Best Loppers in 2018 – Bypass, Anvil, Compound & More Models Compared

If you have a lot of foliage around your property, then you know that it can be a challenge to maintain. When it comes to keeping your greenery looking its best, pruning and trimming is a necessary part of the work.

Although there are a lot of different tools you can use, one of the simplest and most effective is the lopper. This is a manual device that allows you to cut and trim branches and foliage quickly and efficiently. Not only are they easy to use, but you don’t have to rely on an electrical outlet to keep them working.

Today we’re going to be looking at the best loppers in 2018. These devices are perfect for both homeowners and professionals who want to keep their property looking its best all year long. Let’s see what these loppers have to offer.

5 Best Loppers - Comparisons

5 Best Loppers - Reviews

1. Tabor Tools GG12 Compound Action Anvil Lopper

When picking out the best lopper for your yard work, one of the most crucial elements is the kind of blade you get. There are two primary types - bypass and anvil. The latter option is built like a set of scissors, with two edges overlapping each other.

In this case, we have an anvil-style blade, which means that one side is flat and the other is sharpened. This kind of lopper is best suited for dead or dying branches because it can crush the wood instead of cutting it. However, it can still work for living sections as long as you’re not too concerned about the shape and look of the final cut.

What we like about this lopper, in particular, is the compound action design for the blade. In standard models, you have to use a lot of force to get the mechanism to close all the way. However, with a compound unit, you can get the job done a lot easier. As such, this lopper works for older adults or those who have arthritis.

Another thing that we like is the length. At 30 inches overall, you can reach higher into the branches to get the ones that are causing the most problems. The handle itself is 22 inches, providing more leverage and giving you the performance you need.

When using a lopper, fatigue is always an issue, so this model comes with thick molded rubber grips on the handle. They are soft and conform to your hands so that you can work without any problems. This is another reason why elderly users will like this product. To add to the convenience even further, this model weighs less than four pounds, ensuring that you don’t get fatigued as quickly either.

Overall, if you have a lot of thick, dead branches to prune or you just want something that’s easy to use, this lopper is an excellent choice. It’s built of hardened carbon steel, and it has a non-stick blade to ensure that you don’t get stuck while cutting.

What we liked

  • Anvil-style blade
  • Ideal for dead wood and branches
  • Cuts up to two inches
  • Carbon steel construction
  • Rubberized grips for comfort 
  • 22-inch handle for leverage
  • Non-stick blade
  • Compound action for easier cutting
  • Weighs less than four pounds

What we didn't like

  • Handles have to be opened all the way to get around branches
  • Not as graceful as a bypass lopper

2. Fiskars 32-Inch PowerGear Bypass Lopper

This next model from Fiskars is a bypass lopper, which means that it works like a pair of scissors to make short work of any branches. When comparing the two cutting types, we prefer this style over anvil loppers because they are far more versatile and easy to use.

One thing that sets this model apart from the competition is the fact that it uses a Power Gear setting to make cutting so much more comfortable. The gears at the top allow you to get much better leverage and force, making every cut that much stronger. As with the unit above, this lopper is great for those with limited grip strength.

The other good thing about having a gear-style cutting mechanism is that you don’t have to worry about bumping your hands together. One issue with some loppers is that the handles can be too close together, causing you to hit your hands while working. In this case, there is more than enough space between them to avoid that problem.

Another reason that we like this lopper is the fact that the blades are made of corrosion-resistant material. You can use them year after year without worrying about rust or degradation. That being said, you should always clean your loppers after using them to ensure that stuff like sap doesn’t gum up the works. These blades are also non-stick, but that doesn’t mean that material won’t collect in the gears.

The length and weight of this lopper are superb. It uses aluminum handles to make the whole thing lighter. Thus, even though it’s longer than most other units at 32 inches, it weighs substantially less at 2.6 pounds.

Overall, this lopper is rated to cut branches (living or dead) up to two inches thick. However, if you are dealing with hardwood trees, you may have to watch out for damage to the blades or the gears.

What we liked

  • Power Gear technology makes it easier to cut
  • Cuts branches up to two inches thick
  • 32 inches long for better reaching
  • Hardened blade doesn’t need sharpening
  • Bypass style lopper
  • Corrosion resistant materials
  • Non-stick coating for easier cutting
  • Aluminum handles reduce overall weight
  • This lopper is less than three pounds
  • Soft grip handles
  • More room between grips for your hands

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the blades may dent with harder woods
  • Not ideal for tight cutting

3. MLTOOLS Easy Cut Ratcheting Extendable bypass Lopper

So far, we’ve seen two different cutting mechanisms for loppers. While compound and geared models are easy to use for elderly or arthritic individuals, they don’t provide quite as much leverage or power as a ratcheting system. This kind of cutting device allows you to work quickly and easily by shortening the distance between the blades as you work.

If you’re not familiar with a ratchet-style blade, then it might take a bit of practice. The way it works is that you open the unit all the way to get around the branch. Then, once you make your initial cut, the mechanism will ratchet into a smaller configuration. Thus, when you open the blade again, it won’t be as wide. Overall, this system allows you to power through branches that require a bit more effort.

