A pole saw simply is a saw attached to the end of the pole. This saw can be manual or powered by electricity, gas and even batteries.
Most home owners rate pole saws as versatile garden equipment. You can go for a manual saw or gas, electricity powered pole saw depending on your budget and of course, personal liking.
Some people confuse pole saws with pole pruners. Well, pole pruners are slightly different as they have loppers at the end of the pole.
Honestly pole saws are as interesting as they sound. If you are trying to prune branches that are really high, a pole saw would eliminate the need to run back and forth to catch a ladder.
Well, the idea of a chain saw attached at the end of the pole seems odd at first, but once you start using pole saws, you would know why it is a very handy addition to your list of garden tools.
How do Pole Saws work? What are the different types of pole saws? How do you make your investment last longer? Continue reading to find out more.
Below we will explain the difference between types of pole saws.
Cordless pole saws powered by rechargeable batteries can be your best bet if you want to prune few trees with large branches. These pole saws are not as powerful as electric or gas powered models, but they do a decent job.
The good thing about battery pole saws is that you no longer have to deal with the inconvenience of power cables running all over your working space. Similarly battery pole saws ensure that you get the work done regardless of gas or electricity availability.
As stated earlier, cordless pole saws run on rechargeable batteries make the least noise. When fully charged, the battery should give you at least an hour of uninterrupted branch pruning and cutting.
Cordless pole saws normally have shorter cutting bar length. The batteries used to power the equipment are either lithium ion or nickel-cadmium; lithium ion models as you can guess have a longer life.
Furthermore, lithium ion batteries offer exceptionally well and the performance of the unit is not affected even if the battery discharges with use.
Other than the routine chain sharpening, your cordless battery pole saw requires little maintenance. Because the units have shorter bar lengths, they are portable and can be used anywhere. 6″ to 8″ bar lengths are ideal for most branch cutting tasks.
For best results, look for cordless pole saws powered by Lithium-Ion battery. Models with lithium ion batteries offer better performance and the efficiency of the unit does not suffer even when the battery loses its charge.
Most garden owners prefer to use electric pole saws because they are the easiest to use. All you have to do is connect the unit to a power source and away you go.
Electric pole saws are more powerful than the battery, cordless versions. Cutting blade lengths go up to 10″ and the unit is considerably lightweight. Interestingly electric pole saws are the lightest pole saws available out there.
Unlike cordless units, electric pole saws do not feel heavy as there is no battery.
They also require minimum maintenance to keep the cutting blade running strong and ideal for small trimming tasks.
It is recommended that you buy an electric pole saw with blades of 6" - 10". If you talk about bar length, a unit that is 10″ is best.
It’s not surprising that electric pole saws can only be used when you have a power source nearby.
Even if you don’t have if you don’t have a direct power source, you can plug the electric pole saw into an extension unit and you will be trimming trees.
Electric pole saws are popular because they are light-weight and versatile. The only downside is that their use is restricted in wet weather.
Gas powered pole saws are the most powerful pole saws available out there. They are more powerful and efficient than both electric and cordless battery models. Because gas models have increased power, they also offer several advantages over electric and battery models
One of the biggest advantages of gas powered pole saws is that they have increased cutting bar length and pruning and cutting abilities are also better. The models are designed to offer exceptional performance and tend to last longer.
Not all gas powered models are too heavy; however they do weigh more than battery powered and electric pole saws.
The cutting bar length of gas powered pole saws goes up to 12″ and this feature makes them a useful investment especially if you have a large garden area to maintain with lots of trees.
Gas powered units are portable and have longer shafts so you can trim the tallest trees while keeping your feet firmly on the ground.
If you have a closer look at a gas powered unit, you would find that it has heavy-duty bars and chains to cut the biggest and thickest branches.
It’s not difficult to guess that gas powered pole saws are designed to cut bigger stuff and offer the pinnacle of performance. Even though the units are slightly heavier than electric and battery models, they are still easy to maneuver and operate.
The only downside is that gas powered models create lots of noise. Yes, they are the noisiest pole saws.
If you are thinking about pruning branches and woods, you would want to get hands on your favorite pole saw.
However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Branches and woods are heavy and dropping wood uncontrolled can hurt you as well as those with you in the working territory.
Ideally pole saws should be used to cut branches up to a couple of inches thick. Remember, the thicker the wood, the more cautious you need to be with your approach.
Don’t forget to check out the section on how to use pole saws later in this post to know more about how you should use a pole saw for best results.
Needless to say, you need to be careful while using gas powered pole saws that are heavy. Most importantly, never work on braches that are too close to power lines.
How do you select the best pole saw? This section lists the important features you should consider before making a final decision.
