Nothing beats a good chainsaw at cutting wood. However, the case is different when it comes to trimming branches and other elements in the foliage of your property.
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Maybe you want to cut branches up high without using a ladder. For this, the most sensible solution would be to get the best pole saw.
Essentially, a pole saw is a lighter and smaller chainsaw on a pole. A good pole saw allows you to stay planted on the ground while reaching high places. This is good if you need to attack taller tree branches. It saves you time.
With the many pole saw models on the market, choosing the right pole saw for your needs can be quite daunting. We have prepared a detailed buying guide. Included are reviews of the best models available to help make your purchase process smoother.
Our Top Pole Saw Reviews
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A 40-volt battery-powered unit, the Greenworks 20672 pole saw boasts of a balanced, lightweight design. It is easy to handle and has an astounding ability to complete limb and pruning jobs with minimal fuss.
The model has been designed to work on small branches whose diameter does not exceed 6 inches on softwood and 4 inches on hardwood. Beyond this, the saw is likely to stop mid-cut.
The pole extends up to 8.5 feet. This length is enough to help you reach branches that are as high as 15 feet, depending on your height.
One convenient feature about the Greenworks 20672 is an instant electric start system. It fires the saw into life after switching the lock and squeezing the trigger. Releasing the trigger stops the motor, and keeps you away from injuries associated with saw tripping or falling.
Other than the safe starting system that prevents accidental startup, another safety feature is a low kickback chain.
Compared to many gas models, the Greenworks 20672 is 30% lighter and produces 70% less vibration and noise. With minimal vibration, it is easier to handle this pole saw than is the case with gas models that lack anti-vibration features.
The saw comes with a bar and chain of 8-inches. The chain has a 0.50-inch thickness (gauge) and a 3/8 pitch. You are required to make sure that the chain is adequately tensioned to maintain fast and smooth cutting and prevent the bar from slipping.
This pole saw has an automatic chain tensioning with an easy-adjust knob to help you in quick tightening.
On design, the Greenworks 20672 has three parts. These include the powerhead pole, the handle pole, and the middle extension pole. Assembling the tool is easy. Although this pole is not telescoping, you can remove the middle pole to adjust the unit’s length.
The G-Max 40v battery powering this pole is rated 2 amps an hour, which implies that it can deliver a charge of 2 amperes in one hour. On average, this battery will give you adequate power to make 50 cuts per charge while working on 4 x 4 wood. This also translates to a battery life of 30 to 45 minutes. Recharging this 2AH battery takes about one hour.
In case you want more of this, you can get Greenworks’ G-Max 40V 4AH battery. However, this battery will add more weight to your power saw.
The Greenworks 20672 pole saw features a chain oil system that keeps your bar and chain well lubricated. This saw does not use a lot of oil. It has a quick view window that lets you know the remaining oil level so you can refill when required.
What We Like
- Weighs 10lbs, lighter than most gas models
- Well balanced
- Simple to assemble and disassemble
- Powerful battery with an excellent run time
- Cutting bar angle enables easy pruning
- Offers a convenient reach
- Comes with a 4-year limited warranty
What We Don’t Like
- Pole is not telescopic
- More cumbersome than many electric corded models
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Remington RM25PS Maverick 25cc
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The RM25PS Maverick is a gas pole saw model powered by a 25cc motor. This motor gives it adequate power to run through small to medium and some thicker pieces of wood branches without breaking a sweat.
What makes this pole saw stand out is its good weight distribution. Instead of being concentrated on the cutting pole’s end. This reduces the tool’s impact on muscles.
This Remington RM25PS Maverick has a 7-foot extension pole that helps it reach branches as high as 12 feet above. This will work well for most of your pruning without having to use a ladder. The bar is 8 inches long and has a low-kickback tip to enhance safety when using the pole saw.
One excellent addition is a QuickStart technology. This makes the pole saw’s pull-starts easier and more convenient than that of most models on the market.
The tool’s design is probably one of the main selling points. It has been crafted to maximize pruning efficiency and eliminate fatigue. Besides its evenly distributed weight, the pole saw’s handle is ergonomic. This means the pole saw is comfortable to use for extended hours.
