Pole Saws: A Buying Guide

Looking around and searching over the internet for the best pole saw? But don’t know which one to get? No, problem, you are not the only one facing this problem. There is a vast variety of pole saws available in the market that caters to different needs and requirements of the users. While you might not like to do all that research on pole saws, we do. In this article, we have put together a brief guide on buying the best pole saw according to your requirements. Not only this, but we have also recommended some best pole saws to choose from.

chainsaw-Pole Saws A Buying Guide
chainsaw-Pole Saws A Buying Guide

First, let’s know what a pole saw basically is:

Pole Saw

Take a stick, attach a lightweight chainsaw to one of its ends – you get a pole saw. Sounds simple, right? It isn’t, though. While this idea of “chainsaw attached to a stick” seems odd but that’s what a pole saw basically is. However, don’t try to make it with a broomstick, or you might end up hurting yourself.

Instead, we recommend you to get one of these four types of pole saws:

  • Cordless or battery-powered pole saws
  • Corded electric pole saws
  • Gas-powered pole saws
  • Manual pole saws

Before knowing all these types in detail, you should ask yourself these questions:

How high will I need to cut?

Prior to getting a pole saw, check out its reach. For instance, powered pole saws usually extend up to 12 feet in length. If a pole saw’s length is smaller than what you require, you should consider getting a bigger one. A common practice of many manufacturers is advertising the maximum reach of the pole saw rather than providing the maximum extension length.

They add about 3 to 4 feet onto the pole extension length to calculate pole saw’s maximum reach, which might be misleading as everyone’s heights vary. Make sure to go for the maximum extension instead of reach.

How frequently will I be using the saw?

Getting the right pole saw depends on how often you will be using it. For example, if you plan to use the pole saw on a daily basis, your best bet would be getting a gas-powered pole saw which is more durable and long-lasting than any other type. It is a choice of professionals who need to work for an extended period of times, on a regular basis.

For a DIYer or homeowner, an electric and battery-powered pole saw are highly recommended. They are straightforward to use and provide the best performance without requiring you to mix gas and oil to operate them.

Do I have access to a power supply?

If you are planning to buy an electric or corded pole saw, this is the most important question you need to ask yourself in the first place. This will dictate whether you can use it or not. If the trees are located within 100 feet of a power socket or you have a portable generator, an electric pole saw won’t be a problem for you. Otherwise, you need to choose between a gas-powered, cordless, and manual pole saw.

The thickness of the limbs?

If you need a pole saw to prune thicker and larger limbs, then the best option available to you is a gas-powered one as it is much more powerful and has longer bars than other types. For light pruning, corded and manual pole saws would be a great choice as they are lightweight and compact, and can efficiently get into tighter spaces.

Weight of the pole saw I can bear?

  • Manual – lightest
  • Electric – no battery included so lighter than battery-powered or cordless
  • Cordless/battery-powered – moderately lighter than gas-powered
  • Gas – Heaviest of them all

If you want more functionalities and power, you need to sacrifice on the weight because gas-powered poles saws are more robust, but heavier. Otherwise, othertypes of pole saw would work fine for you if your task is just light pruning.

Types of Pole Saws Explained

 

1. Cordless/Battery-Powered Pole Saws

As the name suggests, cordless or battery-powered pole saws draw the power from a rechargeable battery. Depending on the pole saw, you can generally expect about a half-hour or an hour of battery life, per charge. Old models used Ni-Cad batteries, but now latest lithium-ion batteries are being used in the newer models, which are considered best due to their long battery life and stable power output.

As they are battery-powered, they provide the lowest amount of power as compared to other types (except for manual pole saws). However, they offer lots of benefits as well that make them outstanding:

  • Ease of use

They are as easy to use as pressing the power button and throttling.

  • Portability

Battery-powered pole saws aren’t attached to any cord, which makes them quite portable.

  • Low maintenance

They don’t require regular maintenance – just keep their blade sharp and replace the battery when needed.

