Table of Contents
- Best Cordless Pole Saw Reviews 2019
- Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw – Best Seller
- BLACK+DECKER LPP120 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Pole Saw – Top Pick
- Sun Joe SWJ800E 8-Inch 6.5-Amp Telescoping Electric Pole Chain Saw – Best Value
- Ryobi One+ 8 in. 18-Volt 9.5 ft. Cordless Electric Pole Saw – Runners Up
- Maxtra Gas Pole Saw, 42.7CC 2-Cycle 8.2FT to 11.4 FT Extendable Cordless Gas Chainsaw – Also Consider
- Best Cordless Pole Saw Buying Guide
Best Cordless Pole Saw Reviews 2019
As the leaves begin to return to the trees, slow growth obscured by barren branches shows itself in a wild and untamed bushel of green. Unfortunately, often times this can present either a risk to the property owner or even an uncontrolled and dangerous, growth for the tree. This is where you would want the best cordless pole saw, which is why we have brought together the 5 best cordless pole saw reviews. While the Greenworks and BLACK+DECKER rank highest, they are not without flaws or the best for everyone.
Greenworks 8.5′ 40V Cordless Pole Saw – Best Seller
As the name might imply, Greenworks tools was a power tool manufacturing company founded on the principle of producing as energy efficient and ‘green’ products as possible. While this does mean the company has not been around for as long as some of its competitors, it is not a reflection on the quality or effectiveness of their products. This is in part because Greenworks specializes explicitly in electric landscaping equipment and their accessories. This being the case, it is not terribly difficult to understand how the Greenworks 20672 became the best-selling cordless pole saw in 2019.
Though it is not the most powerful pole saw on our list, the Greenworks still has plenty of cutting power–especially for a pole saw in its type category. A big part of the Greenwork’s cutting power comes from its powerful engine which is actually twice as powerful as the next closest electric pole saw. That said, it is important to realize this is not simply a 1-to-1 comparison as the additional motor power comes from the ability to use multiple energy sources simultaneously. Still, none of this changes the fact that the Greenworks pole saw has the largest electric engine that we reviewed at 40V.
Though the Greenworks has some definitive limitations, especially when it comes to the maximum reach length, it also has a number of good features focused on ease. For instance, the Greenworks pole saw has an 8” bar, which is fairly standard but goes the extra mile by using an Oregon bar. On top of that, the 40V motor is able to generate as much power as it can because of the massive battery capacity which is not only able to provide greater bursts of power but lasts longer than most as well. In fact, the particular battery arrangement provides a whopping 2.0 mAh which is 33-percent more than the next closest competitor and twice as much as the average.
- Has dual battery packs
- Has solid cutting power
- Is easy to use
- Has an 8” Oregon bar
- Has a 40V motor
- Is easy to assemble/disassemble
- Is a heavier pole saw
- Has the shortest pole reviewed
BLACK+DECKER LPP120 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Pole Saw – Top Pick
BLACK+DECKER is one of the largest and most successful power tool manufacturers in the world with nearly half of all power tool sales going to one of the many brands under the BLACK+DECKER umbrella. That said, the eponymous lineup still focuses today on what it always has: convenience for the everyday user at the lowest price possible. Rather than provide a professional-grade performance, the BLACK+DECKER brand focuses instead on making their tools easier to use and far less expensive than most.
Though all power tools, and especially power saws, are taxing on the body to use, the particular way that pole saws are used makes them arguably more so. This is not because pole saws in and of themselves are so unwieldy but because their technique is inherently fatiguing, holding the tool and the action away from your body. In order to alleviate this difficulty, BLACK+DECKER made sure that their pole saw was lighter than any other we found. On top of that, this electric pole saw can also be broken down much quicker and easier than most for convenient storage or simple portability.
Ups and Downs
In an effort to make their pole saw easy to use, BLACK+DECKER definitely sacrificed some potentially important features. Specifically, this is one of the least powerful pole saws that we found to the point that it is only suitable for light work. Even the 6” maximum cutting diameter is liable to give this pole saw difficulty unless cutting dry, medium hardness wood. To make matters more difficult, this is also one of the few pole saws made that still requires the user to do all common maintenance manually. This means that you will need to stop working every two cuts or so to either oil or retention the chain. Still, the BLACK+DECKER does have the second tallest maximum cutting height on our list which increases its versatility.
