best pole saw

Best Pole Saw Ultimate Buyers Guide

Thanks for visiting our Buyers guide to the Best Pole Saws for 2020. We’ve done the research so that everything you need to know is contained in this one concise, ultimate resource.

Rest assured this guide is regularly updated so that you have all the current information at your disposal.

We cover a lot of ground in this article including what a pole saw does, safety, the different brands and the different types.

Pole Saw Comparison Chart

For those of you in a hurry, you will see a comparison table below that lists our top picks and you can click through to read more about the particular saw that you are interested in.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

How to Choose The Best One for Your Use

When I spoke to my 70-year-old dad on the phone a few months back and he was explaining to me how he was going to be climbing up a ladder with his chainsaw to cut down some branches my heart missed a beat. Though he doesn’t normally listen to me I told him it was getting near his Birthday so I was going to order him a Pole Saw asap!

Now even though he’s in good shape for his age I knew that he would require something light and easy to manoeuvre as he only has a small garden with a handful of trees I knew that it wouldn’t get that much use so I budgeted accordingly. 

So when you come to buy a pole saw, these are the sort of questions to ask yourself. 

I’m going to discuss some of the important things to consider before you buy.

Power Source

We will discuss the different options and their pros and cons further on in this article but basically you have 4 types of power source. These are Gas, Electric, Battery Powered & Manual. But to summarise quickly;

Gas – is the most powerful, but heavier and more maintenance required

Electric – is fine if you have a nearby power outlet or using a generator or extension cord. They are the most affordable option

Battery Powered cordless –  Easy to use and you aren’t restricted by cord length.

Manual – These are fine if you have just a few trees in your garden and is an inexpensive and lightweight option but if you have a lot of trees using a manual tool will require a lot of exertion.

Length of the Pole

This is an area where you really have to pay attention as different manufacturers describe pole length differently. Some describe reach of the pole which will include average arm length so a 10 feet reach will be around an 8 feet extension pole.

Longer isn’t always better – longer poles will be heavier and more cumbersome think about the branches you are going to be cutting first.

Some of the brands offer adjustable poles which can be extended which is also useful for storing them easily when not in use.

Weight of the Pole

This will usually relate to the power source and how powerful the saw is. You need to weigh up your physical limitations and be honest with yourself about the weight you can safely use. Obviously there are variables on this as a more powerful pole saw will get the job done quickly so you won’t be using it for so long, hence stamina comes into play as well!

My advice using any power tool for extended lengths of time is to take regular breaks and stretch out a little as my more athletic friends say ‘its a marathon not a race’.

Cutting Bar

You will want a cutting bar that is greater in length to the thickest branches you will be cutting. The bar length is usually measured in inches. The standard is 8 inches but they can range from 6 to 12 inches. The longer the bar, the more power is required to drive the chain. Cordless models likely have the shortest cutting bars while you will likely need to go gas if you have thick tree branches in your backyard and something more powerful.

Noise

If you have neighbors who are easily triggered by noisy power tools then you might need to look at the noise levels. The electric and cordless models are not overly noisy but the gas-powered ones that are generating a lot more power can get a bit loud.

Price

If you are anything like me your budget is going to be a big consideration. You’ve really got to weigh up how much use you are going to get out of this tool. Once you’ve decided on how often you will use it, the amount of power and reach that you will need then it’s time to compare models. If you keep your pole saw well maintained one from a respected brand should last a good amount of time.

Warranty

Don’t forget to check the warranties to see what they are offering. While we all hope that our tools are going to stand the test of time sometimes even in the best quality tools things to go wrong and you will want to return it and get a new one or your money back if this occurs.

Online Reviews

In this age of online shopping, one of the major advantages is we can see the proof of it a product is good or not by the customer feedback available on sites like Amazon and of often the brands own website. We’ve done a lot of research already so you don’t have to but its always good to have a look at a few more users experiences before making a final decision.

 

Pole Saw Video

I enjoyed this video from Remington and while it is obviously trying to sell their product it gives you a good quick overview of using your tool with some safety tips as well. By the way, Remington is among our top picks so after watching the video you might want to add a Remington Ranger or Maverick to your shortlist.

