If you have a treed homestead or property, then you’ll need an effective and inexpensive means of trimming and keeping the trees from growing wild and out of hand – at least to save cost that’s sure to come with calling in a professional. And although you can cut off low-hanging branches with a machete
, there’s bound to be a better, time-saving and infinitely less stressful means of doing that and even more.
What if those are fruit trees that need a lot more careful trimming than wild or weed trees? You wouldn’t want to go hacking away at your fruit tree branches with a tool that will bruise and harm them and, maybe, adversely affect their fruiting capacity.
How about those unruly bougainvillea and rose bushes that are growing all wild and free in your flowerbed? How do you reach into the often-dense growth and bring a semblance of order to the flowerbed? Or maybe you’re stumped on how to deal with those overgrown grapevines in your backyard. Don’t you worry; we’re going to tell you just how to deal with them.
There are different ways of getting these issues dealt with, but there’s also a better and more convenient way of taking care of things. A garden lopper is one tool that is designed to help you take care of your trees and shrubs, but the telescoping lopper is a much better version of the garden lopper. The telescoping lopper has extendable handles that comes in handy when you need to reach branches higher up on the tree, thereby eliminating the need to bring out a ladder
The telescoping lopper has scissor-like blades attached to the retractable handle, and the blade is extremely sharp so it can cut through branches of one to two inches’ thickness. With its razor-sharp blade, you can make a clean cut of the tree limb, vine or shrub, without bruising or leaving a jagged stump. They are also convenient to use and weigh in at three pounds, at most, so you can wield it comfortably for an extended period of time without stressing your arm muscles.
Though there are some garden tools that perform similar functions, like the pruning saw
, a telescoping lopper is good at what it does and, for an avid gardener, it’s an indispensable tool. And even if you’re not so much into gardening, it’s still a handy tool to have around the house, especially if you’re living in a woody area or if you’re the outdoorsy type.
This buying guide is designed to educate you on what to look out for when shopping for a good telescoping lopper and, if you’re just getting this tool for the first time, there are some features that you need to check for so you can make the right choice. Things like the type of blade, blade material, cutting mechanism and the grip and weight. The price of the telescoping lopper is another important determinant here, and all these will be discussed shortly.
Like every other gardening tool, or any other type of tool with blade, the blade quality of the telescoping lopper is vital to its performance and, if you’re looking to cut costs, you should endeavor not to sacrifice blade quality on the altar of low price. Another important factor that affects the cost is the grip design and material. In view of these factors, the price of a telescoping lopper can range from around $25 to $70 although it can go higher than the given range.
Working with the above range, it’s recommended that you go for the best you can afford and besides, it’s a tool that you’ll be using for a long while, so, why not make a good investment of it?
Our featured telescoping loppers come at different, affordable price points, so you can have a wide range of quality and durable loppers to choose from that won’t take much out of your pocket. They are selected from the best brands in the industry, whose reliability and quality are well-known.
Granted, there are several cheap telescoping loppers out there, but what’s the point of spending your hard-earned money, no matter how small, on an item made with low-grade materials that are bound to disappoint within a short space of time? We decided to stick with quality and ensure you get appropriate, or even more, value for your money.
There are several features to look out for when shopping for a telescoping lopper and, notwithstanding the type of work you intend to use it for, you should keep the following factors in mind:
- Type of Blade
- Blade and Handle Material
- Cutting Mechanism
- Cutting Capacity
- Availability of Replacement Parts
- Additional Features
Construction and Design
There are two basic types of telescoping loppers, and this classification is based on the type of blade the lopper comes with, which can be either a bypass blade or an anvil blade. Of the two, the bypass blade is more popular and often used by gardeners. It consists of two contoured, sharp blades, joined by a fulcrum, that glide over each other when the handle is closed to make a cut. This design ensures you always end up with a clean, smooth cut, which is beneficial as it aids in the fast healing of the plant. This type of blade works well on live branches but, when used on dead or dry branches, there’s every tendency that pieces of wood will be caught between the blades, causing them to jam up and bend out of shape.
