How To Use A Pole Saw: Your Complete Guide

Tools have been a staple for us human since the Stone Age. As time passes by, we have perfected these tools and made our lives easier in the process. Out of many power tools available, we’d like to focus mainly on one, the pole saw.

The pole saw is a tool that everyone needs for their gardens. We’ll also focus on how to use a pole saw. But before we go into that, we need to understand what a pole saw is.

What is a Pole Saw?

The best way that we can describe a pole saw is a “chainsaw on a stick”. Yes, you read that right. A pole saw is a light chainsaw that is attached to a long pole. A pole saw is meant to help you cut those tall pesky branches. High branches tend to be hard to cut and using a ladder might not be safe. It’s at these situations that pole saws become pretty useful.

What is the pole saw

You see cutting high branches using a ladder might put you and others at risk of serious injuries. A pole saw allows you to cut these branches at a safe distance without the need of placing any risk on yourself. With that said, a pole saw is not always the best solution. There are times that you need to call the professionals to perform the job.

Pole Saw Styles

Like any other home/garden product, there are different styles of pole saw. There are different variations to the “chainsaw on a stick” and each is meant to meet various needs. Here are the main types of pole saws we are looking at:

Manual Pole Saws

This style of pole saw isn’t as common as it used to be back in the early days of this tool. The name is self-explaining. These pole saws require quite a bit of manual work to get the job done. They don’t use a motor or anything of that sort. They are basically just blades that can be extended to reach further. They are great to use for minor jobs around the garden, but not for heavy duty tasks.

Electric Pole Saws

These pole saws are great for home use as they offer a combination of power and ease of use. They are corded and so have a limited distance. The pole saw can go as far as the length of the cord. Electric pole saws are light and pack quite a bit of power in them. In addition, they are a lot quieter in comparison to the other types in this list.

Cordless Pole Saws

When it comes to convenience, this style of pole saw is top of the line. These pole saws are quiet, which is good for the neighbors. In addition, they aren’t attached to any wires, so they are easier to move with and are not limited in distance. With that said, there are shortcomings to using them. For starters, they use a battery pack, so they are limited in run time.

Once the battery is out, you’ll need to stop in recharge them before getting back to work. On top of that, they offers less power when compared to the corded pole saws. They’re a great option for quick and minor work on the garden. It’s advised to carry a battery pack with you while working. This ensures you don’t get that much disruption when the battery runs out.

Gas-Powered Pole Saws

The gas-powered pole saws are the most powerful ones on this list. This style of pole saw uses gas and so can do a lot more damage. In addition, they can be used for longer when compared to the others. They do have downsides such as being heavier and louder than the other types. With that said, they’re best used by people who have gardens that need constant maintenance or if you’re dealing with a large property.

Benefit Of A Pole Saw

They Are Lightweight

Pole saw are lightweight

One benefit that you get from using a pole saw is that they are light weight. The main point of a pole saw is to make garden work easier and to get to the higher, out of reach branches. What would be the point if they were heavy? Of course, different types weigh differently and the user ultimately decides which one he/she feels is the best.

They Make Garden Work Easier

It’s hard to deny that a pole saw makes garden work easier. The height of the tool as well as the power they offer makes them a great choice for the garden. You can get to those high branches and other parts of the garden with ease. With the right pole saw, garden work becomes a lot easier than it would have been without it.

Pole saw make the garden work easier

They Are Easy To Use

Okay, to be honest, that depends on the type of pole saw you decide to get. If we’re honest, you, the user also matters here. Without a doubt, the electric pole saw is the easiest one to use. A push of a button and the machine is already on. Depending on your preference, the same can be said about every other type of pole saw. Either way, they aren’t as complicated as one might think.

Pole saws are easy to use

They Are Not Expensive

Again, this point makes sense if you think about the alternative to a pole saw. Most of the time, you’d have to hire a professional to come do the job for you. We need not tell you how expensive that might turn out to be. In comparison, getting a pole saw is cheaper both in the short and long run.

How To Use A Pole Saw

A pole saw is equal parts great and equal parts dangerous. You should always be very careful when operating one. Working on high wood is no easy feat either. Before you even touch your pole saw, here are some cautious suggestions you need to consider

Beware Of 8 Feet And Beyond

Beware Of 8 Feet And Beyond

We can only handle so much weight. You need to know that using a pole saw that has extensions to get it to 8 feet will tire you out faster. In addition to that, the higher up it goes, the heavier it becomes.

