Tree Pruning is Not Just For Lumberjacks.
No matter what time of year, there’ll be a time more often than not, a few branches need cutting, or a storm has caused some damage which needs to be cleared or tidied.
When faced with that sort of scenario, there are three choices open to us.
i) Call in a professional. This will usually involve a lot of whistling and shaking of heads, and a hefty bill.
ii) A balancing act involving a chainsaw or saws and a ladder. More at home as a circus act, and a lot more dangerous.
iii) Time to purchase a pole saw. The cheapest, quickest, taking into consideration option (ii), safest and best way to go.
This review will be looking at 5 models of electric pole saws, both corded and battery powered, to ascertain which one is actually the best.
The 5 contenders are:
♢ Black and Decker Pole saw 800W
♢ Ryobi RPP 750S Pole Pruner.
♢ Greenworks Tools 2000107 Pole saw
♢The Netta 710W Corded Pole Saw.
♢ The Salem “Master” Cordless pole Saw
Let’s see how they fare:
The Sleek Black and Orange Lines of The Black and Decker Pole Saw.
Strictly speaking a pole saw can be roughly described as a “chain saw on a stick”.
However, that description does Black & Decker’s pole saw a disservice. It is sleek with smooth lines and it looks as if it wants to be used.
There is a little bit of assembly work to do, which will take no more than 15 or so minutes at the very most. A tool is provided to do all the tightening. The instructions are very basic and could have been a little better presented.
The assembly work is just putting the chain and cutting bar together and ensuring that its properly lubricated and tensioned before use.
The Black & Decker pole saw is made up of a handle, an extendable pole (can extend up to 2.7 metres), then the 800W motor and finally the cutting bar and chain mounted within a pivot head.
Weighing in at 4.5kg, this pole saw by its very nature will not that well balanced, with most of its weight being concentrated at the upper end of the pole. Prolonged use will cause fatigue.
The pivot head has 3 settings of 0°, 15° and 30°, these determine the angle of cut and are selected before use. The adjustmet lever is designed to be used with gloved hands so no tools are necessary.
Before every use ensure that the oil tank is full so that the chain can self lubricate while it’s sawing. The oil tank is found in the pivot head and has a small window to show oil level. Its has a 60 ml capacity.
Once assembled and oil added, the Black and Decker pole saw is ready to use. With its 25 cm ( 10 inches) bar and chain speed of 11 m/s this 800W pole saw will cut through branches up to 19cms (7 inches) thick, a pretty substantial piece of wood!
Always ensure that sawing happens with the branch toward the rear end of the bar, to avoid “kickbacks” from happening. In the event of a “kickback” happening the chain brake immediately comes in and stops the chain in 0.015 seconds….almost instantly.
While safety at the other end of the pole hasn’t been fogotten about. The trigger has a 2 step safety catch to prevent any accidental starting.
The pole saw has a thick, well insulated rubberised 2 metre power cable. As per all corded outdoor appliances the Black and Decker pole saw needs to have an extension cable.
Once used the bar guard can be slid over the pole saw and put safely away.
The 800W pole saw comes with a 2 year warranty for that all important peace of mind.
With its simple assembly and very simple use, this corded electric pole chainsaw is effective and very definitely value for money.
■ Simple assembly, taking no more than 15 or so minutes.
■ 800W motor provides a chain speed of 11m/s . Enough power to cut through very thick branches.
■ The 24 cm (10 inches) chain is automatically lubricated for better cutting and longer chain life.
■ A pivot head. so the best cutting angle can be chosen for various situations.
■ An almost instantaneous chain brake which stops the chain in 0.015 seconds. Thus avoiding any serious injuries in case of a “kickback” occuring.
■ A 2 step safety catch to avoid accidental starting.
■ A thick well insulated power cord to the 800W motor is used.
■ Covered by a 2 year warranty.
■ A Chain bar cover included.
■ Oil reservoir has a very small capacity of only 60 ml.
■ Power cord woefully short. Vital to have an extension cable.
■ Lubricating oil must be bought seperately.
The Hard to Lose Ryobi RPP 750S Pole Pruner.
As one owner described the Ryobi RPP 750s, “this electric tree trimmer is easy to find and hard to lose”. They’re right, the day glow green makes it very hard to lose track of, which in the world of chain saws is no bad thing.
The RPP 750s is a fixed head power corded electric pole saw with a telescopic extension capable of reaching a height of 2.7m (9 feet).
The Ryobi RPP 750s has a 21 cms (8 inches) cutting bar and chain with a chain speed of 10 m/s driven by a 750W motor.
While not sounding that impressive, but if it’sput it into practical terms, this Ryobi electric pole saw is able to cut through 19cms (7 inches) tree branches more than 10 feet above the ground, now thst sounds imptessive!
