The 8 Best Pole Saws of 2024

Prune tough branches on small, medium, and large trees with these powerful devices.

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The 8 Best Pole Saws of 2024

Better Homes & Gardens / Kristin Kempa

Pruning bushes tends to be a straightforward activity. Since they are short and low, they can easily be cut by a pair of sharp hedgers. Trimming trees, on the other hand, is an entirely different animal. Since tree branches are high and difficult (or impossible) to reach, they require an extra long tool, such as a pole saw, to cut them down. 

“Pole saws are the superheroes of garden power tools. They let you reach tall branches without having to climb up a wobbly ladder,” says Mike Murphy, owner of You Had Me At Gardening. “They also make pruning so much easier, which keeps your trees healthy and looking great. It's a versatile tool that can handle various tasks too, such as cutting other branches and shrubs at ground or waist height.”

We researched the best pole saws and looked at factors such as power source, weight, bar size, and total reach. In addition to Murphy, we consulted Kevin Jackson, product manager of outdoor handheld products at Troy-Bilt for his advice for shoppers looking for the right pole saw.

A single charge of this cordless pole saw lets you make up to 96 cuts.

The battery and charger are sold separately. 

An eight-inch chainsaw bar and a metal limb hook that helps to remove branches are just some of the reasons the Dewalt 20V Polesaw is the best pole saw. The chainsaw bar is great for trimming trees with hefty branches. The best part is that the pole saw is cordless, so you’re not near your electrical outlet or worse, having to take a generator with you as you move.

This pole saw features a 4.0 Ah (amp hour) 20V battery which has to be charged before you use it for the first time. A full battery should last around 96 cuts (based on manufacturer tests performed on 4-inch by 4-inch pressure-treated pine wood). The pole saw gets a power boost from a brushless motor and is able to make 16-inch cuts. In addition to the base pole, it comes with a three-foot extension bar that brings it up to 15 feet. 

There’s an oiler on the body that keeps the bar fully lubricated, which should make it less laborious to operate. You get a few accessories including a tensioning wrench, sheath, and a three-foot extension pole. If you want to trim bushes, you have the option to choose the same DeWalt model with a hedging attachment. Be aware that you’ll have to buy the battery and charger separately. 

Product Details: Power Source: Battery | Weight: 8.4 pounds | Bar Size: 10 inches | Total Reach: 15 feet| Accessories: Tensioning wrench, sheath, extension pole

This is a lightweight pole saw that weighs about 7 pounds, making it easy to carry around the yard.

It might not be able to handle large, heavy tree branches.

If you’ve ruled out owning a gas-powered pole saw, an alternative option might be an electric model like the Wen 4019 Electric Pole Saw. It features an 8-inch bar for trimming small and medium-sized branches. While it’s probably not the best choice for heavier branches, it’s under $100, making it the best pole saw to grab if you want to save money. 

To tackle trees of different heights in their yard, forget the ladder. Instead, take advantage of Wen's telescoping pole that extends from 6.5 to 9.5 feet, giving you a total 12-foot reach. Since it weighs only 7.2 pounds it feels like carrying a small tool around. For extra comfort, there is a shoulder strap included, allowing you to keep your hands free. There is also a safety switch on the body to prevent accidents. 

In terms of maintenance, there is very little required to keep the pole saw in good shape. The Wen is self-lubricating, which means the blade and chain continually oil the blade as you work. When you’re done, simply slide the bar into the protective covering that comes included. Adjusting the chain’s tension is also easy, and you can do it yourself without using any tools whatsoever. The pole saw has a two-year warranty.

Product Details: Power Source: Corded Electric | Weight: 7.2 pounds | Bar Size: 8 inches | Total Reach: 12 feet | Accessories: Blade cover, chain, shoulder strap

It is a powerful option with a 12-inch bar that can easily morph into a trimmer, blower, and other lawn tools with 16 compatible attachments.

At 17 pounds, It is extremely heavy.

If you’re looking to cut giant tree limbs, you’ll need a heavy-duty pole saw, like this one from Echo, to handle it with ease. The Echo has the biggest bar out of all the best pole saws—12 inches. This is handy not only for cutting branches down but also for cutting them into smaller pieces after they drop off the tree. 

