How To Find The Best Pole Saw For Your Garden

Known colloquially as “the chainsaw on a stick,” pole saws are used for cutting down hard-to-reach places near the top of the tree. Essentially, the chainsaw is attached to an extendable pole, which can range from 7 to over 10 feet in length.

In this article, we’ll show you ways on how to purchase the best pole saw for your garden, as well as offer you several products to consider buying. Let’s get started!​

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews but you can also click links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

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Things To Look For In A Good Pole Saw

#​1- Power-to-weight Ratio

What does “power-to-weight ratio” refer to? In other words, it relates to the balance between just how much power the chainsaw exerts when it’s used for cutting down trees, in relation to the amount of weight required for exerting that force.

The important variable in this context is the height of the pole saw itself. The higher the saw is away from you, the harder you’ll have to work to cut down the branches and other parts of the tree.

While there’s no perfect way of going about finding the ideal power-to-weight ratio of a pole saw, the best thing to do is learn through trial and error. Consider how heavy your chainsaw is without the pole, as well as with it. Only then can you figure out if the pole saw is worth getting.

#​2- Affordability

Purchasing the most expensive or the cheapest pole saw options isn’t necessarily the best way to go. In fact, you can buy a good pole saw without having to break your bank account.

Many reliable pole saws’ price average is around $100, while beginner level saws can be around the 50 to 70 dollar range. Top models which are fully equipped can cost you up to $400.

Generally speaking, electric pole saws tend to be cheaper than other types, but it really depends on your line of work, as well as how often you use it. Hence, it’s necessary to take the quality and price into consideration before buying it.

#​3- Pole Saw Features

Via Amazon.com

Besides having a good power-to-weight ratio (as discussed in #1), you’ll also need to consider other types of features of the pole saw to determine if it’s high-quality and if it can get the job done effectively. Here are some other aspects to keep in mind:

  • Automatic chain lubrication. This refers to a system within the machine which helps to keep it operating smoothly. It applies a lubricant evenly throughout the chainsaw as it is working, making sure that it’s safe for the owner to use, as well as prevent it from getting stuck or malfunctioning, thus decreasing maintenance costs.
  • Emission controls. To keep all sorts of pollution in check, whether physical or noise, it’s beneficial to have emission controls on your machine.
  • Power. Similar to the power-to-weight ratio, having enough force to drive the saw through the tree is essential. Even more important is a good rapid acceleration level, for slicing into difficult-to-cut places quickly and efficiently.
  • Vibration dampening. When operating a chainsaw, it can be difficult to handle a machine with lots of vibration. Not only does it tire you out quicker, but it also increases your chances of getting injured when you operate it fatigued.
    That’s why having a vibration dampener is crucial for minimizing the amount of vibration, to ensure ease of use and quality work.

For more information and demonstration on the pole saw, check out this video:

#​4- Types Of Pole Saws

Pole saws can be broken down into three different categories, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages:

  • Cordless. This particular type of pole saw requires batteries, often those of lithium-ion quality. The battery life is about one working hour, and its performance consistency can vary depending on how strong the battery is.
    Just be careful that the power doesn’t run out halfway through a cutting session!
  • Electric. Light and quick, electric pole saws are good for cutting without the need for fuel or oil. It’s more environmentally-friendly, but it only works for cutting smaller branches.
    You’re also limited by the length of the extension cord since you’ll need to plug the machine in for it to work.
  • Gas. This specific pole saw is heavier and bulkier than the two previously mentioned and tends to be shorter in length making it hard to reach higher places on the tree.
    However, it’s the most powerful, as it can cut through just about any thickness with ease.

For ways on how to maintain these pole saws, This video is for you:

Top 5 Best Pole Saws

#1- BLACK+DECKER Lithium Ion Cordless
Pole Saw

Via Amazon.com

Forget about using electric or gas pole saws; Black+Decker’s cordless pole saw will help you maneuver your way through just about any nook or cranny of the tree branches, while also being powered by lithium ion battery.


Pros

  • This particular cordless pole saw is lightweight, which makes pruning trees less strenuous on the arms, neck, and shoulders.
  • The battery charges quickly within a couple of hours and can be left in the charger afterward.
  • This cordless pole saw is noiseless, meaning that you can power through the cutting process without damaging your ears from the chainsaw’s noise.
  • Using this cordless pole saw will save you time on having to plug it in, or save money on purchasing fuel for the gas powered one, thus making cutting more time and cost effective.

Cons

  • This pole saw’s chain might come loose after a few cuts, which might cause a safety hazard for the user.
  • The full extension of the pole saw (up to 14 feet) does not feel very stable, even a little bit wobbly.
  • The pole saw company does not include adequate batteries or oil to charge or lubricate the machine effectively.
  • This pole saw does not work the best on smaller branches and limbs.

Opinion

While lightweight and virtually noiseless, Black+Decker’s cordless pole saw can often feel unstable when extended to more than 12 feet, thereby making it a bit inappropriate for pruners, especially beginners, to work with.


#2- Silky 179-39 Telescoping Landscaping 
Pole Saw

Via Amazon.com

Besides being a reliable, stable tool for pruning high parts of the tree, Silky’s pole saw offers the users a shock absorber and comfortable grip to the handle when operating the machinery, thus making the pruning experience less stressful.


