Pole saws are the perfect tools for safely trimming tall trees and large shrubs without the need for ladders or scaffolding. They combine the reach of a pole with the cutting power of a saw, making it an indispensable tool for gardeners, landscapers, and homeowners alike. In this review, we present the top pole saws of 2023 to help you find the best tool for your needs.
Types of Pole Saws
Pole saws come in three main types: gas-powered, cordless (battery-powered), and corded (electric).
Gas-Powered Pole Saws
Gas-powered pole saws are the most powerful of the three types. They are ideal for heavy-duty jobs and can cut through thick branches with ease. However, they are also the heaviest and noisiest. Moreover, they require regular maintenance and fuel, which can be inconvenient and add to the overall cost.
Cordless Pole Saws
Cordless pole saws run on rechargeable batteries. They offer the advantage of mobility and are lighter than gas-powered models. However, their power and runtime are limited by the battery capacity. They are best suited for light to medium-duty tasks around a small to medium-sized garden.
Corded Pole Saws
Corded pole saws need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. They provide a consistent level of power without the need for refueling or recharging. However, their range is limited by the length of the power cord, and they may not be suitable for large yards unless you use an extension cord.
What to Consider When Buying a Pole Saw
- Power: The power of a pole saw determines its cutting capabilities. Gas-powered pole saws are the most powerful, followed by corded models and then battery-powered ones. The power of a pole saw is usually measured in cc (cubic centimeters) for gas models, volts (V) for battery models, and amps (A) for corded models.
- Length: The length of the pole determines how high you can reach. Most pole saws range from 8 to 12 feet, but some models can extend up to 15 feet. Keep in mind that the longer the pole, the more difficult it can be to control the saw.
- Weight: The weight of a pole saw affects its ease of use and maneuverability. Lighter models are easier to handle, especially when working at full extension. However, they may not be as durable or powerful as heavier models.
- Cutting Bar Length: The cutting bar length determines the maximum diameter of branches that the saw can cut. Most pole saws have a cutting bar length of 6 to 10 inches.
- Battery Life (for Cordless Models): If you're considering a cordless pole saw, check the battery life. Some models can run for up to an hour on a single charge, while others may last only 20 to 30 minutes. Also, consider the recharge time and whether a spare battery is included.
- Noise Level: Pole saws can be quite noisy, especially gas-powered models. If you live in a residential area with noise restrictions, consider a quieter electric or battery-powered model.
- Safety Features: Look for safety features like a low-kickback bar and chain, a safety switch, and a chain brake. Some models also come with harnesses or shoulder straps to reduce strain and increase control.
Top Pole Saws to Consider
To give you a head start on your shopping, here are a few top-rated pole saws in each category:
1. BLACK+DECKER LPP120
The BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Pole Saw is a cordless, battery-powered unit offering convenience and ease of use. The 20V lithium-ion battery provides long-lasting power to the 8-inch cutting bar and chain, enabling it to cut branches up to 6 inches in diameter.
The pole extends up to 14 feet, allowing users to reach high branches without the need for a ladder. This saw delivers an excellent balance between power, length, and weight, making it a top choice for homeowners with small to medium-sized gardens.
- Cordless for easy maneuverability
- Long-lasting battery life
- Lightweight design
- Not suitable for heavy-duty tasks
2. Greenworks 8.5' 40V Cordless Pole Saw
The Greenworks 8.5' 40V Cordless Pole Saw is another excellent choice for those looking for a cordless pole saw. It boasts a 40V lithium-ion battery, providing more power and longer run times than many competing models. It features an 8-inch bar and chain and extends up to 8 feet, making it suitable for cutting most small to medium-sized branches.
The automatic oiler applies oil to the bar and chain to ensure durability and optimal performance. The easy adjust chain tensioning system allows for quick adjustments to the chain's tightness, improving operational efficiency.
- Powerful battery
- Automatic oiler
- Quick adjustment of chain tension
- Shorter reach compared to some models
3. Sun Joe SWJ800E
The Sun Joe SWJ800E is a corded electric pole saw that delivers consistent power without worrying about battery life. It's powered by a robust 6.5-amp motor that can handle the toughest branches up to 7.5 inches thick.
The pole extends from 5.6 to 8.7 feet, providing up to 15 feet of overhead reach. The built-in safety switch prevents accidental starting, and the automatic chain lubrication system ensures the saw always operates at peak efficiency.
- Powerful motor
- Safety features
- Consistent power supply
- Requires access to a power outlet
4. Husqvarna 525PT5S Gas Pole Saw
For those looking for a more heavy-duty pole saw, the Husqvarna 525PT5S is a top-notch gas-powered option. It features a powerful 25.4cc engine and a 12-inch bar, enabling it to take on larger, tougher branches.
The telescopic tube can extend up to 16 feet, providing an exceptional reach. The saw also features a balanced flex harness for comfortable and safe use, even during long working hours.
- Powerful engine
- Long reach
- Comfortable harness
- Requires regular maintenance
- Heavier than electric and battery-powered models
5. Oregon Cordless PS250 8-Inch 40V Telescoping Pole Saw
The Oregon Cordless PS250 Pole Saw stands out for its mid-mount motor design that offers superior balance and reduced elevated weight. It uses a 40V MAX lithium-ion battery that provides enough power for most pruning jobs.
The 8-inch bar and chain can handle branches up to 6 inches in diameter. Its telescoping pole extends from 7 to 10 feet. The tool-free extendable shaft and automatic oiler make it both convenient and easy to use.
- Balanced design
- Tool-free extendable shaft
- Automatic oiler
- Shorter reach compared to some models
Choosing the best pole saw depends on your specific needs, such as the size of your garden, the thickness of the branches you want to cut, and your mobility requirements. For small to medium-sized gardens, the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Pole Saw or the Greenworks 8.5' 40V Cordless Pole Saw are excellent choices. For larger gardens or tougher jobs, the Husqvarna 525PT5S Gas Pole Saw is a robust and reliable option.
Remember to always consider safety features when choosing a pole saw. Features such as automatic oilers, safety switches, and comfortable grips can make a significant difference in the safety and ease of use of your pole saw.