If you somehow managed to get to this article, it means you have some heavy-duty work to do in the garden, and pruning shears or a pruning saw is not enough for the job.
But that’s okay, I will give you recommendations on which loppers you should buy, and continue to scroll down, you can get some basic information about loppers for pruning and which are the best pruning loppers on the market today, it’s like a buying guide.
We all know that loppers are for larger branches, and if I’m being honest, I’m more comfortable using loppers even on smaller branches because of their better grip, higher cutting power, and their ability to let you reach inside a branch or a bush without using gloves.
How To Buy The Best Loppers In The World?
As with many tools, there isn’t just one type of lopper. They all have different cutting capacity technologies, different materials, designs, and different prices. The idea for all of them is the same though, but there is a difference in almost every one of them. What are the differences? Read further to find out.
Lopper Cutting Blade styles – There are two of them
i) Bypass Loppers
This type of lopper is the most popular, and you will find these loppers in every gardening market; mostly, they work really well. Bypass Loppers have two blades that slide simultaneously like scissors. These Loppers are the best because they have a clean-cut, so they do not hurt a plant, and it heals faster. However, I would not suggest this type of lopper if you want to cut dead branches or other dead wood because it will get jammed pretty often and you can bend blades and handles really fast. For dry wood and dead branches, I would suggest Anvil Loppers. What are they? Read below.
ii) Anvil Loppers
These are the best loppers for dry wood, because of their cutting capacity system. Anvil loppers work like cutting onions – you lift the knife and cut till you stop at the chopping board, it’s the same with anvil loppers, one blade stays still and the other cuts branch. If the blade is sharp enough, you can cut thicker branches without any effort. But do not cut really thick branches. For that, better use a pruning saw.
Lopper blade quality
The most important part of the lopper is the blades. If blades are too soft, you will need to sharpen them very often and with an unsharp blade, you will hurt the tree. And it’s possible that the branch you cut, will never grow again. Also if the gap between blades is too big, loppers will jam almost all of the time. So if you want durability and quality – go for carbon steel blades. They will last longer, and if you use them as they are meant to be used, they will not bend and you won’t need to sharpen them.
Another thing you want to look for in blades is a non-stick coating, especially if you want to cut pine or spruce or other trees with sticky juice. I have seen a few loppers break because a piece of bark got stuck between the blades and bent it. This is also the reason why there can’t be a gap between blades.
If you want top-notch loppers, you can also look for loppers that give you the ability to make adjustments to the tightness of the cutting mechanism, so you will never have a gap between blades.
Lopper Cutting Mechanism
Ratcheting lopper mechanism
The mechanism works like this – every time you squeeze the loppers, the blades go deeper into the branch, but when you let go, they stay like that so you can squeeze again and the blade goes deeper again. So you can cut really thick branches with this mechanism and it’s really easy that even a kid can do it because you don’t need a lot of strength for the task. This mechanism may cost more, but it’s worth it, trust me.
Compound Action Loppers
These are simple loppers. You need to fully open the blades to get them around a branch and then squeeze them together in one step. These loppers are great for small branches or if you are a strong gardener. Also, these are quite cheaper than gear or ratcheting loppers. But the best thing is that these loppers do not have many parts to break, so it’s possible that compound action loppers will last longer than with other mechanisms.
Yep, they have gears, and they are awesome. These are my favorite because they are simple but work almost the same as ratcheting loppers. You have huge leverage when you cut with a geared lopper. But be advised – cheaper geared loppers have weak gears that tend to break off. Be careful, and I recommend only Fiskars Geared Loppers for this type.
Lopper Handle Length
I will tell you a secret – there are loppers with telescoping handles. Yep, that means you can have small loppers to put in your garden bag, but when you need a Thor power, you can extend the handles and get a grip enough to cut a tree, not a branch. How cool is that?