According to Echo, it’s the brand’s most powerful telescoping chainsaw, featuring a 25.4 cc motor and 2-stroke engine. It has plenty of power and torque to cut tree branches up to 8 inches in diameter. With attachments, the pole saw becomes quite versatile. There are 16 compatible lawn tool attachments that are sold separately, but can easily turn your pole saw into a trimmer, blower, and hedge trimmer—saving you money in the long run. 

Additionally, it’s gas-powered and features an easy start function. The pole is telescopic and can extend up to 12 feet; the length makes it good for reaching high branches and branches in hard-to-reach places. As you cut, an automatic oiler lubricates the bar and chain to keep the blade sharp and precise. Keep in mind that it’s not the best pole saw in terms of portability—it weighs 17 pounds.

Product Details: Power Source: Gas | Weight: 17 pounds | Bar Size: 12 inches | Total Reach: 12 feet | Accessories: Chain, bar

The 40V battery works with other compatible Ryobi tools, so it’s a great choice for a brand loyalist.

It only has an hour of runtime before it needs to be recharged.

No fumes and unlimited mobility are just two benefits of going for a battery-powered pick like the Ryobi 40V Cordless Pole Saw. Another benefit? The 2 Ah (amp-hour) 40V battery can be used with other Ryobi tools that require a 40V battery, and vice-versa. 

While it cannot compete with a gas-powered chain saw in terms of power, you get a respectable 70 cuts per charge. The downside is that you’ll have to give it more juice after about an hour, so it’s not great for longer jobs. A 10-inch bar and chain mean it’s able to easily trim large branches and limbs up to 8 inches in diameter. Like many other pole saws, it has an in-line motor and an angled head to make precise cuts. And if you need a higher reach, the 6.5-foot pole extends an extra 3 feet.

To keep the chain lubricated (which is important for cutting tough branches) it automatically oils itself. It also comes with a shoulder harness to help lighten your load. Although this tool won’t be a pro landscaper’s first choice, it’s the best pole saw for light pruning tasks around your yard.

Product Details: Power Source: Battery | Weight: 11.4 pounds | Bar Size: 10 inches | Total Reach: 9.5 feet | Accessories: Lithium battery, charger, extension pole, handle pole, hex key, scabbard, shoulder harness, front handle

A low-kickback bar and chain are designed to reduce vibrations and cut down on kickback, offering more control.

Even though the cord is lengthy, your movements are naturally limited with a plug-in model.

Corded electric pole saws tend to be some of the lightest because they don’t contain a battery or a fuel tank on the body. That’s why we think this Black + Decker Corded Electric Pole Saw is the best pole saw to use if you’re a beginner. It weighs just 7.9 pounds so it’s easy to bring with you and provides better control. Plus, being lightweight means you’ll be able to hold the pole saw for a longer time without hurting your arms. 

The combo of a 6.5 amp motor and a 10-inch bar makes it a great option to hack through thick tree branches. Additionally, it features a low-kickback bar and chain, which reduces vibrations and offers extra kickback protection. (Kickback is when the pole saw suddenly jerks upwards while you’re cutting branches).

At 9.5 feet, it allows you to reach higher to trim branches that are out of reach, so you don’t need a ladder. Tree branches aside, it’s also the right size for getting at tall, overgrown shrubs. A handy oil reservoir on the pole saw automatically lubricates the cutting bar and chain. We like that the oil gauge is clear so you can track how much oil you’ve used. The main downside is that, even though the cord is lengthy, your movements are limited—you’ll always have to stay near an electrical outlet while working.

Product Details: Power Source: Corded Electric | Weight: 7.9 pounds | Bar Size: 10 inches | Total Reach: 9.5 feet | Accessories: Scabbard

 It includes extra oil for the engine and bar and chain, so you’ll have a supply to last you a little while.

Gas machines aren’t the best choice if you are sensitive to fumes.

If you’re planning on working in your yard all day, a gas-powered pick is the best pole saw. The reason for this is that gas-powered pole saws are designed for volume and have the capacity to cut down large amounts of dead and dry branches. This pole saw from Troy-Bilt is our top gas-powered recommendation because it features a heavy-duty 25 cc motor and a two-cycle engine which makes the pole saw relatively light for a gas model. 

