5 Best Pole Saws in 2020

To help you find the best pole saw for all your tree trimming, gardening, and yard work needs, we’ve researched and compared the top performing models on the market, highlighting the best cordless pole saw and the best electric pole saws in general. We looked at reach, cutting diameter, ease of use, and weight, as well as the battery life for cordless pole saws.

Our top pick, the Sun Joe SWJ800E 8-inch 6.5-Amp pole saw is a telescoping model that gives you up to 15 feet of overhead reach and cuts branches up to 7.5 inches thick. Read on to see more of our top picks from these extension pole saw reviews.

Top 5 Best Pole Saws

 #1  Sun Joe SWJ800E 8-inch 6.5-Amp Pole Saw

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This bargain priced telescoping pole saw weighs less than 8 pounds and offers the highest overhead reach on our list, making it the best electric pole saw you can buy if reach and budget are important,

Pros
  • Best electric
  • 8.8’ max pole length & cuts branches up to 7.5”
  • Self oiling bar & chain
Cons
  • Lacks the convenience of a cordless pole saw
  • Angle of the saw relative to pole not adjustable

Able to make quick work of tree branches up to about 7.5-inches in diameter, this adjustable pole saw stands tall, literally, with its 8.8-ft telescoping shaft giving the longest reach of any pole saw on our list. Despite its impressive reach, it weighs less than 8 pounds, making it much lighter than the best gas pole saw or cordless pole saw you can buy. This extension pole chainsaw comes with an 8-inch Oregon bar and chain with automatic chain oiling, so no need to always lubricate the chain, and it has an oil tank capacity of 2.7 ounce. Plus the SWJ800E comes equipped with a built-in safety switch to prevent an accidental start.

The Sun Joe 6.5-Amp pole saw lacks the articulating feature found in the more expensive Sun Joe 8-Amp pole chainsaw, but it has an even longer reach, so if you don’t need to be able to adjust the angle, this might be the better buy, and it can be found on Amazon.com. It’s also much easier to maintain than a professional gas pole saw. For thicker trees, the best electric chainsaw is what you want.

 #2  Black+Decker 20V MAX Pole Saw

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: A 20V battery gives this cordless pole saw up to 100 cuts of 1.5-inch branches per charge, while a fiberglass pole keeps weight down and lets you reach up to 14 feet above the ground.

Pros
  • Lightest
  • Long lasting 20V battery
  • Self oiling bar and chain and oil is included
Cons
  • Smaller max cutting diameter than the Sun Joe pole saws
  • Fiberglass pole not as stiff as aluminum

This Black+Decker pole saw is a versatile, lightweight cordless pruning and tree trimming tool that benefits from Black+Decker’s MAX interchangeable 20V lithium ion battery ecosystem. That means it shares a battery and charger with a whole range of garden and power tools, adding to the convenience if you want to run multiple cordless power tools.

The fiberglass telescoping pole gives a total reach of about 14 feet, slightly more of course if you’re very tall. The 8” bar and chain is self-oiling, and the oil and chain tensioner wrench are included, making this a very low maintenance pole chainsaw. Conveniently running on battery power and its light weight making it easy to use, this Black+Decker LPP120 Pole Chain Saw is a good option for your next hedge trimmer and can be found on Amazon.com. Now, for woodworking projects, the best scroll saw is much more handy.

 #3  Greenworks 8.5’ 40V Cordless Pole Saw

Award: Best Battery Life

WHY WE LIKE IT: This cordless pole saw has a large capacity 40V battery and weighs just 8.3 pounds, thanks to an aluminum pole and lightweight motor.

Pros
  • Easy to maneuver & lightweight
  • 40V battery, twice as large as the Black+Decker cordless
  • Easy chain tensioning
Cons
  • Doesn’t cut branches as large as you can with the Sun Joe 8-Amp
  • Run time still limited compared to corded pole saws or gas pole saws

Using a very light, yet sturdy eight foot aluminum pole, this cordless pole saw weighs just 8.3 pounds, even less than the Black+Decker 20V MAX cordless pole saw. The Greenworks pole saw also shares a battery and charger set up with a whole range of Greenworks outdoor minded cordless power tools.

