When pruning woody trees and shrubs, the right tool makes all the difference. You need a lopper.
Loppers are basically hand pruners with long handles. While the longer handles will give you added reach to prune higher branches, that's not their true advantage. The handles on loppers give you leverage, so your pruner can handle larger branches; up to 2" in diameter, depending on the lopper.
Look for a carbon-steel blade and the option of replacement parts. Since loppers have long handles,... they can be cumbersome to hold and use. Test out a few different options, to see which feel most comfortable in your hands.
Loppers can cost anywhere from about $20 up to $200 or more. If you are going to be doing a lot of pruning, buy the best loppers you can afford. A good quality lopper should last you for life.
01 of 05
These are great for light-duty pruning. They can cut through branches up to1 1/2 in. and have lightweight aluminum handles that are easy on the shoulders. . If you're going to do a lot of light pruning. The ShockStop bumper will be appreciated. The blades are resharpenable forged carbon-steel. (32 in. Length)
02 of 05
This is a solid, basic lopper and it will do a fine job for the majority of your needs. The blade is hardened steel with the nice additions of remaining sharp and a non-stick coating. Trees can be very sappy and the coating will make things move along. The handles are lightweight aluminum, lessening the strain on your arms. Their patented PowerGear® technology, puts some of the work of getting through the branch on the mechanism and off your hands. They claim it gives you 3 times more power. Cuts branches up to 2 in. in diameter. (32 in.length.)
03 of 05
Sometimes you like the option of making the handles longer or shorter, to get in tight or extend your reach. This model from Corona extends from 21 - 33 inches. You get their Teflon coated, non-stick blade and strong, but light, fiberglass handles. The blade is replaceable. Cuts branches up to 1 1/2" in diameter.
04 of 05
Ratchet tools, and loppers in particular, have become extremely popular because they take the stress off your joints and multiply the amount of work you can do with less effort. The family owned Florian company was the first to introduce ratchet garden tools and they still make some excellent options.
This one works in stages, much like a regular ratchet, giving you excellent leverage with minimal effort. Gardeners who lack strength in their hands seem to do better with ratchet loppers. These by Florian have hardened steel Teflon coated blades. The hickory handles have cushioned grips. Cuts branches up to 2" in diameter. Ratchet loppers come at a price, but gardeners with hand problems are usually grateful they can keep working. (27 in. length)Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05Of course, there are power loppers. This electric lopper has a 4.5 amp motor and works basically like a chain saw, except the blade is what they call a 'clamping jaw'. It grabs around the branch and holds it as you cut. Since you’ll probably need 2 hands to control the lopper, this is a good feature. It’s a nice little tool for the price. Although if you have a chain saw, you could make do with that. Cuts branches up to 4" in diameter. $92.99 - $99.99