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Pole Saw vs Chainsaw: What is the Best Cutting Tool for Gardening

Pole Saw vs Chainsaw: What is the Best Cutting Tool for Gardening
Cutting dry branches, twigs, and bushes is a necessary thing to do throughout a year if you have a garden or greenery backyard. There are various cutters to pick for this task, but, eventually, the choice comes down to 2 instruments: a pole saw or chainsaw. Some gardeners, like Justin Edwards from GardenProfy, call a pole saw as a chainsaw on a stick. However, these tools have many common and different features that have to be considered when you choose between two options in a store.

Pole Saw vs Chainsaw

Major features of pole saws

Many people think that pole saw is just a chainsaw on a stick. But it is not quite true. Pole saw is an instrument with an extendable pole for cutting trees. It consists of an engine, a long drive rod and a saw resembling the chainsaw type, only a bit shorter. Thanks to such a design, pole saws are picked when a gardener needs to cut dry branches to maintain the systematic trimming of tall trees without using a ladder.

Pole Saw vs Chainsaw Comparison

Surely, with a small number of trees in the backyard, there is no point in overpaying for a special tool – a regular chainsaw or even a manual pole saw will be enough. But even in a small garden, a handheld pole saw can speed up your work and cope with any tasks related to decorative trimming of bushes.

Check key features of standard pole saws:

1. Affordability
Cheap pole saws with an electric motor are simple and affordable. More expensive instruments are equipped with a gasoline engine designed for permanent operation. The higher the price, the greater the power and productivity of these tools.

Of course, an important advantage of pole saws with a low-power electric motor is a reduced price, the minimum waste of money and time on maintenance, quiet operation and no pollution or emissions.

However, electric pole saws depend on the electric network. Such instruments require extension cords and they can’t be compared to gasoline models. Battery-based models can help you to get rid of the wires, but they’re also expensive.

If all options are expensive for you, think about a pole saw rental available in most cities and towns.

2. Parameters for cutting a tree crown

If you need a multifunctional instrument to trim hedges and tree crowns, then it is better to buy a model with a length of 13 – 20 inches.

The headset chain of pole saws is similar to chainsaws – a standard pitch of 0.325 for household and 0.404 for professional models (the greater the pitch, the higher the pole saw’s chain performance).

3. Basic technical parameters

If a tool is equipped with a keyless chain tensioning system, you can quickly adjust it before using it. Also, according to the opinion of many professional gardeners, it is much more convenient to work with a pruning saw with a telescopic pole. Opt for the instrument with automatic chain lubrication – there is no need to stop and lubricate bars manually.

Pole Saw vs Chainsaw What is Better

Gardeners recommend picking the instruments consisting of a 12-inch chain saw head and extendable aluminum pole. Make sure that the pole’s length is adjustable from 8 to 14 feet. Experts advise selecting a pole saw with a maximum vertical reach of 20 feet. That will be the best pole saw.

Pole saw vs chainsaws: advantages of pole saw cutters

  • Quick ignition. As soon as plugged in, electric pole saws are ready for use, allowing increasing efficiency and productivity;
  • Quiet work. An electric pole saw is ideal for users who appreciate comfort during work. Such a tool allows you working for a long time without feeling tired;
  • Absence of exhaust fumes and oil waste makes pruning saws makes an extremely environmentally friendly tool;
  • Easy to operate. This makes a pole saw tool ideal for retired people, women and people who do not have much physical strength;
  • They are highly efficient. The features of the tool’s design, in which direct drive provides high torque, makes the machine as efficient as possible. In addition, the motor in electric models is located near the cutting part, greatly increasing its power;

Pole Saw vs Chainsaw How To Choose

Major features of chainsaws

A chainsaw works thanks to the internal combustion engine, which is connected to the chain with sharp blades. The simple mechanism has an increased level of reliability.

