Are you looking for the best telescopic pruner? Here you will find reviews of the most interesting models and a guide to choosing.
The telescopic lopper is a fantastic tool for those who love to keep their garden or any piece of land well cared for. It is in fact an indispensable tool for pruning high branches, without using a ladder. It means that first of all you will gain from it in safety, because you will eliminate the risk of falling or unbalancing yourself, and secondly you will be able to do it in maximum comfort, with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
On the other hand, know that on the market you can find very different tools from each other, from the professional pruner up to the economic ones, perfect for those who do not have great demands.
Characteristics of the telescopic pruner
1. Extendable stick
Meanwhile, being telescopic, this tool has a metal stick that can be lengthened or shortened according to your needs. In professional lopper models, it can even reach a height of over 5 meters, and it is essential for those who have to prune really high buds. On average, however, it starts from a minimum of about 2 meters and reaches a maximum extension of 4 meters, and it is a very high value.
2. Head or cutting unit
As for the other components of the tool, we find at the top a cutting head, with two scissors often wedge or hook. There are also models with straight blades, more suitable for example for cutting dry twigs. The hooked ones, on the other hand, are more effective against green branches, as the latter have a more elastic and difficult to sever fiber.
Consider that the cutting head is often adjustable: it means that you can decide its inclination, so as to be able to reach any branch, even the most hidden and difficult one. In reality there are two other alternative cutting heads, namely saws and chainsaws: I have dedicated a separate guide to them, which you can learn more by clicking on the links below.
3. Cutting system
The cutting system is the real “heart” of a manual telescopic lopper, and it is good to clarify immediately how it works. In practice, in the best models we find not one but 2 handles with traction operation. These handles are connected to the cutting unit by a very resistant rope, and allow you to operate the blade flap simply by pulling them towards you.
- Central handle: the first handle is located in the center of the rod. In summary, you just have to grab it with one hand and pull it towards you, with a decisive click, so that you can cut the branch that is between the blades of the scissors. The traction system, as I anticipated, works thanks to a cord.
- Handle at the bottom: in the shape of a knob, this handle is located at the base of the rod, and is used to cut the branches that are very high. In other words, by lifting the stick a lot you will lose contact with the central handle, at which point you will have to pull this knob towards you in order to activate the scissors.
The handle placed in the center is ideal when you have to cut branches close to you after all. The knob at the end of the shaft, on the other hand, is essential when you have to raise the stick a lot, holding it by the base.
Before continuing, know that there are two other alternative cutting systems. The first is very classic and is typical of economic models, and is the scissor one. The second, belonging instead to products with an average cost, is an external string.
- Scissor pruner (telescopic scissor): there is no traction mechanism, but two handles to be pressed at the base of the shaft, just like with a common scissors. And in fact we talk more than anything else about telescopic shear, and not of soaring. The disadvantage, compared to the traction system, is that they require more force from the user.
- External rope lopper (pull belt): the system is the same as the traction models, only this time the rope is external, and is connected to the scissors thanks to a system of pulleys and ropes. In summary, the cutting of the branches takes place by pulling the rope by hand, grabbing it by a special hook. Pruning performance is great, but it is clear that you will put in a little more effort.
For the record, usually the external rope models are 2 in 1 tools, because they often also include a hacksaw to be mounted together with the scissor, or in place of the latter.
Better telescopic pruners
1. Fiskars Branch Pruner UPX86 Bypass Length 2,4 – 4 Meters
This lopper from Fiskars I consider it as the best telescopic pruner ever, perfect for both professional and hobby use. It has a shaft that can be extended from a minimum of 2.4 meters up to a maximum of 4 meters, and a series of truly remarkable technical features. As for the maximum height, adding your height and arms can even reach up to about 6 meters.
- Height: 2.4 to 4 meters
- Traction cutting system
- Cutting width: 3.2cm
- Head can be tilted up to 230 degrees
- Reinforced steel shears
For one thing, the bypass blade of this pruning lopper is ideal for even the toughest branches, such as fresh and young ones, and the overall cutting width is 3.2cm. It means that you can cut branches up to a diameter (in fact) of 3.2 cm, and it is a rather high value. Not surprisingly, it is also very effective against the most dense and complex ramifications. In addition, it is equipped with an orange cutting guide, which helps you to position the scissors more precisely.
