Trim the Limb With the Best Pole Saw Without Failure
Trimming your trees requires expertise and the right tools. Failing to do so efficiently isn’t just irresponsible but dangerous. This is especially true for taller trees because there’s always a risk of falling down. It can lead to injuries, power outages, and a loss of thousands due to property damage. So before messing up with some uncontrollable tree branches, prepare yourself with the right approach and the right tool.
A pole saw is your ultimate solution to get the job done. You can easily reach out to limbs and branches of tall trees without climbing on a ladder. The saw attached at the end of the long pole enables you to prune trees generally out of your reach. This genius tool is a must-have if you love to take care of your trees, and climbing up on the tree with a chain saw sounds doesn’t sound too safe or comfortable.
To help you make the right choice and learn everything that constitutes premium pole saws in 2023, we have this guide for you. Read on to find out our top picks and all the information you need to get started.
Pole Saws Ultimate Buying Guide
This guide aims to help you find the best pole saw for trimming branches and pruning trees without causing you a budget overrun. This all-inclusive guide has all the information to help you make a Smart choice.
Why Do You Need a Pole Saw
The self-explanatory tool is precisely what the name suggests: a saw attached to a long pole. Whether you’re a professional or a gardening enthusiast with tall trees in the backyard, you need this crucial tool for cutting the dead or infected vines and branches to ensure the longevity and health of your trees. You need a pole saw for trimming and pruning hard-to-reach tops and shrubs. Some pole saws allow detaching the pole to be used as a regular chainsaw.
Here are all the reasons why you need a pole saw:
To Reach Out to the Height: Increase safety by eliminating the use of a stool or ladder when trying to cut branches or trim trees that are hard to reach. A pole saw provides you excellent reach and makes challenging pruning tasks safer.
Sort the Undergrowth: Clear the bush with a pole saw and sort the undergrowth in the garden. These tasks are crucial for eliminating the risk of fire or setting up a clear foundation for new construction.
Trimming Dead Tree Branches: A dead branch can affect the overall health of your tree. Not to mention, dead hanging branches can look pretty ugly in the yard. The best way to maintain your garden is to trim them right away and keep your garden looking pretty and safe. Use a pole saw to get rid of dead branches to avoid the hassle.
Pruning Needs: One of the most common gardening tasks is pruning your trees. This requires both planning and precise cutting. A pole saw helps you trim your trees regularly for improving shape and growth. The best part is that it allows you to reach the tallest branches without stepping on a stool or ladder.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Pole Saw
You can find various types available on the market today, many of which boast different features and properties. The best pole saw for you will be the one that offers you all the features you are looking for and efficiently completes the job you need to get done.
The following are all factors to help you make your mind:
The number of trees and their heights
If you have to deal with lots of large and tall trees, you must look for a suitable pole saw that can easily reach the top branches without struggling. A cordless pole saw option is an excellent choice in such a situation, giving you more flexibility as it won’t be attached to an electric socket.
If you have a large area to cover and lots of shrubbery in the yard, you will need a power pole saw to cater to your gardening needs.
Your frequency of use
If you’re planning to use a pole saw more regularly, you really need to pay attention to its make and durability. Most professionals who use the tool on a daily basis often prefer a gas-powered pole saw. However, some battery-powered and electric models are equally durable and easier to use.
The variety you can find these days will surprise you. There are tons of unique and amazing features that make using a pole saw more convenient. There are removable saws and models that feature self-oiling chains and more. Understand your own specific needs and preferences and find out the features that will be useful when tinkering in your yard.
Last but not the least, you must figure out the amount you are willing to invest in a pole saw. You will find many models falling within your budget but considering other important factors will help you make a more informed decision. Keep all the factors mentioned above and pick a pole saw that best suits your needs.
The Different Types of Pole Saws
Before you scroll back up and click on the most desirable pole saw, here’s the last checklist to enable you to distinguish between the different types so you can completely understand what you’re buying.
Electric pole saw
Electric pole saws offer more convenience and are much quieter than gas saws but may not be as robust. Pick a suitable model that provides enough power to care for your trimming and pruning needs. The only setback is that they require a power outlet nearby to work.
Manual pole saw
The manual ones are lighter but often have a much longer reach for taller and larger trees. You don’t even have to worry about the maintenance of a chainsaw. Manual pole saws are often the cheapest and easy to maintain. The only problem with these is that they can be a little challenging when navigating branches and require a lot of human power to do the job.
Gas-operated pole saw
The most robust of all, the gas pole saws are the common choice for professionals for their industry-standard durability and built. They’re the most reliable ones for trimming thick branches but are heavier and need more maintenance than their counterparts.
Can I Use a Hedge Trimmer or Pole Saw to Trim My Trees?
