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Does the Average Homeowner Need a Pole Saw?

Aug 12, 2008
I was recently asked the question "Should I buy a Pole Saw", and it is my hope to answer that question not only for the person who asked it, but for anyone else wondering if a pole saw is necessary for their households.

A pole saw is a small, generally 12 inch saw connected to an extending pole. It's purpose is to cut small branches, generally for pruning, and general shaping of a tree. This saw is not to be confused with a regular chainsaw and will not replace your chainsaw for after storm clean up or clearing large branches.

Generally the poles for these saws vary between 8 and fourteen feet. This allows for about a maximum of a 20 foot reach. These saws will easily cut branches up to 12 inches in diameter, and are great for this purpose. However, you may quickly become tired pruning higher branches. These saws may seem very light at ground level, but holding them up to cut the branches, they quickly become quite heavy. If you have some light pruning to do these will work well.

The downside is these saws generally run at least 500$ a piece, which can be excessive for your average home owner. However, if you are looking to do light duty pruning, and are only planning to use your pole saw occasionally you can also look at a smaller saw. You may even be tempted to purchase an electric model, instead of a gas run model. This may be a good choice if you are not planning to use it regularly, as gas engines do take a bit of maintenance, even when not in use to keep them running well.

If you have a home where you are going to need to be pruning trees often you may find this tool helpful, especially if you have tall trees. It will make pruning much easier than trying to stand on a ladder. It will also be much safer too.

However, if you will only have a small amount of pruning to do, and can't really justify the expenditure for such a tool, I suggest you call around to your local rental store. You can often rent this type of saw for around 20 dollars a day. If you are only going to need it a couple times of year this will save you in the long run, as you will not have to worry about sharpening the chain, handling the maintenance or repairing it when it breaks down.

Just remember, no matter what type of chainsaw you are using, the key to safe and effective cutting is a sharp chain. Whether you sharpen the chain yourself or take it to a professional to have it done, you must cut with a sharp chain. This will decrease your chances of accidents and injuries.
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