And the cutting system? Being traction, it can be activated thanks to 2 distinct handles: the central sleeve and the one at the base of the stick, ideal when you push the shaft to its maximum extension. Furthermore, the head of the shears at the top can be tilted up to a maximum of 230 degrees.
Another very positive news is the quality of the blade, in solid steel, with a very high cutting capacity. Also consider that it is a light tool, as this professional telescopic lopper has an aluminum shaft. The quality of the handle is also excellent, with ergonomic grip and anti-slip coating. Finally, the non-stick coating on the blades improves cutting precision, which is always clean, even on green and elastic branches.
It is a very interesting professional telescopic pruner, robust but not heavy, and capable of guaranteeing a clean cut within a maximum diameter of 3.2 cm. You can also use it for slightly greater thicknesses, but sacrificing precision a little.
Finally, know that the cutting head is removable: you can therefore replace it with other Fiskars cutting units, such as the saw or the fruit picker accessory. If you like the idea of the hacksaw, here you will find the version that includes it in the package.
- Professional tool
- Double cutting handle
- Excellent cutting width
- Clean cut within the maximum values
- Extendable up to 4 meters
- Head can be tilted up to 230 degrees
- Sturdy but light
- Also cut the green and springy branches
- It has no instructions in Italian
- Beyond 3.2 cm it is less accurate
2. Iceberk Professional Pruner with Saw 1,55-5,40 M
Here is one of the most pleasant surprises you can find for sale online. This manual telescopic lopper has a cost below the average, and also includes a saw to be mounted on the top of the pole. In addition, it has a record maximum extension, as it even reaches 5.4 meters, without considering torso and arms. The minimum extension is equally interesting, since it corresponds to 1.55 meters.
- Height: from 1.55 to 5.4 meters
- External rope cutting system
- Cutting width: 3.6cm
- Accessory hacksaw supplied
- Steel blades
The cutting system is not activated by a pull handle, considering that the rope is outside the tool. To cut with the shears, therefore, you will have to pull the rope downwards, grabbing it by the special hook. You will do a little more effort, but you will not give up the precision of the cut, always clean, as long as you stay within a diameter of the branches of maximum 3.6 cm.
The blades were made of steel, while the adjustment of the telescopic tube takes place thanks to a precise click mechanism. The pull tape is very sturdy and even rather comfortable to use, due to a handle with an ergonomic grip. And the saw? You can mount it laterally on the cutting unit, so as to have 2 tools in 1, and use it to saw branches with a very large diameter.
Another good news? The handle is made of non-slip foam and is very comfortable, while the non-stick coating of the blades improves the precision of the cut. However, be aware that at maximum extension it must be used with care, because the shaft bends a little due to the weight of the blade assembly. Also, the more you push it up, the harder it will be to “grab” the branches, but this is completely normal.
- It reaches sidereal heights
- Excellent value for money
- High cutting thickness
- Also includes a saw
- Precise and clean cut
- EVA foam handle
- Also effective against green branches
- At the maximum height the rod bends
- The cutting head cannot be tilted
3. Archman Helium with 2.36 – 4 Meters Pull Handle
It is not an economical pruning tool, and the reason is very simple: it is a professional pruner and therefore designed for those who want high cutting precision, and without sacrificing comfort. In fact, we are faced with a manual telescopic lopper with a cutting system that can be activated thanks to the traction handle. As a result, the rope is internal and you will have much less fatigue when using it.
- Height: 2.36 to 4 meters
- Traction cutting system
- Double pull handle
- Cutting width: 3.5cm
- Steel blades
As for the extension, this starts from a minimum of 2.36 meters and reaches a maximum of 4 meters. Although there are taller branches with larger sizes, in reality 4 meters are enough and advance for most situations. The blades, then, are made of steel and also cut the green branches cleanly, within a maximum diameter of about 3.5 centimeters. Finally, it’s pretty light and really easy to use.
The lightness has a little impact on stability at maximum heights, since the shaft tends to flex, but this is a defect that belongs to all telescopic pruners. On the other hand, if you increase the tonnage of the shaft, it will become so heavy as to be unusable, so this is the best possible compromise (I know because I use it regularly). In addition, this model also features a second pull handle at the base, ideal when you need to push it very high.
