The 5 Best Electric Pole Saws
Do You Enjoy Pruning?
The Benefits of a Good Electric Pole Saw
If you have any shrubs or trees on your property, pruning is a job that you cannot ignore. It is also an enjoyable way to spend time in a backyard, as long as you have the right tools for the job.
The best electric pole saws are ideal for cutting branches that are too tough, or too thick, for hand pruners.
The extra reach of an extension pole will save you the labor of setting and resetting a ladder repeatedly. Keeping your feet firmly on the ground is always safer, too!
Pole pruners can reach inside thick masses of leaves where you will never otherwise reach.
When to Choose an Electric (corded) Device
Corded electric pole saws are ideal for use in smaller backyards. A quality device will have enough power to cut branches several inches across. They will usually outperform cordless models and they are cheaper to buy.
At the same time, a corded device may not be practical for very large properties where long cables need to be run.
If you have a lot of trees, spread over a large area, gas power is probably your best option.
When to Choose Shears
Thin twigs and dense foliage get chewed up with any kind of power saw. The result is ugly and your device can jam or be damaged. Brush is better tackled with shears, or a weed eater.
Things to Look Out for When Choosing the Best Machine
Sawing at Ground Level and Detachable Pole Saws
Many machines can be used for sawing at ground level (as illustrated above) but it is often easier if the chainsaw can simply be taken off the pole.
If you do not mind working from a ladder, this kind of detachable chainsaw can offer extra options for pruning hard to reach branches too.
Some pole saws have the motor at the end you hold, and cannot be taken off. The advantage of with this kind of pole saw is that it is better balanced, less unwieldy and easier on your shoulders.
If a manufacturer says their product has a 'ten-foot reach' this does not mean it is ten feet long. The pole is actually a few feet shorter than ten feet, and your arms provide the extra reach.
Most electric pole saws have a working height of 12 to 15 feet.
Need a Longer Reach?
A manual pole pruner might be all you need for pruning small branches. They can often reach higher, too. A professional pole saw can reach 25 feet!
Find out more here Best Manual Pole Pruners and Saws
What Size Branches can an Electric Pole Saw Cut?
Eight amp machines can tackle softwood branches several inches across. Four or five-inch branches are a breeze, even with hardwood trees.
The 'bar', the plate of steel, that the chain spins around, is a rough guide to the size of branches the saw can cut.
What do they Weigh?
Most electric pole saws weigh less than ten pounds which is a lot lighter than a big gas model.
For people used to being active in their backyards, these machines will not present too much of a challenge.
Having said that, bear in mind that they can still be a strain on the back if you not too fit. A manual pole pruner will be slower but it will be lighter.
The biggest problem with any chainsaw is kick-back. If the blade jams in the wood, the power of the motor kicks back. With powerful chain saws this can mean they twist out your hand!
The electric chain saws on this page are less of a danger than a big gas-machine but you should still take care to read the instructions before use.
As with any machinery, a hard hat, safety glasses and a tough pair of gloves are recommended.
Corded or Cordless?
- Corded models are perfect for small areas. There is none of the nuisance of running power cables.
- Corded are cheaper to buy for the same power and will not quit on you. You won't need to be charging batteries all the time either.
The Five Best Models?
Poulan 8 Amp
Poulan is a division of Husqvarna AB, the famous Swedish chainsaw manufacturer. Swedes know a lot about cutting trees and they produce great engineering products. The blade and cutting mechanisms on this machine meet the quality standards you would expect for a quality chainsaw.
The pole saw will prune branches up to seven or eight inches across. It doesn't have the longest reach but it is one of the most popular models around for its power and ease of use.
This model also offers a string trimmer for clearing twigs.
Remington 8 Amp Pole Saw
Remington are one of the most successful makers of electric pole saws, The 8-amp model will cut limbs up to 15 feet above the ground when fully extended. The inner pole is aluminum which makes it more rigid and the outer pole is fiberglass. Together they make a tough combination that will never rust.
The chain saw head comes off easily and can be used separately from the pole, as you can see in the picture above.
Earthwise 6 Amp Telescopic
A telescopic pole allows you to choose the best working height. On the downside, they tend to flex in operation.
This machine from Earthwise has less of an issue with flexing than most of it competitors and can tackle big branches, up to seven or eight-inches across. The head can be re-positioned to help you get the best cutting angle for different jobs.
It has a neat self-lubricating system for the chain that genuinely works unlike some models where you are better off lubricating the chain with an oil can yourself.
Consider a Jawsaw
WORX has a very useful machine that is not quite a conventional pole chainsaw, but does the same job.
Essentially, the chainsaw runs on the inside of a pair of jaws. Once you have a branch in the jaws, you press a button and the jaws close.
It works to a height of twelve feet and cuts up to four-inch thick branches. It can be used with or without the pole.
The chief advantage is safety. It is much harder to injure yourself with this kind of arrangement. If the Jawsaw falls on you, it would be unlikely to bring the blades into contact with your body.
For the professional or avid handyman, the two cordless pole saw models from Black and Decker are the way to go. They are some of the most popular cordless machines of any kind around.
There are 18-volt and a 20-volt devices available for a little over one hundred dollars.
Cordless models tend to be heavier than corded and even the 18-volt pole saw weighs around 15-pounds. If you have a lot of trees to prune, you may want to take note of this before making a purchase.
These options are perfect for routine pruning around smaller properties, as well as for large areas if you invest in spare batteries. People genuinely like them and they get the job done, without the usual complaints of cordless machines being under-powered.
Using an Electric Pole Saw
A Gas Alternative
Husky has a gas powered pole saw that can also clear undergrowth with the right attachments. As such, this may be the go-to tool for keeping all vegetation in a large backyard in order.
Although one of the more expensive options, if you have big, tough branches to cope with and a big area to cover, it has the power, portability and speed you need on its side.
Start-up is easy and, once warm, the 28cc engine delivers the kind of power that will easily slice through six-inch hardwood branches.
With a weight of ten pounds, most people will be comfortable using it.
The cultivator attachment will help you turn a weed patch into a vegetable patch without breaking your back.