Every garden lover has those few tried and true tools in their shed for the most common outdoor projects. Garden hoe, shovel, pruning shears and hand trowel? Check.
But there are times when we’re not quite sure if we have the right tool to get the job done. Take, for example, a hedge trimmer and pole saw. Can a hedge trimmer double as a tree-pruning tool? Or, are pole saws OK to use on trees?
Read on to learn about the trimming tools that work best on trees and the ones that don’t.
Tree branch pruning: Which tools can you use?
From the burly branches of an oak tree to the skinny limbs of a dogwood, tree branches come in all sorts of sizes. That means there are a variety of tools to look to when it’s time to prune.
Can I use a hedge trimmer on tree branches?
Hedge trimmers are specially designed for the super thin, lightweight twigs and leaves of a hedge or bush. Their grooves are about ¾ of an inch to half an inch wide at most, and when you compare that to the size of your tree’s branches, it’s just not the right fit. Even the heavy-duty hedge trimmers with wider grooves don’t have the horsepower to cut through tree branches.
Fact is, hedge trimmers can’t do the job of more suitable trimming tools like pruning shears or loppers. For the best results, use one of these three essential tools for trimming trees.
Can I use a pole saw on tree limbs?
You sure can! A pole saw is the perfect tool to tackle hard-to-reach tree branches. It’s designed to grip branches and steadily saw for controlled, clean cuts.
As with all pruning tools, pole saws come in different sizes, so make sure you choose a model that’s ideal for the diameter of your tree’s branches.
Also keep in mind that pole saws were made to help DIY trimmers reach higher-up, manageable branches while standing safely on the ground. So, if you ever have to strain and stretch to reach a branch, find that a branch is too thick to cut or simply can’t reach a limb without a ladder, have a professional arborist prune the tree instead.
The 3 Best Tree Trimming Tools to Own
If you want to get the most out of the trees you have in your yard, then you must take care of them. If you do not take good care of your trees, they may pose a threat to your house, your car, and the people who spend time outside. Furthermore, you might end up having to call emergency tree removal services. One of the best times to work on your trees is during the winter months.
During this time of year, trees do not have a lot of leaves. Therefore, it is easier to get to the branches you need to trim. At the same time, if you want to get the most out of your tree trimming, you need to have the right tools. What are a few examples of tools you should own for tree shaping, trimming, and pruning purposes? Remember to reach out to professionals if you have any questions or concerns about the tools you use. Safety always has to come first.
A Pair of Pruning Shears
Without a doubt, one of the most important tools you have to have is a pair of simple pruning shears. This is a versatile tool that you can use in a wide variety of situations. Even though it can be helpful with trees in your yard, it can also be used for bushes as well. Also called hand pruners, they are designed to be easy to carry, simple to use, and durable enough to last for many years. If the twins are less than one inch in diameter, then there is a good chance this is the two of you need.
The tool looks like a pair of scissors, and is great for trimming twigs that are otherwise at an awkward angle. There are plenty of examples of pruning shears out there, so you need to think about the shape of your hand, the strength of your grip, and the types of trees you are going to be trimming. For example, there are different pruning shears you can use for branches that are alive versus dead.
Loppers for Larger Branches
If you are trying to tackle larger branches, then you need larger tools. And this case, you may need a tool called a lopper. A lopper is a tool with a long handle, a sturdy blade, and a durable finish. You can use this tool to cut branches that are up to two inches in diameter. Keep in mind that this tool is a bit heavier, so you need to have the hand and arm strength to use it.
Similar to pruning shears, there are plenty of loppers available. Some loppers have been designed to handle live branches while other loppers have been designed to handle dead branches. This is a significant investment, so reach out to a professional if you are unsure of exactly what type of tool you need. That way, you can efficiently remove dead branches while taking care of the ones that are still living.
A Pole Pruner for Difficult Branches
If you have ever tried to trim your trees before, you understand that some branches can be in exceptionally difficult locations. If you have branches that are hard to reach, then you may want to use something called a pole pruner. This is a tool that comes in different shapes and sizes, but some pole pruners can reach tree branches that are up to 15 feet in the air. This is usually a tool that is used to remove dead branches.
If you are trying to find a pole pruner, then look for a tool that has a bypass blade and a pruning saw. The bypass blade can be used on tree branches that are up to two inches thick. The pruning saw is designed to handle branches that are a bit larger. Make sure you are comfortable using this tool. If you have any questions or concerns about trimming your trees, then it is important to reach out to a professional with the right experience to help you.