You can choose among a few chainsaw types in the U.S. market:

  1. Gasoline chainsaws are good for occasional use. The great advantage of gasoline chainsaws is that they are lightweight and small in size. Most often, such a chainsaw is used to cut a small amount of firewood for igniting and burning the furnace. The basic capabilities of a gasoline chainsaw are quite limited so experts recommend using it no more than 2 hours per day;
  2. Electric chainsaws are more powerful and multifunctional. You can use it up to 16 hours a day without a break;

Pros of using chainsaws compared to pole saws

  • Most chainsaws do not need a power supply, while corded pole saws are quite inconvenient from this point of view;
  • Chainsaws are good for use in a variety of environments;
  • Electric chainsaws are more powerful;
  • Chainsaws can work long enough without interruption;
  • Gasoline tools have a high level of reliability and long service life;

Pole Saw vs Chainsaw Report

Chainsaws vs pole saws – check the cons of using chainsaws

However, chainsaws have several disadvantages compared to pole saw instruments:

  • Gasoline tools are more harmful to the environment and human health because they emit fumes;
  • Chainsaws make loud noises while working, compared to pole saws;
  • Also, gasoline instruments produce vibrations that make the working process more complicated;
  • Petrol-based saws will have to be filled with gasoline on a regular basis, which can cause additional expenses;
  • It is quite problematic to start a gasoline engine when it is cold outside;

Pick a pole chainsaw if you need both tools!

So, you’ve checked the advantages and disadvantages of both instruments and still have doubts or you simply need to use these tools for different tasks. Select a pole saw and chainsaw combo. That is okay, then you should take a closer look at pole chainsaws capable of dealing with heavy-duty pruning and tree cutting. In other words, if you seek a powerful instrument to prune high overhead, check the basic types of pole chainsaws:

What is the main difference between pole saws and pole chainsaws? The second one is a chainsaw on a stick. Such tools are much smaller and easier to handle than regular chainsaws. The bars of such tools are also small, from the range of 8 to 12 inches. Experts do not advise applying these tools on thick and heavy twigs or branches. They are the safest choice for pruning tall branches.

Think over a pulley system saw as an alternative

Another alternative to chainsaws and pole saws is a lopper with an extendable pole operating by means of a rope and pulley system. These are light-duty tools capable of cutting the branches ¾ inches in diameter. You may want to check such extendable instruments where a blade can be attached separately when you are going to prune. The mechanism works by pushing and pulling the saw’s pole.

Comparison Table: Pole Saw vs. Chainsaw

This table presents a comparison between two commonly used types of saws: pole saw and chainsaw. The purpose of this comparison is to help readers make an informed decision about which type of saw is best suited for their needs. The indicators included in this table are cutting capacity, weight, reach, and price.

Indicator Pole Saw Chainsaw
Cutting Capacity (inches) 6-12 10-36
Weight (lbs) 7-14 6-18
Reach (feet) 10-14 N/A
Price (USD) 100-300 150-1000

The cutting capacity of a saw refers to the maximum diameter of wood that it can cut. Pole saws typically have a cutting capacity of 6-12 inches, while chainsaws have a much larger cutting capacity of 10-36 inches. This makes chainsaws more suitable for heavy-duty cutting tasks.

Weight is an important factor to consider when choosing a saw, as heavier saws can be more difficult to handle. Pole saws usually weigh between 7-14 pounds, while chainsaws weigh between 6-18 pounds.

Reach is an indicator that is specific to pole saws, as they are designed to be used to reach high branches. Pole saws typically have a reach of 10-14 feet, depending on the model.

Price is an important consideration for many buyers, and both pole saws and chainsaws come in a range of prices. Pole saws are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from $100 to $300. Chainsaws are more expensive, with prices ranging from $150 to $1000 depending on the model and features.


Can I use pole saw as chainsaw?

No, a pole saw cannot be used as a chainsaw. A pole saw is designed for pruning and cutting small branches, while a chainsaw is designed for cutting larger logs and trees.