However, it must be stressed that to use a pole saw above shoulder height causes fatigue very quickly. Due to the nature of their design, even the best pole saws are not very well balanced.
With a weight of 3.8kg this Ryobi pole saw is one of the lighter pole saws on test.
The cutting bar for the Ryobi RPP 750s must be continually lubricated to optimize not only cutting but also to prolong the cutting chain’s life.
Before cutting ensure the 80 ml oil reservoir is full. It may be necessary to check not only the oil level but also the tension of the cutting chain from time to time during the job in hand.
While the manual retensioning of the chain is tool-less, the chain itself is automatically oiled.
Safety with all pole saws, whether they be electric or petrol / gas powered pole saws is absolutely paramount.
The Ryobi RPP 750s takes care of safety at both ends of the pole! To avoid accidental starting at the base of the pole there is a 2 step safety catch.
While at the so called business end there is a chain brake to immediately stop the chain in its tracks if a “kickback” should ever occur, immediately reducing any risk of a major accident or injury.
Just like petrol/gas powered pole saws, electric pole saws have vibration, but not quite as severe, however, it will still lead to vibration fatigue. Ryobi has designed its base handle ergonomically with soft grip to minimize the effects of vibration.
The Ryobi RPP 750s comes with a 3 year warranty.
This Ryobi pole saw also includes a bar cover for chain protection and storage.
■ Able to reach a height of 2.7metres (9 feet).
■ 20cm blade able to saw through 19cms (7 inches) tree branches.
■ Tool-less tensioning of chain.
■ Automatically self lubricating of chain.
■ 3 year warranty.
■ Guide bar cover included.
■ 2 step safety catch avoids accidental starting.
■ Instantaneous chain brake to minimize risk of serious injuries occuring if a “kickback” occurs.
■ Chain speed of 10 m/s. Affects cutting ability of the chain.
■ Vibration at 3.1m/s/s despite soft grip ergonomics.
■ Lubricating oil initially bought seperately.
■ Extremely short power cord making an extension cable essential.
The Greenworks Tools 2000107 0 Model.
The Greenworks Tools 2000107 is a battery powered pole saw.
The 2000107 package includes 1x 24V Lithium -ion battery and its charger.
With its ability to reach a height of 2.44 metres (8.0 feet) and its quick charge Lithium-ion battery, this is a truly portable electric pole saw and whose operation is limited by the battery life
This Greenworks saw has a fixed head in which sits an inline motor that allows clear line of sight of the cutting chain.
The motor drives a 20cm (8 inch) chain with the power to cut 17cms (7 inches) branches.
The cutting chain is self lubricating and a small bottle of bar and chain oil is provided. Ensure that before use, the oil reservoir is filled with oil so the chain stays lubricated.
During pruning it will be necessary to check the tension of the chain, as cutting chains loosen with use. Tensioning the chain is extremely easy and tool free on the 2000107.
While full extension of the saw is 2.44 metres (8 feet), the 3 part telescopic shaft reduces down to just 1.50metres (4.92 feet) making the Greenworks Tools 2000107 one of the more compact pole chainsaws on review.
As far as safety is concerned the Greenworks 2000107 has a 2 stage safety catch to prevent unscheduled starts, but nothing to stop the chain or to prevent the chain from disengaging from the bar. This would and should be considered as a design flaw.
The Greenworks Tools 2000107 pole chain saw is a very heavy 6.62 kg. As far as pole saws are concerned this is gargantuan.
Given the nature of how unbalanced pole saws are generally, to expect a user to hold 6.62 kg out at arms length with part of the weight being at the other end of a 2 metre pole is at best, mind boggling!
The only offer of support to the very long suffering user is the forearm support, which is in essence part of the battery compartment. This a very big disappointment. Not one of their best ideas!
The Greenworks Tools 2000107 cordless pole saw is covered by Greenworks 4 year limited warranty for real peace of mind.
While the idea of a truly portable electric pole chain saw is admirable, Greenworks’ had not through the effect of a weight of 6.62 kg (14.52lbs) at the end of a pole at all.
Lastly, the complete lack of a chain brake on the bar and chain part of the 2000107 is shocking.
The Greenworks Tools 2000107 can not even be allowed to be considered for the best tree pruner.
■ Tool free tensioning of the cutting chain.
■ Automatic oiling of cutting chain.
■ Oregon bar and chain used as components.
■ How compactly the shaft of the saw becomes.
■ 4 year limited warranty for real peace of mind.
■ Has a 2 phase safety mechanism on the trigger, provide a means of reducing accidental starts.
■ Fixed head. No flexibility.
■ Chain speed only 10m/s, really quite slow and will affect cuttability of the cutting chain.
■ Complete lack of chain brake. No real safeguard for cutting chain arrest and reduce risk of serious injuries in case of “kickback”.
■ Sheer weight of the whole pole saw ensemble. Completely unfeasable.