Ok, to be more serious here is some useful information – lopper handle lengths vary from 15″ to 35″. The longer your handles are, the more leverage you will have which means it’s easier to cut thicker branches. With top-notch loppers, you can even cut 3-inch branches. But if you don’t need to cut thick branches, then go for smaller handles, they will be lighter and easier to use. So go take a look at your garden and see if you need long handled pruning loppers or just a simple, short handled lopper. But as I said above, there are also telescoping handles, so if you think that you might need to get higher or cut thicker branches sometimes, then go for telescoping handles.
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It may seem like an insignificant thing, but this is also one of the most essential parts of loppers. Go for ergonomic handles with carbon or rubber coating. Fiskars have carbon handles so they are comfortable, durable and easy to clean. Don’t choose foam handles, they are really comfortable, but they will break easily and really fast. If you are going to the local market, try some loppers and squeeze them with your bare hands to see if you feel comfortable.
Take a look at the handles near the blades, there should be a little rubber bump, which means when you press the handles together, your knuckles won’t be banging at each other. If your hands touch when you fully squeeze the lopper, don’t buy them, you will hurt yourself. The bumper also absorbs shock from cutting – a really important part of the loppers.
10 Best Garden Loppers For Pruning
1. Tabor Tools GG12 Compound Action Anvil Lopper
This is one hell of a tool and easily cuts through 2-inch branches. It has a carbon steel blade which is the best kind of blade that you will read in the Buying Guide below. This lopper has 30-inch rubber handles so you have quite a leverage. This lopper has an Anvil style of a blade so it’s better for dry branches and not so good if you want a clean-cut to live branch. You can also buy replacement blades if you want to or need them.
However, Tabor has made some pretty decent tools, and even with anvil blades, you can get a clean and safe cut. It’s also lightweight so you won’t get tired too fast. The construction of this lopper is top-notch. High-quality materials, and large-stop nuts are used, and nothing is loose even after a year.
2. Fiskars PowerGear2 Lopper
These are amazing loppers from Fiskars. Previous models from 2017 had some issues with broken metal, but the new 2018 model is of a different quality and is also better in many ways. After testing these loppers, it’s really easy to cut even 2.5inch branches, although that’s not advised because you might break it. Multiple gears will help you cut all kinds of branches, even 2-inch dry wood. The blades have an anti-stick coating so you can cut pines and spruces with this lopper. Softgrip handles will be comfortable even after hours of work. Plus lifetime no-questions-asked warranty makes this a top-quality gear lopper.
3. Spear & Jackson 8290RS Ratchet Anvil Loppers
The short step ratchet lopper mechanism allows you to cut hardest branches with ease. Adding to that is the carbon steel blade will be stay sharp even after heavy use while the aluminum telescopic handles will feel great even after hours of using. These are true words about Spear & Jackson loppers. They also offer a 10-year warranty. It’s not easy to extend handles with gloves n because of the clip, but it feels sturdy even at the longest extended range. Some users find this 4 level rachet very time consuming, but it’s meant to be like that so you can cut 3-inch branches without any effort. The arm unextended is 18″ long. At an extended position, the arm is 31 and 1/2″ inches. This is truly a good product.
4. Corona Compound Action 32 inch Anvil Lopper
Easily cuts branches up to 2 inches. and has 32-inch durable fiberglass handles and 8-inch non-slip foam grips and rubber bump. It has a carbon steel anvil blade which is replaceable and a lifetime warranty that will cover all broken parts. The blades have a non-stick coating so no problems with pine and spruce cutting. Corona has quite a history so you can be sure that this lopper will hold its limits very well. Best for using for small branches. You can get really clean cuts and it’s also recommended for live branches.
5. Best budget lopper – Gilmour Bypass Lopper
The unbeatable price makes this lopper really wallet-friendly, and cheap – not bad! It has steel blades with a non-stick coating as well as 20-inch oval steel handles with cushioned grips. You can even replace the brass anvil. The blades are really sharp, and even if they are not made of carbon or other fancy material, they do their job very well;, and you don’t need to worry that blades will break because they won’t. For the money, you get high-quality, yet simple loppers and I promise you that you won’t have any problems with them because they are simple as the USA government.
