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Loppers

Loppers are generally used for cutting larger stems and branches that are too big to cut with secateurs. These tools are operated with two hands and are available with a variety of handle lengths. Some have ratchet or gear mechanisms to make cutting easier.

As a general rule loppers can be used to cut stems and branches up to the thickness of your thumb. Branches larger than this should be cut using a pruning saw.

If you have some weakness in your hands or arms, the smaller types of loppers can be a useful alternative to secateurs. Using two hands to cut with loppers gives you twice the cutting power with half the effort.

Loppers are available with two types of blade:

Bypass loppers

Have two blades and work like a pair of scissors with the two blades passing each other to make the cut. They are suitable for cutting more delicate stems as the action is less likely to cause bruising to the stem.

Anvil loppers 

Have one blade which closes on to a flat surface. They are better for cutting hard woody stems as the blade is less likely to stick to the stem as it cuts.

Using loppers can be made easier by choosing:

ratchet action loppers

Ratchet action loppers 

These loppers require less force to use because the ratchet mechanism allows you to cut gradually through the branch or stem. Each time you close the handles the mechanism clicks and holds the blades in place so you make gradual progress rather than having to cut in one go. Available only with anvil blades.

power lever and geared loppers

Power lever and geared loppers

These models feature a mechanical action that makes cutting through stems easier. They can be easier to use than ratchet loppers, as you don’t have to get used to the ratchet mechanism, and they are available with anvil or bypass blades.

Telescopic loppers 

These loppers, with anvil or bypass blades, have adjustable handles to give you extra reach.

When choosing adjustable loppers look for oval section rather than round tube handles. Oval tubing tends to be stronger and it is easier to adjust the handles using flip out levers or knobs on the end of the handles. Round tube handles are prone to bending which can jam the adjusting mechanism and to adjust the handles you have to twist and lock one tube against another - this can take some strength and may cause strain



Gear action loppers

These loppers are simple and easy to use. They have oval section handles for extra strength and are adjusted by twisting small knobs built into the end of the handles.

Find out more about gear action loppers

Telescopic ratchet loppers

Telescopic ratchet loppers

These loppers are ideal for cutting thicker branches as they have longer handles and a ratchet mechanism and are available with bypass or anvil blades.

Find out more about telescopic ratchet loppers

Small lightweight ratchet action loppers

Small lightweight ratchet action loppers

If you lack strength in your arms there is nothing better for easier cutting than a ratchet lopper. This model is one of the lightest and generally sells at a very reasonably price.

Find out more about small lightweight ratchet action loppers

Small loppers with bypass blade

Small loppers with bypass blade

These small size loppers use a conventional design with bypass blades for a clean cut. The oval profile handles ensure that they are lightweight but very strong.

Find out more about small loppers with bypass blade

Telescopic loppers

Telescopic loppers

These loppers are simple and easy to use. They have oval section handles for extra strength and are adjusted either by twisting small knobs built into the end of the handles, or by using clips on the side of the handle.

Find out more about telescopic loppers