Heavy Duty Pruner & Lopper Tools

Written by shane grey
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Heavy Duty Pruner & Lopper Tools
The compound cutting mechanism of heavy-duty pruning tools increases a landscaper's mechanical leverage. (loppers image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com)

Heavy-duty pruning jobs require tools with strong jaws and sharp blades. Pruners and loppers are similar in function but differ in size. Both tools have a set of sharp-edged cutting blades that are hinged at a fulcrum and attached to relatively straight handles. Pruners and loppers function like scissors; the landscaper opens the tools' jaws, places the jaws around a branch or limb and compresses the tools' handles to slice through the plant material. Landscaping professionals use several types of heavy-duty pruners and loppers.

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Power Pruners and Loppers

The generic term "power pruners" refers to lopping and pruning tools powered by pneumatic force, hydraulics or electricity. Like manually-operated pruners, power pruners slice through plant material with a set of two, sharp-edged blades. Power pruners' blades typically mimic the crescent-shaped design of lopping shears' blades.

To use power pruners, the landscaper places the tool's open cutting jaw around a limb or branch and pulls a trigger to activate the tool's scissor-like cutting action. Pneumatic, hydraulic or electric assistance allows power pruners to quickly and repeatedly cut through thick branches.

Ratcheting Pruners

Ratcheting pruners allow the landscaper to apply force in small increments. A gear attached to the ratcheting tool's head locks its blades in position as the landscaper compresses the tool's handles. Therefore, if a landscaper compresses the tool's handles halfway and lets go, the blades remain partially embedded within the plant material. This feature, called ratcheting action, allows a landscaper to readjust his grip between cuts and complete the cut with several small bursts of force rather than a single, large burst of force.

Gear-Driven Loppers

Gear-driven loppers take advantage of mechanical leverage with an internal, compound-action cutting mechanism. Similar to many metal-cutting snips, gear-driven loppers increase, or compound, the compressive force exerted by the tool's operator. In other words, the gear-driven lopper's internal mechanism amplifies your pressing power. Some gear-driven loppers combine their compound action with the locking capabilities of a ratcheting lopper. Aside from an assembly beneath the cutting blades, gear-driven loppers are the same size as standard loppers.

Pole-mounted Tools

Pole-mounted pruning tools allow landscapers to sever elevated limbs and branches without ladders and climbing rigs. In general, the term "pole-mounted pruning tools" refers to any pruning tool attached to a long, straight extension pole. The cutting attachments mounted onto a pole-mounted pruner's pole range from manually-operated lopping blades to pneumatically-powered blades and chain saws.

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