- Has a better battery life than most
- Has a 10’ pole
- Is easy to assemble/disassemble
- Is the lightest pole saw reviewed
- Is easy to use
- Is reasonably priced
- Has less cutting power
- Requires constant maintenance
Sun Joe SWJ800E 8-Inch 6.5-Amp Telescoping Electric Pole Chain Saw – Best Value
Sun Joe is somewhat interesting in that the company actually started as a specialized snowblower but soon turned their high-quality engineering to outdoor landscaping equipment in general. Though the company has only been around for 15 years, they are one of the leaders in cordless electric outdoor landscaping equipment. That said, when getting to the budget-friendly part of the market, you do have to make some sacrifices and this is actually a corded pole saw–despite the title of the article.
Great Cutting Power
While the Sun Joe may be a corded model which inherently limits its total maneuverability, this also carries with it some solid benefits too, namely that a corded electric pole saw will be able to produce more cutting power than a comparable cordless electric power saw. This has to do with the way that the corded pole saw can draw power such that the cordless pole saw cannot. The Sun Joe goes ahead and doubles down on this approach by including a solid 6.5 amp motor. Though this is nowhere near powerful enough for commercial-grade jobs, it is generally more than enough for any DIY or homeowner tasks.
Outside of the having the lowest price that we saw, the Sun Joe pole saw also excels in providing supplemental value as well. For instance, this is only the second pole saw on our list to come equipped with a high-quality 8” Oregon bar. The high-end bar combined with the better than average cutting power actually allows this pole saw to cut through branches of up to 7 ½” in diameter. This corded pole saw is also ergonomically designed with a safety trigger to prevent accidental starts and a foam-padded handle for a more comfortable and secure grip. Finally, this pole saw also features an automatic chain oiler, though it does have one of the shortest maximum lengths on the list.
- Is the least expensive pole saw reviewed
- Has an 8” Oregon bar
- Has a 6.5 amp motor
- Is easy to use
- Is ergonomically designed
- Has great cutting power
Ryobi One+ 8 in. 18-Volt 9.5 ft. Cordless Electric Pole Saw – Runners Up
If BLACK+DECKER aims to be the most affordable power tool manufacturer in the consumer-grade market, Ryobi aims to be the best. As one of the older and more established companies, Ryobi has long produced some of the better performing consumer-grade power tools, but their prices often reflect that dichotomy as well. As such, Ryobi products are not only often the most expensive in the consumer grade market but may not be able to truly justify the price as a premium. That said, this product definitely has some issues that keep it out of our top three.
Considering that Ryobi’s goal was to make the best consumer-grade pole saw, it makes a lot of sense that they would focus so heavily on how easy it is to use this pole saw from preparation to maintenance and everything in between. One of the biggest ways that Ryobi accomplishes this is by making their pole saw lighter than most of the competition, reducing the overall fatigue caused by using this pole saw. On top of that, Ryobi reinforces this ergonomic design by providing foam-padded hand grips along the pole. The pole, by the way, has a reasonably long pole at 9 ½’ which is decent for a maximum length.
In this case, we are not referring to the physical weight of the Ryobi but instead to its cutting speed which is slower than others. While this does not necessarily prevent it from cutting different types of wood, thanks in large part to a powerful motor, it does mean that you may have to cut the same branch for longer than you might otherwise have to and will need to adjust the chain tension frequently. Thankfully, this is at least a little bit easier as the Ryobi, true to the consumer-grade market, includes an automatic chain oiler and a tool-less chain tensioner as part of the package.
- Has 9 ½’ pole
- Has an 8” bar
- A less expensive pole saw
- Is a lighter pole saw
- Is easy to use
- Has an ergonomic design
- Has a slower chain speed
- Not the sturdiest
Maxtra Gas Pole Saw, 42.7CC 2-Cycle 8.2FT to 11.4 FT Extendable Cordless Gas Chainsaw – Also Consider
Maxtra is definitely a bit difficult to pin down as a brand considering they sell almost exclusively online but do not have much of a presence beyond online storefronts. To make things even more difficult, this is also one of the only companies we saw that does not specialize in outdoor landscaping equipment specifically or even power tools more broadly. That said, this is easily the best gas-powered pole saw that we can across, even if it is not truly professional-grade.
Easily the best quality of the Maxtra is the sheer cutting power it can generate, but this has far more to do with this pole being gas-powered more than anything else. So long as the transmission functions properly, gas-powered pole saws will always be able to generate more cutting power than a comparable electric pole saw, regardless of the particular electric power source. Of course, the fact that the Maxtra uses a powerful 42.7cc 2-stroke engine does not hurt either. Even better, the Maxtra also has the longest bar on the list at 10” which extends both its maximum cutting diameter as well as the maximum cutting height.
