If you’ve got trees or large shrubs in your garden, a lopper can be worth its weight in gold. Slice off overhanging branches, let in the light, and make the whole space look tidier in a heartbeat.
But with so many products on the market, how do you make the right choice? Easy! Just take a look at our reviews, then read through the buying guide before you make your purchase.
The Best Lopper for Pruning of 2020
1. Gonicc Professional SK-5 Steel Blade Anvil Lopper (Our Top Recommended)
This anvil lopper from gonicc is a great option for slicing through new growth up to 2 inches in diameter. If you’re cutting back older, woodier stems, it will cope with a diameter of 1.4 inches.
The handles are 30 inches long, helping you reach awkward branches more easily. They’re made of stainless steel, so they won’t rust. And the rubber grips won’t slip out of your hands, even if you’re hot and sweaty.
The blade is made of high-carbon SK5 steel, so it’s extra strong and sharp. The movement is smooth, and the lopper is nicely weighted. The four-point lever design means you can cut through thicker branches in stages. That makes for far easier work.
There are a few niggles to be aware of. The anvil here is plastic, rather than steel, so it’s not as heavy-duty. The locking mechanism can be a bit fiddly. And the tension spring is prone to coming loose.
All in all, though, this is a great lopper at a reasonable price. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee, so if you encounter any problems help is at hand. We’ve heard good things about gonicc’s customer service too.
2. Fiskars 391461-1003 Bypass Lopper
This handsome lopper from Fiskars uses a bypass design – in other words, one where a blade sweeps over a lower jaw to make the cut.
It’s best used on newer growth and will slice cleanly through branches up to an inch and a half across. The hardened steel blade has a clever non-stick coating to avoid it gumming up when cutting sappy vegetation. It will resist corrosion too.
The handles here are slightly shorter than the gonicc lopper reviewed earlier. But with an overall length of 28 inches, you’ll still get a decent reach. A nice addition are the bumpers which sit just beneath the blade. These cushion the shock at the end of the cut, making this lopper very comfortable to use.
This is an inexpensive option, and you get a lot for your money. The one weak point is in the hardness of the steel blade. It isn’t as robust as some, so if you’re a heavy user it’s not the best choice. And you may find you need to sharpen the blade more regularly than with other loppers.
But if you’re looking for a decent lopper at a very competitive price, this is definitely worth a look.
3. Corona Compound Action Anvil Lopper
The Corona anvil lopper is one of the longest of the non-telescopic models available. You’ll get an overall length of 32 inches to help you reach awkwardly positioned branches.
The handles are made of fiberglass, so they’re both strong and light.
The foam grips are eight inches long, so there’s no danger of your hands slipping while you work. They do, though, have a tendency to creep down the handles over time. And we’ve heard of some cases where they’ve come off entirely.
The cut capacity here is an inch and a half. The anvil design is great for dead wood, but the blade also has a non-stick coating for greener growth. A great feature is the compound action, which gives you three times the power of a standard lopper.
The blade is made of high carbon steel, and it can be re-sharpened as and when needed. And if you manage to damage either the blade or the anvil, both can be replaced. That can dramatically extend the tool life.
This is one of the cheaper loppers on our list, but it’s sturdy and well-constructed. And it comes with a limited lifetime guarantee too.
4. TABOR TOOLS GG12 Anvil Lopper
If you’re prepared to pay a little more, consider the GG12 anvil lopper from Tabor Tools.
Its 30-inch length will allow you to reach higher branches easily. And you’ll be able to cut cleanly through anything up to two inches across.
This is another lopper which uses compound action to make lighter work of thicker vegetation. It has multiple pivot points that multiply force, particularly helpful if you can’t exert a lot of pressure yourself. Any gardeners suffering from arthritis in their hands, for example, will really feel the benefit.
On the other hand, at 3.7 pounds some gardeners may find this a little heavy. If you’ll be working overhead for extended periods of time, you may prefer something lighter.
The handles are elliptical in shape, rather than round. Some people have found they tend to dig into their hands during longer periods of use.
The carbon steel blade is coated with a non-stick finish to help it glide through branches. And if you manage to wear it out, it can be replaced.