Like many high-end pole saws, the Remington RM25PS comes with an auto oiler that lubricates the chain constantly when needed. This keeps the machine running smoothly without you having to worry about lubrication. You just need to keep the oil tank loaded.
You can use the pole saw’s engine with other Remington products like mowers and blowers. This is an excellent feature. The unit gives you a wide range of applications, and you do not have to only focus on trimming and cutting.
Of course, this pole saw is much heavier than many electric-powered pole saws due to the engine and gas compartment. To avoid fatigue, you might need to take breaks in between work.
What We Like
- Comes with a quick start technology for faster and easier starting
- Multi-purpose – the engine can be used with other tools like blowers and trimmers
- Powerful and durable
- Has an auto oiling technology
What We Don’t Like
- Being a gas-powered model, you might need to worry about regular maintenance
- The blades are relatively hard to adjust
- Not as powerful as pole saws with higher CC engines
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A battery-powered model, the LPP120B is one of Black & Decker’s most reliable tree cutting tools. Besides its affordability, this cordless pole saw offers most of what you need for pruning.
A lithium-ion battery powers the pole saw, as opposed to the older NiCAD battery. This gives it a longer life of up to five times.
The 20V battery holds adequate power to facilitate as much as 100 cuts on 11/2 inch branches. If you trim regularly, this cutting capability is more than enough. Recharging the battery does not take more than one hour.
The motor energy is Star rated, implying that it has been fine-tuned to offer maximum job efficiency. Black + Decker allows you to buy this pole saw without a battery.
The pole saw’s handle/ guide bar is a classic-over handle. It offers a solid grip to enable you to make complicated maneuvers without worrying about the pole saw leaving your hand. The handle has been coated to offer comfortable use. This, added to its portability, means you can cut with this saw for more minutes with minimal fatigue.
The BLACK+DECKER LPP120B pole saw comes with an adjustable 6.5-10 feet shaft length. Alongside its 8-inch bar, you can access a 14 feet workable reach, which is enough for many people.
The chain bar has been designed to be long enough to cut a diameter that’s as much as 6 inches without fuss. However, this cannot be removed for use as a standalone saw as is the case with some other models.
The BLACK+DECKER LPP120B is easy to assemble and disassemble. It has been made using lightweight hollow fiberglass material that offers the solidity and durability required. The shaft length uses the same principle as an umbrella, which makes adjusting it easy.
To maximize safety, this pole saw has been made to prevent kickback. This means that even beginners can use the unit without worrying about hurting themselves.
What We Like
- Being cordless, the saw is easily maneuverable. You don’t have to worry about wire limits
- Comes with an easily extendable shaft and offers a 14- feet overhead reach
- The battery can be easily recharged within one hour
- Portable – weighs 6.3lbs
- Capable of making as many as 100 cuts on 1 ½-inch branches when the battery is full
What We Don’t Like
- Does not offer adequate power for heavy-duty tasks
- Cannot remove the chain bar to use it as a chainsaw
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Sun Joe SWJ800E
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The SWJ800E telescopic electric pole chain saw marks one of Sun Joe’s successful endeavors in trying to create a pole saw that suits the needs for both DIYers and skilled professionals.
This tool has been furnished with a 6.5-amp motor that gives it adequate power to cut through tough branches. This, combined with its ability to extend up to 15 feet high, makes the pole saw suitable for an array of tasks.
The Sun Joe SWJ800E pole saw runs purely on electric power and has a non-visible wire technology that has been built inside. With this, tangled wires will not be an issue. The bar has a length of 8 inches and is capable of cutting big branches of trees. It sends oil to the necessary parts automatically, keeping your device well lubricated and functional.
A one-button operating system makes the pole saw easy to operate and keep running. A safety lock feature has been added to keep you in control and cut down accidents that result from the saw accidentally starting.
By having a total weight of 7 pounds, this model is among the lightest in its class. This little weight keeps your hands from tiring even after extended hours pruning.
The Sun Joe SWJ800E pole saw comes with a quality Oregon-chain bar that’s well known for durability. You can remove this chain within seconds, thanks to the chain bar’s unique design.
Tensioning the chain is similarly easy. The handle does not have an extra coating, and this is meant to enhance comfort. An ergonomic design has been employed to complement the tool’s lightweight feature in offering a fatigue less trimming.
As is the case with many electric pole saws, this model is not noisy.
