The Best Pole Saws For Trimming and Pruning Tall Trees, Tested

Trim and prune the trees on your property safely and efficiently with a high-quality pole saw that best suits your needs.

Best Overall

The Echo eForce DPPF-2100 56V Power Pruner on a white background.

Echo eForce DPPF-2100 56V Power Pruner

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Worx WG349 20V 8” Power Share Pole Saw on a white background.

Worx WG349 20V 8” Power Share Pole Saw

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Best Battery-Powered

The DeWalt 20V MAX XR Cordless Pole Saw Kit on a white background.

DeWalt 20V MAX XR Cordless Pole Saw Kit

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In order to stay healthy and look their best, trees need occasional pruning, and perhaps the best way to tackle this project is with a pole saw. Pruning involves removing broken branches and thinning out dense limbs, and without the right tool, this can be a challenge. A pole saw, which is basically a chainsaw attached to a long pole that lets you reach up to cut branches, can be just the tool you need.

That being said, while pole saws can make pruning a whole lot easier, they’re not right for every situation. If you only need to prune thin twigs, vines, or foliage, a pole saw might be overkill. But if you plan to cut tree branches between 2 and 8 inches in diameter, a pole saw could be just the ticket.

To discover the best pole saws, we rounded up a list of the market’s top performers and then field-tested the standout models ourselves. Keep reading to learn what’s most important to consider when selecting a trimming tool for your la`ndscaping needs and to find out why we selected the following models as the best pole saws after performing our backyard tests.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Echo eForce DPPF-2100 56V Power Pruner
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Worx WG349 20V 8” Power Share Pole Saw
  3. BEST BATTERY-POWERED: DeWalt 20V MAX XR Cordless Pole Saw Kit
  4. BEST ELECTRIC: Sun Joe 6.5-Amp 8” Telescoping Electric Pole Saw
  5. BEST GAS: Echo X Series PPT-2620 Power Pruner Pole Saw
  6. BEST MANUAL: Fiskars Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner
  7. BEST LIGHT-DUTY: Greenworks 40V 8” Cordless Pole Saw & Trimmer
  8. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 10” Pole Saw Kit With Quik-Lok
  9. BEST ATTACHMENT-CAPABLE: Husqvarna 330iK Combi Switch + Pole Saw
  10. BEST COMBO: Ryobi 40V Pole Saw & Hedge Trimmer Combo Kit
The Best Pole Saw Option
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Pole Saws

We used the pole saws highlighted in this guide to remove dead limbs and trim branches that encroached on a backyard lawn. The area included a mix of green hardwoods and evergreens, as well as hardened dead branches. We did our best to push each tool to its operable limits in terms of working height, difficulty of reach or angle, and branch thickness.

To evaluate each tool, we considered the purported capabilities provided by the brand’s marketing materials and compared that with the tool’s actual performance. We assumed that most readers would not require an expensive pro-quality tool for daily use but would still be interested in dependable equipment capable of occasional long workdays. Therefore, in selecting our top picks, we prioritized a combination of functionality, durability, and value.

Testing Stats

  • Products tested: 12
  • Hours spent testing: 15
  • Tests performed: 4
  • Average price: $331.21

Our Top Picks

We tested a cross section of the many different types of pole saws on the market. As we selected models for testing, we considered bar length, reach, runtime, weight, power source, and price. In the product reviews ahead, we cover each pole saw’s specs, pros, and cons and provide an overview of how each performed. We hope you find this guide helpful as you choose the best pole saw to maintain the trees and hedges in your yard. 

