What is a Pole Saw?
Having a troublesome day trying to figure out how to prune a thick vine or branch thats out of reach? Wondering whats the best solution?
Have you got quite a few branches you would like to cut back, but aren’t too keen on the idea of standing on a wobbly ladder on uneven soft ground while holding onto a saw to cut the offending branches.
Ok let’s face it these overhead branches that are just out of reach from the ground can be the trickiest of the lot to cut safely. Why? Well because firstly they are out of reach from ground level which means you can’t reach them from the ground to cut them. Secondly they are hanging overhead and if care is not taken they can fall in unexpected ways. Finally using a chainsaw is tricky enough without adding the extra worry of using ladders or hiring expensive equipment to tackle the job for a few small branches that you could almost reach.
Perhaps you don’t have the use of a ladder or maybe you are just thinking about getting a professional to do the job instead. But are you going to call a professional each and every time a few light branches or vines need to be trimmed back? Well you certainly can but a better option in many cases will be to spend a little bit of money on a pole saw which will give you a permanent solution enabling you to trim and cut back almost every single branch you encounter.
Using a pole saw can really help you out when a branch is just a little too high to reach and you need a fast, cost effective reliable solution. The simplest definition that you will ever get for a pole saw is probably a powered saw on the end of a pole. Pole saws were generally Gas engine powered, however as with rechargeable chainsaws battery powered and even electric powered motors now rule the roost and are taking the market by storm. In its simplest form a pole saw has a pruning saw attached to the end of a pole of differing lengths. Extension pieces can be added and even the tallest of branches can be reached with ease.
A pole saw is meant to help you cut those tall, even thick branches. These tall and thick branches tend to be hard to cut. Using a ladder or even getting someone to do the work for you can be unsafe and costly respectively. Using a ladder can put you and others near you at risk of serious injury. On the other hand, the professionals who offer these service will in many cases still charge you a premium even though the job is small in the greater scheme of things. For them the call out charge, and associated costs are still factored in so the bill can be substantial even for a seemingly small job of cutting a few light branches.
The best alternative is to use a pole saw to reach and cut these branches yourself. It allows you to cut these branches easily and safely. The tool will always be there for you and you will have no waiting around for appointments and the cost of the pole saw would be pay itself back because you won’t need to send in the professionals for these simple tasks.
What’s a Pole Saw Used For?
Anyone with big trees in their garden or even those who provide professional tree services including trimming, pruning and cutting branches can benefit from a pole saw. In our view a pole saw is an indispensable tool around the home, garden, farm and in the landscape garden business. A pole saw has several uses which include tree trimming. The main reason why people get pole saws is to help them trim back overgrown trees in their garden. This simple yet effective machine will give you the ability to reach and remove those tall and thick branches that would otherwise require the use of a ladder or lift platforms to trim. It can also be used to reach across fences or areas otherwise unreachable. So it’s not just for up and down cutting you can also use it very effectively to cut sideways. What this means is that a powered pole saw will definitely help you to get rid of unwanted branches and trees in your garden regardless of angle or position. The job will become far easier without the need to continually reposition your ladder, assuming you aren’t fearful of heights to start with.
Benefits of a Pole Saw
There are many reasons why people prefer using pole saws to trim high trees and branches. Listed below are just some of the reasons why these wonderful saws can save you so much time, effort and money in the long run.
They Make the Whole Process of Gardening Alot Easier
It is a tiring and frustrating task to trim trees or even cut small braches in your garden manually especially when you know at the back of your mind there must be an easier way. The time you take moving a ladder from one place to the other can be tedious and time consuming. Using a pole saw cuts all that out and you can just focus on the task of cutting. The height of this tool makes it easier to take a large task and handle it within a short period of time. You can reach those high braches and other parts of the tree with ease. If you get the right style of a pole saw, your gardening will become much easier.
They are Lightweight
Why spend most of your time trying to position and secure a ladder to trim braches when you can get a lightweight device that is very cost effective to do the work for you? There is no doubt that Pole saws especially manual and battery powered Pole saws are lightweight. The main reason why they come into existence was to make the task of gardening easier. That is the reason why they are lightweight to ensure you can use them for a long period of time without getting tired and feeling overworked. Using a lightweight pole saw is very rewarding and you will be able to carry out tasks far more efficiently.
They are Easy to Use
The other benefit is that they are easy to use. If you compare Pole saws with other gardening tools, you will realize that using a pole saw is easier and faster to complete the task. The electric pole saw and battery powered pole saws are easiest to use. You just have to start it by simply pressing the button and start trimming branches in your garden.
They Are Not Really That Expensive
The other thing worth noting is that Pole saws are not really that expensive now and they get the work done a lot faster. They can save you a lot of money in the long run when compared to the costs involved in paying for professional services or hiring unnecessary equipment. With Pole Saws, you can do the work on your own and get some exercise at the same time. It’s a win win!
