Can You Use a Pole Saw to Trim Hedges?

Those that work in their yard and like to keep things tidy have tools in their shed that they use for their outdoor activities – things like a shovel, rake, garden hoe, hand trowel, pruning shears, loppers, and all that fun stuff. There may be times when you just don’t have the right tool for the job at hand, or you’re not sure if you have the right tool. For example, you have a pole saw, but you need to trim hedges

Can a pole saw double as a hedge trimmer? Or should you use something else?

Basically, a pole saw is just a chainsaw with a pole attached to it (unless you have one of those hedge trimmer attachments, which I will discuss later). I have witnessed people literally taking a chainsaw and using it to trim their hedges. For them, this may work, but personally, I feel it just doesn’t do a good job and makes the work look sloppy. Yes, hedge trimmers and pole saws seem similar, but these tools have specific jobs they can do. It is important that you have an understanding of the differences in order to help you pick the right tool, whether you’re trimming those hedges in your front yard or cutting down a tree in your back yard. Using the right tool for the job will make life a whole lot easier for you.

GARCARE 4.8A Multi-Angle Corded 2 in 1 Pole and Portable Hedge Trimmer with 20 Inch Laser Blade

The Best Pole Saws, Hedge Trimmers & Hybrids

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

To give you a better understanding of pole saws/chainsaws and hedge trimmers, I’m going to give you a comparison …

Jobs for Pole Saws

Pole saws make the work easier when you are cutting branches or pruning trees that aren’t easily reachable. It also adds a safety factor in that you can reach up high without balancing on a ladder or step ladder to carry out this task

Jobs for Chainsaws

Chainsaws are used for cutting trees down – cutting their branches and their trunks. These types of saws have a bar that can be over 48 inches and can read through the trunk of a big oak tree. Without using a chainsaw, the only other way for you to cut a tree would be to use a hand saw or an ax.

Jobs for Hedge Trimmers

As for the hedge trimmer, these are used to shape shrubs and hedges beautifully. Hedge trimmers are used to trim the ends of those small branches. Sure, you could always take a pair of clippers or loppers to prune those small branches on shrubs or hedges, but that’s very time consuming and adds extra work – this is why I choose to use hedge trimmers. Hedge trimmers don’t take a lot of work to use and have less power than a chainsaw because they’re meant to be used to trim the tip of those small branches.

DOEWORKS 20V Li-ion 2 in 1 Multi-Angle Battery Trimmer, Cordless Electric Pole Hedge Trimmer with 20" Blades, Battery & Charger Included

 

Cutting Action of Chainsaws and Hedge Trimmers

Both hedge trimmers and chain saws have bars and both can be battery-powered, electric or gas, and that right there is where the similarities between the two ends. Looking at the cutting action of a chain saw, I’d have to say it’s similar to that of a band saw. The teeth on them move around the bar while cutting and tear through whatever they touch.

As for the hedge trimmers cutting action, I’d have to say it is like a reciprocating saw. The blade on these two oscillates back and forth and can cut through whatever is small enough o be able to fit through the notches that are on the bar.

Chainsaws Aren’t Great for Trimming

You wouldn’t pick up a hedge trimmer and go outside to cut a tree down, would you? I’m sure someone out there has tried to do this, and if they did, they’d be standing there for quite a while. A hedge trimmer just doesn’t have enough power to be able to cut through any thick branches, let alone a tree trunk.  However, technically speaking, we could pick up a chainsaw, go outside, and cut down some hedges. This is because chainsaws are powerful and since they’re capable of cutting through tree trunks, surely they would be able to cut through small branches.

If you use a chainsaw for trimming those hedges, you may be successful, but take it from me, you will more than likely start to feel aggregated with the scenario. Here, let me explain …when you use a chainsaw to trim hedges, oftentimes, the saw will take those tiny branches and push them to the side, instead of ripping through them. Plus, you also have to consider the fact that if those small branches were to get stuck in the chain, it can be dangerous because this will interfere with the motion of the saw and could cause it to kick back at you, which as you know, is very dangerous.

So, long story short, by all means, just use a hedge trimmer to trim those hedges and bushes, and use a chain saw to cut down trees and trim branches.

How do You Know Which Tool is Right for the Job?

In order to determine which tool you should be using for the job, you’d have to take a step back and look at the branches. If the branches look like they’re too big and would take a bit to rip through them, then you’d want to use a chain saw. If the branches are too large and don’t look like they’d fit between those notched on the trimmer, the chainsaw will get the job done. For a normal hedge trimmer, I’d say if the limb is more than 1 inch thick, it’s time to break out with the chainsaw.