Best Overall

Echo eForce DPPF-2100 56V Power Pruner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Cutting Power 5/5; Reach 4.5/5; Durability 5/5; Value 4.25/5 

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Length: 8 feet
  • Bar size: 10 inches


  • Powerful motor and 10-inch bar efficiently cut through branches up to 8 inches thick
  • Rigid pole for better control; provides enough reach to remove branches up to 12 feet high
  • Kit includes battery and charger, as well as a shoulder strap to reduce operator fatigue
  • Features a 2-speed motor and the best weight-to-power ratio of all saws in our test group


  • More expensive than the other battery-powered saws we tested
  • Shorter reach than some of the other saws; extension pole sold separately

Simple, strong, and easy to use, the Echo eForce Power Pruner is one of the most effective pole chainsaws for all-purpose landscape use. It comes equipped with a 10-inch guide bar and chain, a two-speed brushless motor, and enough length for users to reach branches up to 12 feet off the ground. The kit includes a 2.5-amp-hour (Ah) battery and charger as well as a shoulder strap to help support the weight of the tool.

The Echo battery-powered pole saw was our favorite for several reasons. First, the simplicity of a dedicated tool that runs on batteries makes it an easy choice. There is something to be said about attachment-capable powerheads that can run different tools, but for chainsaw work, this fixed configuration felt sturdier. Although it was not the longest of the pole saws we tested, we found that the 12-foot reach was adequate for most of the cuts we made.

The eForce is a versatile pole saw, suitable for everything from cultivating a backyard orchard to performing regular maintenance on a yard surrounded by encroaching trees. We cut more than 50 branches between 4 and 6 inches thick during testing, and the battery still showed a 50 percent charge afterward. The saw ran smoothly; it was easy to control; and it made nice, clean cuts. The only real drawback was the price, which was the second highest among the test group. But despite the cost, if our home were surrounded by woods, this would be our go-to tool for everyday use.

Get the Echo eForce pole saw at The Home Depot or Forestry Suppliers.

Best Bang for the Buck

Worx WG349 20V 8” Power Share Pole Saw

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Cutting Power 4/5; Reach 4.5/5; Durability 4/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Length: 9 feet 4 inches
  • Bar size: 8 inches


  • Lightweight but powerful; suitable for light- to heavy-duty use 
  • Comfortable to work with; doesn’t tend to cause strain to the user 
  • Long reach helps users maneuver in hard-to-reach places
  • Compact size for ease of storage 


  • Relatively short runtime compared to similar pole saws available
  • Small bar oil reservoir may not be suitable for some users’ preferences 
  • In testing, clamp didn’t perfectly secure the telescoping pole, allowing it to slip from the locked position

This cordless pole saw is ideal for those with small to mid-size yards who don’t need the heavy-duty brawn of gas pole saws. Powerful enough to trim branches up to 6.5 inches in diameter, it boasts a telescoping pole that gives users a maximum working height of 13 feet. 

This battery-powered pole saw weighs 8 pounds and has an automatic chain tensioner and a chain lube system. It’s also budget-friendly. However, one of the best features of this tool is the three-position head, which allows the user to choose between 0 degrees, 15 degrees, or 30 degrees to help trim hard-to-reach branches. 

This was the lightest noncorded pole saw we tested, and it was only a pound heavier than the lightest overall. The 20-volt (V) battery delivers a surprising amount of power—enough to cut all of the branches we tried. For occasional use on a branch or two, this tool makes a lot of sense.

Get the Worx pole saw at Amazon or Target.

Best Battery-Powered

DeWalt 20V MAX XR Cordless Pole Saw Kit

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Cutting Power 4/5; Reach 4/5; Durability 4.5/5; Value 4.25/5

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Length: 10 feet 3 inches
  • Bar size: 8 inches


  • Included 3-foot extension lets users choose between 2 operating lengths
  • Comes with a 20V XR battery that can also be used with dozens of other DeWalt tools
  • Durable in-line motor delivers outstanding cutting power in a more compact package


  • Significant play in the pole connections makes the tool feel less steady

DeWalt was a pioneer in the cordless electric power tool revolution decades ago, and its battery-powered construction tools continue to lead the industry. The 20V MAX XR cordless pole saw kit is part of DeWalt’s more recent move into the battery-powered outdoor tool market. Equipped with an efficient brushless motor and an 8-inch bar and chain, this lightweight pole saw helps users remove small and mid-size branches up to 15 feet from the ground.

The kit we tested included a 4Ah battery that can power through as many as 96 cuts per charge. A handy 3-foot extension segment gives operators the choice of either a 9-foot or 12-foot configuration. 

