8 Best Bypass Loppers | March 2017
- dual-pivot cutting head
- reduces big branches into workable sizes
- blade doesn't open very wide
- extended reach that lengthens up to 35"
- nonstick coating repels sap
- not great for dead branches
- opens and closes with ease
- precision-hardened steel blades
- replaceable parts for lifetime usability
- low friction gliding blade
- rubber coated levers
- incredible value at under $25
- lightweight to reduce arm fatigue
- professional grade unit
- tubular style aluminum handles
Bypass Loppers Versus Anvil Loppers
Loppers can be used on a range of branches from small 1/4" twigs up to thicker 1" limbs. They can cut through fresh green growth or old and dried wood. The key to effective lopper use, is picking the right kind of lopper for the job at hand.
Bypass loppers work in a similar manner to scissors, except they make use of a single blade and a dull hook instead of two. When they are closed, the single blade will move past the hook, creating a very clean cut. This passing action also prevents the blade from being dulled by the squared hook edge.
Anvil loppers are designed with a single sharp blade that closes against a flat surface. This flat surface is like an anvil on the opposite side of the jaws, and crushes anything between them.
Bypass loppers are best used on softer green material. Since it creates a cleaner cut than anvil loppers, it promotes quicker healing. If bypass loppers are used solely on green materials, they will rarely need sharpening as the blade doesn't come into contact with anything that will cause dulling. If bypass loppers are used on thick and dense dead wood, they will dull quickly.
They can also be damaged by exerting too much force when cutting. This can cause the blade to get pushed away from the flat jaw when closing and just pinch a branch sideways between the jaws without producing a cut. If this is done enough times, it can eventually result in the bypass loppers becoming unusable.
Anvil loppers are ideal for chopping off thicker, dead branches. They have a tendency to crush limbs as opposed to creating a clean cut, which is why they should not be used on live trees. This crushing effect takes longer to heal and leaves trees open to infection. Because the blade and anvil make contact every time a cut is made, they can dull quickly and will require constant sharpening.
Tips For Working With Loppers
Loppers are easy to use, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few tips that can make them more effective, last longer, and your life easier. One should always wear a pair of sturdy gloves when working with loppers. This will help prevent blisters in the palms and also make it easier to keep a firm hold on the handles. It is also vital that you don't allow the tool to twist while cutting. If this happens, more than likely they will not produce a cut, but will wind up just pinching the branch between the jaws.
Ideally it is best to use loppers with the arms semi-extended or close to the body. If one tries to reach too far and fully extends the arms, it will require more force and cause the user to tire out quickly. It also reduces some of the users leverage.
Bypass loppers cut in line with the blade, not the dull jaw. For precision, line up the cut location with the sharp jaw before exerting force on the branch. As mentioned previously, the blade passes by the side of the dull jaw. If you line up the cut with the wrong jaw, the cut will be roughly 1/4' off of the location the user intends to cut.
It also helps to get the branch as deep into the jaws of the lopper as possible. They should not be used like scissors cutting paper a section at a time. If the branch cannot fit completely within the jaws, it is too big and should not be cut with loppers. Once the branch is properly positioned, close the loppers in one fluid motion to produce the cleanest cut.
Keeping A Healthy Garden
Keeping a healthy garden is the best way to ensure a beautiful one, with healthy, budding flowers and fruit. The first, and what might be considered most essential step in keeping a garden healthy is to limit the number of diseases and pests introduced externally. This can be done by fully inspecting any new plants before bringing them home. Check the tops and bottoms of the leaves and the branches for pests or signs of disease. The roots should also be closely examined for signs of root rot.
The plants in your garden should also regularly be inspected for pests and disease. If caught early enough, just removing or quarantining a single plant may be enough to stop them from spreading. Otherwise you may wind having to treat an entire garden which has been infected.
If using composted yard waste in new plantings, ensure that is had been fully composted. Partially composed waste can still harbor unwanted pathogens, which may cause diseases. When fertilizing a garden, make sure to use the proper fertilizer for the plant type, and in the correct ratio.
Using fertilizer that is too strong can burn the roots or leaves and even make it more difficult for a plant to absorb the nutrients it needs. If one uses the incorrect fertilizer, it may result in less blooms or an overabundance of an unwanted nutrient, which can stress a plant and make them more susceptible to disease.