The Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper is a specialized pruning tool, made for cutting high-up tree branches from ground level. Its key components are its electronic pruning jaws, a handle featuring a trigger to activate the cutting action, and a telescopic shaft which separates the jaws from the handle. The shaft can be adjusted in length between 6¼′ and a little over 8¾′, enabling the user to prune high-up tree branches while keeping their feet firmly on the ground.
This cordless yard tool is part of the Ryobi ONE+ system of DIY and yard tools. Often sold as a ‘bare tool’, it requires the additional purchase of a compatible lithium-ion battery and charger. For users who don’t already own any Ryobi ONE+ tools and accessories, this ramps up the cost of buying the pole lopper. However, if you already have the required battery and charger, the lopper starts to offer much better value-for-money.
Only certain users will benefit greatly from buying a trigger-activated pole lopper, such as this one. If you have several medium-height trees on your property, then this type of tool will help a lot with pruning the tree branches – especially if the trees are encroaching on other areas of the yard, or neighboring properties. On the other hand, if your focus is pruning soft plants, we’d recommend exploring some other options from our best pruners guide.
The lopper’s telescopic pole allows you to cut many high-up branches without risking life and limb on a ladder. For this type of pruning work, a lot of households ultimately choose to hire an arborist at an hourly cost of around $100-250. While these tree-pruning pros will usually do a great job, the costs can really rack up over the years, as trees continue to grow. The Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper lets you take the task into your own hands, greatly reducing your long-term expenditure.
The money-saving potential of the Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper looks great on paper – but that doesn’t count for much if the tool doesn’t work effectively. Read on to find out how the lopper performed in our hands-on testing.
Pete has reviewed hundreds of gardening products for titles including TopTenReviews, Ideal Home and the London Evening Standard – as well as writing articles on diverse topics for other publications such as The Guardian and BBC Good Food. A long-term contributor to the blog of leading scissors-maker Ernest Wright, Pete has in-depth understanding of the qualities and design features that go into a really good pair of shears.
Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper: At a glance
If you enjoy yard work or home improvement, you’ve probably encountered a few Ryobi tools at some point. For many buyers, this brand provides an ideal balance of performance, quality, user-friendliness and affordability.
True to Ryobi’s reputation, the 18V Cordless Pole Lopper is an excellent yard tool that offers great performance relative to the price you pay. With that said, pole loppers are expensive, specialized tools.
You can buy the Ryobi lopper as a bare tool for about $200 from stockists such as Home Depot. If you’re new to the Ryobi ONE+ system of cordless tools, then you’ll also need to purchase a compatible lithium-ion battery and charger to use with the lopper.
Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper: key specs
|Handedness||Left or right|
Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper: Performance
As a dedicated tool for pruning high-up tree branches, the Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper (Bare Unit) demanded a special testing focus: pruning lofty tree limbs. This was our reviewer’s main priority during hands-on testing.
The lopper did an outstandingly good job of pruning high-up branches. Trigger-activated and powered by the connected lithium-ion battery (sold separately), the tool cut through tough tree branches with practically zero effort.
A slightly more challenging aspect of using the Ryobi Pole Lopper was aligning the pruning jaws correctly with tree branches several meters above head height. This pruner feels pretty heavy, especially when you extend the poll and increase the leverage of the powerful pruning head on the shaft. Thankfully, the shoulder strap provided helps with distributing the weight of the tool. Meanwhile, the adjustable head (which can switch between five cutting directions) makes it easier to target specific branches.
We were also keen to test the cutting speed of the lopper, so our reviewer also used the tool to chop up felled branches on the ground. It proved capable of making roughly one cut every five seconds, which meant we could prepare the branches for composting within a few minutes.
Fiskars Solid Snip Pruning Micro-tip SP13: should you buy?
|Price & availability||Expensive, factoring in the additional purchase of a battery and charger.||3/5|
|Design||A perfect solution for effortlessly cutting high-up branches from ground level.||5/5|
|Performance||Does its intended job of branch cutting outstandingly well. Not suitable for soft plants.||5/5|
Buy it if...
You have trees to prune
This pole lopper is superb at pruning high-up tree branches. If you have several medium-sized trees in your yard, then this type of tool will make it easier to prune those lofty limbs.
Your arborist charges too much
Arborists can do a brilliant job of pruning trees, but their services come at a high price. Buying a pole lopper could save you money in the long run.
Ryobi is your go-to power tool brand
The 18V Cordless Pole Lopper is used with a lithium-ion battery and charger, both of which are sold separately. The good news is that you can use the same power system with other ONE+ tools.
Don't buy it if...
Most of your pruning is at ground level
It makes no sense at all to use a pole lopper for pruning low-level plants or tree branches. Plus, Ryobi's pole lopper is not intended for pruning tender plant stems.
Money is tight
While the Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper could save you money on arborist services, it costs a lot up-front. Many lower-priced alternatives are available.
Storage space is at a premium
Even at its shortest extent, this pole lopper takes a whole lot of vertical (or horizontal) storage space. Before you buy, make sure you have a place to keep this powerful yard tool.
How does it compare?
When it comes to pruning relatively high-up tree branches, the Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper (Bare Unit) is one of the very best tools we’ve encountered. However, if you’re looking for an all-round tree branch pruner, there are some other great options that merit equal consideration.
The Greenworks 24V 6" Brushless Pruning Saw is another highly-rated, high-powered tool for pruning tree branches. Thanks to its mini chainsaw design, this tool can be used to cut thicker branches than Ryobi’s pole lopper, which has a limited cutting capacity due to the design of its pruning jaws. Of course, the pole lopper does offer far greater reach than the pruning saw.
If you’ll mostly be pruning thin tree branches, then you may not require a power tool of any type. There are some excellent manual pruners out there which are specially designed to cut wood, such as the Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN, which costs a fraction of the price of any pole lopper we’ve come across.
How we tested the Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper
We tested the Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper by using it to cut high-up tree branches in our reviewer’s yard (and also some fallen branches, so that they could fit into a compost bin). Our testing factored in the lopper’s ease of use, versatility and pruning performance.
See more about how we test.
First reviewed September 2023