Power Lines Are Dangerous

Power Lines Are Dangerous

We all know the danger of power lines and that we should always keep a safe distance from them. This is not any different when you’re working with a pole saw. Don’t work on any branch that is in contact with or close to a power line. This might endanger you or other people around you.

Stay Away From Thick Wood

We’d advise everyone to stay away from thick branches when operating a pole saw. The thicker they are, the longer they take to cut and the more danger they pose. It’s best to leave this one to the professionals.

Check Your Extension

Corded Pole saws power up using electricity, so make sure you get and outdoor extension and that the extension is plugged in.

Keep Your Gear Close

Keep Your Gear Close

Rule number one of using any tool is that you should have safety gear on. In order to operate a pole saw ensure that you have boots, gloves and eye and ear protection. This is at the very minimum.

Inspect Your Tool

There’s really nothing much to look at. You mostly need to inspect the chain oil level. You can see it via the chain oil window. The oil level should be at least halfway up.

Clear The Area

Before you start working on your garden or the high branches ensure that the area below is clear. No pets or people that might get hurt when the branches fall down.Now that that’s out of the way, let’s have a look at some of the operating techniques of a pole saw. We’ll offer you a step by step process on how to use a pole saw. Let’s begin:

Clear The Area

Step 1: Plan First

Before you begin anything, planning is always required. Plan how you’re going to complete the cut of the branch. We do this because there is a technique to cutting a branch. You might need to do many preliminary and jump cuts before the final cut. The aim here is to reduce the weight leading up to the final cut.

Step 2: Prepare The Pole Saw

The second step is to prepare the pole saw. Here we’re going to extend the pole saw to the desired height. Once extended, you’ll start up the pole saw on the ground away from the branches. You also need to hold the pole saw properly and in a stable position (feet apart).

Step 3: It’s Time To Cut The Branch

It’s time to start cutting the branch. You’re going to want to start at the top side of the branch unless you’re going for a jump cut. If that’s the case, you’re going to cut from underneath the branch. You also need to remember to keep the area clear including yourself. When using the pole saw ensure that you’re standing at the side of the limb, you’re going to cut. This will keep you safe.

Step 4: Clean Up Your Work Area

Once you’re done with your work area, it’s important that you clean it up. This is to avoid tripping yourself over as you continue with the other branches.

Usage Tips

Usege tips for pole saw

Only Work During The Day

You need to be able to see where you’re cutting and the area around you as well. It’s because of this that we advise you to only use it during the day and not in the evening/night. Using it at night puts you and maybe anyone that may come into contact with the work area at risk.

Don’t Use On Wet/Rainy Days

Don’t go out to cut branches on a wet/rainy day. This stands true for those that use electric pole saws. We need not tell you how dangerous wires and water interacting can be. Keep this in mind.

Be Wary Of Kickbacks

Kickbacks can happen and you need to be ready for it. They normally happen when the chain of the machine stalls. You can avoid this by constantly lubricating the chain or by holding the pole saw in the right position/stance.

Watch Out For Spring Back

Spring back comes from the branches. This is when the wood moves into the opposite direction when cutting pressure is released. It mostly happens for wood that’s under tension and the tension is released. This is why you need to clear your working area.

Keep Your Cord Untangled

Again, this is for people who use electric pole saws. You should keep the wires in a loop to prevent them from getting tangled. Tangled wires might reduce how far the tool can go and make it easy to lose power when snagged.

Take Regular Breaks

Fatigue can occur when using pole saws. The tools are lightweight, but it’s the act of holding it up that can be tiring. To prevent fatigue related injuries or strains in some parts of your body, it’s important that you take breaks in between your work.

Feel Free To Call In The Professionals

Just because you have a pole saw doesn’t mean that you can take up every job that comes knocking. There are some branches that are too high or too dangerous to cut. In addition, branches thicker than 8 inches are very hard to cut. It’s important to realize and acknowledge when a job is too much for you and maybe it’s time to call the professionals.


How to use a pole saw

Pole saws are a great tool to have for help with your garden. The best type of pole saw for the average home is the electric pole saw as it has the best balance of power and functionality. For those with bigger gardens or doing landscaping, then the gas-powered pole saws will work best for you. Now that you have complete knowledge on how to use a pole saw, get into action and start a project today!

​​We are sure this article will help you a great deal in using the pole saws. If you liked the article, do not forget to share it, like it and leave your feedback in the comments section.

David Deen

I am David Deen. I love spaces and home improvement is my passion. To me, every space in your home needs attention and manipulation. To unleash my creativity, I take ideas from many home improvement blogs. The step-by-step instructions explained by experts allows me to live my dreams.

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