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When we bought our house we knew there was quite a large tree at the bottom of the garden which we were keen to keep as it added privacy but it was in desperate need of a good prune. I borrowed some shears from my mum and had a go but it was obvious we needed the proper tool to do the job.
We had been given some money as a moving in present and we spent £20.00 on a pair of loppers from our local garden centre, the Spear and Jackson razor sharp anvil loppers.
The loppers are like a large pair of secateurs and basically do the same job but on a larger scale. The handles are made from aluminium which makes them nice and light, this is essential when you are using them up high as heavy ones would be difficult to control. The handles have nice thick hand grips which are non slip. Again this, in my opinion, is essential making using them easier.
The loppers have one curved blade and a smaller more rounded blade that is smaller and sits inside and slightly below the curved one. The smaller blade is made from C50 carbon steel which has been coated with PTFE, this is the tough coating Tefal use in their pots and pans. According to Spear and Jackson this "prevents scratching on the blade and so in turn prevents rust". Well we have had our loppers for 2 years and I can honestly say there are no scratches or rust on them, so I guess it protects them well.
The loppers open and close by a hinge at the end of the handle, I have no real idea of the "technical details" of this all I know is it enables the blades to open and shut along with the handles.
The loppers will cut anything up to 1 1/2 inches so that's reasonably thick branches, and the loppers are 22 inches in length. They don't extend because we find this plenty long enough for what we need to do. My husband is well over 6 foot so he can reach the higher bits that my little 5ft 1inch doesn't!
We use these loppers mainly for trimming back a tree. They cut through the branches will ease, the blade are still razor sharp and going strong after 2 years. I find using these reasonably easy, the handles open and shut smoothly and they are quite light. I wont say they make this sort of job a walk in the park, a little effort is required, but its far easier than a saw in my opinion.
The sharp blades ensure you get a nice clean cut, slicing cleanly through the branch which will help prevent diseases getting into the tree.
If you looking for a decent reasonably priced pair of loppers then I would recommend giving these a try. They are currently on sale for £21.99 at www.thegardenstore.co.uk or www.amazon.co.uk. They are comfortable to hold and slice through branches will relative ease, we had certainly been pleased with ours.
The Spear & Jackson Razorsharp 22in Anvil Lopper has C50 carbon steel blades, hardened and tempered for durability. The blades are also PTFE coated for rust resistance and smooth cutting. The handles are made from lightweight aluminium and feature non-slip grips for comfort and ease of use. The Anvil action minimises stem twisting for woody branches.