1. Have a look at the power source. Gas powered pole saws have the most power to cut through tree branches. Electric pole saws are an excellent choice if you have a power source in your garden. If you don’t have the option of using an extension cord or a generator, you can go for a battery powered cordless pole saw or even a gas model.
2. The length of the cutting blade also needs to be of sufficient length.
3. The length of the pole is another important consideration. Electric and battery powered pole saws have decent pole length however they can fall on the shorter side if you are trying to get rid of tall tree branches.
4. Weight of the pole saw perhaps is the most important consideration. Electric pole saws weigh about 12 lbs and can be easily moved around. Gas powered units are powerful and more efficient, but they are not light. Simply put, they can prove very tiring to work with especially if you are holding them for extended periods of time.
5. You also need to look at the amount of maintenance your pole saws requires. As stated earlier battery powered and electric pole saws require minimum maintenance. Gas powered machines can be a hassle at times as they require most care and maintenance.
Some modern pole saws come with detachable heads which means you can use them as a traditional chainsaw
You would find that poles attached to the chain saw head come in various lengths. These poles can be made of steel or other material such as fiberglass. Some pole saws have a single length pole and there are models that come with extendable or adjustable poles.
The length of the pole is an important factor, however longer poles are not always recommended. Simply put, if the pole is long, your unit would have a higher price and it would also become cumbersome to use.
If the tallest branch in your garden doesn’t exceed 10″, there’s no point in buying a pole saw having a pole length of 15″.
Most garden owners prefer to buy models with adjustable pole – a pole that can be extended is a blessing if you want to store your pole saw or take it along.
Extendable poles also make it easier to work on higher branches. Remember, you need to look at pole length and not pole reach.
Cutting bar length is usually expressed in inches and refers to the length of the cutting bar. Most cutting bars are 8″ long and you would also find a variety of other sizes.
Longer cutting bars are effective for even the thickest branches. If you’re looking for a pole saw, make sure you choose a bar length that is greater than the thickest branches in your garden.
As you can guess, the longer the cutting-bar length, the more power you need to provide to drive the chain. Battery powered models have shorter cutting bars. On the other hand, gas pole saws have the longest bars and they are the most efficient as well.
Well, battery powered cordless units and electric pole saws are relatively quieter and your neighbors are less likely to wake up. The gas powered models are tougher and can work on the thickest branches, so they can be a little noisy.
Well, a pole saw can reach all of the desirable places. However sometimes you might need to climb a ladder in order to trim branches.
If a thick branch needs to be cut and you can’t reach it easily from the ground, you have three obvious choices. You can either grab a ladder to start pruning or call in a professional. Most garden owners these days decide to go for the third option i.e. a pole saw.
While pole saws are one of the most efficient garden tools, you need to use them correctly and more importantly safely to make pruning more effective.
Remember that working on branches can be dangerous, and if this is the first time you are using a pole saw, make sure you are following the guidelines.
Once you have decided that pruning is the job you should be attempting yourself, you should take the necessary safety precautions and clear the work area.
Yes, the area below the branch you are working on needs to be clear. Not to forget, you should be able to move quickly and safely just in case something goes wrong.
You should inspect your pole saw before and after use. The chain needs to be checked for obvious signs of wear and tear and missing teeth.
As you can guess, the chain of your pole saw should be oiled properly so that it doesn’t break during operation. Most modern pole saws have an automatic oiler.
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the equipment is working optimally.
It’s always a good idea to get basic safety gear for yourself before you decide to use the pole saw. You don’t need to buy fancy safety gear. Instead, invest in a good pair of goggles to keep the sawdust particles out of your eyes.
You can also buy a pair of safety gloves as they ensure better grip. Not to forget, safety gloves also provide extra protection to your hands.
When you are out in the garden, it’s a good idea to wear closed shoes or boots with good grip. Boots are especially useful if you have to climb a ladder to reach higher branches.
Always wear well fitted trousers, long sleeves t-shirt and a cap or hat to give your own self extra coverage from falling branches and flying debris.
Last, having a dust mask is also handy as it prevents sawdust from entering your airways. A dust mask is important if you will be working with a pole saw for an extended period of time.
Here are just a few reasons why you should invest in a pole saw:
The following simple steps will ensure that your pole saw remains functional for many years to come:
Like other garden equipment, pole saws should be stored in a safe place. Needless to say, the unit should never be kept in damp surroundings.
The chain oil has a tendency to seep when the equipment is not in use so make sure you choose the storage conditions wisely. If you don’t plan to use the pole saw for a long time, store it in a well ventilated place.
Remember that pole saws are sharp and they can be quite dangerous. Consider locking the unit to prevent damage and unauthorized use.
If you’re going to be working with a pole saw on a daily basis, this post will help you get familiar with the basics. To know which type of pole saw would be right for you, don’t forget to check out our buying guide.