With spring right around the corner, there’s no better tool than a pole saw for trimming high branches. Skip a trip to the emergency room by keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground while cutting overhead. Pole saws offer extensive, multiangle cutting without requiring you to perform any gravity-defying tricks. Read along to learn more about these long, lean cutting machines.
Sun Joe SWJ800E 8-Inch Telescoping Electric Pole Chain – Best All-Around Pole Saw
- Powerful 6.5 amp
- Converts into a handheld chainsaw
- Extensive telescoping pole
- Electrically powered
- Low price
- Safety switch
Priced under $75, this chainsaw on a stick is definitely a steal. It boasts electric power and a push-button starter. While its telescoping pole makes overgrown branches a cinch, it also converts into a hand-held chainsaw for tackling already grounded logs. As such, users score two tools for the price of one!
Greenworks 8.5-Foot Cordless Pole Saw – Best Cordless Pole Saw
The saw’s lightweight body is super easy to lift, reducing a user’s burden over extended periods of time. It also features an automatic lubricator and a translucent oil tank indicator for more convenient maintenance.
- Extends 8 feet
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Automatic lubrication
- Lightweight and maneuverable
- Consistently quiet
For the most part, customers seem satisfied with the Greenworks’ three-piece aluminum shaft, saying it is super durable and offers precise extendibility. With an electric push-button starter and a potential for 65 cuts with each charge, there’s no doubt about the Greenworks pole saw is easy to use.
Sun Joe SWJ803E-CMO 10-Inch Pole Saw – Most Maneuverable Pole Saw Head
- Extensive 10-inch cutting bar
- 8.8-foot Telescoping pole
- Multiangle head
- Ergonomic grip
- Camo skin
- Weaker than gas
This pole saw offers exceptional trimming capabilities with unmatched maneuverability. What’s more, the multiangled head sets it leagues apart from the competition. In fact, with zero- to 30-degree angle changes, there’s hardly a branch that’s going to be off limits. What’s more, it boasts an ergonomic grip that makes lengthy cutting jobs more comfortable than ever.
Remington RM1025SPS Ranger Pole Saw – Best Budget Electric Pole Saw
- Extends from 10 to 15-feet
- Converts into a small handheld chain saw
- Anti-rotation clamp
- Non-slip grip
- Tool-free conversion
Converting the Remington pole saw is super easy and requires no tools. It’s also super easy to extend or reduce the length of the saw using the tool-free flip and lock clamp. As such, you can easily adjust the length of the pole to trim a wide variety of trees in a single session. On top of that, an anti-rotation shaft and non-slip grip ensure that you are stable and comfortable at all times. With all that said, the Ranger is clearly one of the most ergonomic and versatile poles on our list.
Black+Decker LPP120 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Pole Saw – Best 20-Volt Pole Saw
- 20-volt rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Two-year limited warranty
- 100 cuts per session
- Adjustable from 6 1.2 to 10 feet
- Lacks automatic lubrication
The Black+Decker saw boasts a lengthy cutting bar, offering cuts as deep as 6 inches. While it extends up to 10 feet, it can also be broken down into smaller pieces for easy and convenient storage during the offseason. The Black+Decker saw also enables comfortable cutting 14 feet in the air. The best part is that its ample comfort and control comes at a surprisingly low cost.
Sun Joe SWJ803E 10-Inch 8.0 Amp Electric Multiangle Pole Chain Saw – Pole Saw with the Unique Skins
- Adjustable 15-foot reach
- Multiangle head with a safety feature
- 8-amp electric-powered motor
- Blade loosens on occasion
We also love that this Sun Joe features an adjustable multiangle head that goes from zero to 30 degrees. With such a feature, cutting a wide range of overgrowth is easy. Of course, we also love that this pole saw starts up with the simple press of a button. Not to mention, it has an extensive 15-foot reach.
