For small-scale pruning tasks, we have garden shears while for larger trimming tasks, we often turn to power tools to get the job done.
However, for those jobs that sit right in the middle, sometimes there is nothing better than a good pair of loppers – so here are our top picks for best lopper for pruning.
The Best Lopper for Pruning on the Market 2019
1. Gonicc Professional 30-Inch SK-5 Steel Blade Anvil Lopper (Our Top Recommended)
This 30” pair of loppers feature 22” handles and 8” blades, giving you enough reach to allow you to cut even some of the higher branches that need to be pruned. They are ideal for trimming any twigs and branches of anything up to around 1”-2” in diameter.
They are anvil loppers, which means the blade cuts branches against the “anvil”, a design that is especially good at trimming back dead wood. However, these loppers can work equally well with live wood if kept sharp, giving a precise, clean cut.
One of the outstanding features with these loppers is the high-quality blade. It is made of SK-5 steel, offering outstanding strength and durability while at the same time retaining its sharpness for longer. You won’t need to sharpen this blade as often as with inferior models.
Another highlight of these loppers is the labor-saving cutting mechanism, which includes a compound lever designed to increase the force delivered to the blade by up to 50%.
This means you won’t have to work as hard to cut even the toughest of branches – great news if you don’t count yourself among the strongest of gardeners.
We particularly appreciate the tough and durable yet comfortable handle. The shaft is constructed of aluminum and stainless steel while the grips are made of tough rubber. The handles are designed not to slip when you use the loppers, ensuring a safe and precise cut.
This is a high-quality and well-made piece of gardening equipment that is built to last and that also comes with a very reasonable price tag.
If you are looking for a solid and reliable pair of loppers that will help you with all kinds of pruning and trimming tasks around your yard, this excellent pair comes highly recommended.
What We Like
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2. Fiskars 91466935J 28 Inch Bypass Lopper
This is another top pair of loppers, this time with a bypass blade design that makes them most suitable for cutting live shoots. While anvil loppers are better for use with dead wood, these loppers make a cleaner cut, allowing living trees or bushes to recover better.
The blade itself is hardened and precision-ground, meaning it is designed to stay sharp for longer, even with sustained heavy use. This is important when working with living trees since crushed branches suffer more stress and take longer to heal.
The blade also features a rust-resistant low-friction coating, which serves the dual purpose of protecting the blade from erosion while at the same time helping it slice through branches effortlessly and efficiently. They have a maximum cutting capacity of 1½”.
These loppers measure 28” in total, of which 22” is taken up by the handle. This gives you plenty of reach to deal with higher branches or those situated in more inaccessible positions.
The loppers are also not overly heavy. While they are not so lightweight as to feel cheap and flimsy, they still don’t weigh too much for most people to use them comfortably, even for longer periods.
Another feature we appreciate is the shock-absorbing bumper. When you cut a branch, sometimes inferior loppers can jar as the blade slices through the branch and the handles meet, something that can become painful after just a few times.
However, when you cut using these loppers, the bumper prevents this from happening, making them even more comfortable to use.
They also boast ergonomic non-slip grips that will help you hold these loppersfirmly, even if you are working out in the sun and your palms begin to sweat. They are also very easy to hold and use when you need to cut branches at more difficult angles.
Overall, this is a highly recommended pair of loppers for most gardening tasks – and if you are specifically looking for a pair of loppers with a bypass blade, this tool would be our top pick.
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What We Don't Like
3. TABOR TOOLS GG12 Compound Action Anvil Lopper
This pair of loppers from Tabor Tools is a sturdy, heavy-duty tool that is designed to cope with even the tougher kinds of pruning tasks you may need it for.
They are anvil-style loppers, especially suited for working with dead wood branches of anything up to 2” in diameter, and they feature a compound action that allows them to deliver up to three times the force at the blade as you put in at the handles.
This makes them suitable for larger branches that smaller loppers might not be able to handle. They are also a good choice for preparatory work, taking off the larger branches before you tidy up after with a pair of bypass loppers.
The blade itself is made of hardened carbon steel that is designed to stay sharp for longer, however much you need to use your loppers. It also includes a low-friction, non-stick coating that helps the loppers slice through even harder, tougher branches with ease.
This makes them easy to use, even for the elderly or those lacking the strength to use some other models.
Another thing we like about these loppers is that it is easy to buy a replacement blade. However tough a blade is and however much care you take of it, it will still eventually become dull and chipped.
However, by replacing the blade, you can save yourself the expense of having to buy a whole new pair of loppers.
Finally, one other feature that appeals to us is the comfortable and ergonomically-designed handle. The grips are rubberized and designed not to slip while the whole tool has a good balance, making it comfortable and easy to use.
If you are looking for a versatile pair of loppers that is particularly suited to working with tough, thick dead wood branches, this is another product that should be worth considering.
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What We Don't Like
4. Corona Compound Action Anvil Lopper
Here we have another pair of anvil loppers, this time from well-established garden tool manufacturer Corona.
The first thing you will notice about these loppers is their extra reach. They are slightly longer than most other loppers, allowing you to cut higher than with many rival versions. This is particularly useful if you want to be able to prune just that extra bit higher.
In total, the loppers measure 32” – and just the handles are 8” long, giving you plenty to hold on to. The grip is made of foam, making it both comfortable to hold and unlikely to slip.
The blades incorporate a compound cutting mechanism, multiplying the force that goes into cutting by up to three times.
The blade is made of high-carbon steel with a PTFE non-stick coating, which helps protects the blade from corrosion and tree sap while at the same time improving its cutting ability.
One thing we really like about this item is that it is designed to last. With anvil loppers, it is inevitable that the blade will become dulled with time. However, it is easy to sharpen the blade, increasing its useful life.
