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Like our hair, trees also need trimming for better growth and outer beauty. To remove the broken or large branches, thin limbs, we often feel the necessity of pruning. Traditionally, the methods are either climbing on the tree with a hand saw or stumbling on a ladder with a mechanical saw.
We are not raising the question of effectiveness, but these traditional methods are way too risky. And this is where comes the introduction of a pole saw.
In simple words, a pole saw is a long pole where a chainsaw is attached to the top edge which helps you to reach the branches of the trees you desire to cut while allowing you to stay on the ground from a safe distance.
Functionalities to Consider
Pole saws are available in a wide range of varieties based on different needs of users. Some could be suitable for non-professionals whereas some should be used strictly by the professionals only.
Working height usually represents the height of the pole. But one thing to remember that our arm’s length is also included by the manufacturers while mentioning the pole length.
For example, if you see specifying working height is 10 foot, then you have to assume that the pole length is around 7 foot. The rest is your arm’s length.
Cutting Bar Length
There is, of course, a limitation of the pole saw on how thick a branch you can cut off. Based on your cutting bar length, you can determine the diameter of the branch which is workable with your saw.
Bar lengths are available from 6 – 12 inches, but 8 inches is the most common length. Another easy measurement you can follow is to keep the bar length 2 – 3 inches longer than the diameter of the branch.
The lightweight pole saws’ weight range is from 7 – 15kg and the heavyweights are a maximum of 20 kg. But even the lightweight saws also feel very heavy once you lift it and start functioning holding it from a distance.
The weight also depends on the type of saw. Gas driven models weigh substantially more than the electric and cordless pole saws.
In a few models, the chainsaw can be dispatched from the pole and can be used separately for other jobs.
Pole saw makers are continuously coming up with new features for ensuring easy and risk-free operation. Some of the new features are the anti-vibration mode, non-slip grip, self-oiling chain, etc.
Types of Pole Saws
Based on functionality, power consumption, and pricing; there are three types of pole saws available in the market.
Electric Pole Saw
If you have a small yard then electric pole saw can be the best option for you. The price range starts from 60 dollars to a maximum of 120 bucks. It also produces less noise than the other types of pole saws.
Two things to keep in mind-
One; you cannot operate from a very distant place. Your mobility will depend on the length of the electric cord.
The other one; electric pole saws are not meant for heavy-duty jobs.
Cordless Pole Saw
Cordless pole saws give you the flexibility to operate without being attached to an electric cord. It is powered by rechargeable batteries and you will find it suitable for mid-sized yards. The price range varies from 125 dollars to 300 dollars.
Gas Powered Pole Saw
Gas driven pole saws are mostly used by professionals whose work requires heavy duty jobs. The price range is between 100 – 300 dollars based on the engine size. It gives the freedom of not having to use electricity. These pole saws are more substantial and create immense noise.
Personal Protective Equipment
Before working with a pole saw or any other similar kind of tools, it is a must to wear safety apparels. Such as;
- Eye Protection
- Hearing Protection
- Non-Slip Work Gloves
- Non-Slip Work Shoes
- Long Pants
Also, it is forbidden to wear any loose clothing or jewellery while working, as any kind of hanging object might get tangled with the pole or saw, causing a severe accident. You also must check the saw if it is in the right order, properly oiled, and safety features are fully functioning.
The Process of Using a Pole Saw
Here’s a step-by-step guide to follow when you are new and it’s the first time you are using the tool;
- Step 1 : Lift your pole saw using both your hands and hold vertically to adjust the weight. Then move the saw to your cutting space and rest the pressure on that branch of the tree.
- Step 2 : Adjust your position so that the pole end is at the level of your chest – neither above nor below. If your pole is adjustable, then adjust the length accordingly.
- Step 3 : Start your first stroke steadily and firmly. Start cutting through vertically so that you can hold a firm grip. The first stroke is the critical one as the saw might slip or get displaced. But take a deep breath and steadily make the first vertical cut. After that, you can change the cutting direction based on the cutting need.
- Step 4 : Once you are well adjusted, increase the blade speed. But keep your eyes open before the branches start falling apart so that you can take safety measures if required.
- Step 5 : Move the fallen limbs, branches and clean the area before you start a new cut.
Tips and Suggestions
Below you have some words of advice to keep safe and sound while you work;
- Check the weather condition before starting. If it is too windy or rainy, it is better not to work on that day. Such weather increases the risk of accidents.
- Inspect the work area properly. If there is any house, electric power lines then give extra attention to it. Also, check the rate of pedestrian movement. If possible, seal the area around so that people can be aware.
- In no circumstances, the fallen branch or the limb should damage any people or property. At least 50 feet distance has to be maintained to remain safe.
- Ensure two-footed firm footing. In no circumstances, you should be standing on a ladder or tree. If the work area is hilly or uneven, stand on the higher edge.
- It is also vital that your palms are dry. You have to hold the pole saw with both of your hands. If your hands are wet, you might lose the grip causing severe injury.
Using a pole saw is not an easy job as it is associated with a higher risk of accidents. Professionals who use it requires special certification. It’s better not to use a pole saw as long as you are not confident enough.
If it is your first time, you should read all the safety instructions carefully and ask yourself if you are ready to do it. You can start with smaller cuts first. Once you are easy with the adjustment, you can go for deeper cuts.