What We Like
- Very affordable
- Offers a quiet operation with minimal vibration
- Has an auto-lubrication system with an oil compartment
- Lightweight and has an ergonomic design
- Very long pole
- Durable, corrosion-resistant and requires little maintenance
What We Don’t Like
- Although the chain bar can be removed from the pole, it does not have a handle and a handguard to make it usable as a chainsaw
- This pole is relatively underpowered for more complex applications – it might be difficult to cut through tougher branches
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Maxtra 2-Stroke Pole ChainSaw
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The Maxtra pole chainsaw has earned itself a name for its mighty 42.7 CC 2-stroke engine. This gives it adequate power to cut through thick branches that ordinary pole saws can’t.
One of its most convenient features is an anti-vibration system that plays a significant role in reducing noise and fatigue associated with gas saws. The unit also has an adjustable chain oiler that eases your maintenance tasks.
You can easily adjust the chainsaw’s chain tensioning to offer you more comfort during work. An air filter protects the engine and gives it a long life.
The pole saw has a superb 10-inches bar and chain that makes cutting wood more comfortable. An inertia-type safety brake enhances safety in the event of kickback. Another safety feature is a muffler shield that keeps you from contacting the hot muffler.
You can adjust the pole’s height from 8.2 feet to 11.4 feet to cut highly-located branches. With this, you can reach as much as 14 feet from the ground.
If you’re interested in utilizing gas power, we’ve put together a comprehensive gas pole saw review here.
What We Like
- Very powerful engine
- Muffler shield and the Safe-T-Tip anti-kickback technology makes the pole saw safe to use
- Comes with a chainsaw cover and a toolkit
- Durable and engine protection is enhanced with an air filter
What We Don’t Like
- Might be tough for beginners
- Quite heavy
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Pole Saw Features and Considerations
A successful pole saw purchase starts with understanding your trimming needs and determining the type of pole saw you want. From here, you can consider other pole saw features like working height, cutting bar length, weight-to-power ratio, and ergonomics, among other convenient additions.
Types of Pole Saws
Generally, there are four categories of pole saws. These are electric corded, battery-powered, gas-powered, and manual pole saws.
As the name suggests, corded pole saws are powered by a power cable plugged into an AC outlet. These pole saws are popular among residential homeowners and are designed to carry out small trimming tasks. Their blade sizes range from 6-10 inches.
Since they work with an electric motor, corded pole saws need minimal maintenance. These saws are more portable than their battery and gas-powered counterparts and are easy to maneuver. On the downside, an electric pole saw limits you to a 100-foot range from the power outlet you plug it into.
Most electric pole saws weigh less than 15 pounds and produce a power ranging from 6 to 10 amperes. This is enough power to cut branches with a diameter ranging from 2 to 5 inches.
An electric pole saw would be a great choice if you are on the search for a tool that will give you an emission-free and clean trimming for your small yard
Unlike corded models, cordless pole saws are powered by rechargeable batteries. The run time for these batteries varies depending on the manufacturer, but most offer one hour of operation.
For better overall performance and more extended operation, you should opt for a pole saw that uses a lithium-ion battery. Such batteries have a longer life and provide consistent performance even as the charge starts to deplete.
Like their corded counterparts, electric cordless pole saws require minimal maintenance and offer an emission-free and clean cutting. These pole saws are ideal for cutting branches that range from 3 to 8 inches in diameter.
Their power is measured in voltage relating to battery sizes. This higher the voltage, the more powerful the pole saw is. In most cases, this ranges from 40 to 80 volts.
Battery-powered pole saws stand out for being cordless. This means you can use them from almost anywhere so long as the battery is well charged. However, due to battery power limitations, they are not as powerful and are more suitable for less complex jobs.
Gas pole saws are considered the best when it comes to performance and power. These tools are designed for big/complex trimming projects. They have poles capable of reaching as much as 9 feet, enabling the trimming of taller trees and bushes without the need for a ladder.
The engines of gas pole saws are more powerful than the motors of electrical models. Despite housing an engine and gas, most of these models are well balanced to make operation simple. A gas-powered pole saw can cut tree branches that are bigger than 12 inches in diameter. These models are measured by their engine size and range from 20 cubic centimeters (cc) to 40cc. A larger engine means a more powerful saw.
