Like most gardening tools, there are several choices when it comes to purchasing pole saws. Three types of pole saws (cordless, electric, gas) are available in the market for today's home gardeners. Before choosing one, consider which one fits your needs, why you need one and what features you want for the job.
Our Top 6 Picks for the Best Pole Saws
Why Do You Need a Pole Saw?
Pole saws eliminate the need for hand held trimmers, ladders and chain saws when trimming trees. They are safer to use for tree work and are designed to be lightweight and balanced for easier managing for the person using the saw. A pole saw works well for a variety of tasks including:
- Trimming tall hedges – reaches high hedges that have grown too tall for traditional hedge clippers
- Clearing dead tree branches – cuts through dead branches and limbs of up to eight or more inches thick
- Pruning orchards – trims dwarf to high-bush apple and other fruit trees that need pruning every year
- Clearing debris from around power lines – keeps the person safely away from the dangers and allows them to clear debris from a distance
What Are the Different Types of Pole Saws?
Cordless Pole Saw – If your overhead pruning isn’t close to an electric outlet, you might want to consider a cordless pole saw. It runs on a rechargeable battery that lasts about an hour. If you can find one with a Lithium-Ion battery, rather than a Ni-Cad battery, you’ll have longer battery power, and performance remains high even as the battery wears down.
Cordless pole saws are practically maintenance free, other than sharpening the chain when you feel it’s not cutting through branches as easily as it used to. Although cordless pole saws give you the convenience of moving around without having to worry about gas or an electric cord, they don’t have the power that the other saws offer. Also, cordless pole saws have the added weight of the battery, so some people may tire while holding the saw while trimming.
Electric Pole Saw – These saws are convenient for small trimming and pruning jobs. Electric pole saws are available in varying pole and bar lengths. Lighter in weight than cordless pole saws, they are convenient for people who don’t have enough arm strength for holding a heavier saw for overhead trimming. The motor requires no maintenance and works at full power all the time.
Gas Powered Pole Saw – If you have heavy pruning or large branches to cut, a gas-powered pole saw would be your best option. Gas pole saws feature heavy-duty chains and bars that are ideal for tough cutting jobs. This is the choice of professional landscapers.
These saws are usually equipped with 9 to 16-foot shafts, so you can keep your feet flat on the ground while pruning. Even though gas powered pole saws are heavier than electric, they are easy to operate and well balanced. Keep in mind, they are a lot louder than the electric or cordless pole saws.
Features to Consider When Shopping for a Pole Saw
When choosing a pole saw, think about the yard work you want to accomplish. Do you want to use your pole saw for lightweight, branch trimming? Would you like your pole saw to be adaptable for other trimming, such as hedges? Which saw will be a good fit for your budget? Consider which style, brand and length you need for your gardening and landscaping chores.
The following pole saw features gives you an idea of what to look for when purchasing your saw:
- Fixed length or telescoping
- Attachments like hedge trimmers and cultivators
- Saw bar length
- Electric motor power
- Gas engine power
- Detachable saw
- Cutting chain quality
- Anti-vibration system
- Ease of use
Pole Saw Maintenance Tips
Although pole saws are basically maintenance free, routine maintenance can help prolong the life of your pole saw. Before using your pole saw, check all the nuts, screws and bolts to ensure they’re tight. Also, check the chain for any damage and that the trigger works smoothly.
After using the saw, clean it with a damp cloth, removing any wood chips and sawdust. Also, clean off the blade cover. Before storing, check that all the cables are secure and the oiler has oil.
If you have a gas pole saw, clean the air filter before using and check for any gas leaks. Replace the spark plug periodically and file off any metal burrs on the bar.
How to Use Pole Saws Safely
Once you’ve selected your pole saw, make sure you purchase all the safety equipment you’ll need when trimming your trees. Wear a hard hat and safety goggles for bark, twigs and branches that could fall from overhead.
Also, wear noise-deadening headphones when using any power equipment, as well as protective apparel. Make sure you wear heavy boots to protect your feet. Another item you might want to use is a shoulder harness to keep your back from tiring while holding the saw.
Our Pole Saw Reviews
The lithium ion battery provides a relatively longer lifespan and charge retention, so you don’t have to worry about it dying too quickly when you take on the task of pruning trees. And if the length doesn’t meet your needs, you can extend it with the extension that can go as high as 14 feet.
This is also an Energy Star approved piece of equipment, so you save energy with it. This cordless pole saw comes at quite an affordable price for all the features it provides, so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to to be able to take care of all your pruning needs.
The Sun Joe SWJ800E is an electric pole saw that’s excellent for trimming those hard to reach branches. It’s also quite durable and very well made. Since it’s powered electrically, it starts easily and is lightweight enough compared to other models.
It has a detachable pole saw, strong electric motor and easy to adjust length to make everything easier for you.
It reaches up to 15 feet, which is quite long fro trimming trees around the house. It also has a nonslip grip which adds to your security when using the tool.
One of the nice features of this gas pole saw is you can attach some compatible trimmers to really do some quality pruning in your garden.
This pole saw also has an automatic oiler to keep the chainsaw at its optimal performance. It is strong enough to cut through a branch 16 inches in diameter, so nothing shall get in the way of your trimming task. It also weighs pretty light so you’ll have a good mobility when using it.