Wondering how you’re going to get rid of those overhanging branches in your lawn? Or maybe you just want to do some heavy pruning and tree shaping to keep the landscape fresh. Either way, dealing with thick stems and branches is cumbersome and repetitive work; that’s why you need the right tool for the job.
Pruning shears are an option, but chances are they’ll break very quickly. On the other hand, a pruning saw is both overkill and unnecessarily expensive. Loppers, however, are perfect for effortlessly cutting through thicker branches.
Loppers are essentially pruners with slightly longer handles that are mostly used to prune out smaller branches, twigs, and stems. The long handles offer great leverage while the heavy-duty blades cut woody stems up to 3cm thick. Some of them have extendable handles and a ratchet system to make cutting easier.
Like all other tools, loppers come in a wide range of styles, shapes, sizes and price points. I’ve scoured the entire industry and rifled through thousands of loppers to find the best models, types, and features to look out for.
For starters, it helps if you know about the two basic types of loppers. There are bypass loppers that consist of two blades that slide past each other in a scissor-like fashion. These provide a cleaner cut on live wood while allowing the plant to heal quicker.
Anvil loppers, on the other hand, have one straight blade that cuts as it closes onto a flat anvil edge. Since the blade crushes branches and stems when cutting, anvil loppers are best used on hardy and dead wood.
Other features to look out for include force multiplication mechanisms such as geared or ratcheting systems, telescopic handles, comfortable grip, high-quality steel blades and a high cutting capacity. So, shall we dive right into our list of the best loppers in the UK?
Since its inception back in 1649, Fiskars has grown into a world leader for functional, lasting, and user-friendly solutions for garden and hand tools. You can always rely on their tools to deliver effortless and intuitive performance. All this know-how stands out in the new Fiskars 112290 FSK112290 Bypass Loppers.
These loppers are built for heavy duty fresh or live woodcutting with a capacity of up to 35mm diameter. To make the experience effortless, Fiskars incorporated a unique Power Gear mechanism that not only amplifies the cutting power, but also distributes it evenly. And speaking of cutting, the steel blades are coated with PTFE to reduce friction and stickiness. You can’t miss the fibreglass reinforced polyamide exterior that is as durable, lightweight and strong as it is eye-catching.
What I like about it:
- Unique Powergear mechanism that eases the workload
- Special hook head blade design
- Sleek fibreglass exterior for lightweight durability
Widely renowned for their high-quality products and heritage, it’s no wonder that Spear and Jackson have managed to gain the trust of gardeners all around the world. Looking at their broad range of products, you can easily see the innovation and ergonomic designs that go into production. The 8100RS Razorsharp Telescopic Ratchet Anvil Lopper is a clear testament to this fact.
These bad boys are engineered to make your workload a whole lot easier by eliminating the strain and pain of maintaining a clean and bountiful garden. To achieve this, the manufacturer incorporated a ratchet action system with a twist and lock extendable mechanism for more powerful and progressive cutting. The all aluminium handles and non-slip comfort grips also make handling the 8100RS quite the lightweight, pleasant experience.
What I like about it:
- Hardened and tempered C50 carbon steel blades
- PTFE coated blades for smooth, rust-resistant cutting
- Ratchet action for amplified cutting
Ah yes, here’s a great product from a family-run company that has been providing high-quality tools in the UK for almost a century now. I’ve always admired their unmatched and strict ethical, quality standards; and their newest lopper speaks volumes of this. The Draper 50678 Heavy-Duty Telescopic Anvil Loppers boast of quite the impressive line up of features.
First off, the hardened and tempered blades offer a healthy, clean cut despite the anvil edge action. Draper was thoughtful enough to cover the blades with non-stick coating for smooth and corrosion free operation. But it’s the handles that really grabbed my focus. The 50678 boasts of high leverage telescopic tubular handles with the ability to extend from 440 to 760 mm using the simple twist and lock mechanism.
What I like about it:
- Tempered and hardened non stick blades
- High leverage telescopic and extendable handles
- Soft grip ergonomic handles
If there’s one company that’s been making leaps and bounds in the world of gardening tools, it would have to be Wolf-Garten. These guys literally have farmers eating out of their hands so to speak; and it’s all because of products like the Wolf-Garten RS750 Power Cut Anvil Loppers.
These one of a kind, high-quality loppers are so incredibly advanced that I wasn’t shocked at all by the price point. FYI, these are the most expensive loppers on this entire list which speaks volumes. The RS750 Power Cut Anvil Loppers from Wolf-Garten boasts of a cutting capacity of 45mm with an all-new cutting head technology for effortless operation. Likewise, the soft lining on the ergonomic handles makes for one truly comfortable experience.
What I like about it:
- Incredibly strong and durable cutting head technology
- Wider cutting capacity on the diameter
- Ergonomic, soft padded handles for comfortable grip
Founded in 1772, everyone knows the origins of Wilkinson Sword’s. This company first started off as a manufacturer of swords and guns with bayonets and gardening equipment coming up more recently. Now, all of Wilkinson’s range of loppers are known for combining power, precision, and performance without much effort.
And none does it better than the Wilkinson Sword Geared Bypass Loppers. These bad boys are engineered to offer a precise and clean cut that works well on young, green and live wood. The bypass cutting action minimizes any bruising of stems making it the ideal tool for shaping and pruning. I have to admit however, these are some of the lightest pair of loppers I’ve ever used; they work well as long as you don’t exceed the 3.5 cm diameter cutting capacity.
What I like about it:
- Bypass cutting action makes it ideal for live wood
- Lightweight aluminium construction
- Comes with an astounding 10-year guarantee
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How to sharpen lopper blades?
Loppers only have one sharp blade; the bottom blade is flat, so you only have one blade to sharpen.
- Start by cleaning the blade with warm water and soap to remove any plant residue, and take a piece of wire wool to any patches of rust.
- Secure your lopper in a bench vice, to keep it still while you sharpen. Keep the blades open and the sharp edge pointing away.
- Take a single cut file, and holding it at a shallow angle, draw it across the blade. Always push the file over the blade and don’t pull it back. It will take a few strokes like this to get a sharp edge.
- Remove any burrs from the blade by wiping it gently with wire wool, and finish with a drop of oil to keep the blades lubricated.
Q: How to use a lopper on bushes?
Before you get started, choose exactly where you want to make the cut. Open the loppers fully, and make sure the branch is deep inside the loppers – snipping at the branch will tire out your hands quickly and will blunt the blade.
Once you have have decided where you are going to cut and have positioned the branch just right, close the loppers quickly and with a fluid motion. Don’t let the loppers twist, as the cut will not be clean. If a branch doesn’t fit comfortably inside the blades of the loppers then it would be wise to use a different tool, such as a handsaw.
Always make sure your loppers are sharp, as a dull blade will not cut well and will tire you out quickly. Also, it is always sensible to clean your loppers after use and before you put them away – wipe the blades with a damp cloth, dry them thoroughly and apply a thin layer of oil to keep them lubricated and free from rust.
Q: What lopper is better anvil or bypass?
Anvil loppers have a sharp blade on top, that slices through to the thick, flat base underneath, while Bypass loppers have a single sharp blade that slices past a thick base as the loppers are closed.
Anvil loppers are less precise, but stronger, so they are good for thick dead wood, or cuts that don’t need to be as precise, while Bypass loppers make clean cuts, and re more suitable for green material. This type of lopper also very rarely needs sharpening, unlike its counterpart.