Worx WG309 10-Inch Electric Pole Saw – Easiest Tool-Free Installation
- 120-milliliter oil tank
- Self-tightening chain
- Rotating grip
- Extends 8 feet
- 8-amps of power
We also love that this pole saw is super lightweight and slim. As such, it’s easy to lift it over your head for extended periods of time. What’s more, it features a self-tightening chain, offering an extended life and limited maintenance requirements. Not to mention, it has a rugged orange and black colorway we can definitely get behind!
Remington RM1035P Ranger II 8-Amp Electric two-in-one Pole Saw & Chainsaw Foot – Best Two-in-One Pole Saw
- 15-foot telescopic aluminum pole
- Flip and lock clamp
- Ample safety features
- Converts into a handheld chainsaw
What’s more, the saw’s flip and lock clamp makes tool-free conversions easier than ever. Not to mention, the saw’s anti-rotation shaft and non-slip grip put a user’s safety on the forefront. In fact, you’re guaranteed to experience fewer kickbacks and snags with this versatile chainsaw on a stick.
Sun Joe SWJ807E 10-Inch 8.0 Amp Electric Convertible Pole Chain Saw – Pole Saw with the Best Warranty
In fact, it features an extendable pole that can be lengthened without the need for tools. It also features an automatic lubrication system that dramatically reduces its maintenance needs.
- Extendable pole
- Non-slip grip with foam and lock
- 10-inch blade
- Electrically powered
- Difficult to balance
We also love that this lime-green saw converts into a useful handheld chainsaw. While most people purchase a pole saw to tackle overhead branches, handheld chainsaws come in handy when breaking up grounded timber. What’s more, if safety is your number one concern, the onboard safety switch is yet another awesome feature.
Sun Joe SWJ806E 8-Inch 8.0 Amp Two-in-One Convertible Pole Chain Saw – Editor’s Choice
- 8-inch blade
- Reaches up to 15 feet overhead
- 8-amp electric motor
- Telescoping pole
We love that this pole saw cuts through small limbs both on and off the ground. Just release the pole clamp to enable the handheld chainsaw function. The powerful motor can push through dense wood without faltering. Finally, a two-year warranty provides an added buffer in case anything should go wrong.
Still not sure what to look for in a decent pole saw? Read along to discover key considerations in our all-encompassing pole saw buying guide.
First off, it’s important to consider a pole saw’s source of power. Today, most of the pole saws on the market are either gas-, electric-, or battery-powered. Keep in mind that gas-powered pole has a wide variety of power outputs depending on their make, model, and engine. With that said, these types of pole saws tend to be heavier and louder than electric alternatives. Not to mention, they require consistent gas refills and regular maintenance.
On the other hand, electric and battery-powered pole saws are driven by amp-driven motors. Typically, these motors are driven by 2 to 8 amps. With most pole saws between the 6 and 8 amp range.
Keep in mind that battery-powered pole saws have a limited runtime, usually capping off at around 2 hours. While this isn’t usually a problem for small backyard projects, it’s definitely something worth considering if you have large wooded land.
On the other hand, electric, or corded, pole saws boast an alternative inconvenience. These must be plugged into a power source via an extension cord. As such, users are generally pretty limited to where they can take a corded pole saw. As such, these are usually only for backyard trimming sessions.
The next thing that you will want to consider is how high your pole saw can reach. Keep in mind that most of the poles on our lists extend from around 6 to 8 feet. When looking for a pole saw, add the saw’s maximum extension to the height at which you will hold it to determine its maximum reach. Many saws can be extended as high as 15 feet, enabling users to cut away at overhead limbs.
Pay close attention to how easily a pole saw extends. Most users will want to cut limbs at varying heights. As such, a tool-free yet lockable adjustment feature is essential. Keep in mind that some pole saws come with removable extensions, whereas others feature telescopic extensions.
After that, you’ll want to look at a saw’s maximum cutting capacity. To do this, consider the overall length and width of the bar and chain. Small bars are easy to maneuver but may struggle to make it through thick limbs. Meanwhile, large bars are typically heavier but can severe thick limbs in a matter of seconds.
