I borrowed a well-worn set of these 15-inch Fiskars Powergear Anvil Loppers for a while at an OTA workday and was pretty impressed. They went through stuff as big as my 24″ bypass loppers but were a lot lighter and quicker. I think the geared drive works well with short handles. With the longer-handled geared loppers you have to move the handles a long way to get it onto whatever you’re cutting. I like the small size because you can carry them easier and munch through scrubby brush faster than with the big’uns. Long handles are nice for thorn patches though. Anvil loppers are generally better for hard woody stuff, (and trailwork) while bypass are easier on the plants in your yard that you’re pruning, not killing. Both work fine. Also, these are made in Finland, so they have that freaky european playschool style going, if you’re into that.

If you’re looking for a little set of loppers, these are GORC-recommended and worth the twenty-something bucks. Besides, the club already has a bunch of big loppers now thanks to a discount from Fiskars. For some reason Lowe’s didn’t have them but Home Depot did, although the last time I was at Lowe’s they had a screaming closeout on fiskar’s 24″ bypass loppers for $12, and of the two big-box stores, Lowe’s usually has nicer stuff.