Call Pope Tree Service for Tree Shaping and Trimming Services in San Diego
Even though there are some tree trimming jobs that you may be able to do on your own, there are others that need to be left to the professionals. Safety always has to come first, and it will be our pleasure to help you. We are Pope Tree Service, and we provide professional tree trimming and tree pruning services in San Diego. Throughout the years, we have always placed the needs of our clients ahead of our own. It would be our honor to do the same for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your tree needs!
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Contact us today to get a free estimate for your tree work
The best loppers make pruning trees more comfortable and efficient, so choose the right tool with the help of these tips and this list of loppers that made the cut in hands-on testing.
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Handheld pruning shears are great for nipping off narrow stems and branches up to ½-inch in diameter, but for pruning thicker branches up to 2 or 3 inches, loppers are a better fit. In effect, loppers are the beefed-up version of pruning shears, offering more reach and cutting power. Garden centers and online retailers offer a wide array of loppers, all billed as the best loppers for home landscaping projects.
While some of these tools are excellent, others are just so-so. I tested several loppers from various top manufacturers to find out which ones lived up to their reputations. I put the loppers through their paces—snipping, nipping, and pruning the trees and shrubs in my yard. Ahead, find out what to look for when shopping for this landscaping tool and learn about the pros (and cons) I uncovered when testing the following landscaping loppers.
- BEST OVERALL:Kings County Tools Double Ratcheting Anvil Lopper
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Fiskars 391461-1003 Bypass Lopper, 28 Inch
- UPGRADE PICK:Felco F 22 Pruning Shear
- BEST COMPACT:TABOR TOOLS GB19A Anvil Lopper Compound Action
- BEST COMFORT GRIP:Corona Tools 31-inch DualLINK Bypass Lopper
- BEST FOR GREENERY:Corona SL 6500 32-inch Super-Duty Bypass Lopper
- BEST FOR DRY WOOD:TABOR TOOLS GG12A Anvil Lopper with Compound Action
- BEST FOR BROKEN BRANCHES:Spear Jackson 8290RS Heavy Duty Telescopic Loppers
- ALSO CONSIDER:Wolf-Garten Power Cut Telescoping Bypass Lopper
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Loppers
At first glance, loppers all look pretty much the same—with two handles that open wide to manipulate their scissor-like blades. But there are substantial differences between models.
Loppers are categorized based on their blades, either anvil or bypass. Each type works better on different types of stems and branches.
Anvil loppers feature a stationary base (anvil) with a groove. They have a movable sharpened blade that presses into the groove when trimming branches. Anvil loppers are suitable for cutting dry, brittle branches and dead stems, snapping them in half with ease. They’re not optimal for trimming soft green branches because they tend to crush and tear the limbs rather than make a clean cut.
Bypass loppers work much like scissors; two sharpened blades overlap one another to make a clean cut. Bypass loppers are best for making sharp cuts on soft, green branches. But cutting through stiff, dead branches with bypass loppers can dull the blades or even leave nicks. Choose a bypass lopper for trimming back green growth, such as shaping an overgrown shrub.
Like many pruning shears, lopper blades are made from steel, but not all steel is the same. Some loppers contain a coating to protect the blade, preserve its edge, and to provide easier cleaning.
Nothing resists staining and rust quite as well as stainless steel. However, it’s not as durable as carbon steel and tends to bend if used on hard, dry branches. Stainless steel blades come at a higher price and aren’t easy to sharpen once they become dull.
The toughest lopper blades are made from carbon steel, and they do the best job of cutting thick branches. On the other hand, these tools rust more easily than stainless steel, so the blades should be wiped clean after every use. Users can easily sharpen dull carbon steel blades with a basic sharpening stone or a carbide file.
A Teflon or titanium coating offers a measure of rust protection to carbon steel blades. The coating makes it easier to clean sap residue that results from cutting green tree branches. Coated blades hold their sharpness longer, but they too eventually become dull. The coating doesn’t cover the blade’s edge, so sharpening should not remove the coating.
Loppers vary in their cutting action, which affects their operation and suitability for specific tasks.
- Manual loppers are the most straightforward option for trimming. The two blades are attached by a single screw at the fulcrum (the support on which a lever turns), providing a basic open-and-close cutting motion. These loppers work best when cutting narrower branches because the user’s strength is solely responsible for the cutting force.
- Ratcheting loppers are designed for slightly easier trimming, particularly with thicker branches. As a user squeezes the handles together, the blades latch in place partially through the cut. The tool can be reopened to get a wider and stronger grip without releasing pressure on the branch. Depending on the ratcheting mechanism, the handles may be reopened two or three times to increase cutting pressure.
- Compound action loppers are built with one or more pivoting arms located at the fulcrum between the two blades to increase cutting force. These loppers are great when you need to cut through thicker branches, although the extra steel makes them heavier and can cause arm fatigue.
