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Pole saws are common with homeowners with a backyard garden filled with trees. It is important to prune tree branches after some time for the healthy growth of the tree. Not only does it encourage healthy tree growth but also makes your backyard/garden look beautiful. And the best and safe way to prune down tree branches is by using a pole saw.

So we’ve all heard about pole saws. It is a saw on a big pole used to cut extended branches of trees and more. But that’s not all. There are different types of pole saws, different uses of pole saw, and many more to learn about.

Pole Saw Guide

And if you’re thinking of buying a new pole pruning saw for your backyard, it is good to learn a bit more about the tool. It will only help you pick the best pole saw for trimming trees, safely and quickly.

Anatomy of Pole Saw

Let us begin with the anatomy of a pole saw. The simple design of these tools is easy to understand. And below are some basic parts of the tool that are common among all major types of pole saws.

Pole Saw Anatomy

1. Pole: Pole is the heart of any pole saw. Made of aluminum or steel, this long pole is what makes it possible to cut high branches of trees by standing on the ground. Most of the electric and cordless pole saws are telescopic, meaning you can alter the length of the pole by pressing a button or adjusting a lever.

2. Oil level Window: Lubricating the chain is important for the proper functioning of the saw. And so there is an oil window in both electric and gas pole saws. The transparent window indicates the remaining oil levels. You do not need to open the full tank to check on the oil as long as the pole saw offers a small transparent oil window.

3. Tension Adjustment: The chain of the saw often gets loose while pruning branches of the tree. And for the well functioning of the tool it is important to keep ideal chain tension, not too tight, nor too loose. And now, all the new pole saws offer a tension adjustment knob that lets you loose or tighten the chain quickly without the need for extra tools.

4. Trigger: To start the pole saw simply press the trigger or button. The trigger is usually located near the handle and is easy to press using your thumb.

5. Extention: If you’re backyard or trimming projects involve trimming branches of tall trees then it is better to go for a tool that supports the extra extension. And thankfully, there are many products on the list that provides extension boom to reach the great height of exotic trees.

6. Throttle control: A common safety feature in a majority of pole saws is safety throttle. This throttle lockout prevents accidental startup of the tool while you’re still adjusting the chain bar on the branch.

7. Saw Chain: Just without a pole, the tool is also incomplete without a chainsaw on the top. The small yet powerful chainsaw on the tool top is responsible for all the cutting and trimming work.

Is Pole Saw a Chain Saw?

Many people often confuse between a pole saw and a chain saw. Although there are a lot of similarities between them, there are a few differences that make them suitable for specific work only. And one such noticeable difference between a pole saw and chainsaw is extended reach.

A pole saw is a tool with a chainsaw attached to the top, whereas, there are no poles in a simple chainsaw. And this extension pole allows you to reach high branches of trees by standing on the ground which is not possible by a single tool.

Other than that, the chainsaw on the pole has an automatic oiling system that lubricates the chain whenever necessary in between pruning for maximum cutting efficiency. Thus, no need to stop the tool just to lubricate bars.

A chainsaw, on the other hand, is more suitable for cutting thick logs of wood. They are heavy and more powerful which makes them ideal for ripping thick and large bark of the tree. In short, they are ideal for removing the entire tree from its roots.

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Types of Pole Saw

If you search in the market, then you’ll come across three types of pole saws, that are gas, electric, and battery. Each saw type holds its own pros and cons which makes them all equally important for pruning jobs. Have a look below to find out their capabilities and differences.

Gas Powered Pole Saw

Heavy-duty pole saw among the rest is the one that uses gas. They deliver impressive cutting power that can cut through thick branches of trees in a snap. While many new gas power pole saws offer electric start, you still get an option of pull start in case the battery runs out.

While they deliver high torque for smooth pruning, gas pole saws are heavy. You require good muscle to hold the tool up. Also, they emit toxic fumes and runs loud as compared to the electric models. In short, they are more ideal for professional use where you require to cut a good number of trees in one go.

Electric Pole Saw

Instead of gas, these tools are powered by electricity. They are comparatively lightweight than gas models. And lightweight of the tool eases transportation and storage. Corded electric pole saws are ideal for homeowners with a handsome number of trees in their backyard or garden as you can keep pruning as long as the electric current flows.

Battery Powered Pole Saw

Then there are cordless pole pruning saws that are lightweight, functional, and highly portable. These battery-powered saws are the first choice of homeowners as they are easy to maintain and use. Also, they are easy to handle, making them best for pruning branches. While they are highly portable, it is important to note that battery pole saws are less powerful than the above two and are ideal for light pruning jobs only.

