechanism allows minimal energy use when cutting harder and thicker brances. Different handle lengths is also a plus.

Moreover, the blades are replaceable so if it's broken you don't have to buy a whole new lopper. Fiskars PowerGear2 is just the kind of product you would need to suit all your pruning needs. 

It is, however, important to take all the above-highlighted factors into consideration and select a lopper that best suits your needs.

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