Gas-powered pole saws are the most labor-intensive pole saws due to the engine’s gas tank and other components that call for regular cleaning and servicing. Of all the pole saw options, gas-powered models are the noisiest.
Unlike other makes, manual pole saws are powered by hand. They are generally made with a long, curved blade. They need to push it back and forth to cut off unwanted shrubs or tree branches.
Manual pole saws have pruning shears operated through a pull rope. They are lightweight, easy to handle, and suitable for cutting off smaller branches up high in trees.
Manual poles come in longer lengths compared to electric or gas-powered saws and can reach a length that’s as much as 21 feet.
Cutting Bar Length
A pole saw’s cutting bar dictates the maximum branch diameter that it is capable of cutting through.
Most pole saws come with bar lengths ranging from 6 to 12 inches, with 8 inches as the most prevalent length.
One rule of thumb is that the pole saw’s cutting bar ought to be at least 2 inches longer than the diameter sizes of the branches you intend to cut.
The working height of a pole saw is calculated as the pole’s length plus that of the buyer’s arm. Many manufacturers estimate an arm length of 2 to 3 feet, meaning that if a pole saw is claimed to have a working height of 10 feet, then it is 7 to 8 feet long.
Many pole saws have a maximum working length of 10-12 feet.
The height of your trees will determine the ideal working height of your pole saw. However, remember a bigger working length can make the saw harder to operate safely, especially in windy conditions.
Fortunately, some models have telescoping poles which enable you to adjust the length with ease.
Arguably, the most important feature to consider in a pole saw is its weight-to-power ratio. Using a pole saw calls for a good deal of physical exertion as you’ll be guiding and supporting it with your body. Although more powerful pole saws might weigh more, you need to consider whether you are ready to trade portability for more power. This will depend on your trimming needs.
Gas-powered pole saws are heavier than electric-powered models, with the heaviest averaging at 20 pounds. Lighter pole saw models exist, most ranging from 7 to 15 pounds.
A pole saw’s weight will dictate how handy it is at handling some tasks. With this, you should consider a functional pole saw with a reasonable weight.
Removable Cutting Head
Several models come with a detachable cutting head. This head can be disconnected from the end and be used as a chainsaw. This would be useful if you are looking to trim branches into lesser pieces after felling them.
The pole saw market is competitive. Manufacturers are striving to be innovative by making durable and easy-to-operate tools that stand out from the rest. This should be a consideration for you.
Some additional pole saw features to look out for are non-slip grips, anti-vibration features, an ergonomic design, self-oiling, and safety features.
Safety Tips for Using a Pole Saw
Pole saws are high-powered and should be handled cautiously to avoid the chances of accidents. Consider the following safety tips.
- Before you start using a pole saw, read through the manufacturer’s instructions. This will let you know how best to use your tool safely and effectively.
- When cutting, adequately plan your working area and cutting schedule. Cordon off the place where you intend to cut and ensure that there are no children, pets, or bystanders.
- Wear the right gear/ protective equipment. This could include a mask, a hard hat, gloves, goggles, and good footing. Take off jewelry and tie up your long hair.
- Only use the pole saw for pruning tree limbs. Deviating from this or trying to cut shrubs, bushes, trees, and plants with a pole saw could cause severe accidents and injuries.
- Adequately inspect the area for any obstacles or unfriendly pruning conditions. Wood decay and dead or dying branches could pose a safety threat. Check for this and avoid using a pole saw in dark, wet, and windy conditions.
- Examine your pole saw for any damage or worn out or missing teeth. Make sure that it is well oiled before using it to prune trees.
- When pruning, try to keep the pole saw as upright as you can. A pole saw can be quite complicated to handle, especially at an angle that’s parallel to the floor.
- Avoid cutting directly over you. Keep your body away from the branches as limbs could fall on you.
- Maintain a firm footing. Maintain a firm base with your feet well planted and balanced. Make sure that your feet remain on the ground throughout your pruning. Also, use both hands to operate the saw.
By considering our pole saw buying tips, you will most definitely get a tool that suits you well. Our reviewed picks are among the best models on the market, and one of those will most likely solve your needs. Once you get yourself a good pole saw, remember to service it regularly and employ adequate safety tips when trimming.