This sturdily built saw was extremely easy to use. We especially liked the angled bar and in-line motor on this smaller pole saw. The angle of the chainsaw bar allowed the chain to engage branches for level top-down cuts rather than requiring us to angle it from the side. This prevented the bar from being pinched. The in-line motor contributed to the tool’s well-balanced design, minimizing bulkiness and making it easier to handle at extended heights.

We didn’t like the wobbly joints in the pole. They didn’t cause a problem with the electrical connection, but the movement in the joints was noticeable, even when the connections were secured as tightly as possible.

Get the DeWalt pole saw at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Electric

Sun Joe 6.5-Amp 8” Telescoping Electric Pole Saw

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Cutting Power 4.5/5; Reach 4/5; Durability 4/5; Value 4.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Length: 8 feet 8 inches
  • Bar size: 8 inches


  • Plug-and-play convenience for quick, easy use 
  • High-quality bar and chain sourced from the renowned Oregon brand offers long-term durability
  • Comfortable for occasional extended use during DIY projects 


  • Only for use on smaller branches
  • Fixed straight bar does not cut directly downward
  • Small bar oil reservoir may not meet some users’ needs 

Weighing just 7 pounds, Sun Joe’s lightweight corded electric pole saw is a great option if the pole saw needs to be used infrequently but for extended times. You won’t need to wait for a battery to recharge, nor will you have to make a trip to the gas station for fuel, as this corded electric tool can run as long as there is an active electrical connection. However, movement is limited by the length of the extension cord, so it’s a good idea to invest in a cord that can reach any trees or hedges in the yard. 

This pole saw has a telescoping pole that can extend more than 8 feet, giving the user an impressive maximum working height. With the 8-inch cutting bar length, it can cut through branches up to 7.5 inches thick, and the pole saw automatically lubricates itself to help keep the saw blade in good working order.

We liked the plug-and-play convenience, particularly not having to worry about mixing fuel or charging a battery. This saw is lightweight and well balanced, yet it offers enough power to cut through branches of small to medium thickness. It’s a practical and budget-friendly choice for occasional use.

Get the Sun Joe electric saw at Amazon or Target.

Best Gas

Echo X Series PPT-2620 Power Pruner Pole Saw

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.3/5; Cutting Power 5/5; Reach 5/5; Durability 5/5; Value 4.3/5

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Length: 9 feet collapsed, 13 feet extended
  • Bar size: 12 inches


  • 2-cycle engine drives stronger cutting power with almost no downtime
  • 12-inch bar and chain can cut through branches up to 10 inches thick
  • Telescoping pole lets the operator reach branches up to 15 feet from the ground
  • Professional-grade pole saw is durably constructed for frequent extended use


  • Heavy components make this saw more physically demanding to operate
  • Gas engine requires more maintenance and makes more noise than electric

For those who need a powerful pole chainsaw for frequent extended use, a gas-powered option might be the best choice. The Echo PPT-2620 is one of the best gas-powered pole saws out there thanks to its excellent combination of easy starting, powerful cutting ability, high reach, and easy adjustability.

The Echo X series pole saw comes with a telescoping pole, a 12-inch bar, and a chain to easily remove large branches up to 15 feet above ground level. It also features a lightweight, commercial-grade 25.4 cubic centimeter (cc) engine that boasts less vibration, more horsepower, and better fuel efficiency than other engines in its class. 

In our tests, the Echo pole saw started on the second pull every time. The engine ran smoothly, and the pole and cutting bar assembly felt more steady and secure than any of the other saws while in use. There was zero slippage in the telescoping pole, and the chain moved and cut very smoothly.

The included shoulder strap helped to make the weight more bearable, but there is no denying that this 17-pound pole saw required more strength and endurance on the part of the operator. We loved using this saw for big branch removal, but we were equally happy to be finished with it.

Get the Echo X Series pole saw at The Home Depot, Northern Tool + Equipment, or Forestry Suppliers.