 

 

 

Types of Pole Saws

As mentioned briefly earlier choosing how this garden tool is powered is one of the main decisions you will need to make. Here are your different options;

Electric

There are a lot of reasons for purchasing an electric pole saw, for starters out of the box they are the easiest to use just plug them into your power source and you are ready to go. They are usually the lightest types of pole saw as well. On the power scale, they outperform the cordless battery models but aren’t as powerful as the gas versions.

Obviously the main disadvantage is that you are limited to how far you can use them. Extension cables are likely to be necessary or used in conjunction with a generator. The other negative is that you can’t use them in wet weather but I’d tend to avoid cutting tree branches in wet weather whatever type of tool I was using!

Battery Cordless

While lacking the power of electric or gas-powered they do have the advantage of minimal maintenance and not having to deal with electric cables. The usual battery sources are lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium. If you are looking for a battery with a longer life go the lithium-ion route.


If you want to be out cutting or pruning trees for an hour or so on a Sunday morning then cordless is a good option, they are also the quietest option so you won’t annoy the neighbors too much!

Gas Powered

A lot of the serious tool guys I know swear by gas, they don’t mind getting their hands dirty and they want tools that can be used anywhere, they don’t have to worry about power outages and they enjoy the maintaining of their tools as much as using them. Gas-powered is going to be your most powerful option, this type of pole saw is going to need a little extra upkeep but are built to last.


If you have a large piece of land to take care of or have trees with thick unforgiving branches you really are going to need to go gas. Don’t get me wrong there’s not a whole lot of maintenance but you will need to regularly clean and give it some TLC. Apart from getting your hands dirty the old another drawback of a gas-powered pole saw is that they are a little nosier than the other versions.

Pole Saw Chainsaw Combo

It’s becoming popular for the garden power tool brands to manufacture these hybrid pole saw and chainsaw. Basically when you have finished cutting down the branches, once they are on the ground you can then detach the saw and use it like a chainsaw to finish the job and cut the branches down to size. It’s actually a nice feature and saves you a bit of time and effort though nothing beats a stand-alone chainsaw for those big jobs.

Manual Pole Saws

We are all about the ‘Power’ here at Saw Winner! so we aren’t going to spend much time looking at manual tools. These are basically ‘pruners’ that are fine for cutting live branches that aren’t very thick. For instance the  Corona TP 3206 SwivelCUT Long Reach Pruner which will cut live branches up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. But if you want anything more powerful it’s going to have to be powered by something rather than you!

Pole Saw Reviews

So let’s look at the best pole saws on the market. We’ve done the research and summarised the top-rated 7 models. Some of them we have written about in more in-detailed articles and you will find links for them in the summaries below.

Sun Joe Model SWJ800E Electric Pole Chain Saw

Sun Joe is fast earning a reputation for the go-to brand for outdoor garden power tools and this electric pole saw is another notable addition to their range.

The pole fully extended at 8.7 feet provides around 15 feet of overhead reach and is combined with a 6.5 amp motor that has the ability to cut branches that are up to 7.5 inches in thickness.

It requires a little assembly but if you followed the detailed assembly guide it shouldn’t take you much longer than 5 minutes to have it ready to use. Once you have added some chain oil you can plug it in push the button and start cutting!

On the subject of chain oil, this was one of the few negatives that we found among users and that was there isn’t any supplied with this product. It certainly would make sense to include a small bottle of oil but anyway, make sure you purchase it along with your saw if you decide on this one.

Apart from that though this pole saw gets a lot of love, the only real repeated criticism is that it was rather heavy when it was a full-extension, with most of the weight being at the end of the pole this is fairly typical.

Customers were happy with the 2-year warranty and if they had questions or issues Sun Joe’s customer service was quick to respond.

If you are a homeowner who is looking for an affordable and good quality pole saw this one will fit the bill, especially if you prefer electric, don’t forget to grab some chain oil and a long extension cord to go with your order.

 

Check Price & Customer Reviews of the Sun Joe SWJ806E at Amazon

Greenworks G-MAX Cordless Pole Saw

Next up we are going to take a look at this cordless model from Greenworks another big name in the outdoor garden power tool market.

