Centurion Multi-Gear Lopper 2X: Product Review
A powerful lopper that needs some tweaks to make it a great one.
Bypass loppers are a ubiquitous product these days, offered by a number of different companies in various styles, cutting capacities, and features. Centurion® kindly gave us their Multi-Gear Lopper 2X (2-inch cutting capacity) for review.
- Cutting Head Type: Bypass
- Cutting Head Drive: Geared (2-Gear Design to give 2X cutting power)
- Blade Material: High Carbon Steel
- Handles: Extruded aluminum, telescoping handles, plastic-like grips with rubberized coating
- Blade Coating: Teflon®
- Can Blades Be Sharpened: Yes
- Telescoping Handle Spread:
- Handles not extended: 44 inches
- Handles halfway extended: 49 inches
- Handles fully extended: 53 inches
- Bumpers: None
- Cutting Capacity: 2 inches
- Weight: 5 lbs. 5–¾ oz.
See Jack’s initial thoughts about the design and performance of the Centurion Multi-Gear Lopper. This reflects the first set of loppers received and was not changed for the second set of loppers I tested.
The loppers arrived unscathed in a cardboard box. Attached by cable ties to the loppers, a placard presents the product features on one side and pruning tips, safety, and maintenance on the reverse side.
PUSH-BUTTON LOCKING HANDLE EXTENSIONS
This is not my first rodeo when it comes to reviewing gear-powered loppers. One nice feature the Centurion® lopper offers that many competitors don’t are the telescoping handles. The telescoping handles give the tool the advantage of fitting into tighter spaces with the handles retracted, as well as tremendous leverage/cutting power with the handles fully extended.
I also like the “Pin-Locking Button.” It feels more secure with a pin fitting into a slotted hole in the aluminum extruded handles, instead of relying on a friction cam lock or twist locking handles offered by competitors’ products. (You can see how this works in the video, above).
MULTI-GEAR DESIGN CLAIMS TO INCREASE CUTTING POWER
I found that the Centurion® Multi-Gear Lopper 2X increases the cutting force necessary to cleave through large pieces of wood. I’ve reviewed loppers with no cam or “compound” cutting technology, and there is a big difference between the two. If I’m looking for a light-duty lopper for work in the ¾-inch diameter range, then I’ll use a non-compound/cam-action lopper. But if I’m cutting the big stuff (1 to 2 inches) where I would consider using a pruning saw, then I’ll choose my leveraged loppers.
When I hear the word cutting “capacity” (the term used by Centurion®), I interpret the term to mean it definitely cuts to its stated diameter. (In this case, 2 inches.) However, I only achieved 1-½-inch cuts in very hard southwest Mesquite wood. I thought I’d get closer to the expected capacity.
I was given a second set of Centurion loppers to test and I got the same results in the harder Mesquite wood.
So, I tested the loppers on another southwestern wood–-Palo Verde. It is a softer wood, and the loppers cleaved through it like a hot knife through butter. This was duplicated by the second set of loppers I tested.
The Centurion® Multi-Gear Lopper 2X does not achieve particularly clean cuts. I attribute this to three reasons. First, is what I call “blade spread” (pic below) where the cutting blade separates from the counter blade (the blade opposite the cutting blade) while the blades make their way through the wood.
Second, the blade is not sharp all the way to the end of the lopper. If it’s intentional, I don’t know why. I have used other loppers with a very similar design, but in those instances the entire blade was sharp, making clean cuts. I’m pretty certain the dull part of the Centurion® lopper blade contributes to the ragged cuts and the crushing of the branch (that disrupted the core of the branch and split it apart).
Editors Note: Centurion® sent me a second pair of loppers to test. The second pair had a sharpened blade tip. This made for cleaner cuts in larger material when cutting in the range of 2 inches.
The second pair I tested had the same blade spread issues as the first pair I tested and in one instance, when making a bias cut, the cutting blade bent into the counter blade so that the blades would not bypass each other (the two tips of the blades hit each other).
Finally, the non-stick coating (Teflon®) wore off the blade after only a few cuts. This decreases the ease with which the blade passes through the wood.
Editors Note: The non-stick coating on the second pair of loppers stayed put. I cycled them through many more cuts than the original pair and there was no significant wear like the first pair.
OTHER NICE FEATURES
The comfortable handles fit my large hands, but they’re not overly large, making it easy for someone with smaller hands to use. The handles contain a composite material, and a rubberized component coats the handle, providing excellent grip.
GOOD PRUNING INSTRUCTION ON PLACARD
Excellent pruning tips located on the back of the display placard provide great benefits for the user. The critical pruning information protects the health and vigor of the plant. However, I would like to see a section on proper techniques to remove the main limb from a tree trunk or a branch from a limb. (Limbs are the structures that attach directly to the tree trunk. Branches radiate off the limb and make up the vast canopy of a tree or shrub.)
NEED FOR BUMPERS
One concern: the tool does not include bumpers or shock absorbers built into the cutting head/handle interface. Bumpers take the “shock” out of the tool when the handles slam together at the completion of a cut. When cutting larger material, bumpers are important. I found that the Multi-Geared Lopper was stiff and had little “play” in the system, making the shock-load pretty severe when the handles came together quickly (such as using brute force for large diameter pruning cuts).
At the time of this review, I found no information on replaceable parts. If you take care of your tool, it should last a long time. The only thing that will need to be replaced over time is the sharp-sided blade. It appears easy to replace by removing two bolts. If your blade gets dull or develops a burr, sharpen the blade and remove the burr from the counter blade. There are several excellent sharpeners on the market today.
As with all pruning tools, protect yourself. Wear high-quality gloves to avoid cuts and scratches. Wear quality safety glasses. Tools can break, branches can fall, or an errant twig might poke you in the retina. Protect your eyes. We recommend these Wiley-X safety glasses. Finally, if you’re pruning over your head, wear a hard hat. There are several brands available, but choose one that fits well and meets ANSI (American National Standards Institute).
Centurion® offers a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
I like a few things about the lopper: the gear head for extra cutting power; the telescoping handles for extra leverage on those hard-to-cut, large-diameter pieces of wood; the comfortable handles and rubberized grips; and the secure, spring-loaded pins that lock the extendable handles in place. However, several improvements need to happen. First, Centurion might consider redesigning the cutting head to prevent blade spread. Next, they should sharpen the cutting blade to the tip of the blade. Finally, it’s recommended that they integrate bumpers into the tool. Compared with other loppers with telescoping handles and a bypass head, this is not my favorite. I feel it needs to go back to the drawing board for improvements.
Editors Note: Even though the sharpened blade tip made a difference in cleaner cuts and the anti-stick material stayed put, the blade spread issues still were present and a biased cut saw the blade tips hit each other. I would have liked to give this lopper higher marks, but these two areas cancelled each other out. So as a result I kept the ratings the same.
WHERE TO BUY
The Centurion® Multi-Gear Lopper 2X can be viewed on the Centurion website At the time of this review there was not a buy link on the Centurion® website. We also looked for it via a search of the web. The only reference we could find was the 2018 National Hardware Show where there was made mention that the product would be available in 2019. We’ll update this review once the lopper becomes available.
Last update on 2019-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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