Now, if you have a large shrub or a hedge that has a lot of branches that you know your hedge trimmer won’t be able to handle, then you could try a brush cutter. However, if the branches are less than an inch thick, the hedge trimmer will do a beautiful job.

So you see, while it may sound like a good idea to take a pole saw and hack away at those hedges outside, it’s not ideal to use a pole saw unless it has a hedge trimmer attachment.

Now, let me introduce you to some of my favorite hedge trimmers, starting with a dedicated hedge trimmer …

Black+Decker Cordless Hedge Trimmer

BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer, 24-Inch (LHT2436)
Click image for pricing info

This Black+Decker hedge trimmer is a cordless hedge trimmer that really stands out from the crowd for a variety of reasons.  This is a tool that is light in weight and super easy to use. You can use it on those trick trims, but I’ve noticed many professionals using this particular hedge trimmer. Regardless of who you are, if you do work in your yard and you have bushes and hedges, then this would be an essential tool to use in order to maintain those shrubs.

Cordless

I like how this is a cordless hedge trimmer. This means you don’t have to stay near a power outlet or have an extension cord to use it and you don’t have to rely on gas. Yes, those gas-powered trimmers are pretty cool because they have a tendency to have more power to them, which is great for cutting through those thicker bushes. But the cordless option like this hedge trimmer is better on the environment, plus it’s more affordable than a gas-powered trimmer and you don’t have to worry about buying gas.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer, 22-Inch, Tool Only (LHT2220B)

Perfect for Bushes in the Yard

Using this hedge trimmer, I found that it does a great job for trimming Hydrangeas, rose bushes, Azaleas, Ficus trees, and many more bushes I have in my yard.

The Performance

This Black & Decker hedge trimmer has a nice blade on it – it’s a 24-inch dual-action blade, to be exact and I noticed that it doesn’t produce as much vibration as many of those other models out there. This trimmer has a whole lot of power in it and could even trim those long-leafed shrubs in my yard.

How Long Does the Battery Last?

Before having to recharge, you should get at least an hour of use. I understand that for some, having only an hour to trim hedges may be inconvenient and that is why I always recommend having a backup battery that is fully charged – you can purchase additional batteries separately, and it’s well worth it, especially if you work in the yard for more than an hour.

As the battery starts to run low, you will get less and less power, but this is a slowdown that is expected as the battery drains.

When it comes time to charge the unit back up, it should only take about 30 minutes, which is really good.

Installing the battery is easy – all you have to do is slide it in and it’ll snap right where it belong.

Locking Mechanism

This particular model has a sliding lock to lock the trimmer down. The sliding mechanism was actually convenient and I like it much better than the push-down type of locks.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer, 22-Inch, Tool Only (LHT2220B)

Lights in Weight

Who wants to have to carry around a hedge trimmer that is heavy? When using this trimmer, you’re not going to feel fatigued from the weight. This trimmer only weighs 7 pounds, which is decent for a trimmer – it’s actually one of the lightest trimmers I have found on the market that is of this quality. While working in the yard, heavy tools are a major concern for me, so I’m definitely pleased with the weight – it also makes it easier if you need to lift the trimmer in the air in order to trim those branches that are a bit higher.

Noise Level

I understand that some may be concerned with the noise level of their power tools, especially if they have neighbors that are close by. The noise is a tad bit loud, but it’s to be expected. For me, a noisy tool isn’t that big of an issue, and I feel this means it has some power to it. If the trimmer starts to make a clicker sound while you’re using it, you can reduce this by using something like WD-40, which will help keep those blades moving smoothly and it will help the tool last longer.

I decided to tell you about this hedge trimmer because it’s a high-quality trimmer at an amazing prize. If you’re like me, and are concerned about battery life, arm fatigue, weight, and ease of use, then the Black & Decker 40V Max hedge trimmer would be a suitable choice for you.

If you like having both a chain saw and a hedge trimmer, you could always combine the two and purchase one of those neat hedge trimmers/ pole saw combos. I like this idea because it is a cost-effective solution.

Read More Reviews at Amazon

Greenworks Pole Saw with Hedge Trimmer

Greenworks 8 Inch 40V Cordless Pole Saw with Hedge Trimmer Attachment 2.0 AH Battery Included PSPH40B210
Click image for more info

The first one I would recommend is the pole saw with a hedge trimmer from Greenworks.