It also has an easy start system—just pull the cord and let it rip. While the pole itself is 7 feet long, it comes with an additional 26-inch section that stretches up to 12 feet in the air. It features an 8-inch bar and chain capable of slicing through branches like butter. However, you’ll have to deal with emissions from the gas; those sensitive to fumes might want to go with a corded or battery-powered pick.

The pole saw is designed to accommodate all kinds of attachments offered by the company. You can turn it into a leaf blower, saw, or vacuum depending on what you get. All attachments are sold separately. That said, it comes with accessories including an Allen wrench, oils for the engine, bar, and chain, plus a scabbard to protect it when it’s not in use.

Product Details: Power Source: Gas | Weight: 14 pounds | Bar Size: 8 inches | Total Reach: 12 feet | Accessories: Scabbard, Allen wrench, engine oil, bar, and chain oil

A manual pole saw requires pretty much no maintenance as it doesn’t need to be charged or plugged-in.

It's significantly more effort than an electric or gas option.

Looking for the simplest pole saw you can find? This manual pole saw from Woodlands Tool Co. may be right up your alley. It works using a thick rope to angle the head and a triple saw to smoothly cut through thick branches. It also has a 12-foot extension pole which is ideal for reaching high branches. A built-in spring on the model prevents it from getting stuck. 

The pole is also designed to be extra-rigid so you’re able to balance it while tree trimming. Plus it has a slim head that’s good for getting into tight corners. There are double locks on the pole that firmly secure the blade while you work. But keep in mind, your pruning task will take much longer than using an electric or gas pole saw.

Since it’s completely manual, it’s even lighter than the other lightest option on our list, the Wen 4019—only 4 pounds. That said, you’ll have to do more of the work yourself, so it’ll still likely get tiresome after a while, depending on your physical strength. The pole is telescopic, so it will help you reach different sized trees.

Product Details: Power Source: Manual | Weight: 4 pounds | Bar Size: 12 inches | Total Reach: 12 feet | Accessories: None

It includes a Quik-Lok tool so you add different Milwaukee attachments and transform the pole saw into another device.

Their website does not list runtimes.

Another pick that makes quick work of cutting down branches is the M18 Milwaukee Cordless Pole Saw Kit. Instead of just one pole saw, you receive an entire set that includes a patented Quik-Lok tool. The tool allows you to use attachments from the Milwaukee line such as a string trimmer, edger, pole saw attachment, and extension pole. 

But that’s not all you get. The kit also comes with a 10-inch kickback bar, a 3-inch extension piece, plus a hedge attachment with a 20-inch blade for pruning bushes. This pick is ideal for cutting down hardwoods such as oak, hickory, and ash branches—something we would have never expected from a battery-powered pole saw. Milwaukee claims the pole saw’s 8 Ah (amp-hour) batteries offer more power, allowing the machine to run for longer time periods, but the run times are not listed on the website. 

In general, it should be good for about 150 cuts per charge. It features a 10-inch bar, so you can reach high branches. There is no need to warm the pole saw up first—it goes from zero to full throttle in one second. Additionally, it has a padded grip on the handle which makes the pole safer and more comfortable to hold.

Product Details: Power Source: Battery | Weight: 12.7 pounds | Bar Size: 10 inches | Total Reach: 13 inches | Accessories: Pole, adjustment pole, hedge attachment, Quik-Lok attachment tool

Overall, we recommend the DeWalt 20V Max Polesaw, because it's a battery-operated option that gives you 96 cuts on a single charge. Just note that the battery and charger are not included in the accessories provided. For a more affordable option, the Wen 4019 Electric Pole Saw is a superb pick that costs less than $100 and can handle a variety of trees.

Pole saws derive power in several ways—there are gas-powered, battery-powered, electric corded, and manual options. Gas-powered pole saws are considered to be the most powerful. They feature heavy-duty engines and typically have more torque compared to battery and electric options. Because you don’t have to recharge them and are not dependent on an electrical outlet, they are a favorite of professional landscapers. Unfortunately, they emit fumes that can be harmful to people and the environment. 

