# Which type of lopper should you choose?

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There are a few factors which you should consider when choosing the right lopper for you. Because lopping can be heavy, repetetive work, it is important to choose the right lopper, to make the task as easy as it can be.
Luckily, finding the right lopper is easy if you know what to look for.

## What diameter branches will you be cutting?

The most important factor to consider when choosing a lopper is the maximum diameter branch you will need to cut. Before choosing your lopper, measure the diameter of the largest branch you wish to cut.
You can calculate the diameter of a branch easily by measuring its circumference (the distance around the outside of the branch), and dividing this by pi (3.14).
For example, if a branch has a circumference of 50mm (2in) around, we can calculate its diameter by dividing 50mm by pi (3.14). This gives us a diameter of 16mm (0.62in).

This means that we must choose a lopper with a cutting capacity of 16mm or more.

The cutting capacity of a lopper is always included in the product description or on the label.

## How high will you need to reach?

No prizes for guessing this one: the higher the branches you will need to cut, the longer the lopper you should choose. If the branches you will be cutting are especially high, it may be worth considering a lopper with a telescopic handle.
Pole loppers can be extended from about 1.8m (6ft) to up to 5m (16ft), making them by far the best choice for cutting at height.
However, be mindful that the higher up you will be cutting, the more strain will be placed on your arms, wrists and lower back by holding the lopper overhead, so be sure to choose as light a model as possible.

## How strong are you?

If you feel that you lack the strength or ability to cut through many branches without becoming tired, we suggest looking into ratchet loppers (or geared loppers).
Ratchet loppers make it possible to complete a cut in a series of shorter, easier increments, allowing you to rest your muscles at intervals during a single cut.

## What type of wood will you be cutting?

You will need to consider whether you will be using your lopper to cut wood which is dead or live.
If you will be cutting live wood, choose bypass loppers; the blades on a bypass lopper give a clean cut, which will allow the plant or tree to heal more quickly.
Anvil loppers are not recommended for use on live branches as they have a tendency to crush softer plant materials. Crush wounds on plants and trees are slower to heal, and much more susceptible to infection, than a clean cut.
If you will be cutting dead wood, choose anvil loppers; the support and spread of force offered by the anvil allows more force to be applied to branches without bending the cutting blade.
Bypass loppers, however, are not ideal for cutting through dead wood; without the support of the anvil, bypass lopper blades can become bent, jammed, or even break if exposed to the force required to cut dead wood.