Pole Saw Styles
There are several pole saw styles that you can choose from according to your tastes, preferences and your requirements. There are many different variations of pole saw with each type designed for a specific need. Some of the most common are Manual Pole Saws, Rechargeable Pole saws, Electric pole saws and Petro-powered Pole saws.
Manual Pole Saws
This is the oldest style of a pole saw. They are not used as commonly now as they used to be some time back. They have been in use for a long time but require a lot of working to complete the task. Just as the name suggests, these pole saws require manual operation and physical input to get the work done. They don’t have an engine or even a motor to power the chain. They are basically blades that you move back and forth to cut the branch. Although they are a bit outdated now with the shift towards powered devices, they are still perfect for minor jobs. They cannot be considered the best solution for heavy duty tasks where lots of cutting is required. One positive is they are slightly cheaper than their powered alternatives because there is no battery, motor or component costs involved in their production.
Rechargeable Pole Saws
We believe that this is the best pole saw to use. When it comes to convenience, ease of operation, cost and other benefits, then this is the tool that comes out on top. These pole saws use a powerful rechargeable battery to run an efficient motor and they are quiet. The other thing is that you can move around with them from one place to another without restriction because they don’t have wires attached to them. They also do not produce any fumes and are better for you and the environment as a result.
Every machine that has benefits must have shortcomings. One thing that people hate about cordless pole saws is they don’t stay operational for a long time before the battery runs out. If you have a lot of cutting you need to charge the saw after a certain amount of cuts depending on battery capacity. One trick is to use a secondary battery which will give you twice the run time. They also offer less power and hence they can only deal with low-horse power requirements. What this means is that they are a great option for minor trimming and cutting work in and around the garden.
Electric Pole Saws
These pole saws are powered by an electric motor running from the mains electricity. They are great for close to home operations because they need to be connected to a source of electricity. They have a great combination of power and ease of use. On the other hand, you will have a limited distance of operation because they are corded. What this means is that you can only operate as far as the cord can reach. The good thing is that they are lightweight and can be used for a long time without the need of refilling the tank or even charging the battery. They are also quiet and can handle heavy duty tasks. Another thing worth noting is they are somewhat weather dependent, if it is raining or snowing you will not be able to use these electric pole saws because of the risk of electrocution. Also the cable is an ever present danger because it is at risk of damage from falling objects and accidental cutting. Heres a cool combination saw that combines the benefits of a pole saw into a small handheld chainsaw. Its called the The Remington RM1035P. Here’s a quick video worth watching on this unique saw.
Gas-Powered Pole Saws
These are the pole saws that most people are accustomed to. They are also listed as the most powerful and can be used to deal with high-horse power requirement cutting. They can be used anywhere in the garden because they are not corded. They can also be used for a longer time compared to the others without requiring a recharge or even refilling.
However, they have several drawbacks. They run on a gas powered engine and so they make a lot of noise. They also emit fumes which poses a health risk to the operator. However, they are the most preferred for heavy duty jobs but you have to deal with constant maintenance and the associated trouble of getting them to run.
Features of a Pole Saw
There are several people out there with growing gardening needs that would get great value out of using a pole saw for trimming, pruning and cutting tasks around the home. Some people may be accustomed to the older manual pole saws and may not realize a powered version exists that could make their maintenance tasks a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.
There are several features that you should be looking for in a pole saw before you finalize or even consider a purchase.
The length of the Pole Saw Bar
Look for a pole saw with a longer bar. Don’t go for a pole saw with less than 8 inches of bar length. If you want a powerful gas powered pole saw, then get the one with an even longer saw bar. The main reason for a long bar is to be able to tackle thick branches. Anything less than 8 inches will be a letdown and be too restrictive for your needs and it should be ignored. A pole saw with a bar over 8 inches will cover most cutting tasks so forget the smaller ones unless you only intend cutting and trimming ivy or other light foliage.
The length of the Extension Pole
The main reason why you are selecting a pole saw to begin with is that you want to reach and trim high braches. So it is crucial to give adequate consideration to the length of pole saw you require. What this means is that the extension pole should be long enough to make it a success for whatever tasks you have planned. The extension pole will come in various lengths but just go for a pole longer than 7 feet long. Anything longer than that is an added advantage, however it can require more effort to operate as the weight will increase with the pole saw length. Remember there are also extension pieces that can add extra length depending on the task. So you could select a pole of a certain length for lower heights which will be more workable and then use the extension to reach higher branches as needed.
Different models have different safety features especially the batter powered versions. These include overheating and voltage protection features to prevent burning out motors and damaging batteries. While safety is important a more important feature to consider is the weight of the pole saw and how easy it will be to handle. Anything that keeps you safe is an added advantage.