With all of its cutting power, some may be wondering why we have this pole saw in our 5th spot and not higher up the list. This is because the Maxtra is built much like a professional-grade pole saw but does not actually meet those standards. As such, this is by far the most expensive pole saw on our list as well as the heaviest pole saw reviewed. These two qualities combined will likely make the Maxtra a lesser choice for homeowners without having the pure performance to satisfy a professional, leaving it in an odd Goldilocks zone. That said, it does have tallest maximum cutting height thanks in a large part to the 11 ½’ pole.
- Is a gas-powered pole saw
- Has a 42.7cc engine
- Has the longest pole
- Has a 10” bar
- Is ergonomically designed
- Has a most cutting power reviewed
- The most expensive pole saw reviewed
- Is the heaviest pole saw reviewed
Best Cordless Pole Saw Buying Guide
When choosing a cordless pole saw, it is important to first consider what kinds of jobs you will be using the pole saw for. This more than anything else will largely determine which type of pole saw you should use, though there are possible financial and environmental concerns. Still, those are rarely the deciding factor in terms of which type of cordless pole saw you should choose. It is important to remember that cordless does not necessarily mean battery-powered, as a gas-powered pole saw, is technically cordless too, even if the two types hardly resemble one another from a cutting power standpoint.
Gas – This is easily the most durable and most powerful type of cordless pole saw, but it is also often the most expensive type as well. In fact, gas-powered pole saws are significantly more expensive than their electric counterparts to the point that it does not follow the general pricing rules for other outdoor landscaping equipment–including chainsaws. As such, most gas-powered pole saws are not even offered on some of the bigger online distributors. On top of that, gas-powered pole saws are also generally twice as heavy as electric pole saws of either variety.
Electric – A cordless electric pole saw will invariably be powered by some form of a battery, though there have actually been some new and exciting innovations within the industry to give consumers something else to think about. Specifically, manufacturers have once again been able to double the baseline voltage from 20V to 40V. This significantly increases a cordless electric pole saw’s cutting power, though it still lags far behind a gas-powered. However, 40V power tools and landscaping equipment can achieve comparable cutting power to corded electric power tools and outdoor landscaping equipment.
To break down the power consideration a bit further, it is important to consider how much torque the engine or motor can generate as well as how fast the transmission allows the chain to run. These two qualities combined are almost entirely responsible for the cutting power of the pole saw whether or not you take different chains, balances, or bars into account. However, these different qualities affect the cutting power in different ways, and torque is not often a given spec. In fact, when you see a brand advertising their pole saw’s torque, chances are it is one of the top performers in its class–though this is not always the case.
More often, manufacturers provide the chain speed as a metric for judging the cutting power, but this is not actually that helpful. This is because the chain speed can impact how quickly you can cut something and will also impact its appropriate tension, but it does not actually determine the types or conditions of material you can cut. As such, while it is important to look for a pole saw with a minimum of 3000 to 4000 rpms when idling, you do not need to worry quite so much if it does not.
This is by far one of the most important, if overlooked, considerations when selecting a pole saw due to how it will impact your use of the tool. You would think it makes sense with the word in the name, but the pole is often just seen as a necessary aspect without much further thought. Thankfully, manufacturers are not so short-sighted and will regularly design the pole in such a way or add other features to improve its user experience. It is worth noting that most manufacturers use aluminum, and those that use plastic should be looked at more carefully. One of the better additions is the inclusion of foam padding to help protect your hands and reduce the vibrations felt, which in turn reduces your user fatigue.
Another interesting feature is the ability to easily assemble and disassemble to the pole saw for easy transport and storage. This is meaningful because it makes using the product that much easier without having to worry about complicated assembly instructions. Of course, one of, if not, the most important considerations when comparing pole saws is the maximum length of the pole. This single quality will place a literal ceiling on the kinds of jobs you can accomplish by limiting your overall maximum reach.
This is definitely one of the most important considerations when selecting a pole saw due to the fact that this power tool is awkward to use and it is very little that can be done about it. Essentially, a pole saw places a heavy and vibrating mass at the end of a long stick that you hold from the opposite end. As such, it is often a good idea to look for features that either reduce the amount of vibration you feel or otherwise relieve you of some of the additional ‘felt weight’ from a position of unbalanced leverage.
One of the easiest ways to address this is by simply making the pole saw lighter weight, to begin with, though there is a bit of a floor for this. Still, electric cordless pole saws are often half the weight of gas-powered pole saws which translates to half as fatiguing. Other features of ergonomics include the padded pole as mentioned earlier, though the pole can have its own additional ergonomic feature. Basically, some pole saws have the option of connecting a harness to further reduce the ‘felt weight.’