You even get a freebie with this one. You’ll receive a follow-up communication from Tabor after your purchase with hints and tips for successful pruning.
5. BLACK+DECKER LP1000 Lopper Chain Saw
If you’ve got thicker branches to cut through, consider an electric lopper. Black+Decker’s brilliant corded model will slice through branches up to a whopping four inches in diameter.
It looks a bit like a large pair of scissors, and it works the same way. Hold onto the two handles and open and close them as you would a traditional lopper. The chainsaw jaws will cut through branches, and even small tree trunks, with ease.
Not surprisingly, this is heavier than a manual lopper, weighing in at 6.5 pounds. On the other hand, you won’t need to exert any pressure on the blades. And unlike a chainsaw, the dual jaw design will hold the branch steady as you cut.
This is very simple to use. Just remember to watch out for the cord! There are only a couple of gripes to be aware of.
The first is the oil bottle. You’ll need this to oil the blades, but the one that’s included with the lopper is awkward to use. Buy a squeezable one yourself and you’ll make your life a lot easier.
The second issue is the oil reservoir. It’s not that big, so you’ll have to refill it fairly regularly. That’s all the more reason to invest in a more user-friendly oil bottle!
6. Rainbow Craft Heavy Duty Telescopic Anvil Lopper
If you’ve got trees and shrubs at a range of different heights, a telescopic lopper could be the solution.
This one from Rainbow Craft can be set to anything between 25.5 and 38.5 inches. That will give you some serious reach to manage higher branches. You simply twist the handles to extend them. Be warned though – we’ve heard of some issues with the handles starting to slip back after a few cuts.
These use an anvil design, and the blade is made from heavy duty carbon steel. It’s another example where the blade has a non-stick coating to keep it slicing through sappy wood cleanly. It will also help it to stay sharp for longer.
The jaws will open wide enough to take a branch of up to 2.2 inches across. We’d recommend sticking to branches of up to 2 inches, though, to avoid putting too much pressure on the lopper.
The handles are perfectly round, so there won’t be any issues with them digging into your hands. And the PVC grips are a generous length and comfortable to hold. They’re ridged too, so they won’t slip if you’re working in the rain or have sweaty palms.
All in all, this is a sturdy telescopic lopper at a keen price.
7. GARTOL Anvil Lopping Shears Bypass Lopper
At 29 inches long, GARTOL’s shears aren’t the biggest on our list. But if you’re looking for an anvil lopper that can handle both green and woody foliage, it’s well worth considering.
The blade is sharpened on both sides, and it will glide smoothly through branches up to two inches in diameter. Re-sharpening is easy, with the jaws opening up nice and wide for the job. If you need to replace it, you can. And you won’t have to pay as much as for the whole lopper to do it!
The cutting groove is here deeper than with many other anvil loppers. The blade is coated with a substance called ilaflon. It’s not only non-stick but anti-bacterial, helping avoid disease taking hold in cut stems. It will resist rust too.
Unusually, the profile of the handles is triangular. Gartol says this is to make them both strong and ergonomic. There are generous foam grips, and the general consensus is that they’re comfortable to use.
Some gardeners may find the 3.7 pounds weight a little on the heavy side. On the other hand, this is another lopper that uses a compound action to increase force. That means you shouldn’t have to use it for as long as standard versions.
8. MLTOOLS Extendable Bypass Lopper
The second extendable lopper to make our list, this one from MLTools can be adjusted from 27.25 to 39.5 inches. That gives it the longest maximum reach of any lopper on our list.
Despite its length, it weighs only 3.6 pounds. That’s in large part because the handles are made of aluminum. They’re sturdy without being heavy, and you won’t have to worry about rust. One downside, though, is that they will flex when you’re cutting thicker branches.
This is a bypass design, and the blade is made of tough SK5 carbon steel. Sharpening is easy, with the blade opening wide enough for your chosen sharpening tool.
The cutting capacity here isn’t the largest. MLTools claim it will handle branches up to 1.75 inches across, but for best results stick to below 1.5 inches.
