The Best Loppers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

by Vern Evans

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Keeping up a home, homestead, or hunting property requires plenty of work, and having the right tool for the job can make that work easier and faster. You need chainsaws and axes for trees and firewood, hand saws and hatchets for big limbs and smaller trees, and loppers for saplings, overhead branches, overgrown bushes, and more. 

Loppers are the right tool for a lot of jobs outside. Saplings growing up through a chain link fence? Loppers. Overhead branches that move when you try a saw? Loppers. Overgrown bush taking over your porch? Loppers. Need something quick, clean, and quiet for clearing lanes in front of your stand or blind? Loppers. Clearing small saplings for a micro food plot? You guessed it, loppers. So, to help you find the right loppers for what you’re doing, I put a pile of them to the test to see which ones worked best for a variety of jobs. 

How I Tested the Best Loppers

All of these loppers were tested on a variety of wood types and thicknesses from ¼ inch to 2 ¼ inches. Anything larger would be best tackled with one of the best mini chainsaws. I did most of the cutting on green wood, but there was some dead wood mixed in. Here’s a list of tasks these loppers helped me complete:

  • I helped out my new neighbor and cut out about 15 maple saplings that were growing in his chain link fence. 
  • I trimmed back my Catalpa tree so we could have my daughters party under its shade. 
  • I pruned low branches on apple trees, so I could mow around them easily. 
  • I trimmed the maple over my shed and front steps. 
  • I pruned an overgrown purple rhododendron that had begun to overtake my porch Jumanji style.
  • I cleared shooting lanes and made room for new stand locations on everything from pine to oak. 

Best Loppers: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Corona X Series Pro Bypass Lopper 2.25-inch Cut

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Key Features

  • Max Cut Diameter: 2.25 inches
  • Overall Length: 32.5 inches
  • Jaw Type: Bypass
  • Bumpers: Yes, Hard Rubber
  • Price: $70

Pros

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Comfortable Grips that extend halfway up the arms for different hand positions
  • Forged Aluminum arms bolted to High Carbon Steel Blades
  • Replaceable Blades

Cons

The Corona XSeries Pro impressed in every way. These have a lifetime warranty that I’m sure I will never use because they are built like a tank. The cutting performance was just as impressive as the build quality, and that makes them my top pick. 

Corona makes some great hand saws and folding saws, and that same quality transfers over to their Loppers in the XSeries Pro. The XSeries has full-length, forged-aluminum arms that are heavier than the hollow arm loppers, but they feel great in hand. I never had to worry if I was pushing or squeezing these loppers too hard. They felt like they could take anything. Even when cutting at the maximum diameter that I could fit in the blades, I never felt like the tool was stressed. 

The rubber grips extend halfway up the arms for a variety of grips for lighter and heavier work. I did put a small nick in the blade when I accidentally hit a chain link fence, but it didn’t noticeably affect the cutting performance. The rubber bumpers dissipate some of the shock if you snap shut with force on a harder cut, but other bumpers were better. 

Best for Big Branches: Fiskars PowerGear 2 L5532

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Key Features

  • Max Cut Diameter: 2 inches
  • Overall Length: 32 inches
  • Jaw Type: Bypass
  • Bumpers: No
  • Price: $40

Pros

  • PowerGear Technology adds a mechanical advantage to your strength for easier cuts
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth Cuts

Cons

  • Arms and Grips feel a little cheap
  • Power gear opens arms far and can make tight spaces hard to work in

The Fiskars PowerGear 2 32-inch loppers were amazing on large branches. They claim the PowerGear system gives three times the cutting power, and I believe it. When you get near the limit on most loppers, the force required to cut is astronomically high. On the Fiskars though, there is no need to worry. If the branch or sapling fits in the jaws, you can easily cut it. 

The steel gears are made from thick stock and feel very sturdy. The only drawback for the PowerGear 2 is that the arms open nearly 180 degrees, which makes it hard to get into tight spaces if you’re cutting a branch close to the max diameter. 

You’ll mostly forget about the wide arc needed to use these once you cut a few branches that other loppers can’t handle. Chomping through thick stuff with these loppers actually brought a smile to my face. As I was using these, it also occurred to me that someone with an injury could benefit from the mechanical advantage the Fiskars PowerGear 2 Loppers offer. 

Best Midsize: Loppers: FELCO 211-60

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Key Features

  • Max Cut Diameter: 1.25 inches 
  • Overall Length: 23.75 inches
  • Jaw Type: Bypass
  • Bumpers: Yes, Soft Rubber 
  • Price: $76

Pros

  • High-quality construction
  • All parts are replaceable and serviceable
  • Jaw pivot bolt will not loosen thanks to a nut-locking system
  • Aluminum arms

Cons

  • While the shorter length makes them easy to use and maneuver, it cuts down leverage
  • High quality, but high price

For most jobs, the 23.75-inch Felco loppers are everything you need and nothing you don’t. They won’t handle the biggest branches, but they are well built and cut very smoothly on all branches under their max cutting diameter.