Take your personal strength and balance into account when choosing a bar size. What’s more, consider the average thickness of the limbs you will be pruning. Most bars range in length from 8 to 10 inches. While this may not seem like a wide range, it makes a huge difference when you’re cutting through overhead branches. After all, you don’t want to jam your bar in a tree or leave a limb halfway severed.
If maintenance is a major qualm of yours, it’s probably best to stay away from gas and/or battery-powered models. Gas models require regular upkeep and refills to stay productive. Meanwhile, you’ll need to regularly recharge your battery-powered saw if you want to have it at your disposal. Of course, if you’re a novice mechanic, gas-powered saws are relatedly easy and inexpensive to troubleshoot.
No matter what type of saw you choose, you’ll need to regularly maintain and sharpen your chain. This can be done with a simple at-home filing kit. However, you can also minimize the amount of maintenance you need to do by keeping your saw off the ground.
Another thing to consider is whether a saw features automatic lubrication. Automatic lubrication dramatically minimizes the need for ongoing maintenance. It also makes a saw safer and more reliable. Many saws popping up on the market feature proprietary auto-lubrication systems.
It’s important to think about how you personally plan to use a saw. Think about the size and extent of the trees you will be trimming. While large saws may offer a wealth of power, they can also be taxing on the body. If the job-at-hand is large or lengthy, consider a lightweight (under 7 pounds) pole saw with ergonomic elements, such as a padded grip.
It’s particularly important to consider the ergonomics of a pole saw. A saw should be comfortable to hold in the upright position. It should be lightweight and easy to balance. Not to mention, it should be extremely user-friendly, with easy one-handed access to safety buttons and triggers. On top of that, a well-built saw should minimize the amount of vibration. It’s worth noting that many users opt to use a safety harness to reduce the amount of strain caused by a pole saw.
Many saw manufacturers have upped their game by introducing Two-in-One pole saws. These dynamic power tools can be converted into a handheld chainsaw for quick cleanup of downed limbs. Oftentimes, it only takes the push of a button to remove a two-in-one saw’s extension. These types of saws are often priced identical to typical pole saws. However, they offer extensive versatility.
Others have integrated an adjustable angle head that enables users to trim away at unconventional or tight angles. We are definitely fans of anything that makes overhead cutting easier and safer. Most saws with an adjustable head can be altered between 0 and 30 degrees.
Furthermore, many manufacturers have taken pole saws’ seasonal applications into consideration. Since many users will only use these tools in the spring and fall, it’s important that they are easy to store. Saws that come apart into small pieces fit into the nooks and crannies in a shed or storage space.
How thick can a pole saw cut?
Pole saws should only be used on small branches. Any attempt to prune branches with thick diameters may end in disaster. For the most part, pole saws can only be used on branches that are up to 6 inches in diameter. According to Bob Vila, the length of a pole saw’s cutting bar determines the size of the limbs you can tackle. He recommends using a pole with a bar that is a few inches bigger than the tree branches. Since pole saw cutting bars tend to range between 5 and 10 inches in length, most models can cut through limbs that are between 3 and 8 inches in diameter.
If you have any questions about the size of branches you can tackle, seek specific answers in your pole saw user guide. As always, leave the big jobs for the professionals. Tree work demands extensive training. When it doubt, start with the smallest limbs and work your way to the bigger ones. This way, you will be able to get a feel for how your pole saw handles branches.
Can you use a pole saw on a ladder?
Pole saws should only ever be used from the ground. They extend the distance between a cutter and a pruning surface by several feet. While pole saws are considered safe and effective, they require cutters to be firmly planted on the ground. Ladders are unstable. Therefore, they do not provide an adequate or safe surface for someone who is using a pole saw.
A job may call for a pole saw or a later but never both. Pole saws serve to eliminate the need for ladders.
How long can a pole saw be?