In this case, however, the ratcheting system is there to provide a more comfortable work experience. This lopper is not designed for heavy-duty cutting, particularly because it can only cut branches that are up to 1.75 inches thick.

One unique feature of this lopper is that it has extendable handles. This capability is great when you want to work on different-sized trees or bushes because it allows you to customize your reach. Although extra-long loppers are ideal for getting into high spots, they can be cumbersome and annoying when trimming at lower levels.

When collapsed, this model is 27 inches long. When extended, it can reach up to 39.5 inches, making it one of the longest units out there. However, with so much leverage in the handles, you do have to be careful about how much pressure you apply. Since they are made of aluminum, they can bend more easily, especially at the point of extension.

What we liked

  • Durable carbon steel construction
  • Ratcheting blade system for convenience
  • Bypass-style blade is more versatile
  • Extendable handles
  • Aluminum design for lighter weight
  • Cuts up to 1.75 inches thick
  • Non-slip rubberized grips
  • Extends up to 39.5 inches long
  • Minimum length is 27 inches
  • Weighs 3.6 pounds

What we didn't like

  • Not built for thick or hardwood branches
  • When extended, the handles aren’t as sturdy, and they may bend if you use too much force

4. Fiskars 25-Inch Ultra Blade Power Gear Bypass Lopper

If you liked what the Fiskars 32-inch Power Gear Lopper had to offer but you’re in the market for something smaller, then you will love this unit instead. At just 25 inches, you can reach into tighter spots while still getting the same cutting power and versatility. This unit has all of the same great features that make Fiskar a worthy brand in our book.

The blades of this lopper are high-quality. They are built with precision ground steel, meaning that they hold their edge for much longer than the competition. Don’t worry about sharpening this lopper as it will stay in good shape for years to come.

The other excellent thing about the blades is that they are corrosion resistant. Rust is always a problem with loppers because you usually go months or years in between uses. Having a corrosion-resistant coating helps extend the life of the product. The blades are also non-stick, which both helps if you run into sap or other sticky elements, and it ensures that you get better cutting action overall.

The aluminum handles on this model make it one of the lightest units out there. At just 2.3 pounds, you can work for hours without getting tired. That being said, we do wish that the handles were covered with a soft grip material as they can lead to blisters if you’re not careful. However, working with gloves will prevent that from happening.

At just 25 inches, you can work in much tighter areas, even with the gear mechanism. One of the issues with longer loppers is that you have to open them so wide to get around the branch. However, with this unit that’s not a problem. Also, because it uses gears, you get better leverage.

This lopper is so easy to use that it’s been highly rated by the American Arthritis Institute. Even if you’re not elderly or you don’t have problems with your joints you will appreciate the level of ease with which you can cut branches.

What we liked

  • Precision-ground blade edge
  • Power Gear mechanism for easier cutting
  • 25 inches long
  • Aluminum handles for lighter weight
  • Bypass-style cutting blades
  • Corrosion-resistant materials
  • Non-stick coating reduces friction
  • Hardened steel doesn’t need sharpening
  • Cuts up to 1.5 inches thick
  • Weighs only 2.3 pounds

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the gear mechanism may be offset and cause damage
  • Handles are not as comfortable as other models

5. Tabor Tools GL18 20-Inch Bypass Mini Lopper

Our final lopper is a standard cutting tool. This means that it doesn’t have any kind of specialized mechanism to help you get through branches and make your job easier. It is a fundamental bypass-style blade, so it’s essentially a long pair of scissors.

One thing that makes this type of cutting better (as long as you have strong hands) is that you don’t have to open the handles so wide to get around the branch. In this case, the lopper is only rated for items that are one-inch thick, but it’s much more convenient.

This is also considered a “mini” lopper because it’s only 20 inches long. You can get a larger size if necessary, but 20 inches is perfect for pruning and tending to flowers and bushes. Overall, this lopper is not built for tree branches, so don’t attempt to cut them down.

Other features that we like about this model include the soft grip handles, the ultra-lightweight design (2.3 pounds), and the carbon steel construction. A non-stick surface also ensures that you don’t have to worry about the blades getting caught while working.

What we liked

  • Bypass-style blades
  • Compact design is 20 inches long
  • Cuts branches up to one-inch thick
  • Soft grip handles for comfort
  • Longer sizes available
  • Heavy-duty carbon steel blades
  • Balanced tool is easier to use
  • Non-stick blade coating
  • Weighs less than two pounds 
  • Cost-effective cutting option

What we didn't like

  • Not built for hardwood branches
  • Cutting mechanism is not as easy as others

Final Verdict 

Although we’ve seen some excellent loppers on this list, we have to say that our favorite model is the Fiskar 32 inch model. First of all, we appreciate the bypass-style blades that provide versatility and reliability. Second, the strength and resilience of the steel are second to none. Finally, the gear mechanism makes it so much easier to cut branches that you can do it for longer without getting sore or tired. Overall, you can get a lot accomplished with this lopper. If 32 inches is too long for you, then feel free to downgrade to the 25-inch model instead.

Sean J. Stone
 

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.

>