A manual pole saw (pole pruner or tree pruner) is a quite versatile and multi-purpose tool. It is used for cutting and trimming the twigs and branches of small-to-medium size.
The main reason to use a manual pole saw is to have control over the trimming process. This instrument is irreplaceable when your task is to trim a few tall trees or bushes. It is not a powerful cutting tool. So if you have a huge garden with many trees that need pruning, a manual pole saw is not the best choice. But for keeping the small garden nice-looking, this tool fully meets the requirements.
How is a manual pole saw different from corded pole saws?
A manual pole pruner has only two limitations. First and foremost, you should use physical force to trim the branches with a pole saw. You might get tired if you want to cut many tall trees with this instrument.
The second limitation is the low speed of work. Cutting and trimming is a time-consuming process. Compared to other corded and electric pruners, a manual pole saw will make the process of pruning much longer.
But if you are not afraid of these limitations, a manual pole saw can offer a lot of benefits:
- Lightweight tool. A manual pole saw weighs far less than any corded pole saw or chainsaw. Because it is not equipped with a heavy motor and battery. The pole is usually made of very durable but light material. And the saw blade is also lightweight. It is a perfect instrument for people who have arthritis or rheumatism;
- Cheaper than any other powered saw. A manual pole pruner has a very simple design without a fuel tank or batteries. That is why it will cost you only a few bucks. While the powered saw’s price can reach $100 or higher;
- Easy maintenance. It is very easy to keep the pole and blades clean from any debris. It doesn’t have any moving parts that need lubrication. You just should keep the saw blade sharp enough;
- Very portable. Manual pole saws are portable because it doesn’t include any bulky attachment. The power outlet won’t limit you. You can easily take it whenever you require;
Since a manual pole saw doesn’t use any fuel or electric power it is eco-friendly. That is why the instrument produces low noise. Besides, you may use this tool in any weather, even when it is raining. Also, it is much safer than other pole pruners when you trim the trees above your head.
The following article will highlight the features of a few popular manual pole saw models. You will also learn how to choose a manual pole saw to meet your requirements.
DocaPole 6-24-inch Saw – the best tree trimmer!
For instance, you may add the Acme-threaded extension. Gardeners claim about using this pole saw in the rain because of the rust-free and hard-chrome finish.
- Great for pruning lightweight branches, vines, leaves
- The max reach is 22 feet (the manufacturer claims the reach is 28 ft.)
- Nail hook for hanging
- Rubber handles for a comfortable grip
- Sharp 3-sided teeth
- Locking screw on the base of the handle
- The blades can be replaced
- The cutting capacity is no more than 3-inch branches
- The longer you extend it, the less it may cut
- Not durable
- Weak aluminum pole
- The lock is not very reliable
This lightweight pruning instrument won’t do heavy jobs. Use it only for trimming light branches and twigs, to cut the leaves or vines. For heavier pruning, use the DocaPole 6-24 Foot Double-Duty saw with a thicker aluminum pole.
Fiskars 12 Foot Saw – the best for cutting large branches!
It comes with a smart double flip-locking system so you could feel safe when pruning the trees overhead.
- Lightweight fiberglass pole
- Comfy grip
- Can cut through thick and large branches
- Lifetime warranty
- The maximum reach is 12 feet
- The cord can be delivered untied
- Comes without any directions
This tool is very simple to use. Also, the Fiskars pole saw extends only to the required size thanks to the flip-lock system.
Jameson LS-6PKG-6 Pole Saw Kit – the best for versatility!
- 3 multi-purpose pole saws
- The maneuverable head
- Aluminum ferrules
- Spring locking button
- Quick and clean cuts
- Replaceable and very sharp blades
- May cause hand fatigue pretty quickly
These pole saws have no loppers. This kit also doesn’t come with any storage bag. You will have to invest in these accessories and attachments. Elderly people may want to skip these pole saws because they are good for strong hands.
Fiskars 14′ Extend Tree Pruner – the best for comfort!
The pole saw comes with a standard 15-inch WoodZig saw that can remove large and thick branches of the tall trees.
- Very convenient and easy to use
- Comes with a WoodZig handsaw
- Oval-shaped fiberglass poles can reduce flex and hand fatigue
- Double locking system for additional security
- Full lifetime warranty
- Powerful and clean cuts
- Power-Level tech
- The blade comes unattached
- The handle may get sticky after a few minutes of work
- The fiberglass rod can come damaged
You may pick this instrument to get full control when pruning the trees. It is extremely comfortable due to advanced handles and powerful technology. The instrument can cut through any wood, even palm trees.
