The Greenworks 40V Pole Saw Cuts High Branches With No Ladder Required

From trimming trees to removing high branches from the safety of the ground, this battery-powered pole chainsaw could be a great option for some shoppers.
Mark Wolfe Avatar
The Greenworks 40V cordless pole saw in action trimming a tree branch

Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

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If you’ve ever considered climbing a ladder to remove a branch with a chainsaw, then you might need a pole saw. Chainsaws require two hands for safe operation, while safe ladder use calls for three points of contact with the ladder and a balanced stance. That requires having at least one hand free for gripping the ladder. If the math doesn’t add up, it could lead to severe injury—or worse. A battery-powered pole chainsaw, such as the Greenworks 40-volt (V) 8-inch cordless pole saw, lets you remove high branches from the safety of the ground without the noise and inconvenience associated with gas-powered equipment.

I spent an afternoon recently testing pole saws in an overgrown forest edge along my backyard, and the Greenworks 40V pole saw emerged as a standout, taking the top overall spot in our lineup of the best pole saws. I discovered some great reasons to keep it around, and a couple of reasons some users might want to consider a different option instead. Keep reading for the details.

Greenworks 40V 8-Inch Cordless Pole Saw: At a Glance

A person using the Greenworks 40V cordless pole saw to trim a high tree branch
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Rating: 8.3/10


  • Power source: 40V 2 amp hour (Ah) rechargeable battery
  • Cut capacity: Branches up to 7 inches in diameter
  • Reach: 11 feet


  • Battery-powered saw eliminates the need for extension cords, mixed gas, and gas engine maintenance
  • Extended reach can help remove branches 11 feet or higher
  • 8-inch bar and chain
  • No-slip cushioned grip and knuckle guard add to safety


  • Safety switch and trigger configurations are awkward to use
  • There is no easy way to undercut branches before the downward cut

Get the Greenworks 40V 8-inch cordless pole saw at:

What is the Greenworks 40V pole saw?

If you’re looking for a convenient tool to maintain shade trees or fruit trees on your property, then the Greenworks 40V 8-inch cordless pole saw could be a smart investment. Powered by a 40V 2Ah lithium battery, it offers an extended reach to safely and conveniently remove high branches without a ladder, extension cord, or liquid fuel.

The business end of this pole saw operates like other chainsaws. It features an 8-inch bar and chain with automatic oiler along with a screw-operated tensioning system that is accessed at the front of the bar-mount housing. Just loosen the flip-up blade-mounting nut and use a screwdriver to adjust the tension screw. The bar and chain oil reservoir holds plenty of oil to keep the saw lubricated through a full battery cycle.

At the other end of the tool, the battery clicks into a retainer slot at the rear of the handle. The safety-trigger mechanism includes a sliding thumb switch that the user must activate before the grip switch powers the saw blade. A molded knuckle guard arches over the trigger area, and a rubber foregrip on the lower section of the pole prevents sweaty hands from slipping.

The model I tested is one of the last of its kind. In the updated model, the handle configuration appears to be the big change: the knuckle guard has been removed. The sliding safety switch was replaced with an interlock switch on the back of the grip, and an index finger–operated trigger replaced the grip switch.

In addition to the main saw components, the kit included a pole extender, a blade cover, the battery, and a charger. The saw can be assembled with or without the extender as needed for a total length of either 6.5 feet or 9 feet. Although the label claims that the saw reaches 11 feet high, the actual reach of the saw depends on the user’s height and comfort level. I am a little over 6 feet tall and was able to comfortably reach branches up to 14 feet off the ground with the pole extender in place.

A close-up of the battery on the Greenworks 40V cordless pole saw
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Is the Greenworks 40V pole saw easy to use?

After unpacking the Greenworks 40V pole saw, I assembled the parts, charged the battery, filled the bar oil reservoir, and adjusted the chain tension. The pole was easy to assemble by basically plugging one end into the other and securing both ends with the heavy-duty nylon twist connectors. The egg-shaped pole profile ensures that the blade and battery angles offset in the correct directions to counterbalance one another. The battery slid and clicked into the base.

I tested the saw mostly on hardwood branches ranging from 2 to 7 inches in diameter that were located between 6 and 14 feet off the ground. I started with the saw set up in the shorter configuration for the lower branches, then installed the extender for the taller branches. The shorter configuration made it easier to cut horizontally across the tops of lower branches, allowing them to fall without twisting and pinching the blade. It was also easier to maneuver around low-hanging foliage without the pole extender in place.

The safety switch/trigger operation was a bit awkward, and the combined motion of sliding the thumb switch forward while squeezing the trigger with my fingers felt unnatural and less secure than using a conventional trigger. But the rubber overmolded handle and foam pole grip felt comfortable. I also noticed a loop in the handle where a shoulder strap could be connected. This would be helpful for long work days, but the kit didn’t come with a strap.

A close-up of the power and safety switches on the Greenworks 40V cordless pole saw
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Is the Greenworks 40V pole saw good for trimming trees?

The Greenworks 40V 8-inch cordless pole saw was a very effective tool for trimming trees. It offered plenty of torque and chain speed to remove branches up to 7 inches in diameter. The fixed 45-degree angle of the cutting head allowed me to stand safely away from the branch while cutting and still make horizontal cuts down through the branch. Horizontal cuts let the branches hinge downward and fall without twisting or pinching the saw blade.

The only thing I didn’t like about this saw was the roughness of the cuts. There was no easy way to undercut branches to prevent the bark from tearing. My attempts mostly led to the chain tearing the bark as it skipped off the surface. Unfortunately, many of my branch nubs ended up with ragged bark lines on the bottom edge.

I worked for 2 hours until the battery was depleted. Afterward, I counted 39 cuts ranging from 2 to 7 inches in diameter, with the average being about 4 inches in diameter. Overall, this is a great saw for basic tree trimming if you need to elevate a canopy or to keep branches from growing toward the house.

Someone removing the blade guard on the Greenworks 40V cordless pole saw
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Should you buy the Greenworks 40V pole saw?

I spent a couple of hours testing the Greenworks 40V 8-inch cordless pole saw along a wooded edge on my property. I liked that it could be configured in two different lengths for lower or higher branches. It was fast and easy to assemble, easy to use, and ran for a surprisingly long time per charge. When it came to actual cutting ability, I appreciated the angled cutting head, while the blade speed and torque were more than sufficient for all of the hardwood branches I was working on. For general homeowner use I could find no faults. However, some users might.

Those who regularly trim hundreds of branches at a time might find that this saw fails to provide adequate runtime. For those situations, users can consider adding a second battery to the mix for up to maybe 100 cuts per work session; otherwise a corded or gas-powered saw may be more suitable. On the other hand, those who trim only a handful of branches per year might be better off with a manual pole saw. But for the convenience of a reliable battery-powered tool, the Greenworks 40V pole saw delivers.

Where to Buy the Greenworks 40V 8-Inch Cordless Pole Saw

Get the Greenworks 40V 8-inch cordless pole saw at:

Meet the Tester

Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with an extensive 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.

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.