Best Manual

Fiskars Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Cutting Power 4/5; Reach 4.5/5; Durability 5/5; Value 4.3/5

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Length: 7 feet collapsed, 14 feet extended
  • Bar size: 15 inches


  • Manually powered pole saw eliminates the need for gasoline, batteries, and power cords
  • Includes a lopper blade for thin branches and a razor tooth blade for thicker ones
  • Telescoping pole has an oval-shaped profile that reduces flex and slippage
  • Significant cost savings compared to any other type of pole saw


  • Cuts slower than powered pole saws and requires more range of motion

For occasional branch removal around the yard and garden, don’t sleep on manual pole saws. Requiring no fuel or electricity, this one from Fiskars is lightweight, compact, affordable, and easy to use and maintain.

This pole saw has a built-in lopper for clean, easy removal of smaller branches up to 1⅛ inches thick and a razor-sharp 15-inch pruning saw blade capable of cutting through limbs up to 8 inches thick. The pole extends from 7 to 14 feet long. The oval profile of the pole is designed to minimize flex, improving power transfer from the operator to the blade when sawing through high branches.

Though the market seems to have a powered tool for every possible task, sometimes that’s not necessary. We really liked the simplicity of this manually powered tool. It did the job perfectly at a much lower price than powered pole saws. The saw blade was incredibly sharp with a slight incurve to keep it in contact with the wood throughout the saw stroke. It cut branches up to 6 inches thick almost as quickly as the electric pole saws. We were able to cut through branches up to 8 inches thick and might have been able to go a bit thicker if needed, but the going was slower with these thicker branches.

We did note a bit more difficulty with higher branches, as the longer reach increased pole flex, which sucked up some of our cutting energy. The oval pole profile indeed helped minimize flex (compared to other round-profile manual pole saws we have used), but it was still an issue. And as for the saw’s durability, we liked that the blade on this saw is replaceable.

Get the Fiskars pole saw at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Best Light-Duty

Greenworks 40V 8” Cordless Pole Saw & Trimmer

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Cutting Power 4/5; Reach 4/5; Durability 4.5/5; Value 4.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 9.3 pounds
  • Length: 8 feet 11 inches
  • Bar size: 8 inches


  • Ample power and runtime for a variety of cutting tasks
  • Angled bar provides better leverage while cutting wood and branches 
  • Lightweight yet strong construction minimizes user strain
  • Plenty of reach for high branches; easy to maneuver


  • Limited to smaller branch diameters; may not be suitable for heavy-duty cutting 
  • Small bar oil reservoir may not be ideal for some users’ preferences 
  • Battery tends to stick in the housing

With 40V of power, the Greenworks cordless pole saw offers top-notch cutting capabilities in a convenient battery-operated saw. It’s particularly easy to handle thanks to its light weight of 9.3 pounds and the inclusion of reduced vibration technology. The cordless pole saw comes with a battery and a charger, and rather than having to deal with the pull cords on gas pole saws, this one can be started instantly with a simple push-button control.

Thanks to its generous pole length, the pole saw is great for reaching those high-up branches. Its telescoping bar extends to a nearly 9-foot working height; combined with its 8-inch cutting bar, this enables users to cut through out-of-reach branches up to about 6 inches in diameter. This pole saw is available as a stand-alone tool or as a multi-tool kit with a power hedge-trimmer attachment. The same 40V powerhead and battery run both attachments, saving space in the garage.

We liked the combination of convenience, weight, and reach that this saw offered. The 40V battery delivers plenty of power to cut through even hardened dead branches. Plus, the bar is mounted at a slight angle to the handle, making it safer and easier to cut branches in a downward direction when standing back away from the line of fall.

Read our full review: Greenworks 40V 8” Cordless Pole Saw & Trimmer

Get the Greenworks pole saw at Amazon.