Pole saws extend quite far, with the longest ones measuring as much as 20 feet. Of course, pole saws come in a variety of lengths and weights. They can be anywhere from 6 to 20 feet long. You must choose one that you are comfortable handling.
We recommend that users opt for a telescopic model. Telescopic pole saws enable users to adjust the length of their saws according to the job at hand. Keep in mind that your height and arm length also impact the distance of the pole saw.
Keep in mind that larger pole saws tend to be more cumbersome. Make sure that you are comfortable supporting a long and heavy tool over your head. When it comes to tree trimming, there is very little room for error.
Are pole saws safe?
Like all power tools, pole saws are only safe when they are used correctly. Pole saws are intended to be used to trim small branches from trees. Always read through the manufacturer’s instructions before using your pole saw. Familiarize yourself with all the functional elements and safety features. What’s more, take care to wear proper safety equipment. Never attempt to use your pole saw unless you are wearing a hard hat, steel-toe boots, ear protection, work gloves, and safety goggles. Take care to wear durable work clothing. What’s more, tuck in or eliminate any loose accessories or items that could get caught up in your pole saw.
Yes. Pole saws are safe. However, they can cause serious accidents. You should never use your pole saw for anything other than pruning trees.
Avoid working around people, pets, and electrical wires. Wait for moisture and adverse weather to cease before attempting to clean up storm damage. Make sure that your pole saw is well-maintained. You will need to replace the fuel, oil, and blades regularly. What’s more, only use extension cords that are approved for outdoor use. You can improve your safety and chances of success by properly maintaining your pole saw.
How do you trim a tree with a pole saw?
To start, place your feet firmly on the ground. Angle your pole saw so that it is ahead of rather than directly over your head and body. Remember, falling branches are super hazardous. Take care to inspect your surroundings before starting a pruning session. Grasp the handle firmly in your hands.
When you are ready, prime and start the engine. You will need to keep your hand on the throttle trigger to keep the engine from shutting off. Press the blade of the pole saw up against a limb you are looking to remove. Do not apply excess pressure. This behavior will cause you to fall forward when the blade breaks through the opposite side of the limb.
When the blade breaks through the opposite side of the limb, you can let go of the trigger. The engine should stop suddenly. Take a moment to rest and assess your work before moving to the next obstacle.
What’s the longest pole saw?
We scoured the internet in search of the longest pole saws. The GarretWade Hi-Reach 19-foot Pole Saw was one of the lengthiest tools we came across. It is worth noting that this cutting device does not feature an engine. Black + Decker’s LPP120 is quite long for a battery-powered tool. It offers about 15 feet of extension. While length is an important feature, it shouldn’t be the only thing guiding your purchasing decision. After all, it is more difficult and dangerous to use a pole saw at extraordinary heights. We recommend sticking to pole saws that are under 10 feet in length. This length should enable you to trim most tree branches without risking your safety. If the task at hand is more complicated, you should probably call a professional.
Can you use a pole saw to trim hedges?
Pole saws and hedge trimmers have a lot in common. Still, you should never attempt to use your pole saw to trim your hedges. Pole saws should not be used for anything other than trimming small tree limbs. With that said, some pole saws come with hedge trimmer attachments. These hybrid tools are the only exceptions to our rule.
If you want your yard to look nice, invest in a wide range of yard tools. What’s more, use them as they are intended. Pole saws feature cutting devices that are intended to slice through hardwood. Whereas, hedge trimmers are engineered to severe the ends of several small leafy branches. Pole saws are just not capable of creating flat, uniform surfaces. Not to mention, they can be downright dangerous when they are used incorrectly.
It only takes a moment of unsure footing to send a ladder-top tree cutter onto the ground. Of course, modern pole saws offer the same precision and versatility without the need for mid-air acrobatics. Whether you’re looking to invest in your first-ever pole saw or are in search of an affordable upgrade, our top ten list offers a wide range of high-quality options.