AM Leonard professional compound action bypass lopper review Reviews

A.M. Leonard Professional Compound Action Bypass Lopper Review

GPR Recommendation

Ease of Use
Final Thoughts

Lightweight but incredibly strong, these loppers will easily cut through over 2-inch deadwood.

Overall Score 5

Available on Amazon

Buy It

Note: The C808 lopper has been replaced by the C850 with a 2-1/8″ cutting capacity. The review below applies to the C850, as well as the original C808.

If you’re like me, you probably find yourself struggling now and then to cut through a particularly hard branch or a larger diameter piece of wood with your loppers. You know, the stuff you probably should use a pruning saw for…

Here at GPR, we’ve tested a lot of compound action loppers that should allow you to make larger cuts. Unfortunately, we’ve generally found them lacking. Although they sometimes do make it easier to cut through thicker branches, the extra pivot points usually cause the cutting action to be somewhat loose and sloppy.


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.

So we were pleasantly surprised at the sturdy construction of the A.M. Leonard Professional Compound Action Bypass Lopper and the reliability with which it made clean cuts through even 2-inch deadwood.

For heavy-duty pruning, these loppers are an excellent choice and have quickly become one of our testers’ favorites.


  • Weight 2.1 lbs
  • 31.5 inches long
  • Maximum cutting capacity – 2 1/8″
  • Heat-treated high carbon steel blades
  • Replaceable blades
  • Compound action – pivot link system
  • Tubular aluminum handles
  • Comfort-molded grips
  • Lifetime warranty

Lightweight But Strong

At only 2.1 lbs, these compound action loppers from A.M. Leonard are surprisingly lightweight, especially for loppers with this kind of cutting capacity. The tubular aluminum handles reduce the overall weight of these loppers without compromising strength and stability. Our reviewers liked the lighter weight as it makes heavy-duty pruning less tiring. These loppers would also be appropriate for gardeners with less upper body strength.

AM Leonard Compound Action Bypass lopper in action

The pivot link system helps increase leverage and allows the blades to open wide to firmly grasp branches over 2 inches in diameter.

Well-Balanced, With Plenty of Leverage

The long handles (31.5 inches total length) give extra leverage when cutting through thick branches and also allow you to open the blades wide to fit around larger branches.

Overall, the Compound Action Bypass Lopper is very well balanced. The blades aren’t too heavy to hold the loppers steady, the oval-shaped handles are easy to hold, and you can hold your hands closer to the blades (not on the grips) when getting into tight spaces.

Strong Replaceable Blades

Strong replaceable blades on AM Leonard Compound Action bypass lopper

The strong blades and compound action make quick work of this 2-inch piece of deadwood.

The heat-treated, high carbon steel blades showed no sign of wear or damage even after repeatedly cutting through 2-inch deadwood.

If you do happen to damage the blades, you can easily buy replacement blades by calling A.M. Leonard directly at 1-800-543-8955. Unfortunately, the replacement blades aren’t available on the website.

Smooth Cutting Action

This heavy-duty lopper uses a pivot link system to increase leverage; this means you need less force to make larger cuts. We found that it was noticeably easier to cut through thick deadwood with these compound action loppers than with regular loppers (for example, A.M. Leonard’s Professional Lifetime Lopper with a 2” cutting capacity, which is similar but doesn’t have the unique pivot link design that “multiplies force” when cutting).

The blades pass cleanly and easily with no “play” (it’s common to find a bit of “wiggle room” with compound action loppers, which compromises their ability to make clean cuts). Even when cutting hardwood, these loppers make a nice clean cut. Overall, the pivot link system is very reliable; it doesn’t torque when making cuts and even with repeated use, it doesn’t get sloppy.

A Couple of Minor Suggestions …

The bolts on the pivots could nick wood when making very close cuts. It might be better for A.M. Leonard to replace them on the next model with rounded head bolts that are less likely to nick.

The plastic grips are a little slippery, especially without gloves or when wet. We’d also like them to be a little softer because it can be hard on the hands when you’re really pushing to cut thick deadwood (but not so soft that the grips don’t stand up to heavy-duty use).

Where to Buy

The Professional Compound Action Bypass Lopper can be bought online directly from A.M. Leonard. At this time (8/8/18) it’s not available on Amazon but we expect it to be there soon.


We give the A.M. Leonard Professional Compound Action Bypass Lopper our highest rating. Lightweight but incredibly strong, these loppers will easily cut through over 2-inch deadwood. The pivot link system is sturdy and reliable, allowing the lopper blades to pass cleanly with each cut. For tough pruning jobs, you can’t go wrong with these loppers.

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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank A.M. Leonard 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.

Please note that the Amazon links (and only the Amazon links) above are affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase products through these links, GPReview will make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps to support this website and our gardening product reviews. Thank you!

2 Comments on A.M. Leonard Professional Compound Action Bypass Lopper Review

  1. William Knuth

    Your reviews of Loppers was by far the most excellent, thorough reviews I came across, and were the ones I am following in replacement of my Felco loppers that has served me very well over many years. Having purchased garden tools from AM Leonard in the past (excellent tools), you review of the Leonard C808, has been instrumental in aiding my choice. Very appreciated. Excellent work.

    • Thank you so much William for taking the time to let me know how helpful the reviews are. It’s comments like yours that keep me going with the reviews! Happy pruning 🙂

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