The Best Loppers
Whether you prefer using the best loppers as a supplement for extra tough or hard to reach branches after you’ve done the main work with a hedge trimmer, or you need them for gardening or pruning trees on your property, it’s important to find the best of the best loppers available.
Better tools make you a better gardener, landscaper, and homeowner by giving you more power, precision, versatility, and control. At the same time, they’ll save you money, because you won’t have to keep replacing the best loppers on the market like you often find yourself doing with cheaper loppers.
Read on for in-depth coverage of five of the best loppers available right now, as well as a buyer’s guide explaining how to find the right set of loppers to meet your unique needs as a homeowner. Balancing your needs, wants, and budget will help you get the perfect pair of loppers for all your gardening, pruning, and landscaping needs.
Here’s a simple table I designed to help you easily compare the specs and features of the top five best loppers on the market today. All you numbers fiends, don’t worry, as I’ll go into much more detail later in the article. Let this comparison table serve as your guide to getting to know the best loppers around town, and revisit it when it comes time to make your final decision and pick up one of these pairs of loppers for yourself.
I tested over twenty sets of loppers from the cheapest to the most exorbitant, in a wide variety of designs, to bring you this list. Between extensive research and my intense testing process designed to push the limits of each of these gardening tools, I was able to distill the lopper market today into these five products.
While they all have their own advantages and disadvantages, I’m sure there’s something here for you.
Tabor Tools – Best Garden Loppers
A name well respected in the industry of bladed tools for outdoor use, especially in the wide world of gardening, Tabor Tools may be a great place to start when you’re looking for the best loppers on the market.
They’ve named their model GG12 “The King of Loppers,” so they certainly have confidence in their product.
While I always start out a little skeptical of anything claiming to be the best, I was impressed with the GG12 as soon as I saw it.
This tool is clearly well made, from the fine materials used to keep it durable and strong to its craftsmanlike, intentional design choices.
The anvil system works by utilizing not just two blades of exactly the same size and shape, but a curved, highly sharp blade and a flatter, straight one. The straight blade spreads out pressure and holds the branch steadily, allowing the sharper, curved blade to neatly cut through it.
This innovative blade setup allows the GG12 to confidently cut through branches as thick as two inches. In addition, there are mechanisms around the blades designed to maximize the force applied to the sharp blade–meaning cleaner cuts and less fatigue for your arms.
With 22” handles, they provide plenty of leverage force and the reach necessary to get to some higher branches without much hassle.
While they’re not the biggest loppers on the market, they’re certainly sizeable, and their cool blade features help them to make the same type of cuts that longer loppers might need a little extra force to successfully carry out.
I will say that the price is fairly high for a set of loppers. This is definitely not the most budget-friendly tool I’ve seen, especially in the short term.
However, it does pack a lot of value, with plenty of cutting power and ease of use features like the ergonomic grip with additional forefinger support.
While my blades did not get anywhere near even needing sharpening during my testing process, despite putting these loppers through some serious stress tests, I went ahead and bought replacement blades just to let you know how hard changing them out is.
I’m happy to say that it’s not a tough process at all, meaning that these loppers may be a great investment for your gardening future.
I recommend these loppers to anyone from the beginning amateur gardener to the professional landscaper due to their ease of use, durability, and high cutting capacity. The fact that replacement blades are easy to find and affordable makes this an even better buy for those who plan to use this tool a lot.
That being said, for those who don’t have a pole saw or similar tool for trimming the tops of trees, the 30-inch total length and 22-inch handles may not provide you with enough reach, especially if you’re smaller than average. I’d still recommend the GG12, my best loppers for a garden!
Spear and Jackson – Best Anvil Loppers
These two standout features are the most impressive things about the product, though they’re certainly not the only thing that’s done right here.
These two features are the state of the art ratcheting system around the blades and the telescoping handles.
Let’s look at each of these in turn and how they might make your gardening life a bit easier and more productive.
First, the telescoping handles. These are a great feature for anyone with very tall trees, but can really improve anyone’s gardening experience.
