Pole Saw Buyer's Guide
How to Pick the Perfect Pole Saw
Want to saw up high, but worry that it's dangerous to use a chainsaw while standing on a ladder? Good thinking.
So how can you reach those high branches while keeping your feet planted on the ground?
Take a lightweight chainsaw, add a stick, and you get a pole saw.
While the idea of a “chainsaw on a stick” might seem odd at first, it's quite a handy addition to anyone’s landscaping arsenal. Just don't go trying to make your own with a broomstick handle, or you could end up with a serious injury.
Instead, consider buying one of the three kinds of pole chain saw you'll commonly find available:
- Cordless or battery-powered pole saws
- Corded electric pole saws
- Gas-powered pole saws
Cordless and Battery-Powered Pole Saws
Cordless pole saws draw on the power of a rechargeable battery. Depending on the saw and the type of battery included, you can expect to get between a half-hour to an hour of use from a single charge.
In the past, Ni-Cad batteries used to be common components of battery-powered saws. These days, lithium-ion batteries are considered standard due to their longer life and steady power output, even as the battery drains.
Because they're battery powered, cordless pole saws provide the lowest amount of power of any type of pole chain saw. In exchange for lower power output, however, they offer other benefits:
- Portability - battery-powered chainsaws aren't tethered by a cord
- Low maintenance - simply keep the chain sharp and replace the battery
- Ease of use - as easy as pressing the power button and engaging the trigger
The bars on cordless pole saws tend to be between 8" and 10" to allow users to trim small to medium trees. For the homeowner with a few quick, occasional pruning and cleanup tasks around the yard to take care of, a cordless pole saw is a convenient choice.
Corded Electric Pole Saws
Like their cordless counterparts, corded electric pole saws typically use bars between 8" and 10" in length. Unlike rechargeable pole saws, corded pole saws draw their power from an electrical outlet and need to be plugged in via a cord.
The need to stay within 100 feet of an electrical source is one of the downsides of corded electric pole saws. But for those who don't mind staying plugged in, corded saw offer plenty of advantages:
- Low maintenance - like cordless saws, corded saws don't require you to change the oil or refill the fuel tank
- Lightweight - because they don't have gas tanks or battery packs, cordless electric pole saws are lighter and easier to carry than other pole saws
- Affordability - not only do the saws themselves come with budget-friendly prices; they also don't require you to spend money on replacement batteries or fuel
If you'd like to spend a little more time outdoors trimming your trees (and also want to spend less money), a corded electric pole saw might be the right choice for you.
Gas-Powered Pole Saws
Gas-powered pole saws are the pole saws of choice for landscaping and forestry professionals as well as for homeowners who have larger properties to maintain and bigger tree branches to cut.
Why are gas pole saws well suited for heavy-duty work?
- Powerful gas engines
- Longer bars (typically 10" to 12")
- Improved torque
- Comfort features like vibration reduction and rear-mounted engines for balance
They might be louder and more expensive than either type of electric pole saw, but gas-powered pole saws give professionals and homeowners alike the freedom to work across large tracts of land and to take down thicker branches without running out of power.