Jameson FG-Series Manual Saw – the best for durability!
- Extreme durability
- Reduced wear of blades
- Impulse-hardened teeth
- 16-inch steel blades
- Can fit up to 4 pole extensions
- The sectional extension is more stable than telescopic
- Double force effect
- No clip to remove the rope
This professional instrument has a base pole for a 6-foot reach or extended 6-foot pole for the 12-foot reach. It has a non-fiberglass surface layer to prevent any risk of fiber blooming. The Jameson manual pole saw is customizable and easy to use.
The Buyer’s Guide
Unlike electric or gas pole saws, a manual pole pruner is good only for small backyard work and home use. Typically, manual pole saws have a long extension rod that allows controlling the blade direction. But these pole saws are lightweight,
Saw and blades
A pole saw should cut and be sharp. The saw blades must be made from lightweight but durable material. They should easily cut through the thin and thick branches (check the cutting capacity before buying – some pole saws can cut only through 1-inch twigs and that is it). For instance, high-quality manual pole saws have the carbon steel blades with the anti-rust coating. Sometimes the blades have a resin layer to provide lower friction when trimming. You may want to buy a pole saw with detachable blades in case of replacing old or broken saw. Or for more convenient storage.
Manual pole saws offer a wide range of pole length for maximum reach. For instance, if you have mature and taller trees to cut, you should pick a manual pole saw with a long extension rod. Just look at the trees and bushes in your garden and think about the pole length that you actually need.
The pole’s shape and materials are also important. A good pole must be lightweight and sturdy material. It shouldn’t shake or slide when you trim the branches overhead. Consider choosing the instrument with an extension rod made of fiberglass, steel and aluminum. Avoid any tools with wooden poles.
The maximum reach of an extension rod varies from 15 to 26 ft. If this is not enough for you, consider buying an extension attachment for additional reach.
Depending on the length and type of the saw blade, each pole saw has a unique cutting capacity. For instance, a long saw blade will cut through thicket twigs and branches. Most blades can cut through the branches with a diameter of 6 inches to 13 inches. Carefully check the technical specifications – typically manufacturers specify the cutting capacity of a particular pole saw.
It would be more reasonable to buy a lightweight pole saw so you could work longer without your hands getting tired. The weight of a manual pole saw depends on the build quality, material and the pole’s length. Usually, manual pole saws weigh from 3 to 7 lbs. The instrument shouldn’t feel heavy when you are trimming the branches overhead. Also, the weight distribution requires the balance even if the pole is extended to the maximum.
The great build quality and durability of the manual pole saw is the most important factor. Of course, high-quality instruments may cost a bit more. But if you need to use this tool more than once or twice per year, then a bit pricier but more durable pole saw will be a good investment.
This is the most crucial specification when you choose a pole saw. The rod should not break or bench under the heavy load when you are cutting the twigs. That is why the rod must be made from steel or aluminum. The reputable pole saw brands invest in the build quality of their instruments. Because it is more important to buy the durable instrument once and for many years than pay for new cheap tools every year.
Like any gardening tools, manual pole pruners vary in price. You should select an instrument that works for your budget. Just be realistic about the features you look for in a manual pole saw. It may be unreasonable to pay $80 for a manual pole saw that you will use once or twice per year. But paying about $100 for the instrument that you use 20 times a year is a totally different deal.
Video Tutorial: Installing Corona Tree Pruner Blade
Major criteria for purchasing a manual sawing instrument:
- Length – it’s preferable to pick a cutter with the extendable handle (no less than 4 ft.);
- Material – we tried to limit our initial row of sawing instruments to the ones made of aluminum, steel or fiberglass. Also, pay attention to the instrument’s weight – don’t pick a too light or sturdy saw;
- Blade – the most important part of a manual tool with an extending pole. It must be made of lasting, top-notch material fully resistant to rust. If you manage to keep such a blade clean (especially teeth), it will serve you for many years;
As you might have noticed, the best manual pole saw is not necessarily the priciest. You may easily get a high-quality tool at an affordable cost. Check the expert recommendations about a few popular models listed in this review. You may want to buy a manual pole saw with the best performance rates, according to your requirements. In such a way, this instrument will be a good investment.