Finding the best loppers

Whether you’re an avid gardener or have a few trees and bushes that require pruning, you need a pair of reliable loppers. The best loppers can cut through even the thickest of stalks and stems. They can save you time when tackling larger landscaping projects, especially compared to smaller pruning shears. Plus, this gardening tool can make it so you don’t have to spend money on hiring a professional.

Loppers vs. other cutting tools

Here are the three main types of cutting tools:

  • Loppers: These large garden tools look similar to scissors and are designed to lop off or prune tree branches and twigs. They require two hands to use and can cut through anything that’s about an inch in diameter. They also require more arm and wrist strength than smaller cutting tools. The main downside is that they can leave a messy cut, which could lead to plant disease or rot.
  • Shears: Most shears are spring-loaded and require two hands to use them. They can handle more delicate projects, such as trimming back hedges and large bushes. They’re also ideal for removing soft shoots, thin stems and leaves.
  • Pruners: A smaller tool, pruners usually have a spring that makes them easy to use. Most require one hand to operate them. There are several types of pruners, including anvil and bypass pruners. All types are good for trimming back smaller, thinner branches, twigs and leaves.

Many gardeners use loppers for cutting back trees and large amounts of brush. However, they also work well for clearing out smaller tree limbs and can easily clear out a yard. They also have longer handles than shears or pruners, making them effective for hard-to-reach areas.

Types of loppers

There are two main types of loppers:

  • Anvil loppers: An anvil lopper has an anvil design where one sharp blade comes into contact with a thicker anvil-shaped blade. When you operate them, they perform a crushing action that’s similar to a knife hitting a cutting board. These are best for cutting thicker twigs, stems and plants quickly, but they’re not as precise as bypass loppers.
  • Bypass loppers: These loppers look like scissor blades and have two sharp blades that glide next to one another when used. They excel at providing a clean, precise cut, which is perfect for trimming back living plants and vegetation.

Blade quality

When it comes to loppers, one of the most important things to consider is the overall quality and sharpness of the blades. The best blades are constructed out of carbon-hardened steel. This material is highly durable, sharp and takes a long time to dull around the edges. Because of this, you don’t need to sharpen the blades as frequently. Also, the sharper the blades are, the less force you need to exert to get a clean cut.

Some lopper blades also have a special nonstick coating that can prevent sap or pitch from sticking to them. This makes it easier to cut through tree branches and other plants.

Leverage

Near the lopper blades is a certain type of mechanism that can make using the tool easier and more effective. The most common mechanisms are:

  • Compound action: This type uses several moving parts and a lot of force to cut through thick branches. They’re often heavy and can cause arm and wrist fatigue, though.
  • Geared: These use mechanical gears to improve the tool’s leverage and increase its cutting power. Geared loppers result in a smoother cut and work best on medium to large stems and branches.
  • Ratcheting: Ratcheting loppers have a latch that lets you squeeze the tool several times before letting go. This makes it easier to cut thick branches over a series of steps rather than at once.

Handles

When it comes to lopper handles, three things matter most:

  • Material: Loppers vary in weight and durability based on the material used. Heavy-duty handles usually consist of steel, while those made for more casual use often consist of aluminum. For a light- to medium-weight option, go with wood or fiberglass.
  • Grip: Some of these tools have ergonomic handles and a nonslip grip. This makes them easier and more comfortable to hold and use. If the grip length is short, it can restrict your hand placement, though.
  • Length: Most lopper handles range from 15 to 32 inches long. Longer handles are usually heavy, but they can also get through thick branches that are higher up.

9 best loppers

Tabor Tools GG12A Anvil Lopper With Compound Action

Tabor Tools GG12A Anvil Lopper With Compound Action

This 30-inch compound action anvil lopper is ideal for gardeners who want a professional cutting tool that can handle the toughest of stalks, stems and tree branches. It comes with either a steel handle or an extendible aluminum handle. It also has an ergonomic design.

Sold by Amazon

Corona Compound Action Anvil Lopper

Corona Compound Action Anvil Lopper

With a 32-inch-long handle and weight of 2.67 pounds, these loppers can cut through branches up to 1 1/2 inches thick. The blades are carbon steel and have a nonstick coating. The handle consists of light fiberglass and has an 8-inch foam grip for maximum comfort.

Sold by Amazon

Fiskars Pro 2-inch Cut Steel High Carbon Blade With Aluminum Handled Bypass Lopper

Fiskars Pro 2-inch Cut Steel High Carbon Blade With Aluminum Handled Bypass Lopper

With durable carbon steel blades and a soft grip, these loppers can leverage 30% additional cutting power to get through branches up to two inches thick. The aluminum handles are long-lasting and comfortable to hold. This tool also has built-in shock-reducing bumpers to lower the impact of cutting through branches.

Sold by Home Depot

Spear And Jackson 8290RS Razorsharp Heavy Duty Telescopic Ratchet Anvil Loppers

Spear And Jackson 8290RS Razorsharp Heavy Duty Telescopic Ratchet Anvil Loppers

These ratchet anvil loppers are made with rust-resistant carbon steel blades and have durable aluminum handles. They’re just over 27 inches long and weigh around four pounds.

Sold by Amazon

Fiskars Gardening Tools Bypass Lopper

Fiskars Gardening Tools Bypass Lopper

Weighing in at 2.9 pounds, these loppers have an overall length of 28 inches. They’re durable and have sharp steel blades that are coated to prevent rust. The handles feature a nonslip grip that makes them easy to use when in wet conditions. They can reliably cut through anything 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Sold by Amazon

Corona ComfortGel Coated Nonstick Blade With Anti-blister ComfortGel Grips Bypass Lopper

Corona ComfortGel Coated Nonstick Blade With Anti-blister ComfortGel Grips Bypass Lopper

Designed to maximize comfort and prevent blisters, these 30-inch loppers come with Shock Guard bumpers that cut down on impact. They can cut through branches and limbs up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. They have steel handles and blades.

Sold by Home Depot

WilFiks 25-inch Bypass Lopper

WilFiks 25-inch Bypass Lopper

These loppers have carbon steel blades capable of cutting branches nearly 1 1/2 inches thick. The 25-inch-long handles have shock absorption and a nonslip grip. They’re ideal for short-term use or smaller projects.

Sold by Amazon

Fiskars 5.5-inch Bypass Pruner Plus Bypass Lopper Combo

Fiskars 5.5-inch Bypass Pruner Plus Bypass Lopper Combo

This combo pack contains a pair of small pruners and a lopper. The steel loppers can handle thick branches, while the pruners are good for smaller tasks. Both tools are highly durable. The loppers also have a nonslip grip.

Sold by Home Depot

32-inch PowerGear2 Bypass Titanium Lopper

32-inch PowerGear2 Bypass Titanium Lopper

Offering three times the cutting power, these loppers’ blades consist of strong steel and have a titanium coating that lets them glide through stems with ease. The handles are made from aluminum and have a soft grip to help prevent blisters.

Sold by Home Depot

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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