Posted on January 29, 2015
The Hickok lopper is designed and built for the professional fruit industry. It is built to be lightweight and very well-balanced because we assume the user will be taking care in the use of his lopper. We could build to be indestructible, but it would be neither lightweight nor well-balanced.
A professional tree care person knows to:
Your Hickok lopper comes to you sharp, ready-to-use with a carefully set factory bevel on the blade edge. You should never touch your lopper with a file as it removes too much steel. Removing too much steel destroys the factory bevel, compromises the cutting geometry and voids your tool warranty. Sharpening the blade to razor thinness with a file allows the blade to roll or bend, ruining the cutting dynamics.
Use a small sharpening stone to dress the blade edge often, maintaining the factory bevel and removing very little material from the cutting edge. Finish the job with a light pass on the back of the blade- the side next to the hook. If you take off too much material the blade becomes too thin and will bend. Maintain the factory bevel on the cutting edge with a stone - never use a file.
Also, to extend the life of the tool, lightly oil the inside face of the blade and hook near the center bolt. Wipe the blade and hook clean of sap and debris. Keep the blade and hook clean.
We have laboratory-tested our Hickok loppers for strength under carefully controlled conditions. The tools are exceptionally strong and will not break under normal, proper usage. The blade is designed to cut in a single plane. If you twist or torque the handles trying to exert more force on the blade, the tang will break near the top of the handle. We know this from extensive laboratory testing. Again, don't force the blade through the wood or twist the handles to force the tool to cut - use a saw.