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What Is a Pole Saw: Definition, Types, and Tips for Buyers

What Is a Pole Saw: Definition, Types, and Tips for Buyers
Do you think about trimming high tree branches? Then you should consider buying or renting a pole saw. Being a pole saw instrument can be a challenge for novice gardeners. That is why this buying guide was compiled. You will learn the pole saw definition, its functions, and major types.

What is a pole saw used for

A pole saw is a special type of gardening tool designed to trim and prune the tall trees with crowns or tall decorative shrubs without using ladders. This tool will be a reliable assistant who will greatly facilitate the care of green spaces in your garden. However, at the same time, it’s worth considering that the high-quality pole saws, however, like any other excellent tools, are not that cheap.

Electric vs Gas Pole Saw: The Buyer’s Guide For Beginners

That is why it’s very important to invest your money wisely and choose the model that will completely satisfy all your requests. First, you need to understand the tasks that you want to solve with the help of this instrument, do not forget about your physical abilities and the pool of work.

Many U.S. manufacturers design and manufacture different types of pole saw instruments. However, most of them have the same design.

The special design of a pole saw for trimming high trees

These tools look like special saws and their performance indicators are very similar to trimmers, mowing machines, shears, and chainsaws. The main differences are related to the cutting mechanism or a detachable telescopic pole that can be unfolded up to 120 inches.

The cutting mechanisms resemble an electric or gasoline chain saw. It usually consists of a moving chain and a fixed tire. The efficiency level of such a device directly depends on the parameters of the cutting details (i.e. chains and tires), as well as the engine’s power.

Different types of pole saw in the U.S. market

1) Mechanical or manual pole saws resemble ordinary garden shears, only with very long handles. The prototype of modern pole saws is a mechanical tree and bush cutter. By the way, many gardeners still use such manual tools for small trimming tasks. The two-handed pole saw resembles a large pruner with a long shaft. This shaft serves as a lever and has a pair of cutting elements – sharp knives.

Pole saw

2) Electric pole saw tools work on an electric motor powered from the grid through an electric cord. Their main advantages are low cost and simple maintenance. However, at the same time, the radius of their action is strictly limited by the cord’s length. The level of efficiency depends on the voltage. 

3) Gasoline instruments are the most powerful models. They ignite from gasoline-based ICEs (internal combustion engines). They are designed to handle a lot of trimming tasks per session and perform particularly difficult tasks. Due to its excellent mobility (independence from the power grid and battery charging time), the gasoline tool does not have any restrictions on the location of use. It is only necessary to refuel it with a gasoline mixture.

4) Cordless pole saws, just like the previous tools, have an electric motor that is only powered by rechargeable batteries. They are not tied to the electrical grid. These pole saws are more mobile. Battery cutters stand out separately: they are similar to electric models, but their independence from an external power source and availability of fuel makes them as convenient as possible. 

Pole saw definition

Gasoline, electric and cordless pole saws must be controlled by a gardener. Working with such a tool, you won’t have to make any special efforts. Therefore, I advise you to buy a pole saw for your garden. If your budget is limited or you are the owner of a small garden, you can pick up a good mechanical cutter or use a more powerful instrument.

What is pole saw used for: tips for buyers

  • Estimate the difficulty and frequency of tasks. For example, you need to cut 5 trees or a large garden – it is a big difference. Keep in mind that trees with thick branches are much harder to prune than a tree of the same size, age, and volume, but with twigs and thin branches. The correct assessment of gardening tasks will allow you to choose the equipment without overpaying for it. You won’t need a powerful electric pole saw if you need to cut a few trees once a few months;
  • Mobility is another important factor to consider. Even if you have only one tree, but it is large, you can’t reach the upper branches without climbing to the tree’s top. So you have to take the stairs or pull the power cable of a pole saw. In this case, a chosen instrument must be lightweight because keeping it above your head and even healing branches is not an easy task. Here, the tool’s weight will directly affect your mobility;
  • Power is another essential option to look for. When working with some types of wood, it is better to have a more powerful instrument. Cutting thick branches also requires a lot of strength. And even if you only have 1-2 trees, then you will need to invest in powerful cutters. When you need to stop the growth of branches in a certain direction, for example, to prevent the leaves from falling on the backyard of your neighbors or touching the electric cables, you should pick a powerful instrument to use it once or twice per year;
  • The noise level. The more noise your instrument makes, the less comfortable the work will be for your relatives and neighbors. After all, you need to look for branches at a distance of 4.4 yards. Also, keep in mind that it can vibrate on a long handle. Choose electric pole saws – their vibration is minimal as well as the noise level;
  • The weight of the tool must be considered, especially if you have physical disabilities. Just think about how many pounds of metal and sharp blades you will be able to hold over your head. It is essential for both comfort and safety;
  • Invest in a telescopic handle. Consider that you should cut the branches almost above your head, and they will fall vertically down. The farther you stand from the place of falling, the safer it is for you. I would recommend buying a pole saw with a long telescopic handle, otherwise, there is a risk of getting an injury increases several times;

Final thoughts

Now you can assess and choose the proper tool for trimming trees and bushes in your garden. There is no universal solution or recommendation at this point. The only thing that I can say with confidence if you want to buy a pole saw, then, at first, select an available tool and learn how to work with it. This is much better than buying an expensive tool that you will barely use.