The quality of the materials is excellent, with a sturdy and anti-tear nylon cord, and the tool is produced by an Italian brand (another plus point). Then consider that the blades are so sharp that you can also cut off branches with a diameter of around 4 cm, even if the precision of the cut is affected a little. And remember that the two pull handles make life a lot easier, and reduce effort almost to zero.
- Professional pruner
- Double pull handle
- It reaches great heights
- For branches up to 4 cm in diameter
- Excellent quality materials
- Durable nylon cord
- Really precise cuts
- At high heights it tends to flex a bit
4. GARDENA Bypass Combisystem (Without Telescopic Handle)
I would also like to review this professional telescopic pruner from Gardena, but immediately clarifying an important fact: the package includes only the external rope cutting unit, and not the telescopic stick, which must be purchased separately. Combining the two costs, however, you will take home a fabulous tool and at a price of around 110 euros, therefore in line with the market.
- Height: from 2.1 meters to 3.9 meters
- The stick must be bought separately
- External rope cutting system
- Cutting width: 3.5cm
- Non-stick steel blades
What are the technical data of this telescopic lopper? The maximum cutting diameter of the branches reaches about 3.5 cm, while the cutting system is an external rope, so it uses the combination of the cable plus the pulleys. The tear-resistant nylon rope reaches up to 4.7 meters: this means that the cutting body can be easily mounted on the Gardena CombiSystem telescopic pole, which can be extended from 2.1 to 3.9 meters. Here I leave you the link to the stick:
The cutting system has a higher quality than others, since the 5 pulley mechanism multiplies the power given by the pulling of the rope. This makes it much easier to cut the branches, even if they are the green and elastic ones, so the performance is really at the top. Secondly, there is a double lever system which makes things even easier.
Excellent quality of the blades, in steel with non-stick coating. It means they not only improve the accuracy of the cut, but prevent resins and other sticky debris from sticking to the scissors, so you will need to avoid wasting hours cleaning them. In addition, the cutting unit has a very handy hook that you can use to grab the branches you have just cut, so as to bring them down without making flips.
- Professional lopper
- You can also use it without a stick
- Excellent quality of the blades
- Powerful pulley system
- Hook to grab the cut branches
- Non-stick coating
- Excellent against dry or green branches
- The telescopic pole must be purchased separately
How to choose the best telescopic pruner
1. Maximum height of the stick
Of course, the first factor you need to study is the maximum height that the stick can reach. Usually in professional models the pole can even exceed 5 meters, although sticks that do not go beyond 4 meters are more common. I’ll explain the reason immediately: if you push it too high, the weight of the cutting unit will be felt and the shaft will tend to flex and swing. In terms of safety there are no risks, but this makes cutting the branches more complex and tiring.
2. Cut activation system
As I have already explained to you, the mechanism that activates the scissors blades may be different, depending on the product you buy. The options are these.
- Traction handle: it reminds a little of the reloading of shotguns, and it is excellent because it reduces the fatigue and strain of the arms. Furthermore, if there is a second handle placed at the end of the stick, the latter greatly facilitates pruning at high heights.
- Rope handle and winches: in this case the nylon cord is not internal to the pole but external, and connected to the blade group with a series of winches. Being a transmission, it loses some power and requires more force from the user in the draft. On the other hand, it is equally effective and offers professional-level cutting precision.
- Shear cutting system: telescopic shears are not professional products. However, they are excellent for pruning small gardens and trees that are not too tall, as they usually do not exceed 3.5 meters. The cutting system? Classic, since it is done by pressing the two handles at the base.
3. Cutting group
The quality of pruning also and above all depends on the cutting group. Typically, the best telescopic pruner has a reinforced steel blade assembly, and with a non-stick coating. In summary, it cuts the branches cleanly with enormous precision, and at the same time prevents the resin from sticking to the blades. Sometimes in the group you will also find a hook to grab the branches just cut, or an accessory saw to be mounted to the structure.
Finally, some heads have a mechanism that allows you to tilt them, so that you get the perfect angle for cutting any twig.
4. Cutting width
Remember that we are still talking about a pair of scissors, consequently they are able to cut branches with a limited thickness, and with a diameter that does not exceed 3.5 or 4 cm. If you want to saw branches with a wider diameter, for example around 10 or 20 centimeters, you will need to buy a telescopic saw or alternatively the accessory saw, which is sometimes included in the package.