Best loppers 2021: trim back unruly branches with these top buys

Our pick of the best loppers will make pruning back tree branches a cinch – they combine ergonomic design with excellent cutting performance

Included in this guide:

Best loppers
(Image credit: Future)

Every gardener knows that regular pruning is a must, so having the best loppers in your tool kit is guaranteed to make those taller, hard-to-reach pruning tasks a whole lot easier. 

Regular pruning ensures that your trees and shrubs keep their shape and removing any dead growth keeps them healthy, too. While you may be able to tackle the bulk of your pruning with secateurs, there are always going to be some branches that are too thick or too high up to be able to cut through. That's where loppers come in handy. 

Just like secateurs, the best loppers come in a wide range of designs with different cutting actions and some even with telescopic handles for a longer reach. The loppers best suited to your needs all depend on what you have growing in your garden and the budget you have to spend.

Can't decide on the style to suit you best? That’s where we come in. We’ve hunted down the best loppers on the market, all with their own special benefits, so you're bound to find something in our list below to suit your needs. 

We've even included a buying guide to help you narrow down the options to find the perfect one for your needs. 

And when you're done, head on over to our best hedge trimmer buying guide if you need a little extra oomph to help you with your garden pruning tasks. 

The best loppers 2021

Speak & Jackson loppers from Argos

(Image credit: Argos)

1. Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Telescopic Bypass Lopper

Best lopper: great all-rounder with adjustable handles for hard-to-reach pruning

Specifications
Best for: All-round pruning
Length: From 48 to 80cm
Materials: Carbon steel and aluminium
Reasons to buy
+Telescopic handle+Carbon steel blades+10-year manufacturer guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-1.4kg weight may not suit everyone

This telescopic model is the ideal choice to help you prune any hard-to-reach areas in your garden.

Extendable

With its clever twist and lock mechanism, the handle of this lopper extends out from 48 to 80cm in length.

Lighter handles

The handles have been made from aluminium which luckily keeps the weight of this lopper down. It's worth remembering though that despite this, this lopper still weighs 1.4kg in total and you'll be supporting this all with your arms raised.

Rust preventer

Made from carbon steel, the blades on this lopper have also been coasted in PTFE which resists rust and makes cutting smooth.

Karcher loppers from John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

2. Kärcher TLO 18-32 Cordless Tree Lopper/Cutter

Best battery-powered lopper: save time and effort with a lopper that cuts one handed at the touch of a button

Specifications
Best for: Single handed operation
Length: 91cm
Materials: Metal and plastic
Reasons to buy
+Single-handed operation+Cuts branches up to 3cm diameter+Built-in hook
Reasons to avoid
-Battery and charger not included-More expensive than manual loppers

Got a lot to lop? If the idea of cutting back a whole heap of branches by simply pressing a button appeals to you more than hacking away at them manually, then this is the model for you.

Single handed action
While manual loppers need two hands to cut branches, this model does it all for you simply by pressing a button. This means pruning can be done using just one hand, leaving the other hand free to steady yourself on a ladder whenever you're working high up.

Handy hook
This model features a built-in hook to help you loosed stray branches or remove anything that gets stuck after you've cut it.

Battery powered
Fully charged, the battery should power you though around 240 cuts, and the handy LCD display will let you know how much time you have left before it needs a new charge. The downside is this comes without a battery or charger so you will have to buy these separately. 

Fiskars PowerGear Bypass Lopper

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Fiskars PowerGear Bypass Lopper

Best long-life lopper: get years' worth of use from this model with blades that can be sharpened and replaced

Specifications
Best for: Durability
Length: 55cm
Materials: Stainless steel and fibreglass reinforced plastic
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Cuts up to 3.8cm diameter+Suits both left and right handed gardeners
Reasons to avoid
-Maintenance kit sold separately

Slice through branches up to 3.8cm in diameter with this lightweight design that also includes a handy hook head for stray branch removal.

Lightweight
If the effort involved in lopping fills you with dread, know that the 550g weight of this model will lighten your load considerably. The reinforced fibreglass plastic handles all help in keeping it lightweight.

Slice through
The non-stick coating on the blades ensures cutting through branches is always a clean and super smooth action. Furthermore, the lower blade is curved making it easier to catch the branch you’re cutting.

Sharp action
If you want this lopper to last, it's worth investing in the separate maintenance kit to keep the blade sharp. The blade can also be replaced so your tool lasts longer.

Green Draper loppers shears and secaeturs set

(Image credit: ManoMano)

4. Draper 28210 Lopper, Shears and Secateur Set

Best value lopper: make your budget go further with this great value three-in-one tool kit

Specifications
Best for: Thrifty gardeners
Length: 61cm
Materials: Steel and high leverage tubular handles
Reasons to buy
+Carbon steel blades +Soft grip handles+Three tools for the price of one
Reasons to avoid
-Won’t tackle bigger branches

If you have a long list of tools to buy for your garden on a set budget, this three-in-one tool kit is a canny buy.

Sturdy blades
The blades on this lopper are made from carbon steel making them extra durable.

Light to use
The tubular handles keep the weight on this lopper down making it easier to work with for longer.

Think size
As it's available at such a low price point, it's unlikely this lopper will be able to handle larger branches like the to other loppers on our list, but it should be still able to tackle most tasks.