The Felco Loppers ooze quality, and they have nice touches that the others don’t. The pivot nut has a ring with gears cut into it that mesh up with a lock gear so it can’t loosen once the tension is set. Remove the lock gear if you need to service the pivot or remove the blade. The blades bolt directly into the aluminum arms and are easily removed, unlike many others, which cannot be changed or serviced. 

These loppers are designed to last a lifetime like things used to be. It’s like an old car, simple to work on yourself with basic hand tools and designed to be fixed, not replaced. They cut very smoothly and came very sharp. If you appreciate quality, don’t need the full-size loppers, but need a little more reach than the compact ones offer, the Swiss Made Felco 211-60’s might be just right for you. 

Small But Mighty: Fiskars PowerGear 15-inch Super Pruner

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Key Features

  • Max Cut Diameter: 1.25 inches
  • Overall Length: 15 inches
  • Jaw Type: Anvil
  • Bumpers: No
  • Price: $25

Pros

  • PowerGear Technology adds a mechanical advantage to your strength for easier cuts
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Ultra Lightweight
  • Smooth Cuts

Cons

  • Arms, gears, grips, and anvil are all plastic. 
  • Easy to open too far and pop gears out of mesh

The 15-inch Fiskars feature the same PowerGear Technology as the 32-inch ones, and they easily chomp through bigger branches because of it. They are super lightweight and compact, but pack a big punch.

The Fiskars PowerGear 15-inch Super Pruners work as advertised. They get through branches easier than loppers twice the size, thanks to the PowerGear advantage. They are unbelievably lightweight and compact, and they come with a lifetime warranty for only 25 bucks. 

I had no issues when I pushed them past what they were intended for. But, when I really looked at them, I couldn’t help but think that they couldn’t take it for very long. The handles and gears are all molded from the same fiber-reinforced plastic, and only the cutting blade and pivots are made of steel. There is some wiggle in the pivots and you can open the handles too far and pop the gears out of sync without much effort. They go back in just as easily, but it’s not confidence inspiring. 

Now, a lifetime warranty comes with these loppers, so maybe that’s not a concern for you. I like these Fiskars Loppers a lot in hand and in use, but the materials fall short of others on the list. However, if you want super lightweight loppers that require the least effort and strength to operate, the Fiskars 15-inch PowerGear Super Pruners are the top dog. 

Best Bang For Your Buck: Corona 30 inch ComfortGEL SL 3264

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Key Features

  • Max Cut Diameter: 1.5 inches
  • Overall Length: 30 inches
  • Jaw Type: Bypass
  • Bumpers: Yes, Silicone/Gel- Softest in the group
  • Price: $28

Pros

  • Quality look and feel
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • ComfortGel Grips are both soft and grippy
  • Full Aluminum arms

Cons

  • Won’t handle the biggest branches

The Corona 30-inch ComfortGEL Loppers look, feel, and perform like premium loppers, but they come in at less than half the price of many others. 

The one drawback is that they can only cut branches 1.5 inches or smaller. Others in this size range can cut 2-inch branches. Cutting was nice and smooth, and they went through basically anything that fit in the jaws. 

The way things are lately, it’s actually hard to believe that Corona is putting out a tool of this quality for this price. These had the best bumpers in the test and delivered the least amount of hand shock when you finish the cut, and they snap shut. The rubber grips with the gel overmold were very comfortable and very grippy even with sweaty hands. The blades aren’t replaceable, which keeps production cost down, but they are easily sharpened. These loppers come in at a budget price with a much more premium feel. Corona has a lifetime warranty on them which makes the price even more attractive. If you have a champagne taste and a beer budget, grab a Corona 30-inch ComfortGEL Bypass Lopper. 

Tabor Tools GG11A Loppers

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Key Features

  • Max Cut Diameter: 1.75 inches
  • Overall Length: 30 inches
  • Jaw Type: Bypass
  • Bumpers: No
  • Price: $50

Pros

  • Compound linkage give you more power with less effort
  • Steel Arms
  • Good grip 

Cons

  • Linkage is stiff
  • No bumpers means more hand shock after a hard cut

The Tabor Tools GG11A loppers performed well for cutting, and were somewhere between regular single pivot designs and the PowerGear system for ease of cutting larger branches. They have a mechanical advantage, just not as much as the PowerGear. The linkage was a bit too tight and gave extra resistance when open and closing, though it did help on cuts overall. With a bit more refinement, these loppers would have done better overall, and perhaps with some more break-in, they would be higher up on the list. Although these cut well and had more power on big branches, I feel that there were tools that were better to use for less money. But if you’re looking for extra power and solid construction, the Tabor Tools GG11A loppers are certainly a viable option. 