Cons:

  • Expensive than corded pole saws
  • Limited cutting time
  • Heavier than corded pole saws
  • Not much powerful

Best Cordless Pole Saws:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Earthwise LPS42410 10-Inch Cordless Electric Pole
BLACK+DECKER LPP120 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Pole Saw
Sun Joe SWJ800E Telescoping Electric Pole Chain Saw
WORX WG309 8 Amp 10" 2-in-1 Electric Pole Saw & Chainsaw
MAXTRA Gas Pole Saw
Poulan Pro PR28PS Pole Saw
Notch 40207 Pole Saw Set

 

Earthwise LPS42410 10-Inch Cordless Electric Pole

Earthwise LPS42410 is a cordless pole saw, equipped with a 24-Volt Lithium-Ion battery that provides you with enough power to make thick cuts up to 5 inches in thickness, even in hard-to-reach areas on the top of the trees. It weighs only 7.3 pounds, making it easy for you to carry around and maneuver. The shaft is made of telescoping fiberglass that offers enhanced stability while extending to over 9 feet in length. Also, it features two cutting-head angles to choose from, providing more versatility.

You don’t require any tool to adjust its chain. With such a saw at hand, you won’t need to drag the ladder out every time to cut the hard-to-reach branches.

BLACK+DECKER LPP120 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Pole Saw

Black+Decker LPP120 is one of the best cordless pole saws available in the market. It features a 20-volt MAX Lithium-ion battery that delivers long-lasting performance without compromising on power. It can cut through 1-and-a-half-inch pine branches effortlessly, about 100 times, per charge. You can disassemble the unit and carry it anywhere conveniently.

It features an 8inch cutting bar and chain that enables you to power through branches up to a maximum diameter of 6 inches. Depending on your height, you can prune trees up to 14ft high as its shaft extends to 6.5ft or 10ft. And yes, there can be consequences when you are working with sharp things such as blades, but thanks to its blade guard that provides safe handling.

 

2. Corded Electric Pole Saws

Corded electric pole saws are just like their cordless counterparts, but the only thing additional in them is a cord that needs to be attached to a nearby power socket or portable generator for powering the tool. It uses the same bar lengths as of a cordless pole saw, i.e. 8ft and 10ft. An electric pole saw, being plugged in via a cord, draws its power from an electrical outlet – providing more power and cutting speeds. However, the only downside it has is its cord that needs to stay within 100ft of an electrical outlet. But for those who don’t mind their power tools plugged in, a corded pole saw is a suitable option as it offers a number of advantages including:

  • Affordability

Corded pole saws do not just come with budget-friendly price tags but also provide plenty of benefits in the long run as you don’t have to spend any extra money on replacing batteries.

  • Lightweight

As corded electric pole saws do not have battery packs or gas tanks, they are much lighter and easier to carry than any other type (except a manual pole saw).

  • Low or No Maintenance

The best thing about a corded pole saw is that you don’t need to spend lots of dollars on maintenance as you don’t have to change the oil, replace the battery, or refill the fuel tank. However, you should consider replacing and cleaning the chain and saw in a corded pole sawas they both play a vital role in increasing the tool’s life and performance.

Cons:

  • Not as robust and sturdy as gas-powered pole saws
  • Not safe to use in wet conditions
  • Need to have an electrical outlet within 100ft

Best Corded Electric Pole Saws:

Sun Joe SWJ800E Telescoping Electric Pole Chain Saw

Sun Joe SWJ800E telescoping corded pole chain sawis one of the best in this category and also the Amazon’s Choice for “tree trimmer” – so when you are working on trees with this saw in hand, you will feel safe that you will get optimum results. It weighs only 7 pounds and is an ideal choice for cutting overhanging limbs and thin logs. The power of a robust 6.5amp motor inside it allows you to cut through branches up to 7.5inches thick like butter.

It features an 8inch Oregon cutting bar and chain with automatic lubrication that has a dedicated oil tank of 79.8ml. Automatic lubrication allows the chain and saw to work smoothly without getting jammed or causing any problems. Its telescopic pole can extend to max 8.7ft, which means you can prune trees up to 15ft high (depending on your height). If you want an affordable electric pole saw that doesn’t compromise on both performance and power, Sun Joe SWJ800E is an excellent option to consider.

WORX WG309 8 Amp 10″ 2-in-1 Electric Pole Saw & Chainsaw

Want a more powerful electric saw than the one mentioned above? Go for WORX WG309 all the way. From a bigger 8amp motor to lots of other interesting features, the WG309 has everything that a high-quality pole saw needs to have. With its patented auto-tension chain system, you don’t need to worry about maintenance and repair costs as this amazing feature extends the bar and chain life – guaranteeing high performance every time. Its oil tank has a capacity of 120ml, means no frequent refilling.