Specifically, these loppers can have handles as short as 18 inches or as long as 31.5 inches. Having this large of a range of motion makes this one of the most versatile sets of loppers I’ve ever worked with.
Now, we’ll move on to the ratcheting blade system. This system increases the force applied by ratcheting the blades together rather than allowing them to move apart and back together perfectly smoothly.
It does take some getting used to, but it makes the cutting of thick branches (2” +) quite a bit easier than with traditional loppers.
That being said, there is one downside to the ratcheting system, and that is that you have to open the blades all the way every time before you make the next cut. Because they open fairly wide, this can be a bit of a chore and may be very difficult for you if you have short arms.
Though this drawback by no means ruins an otherwise great tool, I do hope that Spear and Jackson can design around it in the future.
One other slight drawback I do find worth mentioning is that these loppers do run a bit heavier than some of their competitors.
On top of that, they are very sturdily designed to cut the thickest branches loppers are meant for without much strain. Their strong construction adds not only to their cutting capacity but to their long-term durability as well.
These loppers provide a lot of powerful features at a price that, while not the lowest around, is certainly competitive. While the ratcheting blades and telescoping handles are the biggest and most obvious features here, the solid construction of the tool works wonders as well.
I recommend these to any serious gardener, especially with very tall trees to prune. They’re also great for those who think they’ll find themselves cutting thick branches quite frequently, as the powerful and well-made ratcheting system allow them to cut the thickest branches with relative ease.
That being said, they may be a bit difficult for less experienced users or those with short arms because of the complications of the ratcheting system. The ratcheting system and the slightly higher weight may increase fatigue over time, but on the other hand, these loppers will help you get the job done a lot faster! Definitely among the best loppers especially if you are in search of anvil loppers.
Corona – Best Bypass Loppers
To fit with their long and storied history of over 90 years, Corona’s AL 8462 design seems at first glance much simpler than some of the other loppers I have used and reviewed over the years.
I’ll be honest, I was at first skeptical of something without anvil or ratcheting blades or telescoping handles. How could these loppers be the future of the industry?
However, I quickly noticed upon first handling them, and especially when I began to use them, that the simplicity of their design is deceptive. While they’re some of the easiest modern loppers to use and have a bit of the old-fashioned charm that calls to mind the company’s history, they’re full of modern innovation as well, too.
Additionally, the blades are fully replaceable (replacements being easy to find and quite affordable) and very, very easy to sharpen.
On top of that, the Dual Arcs are bypass blades–meaning that they’re made to make clean, beautiful cuts every single time.
While bypass blades generally require a bit more force to work than other types like anvil blades, these loppers’ modern design and long handles make it a cinch–and you won’t have to follow up with detail work later.
However, let’s not forget about the handles! Their massive length of 32” provides plenty of leverage and reach.
Last but not least, I will mention one other key feature. These loppers are designed with easy maintenance in mind, featuring a deep sap groove and some “self-cleaning” features.
Now, you should keep in mind that self-cleaning doesn’t mean you get to skip your regular maintenance, but it does make that regular maintenance quite a bit easier.
While there’s a lot to love about these loppers, I do wish that they featured telescoping handles. The handles are plenty long enough for most uses, but storing these loppers is a bit harder due to their massive size.
However, the design that Corona focused on here kept simplicity in mind, and a perfectly balanced weight–so I understand the lack of telescoping handles.
Though these loppers lack telescoping handles, their massive reach and extreme cutting capacity make them a great value even at their relatively high price point. On top of that, these are some of the safest and easiest to use loppers on the market, with 90 years of design experience behind them.
I recommend these loppers to everyone, plain and simple. While some of you may require more specialized tools for compact storage or extreme detail work, this is an amazing set of loppers across the board.
They truly are great for virtually everyone in the market: easy enough to use for the young beginner, but tough and versatile enough for the seasoned professional. Best loppers with bypass on my list.
That being said, they do come at a steep price, so they may not be the right choice for everyone. Keep in mind, though, that the long-lasting and easily replaceable blades make this purchase a solid long-term investment.
