Pruning comes as a gardening and lawn maintenance essential for every gardener out there. A handful of pruning tools had, however, been there in the market since ages.
But as you’ve managed to land on this web page, we assume that a lopper is the go-to pruning tool for you. And before you start making cuts on the branches with it, you’re in search of some basic know how.
Alright, that’s what we’ve crafted this entire post about. We’ve explained how to use loppers, how many types of them are there and backed it up with some crucial tips.
Let’s get along with the guide on using tree loppers.
Table of Contents
- Types of Loppers
- Basics of Cutting with A lopper
- A 3-Step Guide on How to Use Loppers
- Tips and Precautions Before Using A Lopper For Pruning
- Bottom Line
Types of Loppers
Before heading right into the usability, it’s imperative that we get to know a couple of variations that gardening loppers come up with. Based on the blade and the cutting action, they can be clearly split into two categories- Bypass loppers and Anvil loppers.
Here go the details-
These typical kinds of loppers have a single-edged blade. When the blade closes, it can slice past a thick base, which results in a final cut. Sometimes, bypass loppers also have a couple of blades and work like a pair of scissors. In those kinds, the couple of blades pass each other in order to make the cut.
So, what sorts of cut are made usually by such bypass loppers?
Well, it’s usually for cutting more delicate stems of the tree where it’s essential to be less likely to cause bruising to the stem.
An anvil lopper is a pruning tool where a blade slices towards the center of the fat lower base called the anvil. When you’re done with the cut, this causes a contact with the base.
Anvil loppers are better suited for cutting hard woody stems, as the blade is less likely to stay stuck to the stem as the cut takes place. The cuts are also less precise but can extract higher crushing force.
Basics of Cutting with A lopper
Before we get to learn how to use loppers safely, here are some basics-
Loppers are usually used to cut large-in-size stems and tree branches that are not too thick to cut with secateurs. To be precise, a general lopper can be used to make cuts on branches which are no thicker than your thumb.
There are two parts of a lopper in general-
Loppers are usually of two hands for easy cutting. And therefore, a couple of handles are essentially a part of a lopper. But the handle has a number of length variations as long as a different form of cutting chores are concerned.
Some of them might even have a gear lopper mechanism to make cutting easier for the user.
The blade is the part-in-action of a lopper. There are two parts of the blade- the thinner one and the thicker one. The thick blade works as the cutting base where the thin one makes the cut into the wood.
These two parts will, however, form the definition of loppers.
A 3-Step Guide on How to Use Loppers
Assuming that the major kind of use that you’re going to make out of a lopper is pruning, we’ve crafted a 3-step guide on how to use lopper for tree pruning.
Here go the steps-
Step 1: Line up the blade and cutting site
To begin with, the process, identify the location of the branch where you are going to cut. The place should not be too close to the trunk (the junction that connects the branch and the tree).
After you’ve sorted out the location of the cut, line up the blade of the lopper with the cutting site. As blades pass to the side of the thicker base of it, you are supposed to keep the blade at least ¼” away from the exact cutting point. This has to be done because of the precise spot that the blade comes through shifts ¼” as you flip the tool for cutting.
Step 2: Bite the wood with the blade
To make the first bite on the wood, open up the lopper and get the branch deep into the blade. If you pressurize the lopper handle hard, the blade might get all the way into the wood, and that’s what we expect you to do indeed.
However, you can not go with the step if you have a dull blade or a weak handle. Make sure that none of these two obstacles take place when you go through the process. Also, ensure to pick up one of the best pruning loppers available for your job.
Step 3: Complete the cut
Once you’ve come out nicely with step 2, it’s time to complete the cut. Having the blade into the wood, close the blades by pushing the handles hard. If the handle has got some gear-based pushing mechanism, it might not require for too much force to go through.
Either way, you should close the loppers through the branch in one fluid motion.
Tips and Precautions Before Using A Lopper For Pruning
Stop the loppers from rotating
If the lopper makes twist while cutting, that goes completely against a perfect cut. But it’s quite obvious thing, as you have to exert added strain on the tool to adjust with the thickness of the branch.
So, keep a firm grip on the handle of the loppers as you make the bite on the branch.
Dull lopper blades? Never!
One of the worst scenarios of pruning with a lopper is when the lopper blades are not sharp. As they don’t come up with teeth like saws, they are pretty likely to go dull. And with a blade that is so, you are in an obvious way to make improper cuts.
So, use the right set of lopper sharpener tools to make the blades sharp every time you go for a full-scale pruning mission. Sharpening loppers at proper manner is an equally important part of the process as well.
Be careful with the extended arms
Using loppers with extended arms are often essential. But don’t use them unless you need to. Applying forces on the blade through extended arms might sound easy, but it’s quite likely to tire your arms. Which will eventually, lead to weak to weaker cuts.
Don’t cut close to the trunk
Woods have a structural property that the closer it is to the trunk, the harder it is to make a cut. So, when you’re up to pruning with a lopper, make sure it’s not too close to the trunk.
Make sure that the cut is clean enough
It’s quite important that the cut you make with a lopper has to be as clean as possible. In fact, the same priorities go to all sorts of clean garden tools. An untidy cut will eventually leave a wounded piece of wood on the branch, and it will take more time to heat it up for the wood.
Keep your lopper clean
It’s quite imperative that a cutting tool works best in a clean condition. When you’re done with a session of pruning with a lopper, make sure that it’s not left tidy.
To make sure it’s cleaned off, wipe the blades with splashes of water, dry them up under open air and store. If you are in a risk of getting rust to attach on your lopper blades, apply a thin coat of oil or grease on the cutting edges of the blades.
Whoa! We’re at the dead bottom of the discussion on how to use garden loppers. And we’re quite hopeful that the discussion was valuable to you as a wannabe lopper user. No matter whichever way you use to prune your garden, make sure that you’ve taken on essential safety measures anyway.