Tabor Tools GL18E Bypass Mini Lopper

(Image credit: Amazon )

5. Tabor Tools GL18E Bypass Mini Lopper

Best lopper for easy storage: you can hang this design up neatly once you’ve finished pruning

Specifications
Best for: Compact storage
Length: 50cm
Materials: Metal and carbon steel
Reasons to buy
+Cuts branches up to 2.5cm in diameter +Rubberised comfort grip+Blades can be sharpened+Can be hung from blade or handles
Reasons to avoid
-Limited reach

If you don’t need to reach too far to prune, this 50cm length of this lopper is a great choice as it's very easy to manoeuvre. 

Easy to store
Hang this lopper up on a peg or hook either from the hole in the blades or there's a hole in the handles instead. This keeps it off the ground and prevents you losing track of it in a tangle of tools.

Sharpen up
Extend the life of this lopper by sharpening the blades whenever required. They’re also coated to reduce any friction when you’re cutting, too.

Ergonomic grip
The handles have a rubberised cover which not only improves your grip, it also makes your garden tasks easier and more comfortable to carry out.

Darlac Telescopic Anvil Lopper

(Image credit: Crocus)

6. Darlac telescopic anvil lopper

Best anvil lopper: tackle dead wood with this heavy duty design

Specifications
Best for: Hard or dead wood
Length: 54 to 76cm
Materials: Aluminium and plastic
Reasons to buy
+Extendable reach+Lightweight handles+Deals with dead and very hard wood
Reasons to avoid
-You’ll likely need a bypass lopper, too

Need to cut dead or hard wood? These anvil loppers are up to the work these garden tasks involve.

Stretch out
With handles that extend from 54 to 76cm, this lopper allows you to reach high branches easily.

Save on strain
Weighing just 1kg, this means you'll be able to keep your arms up and working for longer than you would with a heavier model. The handles are made from aluminium to keep the design lighter, too.

Safety first
The flip-lock mechanism ensures the blades stay securely closed when they’re not in use.

Fiskars SmartFit telescopic loppers

(Image credit: ManoMano)

7. Fiskars SmartFit L86 Telescopic Loppers

Best long-reach lopper: extending up to 91.5cm, this design will help you prune high

Specifications
Best for: High-up pruning
Length: 66.5 to 91.5cm
Materials: Steel and plastic
Reasons to buy
+Soft-grip handles+Extendable+Relatively light
Reasons to avoid
-Cuts up to 2.4cm

For all those hard-to-reach areas of your garden, this telescopic lopper will work wonders, helping you to cut back overgrowth and keep your plants healthy.

Long reach
Extending out from 66.5cm to 91.5cm, this lopper is a great all rounder.

Get a grip
Rubber handles make this a comfortable model to hold and will help you keep on pruning for longer.

All round
This model will tackle general pruning jobs around the garden and the non-stick blades will help keep what you’re cutting in tip top shape.

How to choose the best loppers

While the best secateurs are perfect for the majority of the pruning in a garden, tougher tasks on woody stems and branches need something a little more durable - and that's why loppers need to be in your garden toolkit.

Types of loppers
As with secateurs, too, you can choose from bypass, anvil and ratchet loppers but the majority of lopping jobs need just have a bypass lopper. Much like a pair of scissors, bypass loppers have two blades that will create the cleanest cut on live wood. And the cleaner the cut, the healthier the plant.

If, however, you need to cut hard, dead wood, consider buying an anvil lopper. These have one blade together with a flat edge, meaning they crush as well as cut. These can do the jobs that would end up damaging the blades on bypass loppers.

gardener wearing gloves carrying orange handled loppers

(Image credit: Igor Stevanovic 500px/Getty Images)

Cutting diameter
Make sure the design you choose will cope with the size of branches you’re going to be cutting. Some aren’t made for bigger diameters and if you force them to, they'll break. If however, you're just cutting thinner branches of under 2cm in diameter - then this won't be an issue. but that won’t matter if you’re not going to be tackling larger branches. 

Wear the best gardening gloves to protect your hands from heavy lopper use – loppers might make repetitive pruning of larger stems easier, but callouses are still a risk.

Blade material
Blades are generally made from steel and hardened or carbon steel is preferable. Some have a non-stick coating, which can help them stay free of stickiness.

orange loppers leaning against a tree

(Image credit: Igor Stevanovic 500px/ Getty Images)

Handle length
Longer handles will give you more leverage on branches, making your work easier. They do tend to be quite unwieldy though, so don’t go longer than you really need to tackle the pruning in your garden. You might want to opt for a telescopic lopper that allows you to extend the handles only when required. Look for lockable designs for safety.

Think weight
If weight will be a concern, choose a design made using lightweight aluminium or fibreglass as this will lessen your load considerably.

Maintenance 
If you want a lopper to see you through many years in the garden, look for a model with blades that you can sharpen or replace. Don't leave them outside and in storage, try to raise them off the ground or store in a way that doesn't leave them resting on the tip of the blade.

Sarah Warwick
Sarah Warwick

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She's spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes and gardens – long enough to see interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement, both indoors and out, and it's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, so she's a serial house revamper.