Weight of the Pole Saw
Another important factor that you should consider with pole saws is the weight of the pole saw. The best option is to choose a lightweight pole saw. The reality of the matter is that the worst pole saws are not the heaviest but you should aim for a light weight device over choosing a heavy cumbersome attachment or machine. If you are going to be using the pole saw for any extended length of time you don’t want to have to use a heavier device which will make your hands and arms start to tire out very quickly. Weight and cutting ability are on a par with the reach and bar length when it comes to choosing a great pole saw.
How to Use a Pole Saw
Pole saws may seem like easy to operate machines but the reality of the matter is that there are several things that you should be cautious about before you launch into your gardening and tree trimming tasks.
The first thing that you should consider is your safety and the safety of those around you. This includes any pets or animals that may be liable to being hit with falling tree branches and vegetation. Pole saws like chainsaws are just as dangerous to deal with. Just because the chain and is spinning further away from you doesn’t mean you won’t be at risk. You must also consider damage to property like cars, houses sheds etc. that are in close proximity to the cutting task. Avoid big and thicker branches especially with underpowered and small bars length pole saws.
If you want to cut a thicker or a bigger branch, get a professional to do that type of work. When they are cutting larger and heavier log sized branches, they will usually use a rope on a pulley system to direct and control where the branch will fall. You cannot do this on your own and hence the tree branch when cut will be likely to fall anywhere. What this means is that you are likely to let the branch drop in an uncontrolled fashion which could prove to be fatal or lead to serious injury. For this reason, leave these type of branches to professional tree surgeons who have access to the full range of equipment and expertise as it may pose a risk to you and the nearby property otherwise.
Avoid working near overhead power lines. We all know the risks of operating near electricity lines. You risk being electrocuted or even causing fire to nearby properties. If there are electricity lines nearby and you want to cut those branches, first of all get in touch with the electricity supply company to ensure they get everything under control. They have crews that maintain these lines full time so if you are having trouble with a tree near an electricity or phone line call the company and let them know. In most cases the cost of this work is factored into the maintenance of the line network by the company.
Choose a specific pole saw type based on the specific jobs to be undertaken. As we already stated, pole saws are designed differently and with different specifications for the task at hand. You don’t have to select a higher gas powered pole saw if you only need to use a pole saw for small and low-duty tasks in and around your home.
Be Sure of What You are Doing
Sometimes operating a pole saw needs the use of common sense. Things like not operating it when you feel tired or even sick. Also if you are unsure or apprehensive about using the pole saw this probably means you are uncertain about something which means you have questions. Before going any further find the answer to these questions. Ask a neighbor, friend or family member for advice. If you are still none the wiser have a look at some videos of these pole saws in action. If you still have concerns you could ask someone in your local small engine repair shop about specific questions or concerns you may have before you operate your pole saw. The most important thing is that you control the process! Your goal is to complete your pruning and cutting tasks in the safest and most rewarding way possible. There is no room for error so thorough planning and belief in what you are doing are key. We recommend starting out on very light branches first so you get yourself familiar with your saw and the cutting process. After that work yourself up to those larger branches. There is no room for fear in this game so before committing to a task you must be confident in yourself of the expected results that way you know what to expect.
Dress Well for Safety
Always follow the advice that comes with the user manual for your pole saw. Wear snug fitting clothes, heavy duty gloves, steel toe cap safety footwear, face screen and a helmet, as well as ear muffs where needed. Check out our article on Chainsaw Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect yourself with the right equipment.
This is to ensure you are ready to rescue yourself in case any risk of danger increases.
Make sure nobody else is nearby while operating a pole or chainsaw.
Grip the pole saw securely while in use. What this means is that one hand should be on the pole and the other on the handle or throttle switch.
Keep your fingers off the trigger until you are ready to operate the machine.
The other thing you must consider is that you should only apply light pressure when you are cutting branches. Do not be tempted to strain or even force the chain when cutting. It does the job better when left to operate under low pressure and cut under its own effort.
Pole saws can be a little tricky to carry so try and ensure you move the Pole safely from one place to another. The main reason for this is to avoid posing a danger to nearby people, property and at the same time ensuring that the pole saw is not damaged or broken.
So as you will probably see there is huge benefits to using a battery powered pole saw and indeed any type of pole saw for tricky out of reach wood cutting tasks. Everyone from the beginner to the casual gardener to the professional contractor will benefit from pole saws when used correctly.
Hopefully you found this post useful and we hope it will provide you with the fundamental information needed to choose a great pole saw. There are a lot of options for powered pole saws right now. We will aim to highlight the best ones right here on this site so you can save yourself the time and effort involved in searching high and low to find the right one for your needs.
If you have any comments or questions relating to pole saws and indeed rechargeable chainsaws please feel free to post here we would love to hear from you. If you would like to contact us directly please use the contact page and we will get right back to you. You may find our other blog posts useful too.
Thanks Folks and Happy Cutting!