Best Garden Loppers – We review 5 of the best models
Garden Lopper Reviews
Like the trusty secateurs we all have in our garden shed, loppers are another garden tool you might need when trying to cut through thick branches that your trusty hand pruners just won’t quite cut through. There are many trees and shrubs that need regular pruning, especially in autumn, winter and spring where having loppers would make your life a lot easier. They are good for reaching into plants where using hand pruners might be difficult to get up into them, they are also ideal for reaching over borders in more difficult to reach places.
Like secateurs there are two types of garden loppers, anvil loppers where they have one cutting blade that crushes through the branch against a flat edge. These are usually better for cutting through dead or old wood thicker wood. Secondly there are bypass loppers which have two blades that work like scissors, they are often better for new, fresh and live growth.
What to take into consideration when choosing a good pair of loppers
- Garden loppers can range in length so if you are trying to reach difficult places then you may prefer ones with longer handles, whilst someone with close quarters pruning may be okay with loppers that have shorter handles.
- Weight – Some loppers are heavy and may become difficult to use for a long period of time whilst others are lighter making using them more pleasurable for long periods of time.
- Cutting size – Most loppers will cut to around the same size diametre of branch but some will cut through slightly bigger branches.
- Are the handles easy to grip and comfy?
- Does it have a ratchet mechanical system? This can slow pruning down but can help cut branches that may otherwise be more difficult to cut.
- Blade sharpness – You ideally want a blade that will last and not go blunt after the first few branches, some blades can be re-sharpened and have been built to last or the blades can be replaced if needed.
Best Tree Loppers
Fiskars Large PowerGear Bypass Loppers – RRP £54.99
These loppers have a cutting capicity of 45mm making them able cut the biggest of branches and they are over 70cm long. They have what Fiskars call “Power-Gear™”, this mechanism helps aid cutting through thick branches putting less strain on your arms. It also has a feature called ‘PowerStep™’, this lets you cut branches in one or two steps making cutting branches easier again. The handles are made from fibreglass reinforced polyamide which makes them lightweight. The blades are very strong and sharp and are coated with PTFE which helps to reduce friction when cutting through branches.
Final thoughts – These are extremely well made, lightweight at 540g and are the business when it comes to garden loppers, that said two disadvantages are that you need to open the loppers very wide to perform cuts, which can be difficult in small, tight spaces and the handles are not telescopic which would give extra reach.
Spear & Jackson 8100RS Razorsharp Telescopic Anvil Lopper – RRP £29.99
These loppers, like a lot of other loppers, use a ratchet system to help cut through thick branches which is great for people who may not be quite as strong as they used to be. They have telescopic handles that take them from 460mm (18″) long to 720mm which is around 28 inches. This makes them ideal for reaching out to the harder to reach places and reduces the need for the stepladders, which is essentially a safer option. The handles use a simple twist and lock action making them easy to use and extend.
The blade is made from carbon steel which has been harden and tempered making them very strong. They have also been coated in PTFE which makes them less likely to stick and protects them from rust.
Final thoughts – The blades really are razor sharp and they will easily cut through stems just over 1 inch thick, maybe up to 2 inches. The anvil design makes them better for cutting thick, woody branches where normal bypass loppers may start to separate. These are actually the best selling loppers on Amazon in the underhand loppers category and it is easy to see why. They also come with a 10 year guarantee. In my opinion they are not too heavy but some people have commented on them being heavier than expected.
Draper Expert Anvil-Pattern Loppers RRP £34.99
Draper Expert Anvil-Pattern loppers have a large 35mm cutting capicity and the blades are made from SK5 Japanese steel which Draper claim gives it a superior cutting performance. The handles are both strong and lightweight as they are made from fibreglass.
They incorporate a rubber buffer to help avoid them from becoming jarred when in use and the handles have Ergonomic rubber grips to stop them slipping when in use.
Final Thoughts – The blades will cut through branches no problem and they are great for the average gardener. The handles are a little short so overall reach can be limited and one problem we did come across is the centre nut does become loose when used regularly so they probably wouldn’t be suitable for professional gardeners or anyone wanting to do lots of pruning. However it is lightweight and comfortable to use.
Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Advanced Heavy Duty Loppers RRP £39.99
These loppers are more designed for thicker branches and will cut through stems up to 50mm in diametre with ease. They have an anvil design which makes them perfect for cutting the thicker branches they have been designed for. They have a mechanical spring-loaded cutting blade that is made from SK5 carbon steel that is PTFE coated.
The anvil blade is made from a softer steel which Spear & Jackson say will avoid the top blade getting damaged when in use. The handles are telescopic and have a simple twist and turn to lock function and extended from 400mm to 800mm giving extra reach which can be handy.
Final thoughts – These loppers, as with a lot of loppers with a mechanical ratchet type system, need to open quite wide to operate them correctly which can be difficult in tight spaces. Good for thick branches which other loppers may not be able to cut due to the heavy duty cutting blade. These are ideal where normal loppers might not be big enough but using a pruning saw may be time consuming. The telescopic handles are useful for long reach pruning and the aluminium materials mean it is lightweight for their size. They do come with a 10 year guarantee which is an added advantage as well.
Wolf-Garten 50mm Power Cut Bypass Lopper – RRP £79.99
These loppers are ideal for cutting branches up to 50mm which is fairly large and the bypass design means they are good for cutting young and fresh branches as they provide a cleaner cut. What we have here are loppers that have been designed to cut thicker branches where you would usually be drawn to using anvil loppers.
They use new cutting head technology that have two pivot points, making cutting branches easier and gives you more leverage. They also have telescopic handles which adjust from 650 to 900mm.
Final thoughts – Really good loppers that do cut thick branches with ease. The extending mechanism on the telescopic arms work well and they reach probably further than any other loppers we have seen which is handy if you are cutting high into trees or bushes. They are not overly heavy but not the lightest available either. However, with the large branch diametre that they are able to cut, this is probably a sacrifice worth making. An excellent all-rounder that is perfect for all types of pruning.
Which should you buy?
There are many loppers available and most will do a good job. Cheaper lower-end loppers probably won’t last more than a couple of seasons so I would recommend not wasting your money on them. We have tried to choose 5 quality pair of loppers to compare but it really does depend on what type of branches you cut and how often you use them.
If you want some good all-round loppers then the Spear and Jackson 8100RS Razorsharp Anvil Loppers are in my opinion, the best. The have the advantage of being telescopic for extra reach and are very well made, light and come with 10 years warranty, they are also well priced.
If you are looking at cutting slightly larger branches, than either the Spear and Jackson Advanced Heavy Duty Loppers or the Wolf Garten Power Cut Bypass Loppers if you want to budget a little more on a pair.
All the loppers were ideal, but I would probably avoid the Draper Expert Loppers as the nut becoming loose can slow things down as it needs tightening up again and I could see it getting lost amongst the brambles.