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Fiskars Power Gear Bypass Lopper (18 inche) (96256935J)
(1 Epinions review)
A Surprisingly Strong Lopper!
Oct 7, 2012
Review by lokino
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Light, compact, very powerful, well made.
Cons:none, although they do require a longer range of travel
The Bottom Line: Highly recommended with no reservations.
I have had this product for almost a year and it continually amazes me how well this product works. It allows me to prune things that ordinarily I would think I would need something more heavy duty, like a saw.
Recommend this product?
It seems that as long as the branch fits into the jaws, then you will be able to cut that branch. And the cut is very clean. This lopper has allowed me to make short work of things that I previously would consider big jobs. In fact it has turned things which I previously considered a chore into activities that can actually be quite fun.
Because you don't use as much force as a traditional lopper, it is much easier on the joints, especially my elbows. The last lopper I used (many many years ago) was much harder to use and would cause shock to my elbows when the branch actually cut and the two arms reached the end of their travel. The mouth did not open very wide and even then there were many things that it was not able to cut, even though it fit within the blades. I had resorted to using a reciprocal saw for any branch that seemed too large for a hand pruner. Well, now I use this lopper for most of the cutting and only have to bust out the saw for the really really big branches.
The package blurb says that the gearing mechanism allows for 3X the cutting force and just by using it I totally agree that they are telling the truth! The rated capacity is 1 1/2". This is bigger than most broomsticks.That is a pretty large branch diameter!
The tradeoff is that there is a longer travel for the handles. To fully open the lopper, you must spread the handles really far apart. So your arms do a lot of travelling but the arm force needed is less throughout the range of travel. The analogy is that instead of pushing a 30 pound object 1 foot, you push a 10 pound object 3 feet.
The handles are light and well designed, exhibiting minimal flex. At 18" I believe this is the shortest bypass lopper in the Fiskar's line. If you want something to handle bigger jobs, I see that there many other sizes, going up to 32".
Like most Fiskars products, the orange colored handles are helpful to prevent misplaced tools. Sometimes in the middle of the job you have to put the tool down among all the trimmings and then later you can't find it. But this orange color really does help with visibility.
I also wanted to add that in case you didn't know, there are two types of lopper heads. One is a bypass lopper and the other is an anvil lopper. The bypass lopper is designed to cut living, softer material. The branch is cut with minimal damage to the ends. The anvil lopper is made for harder dead material in which damage to the ends is not of importance.
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