A pole saw typically has a smaller bar length than a chainsaw, usually ranging between 6-12 inches compared to 16 inches or more for a chainsaw. The chain on a pole saw is also much smaller than the chain on a chainsaw, making it less powerful and slower when cutting through thicker materials. Additionally, pole saws are not designed to handle the same amount of torque that a chainsaw can handle, so they will not be able to cut through large logs or trees like a chainsaw can.

Overall, although both tools are useful for yard work and landscaping projects, they have different functions and should not be used interchangeably.

Should I get a chainsaw or pole saw?

The decision between a chainsaw and a pole saw largely depends on the type of job you plan to do. If you are looking to cut down trees or large branches, then a chainsaw is likely the best choice. Chainsaws are powerful tools that can handle larger jobs and have more power than pole saws.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something for smaller tasks like pruning bushes or trimming branches, then a pole saw may be the better option. Pole saws are easier to maneuver in tight spaces, and they provide more control over precision cutting. Plus, they’re generally lighter and easier to use than chainsaws.

Ultimately, it comes down to what type of job you plan to do with the tool. Consider your needs carefully before making your decision so that you get the most appropriate tool for the job.

How big of a branch can a pole saw cut?

The size of a branch that a pole saw can cut depends on the type and size of the pole saw. A smaller manual pole saw with a 6-inch blade will be able to cut branches up to about 4 inches in diameter. For larger branches, an electric or gas-powered pole saw with an 8-inch blade will be necessary. This type of pole saw can easily cut through branches up to 8 inches in diameter.

When using a pole saw, it is important to consider the length of the blades and the power of the motor. Longer blades allow for more leverage when cutting thicker branches, while more powerful motors provide more speed and torque when cutting through hardwood. It is also important to use caution when cutting large branches as they can cause kickback if they are not properly supported.

Can a pole saw cut a tree?

Yes, a pole saw can be used to cut down a tree. A pole saw is a tool that consists of a long pole with a sharp saw blade at one end. It is designed to help you reach branches and limbs that are too high up for you to reach with a regular saw.

When using a pole saw to cut down a tree, it’s important to take safety precautions and use proper technique. Start by cutting away any low-hanging branches, then make an undercut into the trunk of the tree at an angle. Make sure your footing is secure and your body is out of the path of the falling tree. After making the undercut, make two horizontal slices on either side of the trunk near the ground level. This will help ensure that the tree falls in the direction you want it to go. Finally, make another undercut directly above your original cut until the tree falls.

What is the difference between pole saw and pole pruner?

A pole saw and a pole pruner are two different tools used for pruning trees.

A pole saw is a long-handled saw with a blade at the end that can be used to cut through branches up to 12 inches in diameter. The handle of the pole saw can be extended, allowing you to reach higher branches without needing to climb the tree. This tool is ideal for pruning larger branches or limbs that are too high to reach with a regular hand saw.

A pole pruner is similar to a pole saw, but it has a curved blade at the end instead of a straight one. This curved blade allows you to make precision cuts on smaller branches and twigs, making it ideal for detailed trimming and shaping of trees. It also has an adjustable head that allows you to angle the blade in order to make more precise cuts.

What is better a pole saw or hedge trimmer?

Both pole saws and hedge trimmers can be useful tools for garden maintenance. However, which one is better depends on the job you need to do.

For trimming hedges and shrubs, a hedge trimmer is typically the best choice. These tools are designed to cut through thick branches and foliage quickly and easily. They also have adjustable blades so you can get the exact look you want for your garden.

On the other hand, if you need to reach higher branches or prune larger trees, then a pole saw is probably your best bet. Pole saws typically have longer handles that make it easier to reach higher branches without having to climb a ladder. They also often come with sharp curved blades that are perfect for cutting through thicker branches and limbs.

Ultimately, both pole saws and hedge trimmers can be useful tools for garden maintenance, but it’s important to choose the right tool for the job at hand.

Final thoughts

If you still have questions regarding what is best – pole saw or chainsaw, please, compare the options offered by manufacturers. Some tools are electric, environment-friendly and powerful, other manual cutters are more affordable and easier to handle. The choice mostly depends on your daily gardening tasks for cutting trees and bushes.