Length and Weight
To determine suitable length and weight for loppers, the trick is to know your own strength and cutting needs. The shortest loppers measure about 15 inches from the end of the handles to the tip of the cutting blades, and they can weigh as little as 11 ounces, a good length and weight for pruning narrower branches.
Lengthier loppers, measuring 32 inches or more, are handier when you need to reach high branches without having to stand on a ladder. Longer loppers are heavier, with some weighing more than 4 pounds, so they’re more likely to cause arm fatigue.
A long lopper offers more reach and often enhanced power if it uses compound action. But if you can’t make clean cuts with it, opt for a shorter length. Some models have telescoping handles that you can extend or shorten as necessary. Some of the models I tested were relatively large and heavy, and were better suited to trimming branches at or below waist level.
Many loppers come with padded rubber or foam grips designed to reduce slippage, hand fatigue, and blisters. The softest foam handles feel great in your hands, but they’re also more prone to nicks and tears. If you plan on using the loppers extensively, consider a pair with molded rubber grips that will hold up to the extra work.
While padded grips make pruning tasks more comfortable, it’s still important to wear gardening gloves when using this tool. It didn’t take long during my hands-on tests to discover that a pair of suitable leather gloves was also helpful in keeping blisters at bay.
Our Top Picks
I tested each of the following loppers to determine what type of branches they were best suited for pruning (deadwood or green wood) and to determine how well the handles were designed in relation to the blade assemblies. Did their maximum cutting force require super-human strength? Were the handles comfortable? These were only a few of the things I considered as I tested each lopper. Find out how each one fared to determine if one is the right pick for your landscaping tool collection.
Kings County Tools Double Ratcheting Anvil Lopper
The first thing I noticed when the Kings County Loppers arrived was their heavy-duty construction. These rugged loppers come with a steel head and forged aluminum arms. When I first spread the handles, the blade snapped to its widest jaw position, and it took four pumps of the handle to close it completely. The ratcheting action generates more cutting pressure with each pump of the handle.
The telescoping handles were effortless to adjust—I just depressed the white buttons on the upper handles and slid the extension arms out. The arms have five individual setting lengths about 3 inches apart, so I could lengthen them just a bit or telescope them all the way out to 40 inches to reach high branches. I was able to trim branches that previously I had to stand on a ladder to reach.
If you need the convenience of a mid-length lopper most of the time but the reach of a longer tool some of the time, these anvil loppers are a worthy pick. I was impressed by the tough blade of carbon-coated steel—it didn’t dull or nick even with the hardest dry branches. The tool is rated to cut branches up to 2.5 inches. I found that I could only cut through a dead branch that was just over 2 inches in diameter, but my husband was able to cut through one that was nearly 3 inches in diameter. The Kings County Tools lopper earns the Best Overall spot due to its versatility—it can be lengthened quickly, it offers powerful ratcheting cutting force, and it comes with ergonomic, nonslip handles.
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Type and use: Anvil, for dry branches
- Length: 26 to 40 inches (telescoping)
Fiskars 391461-1003 Bypass Lopper, 28 Inch
For reasonably priced cutters that don’t sacrifice performance, these Fiskars bypass loppers are a solid choice. The rust-resistant stainless steel blades are hardened and precision ground, meaning they’ll retain their edge over an extended period. The low-friction coating allows the blades to cut through wood easily and results in less sap residue. I found these Fiskar loppers easy to use on green branches and the cutting action to be super-smooth. I didn’t spot any tearing of the limbs or ragged cuts, which tend to make a tree more susceptible to disease.
These 28-inch cutters are suitable for living, green growth with a cutting capacity of branches up to 1.5 inches thick. Shock-absorbing bumpers make the tool easier to use, and padded grips offer additional comfort. While these loppers aren’t the lightest on the list, they still weigh a modest 2.9 pounds, so they’re not difficult to use when cutting overhead.
After testing, I found the coated, nonstick blade wiped clean with just a soft cloth. This is important to me because bypass loppers I’ve owned in the past were difficult to clean, requiring scrubbing with steel wool and a lubricant. All loppers used to cut green wood will get slightly wet and may become covered in sticky sap, so being able to wipe the blade clean is a big plus. Those looking for a quality cutting tool at a reasonable price won’t be disappointed with these Fiskar loppers.
Felco F 22 Pruning Shear
These sturdy bypass loppers are a serious upgrade in performance and ergonomics. The hardened carbon steel blades are Swiss made, designed for making clean, precise cuts. Users can also resharpen the blades as needed. Everything about these loppers screams quality. They’re made to last, and all of the parts are replaceable, so this may be the last lopper you’ll ever buy.