It has a rotatable handle that allows you to prune branches of the bigger trees easily. Another best thing about this pole saw is that it can be converted to a durable and powerful chainsaw if you just simply remove the extension pole attached to it. So, if you are interested in getting the functionality of two tools at the price of one – get yourself a WORX WG309.

 

3. Gas-Powered Pole Saws

As the name suggests, gas-powered pole saws draw their power from a gas tank attached to them. They are louder and more substantial, but much more potent than any other type of pole saw. This type of pole saw provides both professionals and homeowners with the freedom to work on more extensive tracts and cut through thicker branches without worrying about lack of power. In simple words, they are the best choice for landscaping and forestry professionals who have to work on bigger tree branches.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Produce high torque
  • Longer bars
  • Equipped with comfort features such as vibration reduction and rear-mounted engines for the ideal body to weight ratio and handling
  • Portable – as they do not need an electric outlet within reach
  • Best choice for everyday use

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavier
  • Louder
  • Require a lot of maintenance

Best Gas-powered Pole Saws

MAXTRA Gas Pole Saw

This gas pole saw is powered by a 2-stroke, 42.7cc,1100w engine that guarantees peak performance even in long hours of work. Use the MAXTRA gas pole saw to cut branches and woods in no time. This is also recommended for pruning orchards and gardens. You can easily move and adjust the MAXTRA gas pole saw from 8.2 to 11.4 ft because it is a cordless type of gas pole saw. You can use this pole saw in cutting down the branches of trees 13-16.5 ft tall without the need of using a ladder. For easy starting and added safety, this pole saw is equipped with a two-position choke (for cold and hot starting) and its ergonomic shoulder strap is also helpful in reducing fatigue and vibration.

Poulan Pro PR28PS Pole Saw

Poulan Pro PR28PS has a 28cc 2cycle engine that provides the blade with enough power to cut through thicker branches with ease. Starting a gas-powered tool is itself one of the biggest challenges, which requires quite an effort, but with PR28PS pole saw’s spring-assisted starter system, you can pull start it effortlessly.  The PR28PS features SureFire Fuel Delivery System that enables the engine to draw fuel from the tank efficiently and start it quickly– as easy as Prime, Choke, and Pull.

It has a dual-line feed Tap’N Go head that allows you to cut through thicker limbs accurately. It has a maximum reach of 12 inches. You get a chainsaw attachment in the package as well that is designed to accept 6 additional attachments to do regular trimming, blowing, tilling, hedge trimming, edging, brushcutting, and tree pruning.

 

4. Manual Pole Saws

Don’t want to deal with motors or engines? Get a manual pole saw and prune your trees in a traditional way. This isn’t basically a chain saw but not mentioning this type would not do justice to the guide because not everyone likes dealing with powered variety. However, we would not recommend you to go with this type unless you really feel comfortable working with manual tools. Manual pole saws are easy to use and lightweight, but they require a lot more effort in cutting through tree branches than any other type.

You can get a manual pole saw that can extend as high as 21ft or even more – much longer than any other type.

Pros:

  • Can extend up to 21ft
  • Cheap
  • No maintenance needed
  • Safe to use – as they don’t have any whirring chains to worry about
  • Lighter than any other type
  • Can be used in every weather condition

Cons:

  • Require more effort in pruning and cutting through limbs
  • Low cutting efficiency

Best Manual Pole Saws:

Notch 40207 Pole Saw Set

Notch 40207 is a manual pole saw that features a 15inch heavy duty, double thick blade. This large and robust blade combined with a professionalfiberglasspole, makes one great pole saw. In the package, you don’t just get one pole but a set of three poles to make your work easy. If you are into manual pruning and want to do it like a pro – Notch 40207 is an excellent option to consider.

Final Verdict

Whether you are a professional or a homeowner who wants a suitable tool for cutting tree branches and pruning, a pole saw is a great choice. You have four types of pole saws available to choose from according to your requirements. If you want exceptional power, and can afford high costs, go for any of our recommended gas-powered pole saws. But as a homeowner, if your tasks are simple and you do notwish to spend much money, consider a corded or cordless pole saw as both would work just perfect.

You might also need a handy saw (without any pole extension) that can cut through both green and dry wood. For this purpose, folding saws would be a great addition to your woodworking or gardening tool box.