Best Heavy-Duty

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 10” Pole Saw Kit With Quik-Lok

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Cutting Power 4.5/5; Reach 5/5; Durability 4.5/5; Value 4.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Length: 10 feet 5 inches
  • Bar size: 10 inches


  • Rugged construction designed to withstand frequent use
  • Brushless electric motor and 10-inch bar suitable for branches up to 9 inches thick
  • Included 36-inch extension pole allows users to choose between 7-foot and 10-foot tool lengths
  • 18V 8Ah battery capable of powering up to 150 cuts per charge


  • One of the most expensive battery-powered pole saws we tested

Whether you’re a professional landscaper or a large property owner with heavy tree cover, a heavy-duty battery-powered pole saw might be the upgrade you need. Milwaukee’s M18 battery-powered pole saw delivers ample cutting power while reducing noise, fuel consumption, and emissions. 

The Milwaukee pole saw kit features a brushless power head, a 10-inch pole saw cutting head attachment, and a 36-inch extension pole. It also includes an 18V 8Ah battery that can make up to 150 cuts per charge. When assembled, the saw weighs 16 pounds, making it the second heaviest saw in our test group, behind only the gas-powered saw. The included shoulder strap helps distribute the weight and improve control. The kit also includes a rapid battery charger that replenishes the battery in just under 2 hours.

In our tests, the Milwaukee pole saw performed a half-step behind the gas-powered Echo X Series saw, but it was way ahead of the other battery-powered options. It cut through 6-inch branches super fast and easily powered through larger branches up to 8 inches. Chain acceleration was immediate and the cuts were clean. The pole was also the most secure of any multisection pole we tested, even with the slightly heavier cutting head at the top. But this hard-working performance comes at a steeper price that only the most frequent users might be able to justify.

Get the Milwaukee pole saw at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot (extension pole not included).

Best Attachment-Capable

Husqvarna 330iK Combi Switch + Pole Saw

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Cutting Power 4.8/5; Reach 4.5/5; Durability 4.5/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Length: 7 feet 9 inches
  • Bar size: 12 inches


  • Trims branches up to 8 inches thick and 12 feet above the ground
  • 10-inch bar and premium Husqvarna X-Cut saw chain for faster, smoother cuts
  • 36V powerhead also works with hedge trimmer, string trimmer, and edger attachments
  • Powerhead attachments can be interchanged quickly and easily


  • Optional 36-inch extension pole not included with purchase

Attachment-capable powerheads save space and cut costs, making them ideal for residential properties. The Husqvarna 330iK Combi Switch is one of the best such tools we’ve tested. It boasts a powerful and efficient brushless motor that is powered by a long-lasting 36V 4Ah rechargeable battery. We tested it with the 10-inch pole saw attachment.

When assembled, the Combi Switch powerhead and pole saw attachment measure just over 8 feet overall, giving the user a reach of approximately 12 feet. At 13 pounds, it was one of the heavier saws we tested, but it was easily manageable thanks to the support of the included shoulder strap. The attachment was well secured, making the pole rigid enough for secure blade placement and cutting leverage. 

The standout characteristic of this saw was its buttery-smooth cutting action. Compared to the less expensive pole saws we tested, Husqvarna’s proprietary saw chain made faster, cleaner cuts with less vibration. This made for a much more comfortable and satisfying work experience.

If anything was lacking in this tool, it was the reach of the pole. The height was pretty good for most basic tree and shrub care, but this saw could have given the heavy-duty Milwaukee model a run for its money had it come with the optional extension pole. 

Get the Husqvarna pole saw at Amazon or Tractor Supply Co.

Best Combo

Ryobi 40V Pole Saw & Hedge Trimmer Combo Kit

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Cutting Power 4.5/5; Reach 4/5; Durability 4.5/5; Value 4.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Length: 9 feet
  • Bar size: 10 inches


  • Budget-friendly price for a highly capable set of power pruning tools
  • Cutting power and speed comparable to gas, without the noise and fuel consumption
  • Fast and easy connection system simplifies switching between attachments


  • Pole saw produced much more handle vibration than the other models we tested

If you need an affordable startup kit for general landscape maintenance, a powerhead and multi-attachment tool combo might make sense. The Ryobi 40V pole saw and hedge trimmer combo kit is ideal for general tree and shrub maintenance, and it won’t break the bank. The kit includes Ryobi’s Expand-It 40V powerhead, a 10-inch cordless pole saw attachment, and an 18-inch pole hedge trimmer attachment, along with the 40V 2Ah battery and charger.