The forged aluminum handles are smooth to the touch, but the tool weighs in at 4.4 pounds, so it’s not for the faint of heart. With a 33-inch length, these loppers can reach up to trim higher branches. I found it most comfortable to cut branches at waist level or lower. After trimming a few overhead branches, I started to feel some wrist and arm fatigue. The grips on these cutters are nonslip with a slight inward angle, allowing users to exert force while maintaining a more comfortable arm position. Built-in shock absorbers on the handles protect the arms and wrists—so they’re well suited for intense, time-consuming landscaping tasks. This is a lopper for the serious arborist, and it makes sharp, clean cuts on green wood.
- Very well made, plus all parts are replaceable
- Cuts easily through green branches 2 inches thick
- Ergonomic design for maximum cutting power
- Razor-sharp bypass blades
TABOR TOOLS GB19A Anvil Lopper Compound Action
I was pleasantly surprised by the power of these smaller loppers. At just 19 inches long, they were the shortest of all the loppers tested, so I didn’t think they’d offer much cutting power. Was I ever surprised—the compound gear mechanism provides enhanced force for effective cuts through dry wood. I snapped right through an ages-old dead branch on my rose bush that was at least 1.25 inches in diameter.
The carbon steel blades are hardened to increase durability and maintain their edge, even with heavy use. They’re rust resistant and easy to clean, with a nonstick coating that protects the blades and prevents residue buildup. I just wiped them clean with a damp rag and then followed up with a dry rag. The blade’s edge can be manually sharpened in the future—right now, it’s razor-sharp, and a good 30 minutes of cutting out dry rose branches didn’t dull it.
The compact length of these loppers is ideal for cutting close to the body, trimming undergrowth, and pruning low-hanging branches, such as those of a potted plant. This tool is one of the most user-friendly loppers I tested with a shorter, more manageable length, comfortable nonslip grip, and a 1.75-pound weight.
Corona Tools 31-inch DualLINK Bypass Lopper
The ComfortGEL grips on these Corona loppers felt so good, I didn’t even consider wearing gloves when using them. My hands didn’t slip, so I didn’t have to worry about blisters. The grips offer just the right amount of padding while remaining solid, and the slightly curved shapes fit nicely in my hands.
The compound action loppers are well suited for cutting thick branches. I was able to remove with ease an unwanted branch on an Apple tree that was over 1.5 inches in diameter. The long aluminum arms make it possible to generate a lot of leverage. The additional compound link magnifies cutting force and reduces the necessary work, while sturdy steel handles manage the extra power. At 3.8 pounds, the Corona loppers are heavier than some of the ones I tested, but they’re not quite as heavy as other ratcheting models.
These cutters have a narrower blade opening, so they’re beneficial for getting at hard-to-reach tree limbs. When I first examined the loppers, I was disappointed at what appeared to be a plastic link on the opening mechanism. While it is plastic, it’s actually a bumper guard—an identical steel link on the backside is the actual opening mechanism, so the plastic acts as more of a stabilizer.
Corona SL 6500 32-inch Super-Duty Bypass Lopper
The curved head on these bypass loppers is large, and the blade is razor-sharp. My first impression was that the loppers would be out of balance, given the large head size, but surprisingly, they only weigh 2.8 pounds. They don’t come with compound action, but rather with massive blades and long handles for leverage. I was able to fit a 2-inch green Empress tree branch between the blades and lop it right off. I had a tougher time with a 2-inch oak branch, but my husband cut through it with ease.
Measuring 32 inches long, the Corona Super-Duty Loppers are great for reaching branches overhead. These manual loppers come with padded grips for more comfortable operation, and the cutting blade can be resharpened as needed.
A nice upside to these loppers is the steel-spring bumper located in the opening mechanism that keeps users from jamming their hands together after making a tough cut. I appreciated the bumper when putting all my power behind cutting through a green branch that seemed challenging but gave way before I could redirect my arm motion. The bumper absorbed the shock, so my arms didn’t.
- Large head for cutting up to 3-inch branches
- Blade can be resharpened
- Spring-loaded bumper absorber
- Ergonomic, padded grips
TABOR TOOLS GG12A Anvil Lopper with Compound Action
At first, I wondered if the Tabor Tool Anvil Loppers would cut through stiff dead branches since they don’t come with ratcheting action. I need not have worried—the loppers instead feature compound cutting action via a short pivoting arm located at the fulcrum of the blades that increases cutting power.
The manufacturer advertises the loppers as being able to cut through dry branches up to 2 inches thick. I didn’t quite pull that off, but I was able to cut through a dead branch on an elm tree that was 1.5 inches thick. Someone with a bit more arm strength than me could likely cut through a 2-inch branch.