The bar is the component along which the chain runs and is generally considered a bit more important for chainsaws where the blade is closer to you and often significantly more powerful. That said because of how a pole saw cuts, the bar will inherently be important, though the market does have fairly reasonable standards. Still, the length of the bar is one of the more important factors as it will ultimately impact how thick of a branch diameter the pole saw can cut. Generally, a pole saw will have a bar 8” in length, but some of the more powerful models will have larger bars. It is also a good idea to get a pole saw with a high-quality bar like Oregon, though this is market has fewer options for that purpose. Another thing to consider is that pole saws generally do not use anti-kickback bars.
Ease of Use
Considering that cordless pole saws are primarily designed to be used by homeowners and other non-professionals, this is actually one of the more important factors to consider unless you want to have to worry about manually doing every minor task the pole saw may need. Some of the biggest benefits in this regard come with automating or streamlining standard user maintenance. Specifically, pole saws are more notorious than most for requiring a steady stream of oil to lubricate the chain. Originally, you would literally have to stop cutting after 2 or 3 cuts to lubricate the chain by hand every time.
Another ease of use feature to look for is a tool-less chain tensioning system which provides a similar kind of benefit as an automatic chain oiler. Basically, the chain of a power saw needs to be set at a particular tightness depending on the chain speed and the specific material being cut. On top of that, the chain will eventually begin to work itself off of the bar over time while using it anyway–even if it is properly tensioned. To prevent you from having to stop the pole saw every 5 minutes and manually tighten the chain, you can often use a knob to tighten the chain while the saw idles. Finally, it is important to remember that an electric cordless pole saw will always use an electric start while most gas-powered pole saws have a spring-assisted pull-start.
When should you use a cordless pole saw
To be clear, the overwhelming majority of pole saws are, in fact, cordless models, though many of them are gas-powered and limited in online distribution. Still, there are clear distinctions between some of the uses of cordless pole saws, both with corded models and between themselves. That said, the primary and overriding reason to get a cordless pole saw is to provide the kind of maneuverability and flexibility a cordless model provides. Of course, even within the cordless pole saw market, there are different grades of product best suited for different purposes.
For instance, there are both gas-powered and battery operated models within the broader ‘cordless’ category which are used for very different purposes. As such, some of the other motivating factors may differ between when you should use an electric or a gas-powered model, but the common denominator between them will still be the need to move without constraint. While this may seem as though it could apply to a homeowner, it really does not so long as you have a solid gauge extension cord. Instead, whether you need a consumer or a commercial-grade pole saw, it is generally for a larger piece of property or multiple properties that are too large to run an extension cord for.
Which type of pole saw should you use
Now the question between which type of cordless pole saw you should use out of either the battery operated or the gas-powered comes down to cutting power more than anything else. Basically, the gas-powered pole saws are generally able to generate significantly more cutting power than electric models of either type. The ability to cut a thicker and tougher piece of timber is generally coveted by commercial operations as a necessary quality to even do their jobs. However, it is also important to remember that gas-powered pole saws are often significantly heavier than either type of electric pole saw which greatly increases user fatigue.
Battery operated pole saws, on the other hand, are designed more for the homeowner and DIYer than a professional. In fact, few electric pole saws of either type are truly capable of being used all day without overheating, breaking the chain, or running into some other problem. However, if you use the products carefully and only for the appropriate tasks, electric pole saws offer a great budget option for people not looking to purchase professional-grade tools with professional-grade price tags. On top of that, because the category is primarily marketed to homeowners, they are usually pretty easy to use and well-designed.
How to properly use a cordless pole saw
The first step, regardless of the type of cordless pole saw you are using, is to ensure that the blade is unimpeded when you start the tool. This is to prevent the saw from accidentally getting stuck in a material, potentially causing damage to itself, or kicking off of a stronger surface towards the user or others. That said, there are some pole saws which actually require to take the additional precautionary step of oiling the chain as it does not come with an automatic chain oiler. This also applies to pole saws which do not have a tool-less chain tensioning system and must be adjusted manually.
In terms of actually using the pole saw, one of the most important things to do is make sure that you are standing at a 90-degree right angle to the branch you are cutting. This will greatly reduce the risk that any branches fall on top of you and will similarly reduce the risk of the pole saw being turned away towards the user. It is also important to remember that proper form is just as much about efficacy as it is safety with the proper technique allowing you to more easily cut the branches regardless of the type of pole saw you are using.
In the end, the best cordless pole saw for you will depend heavily on the type of job that you need to do and how often you expect to do it. If you are a homeowner on a smaller plot of land, you can likely get by with the Sun Joe, but even homeowners with just a couple acres will likely prefer the maneuverability of the Greenworks or the BLACK+DECKER. That said, if you have a truly heavy-duty workload, then your best option is to bite the bullet and get the gas-powered Maxtra which blows away the competition in terms of raw cutting power.