Packed With Goodies. The Netta 710W Corded Pole Saw.
Netta seem to be including everything with their 8 corded pole saw.
This corded saw is the cheapest of the pole saws in this review. However, it doesn’t automatically make the Netta 8 the worst or the best on test.
One of the few that’s offering pivotal heads the Netta 710W has a 25cm (10 inches) bar and chain, allowing the 710W pole saw to cut up to 19cms (8 inches) tree branches and limbs,
Difficult angles of cut can be simplified by choosing one of the three pre-set options available.
The telescopic pole can be fully extended to 2.7 metres (9 feet), so even the furthest most awkward branches can be reached.
The ergonomically designed handle with soft grip inlay and kevlar shoulder strap do allay the effects of fatigue, as well as giving more balance and better handling to what can be described as a fundamentally poorly balanced tool, due to the nature of the tool itself rather than the build quality.
The Netta 710W is the only pole saw in this review that offers some form of strap or harness to alleviate the strain of leveraged mass.
The Netta 710W is supplied with a 10 metre (32 feet) power cable. However, an extension cable is still required.
The Netta 710W rather disappointingly does not have a chain brake and relies heavily upon the 2 step safety catch that avoids the Netta 710W from starting up by accident.
The 710W also provides auxilliary protection for left hand which more commonly holds the pole.
The Netta 710W ensemble comes with a 1 year warranty for that little bit of peace of mind.
While it may be true to say that the pole saws are not quite as dangerous as fully blown chainsaws, pole saws are still a type of chainsaw, and as such are still potentially lethal.
The Netta 720W can’t escape that fact, and really should regard its small cutting chain with the respect it deserves. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
■ The Price. Cheapest pole saw in the review.
■ Pivotal head. One of the very few of the pole saws in this review to offer such.
■ Telescopic reach of 2.7 metres (9 feet).
■ Ergonomic design of base handle with soft grip inlay to help reduce fatigue and boost comfort.
■ Inclusion of a kevlar shoulder harmess to aid with poor balance of pole saws in general. Probably the best feature of this saw.
■ 250 mm (10 inches) bar and cutting chain.
■ Auxilliary protection for the left hand. The one that usually holds the pole.
■ 10 metre power cord is included.
■ Fitted with 2 step safety catch to avoid accidental starting.
■ complete lack of chain brake to stop serious injuries in the event of a “kickback”
■ 1 year warranty for peace of mind.
The Salem “Master” Cordless Pole Saw.
The Salem “Master” is a cordless pole saw which is supplied with 1x 2Ah 20V Lithium-ion battery and its charger.
The Salem “Master” is a fixed head pole saw with a potential reach of 12 feet or so taking into account the users height.
The brushless motor produces 2000 rpm which provides a chain cutting speed of 8m/s (26 ft/s), which means that the 200mm ( 8 inch ) chain can cut through tough 17cm (7.5 inches) tree branches with enormous ease.
The “Master” weighs just 3kg and is fully portable. Although due to the nature of pole saws being unbalanced, the Salem “Master” is relatively easy to manoeuvre and handle.
The 20 cms (8 inch) cutting chain is automatically lubricated from the 0.1 l oil reservoir. The chain tensioner is also located at the head and is tool free in its adjustment.
The “Master” pole saw has a 2 step safety catch to avoid accidental starting. This pole saw like many others in this review has no chain brake to stop any serious incidents in the case of injury and harm that might or could involve the cutting chain.
The Salem “Master” comes with one year warranty for peace of mind.
On the whole the Salem “Master” is a good all round performer, without any pretentions.
■ Extremely lightweight. Highly portable and has a relatively long battery life.
■ Capable of cutting branches up to 7.5 inches in width.
■ Bar cover or sheath included.
■ Automatic self lubrication of cutting chain and bar.
■ chain tensioner is easily located and adjustment is tool-less.
■ Comes with one year warranty for peace of mind.
■ Fitted with 2 step safety catch to avoid accidental starting.
■ Complete lack of chain brake to instantly stop chain so as to reduce the risk of serious injuries occur such as a ” kickback” event.
■ Non pivotal head, unable to truly get at really knotty problems branches.
■ Very badly written and confusing instruction manual. This must be proved upon.
The Best Pole Saw is…..
This review covered one of the most dangerous tools available anywhere.
Famed favourite of the Hollywood Horror or the central role of a Monty Python sketch. The chainsaw on a stick is both mystical and useful.
The modern garden tool is not just about whether it can do the job, but whether it can be seen to do the job and at the barest cost.
The best pole saw is The Black &Decker Pole Saw
When dealing with dangerous tools such as pole saws and chainsaws it can never be emphasised enough about how much safety must be practiced around these machines.
When using these machines always make sure that you have the right personal protection equipment, and that you read and understood the ” Book of words” .
With things like pole saws and chain saws short cuts can never be taken.