I was super-impressed with the grips on this set of loppers—they’re soft and slightly padded, and I could exert pressure without my hands slipping. At 30 inches long, the sizable arms allowed me to increase my leverage on the branches. A shock-absorbing bumper would have been a nice addition, but this is a decent set of loppers for cutting dry wood. At 3.5 pounds, the Tabor loppers are well suited for use overhead without too much wrist and arm fatigue for an average user.
Spear Jackson 8290RS Heavy Duty Telescopic Loppers
I trimmed away several dead willow branches that were damaged in an ice storm earlier this year with the Spear Jackson loppers. Willow is hard when dry, but the ratcheting action of these loppers increased the cutting force, and with just a slight pumping action, I was able to cut through dead branches as large as 1.5 inches.
These loppers can take a little getting used to—when I first spread the handles, the blades didn’t open until the handles reached their maximum spread—and then the blade head snapped open. It took four pumps of the blade handle to cut completely through a branch from that point. With each pump, the ratchet action increased the cutting force on the branch until it cut through.
While I tested a couple of other sets of telescoping loppers, this one was the simplest to adjust while cutting. I was able to start a cut on a branch, and while the blade head was firmly gripping the branch, I was able to twist the bottom of the handle and then pull to lengthen it. This is an excellent feature for those who start a cut and decide they need more leverage from longer handles. At 4.2 pounds, these loppers are on the heavy side, so I had to take a few breaks, but they offer a whole lot of cutting power.
- Weight: 4.2 pounds
- Type and use: Anvil, for dry branches
- Length: 26 to 40 inches (telescoping)
After extensive lopper testing, my trees and shrubs have never looked better. While all the loppers that made this lineup are worthy of a spot in a landscaper’s tool shed, a couple stand out. The Kings County Tools Double Ratcheting Anvil Lopper took the Best Overall award for their quality steel blades, sheer cutting power, and telescoping handles. For easily cutting green branches and affordability, the Fiskars Bypass Lopper comes in as our Best Bang for the Buck pick. Its smooth cutting action and rust-resistant blades offer precision cutting at a budget-friendly price.
How We Tested the Best Loppers
Each set of loppers was extensively tested and the results analyzed. Among the most important considerations was the amount of cutting power the tool could generate, whether it was designed to cut deadwood (anvil) or green wood (bypass). I scored each lopper on performance, blade sharpness, ease of use, and durability.
I tested each set of loppers on various branch sizes and noted the dimension of the thickest branches I could comfortably cut. While some of the loppers offer ratcheting action, which is a wonderful addition for its sheer cutting power, each lopper has a limit to what it will cut based on both the width of the blades when fully open and the strength of the user.
The loppers were also evaluated for comfort, whether they came with padded or nonslip grips, and whether the arms were ergonomically designed to maximize a user’s arm strength. I found that a slight inward curve at the grip section of the handles allowed me to generate more leverage. Safety also factored in, especially with ratcheting loppers that will snap shut on a final pump of the handle.
A quality pair of loppers is an arborist’s or home landscaper’s best friend, but dozens of sets are available, and users want to know whether they’re getting a good deal for the price. A few questions are to be expected for those looking to invest in a set (or two) of loppers.
Q. What do you use loppers for?
Loppers serve multiple landscaping purposes, from pruning shrubs to cutting the limbs of dead trees. Loppers are like pruning shears with extended handles, and both gardening tools require manual operation.
Q. What is the difference between a lopper and a pruner?
Loppers require two hands to operate and are designed to cut midsize stems and branches. Pruners are smaller and more closely resemble scissors. Pruning shears require only one hand to operate and are intended for cutting smaller stems and branches.
Q. What should I look for when buying a lopper?
The most suitable loppers for the user depend on intended use, budget, arm strength, and preferences related to material and comfort.
- Bypass vs. anvil blades: Bypass loppers are suitable for cutting living plants, like green tree branches and shrubbery, while anvil blades are better at handling dry, brittle branches.
- Cutting action: Basic manual models work best on narrow branches; ratcheting cutters are more effective for thicker stems; and compound action loppers are intended for use on cutting thicker branches. These tools often possess the most cutting power.
- Blade material: Stainless steel resists rust and stains, generally requiring less maintenance compared to carbon steel. Blades containing carbon steel do not have these characteristics unless they’re treated with a protective coating. Carbon steel is more rigid, less expensive, and more easily sharpened.
- Length: Naturally, longer loppers (33 inches or more) are best for reaching to cut higher branches and shrub leaves. Models with a telescoping handle are versatile and some provide significant length adjustment.
- Ergonomics: Cutters with padded grips made of rubber or foam are more comfortable to use. If arm fatigue and wrist pain are concerns for you, go with loppers that weigh less than 3 pounds and have shock-absorbing handles.