The anvil blade type is made of one single, straight blade that has the same “stem-crushing” cutting mechanism of a knife, hence the jagged look of the stump, unlike the clean cut that is obtainable with the bypass blade. They are built to handle thicker branches better than the bypass blade and are best for dry wood.
Cutting a branch with a telescoping lopper is like using a pair of big scissors. So, just imagine using a pair of dull-edged scissors for the chore – guess you’d rather not envision that, right? Well, that is what happens when your lopper blade is not at par in terms of the quality and sharpness needed to accomplish the task. The best material for a telescoping lopper blade is high-grade carbon steel, toughened up to better absorb the force that’ll be exerted on it. This also means that it’s less prone to bending and doesn’t require frequent edge sharpening. You should also ensure that the blade is covered with a rust-resistant, “stay sharp” material that prevents plant sap from sticking to the blade and dulling the edges or slowing the task down.
The handles on different telescoping loppers are made in different styles with different materials. Some are made with a soft material that primarily protects the hands while you’re working with it, but they’re prone to tearing and wearing out easily. Other handles may come in contoured plastics that are ergonomically designed to fit into the palms. These types are more durable than the soft ones but aren’t as comfortable.
The telescoping lopper is specially designed to cut medium-sized branches and stubborn vines, but some people are tempted to try it out on bigger branches and end up destroying the blade instead. Most residential telescoping blades have a cutting capacity of between one and two inches, and there’s no point in trying to exceed the stated capacity. On the other hand, any telescoping lopper with less than one-inch cutting capacity is not ideal, and almost useless when it comes to cutting branches.
Performance and Ease of Use
Telescoping loppers are quite easy to use, and most of them come already set up and ready to use. Just think about using a pair of scissors, or even a pair of shears – the only difference is that the telescoping lopper has extendable handles that lets you increase the handle to any length for your convenience. Note the maximum extension of the handles, though, so you don’t end up with a lopper with extremely short retractable handles.
A telescoping lopper may employ either a compound, ratcheting or geared cutting mechanism or action. The cutting mechanism plays a major role in determining how much strength you’ll expend while using the lopper, so you should try and ascertain the cutting mechanism before committing your money. A ratcheting mechanism allows the lopper to latch onto the branch when the handle is squeezed, and then lets you release and squeeze once again until the branch is cut off.
The compound mechanism uses lots of pivots and joints, and requires you to open the lopper wide so as to accommodate the entire branch. As for the geared lopper mechanism, the tool comes with a gear setup that provides leverage while cutting, hence, less energy is required to operate it.
Another important feature to check out is the spring back action of the lopper. Spring back refers to the ability of the telescoping lopper to release and open up easily once a cut is made. A great lopper should be able to glide smoothly and freely after the cut is made, but if there’s poor or no spring back, then it will be extremely difficult and frustrating, not to mention the risk of getting your hand cut on the sharp edge, to pry the blades apart after every cut.
After a long period of using your telescoping lopper, it’s expected that some of its parts will begin to wear out and eventually need to be replaced. It’s highly recommended to go for brands with readily available parts, so you can get the required replacement instead of buying an entirely new telescoping lopper. A manufacturer can also have the quality and effectiveness of its products evaluated based on the availability of replacement parts from the company.
Lastly, be sure to consider the weight to cutting power ratio of the telescoping lopper you’re going for. The cutting power refers to all the factors discussed above, and the weight refers mainly to the handle weight. When you take these two factors together, you should know if you’ll be able to work the telescoping lopper comfortably or not. Also, note that lightweight loppers are easier to use for an extended time, although they may not be as powerful as heavy-duty telescoping loppers.
Getting a great pair of telescoping loppers is vital for any gardener and, having gone through our buying guide, we are positive that you’re now adequately equipped to make an informed choice of a telescoping lopper that’ll suit your needs. We, therefore, urge you to keep your eyes open so you can quickly identify the best telescoping lopper for you as you go through our individual product reviews.
We hope you’ve found what you’re looking for! If so, just go right ahead and place the order now and go pruning. Thanks for reading!