Specifications:

  • Cutting Capacity – ¾”
  • Blade Length – 24”
  • Charge Time – Around 60 minutes
  • Run Time – Around 50 minutes
  • Noise Level – 78dB at 5’

Safety Features

When it comes to power tools, I’m all about the safety features. This particular pole saw with a hedge trimmer has a variety of safety features like a lock-out button, sheath, and safety guard.

Weight

The weight of the pole saw is 8.38 pounds and that is without the battery. When you add the trimmer, it’s 9.57 pounds, without the battery, so you’ll be working with something that is a little under 10 pounds. This isn’t all that bad and the average person should be able to handle this without hurting their hands and arms.

Battery and Charger

With this model, you’ll receive 1 2Ah battery and 1 charger to use.  On the battery, there’s a button on it that you can press in order to see how much charge you have left. The number of lights will show you what percent of the battery you have left – 25, 50, 76, and 100%.

Automatic Oiler

This unit has an automatic oiler that will apply the oil to the bar and chain while you’re using it. This prevents you from having to stop and oil the bar.

This is a great unit if you’re looking for a pole saw/hedge trimmer combo.

Read More Reviews at Amazon

GarCare Multi-Angle Corded 2-in-1 Saw

GARCARE 4.8A Multi-Angle Corded 2 in 1 Pole and Portable Hedge Trimmer with 20 Inch Laser Blade
Click image to see the latest price on Amazon

Another pole saw/hedge trimmer combo that I would recommend is the GarCare Multi-Angled Corded 2-in-1 saw. This is a portable hedge trimmer (of course) that really caught my eye. I found that this one was easy to assemble and the instructions were easy to understand.

Specifications

Power – 4.8 Amp Electric Engine

Blade  Length – 20 inches

Cutting Capacity – ¾-inch

6-position pivoting head

5-position rotary handle

Telescopic Tube

What is really cool about this one is that it has a telescopic tube. Mind you, many of the pole saws out there don’t have a telescopic pole, instead, you have to manually add another pole to it in order to extend the saws reach, which isn’t really that big of a deal for me. However, a telescopic pole makes it easier as you can just extend the pole as you’re cutting – this particular saw can extend up to 9 feet, which is really good.

GARCARE 4.8A Multi-Angle Corded 2 in 1 Pole and Portable Hedge Trimmer with 20 Inch Laser Blade

Comfortable

I found that this pole saw is comfortable to use because of the rubber grim that is on the front and rear handle. It’s nice feeling the cushioning, and it helps reduce the vibrations.

Shoulder Belt Included

This saw has a shoulder belt, which helps reduce some of that weight. Some of the other models don’t have a shoulder belt, so this is definitely a bonus.

Cord Lock

This pole saw/hedge trimmer combo also has a cord lock. With a cord lock, you don’t have to worry about the cord disconnecting and shutting the saw off while you’re using it.

I would highly recommend this pole saw/hedge trimmer combo to anyone that is looking for a hedge trimmer. It’s efficient, easy to use and light in weight.

Read More Reviews at Amazon

DoeWorks 20V Li-ion 2-in-1 Multi-Angle Battery Powered Trimmer

DOEWORKS 20V Li-ion 2 in 1 Multi-Angle Battery Trimmer, Cordless Electric Pole Hedge Trimmer with 20" Blades, Battery & Charger Included
Click image for more product details

Next on my list, we have the DoeWorks 20V Li-ion 2-in-1 multi-angled battery-powered trimmer. This one right here is a bit on the heavy side, but it sure does get the job done.

Specifications:

  • Blade length – 20 inches
  • Cutting capacity – 5/8 inches
  • Power: 20V Li-ion

Included with this, you will receive 1 2Ah lithium-ion battery, 1 charged and the hedge trimmer.

Extra Extension Pole

This is a telescopic pole, but in order to extend the reach, this manufacturer includes an extra extension pole that you can add.  It can extend up to 9 feet, which is pretty good.

Less Vibration

This hedge trimmer/pole saw has a 20-inch dual action blade and for this reason, it has 20 percent less vibration than the single blades, which is definitely a bonus in my book. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand using a power tool that does nothing but vibrate my hands and arms.

Soft Grip

The soft grip is a nice comfortable feature. It also helps make sure you have a secure grip while you’re using the saw.

This product is a little under 10 pounds, so most shouldn’t have a problem using it. If you’re looking for a good pole saw/hedge trimmer combo, then I’d definitely take a look at this one.

Read More Reviews at Amazon

Conclusion

Can you use a pole saw to trim hedges? Sure, as long as it is a pole saw/hedge trimmer combo, but I wouldn’t take a chainsaw and use it to trim hedges. Go with one of the units I mentioned and you should do just fine.