This cordless model includes a 40V-rated 2.0 Amp-hour lithium ion battery that gives a claimed 60 cuts per charge on 4×4 lumber. Doing the math, this equates to roughly 240 cutting inches per charge, compared to the 150 cutting inches you get with the Black+Decker cordless pole saw. It is a good alternative to the best gas chainsaw. If you’re looking for another electric pole saw, Remington makes the Ranger II 10 in. 8 Amp Electric Telescoping 2-in-1 Pole Saw, which comes with an automatic oiler and bar length of 10 inches. The Ranger is a chainsaw and a pole saw combo tool. The WORX WG309 is another pole saw that doubles as a chainsaw, and the WG309 can be detached and reattached quickly. For a gas-powered pole saw, Remington also makes the Rebel 18 in. Gas 2-Cycle Chainsaw which has a powerful 2-cycle engine and cutting bar length of 18 inches for felling small to medium trees and cutting firewood. Note that gas-powered models are more expensive to maintain than the electric models, and are also noisier.

 #4  Sun Joe SWJ806E 8-Inch 8.0 Amp 2-in-1 Convertible Pole Saw

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This convertible electric pole saw has a detachable pole that lets you convert it to a regular handheld compact electric chainsaw.

Pros
  • Also a handheld chainsaw
  • Powerful 8-Amp motor
  • 15-foot reach when extended
Cons
  • Corded pole saw and chainsaw limits mobility compared to cordless or gas
  • Heavier than the Sun Joe SWJ800E 8-inch 6.5-Amp

With its removable telescoping center-section, this nifty convertible power tool is our pick for the best electric pole saw that converts into a compact, handheld corded chainsaw. A bargain for what’s essentially two tools in one, it’s great for those looking for an electric chain saw for a variety of cutting and trimming tasks including hedge trimming and occasional tree pruning, as it gives you the reach you need when you need it, while also giving you the option for up close work.

A multi purpose gardening and trimming tool, this Sun Joe electric pole chainsaw has an 8-inch bar and chain, and cuts branches up to 7.5-inches wide. It uses a powerful 8-Amp electric motor and comes with automatic chain oiling. It is a bit more versatile than the best small chainsaw, but both have their place. If you’re in the market for a longer gas-powered pole saws, consider the massive MAXTRA 42.7CC 2-Cycle Gas Powered Pole Saw if you want to be able to extend the length of the pole from 8.2 to 11.4 ft. With the MAXTRA, you can also different attachments that turn it into a hedge trimmer, or bush cutter.

 #5  Sun Joe SWJ803E-CMO 10-inch 8.0 Amp Pole Saw

Award: Best Adjustable

WHY WE LIKE IT: The best electric pole saw with adjustable angle on our list, this corded pole saw stands out for its long, 10-inch bar and chain and powerful 8.0-Amp motor.

Pros
  • Widest cutting thickness (9.5”)
  • Adjustable chain angle
  • 8.8-foot max pole length
Cons
  • Heavier than the Sun Joe SWJ800E
  • Less overall reach than the other Sun Joe models

A unique and versatile electric pole saw, this Sun Joe model has an adjustable multi-angle head that goes from 0-30º relative to the pole, plus a 10-inch bar and chain, longer than most electric pole saws for pruning and tree trimming. The adjustable angle makes it our pick for the best pole saw for palm tree trimming and for certain hard to reach pruning tasks.

If you’re looking to cut thicker branches, this Sun Joe electric pole saw bar and chain reaches 10” and lets it cut thick branches of up to 9.5 inches, two inches more than the reach of the other 8 inch bar and chain pole saws on our list, although this doesn’t come with automatic oiling. This electric pole saw features the largest diameter in cutting branches. Also, a similar electric pole chain saw is the Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 10 in. 8 Amp Corded Electric Pole Saw with an adjustable cutting head. A good pole saw is as useful as the best string trimmer for grass.

