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19 Comments on Best Loppers for Pruning: Guide & Recommendations

  1. Murray Lorance

    I have the Corona FL3470 bypass loppers – not used much, but the blade shows a bit of daylight when closed. which of the four bolts do I tighten./ loosen to get better alignment for a good cut? Thanks

  2. Sad to note that you make no recommendations for RATCHETING anvil loppers. I need to take out small dead branches dangling over my vehicles in the drive. I have small hands -even for a woman. I have used a ratcheting anvil lopper to help a friend clear his deadwood, but he doesn’t really want to loan me his tool, bought at the state fair. I need to find a locally sourced one. You might consider reviewing this TYPE of lopper for appropriate purposes. ~thanks

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I’d love to test and review a ratcheting anvil lopper – unfortunately I haven’t found a company willing to let us test theirs! When I do, I’ll be sure to get a review published.

  3. Gabriele

    Hello and thanks for the interesting article on loppers and pruners.
    I appreciate the criteria for choosing a lopper however It could be helpful to look at the “opening angle”: Fiskars loppers need almost 180 °, whereas Löwe (a brand worth testing by the way) opens 90° maximum, which should improve maneuvering in thickets and reduce force needed to close the loppers.
    Since you recommend Wolf, I will probably get one, since they are reasonably priced.
    Just out of curiosity – what about Burgon&Ball pruners?

    Have a fantastic autumn in your garden! Gaby

    • Hi Gaby, and thanks for the suggestion. You’re right – the opening angle can make a huge difference. Some loppers are almost useless because you can’t get into tight spaces with them. I’d mention that the WOLF-Garten loppers do have to be opened fairly wide when the handles are fully extended (then again, pretty much any long-handled lopper would have this issue). We haven’t yet tested Lowe or Burgon & Ball loppers. I’d love to if they’re like to provide a sample for us to test! I’m also trying to get some Florian loppers to review.

  4. Greg Lukes

    I believe that the best loppers are the Stanley anvil loppers with a fixed yellow handle.

    The second best loppers are the Aldi anvil loppers. Unfortunately they have a telescopic handle which becomes weaker once extended. The aluminium handle is a bit harder to spot amongst vegetation. Bright yellow is best. Green tools should not be used as they are to easily lost or mistakenly discarded. The Aldi anvil loppers are usually only $24.99 in Australia when on sale.

  5. Pam

    I have been using Wolf-garten tools forever. I am so happy to see that others have found them . The loppers and pruners are far and away the best tool and a great value

  6. Mitch Bloom

    Hello Monica,

    You’ve written a great in-depth article that I’m sure will assist in helping the average consumer make a better buying decision. After reading your article, I would have to agree with your list of features to look for in a lopper. However, I would prioritize weight, handle length and cutting capacity.

    Additionally, I would recommend the Fiskars 32-Inch PowerGear Bypass Lopper instead of the 27 inch. As you mentioned in your article, the 27-inch requires considerable strength to cut as opposed to 32-inch. The 32-inch is made of lightweight aluminum which makes it lighter and stronger than most of the loppers on your list.

    All in all, great article 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback Mitch. You’re quite right – longer handles generally make it easier to cut through tough branches. Of course the trade-off is that you have to open the handles farther and that’s not always possible. We haven’t been able to test the 32-inch loppers yet so I can’t comment on them, but lightweight and strong is always a nice combination 🙂

  7. David Brooks

    I’ve used them all! I have 30 acres in Alabama and have been fighting intrusive privet (much worser problem than Kudzu, btw) for 3 years. I bought 2 Corona “by pass” loppers last year at 35 bucks a piece…both are easily bent after a couple of days of cutting/pulling etc…if I weren’t handy at re-bending, they would be thrown away…their limited lifetime warranty is NO GOOD for bent loppers. They say they are abused. But they aren’t. They use cheaper steel aluminum blend I guess…I’ve tried every kind! I’ve resorted to uprooting with tractor chains and digging up! Loppers are made for light work, period.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, David. Sounds like you have quite a task on your hands with the privet and I’m glad you’ve found a removal method that works!

      Our experience has been that any lopper will bend or fail when used for tasks other than making straight cuts through wood or through stems that are thicker than the maximum the loppers are rated for. Pulling, twisting, cutting roots, making steeply angled cuts, etc. will also ruin loppers – they simply aren’t made to do that kind of work. But use the right tool in the right way and a sturdy pair of loppers can definitely do heavy-duty work.

  8. richard a whiteside

    Monica, with all due respect the andvil lopper is not only desirable for pruning live growth it is the best, by far, tool to use. In my 40+ year career in the landscape industry specializing in proper landscape plant care and pruning I have used most every prunner available. A properly sharpened andvil lopper cuts before it crushes. Hook and blade loppers are painfully slow and often shred smaller limbs rather than cut cleanly. Pruning a large number of plants would take many times longer with hook and blade as compared to andvil style loppers. Hook and blade are ok for larger limbs. The awkward , again painfully slow hook and blade prunners may be encouraging the use of gas powered shears that are so adversely affecting many home and commercial landscapes leading to the snow cone/ice cube style of shrub trimming so prevalent today. I haven’t even mentioned the even slower geared loppers ugh! 10’s of thousands of hand prunned shrubs support my method. Respectfully, Richard Whiteside Greensboro, NC

  9. Matej

    I own the WOLF-Garten Telescoping Bypass Lopper RR900T and would like to remind you that they are a compromise. They are a good overall tool if you need them occasionally or if you need a single tool that can be used in multiple situations.

    However, they are a compromise, the telescopic handle means more shakiness(yet very stable compared to other telescopic handles) and more weight! I cut hundreds of olive trees every year and RR900T were unsuitable. I replaced them with LOWE 22.100 which are perfect. I mostly cut above head so need the extra length with all weight savings I can get. They are very strong and relatively light. The curved anvil seems to make branch penetration easier and to some degree prevents branches from slipping out of the jaw.

    I would put the RR900T in the “serious hobbist gardener” class while the LOWE 22.100 would be a professional tool (the price is about the same).

    Cannot comment on other loppers as I have not owned them although same downsides apply to all telescopic and flat-anvil loppers.

    • Thanks so much for your insights, Matej. We haven’t reviewed the LOWE lopper so can’t comment on that but, as you point out, telescoping loppers will always be a bit of a compromise. If you’ll be doing a lot of overhead pruning on a regular basis then a lightweight long-handled lopper would be a better choice. Most homeowners, however, won’t be doing that and the WOLF-Garten works extremely well for typical gardening tasks. Sounds like we need to test the LOWE loppers!

  10. Fran

    Some of the pruners I was looking at on other sites mentioned a ratio. How does that work? I would imagine that it means less strength involved somehow with regard to the diameter of the branch being pruned? Any tests yet on the anvil blade lopper yet? I am beginning a big pruning project on the trees edging our pastures.
    Thank You.

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