The ratchet mechanism is a major selling point. To use it, place the branch in the lopper and cut until you feel resistance. Then open the blade again until you hear a click before repeating the process until you cut through. This will allow you to exert up to 5 times as much force as with a standard design.
9. Felco (459067) Straight Cutting Head Expert Loppers
Another lopper with aluminum handles, the 200 model from Felco is shorter at 24 inches. You won’t get the same reach as with other loppers, but you won’t have to worry about bendy handles either. And if you’ve got shorter trees and shrubs, it’s very lightweight and easy to use.
The straight cutting head will handle branches up to 1.4 inches across. The anvil is slide-resistant, so you’ll get a good, clean cut. A shock absorption system also reduces the impact at the end of every stroke. It makes lopping much easier on your hands and wrists.
The blade here is high quality and super-sharp. And if you prefer a curved blade, you can replace it. In fact, every part of this lopper can be replaced. So while it’s the most expensive option on our list, it really is an investment that can last a lifetime.
Felco are revered as manufacturers of premium gardening tools, and they’re the choice of professionals the world over. You’ll pay a lot for these – more than three times as much as other loppers – but you’ll be buying quality.
10. Spear & Jackson 8290RS Anvil Loppers
The final set of telescopic loppers on our list, Spear & Jackson loppers offer a range of between 18 and 31.5 inches. As telescopic loppers go, they’re not the longest, but they are excellent quality.
The upper blade is made of tough SK5 carbon steel, and it has a PTFE coating to resist rust. The cut capacity is impressive. It will handle branches 2.5 inches in diameter with ease. And some customers have reported success with branches over three inches across.
This is another lopper that uses a ratchet action to multiply force as you cut. That means you can slice through bigger branches with much less effort than standard models. A drawback, though, is that you need to reopen the blades fully between every cut. That makes it less efficient for thinner branches.
The handles are constructed from tubular aluminum, so they’re strong without being cumbersome. This is a big lopper, though, so it still weighs in at 4.5 pounds. It will be too heavy for some gardeners, especially over extended periods.
The handles have soft grips so they’re easy on your hands. A locking mechanism protects the blade – and any stray fingers – from injury when it’s not in use. And it comes with a ten-year manufacturers’ warranty for peace of mind.
Let’s consider the features to look out for to make sure you get your perfect lopper.
How long is long enough?
Start by taking a look at your garden. How much reach will you need from your lopper? If you just need a little extra extension for a couple of hard-to-reach branches, go for something shorter. Felco’s 24-inch lopper is easy to maneuver and fantastic quality.
But if you’ve got lots of tall trees and shrubs, longer handles will make life much easier. And you might even want to consider a telescopic lopper for maximum flexibility.
Consider the cut capacity
Whilst you’re examining your garden, take a look at the width of the branches. Their thickness will determine the cut capacity you need.
All loppers should state this in their specifications, but check reviews too. Sometimes manufacturers will err on the side of caution. In other cases, their estimates should be taken with a pinch of salt.
If you’ve got really hefty branches to cut, consider an electric lopper. Black+Decker’s lopper chainsaw is a great bit of kit. But you’ll need to watch out for the cord as you work.
Green or brown?
Finally, take a look at the stems you want to cut. Are most of them green and whippy? Or are they older brown wood?
Different kinds of loppers work in different ways. With an anvil lopper, the stem is crushed between the anvil on one side and the blade on the other. This design tends to work better for woody stems where a sharp cut is less important.
With bypass loppers, the blade passes over a lower jaw. They’ll work well with green, sappy stems, where the clean-cut will avoid disease taking hold. And look out for blades with non-stick coatings that won’t get gummed up with moisture from young foliage.
Time to go shopping!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of ten of the best loppers out there. Check out the characteristics of your trees and shrubs to pick the one that will work best for your garden.
Our favorite is the 30-inch anvil lopper from gonicc. This professional tool has a generous cut capacity and a smooth movement that’s a joy to use. And if anything goes wrong, you’ll be covered by its lifetime guarantee.
Whichever one you choose, those overgrown branches will soon be a thing of the past. Happy shopping!