How We Decided

In order to bring you our list of the best pole saws you can buy, we looked at the reach, the maximum cutting width, weight and, for cordless electric pole saws, the battery life. If you appreciate DIY work, consider the best cordless drill too.

Our pole saw reviews also took into consideration useful features in a pole saw pruner such as adjustable angle head and detachable poles.

We only considered pole saws capable of cutting at least 6.5-inch wide tree branches. This gives a pole saw for tree trimming a significantly larger capacity than pruning clippers. We focused on electric pole saws for home gardening use, though the best electric pole saws do carry features inspired by those found in a quality professional pole saw, such as a sturdy aluminum pole and a self-oiling bar and chain.

For cordless pole saws we only included those capable of at least 100 one inch cuts per charge. We also limited our search to pole saws weighing less than 15 pounds, in order to minimize fatigue. An added bonus for battery powered electric pole saws was the ability to share a battery with a range of outdoor power tools.

Best Pole Saw Buyer’s Guide

Pole Saw Features to Consider

  1. Reach
    When looking for the best pole saw to buy for your pruning, gardening or tree-trimming needs, first get a general idea of how high up are the branches you want to trim, compared to where you’ll be standing. Most pole saws give the total length of the tool, plus an estimate of the reach from the ground for a person of average height. For tree trimming, look for a pole saw that’s at least 8-feet long. There’s also the working height, which usually appears on the packaging and refers to the length of the pole plus your arm length. Arm length is usually estimated at 2-3 ft, so if a pole saw has a 10-foot working height, the pole itself if about 7-8 ft long.
  2. Motor Power
    For choosing the best electric pole saw, make sure you get one that’s powerful enough for your needs. For cutting hardwoods you’ll want a 6-8 Amp motor in general, whereas a lower powered, cordless pole saw will work well for pine and redwood.
  3. Branch size
    To make sure you pick the right pole saw to buy for your needs, get an idea of how thick the branches you need to cut are. A general rule is that for about a 6-inch branch, you need a bar and chain at least 7.5 inches long.
  4. Corded vs Cordless
    If you have plenty of extension cord reach or a smaller sized yard, a corded electric pole saw may be more convenient since they tend to be lighter, offer more power and aren’t limited by battery life. On the other hand, for a longer yard where it may be more inconvenient to set up an outlet, a cordless pole saw may work better.

Pole Saw FAQs

Are pole saws any good?


Pole saws can be incredibly useful for tree trimming and even hedge trimming and pruning, if you want to cut smaller branches without having to climb up in the tree or drag around a ladder.

What should I look for in a pole saw?


Look for the best pole saw that meets your needs in terms of reach and cutting capacity, and that is comfortable to use when holding upright. In terms of comfort, consider one that comes with a shoulder strap It may help to measure the height and width of the branches you’re looking to trim. If you’re looking for a pole saw for tree pruning, we recommend selecting a saw with a bar and chain at least 8” long. That way you can cut branches up to about 7 inches in diameter. If you’re looking for a professional tree trimming pole saw, consider a gas pole saw.

What is the best cordless pole saw?


Our pick for the best overall cordless pole saw is the Black+Decker 20V max, if value for the money is important. Otherwise, the Greenworks 40V is a useful upgrade in terms of battery life.

What is the best Stihl pole saw?


Among the battery powered models, the most often recommended choices for the best Stihl pole saw are the HT 85, among battery powered pole saws, and the HT 132 if you’re looking for the best professional gas pole saw.

What is the longest pole saw?


The longest pole saws overall are some very long manual pole saws such as the Silky 179-39, which has a manual pole that extends to 21 feet. The downside of manual pole saws is that they require more effort from the user. Also, manual pole saws are light weight, and ideal for small garden work. However for general yard work and pruning and especially for cutting larger branches, the best electric pole saw for extended reach, something like the Sun Joe SJW300E might make more sense. If you’re looking for a gas pole saw, you can find models that reach up to about 18 feet, but they tend to be heavy.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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