Centurion PRO S1-665 Twin Gear Lopper: Product Review
Like a hot knife through butter. The Guillotine design really works.
Available on Amazon
Centurion Garden and Outdoor Living is a relative newcomer to the gardening and landscape tool industry. Started by a former Fiskars executive, it’s seen as an up and coming brand. We met the some of the key players at the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, where they provided us with their PRO S1-665 Twin Gear Lopper for review.
It’s a totally unique design that bears only a passing resemblance to the traditional anvil style loppers you see on the market today, and it claims to have a 2 inch cutting capacity.
Does it live up to that claim? Let’s find out.
|Cutting Head Type:||Guillotine style|
|Cutting Head Drive:||Geared|
|Blade Material:||Hardened steel|
|Handles:||Extruded aluminum handles, plastic-like grips with rubberized coating|
|Blade Coating:||A PTFE coating called Inoflon®|
|Can Blades Be Sharpened:||Yes|
|Handle Spread At Full Open:||52 ½ inches|
|Handle Spread When Closed:||10 inches|
|Bumpers:||Plastic insert at counter blade acts as bumper|
|Cutting Capacity:||2 inches|
|Weight:||4 lbs. 1 ¼ oz.|
The lopper was shipped in a standard cardboard box and came through without a scratch. On the lopper itself was a placard listing the features. I particularly liked the back of the lopper placard as it gave instruction on how to make a proper pruning cut. It also listed safety, maintenance and warranty information.
“Different”, that was my initial impression of this lopper. I was fascinated by the Guillotine design and wondered, “does this thing really work”? It’s such a radical departure from all the loppers I’ve reviewed to date (and there have been many). And a claimed two-inch cutting capacity is a big claim to make. At that diameter I’m usually grabbing my folding hand saw.
The cutting head is an anvil style, although the cutting blade and counter blade (in this case the hooked blade at the end of the lopper) are curved, instead of straight. This design has the advantage of slicing (like a knife) rather than cleaving (like a cleaver).
I found this configuration helped immensely when cutting through larger diameter wood. Some of the other loppers I’ve reviewed did cut through 2-inch diameter wood but it required considerably more force (arm strength) than the Centurion PRO S1-665.
The “hook” at the end of the lopper helped it stay put on the branch I was pruning. It was also great for working on branches overhead, as the lopper literally hung on the branch, making it super easy to keep it in place and requiring less arm strength to keep it in position. And slicing up dead branches already on the ground (to make them more manageable to move) was super easy too. The counter-blade hook did a nice job of hooking branches on the ground and lifting them to a more comfortable cutting height.
According to the placard attached to the lopper, the compound action of the internal geared ratchet mechanism amplifies the cutting force by 2x. I think this explains why it takes less arm strength to blast through those 2 inch pieces of Mesquite we have here in Tucson AZ. In case you didn’t know it, Mesquite is some of the hardest wood on the planet. And if a pair of loppers that advertises it can cut 2 inch stuff makes it through 2 inches of Mesquite – well, I’m impressed.
In order to absorb the shock of handles slamming together when the cut is finished, these loppers employ pieces of rubber-like material that’s incorporated into the curved counter blade. This material is relatively soft and did a good job at absorbing the handle shock.
BEEFY CUTTING HEAD
In order to pack a lot of punch, the head of this lopper is pretty large. It measures 9 ½ inches long x 5 ½ wide to accommodate the blade, parts of the handle, and the geared mechanism.
This large head makes the tool relatively heavy overall (4 lbs. 1 ¼ oz) and front-heavy (even though the two halves of the assembly are machined from aluminum rather than heavier steel). It requires a fair bit of arm strength to hold up the lopper so this may not be the best tool for those with limited upper body strength.
HANDLEs: Wide Spread, Comfortable Grips
If you’re a petite person, you may have some difficulty operating this lopper in its fully open position. The handles need to be spread 52 ½ inches apart to achieve the maximum 2-inch cutting capacity. And with the heavy cutting head, it’s going to take a fair amount of upper body strength to operate these. They are really designed for a larger person. I’m 6 feet tall and you can see from the picture below that my arms are almost fully outstretched. Based on my size, I had no problem operating them. If your height is in the range of 5 feet then you may have problems holding them in position and opening the handles to their full extent.
