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Loppers are used to cut branches and small saplings, usually up to 2” in width. The long handles let you reach far and exert high leverage with minimal exertion, letting you comfortably cut anything that can fit entirely between the blades when they are open. Typically, this includes wood of up to one inch in diameter or more, but for most of your cuts on much smaller wood, you’ll prefer the accuracy and one-handedness of pruners over loppers. For thicker wood, you’ll need a pruning saw.

Usage Tips
  • If you are cutting so that the stump will be painted with herbicide, cut as low to the ground if possible and as horizontal as possible. This will reduce the distance the poison needs to travel to get to the roots and reduce runoff from the stump into the nearby ground.
  • You shouldn’t have to apply a lot of pressure on the lopper handles to do the cut. If you are struggling then either (a) the lopper blade is dull or (b) the trunk is too, wide.
  • Do not try to force the cut. If you're struggling, switch to a different tool (saw or larger lopper), ask someone else to do it, or sharpen the blade (or inform the owner that it is dull).
  • When buying a lopper, make sure that you can replace and/or sharpen the blade.
More Information
Recommendation for Occasional Use

Volunteers really love Fiskars Powergear2 loppers. The gear design gives us lots of extra leverage. The blades are easily filed - and can also be removed for a more intensive sharpening.

The 25" seems to be ideal size. The 18" mini model is good for younger volunteers. The 32" great for big trunks, but is heavy and awkward to carry around.

Recommendation for Intensive Use

See recommendations for casual use. In this case, the perfect overlap!