Are you looking to buy a pole saw?
You’ll need to consider a few things like weight, size, effective range and price when purchasing a good pole saw. But there’s another important consideration: the power source.
Pole saws are typically either human-powered or powered by one of 3 types of engine: those that burn fossil fuels, those that use electric power cords, and those that are battery powered.
We’ll take a brief look at these different types of pole saws below.
Gas powered pole saws
Gas powered pole saws are louder, heavier and generally bigger than electric ones, and send plenty of exhaust into the air. So, why would anyone ever use one? Because if you own a landscaping company, and you are regularly tasked with trimming back large branches on large trees, you simply don’t have time to find places to plug your pole saw in, nor do you have time to deal with dead batteries.
Not to mention the practical performance levels of the electric saw when you need to constantly cut and move. For all of the above reasons, then, gas powered pole saws still have a well-deserved place in the arsenal of the landscaper.
Plug in electric pole saws
While plug-in pole saws won’t typically produce the type of power a gas-powered saw will, they are, nonetheless, often more powerful than battery driven poles saws and ideal for most of the pruning requirements you’ll encounter in the yard. Their major advantage over cordless electric pole saws is the fact that their user will never have to deal with dead batteries.
Plug in electric pole saws are also among the lightest powered pole saws out there because there’s no battery involved. Their major downside, however, is that you’ll be constrained by the length of the power cord. And, in some cases, as with large properties, it may be simply impossible to run a cord all of the way to the tree you need to prune, as the maximum practical length of the cord is about 100 feet.
Cordless electric pole saws
Cordless electric pole saws represent a major convenience for those with a tree or two on their property that requires a bit of attention. When you need to cut back a tree that’s grown over the deck, you can simply grab the cordless pole saw, use it for a few minutes (no fumes to deal with, no cords to run), and put it back into the toolbox in the garage once you’re done (after recharging the battery, of course).
In addition, they also tend to provide greater mobility, so you won’t find yourself getting tangled in a cord as you move around trying to find the right angle of attack. Finally, compared to gas-powered pole saws, cordless electric pole saws are virtually maintenance-free.
How to Choose the Best Pole Saw
Power to weight – When looking for an excellent pole saw for your particular needs, you’ll want one that exhibits the best power to weight relationship. Remember that you’re going to have to hold the pole saw over your head while you work, so one that’s heavy and weak will force you to hold it up longer compared to one that is light and strong. This may not be an issue for you. But, for most people, it is a primary concern.
Gas or electric – You’ll need to consider whether to buy a gas or electric powered pole saw, in which case you’ll want to weigh the considerations listed above, including the amount of pruning to be done and the size of the property. Remember, too, that most electric pole saws simply won’t deliver the type of cutting power a gas-powered saw will. For most homeowners, however, the cutting power delivered by an 8 amp electric pole saw should more than suffice.
Safety – There’s no doubt that these are dangerous pieces of equipment. Think about it: you’re holding a chainsaw 10 feet over your head and trying to cut branches with it. If you lose your grip, or something else happens, that tool could come careening down onto your head. Either that or the branch you just cut so effortlessly with your pole saw will. So, you’d better be prepared to move, and move fast. Also, running a power cord 50 or 100 feet across a yard carries its own list of hazards.
Educating yourself – Before you venture into the yard with your pole saw in hand, ensure that you are fully versed in how to use it. Learning on the fly with such a potentially dangerous piece of equipment is not an option. Here are a few tips that will help ensure you get the job done whilst avoiding accidents:
Always check the work area – Trees planted many years ago often grow around power lines, hiding them. Pole saw operators who are not careful can cut these power lines, causing the ends of the live wires to dangle towards them, the ground or the house.
Be careful when you prune – You should never prune on excessively windy days or days when it’s raining, especially if you’re using an electric pole saw that requires a power cord.
Know your tree – Not all branches are in the same condition. Some are old and rotten at the core or have lots of loose bark that will go flying when you apply the pole saw. In some cases, your pole saw may become caught up in the rot, causing a safety issue.
Don’t act carelessly – Some folks use the pole saw for a while and become dangerously complacent. You can see them holding the pole saw with one hand while talking on their cell phone or sipping a beverage (never drink alcohol and operate a pole saw) with the other. Always keep two hands firmly on the pole and ensure you’ve got a solid, well-balanced stance.
Pole saws play an important part in property maintenance. Any of the devices that have made our good-quality pole saw list will serve you well for years to come. Just be sure to find the best pole saw for your needs and always follow the operational and maintenance tips provided.