MTools – Best Telescopic Tree Loppers
These loppers by MTools seek to set themselves apart by offering a combination of powerful extra features to make them more versatile and easier to use than virtually any other pair of loppers on the market–and they’re available at a steal of a price to boot.
I was excited to try these out since they’re some of the only loppers I found that combined the beautiful, perfectly straight cuts of bypass blades with the additional power provided by a ratcheting cutting system.
As with all ratcheting loppers, they can take quite a bit of getting used to at first, but they make cutting the thicker branches quite a bit easier, with a smooth repetitive ratcheting action instead of a serious struggle to get the blades to go through the wood.
The extendable handles were quite easy to grip and to lock at any length up to 39 and a half inches with a simple 90-degree twist.
They made trimming the highest branches of my grove quite a bit easier during my extensive lopper testing process, and on top of that, they don’t add much weight to the product at all, making it extremely easy to use even over long periods of time.
That being said, the extraordinary length and ultra lightweight construction can lead to a slight downside. If you apply too much force, it is possible for the telescoping handles to become warped.
While the product is certainly very durable, it doesn’t hold up to the kind of constant abuse that steel tools do. It’s not enough of an issue for me to become biased against these loppers, but I will caution anyone interested in these to carefully read the instructions and use the ratcheting function every time.
With careful attention and use, though, the ratcheting system allows these blades to cut through limbs and branches up to 1 ¾ inches thick like butter.
While their cutting capacity isn’t as high as that of some other loppers, they can cut anything within their capacity with ease, and make very straight, aesthetically pleasing cuts thanks to their bypass blade design.
I recommend these loppers to anyone looking for all the latest features available on the best loppers for a fair, budget-friendly price. While I would like to see a similar product made with steel handles, I understand that would greatly increase the weight and price.
These are extremely easy to use, especially for ratcheting loppers.
In addition to recommending these to those of you who are interested in getting the most special features or making a purchase that’s great for your budget, I also strongly recommend them as a way into the wonderful world of gardening for new enthusiasts who want the best loppers that’s still simple and straightforward.
Kseibi – Best Professional Loppers
The blades impressed me right away, but before I get to them, let’s talk about this product’s key feature: its extendable handles.
The handles can extend from 28 inches all the way up to 40 inches, making cutting even very high branches a breeze.
They utilize a push-button system for the extension, giving you confidence and control when extending the handles to exactly the length you want.
Now, back to those blades. The anvil construction works well for cutting even tough branches, and this set doesn’t disappoint on that front, with a 2” cutting capacity for most woods.
The cutting blade is exceptionally strong, heat treated hardened steel. On top of that, it’s quite easy to sharpen, as the blade opens very wide to allow maintenance.
Best of all, though, is its Teflon coating to impede corrosion and make cleaning that much easier when the job is finally done.
The well-crafted blade and highly extendable handles, along with the exceptionally low operating weight, all come together to make this a highly competitive product. While it doesn’t have the same durability and strength as all steel loppers, it provides more than enough longevity and cutting power for the average homeowner.
I recommend these to homeowners looking for the easiest and fastest way to cut even very high branches, including growths up to 2 inches thick. While they’re not suitable for hardwood trees, they’ll cut virtually anything else with ease thanks to their lever action mechanics. Best loppers for professional use on my list.
As in everything else, experience varies widely in the worlds of landscaping, gardening, and home ownership. Some of you were undoubtedly able to follow along easily with all the specs and features of each pair of loppers, and some of you may have been left with your heads spinning.
There’s no shame in not knowing everything there is to know about the lopper market and what makes one pair of loppers better than another. That knowledge comes through first hand experience for most people.
Luckily, I’ve had a professional landscaping career for over 15 years, and have owned my own company for about six of those, so first hand experience is not something I’m at all lacking in. And I want to share a little bit of that experience on finding the best loppers with you today.
While the deceptively, outwardly simple loppers are actually quite complex and highly specialized tools, I want to make things a little easier on you today by breaking down what some of the most important features, specifications, and highlights mean. That way, you’ll be armed with the knowledge necessary to pick the best loppers for your needs the first time.