6. Felco 200 Bypass Expert Loppers
They are made in Switzerland. That say’s everything. It snaps 2-inch branches like they’re nothing. Felco has been making loppers for over 65 years, and they have mastered every aspect of lopper technology. Their aluminum handles are unbreakable, and the top quality blades won’t need sharpening for a long time that’s for sure. These loppers are available in – 16, 20 or 24 inches and you can buy the blades separately. Rubber handles are slip resistant and they feel great and natural. Even after a hard snapping, the aluminum handles can manage to leave your hands not touching. It means your hands will feel great after a sharp snap. Maybe the price seems too high but you are paying for quality and a work-well-done.
7. Best mini lopper – Bond 3378 1-1/2-Inch Mini Bypass Lopper
The 15-inch handles, and carbon steel blades with non-stick coating make these mini loppers a really great purchase. These loppers are really great for smaller branches and for live branches because it leaves a very clean cut so you can use it on very sensitive plants. It can cut up to 1.5-inch branches. And if anything happens, a 5-year warranty will cover your loss. Because of the small size, it’s really easy to prune small branches in places where it’s hard to reach. For small jobs, these loppers are hard to beat, and the price is incredible too. So if you need to cut a few branches or a LOT of branches, but not too big, this tool is for you.
8. ML TOOLS Easy Cut Ratcheting Loppers
Another great expandable lopper, the ratchet mechanism allows you to cut up to 3/4 thick branches and with the telescopic lopper handles, you can cut large branches without ladders. The lightweight aluminum handles with the non-slip grip feel great and sturdy in your hands. Plus, you can extend it from 27 inches to 40 inches. The carbon steel blades will stay sharp even after extensive use. They use a different kind of carbon because while some loppers have bumps in their blade, MLTools did not have a scratch. A great multitool for average use and is small enough to fit in a bag but large enough when extended, to cut high branches.
9. Corona DualLINK Extendable Bypass Branch Lopper
Another great product from Corona. Its handles extend from 27″ to 37″ and cut branches up to 3/4 without any problems. The trapezoid steel handles are almost indestructible and rust-resistant. Corona has implanted ShockGuard bumps so even after the sharpest snap; your hands will feel nothing. That bump, together with ComforGel grips makes it THE most comfortable lopper. Blades are heat treated so you can resharpen them. The biggest pro about this lopper is that you need to open handles only 135 degrees to open blades fully. For example, for Fiskars, you would need to open 180 degrees. That means you can easily use these loppers on ladders. You get great loppers for a great price. These loppers win the ForGardening Price/Performance award.
10. TABOR GG11 Compound Action Bypass Lopper
Its steel blades with the non-stick coating are really durable even if you accidentally struck these loppers in stone. It makes even cuts even if you use it on the maximum size of a branch which is 1/2 inch. As users reported, you can cut almost everything that can fit in the jaws. The aluminum handles are durable, rust-resistant, and lightweight – perfect for home use. With non-slip rubber grips, your hands will feel great even after extensive use. These loppers are really simple and if you need to resharpen blades, you can screw off one screw, and now you have 2 separate parts. Easy as that. These are not really good for hard branches because of its low leverage, but for daily jobs, they are perfect. These are my favorite “I don’t care loppers” that you can leave whenever you want, and use as you want and not be afraid of what will happen to it.
Final Thoughts on the Best Loppers
For many gardeners, looking for the best garden loppers to help them out with their daily work is essential in making sure they get the job done. Ensuring the lopper has sharp blades enough to cut dead wood like they’re noodles definitely makes the job a lot easier.
Hopefully, this list of the best loppers will help you figure out if you need ratchet loppers with extending handles or if just regular, plain old, simple loppers will get the job done with no hassle. If you’re still undecided on the bypass lopper vs anvil lopper debate, maybe you need to take a step back and look at what you need the lopper for and work your way from there.
Like many things in life, the best of anything greatly depends on what your needs are; and it’s the same with the best loppers.