The pole saw setup offers a pretty good reach. The 9-foot overall length allows most users to reach branches 12 feet above ground. At about 14 pounds, it’s a little heavier than most of the other light-duty saws in the group. Possibly the best attribute of this pole saw is its strong cutting power, which had no trouble slicing through limbs up to 9 inches thick. It’s also priced lower than several of the other stand-alone pole saws.

On the downside, this tool felt a bit less refined than most of the others in the group. The handle vibrated a lot, making it less comfortable to operate. It was also the loudest electric pole saw of the group. The hedge trimmer worked similarly, with excellent cutting force but lots of noise and vibration. The low cost still makes it a good option, but it is probably best for infrequent or short-duration use.

Get the Ryobi pole saw at The Home Depot.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Pole Saw

Not all pole saws are created equal. Some are geared toward DIYers, while others are better suited for professionals. Consider the following factors when shopping.

Types of Pole Saws

Pole saw power options include corded electric, battery operated, and gas-powered. Not only does the type of power affect the cost of the saw, but it also factors into its intended use. Get to know these three types of pole saws better to find the right pole for your landscaping needs.

Corded Electric

Corded electric pole saws are an affordable option for users with small yards. But since these saws must connect to a power outlet, users are restricted in how far they can trim; to extend their range, users must rely on extension cords. Electric pole saws are quieter than gas-powered pole saws, but don’t expect silent operation—all pole saws make noise. 

Electric pole saws aren’t as powerful as gas-powered models. The power they produce is measured in amperes (amps), and most range from 6 to 10 amps, which is powerful enough to cut branches from 2 to 5 inches in diameter.

Battery Operated

Cordless pole saws are powered by rechargeable batteries. They’re a good choice for users who don’t want to be restricted by the length of an extension cord while working on large or midsize yards. These pole saws are ideal for branches 3 to 8 inches in diameter and are quieter than their gas-powered counterparts. 

The power capability of a cordless pole saw is indicated by volts, which is a reflection of the battery’s electrical potential. Cordless pole saw batteries typically range from 40V to 80V. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the saw. Battery-operated pole saws are typically more expensive than their corded counterparts.


If there are many trees to trim and you don’t mind the noise, a gas-powered pole saw is a great option. Gas pole saws are measured by engine size in cubic centimeters and range from 20cc to 40cc. The larger the engine, the more powerful the saw. 

Professionals often use commercial-grade gas-powered pole saws because they can operate for hours and cut through thick branches, though extra-thick branches larger than 12 inches in diameter are usually cut with heavy-duty chainsaws

The increased power of a gas pole saw comes with a higher price and more maintenance requirements. Unlike electric tools, gas-powered saws require oil changes and fuel tank refills.

Cutting Bar Length

The cutting bar on a pole saw determines the maximum branch diameter that can be cut. Bar lengths range from 6 to 12 inches, with 8 inches being the most common. Gas-powered pole saws feature the longest cutting bars (usually between 10 and 12 inches), which is one reason they’re better equipped for tougher jobs.

The standard rule of thumb is that the cutting bar should be at least 2 inches longer than the diameter of the branch. For example, an 8-inch bar is needed to cut a branch 6 inches in diameter.

Working Height

A pole saw’s “working height” often appears on the packaging but doesn’t indicate the actual length of the pole; rather, it refers to the length of the pole plus an arm length. Manufacturers typically estimate 2 to 3 feet for arm length, so if the pole saw claims to have a 10-foot working height, the pole saw will likely measure 7 to 8 feet long from end to tip.

Most pole saws max out at a 10-foot to 12-foot working height; at greater heights, the tool can become difficult to control safely, especially in windy conditions. Many models include telescoping poles that allow length adjustment. A telescoping pole makes it easier to quickly switch between trimming the hedge at ground level and cutting a tree branch 6 feet overhead.


