How to Pick the perfect Pole Saw and Safety Tips

Congratulations!  You have decided that it is time to buy a pole saw to help you take care of the lingering tree limbs that are starting to encroach upon your outdoor living space.  And rather than paying someone else to take them down, and cost you thousands of dollars, you know you can purchase a pole saw which only costs you a couple of hundred or less.  However, you might be wondering what features and benefits you should be looking for within a pole saw that will best meet your needs.

Listed here are some of the most important things you should look at when determining what kind of Pole Saw is best for you.


What Power Source should you use for your Pole Saw

There are three sources of power you can choose when it comes to powering your Pole Saw.

Battery Power – With this source of power, it is very easy to transport your pole saw around your yard and cut down limbs.  However, the thickness of the limbs is usually limited to 2” or less.  Plus, you will need to have at least a 2nd battery to make this an effective tool, especially if you plan on cutting more than 75 limbs during any one session.

Electric Power – This kind of power will allow you to cut the size of limbs that length of the bar will let you with no problem.  It provides a constant amount of power, so you know it will perform when needed.  However, you need to make sure you have at least one long extension power cord, or possibly two depending on how far the limbs are from your electrical outlet you have it plugged into.  Also, if you are ever out of power, you will not be able to use this pole saw.

Gas Power – For Pole Saws which are gas powered, this power will provide you with the performance you desire while being more mobile compared to an electric powered pole saw.  The gas powered pole saws will also cut limbs up to the width of your bar on the chainsaw.  However, the fuel for this pole saw is a mixture of a 2-cycle fuel and oil, which you have to mix yourself.  Also, if you do not have any stored at your house, you will need to go get some before you can use it, which can cause loss of time and frustration.

Bar and Chain Size

After you have decided which kind of power source you want, then you need to decide what is the maximum thickness of the tree limbs you need to cut down from the trees around your house.  If most of your limbs are 2” or less and you go with a battery powered pole saw, then you can go with a bar which is as short at 6”.  However, if you have limbs which are thicker, up to 8”-9”, then you will need a bar which is 10”.  However, because of how pole saws are constructed, you may not want anything longer than 10”, as it is harder to control the higher it becomes.

The weight of the Pole Saw will determine how high you can take the pole saw up into the air.  The more it weighs, the lower the height is that you can go.  The lighter the pole saw, the higher you need to go.  However, just know that the lighter the pole saw is usually equates to a smaller chain size.

Other Components to Consider

There are two other main components when it comes to deciding what you need within a pole saw.

The first is how long of a pole you want, as well as what kind of pole you need.  There are poles which are a standard size, and will only be the one size.  Most pole saws today come with a telescoping pole which will allow you to adjust the length of the pole to meet the height requirements you need.  The adjustment mechanisms on the poles do vary by manufacturers, so you need to ensure you can operate the adjustment mechanism on the pole saw you purchase.

Another feature to consider is the ability to buy a combo kit.  A combo kit allows you to take the chainsaw off the pole and allow you to use it for bushes and other things which need to be trimmed on the ground level.  If you need this component of a pole saw, it is available; if not, then you can choose to purchase it as just a pole saw.

Safety Tips

When it comes to safely using your pole saw, there are a few tips you should adhere to each time.


  • Gear – you should always wear the right PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when operating a pole saw. This includes gloves, wearing pants as well as closed toe shoes and safety glasses.  The safety glasses you were should be a wraparound pair of glasses, as you will have debris from the wood falling down all around you, and could easily get around some glasses which are not wrapped around.  You should also consider a dust mask, long sleeves, and a hard hat.  There is no reason to take any chances when it comes to ensuring your body is fully protected.
  • Survey your Surroundings – Before you cut any branches down, you need to take a look around your area and ensure there are no dangers. Are there any power or telecommunication lines nearby?  Is the ground wet or slippery?  You need to ensure your area is safe to work in before you turn the saw on.
  • Using your Pole Saw – when using the pole saw, you need to make certain you do not over exert yourself or the saw. You need to slowly and securely move the saw from one branch to the next.  It is best to cut any branches you want to cut at an angle of 45 degrees.  If you cannot safely reach it at this angle, then do not attempt to cut it, as it could put you in an awkward stance.  In addition, you should never attempt to overreach for any branch – if you have to get on your tip toes, then you need to find a better solution.  Your feet are the foundation of your stance, which needs to be solid to ensure the pole saw does not make any sudden jerks or movements that you cannot control.


When it comes to finding the right pole saw for you and your needs, you will have many different options to choose from.  Hopefully, this guide will help you narrow down your choices to find the right one for you and your needs because it is out there.

Philip Moffitt

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