More than this, both the blade and the anvil can both be replaced entirely, meaning that even when the blade has come to the end of its life, you can still continue to use these loppers without having to pay for a whole new tool.
Another thing we appreciate about these loppers is that they are designed for near professional-grade performance but retail at a price point well below what you would expect to pay for a tool of this quality.
If you are looking for an affordable pair of anvil loppers that are ideal for dealing with dead wood but that can also be used with living branches – as long as you keep the blade sharp – this model from Corona should definitely be worth a look.
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5. 28 ~ 40-Inch Extendable Anvil Razor-Edge Pruning Lopper
For anyone looking for a pair of loppers that offer the ultimate in reach as well as ease of use, these extendable loppers from Kseibi are hard to beat.
The innovation here is the impressive telescopic handles. The loppers start at only 28”, but by using a simple push-button release, they can be extended up to 40”, allowing you to prune branches they would be way out of reach for other loppers.
They also feature an easy-to-grip handle, and at only 3.5lbs, are extremely lightweight, making them easy for just about anybody to use.
However, they aren’t just about the extra length – they also incorporate one of the highest-quality blades we have seen. It is made of SK-5 hardened steel that is heated three times to a temperature of 58°C ±2.
It also has a non-stick Teflon coating, all of which ensure it stays razor-sharp and is wear resistant, corrosion resistant and easy to clean and look after.
It can also deliver some impressive cutting force, even when fully extended – the blade is driven by a lever which is designed to increase the force, allowing you to deal with even tougher jobs. It is capable of slicing through branches of up to 2” in diameter.
This is a lopper that is designed for even the heavier-duty tasks you might need it for. It is built to last and will withstand constant use.
It is an anvil-type lopper, meaning it is designed more specifically for dealing with dead wood rather than live branches. However, like most other anvil loppers, as long as you keep the blade sharp, it can also do a very acceptable job when trimming live branches or suckers.
We like this lopper above all for its versatility as well as its high-quality construction. The telescopic handle allows you to deal with many tasks regular loppers couldn’t handle and even though it isn’t the cheapest lopper available, it still represents excellent value for money.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
If you are thinking of buying a lopper, you will probably have realized that the choice isn’t simple since there are so many models to pick from.
To begin with, let’s think about why you should buy a lopper in the first place – then we can look at the most important points you need to consider when choosing the best lopper for you.
Why buy a lopper?
For small pruning jobs, a regular pair of garden shears will usually get the job done while for more significant trimming and cutting, a trimming saw is required. However, in between these lies a range of jobs that are too big for shears but too small for an electric trimmer. This is where a lopper can be ideal.
Loppers can deal with jobs where regular shears would struggle, and they also give you extra reach to trim higher branches. Since they are powered only by your arms, you also don’t need to worry about batteries, a cord or gas, giving them this advantage over power tools. Furthermore, they require less maintenance than power tools and there is far less that can go wrong.
For these reasons, owning some reliable loppers is a practical solution for all kinds of garden chores. Now let’s have a look at how to choose a suitable pair.
What to look for
If you’re convinced that a pair of loppers would be a welcome addition to your arsenal of garden tools, here are the main points to look at when choosing.
Types of Lopper: Anvil or bypass?
Probably the most important feature to look at when choosing a pair of loppers is the cutting style – are the loppers anvil-style or bypass-style?
Bypass loppers feature two blades that move against each other like the blades on a pair of scissors. These types of blades produce a cleaner cut and are better for live branches since this kind of cut is faster to heal.
However, they are less useful for heavier-duty work as they don’t provide the force of an anvil lopper and are also less suitable for pruning dead branches.
Anvil loppers work in a slightly different way. They feature one moving blade that cuts through the branch by pressing it against the “anvil”.
These are more suited to working with dead wood since they can deliver more power, but with live green branches, they tend to crush and damage the tree. They can be used on live branches, especially when sharp, but are less suitable for this use than bypass loppers.
This means if you predominantly want to prune live trees, a pair of bypass loppers is best whereas anvil loppers are better for dead wood. If you need to cut lots of live and dead wood, it might even be advisable to buy a pair of both.
There are also several types of cutting mechanism, including ratchet, compound and geared.
Ratchet loppers allow you to cut thicker, tougher wood in stages rather than just one single cut. Each time you squeeze, one more ratchet locks into place until you manage to cut through the branch.
Compound and geared loppers both feature cutting mechanisms that multiply the force you put in, maximizing cutting power at the blade.
The other important point to note is the blade itself. The blade needs to be tough, durable and easy to sharpen. The best blades are made of carbon steel and will resist even heavy-duty use.
With anvil loppers especially, blades will eventually become blunt and dull with use. Make sure they are easy to sharpen – and blades and anvils that can be completely replaced are preferable.
The length of the loppers you buy is worth taking note of since longer loppers will allow you to reach higher and more inaccessible branches.
Some models also have telescopic handles – especially useful if you need to prune branches higher up and otherwise out of reach.
Weight is no minor consideration since if you choose loppers that are too heavy, you will be unable to use them for longer periods.
Heavier loppers often offer more cutting power, so you should take into account the jobs you need to use them for as well as your own strength and endurance to try to find the right balance.
Finally, make sure the handle is comfortable to hold. It should feature a non-slip grip to make sure the loppers are easy to grasp while you are working.
Uncomfortable loppers will make pruning and trimming work much more of a chore, so don’t overlook this aspect when choosing the right loppers for you.
A good pair of loppers make pruning easy
Sometimes firing up an electric or gas trimmer for smaller scale trimming seems a bit over the top, and in such cases, a decent pair of loppers is ideal.
There are many great options to choose from, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages – but if you are looking for a pair of loppers for pruning in your yard, working around your home or for anything else, all the models in this review come highly recommended.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.