I’ll also go over some of the basics of caring for and using loppers, especially with regards to the following:
- Keeping your loppers cutting confidently for years to come
- Protecting your own personal safety
While I only have space here for a few basic tips, keeping this knowledge in mind as you buy, use, and maintain one of the best loppers available will protect you and your investment, and turn yardwork from a tough chore to a fun time. Even for those of you who are already confident in your gardening and landscaping abilities, keep in mind that everyone can use a reminder from time to time.
Size Matters… or Does It?
One of the first things you’ll notice about a given pair of loppers, whether you’re reading an informational article like this one, idly browsing online, or talking to professionals in a retail setting, is size.
You can probably go pick up some 40” loppers at any discount store in your neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be a high performance, professional grade tool.
While lopper length does matter, it’s not in exactly the ways that you think. Read on to find out more…
The Right Length for You
Getting the right pair of loppers doesn’t always mean getting the biggest pair on the shelf the next time you go to the hardware store. It means really considering what factors influence the length of lopper you actually need.
Longer loppers are better for cutting and pruning higher branches and extend your reach much farther but can be more difficult to manipulate in close quarters. Therefore, you need to keep in mind the following:
- The height of the trees and hedges you will most often trim with the lopper
- Your own physical height and arm length
However, there’s one more factor to keep in mind. Longer handles on a pair of loppers mean that you will be able to apply more leverage to the blades.
While a lot of leverage is added by the mechanical parts around the blade, the length makes cutting thicker branches easier.
This means that you may want to buy a longer pair of loppers in some cases even if you don’t have very tall trees and hedges.
While they may take a bit longer to get at the right angle, they’ll require less force to cut through thick branches, which will both reduce your arm fatigue in a given gardening session and improve your tool’s longevity over longer periods of time.
All About What Cutting Action Really Means
A lot of people who have never purchased loppers, or who haven’t purchased them recently, are often confused about what the cutting action actually means for the loppers.
When you first look at a pair of loppers, they look sort of like a giant pair of scissors. However, this is not entirely accurate.
They are designed to enhance your natural strength and stability in several ways to make the cutting of thicker branches much easier than it would be without this mechanical assistance.
There are also different types of blades designed to make different functions either. Both the blades and the mechanics around them are considered when describing the cutting action of a given pair of loppers.
The flat blade essentially holds the branch in place while the sharp blade closes on it. One metaphor that’s often used is to think of a set of anvil blades as a knife and the cutting board under the knife.
While these do reduce the force required to make cuts, they do generally create cuts that are slightly messier. Therefore, they’re often used to cut off dead growth or to lop the ends off branches that have grown too long before going in with a pair of standard blade loppers to tidy up at the end.
Many of the best loppers available have some kind of extra mechanisms around the blades that increase the leverage and force applied to help you cut through thick branches with minimal fatigue.
They are a bit more difficult to use, so be sure to read the instructions that come with a pair of ratcheting loppers.
However, you’ll certainly get used to the ratcheting action over time, and they do make cutting correctly the first time much easier and smoother–something you’ll definitely notice in the form of reduced fatigue after doing a lot of pruning.
You should keep in mind that there are also lever action systems, such as that featured on the Tabor Tools GG12. These systems are designed to be simpler than ratcheting ones, but do some of the same work–helping to convert more of the force made by your arms closing the blades into true cutting power.
Weight, Maneuverability, and Ease of Use
Getting loppers of the correct weight is a big challenge. Even though loppers aren’t extraordinarily heavy, you should keep in mind that you may be holding them above your head and exerting a force on them, rather than simply carrying them.
However, there are some benefits that come with higher weight, too. Engineers who design loppers have to find lots of creative ways of keeping loppers lightweight while maintaining their durability and cutting power through exciting new materials and mechanical assistance systems.
However, it is worth keeping in mind if you foresee yourself doing a lot of pruning that greater weight will result in greater fatigue over time.
Caring for Your Loppers
Investing money into a truly great pair of loppers means that you’ll want to protect your investment. Even the more budget-friendly choices on this list aren’t simply one-job, throwaway tools–their real usefulness shines when you can use them again and again.