With an 8-feet pole length and up to 65 cuts on one charge, this should be more than adequate for most homeowners. It comes with a standard 8-inch bar and chain. If you already have a Greenworks battery then this is a super affordable option if you don’t it’s going to cost a little more but you are safe in the knowledge that any other Greenworks garden power tool you purchase that you already have a battery.

Assembly is very simple and no tools are required, once assembled you just charge the battery, it takes around 3 hours just add some chain lubricant and you are good to go. Once again though this is another brand that doesn’t supply the oil so make sure you purchase it as well. The instruction manual is very clear and easy to follow and I’d always recommend reading it even if you think you know your way around a pole saw.

It comes with an adjustable telescoping pole so you can choose the length depending on how high you are planning to cut. The unit is built to trim small branches and limbs of up to 6 inches, which should be fine for most of us.

The product comes with a nice long 4-year limited warranty and Greenworks customer service has a good reputation. A lot of positivism surrounds this pole saw and even those who were biased against battery-powered tools had to admit that this one performs well. It was commented that it is all plastic made so durability might be an issue but with reasonable care that shouldn’t be a problem.

Those that already had a G-Max battery were happy to add this to their growing arsenal of Greenworks tools, this is especially great for people like me who like their tools to be uniform in color! If you are looking for a cordless option this is certainly a brand to consider.

Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw Check Price At Amazon

Sun Joe SWJ807E Electric Convertible Pole Chain Saw

Sun Joe get to have another shout out in our Best Pole Saw guide overview with the SWJ807E Pole Saw -Chainsaw Hybrid. If you liked the sound of the SWJ800E then you are likely to be impressed by this one.

Once again we have an electric power tool with a pole that extends up to 8.8 feet for up to 15 feet overhead reach, and comes with a 10 inch Oregon cutting bar and chain. As well as instant push-start there is a safety switch that will stop the saw from starting accidentally.

Of course, the main selling point for this model is that it can be easily converted to a chainsaw. Once all your branches are cut down you can straight away start sawing up the limbs that are on the ground. This, of course, is a real time-saver, especially when you don’t want to take out your big heavy gas chainsaw to cut a few tree limbs.

This is another one that probably wouldn’t cut it for commercial use but for a typical homeowner who wants to use it to take care of their yard it is ideal. We did notice a lot of women users commenting on this particular brand and model so its certainly popular with the ladies as well as the guys.

Sun Joe SWJ807E 10 inch 8.0 Amp Convertible Check Price at Amazon

Maxtra 42.7cc 4 in 1 Gas Hedge Trimmer Pole Saw Trimmer

I must admit Maxtra is a brand that I knew little about before researching this product but they seem a pretty solid company. This is the first of the gas pole saw’s that we are reviewing.

Being gas powered we are dealing with a little bit more power and the 42.7cc 2-stroke engine means that this one can cut branches that are 8-10 inches thick.

The pole length isn’t bad either and it can adjust from 8.2 to 11.4ft which means you should be able to cut branches that are between 13-16.5 feet of the ground from a standing position.

There are a few other nice features such as an anti-slip hand bar, shoulder strap and a bag to store or transport the pole saw in.

You get a 1-year warranty with this model but form reviews online it seems that customer service is very good for Maxta so if you do have issues you do get an immediate response and if needed replacement parts sent swiftly.

The main two downsides that were frequently commented on was that the instruction manual is pretty poor and that the tool is rather heavy. Gas pole saws are usually heavier and if you are going for a more heavy-duty model then you are going to expect this.

Despite some users being a bit apprehensive of a brand that they had never heard of they were very positive about the pole saw and found it a good affordable option that was as good if not better than some of its more well-known competitors.

Maxtra Gas Pole Saw, 42.7CC Check Price at Amazon

BLACK+DECKER LPP120 Cordless Pole Saw

This is a very popular cordless model and if you already have Black & Decker tools with the 20-volt MAX* Lithium Ion battery then you can purchase this one without the battery or with of course if you want a spare one.

The pole saw is lightweight at just 6.3lbs and is easy to handle and start. The pole can extend up to 10 feet so you could get a potential reach of around 14 feet.

The tool breaks down into 3 pieces so its easy to store and transport. It comes with a fairly long 2-year warranty.

While this is a very popular pole saw with many householders if you have trees with thick limbs or are going to be doing a lot of cutting this isn’t the power pole saw for you. This one will cut smaller branches easier but will struggle with the thicker branches and you will drain the battery pretty quick if you are using the power to cut through branches of 6 inches or more.

