Trim & Prune Trees in Your Backyard With These Pole Saws

By Alex Williams | Lawn & Garden

Aug 05
tree pruning

Do you have some tree branches, either low-lying or high up branches, which are in bad need of a little trim? Do you know what to look for in a tree saw—one designed to cut back branches? If not, this article may just help you out.

Below we have reviewed several of the most popular and hottest-selling tree saws (pole saws) on the market today, and provided some of the pros and cons that are associated with each product. We have also compiled a Tree Saw Buying Guide in which we will discuss the various factors to consider and some of the characteristics to look for when buying a pole saw to trim back trees in your yard.

Best Pole Saws for the Money (2018)

Last update on 2018-08-21 at 09:00 / Affiliate disclaimer / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API

Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw

Boasting a great lightweight design, the Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw is a great tool for trimming and pruning overhead branches—a tool that will mitigate the fatigue often associated with overhead pruning. The saw boasts a super powerful, yet lightweight 40-volt lithium-ion battery and a convenient charger for keeping the saw ready to use. This same battery can be interchanged with a variety of other Greenworks cordless tools for a complete yard care system.

Greenworks 8.5' 40V Cordless Pole Saw, 2.0 AH Battery Included 20672

The 8 inch bar and chain on the Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw makes for easy trimming of branches of any size. The saw features an easy to adjust chain tensioning system that allows users to quickly tighten the chain when needed. When in use, the automatic oiler system, which includes a translucent oil tank for a clear view of the oil level, applies the needed oil to the bar and the chain—a feature that enhances the product’s durability and performance. The Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw features a 3-piece aluminum shaft—a shaft that can extend up to 8 feet for tackling even the highest branches in your yard.

Pros

  • Very lightweight. Unlike some of the gasoline-powered pole saws, which can be difficult to manage, the Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw is extremely lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Great motor. The 40 volt motor on this saw is very effective and extremely powerful.
  • Budget friendly. When compared to some of the other electric-powered pole saws on the market today, the Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw is very budget-friendly—much like all of the Greenworks line of yard tools.

Cons

  • Limited reach. The Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw only extends to eight feet, whereas other models can extend up to 10 feet or more.
  • Some problems with battery. A few reviewers have reported that the battery on this saw can rarely die prematurely.

Poulan Pro 967089801 Straight Shaft Pole Saw

When power truly matters for your branch trimming project, you simply cannot beat the Poulan Pro 967089801 Straight Shaft Pole Saw. This gasoline-powered pole saw is by far the most commanding on our list of products. Its 28-CC two stroke motor is one of the more robust engines in the industry for a product of this kind, enabling the saw to cut through branches up to 4 inches in diameter—much thicker than other saws on our list. It features the company’s patented SureFire Fuel Delivery System, which makes it easy to prime and ensures a continuous stream of fuel. The spring assisted starter system makes for near effortless pull starting, as does the saw’s air purge feature which removes air from the carburetor and fuel system.

Poulan Pro 967089801 28cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Straight Shaft Pole Saw/Trimmer Combo

The Poulan Pro 967089801 Straight Shaft Pole Saw is equipped with a dual-line feed and a tap-and-go head for superior cutting power and versatility. The pole saw is unique, as it also doubles as a trimmer. Just switch the two heads and you can go from cutting branches overhead to trimming your yard. The trimmer head also features a no-hassle line system, making it incredibly easy to reload the spool in no time at all.

Pros

  • Powerful. Boasting a robust 28-CC two-stroke motor, the Poulan Pro 967089801 Straight Shaft Pole Saw is by far the most powerful saw on our list of products.
  • Versatile. Doubling as a grass and weed trimmer, this pole saw is very versatile, allowing users to complete two important yard functions with one handy tool.
  • Easy Start. The air purge and SureFire Fuel Delivery System on the Poulan Pro 967089801 Straight Shaft Pole Saw make for very easy starting.

Cons

  • Heavy. Compared to the electric and manual pole saws on our list, the Poulan Pro 967089801 Straight Shaft Pole Saw is relatively heavy, which could make it difficult for some people to manage.
  • Premium Priced. As you might expect, gasoline-powered pole saws tend to cost a bit more than electric and manual models.

Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner

Although not powered by any motor, the Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner offers a lot of cutting power when you need to tackle those overhead branches. Rather than risk life and limb trying to shimmy up a rickety ladder, with this adjustable tree pruner you can easily reach those pesky branches that are too high for a hand pruner. The saw’s power-lever technology helps to maximize your leverage, ultimately giving you up to two times more cutting power than traditional tree pruners.

Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner (93016059J)

The Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner comes complete with a 15 inch WoodZig saw blade—a blade so tough and powerful it can cut through even the thickest out of control branches within reach. The saw has a maximum cutting capacity of 1.5 inches in diameter; and the lifetime warranty demonstrates the absolute confidence the Fiskars Corporation has in their tremendous line of products.

Pros

  • Great reach. With the ability to tackle branches up to 14 feet overhead, the Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner has a much better reach than the other saws on our list.
  • Sharp blade. The sharp blade on this tree saw enables it to easily cut through branches within its diameter range.
  • Adjustable grip. Boasting an adjustable grip, the Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner is very easy to handle and manipulate.

Cons

  • Can be awkward to use. Those not accustomed to pruning with a manual pole saw may find the Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner a little awkward to use.
  • Limited diameter. Unlike some of the electric or gasoline powered saws, which can handle even the thickest branches, this model is limited to cutting branches with a 1.5 inch diameter.
  • Line can get tangled. According to some reviewers, the line that moves the blade on the Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner can rarely get tangled.

Tree Saw Buying Guide

When it’s time to shop for your next tree saw, there are several factors you will want to consider. By doing so, you’ll be able to get just the right product for your needs and the project at hand.

Types of Tree Saws

In the article above we reviewed three different types of pole saws: manual, electric-powered, and gasoline-powered pole saws. So which one is right for you? That depends on the project, how much you are willing to spend and a few other factors. Below we will give a brief synopsis of each type of saw to help you decide for yourself.

Manual Pole Saws

Manual pole saws are those without any motor. Instead, the blade is powered by a string/lever system that helps you apply the needed force to the branch. They are not designed to cut very large branches, but because they extend higher (sometimes up to 16 feet or more) than most powered pole saws they can reach branches that are much more elevated. Manual pole saws can be a little awkward to use until you get the hang of it.

Electric-Powered Pole Saws

Electric-powered pole saws have a small electric motor that is usually powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery (or an electric cord plugged into a standard wall socket). These have greater cutting power than manual pole saws and are the lightest and most budget friendly of the “powered” tree saws.

Gasoline-Powered Pole Saws

The granddaddy of powered tree saws, the gasoline-powered pole saw typically has a two-stroke motor that generates the cutting power. These saws are much more powerful (and expensive) than the electric powered pole saws, but they also require a lot more maintenance—such as mixing the gas and oil in the fuel tank.

There are, of course, other types of pruners when you need to trim branches that are closer to the ground. These pruners include the handheld pruning saw, straight blade pruning saw and the curved blade pruning saw.

The Type of Job

When purchasing a tree saw, it’s important that you identify the primary purpose of that saw and the job it will (normally) be used for. If merely trimming low-hanging branches, for example, you can probably get away with a handheld pruner of some type. However, if you must reach branches that are high overhead you will need to turn to one of the manual or powered pole saws. Gasoline powered pole saws can trim branches with the largest diameter, while manual pole saws are great for thinner branches that are very high up, as these typically have the longest reach. We recommend you identify the primary job for which you need the saw prior to shopping, as this will help you find the best value for your specific needs.

Weight

The weight of the tree saw you intend to purchase should be a major consideration. When trimming branches overhead, your arms can get very weary, very quickly, so you will need to choose a tree saw that you can manipulate for at least a few minutes at a time. If you are a slight individual or perhaps a senior, keep in mind that some of the powered tree saws can be very weighty, especially those with a gasoline powered motor.

Reach

The reach of the tree saw is another crucial factor—how high up are the branches you need to trim? Due to their weight, some of the powered pole saws have a limited reach—as low as 6 feet in some cases—while manual pole saws typically come with an adjustable pole that can extend up to 16 feet in height. Once you determine the height of your job—and the expected height of jobs to follow—you’ll be able to select a handheld saw or pole saw that meets your needs.

Physical Strength

Although we mentioned this factor in previous sections it bears repeating. It is important that you select a tree saw that you can safely use without endangering yourself. Be sure to try out several different saws until you find one you can easily and safely manipulate.

Warranty

Last but certainly not least is the warranty offered with the type of saw you purchase. While some manual pole saws—like the Fiskars Saw we reviewed above—have a lifetime warranty, most of your electric or gas powered pole saws have warranties that vary in length. Typically, a longer warranty demonstrates the confidence a given company has in its product, which is a good sign for you, the user.