Q. Are bypass loppers better than anvil loppers?
This depends on the types of branches and stems you plan on cutting. Bypass loppers are more suitable for sharp cuts through soft, living plants like overgrown shrubs. These blades may dull when used on hard, dead branches. Anvil loppers are more suitable for this type of task, while they tend to crush and tear softer greenery.
Tree Trimming with Cordless Pole Saw
Q. How thick of a branch can loppers cut?
A heavy-duty anvil lopper is capable of cutting dead branches up to about 3 inches thick. Some large-head loppers, such as the Corona Super-Duty Loppers, can cut green branches up to 3 inches thick.
Q. What is the best telescopic tree pruner?
The Kings County Tools Double Ratcheting Anvil Lopper is among the most versatile tree pruners, capable of adjusting between 26 and 40 inches in length. The Spear Jackson Telescopic Ratchet Lopper is one of the best tools for dealing with thicker dead branches with an adjustable length between 18 inches and 30 inches. For telescoping action in a bypass lopper, consider the Wolf-Garten Telescoping Bypass Lopper.
Q. How do you maintain a lopper?
Loppers with carbon steel blades generally require more upkeep. Unlike stainless steel, this material is susceptible to rust and stains. Wipe carbon steel blades clean after each use. Additionally, components of the cutting mechanism should be lubricated to maintain smooth cutting performance.
Tree Branch Cutter – 7 Ways to Cut Tree Branches or Limbs That Are Too High to Reach
Have you ever trimmed tree branches by yourself? If the answer is yes, you know how difficult that task can be, especially if the branches are too high to reach. Whether you are cutting steel or wood, the preparation starts with securing the right equipment.
A tree branch cutter can use a pole saw or pruner or even a bucket saw. Additionally, it’s vital to monitor every move to avoid potential falls and injuries.
In this article, we are focusing on cutting high branches. We’ll cover everything from the best time for cutting them to multiple ways to approach the problem. Once you finish reading, it’ll be easy to tackle even the highest limbs and branches!
What Is the Best Time to Trim the Branches?
You can use a reciprocating saw pruning blade for cutting branches, and the tool will do a great job. Apart from using the right equipment, it’s vital to find the right time for DIY tree trimming.
For the tree’s health, it’s best to perform the cutting during the winter. That’s because trees are dormant during that season. Therefore, it’s less risky for diseases and pests to attack it.
Even if pests only attack one tree, they can quickly spread to others. So, it might be a danger for the whole backyard. If you notice sick branches, you should act as soon as possible.
Cutting high tree limbs that suffered damage will prevent the disease from spreading.
From the perspective of a tree limb cutter, it helps if it’s not too cold, rainy, or windy. So, pick a winter afternoon when the weather is relatively okay for that season.
This video talks about why winter is a good time for cutting branches and provides additional tips on doing it properly.
How Can You Cut Branches or Limbs?
If you ever wondered how to cut tree limbs, the good news is there are multiple ways to do it. Here is the expert advice, so go ahead and pick the most suitable method.
2.1. Use a Pole Pruner
The most common way to cut off a limb is to use a pole pruner. These feature a simple method of reaching high branches, but one pruner might not fit all branches.
So, start by analyzing the height of the branches to cut. The experts suggest using a tape measure or other methods to assess the height. Next, use that information to acquire a pruner of adequate length.
A pole pruner is nothing but a tall tree trimmer. Some offer a fixed height, and you can adjust others. Therefore, it’s possible to extend the pole if necessary.
2.2. Use a Pole Saw
Caption: A man uses a pole saw to cut a large tree limb
A pole saw is another extendable pruning tool. It comes with a blade and an extendable pole. Therefore, it can reach up to 20 feet in height, which is impressive.
On the other hand, these saws can’t handle thick branches. So, the maximum branch thickness to cut with it is up to 1-2 inches. If the branches are thicker, the experts suggest looking for a more suitable alternative.
2.3. Use a Saw with a Rope
Some call this an improvisation, but it’s a convenient way of cutting branches. Furthermore, it’s affordable when the limb is too high, and you need to cut it.
So, the idea is to get a strong rope for attaching the saw firmly. The first step is to throw it over the branch you plan to cut. Therefore, the rope should be of optimal length and not only strength.
Pull the rope to get the blade to the right height and position it properly. Now, start the cutting process until you remove the branch.
Using a rope saw for trees is tricky, but it allows for finishing the job without significant investments.
Check out this video to see how to saw a branch with a rope saw.
2.4. Use a Ladder with a Pruner or Pruning Saw
If you don’t like using the rope, it’s also possible to get a ladder. The crucial thing is that it is stable and can reach the required height. So, if the branch is 20 feet tall, you’ll need a tall ladder.
