florian-maxi-loppers-opening-pic Pruning & Cutting Tools

Florian Maxi Lopper: Product Review


Caution

When using loppers or pruning shears, pay attention to the stated cutting capacity of the tool. Pushing beyond that can damage or break the blade (which could injure you) and unless you’re incredibly strong, you’re unlikely to make a clean cut. Ragged cuts and torn bark damage the tree or shrub, leaving it vulnerable to pest damage, disease, and even death.

If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of loppers, look no further than the Florian Maxi Lopper.  It is extremely well crafted, strong, agile, and it can cut, and cut, and cut – all without requiring you to use a lot of force.

There are several things that make this ratcheting anvil lopper special.

Great Cutting Capacity

In my tests, the Florian Maxi Lopper lived up to its name by easily slicing through 2-inch live wood and about 1-1/4” deadwood. I live in the Southwest where we have a lot of Mesquite trees, with wood that’s very hard when alive and like petrified wood when it’s dead. I was impressed at how little force it took to cut through that stuff with the Maxi Lopper.

florian-maxi-lopper-cutting-2-inch-material

Easily cut through 2-inch live wood

Patented Ratchet-Cut Mechanism

According to Florian, the patented, ratchet-cut mechanism “works like the jack on your car, multiplying your strength up to 700%”.  I had no way to test that claim of 700% multiplied strength, but I can say that I was able to easily cut through branches that none of my other loppers could handle, including ones that I would normally have cut with a pruning saw.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Florian Maxi Lopper is that one handle is red and the other is green. Why? So you’ll know which handle to pull and push when making the cut.

Here’s how it works –

Hold the lopper so either red or green handle is on top. Place the branch as far into the lopper jaws as possible (not near the tip of the blades) and squeeze the handles with medium pressure. You’ll hear a “click”.  This indicates that the blade is starting to make its way through the branch.

When you can’t squeeze the handles together any farther, lower or raise the green handle (without letting the handles open completely) and the ratcheting mechanism will click into a higher position, thereby increasing the force on the cutting blades when you push the handles together again.

After repeating this sequence several times the branch will be severed – and you don’t have to use a lot of force to do it.

florian-maxi-lopper-ratcheting-mechanism

The ratchet-cut mechanism looks strange but it’s highly effective

The ratcheting mechanism does NOT engage unless there’s something for the blade to cut through, so don’t expect to hear the clicking sound or see the ratcheting mechanism move if you’re just opening and closing the handles.

And be careful to only pump up and down on the green handle; if you pump the lopper’s red handle, nothing will happen.

Another feature I really like is the hook end of the anvil.  This keeps branches in place without slipping off the end of the anvil/blade mechanism while cutting.

florian-maxi-lopper-hook-at-end-of-anvil

The hook at the end of the cutting head keeps branches from slipping out the end of the lopper

Makes Very Clean Cuts

Most anvil loppers are great at cutting deadwood, but on live branches they tend to leave a scar on the bark that is cut. Not so with the Maxi Lopper – it cuts live wood cleanly.

florian-maxi-lopper-clean-cut

This lopper makes excellent clean cuts

The lopper also makes very clean cuts through very small material down to ¼ inch (without engaging the ratcheting mechanism – just squeezing the handles together does the trick).

Another typical problem with ratcheting or compound action pruning tools is “wobble” or “play” when making a cut, resulting in torn branches that aren’t cleanly cut. This is definitely not a problem with the Maxi Lopper – the parts move well but without any extra “give.”

The cutting blade is made of high carbon steel coated with PTFE non-stick coating so sticky material (like sap from pine trees) is less likely to gum up the blades.

High carbon steel is extremely sharp and holds an edge very well. The downside is that it rusts easily so be sure to dry off the blade after use and give it a light oiling occasionally. Although the non-stick coating should provide some degree of protection, I wouldn’t depend on it to keep the blades rust-free.

The cutting blade can be hand sharpened in place with a metal file or small filing stone.  Thankfully, sharpening the blade won’t void the warranty (unlike some brands we’ve seen). There are also replacement blade parts available directly from the company.

Heavy-Duty Weight

This lopper is a little heavier than some competitors (weighing in at 3.5 lbs) due to the heavy-duty solid ash handles, and strong steel for the ratcheting mechanism and cutting blade.  Any heavy-duty lopper is going to weigh more than a general purpose tool so this isn’t something I consider to be a negative.

At 28 inches long, it’s well-balanced and easy to maneuver.

Note: Florian also offers a Mini Hand Lopper with the same design and performance. It’s 19 inches long and weighs just 2.5 lbs.

Warranty

The Florian Maxi Lopper has a 1 year warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship.  According to Florian, “Tools not covered under the lifetime warranty can be repaired at the factory or traded for 50% off the current catalog retail price of the new tool”. Seriously – just send it in and they’ll give you a new one for 50% off. You’ll find the details here.

Note: This review is based on my experience with the second lopper I received from Florian. The cutting head on the first lopper I received bent when making some cuts within its cutting range. I’m not a metallurgical engineer, but it seemed that a softer steel was somehow manufactured into the cutting head, hence the bending.  Florian had great customer service – they sent me a brand new lopper immediately and even asked me to send the damaged one back (at their expense) for their own engineering analysis.  The second lopper operated perfectly.  I didn’t downgrade this review rating for something that appeared to be out of Florian’s control.

Made in the USA

Made in USAAll Florian pruning tools are made in the USA.

Recommendation

The Florian Maxi Lopper is the best ratcheting anvil lopper I’ve tested to date.  It easily cut through both live and deadwood without a hitch, including 2-inch live wood. The patented ratcheting mechanism made cutting through even the thickest material a breeze. It also comes with excellent instructions (be sure to read them!).

Where To Buy

Florian products aren’t typically found in stores so your best bet is to purchase it direct from the company where it retails for $199.95.

The Florian Maxi Lopper isn’t currently available on Amazon but the Mini Hand Lopper is. It has exactly the same design and ratcheting mechanism but weighs in at a relatively lightweight 2.5 lbs and is 19 inches long. At only $91.75 it’s an excellent choice for those looking for something a little smaller and more affordable. You can buy the Florian Mini Hand Lopper on Amazon here.

The only possible downside to the Florian Maxi Lopper is the price.  At a retail cost of $199.95, it’s one of the more expensive loppers on the market.  But if you’re like me, you understand the cost/benefit tradeoff of owning quality tools that will last a lifetime. If you do a lot of pruning, the Maxi Lopper will pay for itself quickly.  If budget is an issue, there are ratcheting anvil loppers from several other brands to choose from, but in my estimation you’ll be hard pressed to find a lopper of this quality and performance for the money.

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GPR RECOMMENDATION

Ease of Use
Quality
Performance
Summary

You get what you pay for, and these are worth every penny

Overall Score 5
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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Florian for giving us a free sample to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

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