The Best Garden Loppers in Australia for 2022

Having the proper equipment can make all the difference when you’re working with plants and trees.

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From fruit trees to roses, nearly every plant can benefit from proper pruning.

The best loppers will be powerful and versatile while being easy to handle and safe to use.

After the product reviews below, we cover the different types of loppers and some tips on choosing the best loppers for your needs.

Our top pick: Fiskars PowerGear2 Bypass Lopper

Type: Bypass
Size: 45cm (18 Inch)
Cutting capacity: 2.5cm

Why we chose it: The Fiskars PowerGear2 Lopper is widely considered one of the best bypass loppers on the market. Its heavy-duty construction, combined with its PowerGear technology, makes it a great tool for cutting branches up to 2.5cm thick (1 inch). It also features a low-friction coating on its steel blades for smooth cutting.

How it compares: The differentiating factor with this lopper is that it includes a geared mechanism in contrast to the usual single pivot point. According to Fiskars, this technology provides three times more power. It is also more affordable than many competitor products and features rounded, ergonomic handles with Softgrip for extra comfort and control.

Best ratchet loppers: Fiskars Ratchet Drive Anvil Lopper

Type: Anvil, Ratchet
Size: 70cm
Cutting capacity: 5.1cm

Why we chose it: This Anvil lopper is excellent for cutting thick, dead wood. The ratchet design compounds force, maximizing cutting power with little effort. The hardened, precision-ground steel blade stays sharp with extended use and can cut a maximum of 2-inch diameter branches.

How it compares: This is the only anvil lopper on our list and also the only one that features a ratchet mechanism. Ratchet loppers move to a new leverage point with each cut as you work your way through the wood, which provides extra power and control. Aside from the Alligator Powered Lopper, this lopper easily has the largest cutting capacity of any we have reviewed.

Also great: Corona SL ComfortGEL Extendable Bypass Lopper

Type: Bypass, Telescopic
Size: 71cm Closed, 89cm Extended
Cutting capacity: 3.8cm

Why we chose it: Corona’s SL Bypass Lopper is designed for maximum comfort and ease. The extendable handle extends to 89cm, allowing you to reach branches that are in tricky-to-reach spots. The coated nonstick blade minimizes friction when cutting, so you don’t have to worry about slipping or slowing down as you cut through tough branches. The 1 1/2 inch cutting capacity makes this lopper a great choice for home gardeners who want a tool that can handle both small and large pruning jobs alike.

How it compares: This lopper is lightweight and easy to use thanks to its steel core handles and simple mechanism. At 35″ (89cm) in length, it weighs less than the 32″ Fiskars PowerGear2 model. Like several other models, its handles are wrapped in soft grips for better comfort and control while also minimizing hand fatigue. On the downside, they don’t feature any geared or ratchet technology so you’ll be relying on your own strength and the single pivot point.

For bigger jobs: BLACK+DECKER Alligator Powered Lopper

Type: Powered lopper
Size: 65cm
Cutting capacity: 10cm

Why we chose it: The Alligator Lopper makes light work of branches up to 10cm in size, thanks to its revolutionary and innovative new cutting design. Its ‎battery-powered chainsaw is easy to use, and the fully enclosed bar and chain ensure safe use. And, at only 3kg in weight, it’s much easier to use than a regular chainsaw.

How it compares: The Alligator Powered Lopper offers a unique alternative to the other loppers on our list. While it’s heavier, noisier, and more expensive than other loppers, it has more than double the cutting capacity and can make light work of large jobs.

Best value: GardenMaster Telescopic Bypass Lopper

Type: Bypass, Telescopic
Size: 76cm Closed, 99cm Extended
Cutting capacity: Not stated

Why we chose it: This affordable bypass lopper is ideal for trimming green wood that other tools can’t get to. The bypass action lopper extends to 1m in length, which makes it perfect for hard-to-reach places. The non-stick carbon steel blades are angled to ensure that they cut cleanly through the toughest branches, while the ergonomic soft-grip handles ensure you can use this tool comfortably and safely.

How it compares: Not everyone wants to spend a lot of money on gardening tools so this product offers a budget-friendly alternative to the more expensive loppers we have reviewed. It also comes with an impressive 10-year manufacturer guarantee.

Types of loppers

  • Bypass loppers have two blades that slide past each other, like scissors. They’re best for live wood.
  • Anvil loppers have a blade on one side only, with a flat surface on the other. These loppers work best for thicker branches and are mostly used for dead wood.
  • Ratchet loppers lock into place once squeezed together, providing users with extra leverage. They let you cut through tougher branches than you could otherwise.
  • Geared loppers feature a gear mechanism that provides extra cutting power.
  • Telescopic loppers extend outwards so you can reach branches at higher levels without having to get on a ladder.

Bypass vs Anvil loppers: Which to choose?

As outlined above, the difference between the two is that with a bypass lopper, the blades pass each other like scissors to make a clean cut that preserves the health of your plant.

Anvil loppers have one blade that cuts against a flat surface, which can be useful for cutting thick dead wood.

Anvil loppers are usually more powerful than bypass models and can handle larger branches with ease.

However, because they don’t cut cleanly through vegetation like bypass loppers, they’re not ideal for pruning live plants.

What size lopper do you need?

Choosing the right size lopper for your job is important. The longer the handle, the more leverage you have.

Most loppers are between 20″ (51cm) to 30″ (76cm) in length.

The downside of loppers with longer handles is they start to get quite heavy, which can make them difficult to use for extended periods.

What to look for when choosing a lopper

The first thing to consider when choosing a pair of loppers is what you need them to accomplish.

  • If you’re looking to clean up dead wood, a pair of anvil loppers will be your best bet. If you have weaker arms or are cutting thicker branches, consider geared or ratchet loppers.
  • For tidying up green branches and shrubs, go with a pair of bypass loppers.
  • For taller trees, telescopic loppers will help you reach branches you couldn’t otherwise.

What are ratchet loppers?

Ratchet loppers are a type of lopper with a ratcheting mechanism that allows you to cut branches that may be difficult with a regular lopper.

The mechanical leverage provided by each ratchet point gives you more power and control than non-ratchet models at each stage of the cut. This makes them excellent for cutting through thick dead wood, which can’t be tackled with other tools.

FAQ

Which is better anvil or bypass loppers?

Bypass lopper blades pass each other like scissors to make a clean cut that preserves the health of your plant. They are best used on live plants. Anvil loppers are more powerful but are best used on dead wood.

What’s the difference between pruners and loppers?

Pruners, also called pruning shears, secateurs, or garden snippers, are used to trim, prune, or shape small branches. They can be operated with one hand. Loppers are used to cut larger branches and shrubs and can be operated with two hands only. Loppers provide a lot more leverage and power than pruners.

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Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY, and is always up for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking delicious meals from fresh produce picked from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.