Picking an apple is a simple task—you walk up to a tree and just grab one. But what happens when, instead of one, you need to pick 50? Or what would you do if the one you crave is sitting at the very top of the tree? This is when an apple picker comes into play, as it can help you harvest dozens at a time or you get to those out-of-reach parts without the need for a ladder.
You might already be familiar with the concept of a fruit picker and, truth be told, one designed specifically for apples isn’t all that different. However, as they say, the devil is in the details and there are many to look for to find the apple picker best suited to your needs. Regardless of your level of experience, today we will help you gain a better understanding of the current options in the market with our top five best apple pickers.
Backyard Boss Top 5 Apple Picker Tools in 2021
|HeroShow Fruit Picker Tool||Check The Price!|
|Ohuhu Fruit Picker||Check The Price!|
|Zenport Telescopic Fruit Harvester and Picker||Check The Price!|
|DocaPole Fruit Picker||Check The Price!|
|Esschert Design Fruit Picker||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
Apples are a delicious and versatile fruit. You can bake them into all kinds of dessert, press them into refreshing juice or simply eat them in their natural state for a healthy snack. Before all of this can take place though, you must first pick them from a tree. Like you, we at one time decided to get our fruit directly from the source. We planted our first apple tree many years ago which in time gave us wonderful ripe apples. That tree turned into two, then four, and those four into an orchard.
As the trees grew, our need for more efficient and specialized picking equipment also increased. The ideal picker needed to be long enough to reach the tops of trees, gentle to not bruise the apples, and large enough to carry several apples at once—but not too large to hamper movement. Years of experience have shown us what pickers are up to the task and which ones simply don’t hold up to their promises. We’ve boiled down all of the knowledge acquired through years of practical experience so you can find the best apple picker today.
Best Long Reach Picker
Why We Like It: It’s long-reaching, but without being too heavy or flimsy. Some of its highlights include a lightweight extendable pole, soft foam pad, and a twist-on harvest basket. The stainless steel adjustable segments offer good durability, and the harvest basket’s construction lives up to expectations.
Who Should Buy It: Those who need an extra-long apple picker to get far-hanging fruit will benefit from this picker.
Best Basket Picker
Why We Like It: This picker’s basket is sturdy and versatile. Its basic design centers around a sturdy long pole topped with a basket at the far end. The basket has hooks around its outer edge that grab onto the base of the apples and help pull them away from the tree and into the basket where they are collected, unbruised, and undamaged.
Who Should Buy It: People with abundant harvests who will likely spend more time picking dozens of apples throughout a single day will love this picker, as long as it’s not used at maximum length.
Best for Grabbing Apples
Why We Like It: We’ve been there. You walk up to the tree and see a mouth-watering apple that’s just ripe for picking. The only issue is that it sits well beyond your reach. This picker is a dream come true if picking that one apple is all that matters. The padded claws provide a firm and secure grip without damaging the fruit while the twisting motion enables the fruit to be separated from the tree without causing any major disruption.
Who Should Buy It: People who want a high-quality picker that offers maximum grip, precision, and care without damaging either apples or the tree will love this picker.
Best Telescopic Picker
Why We Like It: If you pick fruits from trees of different sizes, then a picker that can be adjusted on the fly is a must. This picker can do just that, extending from six to 24 feet in a matter of seconds, thanks to its quick-release telescopic segments. The picker is also easy to use as you have all the extensions you need, stored inside the picker itself. This spares you from needing to unscrew and screw additional segments to adjust the reach.
Who Should Buy It: If you have trees of variable sizes and need to adapt on the fly, then this apple picker is for you.
Best Budget Picker
Why We Like It: We believe in appreciating and recognizing the underdog, and in this case, this apple picker with a ring of sharp teeth. When using the picker, all you have to do is use its sharp teeth to cut the fruit and gather it in the given bag. Sadly it doesn’t come with a pole, but it’s a great tool when working with smaller/shorter trees. Also, who doesn’t love a simple, inexpensive, and reliable fruit picker?
Who Should Buy It: People who are looking for value and simplicity of use without compromising effectiveness will love this humble little picker.
How to Use an Apple Picker
Reading about poles, baskets, and the likes might make you a bit confused, especially if you have little to no experience using an apple picker. Don’t worry, we’ll cover the basics so you get a better picture of how it all works.
Most pickers follow the same basic outline. You have a pole–a long shaft that allows extending your reach–that enables you to physically access fruits located well beyond your reach, and spares you from having to carry a ladder with you every time you want to pick them.
While the rod itself allows you to physically make contact with the fruit, other than trying to whack it, there isn’t much you can do with it towards your ultimate goal of collecting undamaged fruit. This is where the picking attachment comes into place. By assembling it to the tip of the pole, you can now secure it around the base of the fruit and dislodge it from the branch it’s resting on.
This attachment can be something as simple as a curved hook, a v-shaped blade, or a cable tied in a loop. Once you pull on the desired fruit, its connection will be severed from the branch and fall on the ground to be harvested. Three things happen when apples fall from the tree – they either get damaged when they hit the ground, or your back goes out, or both happen simultaneously.
While you’ll be happy picking an apple or two, picking 30-50 apples from the ground will put an unnecessary strain on your back. To avoid picking apples from the ground or damaging them in the process, you’ll need a tool that prevents them from falling in the first place.
For this reason, most apple picker tools come equipped with a means to secure and hold the fruit. If it’s a claw attachment like the Zenport Picker, the fruit will be securely held until you release the trigger mechanism, while other more conventional pickers have harvest baskets or bags where the severed fruit can land without bruising.
How We Picked
Now that you have a better idea of how most apple pickers work, let’s talk about how we picked our choices. First and foremost, a picker needs to be versatile in terms of reach. Some trees may be small and others can be old and big. Being stuck with a picker that’s either too long or too short can be limiting. For this reason, an ideal picker needs to have an adjustable pole that allows it to adapt to different trees.
This versatility also needs to apply to the collecting attachment, as it needs to handle the individual apple picking with precision, but also allow you to collect several apples at a time without much effort. For this reason, we tend to prefer those with bags or baskets rather than claws, as with the latter you are forced to pick one apple at a time, drop it inside your bag or basket, and stick it back inside the tree.
Certain features like blunt claws of some form of cushioning are a nice addition, as they prevent damage from being done to either the apples or the tree. Finally, overall build quality needs to also be seriously taken into consideration, since a dependable and robust picker is at the heart of enjoyable and productive apple picking.
Our Top Pick for the Best Apple Picker
Based on the aforementioned criteria our selection for the best apple picker boiled down to between the HeroShow Fruit Picker and the Ohuhu Fruit Picker. They both offer features we like, in the form of adjustable lengths, rigid harvest baskets, foam pads, and picking hooks. In the end, the HeroShow Fruit Picker is our selection for the best apple picker, because it offers more value, slightly better construction, and the ability to adjust its length to 13 feet.
Pro tip: For an optimal experience, we recommend covering the claws on the HeroShow Fruit Picker or similar pickers with tight-fitting rubber hose segments. This will improve grip and more importantly, make the hooks blunt to prevent them from damaging your apples.
Remember, the best apple picker for you might be different from ours. Consider things like your budget, the amount of time you’ll spend picking, the size of the tree, and the number of apples you need to harvest to determine an optimal choice.
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