Pros

  • Silky’s pole saw has the longest extension range compared with other products, with up to 21 feet.
  • It is also equipped with plenty of security locks to keep it in place when working, from spring-activated knobs to clamps all over the pole saw.
  • The extension feature is tight and secured, so there’s no wobbling when it is extended to its full length.
  • It contains an oval cross-section on the shaft to keep it rigid at all times, so there’s no bending at all.

Cons

  • While it’s sturdy enough to cut trees, it can break easily if debris were to fall on it.
  • It might cut a bit slower than other pole saw brands, thereby requiring more pruning time.
  • After a few uses, its collapsible option becomes less effective, especially if you want to store it in your tool shed.
  • It might not cut very well through harder branches, such as oak tree or similar, harder wood trees.

Opinion

A good, and useful pole saw to have for really high, hard-to-reach places, Silky’s landscaping pole saw is stable and well-secured for pruning your trees. Although a bit on the pricier end, it’s of high quality.


#3- Oregon Cordless 40 Volt MAX PS250 Pole Saw

Via Amazon.com

Designed for a better balance and a less top-heavy feature, Oregon’s cordless pole saw is lightweight and offers an instant start feature to get things running quickly and smoothly in no time.


Pros

  • The lithium-ion-powered battery has about one hour’s worth in it, which is enough to get much of your pruning done. It also has a spare, with which you can switch out quickly.
  • The pole saw contains a carrying strap, which is good for lugging around from project to project.
  • It cuts through just about any tough wood you can think of: bamboo, hickory, even oak trees.
  • This product can be extended up to 10 feet, which is long enough to get to hard-to-reach places on certain tree branches.

Cons

  • The battery that comes along with the product is hit-or-miss; sometimes it works, while other times it might not, thus requiring you to plug it in.
  • The assembly instructions for the pole saw are not very clear, which might cause frustration during initial pruning processes.
  • It tends to be difficult in cutting through tree limbs at a sharp angle, thus requiring chain adjustment.

Opinion

Although it starts quickly, the battery on Oregon’s electric pole saw can vary in terms of lifespan and functionality. However, it slices through a variety of different types of wood—hard and soft—and is relatively easy to lug around when going from tree to tree.


#4- Ivation Telescoping Electric Pole Chain Saw

Via Amazon.com

Able to gently trim away hedges and also power through thick branches, Ivation’s pole chain saw is a useful tool to have, while also being environmentally friendly as an electric pole saw, thus keeping your plants fresh and in good condition while pruning.


Pros

  • Ivation’s pole saw contains an automatic lubrication system, with an 80-mL tank to maintain the lubricant intact, as well as an extra bottle in case the old one runs out.
  • The pole saw’s well-designed rubble handles minimize the amount of vibrations felt throughout the machine, thereby making it easier to handle.
  • It contains an Oregon bar and chain, which helps the item last longer for future use. It also has plastic cover slides to protect them, as well as keep you safe from harm.
  • This pole saw can cut smoothly through branches as thick as 3 inches while high up in the air.

Cons

  • While it comes with an extra bottle of oil, lubricant tends to run out quickly as the pole saw needs to be frequently lubricated when operating.
  • Depending on the operation, the pole saw can be rather top-heavy for some users.
  • The plastic motor housing on the pole saw might break, which can damage the machine.

Opinion

With a reliable automatic lubrication system, Ivation’s electric pole saw continues to run smoothly and effortlessly while also saving time on having to lubricate it manually for operation. Its lightweight and easy-to-handle feature makes it ideal for cutting high branches and limbs.


#5- Worx WG309 Electric Pole Saw

Via Amazon.com

With a compacted and lightweight design, this patented electric pole saw from Worx can extend up to 10 inches and provide a powerful, smooth pruning experience for its user, whether a beginner or an experienced pruner.


Pros

  • This particular pole saw consists of an auto-tension mechanism that works well for cutting straight into tree branches easily.
  • It also contains a belt clip for better stabilization, which might help especially if you’re working with harder, thicker branches, and limbs.
  • Compared with a gas pole saw, this specific one is less noisy, therefore giving you a calmer, more pleasant pruning experience.
  • It has a comfortable grip, so you can work for longer hours without feeling as much discomfort.

Cons

  • Since it only goes up to ten inches, this pole saw is one of the shorter brands on this list. It might not be useful to reach the top branches of the trees.
  • There might be some problems with the lubrication system, which sometimes fails to do its job, thereby making the machine go dry and susceptible to wearing down and getting stuck more quickly.
  • The chain might lose its sharpness pretty quickly, hence requiring constant re-sharpening for future projects.

Opinion

Easy to cut through thick branches and other items, Worx’s electric pole saw is not a bad product to consider for purchasing. However, it tends to easily get dull, which requires you to sharpen the blades more often than usual.


Winner Of The Round-up

Via Amazon.com

Although a close call with many of these competing pole saw brands, the Silky 179-39 Telescoping Landscaping Pole Saw (#2) offered one of the best pruning qualities out there.

Besides having the highest extension range of 21 feet, it is also comfortable to handle with its easy-grip, shock absorber handles. With that said, its vibration dampening is well-made and provides a smooth tree pruning sessions for you and others who choose to use the product.

​For our reviews on the best pruning saws, check out our article here.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have tried out some of these products yourself, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Shary Saunders
 

Shary Saunders is a blogger at sharycherry.com. Gardening and landscaping have been her passion for years. Find Shary on Twitter at @SharySaunders. Read more about Shary here.

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