There are 2 basic kinds of loppers, anvil style and bypass. This is the anvil, which is when the blade meets a flat ‘anvil type’ surface. Bypass is when the blades go past each other (which I prefer for pruners). I like the anvil style in loppers as they are better than bypass for cutting apart thicker pieces of plant material. I use loppers in 2 ways. The first is that I cut branches off trees that I have taken down. The second is that I use them to cut larger plant material into smaller pieces, for drying or medicine preparation. I do this by kneeling on the lower handle of the lopper, with the upper handle facing up (as opposed to flat). I then feed stems, rhizomes or other thick plant material through the blades and cut them as I pass them through. This works well and takes the pressure off of my hands from cutting things up with pruners or cleavers.