The 5 Best Pole Saws to Trim Your Trees and Shrubs
Use this list of the best pole saw picks to ensure your tree pruning tasks are completed quickly and safely.
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If the trees or hedges on your property need a trim, you’re going to need a pole saw. These handy machines are essentially a small chainsaw at the end of an extendable handle, which allows you to easily reach and trim overhead branches while remaining safely on the ground. By eliminating the need to climb a ladder with your trusty hacksaw, pole saws make tree-trimming projects much safer, and also significantly reduce the time required to do the job. When paired with a reliable chainsaw and a set of pruning tools, the best pole saw will have you prepared for practically any lawn project that comes your way.
Since the size and scope of tree pruning projects vary, the best pole saw for you depends on your specific situation. The list below features a wide variety of types, sizes and prices, so you can find one that fits your needs.
Sun Joe 2-in-1 Convertible Pole Saw
This Sun Joe pole saw easily converts into a handheld chainsaw, ensuring you’re prepared for pretty much any landscaping pruning project. The extendable handle allows the average user to reach branches up to 15 feet high, and the 8-Amp motor is strong enough to tackle branches up to 7.5 inches thick. It also has an impressive built-in chainsaw safety switch, which prevents the chain from activating accidentally. The plastic blade cover makes this option safe to store as well.
- Multi-functional design
- Surprisingly low price for all it offers
- Non-slip handle
- May be overkill for occasional users
Wen Electric Telescoping Pole Saw
Despite the rock-bottom price, this corded electric Wen pole saw still provides a ton of functionality. The 8-inch bar is beefy enough to handle a wide range of pruning and trimming tasks, and thanks to the light 7.2-pound weight, it doesn’t place any unnecessary stress on your shoulders and back. Wen power tools, including this best pole saw pick, are known for their reliability and overall value for the price. Just beware, here are the things you should never do to your chainsaw.
Among the nearly 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, J. Turner says “this little saw really delivers” and calls it “surprisingly powerful.” He explains: “I expected an electric pole saw to be wimpy, but it rips through maple and oak and throws chips as well as any small 2 cycle gas saw…actually better. Plus it’s quiet enough that I can use it early or late without upsetting neighbors.”
- Very low price
- Automatic oiling system
- Includes an 8-inch saw chain, a blade cover and a shoulder strap
- May not be powerful enough for heavy-duty use
Best Heavy-Duty Cordless
Ego Power+ Cordless Electric Pole Saw
Boasting a 10-inch bar—the second longest on our list—the 56 Volt Ego Power+ Cordless Electric Pole Saw is well suited for heavy-duty jobs. It’s powerful enough to chew through branches 10 inches in diameter, and the battery-powered design means you won’t be limited by your extension cord. If you already have a collection of Ego power cordless tools, the extra batteries can extend their runtime even further.
- Large diameter cut capacity
- Compatible with other Ego attachments
- Five-year warranty
- Heavier than other saws
Best Battery Operated
DeWalt Max Pole Saw
This battery-powered DeWalt pole saw makes up to 96 cuts on 4×4-inch pressure-treated pine wood per charge, making it both a portable and efficient option. A handy limb hook at the base of the chain allows you to quickly clear trimmed branches, and its 15-foot overall reach comes in handy for those extra-high limbs. The comfort-grip handle and relatively low 9-pound weight also make this chainsaw model comfortable to use and well-suited for all-day projects.
- 96 cuts per charge
- Includes 3-foot extension pole
- Bucking strip for easier cutting
Two-Cycle Gas Pole Saw
With a massive 12-inch bar and 1.34 HP gas engine, this Husqvarna pole saw powers through even the most heavy-duty trimming and pruning tasks. It’s extremely durable with a rear impact guard to prevent damage from accidental drops, and a metal skid plate to protect the engine. Although this saw is several pounds heavier than the other options on our list, its balanced design and ergonomic controls improves safety and control during operation.
- X-Torq engine reduces both fuel consumption and gasoline emissions
- Large bar for maximum efficiency
- Easy to maneuver
- Intuitive controls
- Heavier than other options
What to Consider When Buying a Pole Saw
First, consider the size of the foliage you’ll be cutting. While smaller diameter branches shouldn’t be a problem for most saws, thicker branches—larger than about 6 inches—need a more powerful option. Most pole saws clearly state their maximum cut width, making it simple to choose the best one for you.
You should also consider how much portability you need. If you have a large property or lawn, or plan on using your saw far from your home’s power supply, you may want to consider a battery or gas-powered option. These tend to be slightly heavier and have a limited run time, so if you don’t need the mobility, a corded electric saw might be a better choice.
Types of Pole Saws
- Corded Electric: These electric pole saws run off your home’s power supply, and their unlimited run time makes them convenient for sawing tasks close to home. Just remember that your range is limited to the length of your extension cord. Corded electric pole saws are also the most budget-friendly option.
- Gas-Powered: Similar in design to gas-powered string trimmers, gas pole saws are more powerful than electric models, and are essential for large properties with lots of thick branches. They are significantly louder than other types though, and their fuel mixes can be messy and inconvenient to source.
- Battery-Powered: Powered by rechargeable batteries, these cordless machines combine the portability of gas with the low-maintenance operation of electric power. Although their limited run time makes cordless saws impractical for larger jobs, you can solve this problem by choosing a model within your existing power tool collection. This way you’ll have a supply of extra batteries to swap out as you work.
How We Chose the Best Pole Saw
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
What is a pole saw used for?
Pole saws are used to prune and trim elevated tree branches, typically larger than 2 inches in diameter. Their extended handles allow the user to remain safely on the ground, eliminating the need for a ladder.
How do you use a pole saw?
To stay safe on the job, the first step should be to clear the area you’re working in by removing any potential tripping hazards. Before you cut your intended branch, think about the direction the limb will fall and position yourself out of the way. For smaller branches, position the saw head over the branch, pull the trigger to activate the chain, and use its own weight to saw through the branch.
For larger branches, you might need to first create a small cut on the underside of the branch. This method ensures that the branch won’t peel away mid-cut, which can cause it to fall in an unpredictable direction. Make sure to always wear proper eye protection when using your pole saw.
How long is a pole saw?
The best pole saw varies in length, with most hovering around 8 to 11 feet. Depending on the height of the user, the actual reach of the pole saw can be much longer. Many feature adjustable poles, allowing you to customize the length to your specific task or body type. Some pole saw brands also offer extension bars that can be purchased separately.
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