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Top 4 Best Pole Saws of 2018

Best pole saw reviews 2018

Best-in-class
Greenworks PS80L21

Greenworks PRO PS80L21 Cordless Pole Saw

Commercial-grade construction

A rugged pole saw for the homeowner in search of heavy-duty capabilities.

Greenworks PS80L21 Review

The Greenworks PS80L21 is an outstanding pole saw designed to withstand small and big jobs alike. This landscaping tool bursts quality and innovation, from the reliable brushless motor capable of delivering more torque to the gas-equivalent performance ensured by the innovative battery. Perfect for cutting thick branches and limbs, the PS80L21 features a 10-inch bar and a sturdy chain. It comes with an 8-foot extension shaft that makes it easy to reach the top limbs without a ladder and it has an extremely well-balanced center of gravity that makes handling a breeze.

But the true value of this pole saw stands in the battery. The unit is powered by a heavy-duty 2Ah 80-volt Lithium MAX battery that is interchangeable with all power tools in the system. Delivering an extended operation time compared to other cordless tools and gas-equivalent performance for the entire runtime, the Greenworks PS80L21 is undoubtedly the best in its class.

Best value
BLACK+DECKER LPP120

BLACK+DECKER LPP120 Cordless Pole Saw

Designed for long-lasting performance

Mid-range cordless pole saw comes with a MAX-line battery and Energy Star charger.

BLACK+DECKER LPP120 Review

The BLACK+DECKER LPP120 pole saw is perhaps the best pole saw for homeowners. It’s not designed for intensive commercial use but it’s perfect for the hobbyists looking for a versatile landscaping tool. With a telescopic shaft that extends from 6.5 to 10 feet, the LPP120 reaches the higher branches which ease. It’s perfect for trimming hedges or pruning trees and it can cut up to 100 pine branches with a diameter of up to 1.5 inches per charge.

In terms of power, the unit doesn’t leave much to be desired. This pole saw comes equipped with a 20-volt MAX Li-Ion battery which is compatible with all gardening tools in the system. Capable of handling most residential demands, the pole saw also boasts a generous 8-inch cutting bar and a sturdy chain that can handle a maximum cutting diameter of 6 inches. Perfect for home use, powerful enough to handle light-duty commercial tasks, and available at a competitive price point, the BLACK+DECKER LPP120 is definitely the best pole saw you can buy.

Also great
Greenworks 20672

Greenworks 20672 Cordless Pole Saw

Extendable shaft for easy reach

Ultra-lightweight pole saw ideal for residential and light commercial use.

Greenworks 20672 Review

Boasting an 8-inch cutting bar, just like our best-value pick, but a tad more powerful thanks to the Greenworks’ signature battery, the 20672 is a pole saw to consider if you don’t mind paying some extra cash on a more powerful unit. In terms of cutting performance and capabilities, there aren’t many differences between this tool and our favorite. Both come with similar cutting bars and chains, and both can handle trimming and pruning. But the Greenworks 20672 brings a bit more versatility, thanks to its nice heft of less than 9 pounds. Moreover, the battery involved is the G-MAX 40-volt Li-Ion that delivers greater performance.

Other features include an automatic oiler that prolongs the chain’s lifespan and the extendable aluminum shaft that reaches 8 feet. With superior capabilities than our top pick but a less attractive price range, the Greenworks 20672 is the perfect pole saw for the demanding homeowner that wants to upgrade his gardening tools collection.

Best budget
Sun Joe SWJ800E

Sun Joe SWJ800E Telescoping Electric Pole Chain Saw

Ideal for overhead cutting

Lightweight and highly maneuverable, this corded pole saw comes with a versatile telescopic shaft.

Sun Joe SWJ800E Review

The Sun Joe SWJ800E is the best electric pole saw developed for homeowners looking for endless autonomy. Powered by a 6.5-Amp motor and plugging into traditional wall sockets, this garden pole saw is perfect for demanding overhead trimming of hedges and branches. Its telescopic pole extends to 8.7 feet and provides 15-foot overhead reach. The 8-inch Oregon bar is capable of cutting branches up to 7.5 inches thick, while the chain comes with an auto-oiler that keeps it lubricated during use.

Powered electrically, the Sun Joe SWJ800E is perfect for those who need a reliable tool to power longer demands while the built-in safety button adds value to the design. Dependable and affordable, the Sun Joe SWJ800E is one of the best corded pole saws you can find.

2. Why invest in a pole saw?

A neat, tidy garden can easily boost the curb appeal of your property, but keeping your hedges and trees in good shape is hard with the traditional pruning tools. Yet, you needn’t call in a landscaper and spend heavily for this task. A pole saw is just the perfect tool to help you out.

