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You are here: Home » Products » Garden Tools » Pruning Tools » Loppers
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Loppers are a type of scissors used for pruning twigs and small branches, like pruning shears with very long handles.  They are the largest type of manual garden cutting tool.

They are usually operated with two hands, and with handles typically between 30 centimetres (12 in) and 91 centimetres (36 in) long to give good leverage.  Some have telescopic handles which can be extended to a length of two metres, in order to increase leverage and to reach high branches on a tree.  Loppers are mainly used for the pruning of tree branches with diameters less than 5 centimetres (2 in).  Some of the newer lopper designs have a gear or compound lever system which increases the force applied to the blades, or a ratchet drive.


The main distinction among loppers is between bypass and anvil types. Bypass loppers operate like scissors, except that they generally only have one blade that moves past a jaw or hook that has an approximately square edge that is not typically sharpened and is usually concave or hook shaped in order keep branches from slipping out of the jaws. The jaws of bypass loppers may be straight, curved, or one curved with one straight. Anvil loppers have a single sharpened blade, with a straight or sometimes curved edge, that closes against a similarly contoured flat anvil like surface on the other side of the jaws, usually made of a softer metal than the blade.

Anvil loppers have the disadvantage of tending to crush rather than cut, sometimes leaving an untidy wound, more vulnerable to infection. Their main advantages are of relative strength and of being less likely to jam with fibrous material. Very hard or resilient branches can sometimes deflect a bypass lopper so that material either binds between the blades or even levers them apart, which can be dangerous both to the tool and the operator.

Both types of lopper generally have a sprung adjusting screw at the fulcrum, which can be used to tighten the blades as they loosen in use. With bypass loppers, it is also useful for releasing material jamming the blades. Anvil loppers usually have a screw for adjusting or detaching the plate, so that it can be moved to compensate for wear or replaced entirely.

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What is the difference between pruners and loppers?

The main difference between pruners and loppers is the size of the branches they can cut. Pruners are designed for small to medium-sized branches and stems, usually up to ¾ inch in diameter, while loppers are designed for larger branches and stems, usually up to 2 inches in diameter.

Pruners are typically smaller and more precise, with blades that bypass each other to make a clean, sharp cut. They are ideal for deadheading flowers, trimming bushes, and harvesting fruits and vegetables.

Loppers, on the other hand, are larger and more powerful, with longer handles and thicker blades. They are designed to provide leverage for cutting through thicker branches and stems, and are ideal for pruning fruit trees, roses, and larger bushes.

Another difference between pruners and loppers is the type of blades they have. Pruners typically have a straight or curved blade, while loppers often have a bypass or anvil blade. Anvil blades are better for cutting thicker, harder wood, while bypass blades are better for making precise, clean cuts on living plants.

Overall, both pruners and loppers are important tools for any gardener, and choosing the right tool depends on the size and type of plants you are working with, as well as the specific pruning task you need to accomplish.

What are the 2 types of loppers?

There are two main types of loppers: bypass loppers and anvil loppers.

Bypass loppers work much like bypass pruners, with two curved blades that slide past each other to make a clean cut. They are designed for cutting green, living branches and stems up to 2 inches in diameter, and are ideal for precision pruning tasks.

Anvil loppers, on the other hand, have a straight blade that cuts against a flat surface, called the anvil. They are designed for cutting thicker, harder, and more dead wood, and are ideal for heavy-duty pruning tasks.

Both types of loppers come in various sizes, with longer handles providing more leverage and cutting power. It's important to choose the right size and type of lopper for the specific pruning task you are trying to accomplish.

Which is better anvil or bypass loppers?

The choice between anvil and bypass loppers depends on the type of pruning task you are performing.

Anvil loppers are better for cutting through thicker, dead wood. They have a straight blade that cuts against a flat surface, which provides greater cutting force, making them ideal for tougher cutting tasks. However, anvil loppers can crush living branches and stems if they are used on them, causing damage to the plant.

Bypass loppers, on the other hand, have a curved blade that slides past a curved jaw to make a clean cut, making them ideal for precision pruning tasks. They are better suited for cutting green, living branches and stems up to 2 inches in diameter.

Therefore, if you need to cut dead or dry wood, anvil loppers would be a better choice, but if you need to prune live plants, bypass loppers are a better choice to make clean and precise cuts without causing damage to the plant.

How do I choose the best loppers?

When choosing the best loppers, consider the following factors:

Cutting Capacity: Choose a lopper with a cutting capacity that matches the size of the branches you need to prune. Bypass loppers are best for cutting living, green wood, while anvil loppers are better for cutting dead, woody branches.

Blade Material: Look for loppers with blades made from high-quality materials that are sharp and durable, such as carbon steel or high-carbon steel. Avoid blades made from cheap materials that will dull quickly and require frequent sharpening.

Handle Material: Look for loppers with comfortable handles made from high-quality materials that provide a good grip, such as rubber, foam, or wood. Consider the length of the handles as well, as longer handles provide more leverage and make it easier to cut thicker branches.

Weight: Choose loppers that are lightweight and easy to handle. Heavy loppers can be tiring to use, especially when cutting larger branches.

Brand and Price: Look for well-known brands that are known for producing high-quality gardening tools. While price is not always an indicator of quality, investing in a good quality pair of loppers will last longer and save you money in the long run.

Overall, the best loppers for you will depend on your specific pruning needs and personal preferences. Consider the factors above when choosing the best loppers for your gardening needs.
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