Fiskars 28 inch Power Lever Lopper

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Key Features

  • Max Cut Diameter: 1.5 inches
  • Overall Length: 28 inches
  • Jaw Type: Bypass
  • Bumpers: Yes, hard rubber and plastic
  • Price: $29

Pros

  • Good performance that won’t break the bank
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Rubber grips
  • Simple Design

Cons

  • Bumpers are hard and don’t really absorb any shock
  • Jaw shape can push larger branches out as the cut begins and may cause you to have to re-adjust

The Fiskars 28-inch Bypass Loppers are about as basic as loppers can get, which means there is very little that can go wrong with them. That also means that they don’t have some of the features of other loppers. The bumpers are functional in that they keep your hands from colliding after the cut, but they are made of such hard material that it does almost nothing to soften the shock. With no extra linkage and a basic blade shape, they cut fairly smoothly. Yet they lack some cutting power and require extra pressure so that the branch isn’t squeezed out of the front of the blade and jaw. Overall, these loppers are solid and functional, and they are less expensive than others, but some outshined them for nearly the same price. 

YRTSH 18 inch Anvil Lopper

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Key Features:

  • Max Cut Diameter: 1.5 inch 
  • Overall Length: 18 inches
  • Jaw Type: Anvil
  • Bumpers: No
  • Price: $26

Pros:

  • SK5 Steel Blade
  • Extra power from compound action
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Replaceable Anvil

Cons:

  • Stiff yet loose linkage
  • Metal Anvil will dull blade quicker

The YRTSH (Yer-Tish?) 18-inch Anvil Loppers cut well, and had the same capacity and cutting power of much longer loppers. The compound action linkage adds power to the cut, and makes smooth cuts with less effort than traditional designs.

These are great for tighter areas where longer loppers won’t fit, but you need the power of longer loppers. These cut well, and I was happy with the extra power that is afforded, but they were held back from the top spot by some fit and finish problems. The linkage was stiff to operate, but at the same time a couple of the pivot points had play and slop in them. If something brand new has play in it, it will only acquire more play with use. However, I do prefer the all-metal construction of these over the plastic/polymer of the Fiskars 15 inch. These were a close second to the Fiskars, and narrowly missed first place because they don’t have a lifetime warranty and don’t have quite the mechanical advantage that the Fiskars had. Overall, the YRTSH 18-inch Loppers are solid and performed well for their size.

How to Choose the Right Loppers

Size

This applies to both the size of the branches you will cut and the size (length) of the loppers. Generally speaking, larger loppers will handle larger branches. And longer handles give you more power and reach. If you’re trimming overhead, longer loppers can extend your reach. But, if your jobs are smaller, a more compact set should be all you need. For gardening and pruning bushes, a smaller set should do just fine. However, if you’re clearing shot lanes or clearing land to reclaim a yard or build a food plot, a larger set of loppers will be more versatile and handle the bigger limbs and saplings. 

Frequency of Use

A professional who uses a tool every day will generally spend more on a tool than someone who might only use it a few times a year. So, if you’re planning on using loppers a whole lot, it makes sense to spring for a more expensive pair that will hold up better and be more serviceable. If your loppers only get pulled out a few times a year, you can probably save some money and buy a more budget-friendly set. The $70 Corona XSeries Pro would make a lot of sense for a landscaper or a homesteader who wants them to last forever, whereas the Fiskars 28-inch Bypass loppers will be plenty for the average homeowner at only $29. 

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between Bypass and Anvil Loppers?

A: Bypass loppers have a sharpened blade and an unsharpened jaw that will pass by each other while cutting very similar to how a pair of scissors work. Anvil loppers have a sharpened blade that stops on an “anvil” of a softer material, similar to using a knife and a cutting board. Generally, larger loppers are bypass style, and smaller ones tend to be anvil style. Bypass loppers need bumpers or another means of stopping the handles from coming together, and anvil-style loppers stop when the blade contacts the “anvil”. 

Q: How can I sharpen my loppers?

A: It depends on the type. Bypass loppers will only be sharpened on one side, like a pair of scissors. The blades are chisel ground- flat on the side that passes the jaw, and sharpened on the opposite side. They can be sharpened with a flat file or a belt-style sharpener like a WorkSharp Ken Onion. Anvil Style blades are more like a traditional knife blade, and will be sharpened on both sides of the blade. You can use a flat file or diamond stone or a belt-style sharpener like with bypass blades. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Loppers

Loppers are great cutting tools that are faster than a saw, and more precise and safer than an axe or hatchet. A good pair will save you time and energy and help you keep your property in top shape. 

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