Designed to help homeowners and professionals reach the higher branches and limbs, this tool comes with multiple advantages:

  • It adapts to a wide range of tasks. You can use it to trim hedges, prune branches and limbs, manicure your trees and bushes, and more.
  • It allows you to reach the higher branches without a ladder thanks to the telescopic shaft. Lightweight and easy to maneuver, the pole saw is developed specifically for overhead use.
  • It is easy to use even by the novice. Lightweight, well-balanced, and powerful, a pole saw can help you prune your trees yourself.
  • It comes in various types designed to meet all needs. From cheap options suitable for light-duty chores to expensive tools built to deal with the most stubborn branches, there is a pole saw for all demands.

3. Types of pole saws

Pole saws can be classified into manual, gas-powered, and electric.

Manual pole saws

The manual pole saw is an uncomplicated tool that consists of a saw attached to the end of a pole. This tool is the cheapest but also the hardest to use, as you’ll have to use your force to cut branches and limbs.

On a positive note, manual pole saws need little to no maintenance. Regular cleaning and occasional sharpening of the blade is all it takes to keep your tool in the best conditions.

Gas-powered pole saws

The gas-powered pole saws are the most powerful version and are usually developed for commercial use. An increased power can handle longer cutting bars, a feature that provides better cutting capabilities.

However, the gas-powered pole saw isn’t all milk and honey. One of the main disadvantages is pollution. The fuel combustion produces noxious fumes that are harmful to you and the environment. The weight of the fuel adds up to the weight of the tool, making it harder to handle.

They generally also produces much more noise than electric pole saws.

Electric pole saws

This is the most versatile category of pole saws, comprising corded and cordless tools designed majorly for home use.

  • Corded pole saws: Draw electricity from a traditional wall outlet and can work uninterruptedly for as long as you like. More powerful than the cordless models, these tools boast cutting blades up to 10 inches long and require minimal maintenance. Due to the lack of battery and fuel tank, the corded pole saws are also lighter than all other models. They are very easy to use but their mobility is subject to the length of the cable.
  • Cordless pole saws: Are powered by batteries instead of a cord and boost boundless portability. Their runtime depends on the battery and can vary widely. The best cordless pole saws are powered by 80-volt batteries or higher and are capable of delivering gas-powered capabilities for approximately half an hour. These tools are fairly quiet but usually have smaller cutting blades of up to 8 inches. Despite their limitations, cordless pole saws are the most popular among homeowners.

4. Cordless pole saw batteries

The most important thing to consider when buying a cordless pole saw is the battery. This component not only powers up your tool but is responsible to deliver sufficient energy to the motor, so it can provide quick and clean cuts.

NiCad batteries

Models vary widely. The pole saws powered by NiCad batteries are the cheapest in the range but also the less convenient, due to a shorter runtime and longer recharge time. These batteries can also self-discharge when not in use.

Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are undoubtedly more performing. They maintain the charge better and boost extended runtimes compared to the NiCad variants.

These batteries come in various sizes, from small 20-volt batteries on low and mid-range units to powerful 80+ volts batteries on the high-end models. Some brands even propose interchangeable batteries that can be used on a variety of power tools; their advantage is that you can simply replace a drained battery with a fully charged one for continuous operation.

5. What to look for in a pole saw?

  • Cutting bar length: Perhaps the most important feature to look for in a pole saw is the cutting bar length. This number determines the saw’s suitability to cut thick branches; most home use pole saws come with 8-inch cutting bars, although 10-inch is also a common size on the higher end units. But a longer bar isn’t necessarily better. A longer bar needs more power, therefore if you deal with mostly thin branches, a shorter bar could be a more appropriate choice.
  • Maximum extension: Refers to the maximum length the pole (or shaft) can reach. Most pole saws have a maximum extension between 8 and 12 feet, which means the saw can usually cut branches at heights up to 15 feet. This is possible because the maximum reach of a pole accounts for the user’s height too. However, to avoid confusion, make sure to check the max extension and not the max reach value, especially if you’re not very tall.
  • Portability: Most pole saws can be moved from one place to another, but some models are more portable. Manual, gas-powered, and battery-operated units can be used anywhere. Fiberglass and aluminum are the more lightweight, thus the most portable, materials. A cord extension adds some mobility to the electric pole saws, but these models are not portable in the true meaning of the word.
  • Multifunction: Some pole saws bring the versatility of two power tools in one, transforming from a pole saw into a traditional chainsaw. Other models come with a detachable pole that is compatible with a range of gardening power tools including edgers, blowers, string trimmers, and more. Since a tool head costs less than a complete tool, it makes sense to invest in a pole saw compatible with a range of accessories.
  • Automatic oiler: The cutting end of a pole saw is very similar to a traditional chainsaw. Thus, the chain needs periodical lubrication. This rule is valid even for the best pole saws, and that’s where an automatic oiler comes in handy. The oiler is designed to dispense a small amount of oil at preset intervals, ensuring the chain operates as smoothly as possible.
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