The plastic-like grips are comfortable to hold (for both those with large and with small hands) and the rubberized coating gives you an excellent grip. They’re unlikely to slip out of your hands, even with wet or sweaty palms.
Ease of Use
This is one of the easiest-to-use loppers I’ve come across – period! Its hooked-front cutting head easily stays in place when pruning lower branches, and hangs from branches when pruning overhead. The unique Guillotine cutting design and the long handle leverage makes them a joy to work with.
As Centurion claims, the “powerful Link-Force® Double-Gear Drive cutting mechanism easily slices through the hardest branches”. My experience bears this out, even on one of the toughest woods in the Southwest – Mesquite. As you can see from the picture below, it cut cleanly through 2-inch deadwood without a problem (at both 900 and on a bias). Unlike many other loppers, the blades didn’t twist when cutting on a bias.
When cutting live wood, some of the cuts were ragged – although that wasn’t surprising. Anvil loppers are designed for cutting deadwood. They will easily cut live wood but, because of the lopper design, the cuts tend to be ragged.
So if you have a lot of dead branches that you need to prune or cut-up, then this is a lopper that I would definitely consider.
The blade is made from hardened steel and coated with a non-stick material very similar to Teflon® called Inoflon®. It’s a PTFE compound which, in this application, is excellent as a friction reduction coating, helps avoid sap buildup and prevents the blade from rusting. Even after repeated cuts through thick Mesquite wood, there was no burring or nicks on the blade.
The blade can be sharpened (without voiding the warranty). Centurion recommends a carbide sharpener like this one from Gardener’s Supply Company. It can be purchased on Amazon.
A replacement blade is available but only by contacting the company directly. The problem here is that you need to take the cutting head apart. When following up with Centurion, they told me that the warranty would be affected if the blade were to be replaced, so there’s little point in trying to replace it. You’re better off sharpening it if it is dull. If the blade breaks, that’s a warranty issue (see below).
I like to take care of my tools, they just last longer that way. A light oiling of the blade and a squirt of lubricant in the cutting head area (between the two halves of the aluminum plates that house the gears) will keep your lopper rust free and the gear mechanism operating silky smooth. My favorite lubricant is Tri-Flow®
I recommend a few things.
First and foremost, wear safety glasses. We recommend these from Wiley X. You never know when a branch or twig will go flying and poke you in the eye(s). Also, if a blade snaps or part of your tool breaks the same thing can happen.
It’s also a good idea to wear gloves. See our article on Best Gardening Gloves for our top recommendations.
And if you’re pruning over your head, a hard hat is a must.
And finally, never carry a lopper by its cutting head, particularly if the cutting blade and counter blades are open. One slip and you might loose a finger.
Centurion offers a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. If warranty issues arise, they can be contacted via phone: 877-330-3366 or on their website, http://centurionbrands.com/
I’m a big fan of the Centurion PRO S1-665 Twin Gear lopper and highly recommend it, although it may not be the best choice for those who are petite or have limited upper body strength. The guillotine-style geared cutting head is by far the most interesting design I’ve seen in quite some time. It works exceptionally well on deadwood, blasting through 2-inch deadwood like a hot knife through butter. If you have a lot of deadwood pruning to do, this is the lopper for you!
The hooked design allows it to hang from branches when cutting overhead, and it doesn’t move around when trying to make accurate cuts. The Guillotine design really makes cutting so much easier than with a typical anvil lopper design.
WHERE TO BUY
The Centurion PRO S1-665 Twin Gear Lopper can be purchased on Amazon where it sells for a very reasonable price given the quality and cutting capacity of the tool.
Please note: the handles of the lopper shown on Amazon are gold (not black like our review pictures) and Amazon lists it as the “Centurion 665 2” Aluminum Alloy Handled Hardened Steel Head Monster Lopper”. According to Centurion, it is identical to the reviewed PRO S1-665 Twin Gear Lopper.
Last update on 2018-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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