westland garden health logo

Consumer helpline 01480 443789

10am-4pm, Mon-Fri

how to choose the right loppers banner article

How to choose the right loppers


While gardening is widely seen as a gentle hobby, there are times when more power is the only answer. That’s certainly the case when pruning tough, woody stems and small branches. A quality pair of loppers will arm gardeners with everything they need to make light work of heavyweight pruning. This is whether you’re getting shrubs into shape, trimming trees, or cutting back overgrown areas of the garden.

Loppers cut similarly to secateurs, yet their long handles provide extra leverage and extended reach. You might ask, why can’t I use secateurs to tackle thicker stems? Exceeding the maximum cutting diameter of your secateurs is a recipe for trouble. If stems are too thick or too woody, trying to prune using secateurs can put considerable strain on your wrist, risking injury.

kent and stowe general purpose loppers

Secondly, exceeding the limits for which secateurs have been designed risks damaging the mechanism and blunting the blades, shortening their lifespan. While secateurs are for single-hand use, loppers are engineered to be gripped with both hands. This ramps up their cutting power while reducing the effort needed to slice cleanly through hard material.

Bypass, anvil or ratchet loppers?

Before heading to the garden centre, it’s important to think about the type of pruning you need to do. This is because the need to cut softer, live wood or harder mature or dead wood will determine the type of loppers that you should buy.

Live wood is best tackled using loppers with bypass blades. Bypass is when two blades pass over each other in a scissor-like action.

bypass lopper cut

Mature or dead wood requires a tougher tool and that’s where anvil blades come into play. Ideally suited to heavyweight pruning, anvil loppers feature a sharp blade that closes onto a cutting block, boosting their pruning power.

anvil lopper cut

For the toughest of cuts, look out for ratchet loppers. These allow gardeners to gradually cut through a branch or stem, delivering a clean cut with the minimum of effort.

ratchet lopper cut

Consider the benefits of long-handled loppers, too, which allow gardeners to delve deeper into shrubs and trees. This is handy if you’re cutting back thorny plant material. Longer-handled or telescopic pruners help to access towering and hard-to-reach stems without having to balance precariously on a ladder. Telescopic pruners are also handy for harvesting hard-to-reach fruit, too.

Try before you buy: use our checklist

To choose loppers that are perfect for your needs, pick them up before buying and feel their weight.

  • Are they too heavy, too light or perfect to handle? Look closely at their maximum cutting capacity. Also check they’re sufficient to slice through the stems or small branches in your garden.
  • What’s the blade like? Whether you opt for bypass or anvil, examine the quality of the blade and the material they’re engineered from. Are they rust-resistant?
  • How do they feel in the hand? Grip the loppers in both hands and see if they’re comfortable to hold, offering excellent grip.

Certain models of lopper will feature bumpers. These are special features that deliver extra power while absorbing impact, rebounding smoothly as they complete the cut. Finally, check the length of the guarantee on your chosen loppers, for added peace of mind.

For live, green wood – choose bypass loppers

Bypass loppers are the first port of call for cutting through live wood that’s too thick to be tackled with secateurs. Kent & Stowe’s SureCut All Purpose Bypass Loppers tick all the boxes. They have reinforced carbon steel blades, superb rust-resistance and a lightweight aluminium frame. They also feature a hanging loop for easy storage and rubber bumpers that absorb impact and rebound smoothly. With comfortable handles and grips, they feature a cutting diameter of 30mm.

kent and stowe all purpose bypass loppers in use

SureCut All Purpose Extra Power Loppers up the game with telescopic handles for extra power and extended reach. They also feature a larger cutting capacity to tackle branches up to 35mm thick.

kent and stowe surecut extra power all purpose loppers in use

If you’re looking for ultra-powerful bypass loppers that effortlessly drives the blade through live wood that’s up to 40mm thick, Kent & Stowe’s SureCut Extra Power Hard Wood Loppers are precision-engineered to get the job done. You’ll find all the top features you’d expect from the SureCut brand. Sharp carbon steel blades coated with chrome for superior rust-resistance, extendable telescopic handles for extra power and reach, and rubber bumpers that absorb impact and deliver a smooth rebound.

Rubber micro hex handles ensure extra comfort and grip, while the hanging loop ensures that you can store these powerful pruners after use.

kent and stowe surecut hard wood extra power loppers in use

Not all gardeners can cope with large, heavy tools. So that’s where compact loppers come into play, delivering an immense amount of cutting power from a smaller, highly manoeuvrable tool.

Kent & Stowe’s Garden Life All Purpose Mini Loppers are a lighter and more compact alternative to SureCut All Purpose Bypass Loppers. They’ll slice through branches with a diameter of up to 24mm with ease, using their tough, carbon steel bypass blades.

Although these loppers are small in size, they deliver precision cutting with their short handles and pack a punch with a host of features found in larger models. This includes reflex rubber bumpers to absorb impact, chrome blade coating for rust-resistance and micro hex handles that deliver extra comfort and grip.

kent and stowe garden life all purpose mini loppers lifestyle in use

To cut mature and dead wood – choose anvil loppers

If you need to slice through mature hard or dead wood, super-tough anvil loppers will make the job much easier. Take Kent & Stowe’s SureCut Extra Power Hard Wood Ratchet Loppers, for example. While the anvil blade cleanly slices through the hardest timber up to 45mm in diameter, the secret to the extra power lies in the ratchet mechanism. This allows gardeners to cut gradually through each branch or stem, requiring minimal effort.

Reflex rubber bumpers provide maximum cutting power while extendable telescopic handles offer even more leverage and additional reach, too. Rubber micro hex handles provide extra comfort and grip while carrying out powerful pruning. There’s also a hanging loop to easily store the loppers once the job is complete.

kent and stowe surecut ratchet extra power hard wood loppers cutting branch

Telescopic pruners to reach awkward places

Few gardeners relish the prospect of balancing at the top of ladders to prune tall shrubs or remove small branches from trees. While tackling thorny plant material isn’t high on most green fingered folk’s wish list either.

Thankfully, long telescopic pruners make these garden tasks a joy. They’re handy for picking fruits that are out of reach, too. With a 1.3m handle and capacity to cut stems up to 18mm in diameter, Kent & Stowe’s SureCut Long Reach All Purpose Pruner features tough, steel bypass blades. These are ideal for slicing through live, green wood in hard-to-reach areas, whether they’re high off the ground or deep towards the back of borders.

Gardeners needn’t worry about debris falling from height either, because these practical pruners feature a cut-and-hold mechanism which grips the stem. This helps prevent it from dropping until it’s ready to be released.

kent and stowe surecut all purpose long reach pruner in use


Related articles

How to choose the right secateurs?

How to choose the right secateurs?

Every gardener needs a quality pair of secateurs. No other tool multi-tasks so efficiently, whether you’re dead-heading, pruning shrubs, taking cuttings, clearing borders, or harvesting...

Why choose SureCut Cutting Tools?

Why choose SureCut Cutting Tools?

Choosing a good cutting tool is crucial for the success of any gardening task. A high quality cutting tool can make a significant difference in...

Why is it so important to use sharp cutting tools in the garden?

Why is it so important to use sharp cutting tools in the garden?

Throughout the gardening year, cutting tools are essential for pruning plants and keeping them healthy. There are various types of cutting tools available, including secateurs,...