Fiskars and Melnor make some of the best-rated tree loppers available at Amazon.com, Home Depot and Lowe’s. The Virginia Cooperative Extension recommends ratcheted, bypass loppers capable of cutting through 1 3/4-inch branches. In addition, the cooperative does not recommend anvil-type loppers because they tend to crush living branches.
Fiskars’ 32-inch PowerGear bypass lopper provides greater leverage than single pivot loppers and can cut through branches up to 2 inches in diameter. Amazon.com customers rate this model 4.7 out of 5 stars while Lowe’s customers give it 4.6 out of 5. Model 398542-1001, available at Home Depot, has the same basic features except the cutting blade is titanium coated. Home Depot customers awarded it 4.2 out of 5 stars. Fiskars provides a lifetime warranty on both lopper models.
Also available at Home Depot is the Melnor 26-inch titanium bypass lopper, which customers rated 4.9 out of 5 stars. Several features recommended by the Virginia Cooperative Extension are not available with this model. Instead of a ratcheted pivot, the Melnor has slightly arced handles, which provide more power than that of straight-handled loppers. Its maximum cutting capacity of 1 1/2 inches falls short of the cooperative’s advice for 1 3/4-inch cutting capacity. It, however, does have the recommended cushioned bumper to help reduce fatigue.