Battery-powered pole saws are a cleaner alternative that is still cordless. They are powered by rechargeable batteries which you have to pre-charge before using. The batteries can either be included or sold separately. Run time on these models is usually about an hour. However, this varies based on brand and output. 

Electric corded pole saws are the lightest non-manual pole saws because they are not weighed down by batteries or fuel tanks. However, they must be connected to an outlet to work—which greatly hinders their movement. As long as you are connected, you have power, so you never have to worry about a diminishing charge or fuel supply. Manual pole saws are the simplest devices to maintain, however, they require a lot more labor on the user’s part.

Pole saws can range between 5 to 25 pounds depending on the type. Gas-powered and battery-powered options tend to be heavier, while corded and manual are usually lighter, but there’s really no standard weight. “If weight is an issue, a corded electric model would be the way to go. These pole saws have a starting weight of less than 8 lbs,” Murphy says.

“Pole saws typically have a bar size of 8 to 12 inches,” Murphy says. “Personally, I find that the 10-inch bar pole saw that I currently own can handle most tasks. For larger diameter and ground-level logs, I use my gas-powered standard chainsaw.”

A pole saw’s reach is usually around 15 feet but that can vary based on the type of extension it includes. According to Murphy, reach is important safety-wise because it keeps you at a safe distance while cutting. “No more falling branches on your head or sawdust in your eyes,” he says. “Typically you want to use the shortest comfortable length when using a pole saw to cut tree branches.” 

According to Jackson, accessories for pole saws include extension wands, which allow you to make the pole saw longer, replacement bars and chains, oil (for gas units), chain sharpeners, and wrenches to remove the bar. Shoulder straps are Murphy’s must-have accessory. “If you are going to be using a pole saw for a while you'll start to feel the weight of it. The strap keeps you comfy during long pruning sessions.” 

On the other hand, Jackson favors a high-quality chain. “A premium chain will cut faster, cleaner, and last longer,” he says.

“If you are working in a landscaping business, using a gas-powered saw probably makes the most sense,” Murphy says. “They typically have more power than battery-powered versions and can be used for extended periods of time. Gas-powered pole saws are easier because you can put more gas in every time you run out.”

Battery-powered pole saws are better for homeowners who want to landscape their own lawns themselves. “They are typically lighter, more eco-friendly—no fumes to breathe—and easier to store,” Murphy says. But the downside is that, once the battery dies, these pole saws can take hours to recharge, depending on the brand and battery size.

To emphasize the difference in power between the two, Murphy says, “I once burned up a couple of battery-powered chainsaws cutting through an old, hard pine stump, then used a more powerful gas-powered chainsaw and ripped right through the rest of the stump.”

The thickness of a branch that the pole saw can cut is called cut capacity, and it depends on the saw’s bar size. “Typically, a saw can handle 2 inches less than the bar size,” Jackson says. 

Murphy adds, “Pole saws are very much like chainsaws and as long as they have enough power/gas to run along with a sharp blade, can continue to cut as long as the bar is long enough,” 

But if you find that a branch is too thick for your pole saw to handle, Murphy advises homeowners to “cut through part of a thick branch from one side and then walk to the other side of the branch and cut the rest.” He adds, “Just be careful and not walk under the branch in case it breaks and falls before you get to the other side!”

Pitting pole saws against hedge trimmers may not be a fair fight because each tool is designed for a specific function. “You’ll want to use a pole saw to remove individual, thicker branches from hard-to-reach areas,” says Jackson.”Hedge trimmers are more focused on cleaning up bushes, shrubbery, and other smaller twigs. They are more efficient than pole saws so you can work faster. However, you won’t be able to remove the thicker pieces with them.”

Nor'Adila Hepburn is a freelance writer who specializes in writing in-depth buying guides for Better Homes & Gardens. She specializes in commerce, home, and lifestyle niches.

To find the best pole saws she researched many types of pole saws including corded electric, manual, and gas-powered options. She also spoke to Mike Murphy, owner of You Had Me At Gardening, and Kevin Jackson, product manager of outdoor handheld products at Troy-Bilt.

The 8 Best Pole Saws of 2024

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