Both cordless and gas pole saws rely on fuel that drains while the tool is running. Gas pole saws eventually need to have the gas tank refilled when they run out. Typical runtime per tank ranges from 2 to 4 hours. However, when there is spare gas available nearby, refilling the gas tank doesn’t take long.

Cordless pole saws operate on batteries that typically have a runtime between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the power output and the specific battery. Once the battery runs out, it typically takes about an hour to recharge. It’s a good idea to have a spare battery so that one can always be ready to use.


It’s important to remember that these tools aren’t supported by anything except the user, so the entire weight of the tool needs to be properly held, balanced, and controlled, even when a telescoping pole is at its full length. If that isn’t possible for the specific user, then the tool is too heavy.

Gas pole saws have powerful engines, but the increased power also adds weight. Due to the heavy motors, they typically weigh between 20 and 25 pounds. Cordless pole saws weigh less than gas pole saws, but they can still weigh about 15 to 20 pounds. 

The lightest option for a pole saw is a corded electric model. They don’t require a battery nor the components needed to equip and transfer battery power to a motor, so electric pole saws usually weigh less than 15 pounds. 


Safety is of the utmost importance when operating a powerful cutting tool like a pole saw. Take some time to look through the manual to learn how to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for use. Also, keep in mind that while the pole saw may feel comfortable when used at ground level on a hedge, once the pole is extended, the tool becomes more difficult to hold, maneuver, and control.

Look for pole saws that are equipped with easy-to-grip handles and telescoping poles for better control over the saw. If the current height is too difficult to manage, a telescoping pole can be shortened to help the user regain control. Saw guards are also helpful in protecting the user (as well as the saw blade) when the pole saw isn’t in use. 

Additional Features

Manufacturers continually strive to make pole saws more comfortable and easier to operate. Some saws have anti-vibration features and nonslip grips, and many come with a self-oiling chain. If the chain is not self-oiling, the user will have to oil it by hand, a process that should be detailed in the owner’s manual.

Some pole saws feature a cutting head that can be detached from the end of the pole for use as a handheld chainsaw. This can be helpful if you want to cut a branch into smaller pieces after felling it for firewood.


Pole saws are potentially dangerous tools that should be used only by those who are confident in operating them and who have taken proper safety precautions, like wearing personal protective equipment. To learn more about how these tools can be used, take a look at the answers to commonly asked questions below.

Q. Can you use a pole saw as a chainsaw?

A pole saw is intended to cut difficult-to-reach branches, allowing the user to trim trees, hedges, and other foliage. While the saw effectively cuts through wood, it’s not large enough to fully replace a chainsaw. A chainsaw has the power and size to cut through the trunk of a tree, while a pole saw is best used for tree trimming. 

Q. Can you trim hedges with a pole saw?

These versatile tools can help users control the size of large hedges by removing thick branches. However, a pole saw cannot replace hedge-trimming shears, which are used to trim thin branch tips. 

Q. How big of a limb can I cut with a pole saw?

Depending on the size of the saw and the power potential of the tool, pole saws can be used to cut branches from 1 to 9 inches in size. The maximum branch thickness for a pole chainsaw is typically 1 to 2 inches less than the bar length.

Q. Can a pole saw get wet?

While most pole saws have some resistance to water, it isn’t a good idea to get the pole saw wet because the water can damage the electric components of the tool or cause rusting and corrosion on the saw. There is no harm in using a pole saw to cut through wet wood—just make sure to properly clean the saw after use so that moisture doesn’t cling to the metal and cause rusting.

Q. Is it safe to use a pole saw on a ladder?

A pole saw should never be used while standing on a ladder.

Meet the Tester

Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with a background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn care products, and other outdoor-living goods.

Additional research provided by Glenda Taylor and Timothy Dale.

Mark Wolfe Avatar

Mark Wolfe

Staff Writer

Mark Wolfe is a second-career freelance writer based in Georgia and has an extensive background in the horticulture industry. Since 2020, he has contributed numerous gardening and home improvement articles to, along with a variety of consumer product reviews.