When the time comes to cut back trees and overgrown foliage in your garden, you’ll want a good pair of loppers in your shed ready for the task. There are a few design options available to you if you buy a new tool, and your first decision is whether to choose a bypass or an anvil lopper.
What’s the difference between bypass and anvil loppers? Well, think of a bypass head as similar to a pair of scissors. Two sharp blades slice past each other, cutting stems in one swift movement.
Anvil heads, on the other hand, are ideal for thicker or tougher branches. Rather than slicing a stem, the upper blade presses flat against the lower. As anvil heads tend to crush stems, they’re more suitable for dead branches, as they could end up damaging living plants.
You could also look out for designs with telescopic handles, shock absorbers and anti-friction, anti-rust coatings. Take a look at our favourite garden loppers below.
The best loppers for tough garden jobs
Spear and Jackson Razorsharp Advance Telescopic Ratchet Anvil Lopper
Trusted brand Spear and Jackson has created this high-quality anvil lopper with a ratchet action. The blade moves in short, sharp steps, which gives it the cutting power to slice through branches up to 5cm in diameter. So, it’s one of the best loppers on our list for tough jobs.
Made with high-quality materials, this lopper has a carbon steel cutting blade and a softer, serrated anvil blade to keep branches in place and provide a clean cut. The entire head is coated with hydrophobic PTFE for extra rust resistance, and there are non-slip handles to help you keep a firm grip.
National Trust Lopper
- Buy now from Harrod Horticultural (£34.95)
This National Trust lopper combines practicality with traditional style. Featuring an FSC-approved ash handle with an embossed plaque, it’s beautifully crafted and makes an eye-catching addition to any toolshed.
The manufacturers have paid equally close attention to the head construction; it’s been ‘drop forged’ to maximise the strength and consistency of the high-carbon steel. As a bypass lopper, it cuts branches up to 2.5cm in diameter.
Plus, the design includes a rubber bumper to absorb shock.
Burgon and Ball Telescopic Bypass Lopper
Renowned gardening brands Burgon and Ball and the RHS are both behind these bypass loppers, which are designed for a wide range of different pruning tasks. In fact, this pair is 50% more powerful than the standard garden lopper, thanks to its sharp, non-stick blades.
The loppers also come with lightweight handles crafted from aluminium, which you can extend using the telescopic system to reach high branches. And they’re finished with rubber grips for added comfort as you work.
Felco 220 80cm Bypass Lopper
This pair has robust steel blades and high–resistance aluminium alloy handles to provide a clean cut with minimal effort. In fact, the design even includes an optimised level mechanism to limit the amount of force required to slice through foliage.
Another reason to buy products from Felco is the brand’s lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects. It can replace every element of the loppers, so you can continue using them for years to come.
Darlac telescopic ratchet lopper
Here’s another lopper for thick branches. This one from Darlac has enough power to slice through foliage up to 5cm in diameter, thanks to its heavy-duty ratchet head with coated blades.
These loppers are also telescopic, so you can extend the arms to access out-of-reach areas.
Added bonuses include the lightweight construction and grippy handles, so they should be fairly easy to use around the garden.
McGregor Telescopic Bypass Lopper
For great value, you can’t overlook this set of telescopic bypass loppers available at Argos. With a larger cutting capacity than many other tools on the market, this one can slice through branches up to 3cm in diameter. You can also extend the handles to reach a total length of 98cm.
The blades are made from carbon steel and finished with a non-stick coating to reduce the chance of rusting. The steel construction continues through the handles, which come with non-slip grips for added comfort.
Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Loppers
Able to cut through 5cm-thick branches, these loppers from Fiskars feature a bypass blade with the strength usually found in an anvil head. They also come with some clever features, making them a fantastic choice for anyone with a significant pruning task ahead of them.
The stainless steel blades are finished with PTFE coating, which should lower the amount of friction they create to allow for a smoother cutting motion. Fiskars has also included its PowerGear system, designed to treble the loppers’ strength.
Elsewhere, polyamide handles reinforced with fibreglass gives these loppers a lightweight feel, and the 3D contour moulding should make them comfortable in the hand for extended periods.
Telescopic Loppers & Secateurs Set
- Buy now from Coopers of Stortford (£19.99)
These telescopic loppers have earned an impressive average review score, with customers noting their lightweight yet sturdy construction. If you’re looking for ease of use and value for money, consider this set, which includes a pair of matching secateurs.
Use the secateurs for stems up to 1.3cm in diameter, and reserve the loppers for larger branches up to 2.5cm across. Thanks to the telescopic handles, you’ll be able to expand your reach by 75cm and cleanly slice through high branches with the Teflon-coated blades.
Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media's special interest brands, she's written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work - and lusting over homeware and gardening products - you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.
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