If you already have B&D garden tools then this would be a sensible buy. This type of tool is ideal for a leisurely hour or so in the garden cutting small branches or a shorter spell cutting thicker branches. If you have a garden with a few trees you need to keep in check and don’t want to be paying someone to cut them for you then the LPP120 should be just fine.

BLACK+DECKER LPP120 Cordless Pole Saw Check Price at Amazon

Remington RM1025SPS Ranger 2-in-1 Pole Saw & Chainsaw

So this is a really popular Electric pole saw, chainsaw hybrid. You might have seen the Remington video earlier in this article.

So this is the RM1025SPS Ranger with a telescoping shaft that extends to 10 feet and a 10-inch bar. The chainsaw gives you the option of cutting your branches up once on the ground and is easy to detach with no extra tools required.

As with pretty much all the pole saws we have reviewed here it can be a bit top-heavy when fully extended but that’s the nature of the beast you basically have a chainsaw on an end of a pole!

Users found it easy to assemble after reading the manual and had it up and working in no time.

The main negative surrounding the RM1025SPS appears to be that the oil reservoir leaked for some people. The best way around this is to

A. Drain the reservoir after use

B. Is to store the chainsaw in a horizontal position meaning upside down.

Reading user reviews online, the feedback was they liked the price, that it was pretty powerful for an electric without all the hassle of gas. As mentioned earlier the oil leaks when storing was the main issue with this particular model.

Remington RM1025SPS Ranger 2-in-1 Pole Saw & Chainsaw Check Price at Amazon

WORX WG309 2-in-1 Electric Pole Saw & Chainsaw

If you want to read a detailed in-depth review of this combo saw then click the link – Full Review of the WORX WG309 Combo Pole Chainsaw

But for those in a hurry here’s a quick summary of our findings

This is an ideal pole saw for light to medium use and for what you get pretty budget-friendly. This model is one of the increasingly popular combo models and can be used as a pole saw and then to finish the job converted to a chainsaw. Not having to switch tools is a real time saver.

This one is an electric-powered model, it’s Bar length is 10 inches and the pole easily extends to 8 feet. Customer reviews are generally favorable they liked the easy tool-less assembly and found it did the job well. Some users found it a bit heavy when fully extended so this one isn’t that suitable for elderly users or those that aren’t that strong.

We especially liked the easy maintenance for this one with a patented auto-chain system and the automatic oil pump which has an indicator to let you know when oil is running low.

 

If you haven’t got any hugely ambitious tree cutting projects and just want to maintain a regular-sized backyard or garden this could be one to research further.

WORX WG309 2-in-1 Electric Pole Saw & Chainsaw Check Price at Amazon

Remington RM2599 Maverick Gas Pole Saw

We have reviewed and compared all the Remington Pole Saws in this Article but if you want a quick run-down on the Remington RM2599 Maverick stick around..

This is a gas pole saw so its got plenty of power with its 25cc 2-cycle engine. At full extension, you should be able to reach up to a height of 12 FT. It comes with a standard 8-inch bar so is able to cut average-sized branches of around with the powerful gas motor it cuts much easier through limbs than it electric or battery counterparts.

Some nice extra features with this saw include an auto oiler for the chain and they are one of the few brands that also provides chain lube.

This saw also takes most attachments so it can be turned into a hedge trimmer for instance.

It’s easy to assemble and comes with a decent manual, out of the box it shouldn’t take much longer than 20 minutes to your first cut. Some users mentioned the chain was a little tight when they first received it so you might want to check and loosen it if necessary.

The price is very competitive against other gas-powered models, though maybe lacking a little power. I read many reviews of customers who had got quotes from companies who charged anything up to $2,000 to trim the trees on someone’s property so even just used the once this tool saved a lot of money.

If you want a budget friendly gas pole saw from a time tested brand then this would be a good option.

Remington RM2599 Maverick Gas Pole Saw Check Price at Amazon

Pole Saw Safety

Before you start cutting, remember, safety first!


Work Area – Before you start cutting, look over your work area. Is there anything that you could trip over? Is there something that could be damaged by falling limbs? Is there anything that could catch on fire?  If so, address the issues before you get to work.