In addition to carefully reading the instructions of your new loppers and maybe doing some additional research, such as watching videos online featuring your particular loppers, read on for some helpful general tips about caring for your loppers.
While the handles and all the mechanical portions are obviously important, the blades are in many ways the most important aspect of loppers–which is, after all, meant for cutting.
Ensuring that water does not sit on the blades for long periods of time is also important, to prevent corrosion. While most blades on newer, higher end loppers are made of materials that do not easily rust, this is still a crucial task.
When it comes to longer-term maintenance of blades, sharpening may be important. Again, while most newer and finer loppers come with blades that require less sharpening, every blade in the world dulls with time and use.
Sharpening the blades is an easy enough task once you’ve done it a few times, but ensure to follow all the instructions for your blade sharpener, and take the proper safety precautions to avoid injury.
Replacement blades are available for many of the loppers featured in this article. If you plan to use your loppers a great deal (for example, if you are a professional landscaper or very serious gardener), keeping an extra set of blades on hand is never a bad idea.
Knowing the Limitations
Also, be sure to cut slowly and carefully, not putting the blades or other components under any unnecessary stress. Reading and following any instructions included with your lopper is key here.
Using a wet cloth and mild cleaner to take off any dirt or grime is generally enough. Remember not to soak the blades in liquid, especially a cleaning solution, for a long period of time, as this will hasten the dulling of their sharp edges.
Some mechanical parts near the blades may require special cleaning care or occasional lubrication to keep them running smoothly. As always, read and follow all instructions included with your chosen loppers.
Long Term Storage
Be sure that your loppers are completely clean and dry before stowing them away for the season. Additionally, be sure to store them in a dry place.
Relatively stable temperatures are important, too, but dryness is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to long term storage of loppers.
The Best Lopper Safety Tips
Along with using your loppers as efficiently as possible, using your loppers as safely as possible should be a major priority. Safety is easy as long as you follow all instructions and work slowly and deliberately rather than trying to rush the job.
Standard protective gear you would wear for other gardening tasks is perfectly fine for using best loppers as well. This may include the following:
- Sturdy work gloves
- Long sleeves and pants for protection from debris
- Safety goggles for keeping debris and dust out of your eyes
- Stable, strong shoes, especially if you’re climbing a ladder to prune high branches
Additionally, get some very protective gloves for this task: regular gardening gloves may not protect your hands from cuts, especially from freshly sharpened blades.
If you’re on a ladder, be sure not to lean out too far in any one direction or stand too high. Moving the ladder takes time, yes, but it will be much safer. Leaning heavily risks your falling off the ladder, which is obviously a huge safety concern.
Even when you’re on solid ground, keeping your balance is important. Taking time to get yourself at the proper angle to cut with minimal strain and fall risk is key to keeping yourself safe while using your chosen best loppers.
Slower, better thought out cuts also makes cleanup after you’re done for the day a lot easier, and will prevent you from suffering injury from branches flying off after being cut off too quickly.
Conclusion: The Best Loppers Are…
I’ve tested, researched, and reviewed quite a few loppers for this article alone, and quite a few more throughout my years as a professional landscaper. I’ve settled on a choice for the best loppers across the board, but keep in mind that any of the five products I’ve covered in this piece are among the best loppers and may be solid investments.
While I firmly believe the one I’ve chosen has the best blend of attributes, another set may be more suitable for you based on your needs, your wants, and your budget.
For my money, the Tabor Tools loppers are the best loppers across the board due to their extreme durability, very high cutting capacity, and long reach. In addition, the manufacturer’s customer service is exceptional in the rare event that you have any problems.
That being said, if the Tabor Tools model is out of your budget or you need a pair of loppers with even greater reach, I also quite like the Kseibi extendable loppers for their 40” handles, ease of use, and great cutting capacity.
Whichever among the five best loppers on the market today you decide is best for you, I hope this article has helped you learn more about loppers in general and your exact needs when it comes to these crucial gardening tools.