The first step is placing the ladder in a stable position. Furthermore, ask someone to hold the ladder. It will minimize the risk of it falling to the ground.
Be careful when leaning on the tree or other branches. Your goal is to find an optimal position for cutting. Once you identify it, activate the tool and remove the target branch.
Here is a video that could help with stable ladder positioning.
2.5. Rent a Bucket Lift
Caption: A man cutting a tree to promote its health
A bucket lift is a professional tool with a high price tag. Therefore, it’s Smart to rent it when you need to cut branches. You can acquire a trailer and other types, so pick the one corresponding to the target limb height.
The advantage of using bucket lifts is that you can reach over 100 feet with them. On the other hand, the biggest problem is transferring the lift to the cutting location. You can use a truck to pull smaller bucket lifts.
This video shows a man on a bucket lift while removing tree branches.
2.6. Climb the Tree Using Ropes and Harness
Do you have the sufficient physical strength to climb that tree? A tree branch cutter can utilize ropes and harnesses to climb and cut the target limb. However, not all trees are suitable for climbing.
So, analyze if there are branches too close to each other or whether you could damage the tree’s structure if you climb it. Finally, make sure to analyze every move made for optimal safety carefully.
It’s vital to bring the saw to cut tree limbs with you. The experts advise tying it around the body but ensure it doesn’t bother you while climbing.
2.7. Use a Phone to Call a Professional
Caption: A professional arborist trimming a tree
There are ways to trim tree branches yourself, but it’ll require putting in time and effort. You could be afraid of heights, or the entire project seems too risky. Whether you lack experience or prefer someone else to do it, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
Calling an arborist means minimizing safety risks and letting an experienced pro handle the cutting. They’ll also assess other branches and recommend other moves for maintaining the tree’s health.
Tree Branch Cutter– What to Pay Attention to When Trimming Tree Limbs?
It’s vital to approach a tree branch-cutting project with maximum caution. So, here are the safety measures to consider during the process!
3.1. Tree Branch Cutter：Take the Right Element
The elements refer to attire and equipment that suit the current conditions. For example, you’ll require safety goggles because pine needles and tree dust might go into your eyes. Gloves will protect you from scratching your hands, while anti-slip shoes ensure stability while climbing.
It’s vital to have the right tools, too. So, make sure to find suitable equipment. A basic pole pruner is excellent for thin branches, but some projects require a professional high-limb rope chainsaw.
3.2. Tree Branch Cutter：Inspect the Trees for Weakness or Cracks Before Climbing
Here is a critical safety tip – there are no hasty moves when climbing a tree. The experts suggest analyzing how you’ll climb before making the first step.
Once you begin heading up, be careful about every step. It’s vital the branch you are leaning on can hold your weight. Otherwise, there’s a high risk of falling, and that’s not something you want to happen.
3.3. Tree Branch Cutter：Avoid Improper Pruning Cut
The process of pruning is vital for the tree’s health and aesthetics. So, the experts recommend counting the distance of six inches to leave on the branch. On the other hand, it’s vital to remove any disease signs to avoid the entire tree getting infected.
A tree branch cutter should avoid flush and stub cuts. The flush cut means cutting too close to the truck, and the tree will take longer to recover.
A stub cut is cutting too far away and might lead to the tree decaying backward, which means you did even bigger damage.
3.4. Tree Branch Cutter：Safety Tips
Caption: An arborist cutting a tree branch
Here are some crucial safety tips to consider when cutting a high tree branch:
- Consider the tool’s power source – if you use an electric saw, wear clothes that don’t conduct electricity well.
- If there are power or cable lines in the tree, it’s best to call a professional.
- Always consider where the removed branch will fall, and ensure you don’t hurt anyone.
- Wear protective equipment, such as helmets, glasses, gloves, etc.
Tree Branch Cutter– Frequent QA
4.1. Tree Branch Cutter：How to Prune a Tree That Is Close to Electrical Wires?
Professionals know how to cut a tree that’s in the vicinity of power lines. Therefore, it’s the safest option to call an arborist. Otherwise, you risk damage to the electric system, but also severe and potentially fatal injuries.
4.2. Tree Branch Cutter： How to Remove Branches Efficiently?
If you are pruning a large tree, you might remove a large number of branches. That’s when a helping hand could assist you. So, consider asking a family member or neighbor to be around and remove the branches as they fall on the ground.
You are ready to handle high branch removal on trees in your backyard or any other location. It’s vital to acquire the right tool and discover the proper method for your project.
You can use any of the seven ways mentioned, but make sure to maintain optimal safety.
If you have questions or need professional cutting tools, NCCuttingtools is at your service. Make sure to check out the impressive product selection and contact the company if you need any assistance with your order!