When trimming trees, power lines are a major area of concern. You should be able to maintain at least 50 feet of distance from the power line or any other electrical source. The same thing goes for other people in the area as well. If there are people in the area, have them stay at least 50 feet away.

Conditions – Before you start trimming, analyse the conditions and make sure they’re right. If it’s really wet, and rainy or windy outside, then it may be a good idea to put the job on hold. Also, take a look at what you plan on trimming. When working on trees that have loose bark, rotting trunks and/or dead branches, you will need to take extra precaution.

Use Two Hands – When you’re holding the saw in your hands, maintain a two-handed grip.  Make sure your hands and the handles are dry in order to prevent your hands from slipping while you’re working. You can buy a pair of anti-slip gloves to wear while you’re using the pole saw.  Wrap your fingers and thumbs all the way around and hold on to it tightly.

Footing – Just as your hand placement is important, so is your foot placement. When you’re using the saw, don’t stand on anything, not even a ladder. If you’re trimming a tree that is on a hill, then stand on the high side if possible. This way, if the limb were to fall or starts to roll downhill, you don’t have to worry about trying to get out of the way.

Technique – When you start the cutting, you shouldn’t already have contact with the tree because this will more than likely cause your saw to jam up. Instead, when you first start out, try starting out at a lower throttle before you put the saw on the branch. Once you have a decent groove going on, kick the throttle up a notch.

A 45-degree cutting angle would be great. When cutting, go slow and keep it steady and maintain a secure grip. On that last half of the cut, focus hard and prepare to throttle back as you complete the cut.

Don’t Over-Reach – Don’t ever over-reach. By over-extending, you can hurt yourself, and you can cause other damages due to a poor cut.

Kickback and Jamming – There are cases when kickback and jamming will happen. A kickback is going to happen if the chain becomes pinched while you’re cutting or if the tip of the bar hits another object. In order to prevent a kickback from happening, it is important that you keep both hands on the saw and maintain a steady grip. If you’re working in tight situations, then I recommend throttling back.

If your saw gets jammed, turn the saw off and wait a couple of seconds to give time for the parts to stop moving. Now, you can unjam the saw.

Safety After Use – After you’re done using the saw, turn the engine off. Make sure the blade stays in front of you and don’t touch the engine muffler as it will be hot. When you’re putting the star back in your garage or loading it on the trailer, attach the cover to the guide bar – the guide bar cover may also be referred to as a scabbard or sheath

Recommended Safety Equipment

10 years ago I would have been the guy in sneakers, short pants and a vest balancing on a ladder chainsaw in hand but older and wiser with a family to provide for I am a lot more cautious.

At the very least wear some boots, long pants and a shirt but these are my other recommendations;

Hat

A hard hat like you find on a construction site would be a cheap buy and would protect you head against falling branches. As they say better safe than sorry. If you want to go really safe there are many industrial forestry safety helmets that are affordable and can be used with other power tools such as chainsaws.

Safety Gloves

I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t get yourself a pair of safety gloves for using with your saws. The kevlar lined pair below are Amazon’s Choice for ‘Chainsaw Safety Gloves’ click on the image to see more information at Amazon

Dust Mask

I’d certainly recommend a dust mask especially if you are planning on cutting branches for a prolonged length of time. Some people are more prone to respiratory issues than others but to protect those lungs its probably best to not be inhaling wood dust particles.

Pole Saw Maintenance

Just a few basic actions before and after use of your pole saw will keep it performing well for many years.

First, ensure that the tool is filled with oil before use.

Check for Loose parts – bolts, nuts or screws.

Give the pole saw a once over for broken or worn parts prior to using it and then again once you have finished with it.

Make sure the blade cutters are sharp

Be sure the chain is tensioned correctly.

When you’ve finished using it make sure you store it somewhere dry and as some of the oil may leak make sure that you keep it away from items that you want to keep clean.

And really that’s about it for maintenance.

Conclusion

Whatever pole saw you have decided on, it is likely to save you substantially in yard maintenance costs if you usually hire someone to do the work for you and I can vouch for it that you feel better for it as well.

I believe our picks are the Best Pole Saws on the market, you need to decide which one suits your needs.