Using Pole Saw

Reaching the high branches of a tree is no more a tough job with a good quality pole saw. But for better cutting, it is important to know how a pole pruning saw works. How to hold and where to stand on the ground for safe pruning of branches. Have a look below and learn to use the tool the right way.

  • Clean the area: It is good to clean the ground before pruning high branches. There might be chances of you bumping into a pile of leaves or dry sticks which can be dangerous while opening such a sharp tool. It only takes a few minutes to get the ground clean with the right cleaning tools. So keep a habit of cleaning the surrounding area of a tree before you begin pruning branches.
  • Position Yourself: The next thing to do after cleaning is, position yourself properly to remain safe while the pruned tree branch falls. Never stand right below the branch to be cut. Remain at some distance.
  • Position Pole Saw: Better the position of the chainsaw, the better it will prune the branch. Position the chainsaw vertically such that the bar chain hits the tree branch. Make sure you can hold the tool comfortably after positioning it.
  • Start cutting: Once your position and chainsaw location are set, it is now time to press the trigger to cut. Instead of going straight at the branch, make grooves. Start by cutting perpendicular in short slow strokes. And once a good groove is made, simply chop down the unwanted branch.
  • Clean Again: Make sure to pick away fallen limb before you make another cut for utmost safety. It prevents chances of tripping and any unfortunate accident.

How thick can a pole saw cut?

Pole Saw Cutting Branch

The cutting capacity of a pole saw depends on the size of the bar chain. So the simple rule is, the longer the chainsaw, the wider it can cut. Normally, the size of chainsaws on the pole range from 8 inches to 12 inches. Therefore, you can cut a tree branch between 7 to 9 inches thick with a pole saw.

What should I look for when buying a pole saw?

Cutting Bar Length

The length of the cutting bar determines how thick of a branch your pole saw can cut. For example, an electric pole saw with 7-inch saw bar and 8-inch exposure will provide a 7″ cutting capacity. Thus, the longer the bar length of the chainsaw, more will be its cutting length.

To pick the best pole saw for your backyard, measure the thickness of branches you ought to cut. Then pick a size bigger than the calculated size for a flawless pruning experience.

Pole Length

How far can you reach using a pole saw depends on its pole length. Different models offer different pole reaches so you need to find out the right length for your backyard. Needless to say, you need a pole saw with maximum extension to reach higher branches of the tree while a short pole saw is good for pruning limbs of short to mid-size trees.

Power Sources (Electric or Battery, or Gas)

The three main types of pole saws are, electric, battery-powered, and gas. Gas-powered pole saws are the most powerful of all as they obviously offer more torque to cut down thick limbs in one pass. But then they are heavy and noisy, making them ideal for professional use rather than home use.

Corded electric or battery-operated pole saws are excellent choices for residential use. They are affordable, lightweight, and runs far less noisy than gas models. The ease of operation makes the electric pole saws worth an investment for professional landscaping at home.

Noise Level:

If you live in a quiet neighborhood and do not want your neighbors to know about pruning then do not pick gas-powered pole saws. Instead, pick corded electric or cordless saws that not only provide good cutting efficiency but also run quietly.

Auto Oiling

Lubrication of chains plays a major role in the effective cutting of limbs. And nowadays majority of new pole saws offer auto oiling system. This system takes the required amount of oil from the tank and lubricates the chain. Thus, you no longer need to manually stop and oil the chain.

Price and Warranty

A good quality pole saw costs around $100-$200. However, the price of the tool hugely depends on the technology(electric) and motor(gas) of the model. But the good part about these tools is their warranty period. A majority of pole saw brands provide impressive warranty period that gives buyers the confidence to buy.

How far can a pole saw reach?

A high reach is the main reason to buy a pole saw. After all, who doesn’t love to prune branches safely by standing on the ground? But then the question arises, how high can a pole saw reach? Mostly, the tool for residential use provides a reach of around 8 to 12 feet.

Then there are professional pole saws that extend up to 20 feet. These tools can be handled by experienced professionals only.

Also Read: How to Use a Pole Saw Like an Expert

The Bottom Line

Excessive tree growth needs proper pruning. Gone are the days when you needed to secure a ladder against a tree and climb up the risky steps with a heavy chainsaw in hand. Now you can prune thick limbs and long branches of trees by standing on the ground with a good quality pole prune saw. And the guide above contains all the necessary things you need to know about the tool. Now that you know about the pole saw, happy pruning!


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