No garden tool shed is complete without a good pair of loppers for pruning trees and shrubs. Loppers come in two basic cutting types; bypass and anvil. Bypass loppers have a curved blade that passes by a stationary point, cutting all the way through a branch. Anvil-type loppers have a straight blade that presses against a flat surface, pinching off the twig or branch.
Today we're looking at a more advanced type of bypass loppers with a leveraged hinge that improves the cutting force. These are the Fiskars loppers with “Power-Lever” technology, made for cutting branches up to 1 ¾ inch diameter.
The manufacturer claims it has twice the cutting power of a standard pair of loppers and this certainly seems true. Cutting a branch with the Fiskars loppers requires far less muscle power, making it ideal for those with limited hand and arm strength, or those who just want to make pruning a simpler chore.
These loppers are metal construction, except for the connection between the cutter and the handles. This is a plastic joint, and the weakest part of the product. Over time, the plastic gets brittle from age, stress and exposure to the elements. This results in cracks that eventually break, causing the handles to come off. There is not an easy way to repair them short of drilling holes through the handle and shank of the cutter and bolting them in place. A metal joint in place of plastic would probably make these loppers last a lifetime, but then Fiskars couldn't sell you another pair!
Another big negative is that this product is manufactured in China. There is no good reason this product needs to be shipped half way around the world, when it could be made right here in the U.S. by American workers.
Overall, these are very handy to have around the garden, and the improved ease of cutting makes them well worth the higher price compared to standard bypass loppers. Depending on how much you use them, they'll probably last for several years before the plastic joint breaks, so spend a little more up front and make pruning a much easier task in the garden!
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