Which gas-powered pole saw is best?
When you need to trim the tops of the trees and you have an entire forest to treat, it’s time to get a gas-powered pole saw. But there’s more to it than just the fuel. You also need to balance aspects of the blade and pole to ensure you have the appropriate tool for your job.
The best gas-powered pole saw is the Echo 12-Inch Two-Stroke Gas Pole Saw With Loop Handle. The extending pole gives you flexibility when you need it, and the handle makes it more comfortable to use.
What to know before you buy a gas-powered pole saw
Gas vs. electric
Gas-powered pole saws have several benefits over corded or battery-operated saws, but they also have several drawbacks.
- Gas pole saws provide more power than electric ones, can be used anywhere and run longer without needing a top-up. However, they’re also heavier, which makes using them for long periods difficult. Gas engines also require more maintenance, have more expensive fuel (which also generates dangerous emissions) and make enough noise to damage unprotected ears.
- Electric engines can’t match the power of gas, though high-end ones can get close. Their fuel is cheaper and has no emissions but comes with drawbacks such as limited range for corded saws or short run times for battery-operated ones. However, they’re lighter and tend to cost less.
Two- vs. four-stroke engine
Most gas-powered pole saws use two-stroke engines, but some use four-strokes.
- Two-stroke engines are more powerful, but burn out faster and need more maintenance. You also need to mix your gasoline and oil together, which gets messy and when done improperly can ruin the engine.
- Four-stroke engines aren’t as powerful, but they’re more durable because of it. You also don’t need to mix your fuel, making it easier and cleaner to use.
What to look for in a quality gas-powered pole saw
The length of the pole determines how high a tree you can trim. Most poles are 6-12 feet long. Some are telescoping so you can adjust the length as needed.
Blade length determines how thick a branch you can cut, with the thickness being half the length of the blade. For example, a 10-inch blade can safely cut branches up to 5 inches thick. Most pole saws have 10- or 12-inch blades, but some are shorter.
How much you can expect to spend on a gas-powered pole saw
They can cost as little as $150 or as much as $1,000-plus. Smaller and less powerful saws typically cost $200 or less while the longest, biggest and strongest start at roughly $400. The average saw costs $250-$300.
Gas-powered pole saw FAQ
How do I maintain a gas-powered pole saw?
A. The biggest step is making sure your fuel is mixed properly if you have a two-stroke engine. Otherwise, keep the blade sharp and oiled, and make sure no other pieces and parts are clogged or broken.
How do I use a gas-powered pole saw safely?
A. Pole saws and tree trimming are both dangerous, which means you need to take multiple precautions.
- Saw: Always double-check your pole saw before beginning. Make sure it has enough fuel and that the fuel is mixed correctly if necessary. Make sure the saw is well oiled, sharp and the chain is properly tense. Check for any other possible issues.
- You: Always wear full protective gear when sawing. This means tight-fitting clothing that covers all your skin, thick or steel-toed boots in case something falls on your feet, gloves, and either safety glasses or a face shield. It’s also extremely important to wear proper hearing protection — without it, prolonged use of a roaring gas engine can easily damage your hearing.
- Area: Make sure there’s nothing and no one around you that branches can fall on. Make sure you have solid footing on stable, preferably flat ground, and that you aren’t standing underneath the branches you’re cutting.
What’s the best gas-powered pole saw to buy?
Top gas-powered pole saw
Echo 12-Inch Two-Stroke Gas Pole Saw With Loop Handle
What you need to know: This is top-quality and packed with useful features.
What you’ll love: The pole telescopes from a minimum of 8.9 feet up to 12.2 feet, and it’s made from aluminum for durability and to keep the weight down. The saw is 1 foot long and has a side-accessed tensioner. The rubber-coated handle is comfortable.
What you should consider: A few consumers had issues assembling it. Others found it a little too heavy. It doesn’t have an automatic chain oiler, making maintenance harder.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top gas-powered pole saw for the money
K Nakasaki Two-Stroke Five-In-One Pole Saw
What you need to know: This all-in-one collection is an excellent way to fill out your tool shed.
What you’ll love: The five tools are a pole saw, weed eater, brush cutter and two types of hedge trimmer. It also comes with safety gear, including gloves, ear protection, safety goggles, a face shield and a vibration reduction harness.
What you should consider: It isn’t as powerful as a dedicated tool would be. A few customers didn’t receive instructions. Others reported faulty or missing parts.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
DeWalt 10-Inch Two-Stroke Pole Saw
What you need to know: This is a great tool for the average household’s occasional trimming needs.
What you’ll love: The pole is 7 feet long. The blade is 10 inches long with a low-kickback chain and an automatic oiler to keep things running smooth. The saw is also a removable attachment; you can attach other DeWalt tool heads such as a leaf blower and a hedge trimmer.
What you should consider: A few purchasers had issues with the bar tensioner not working as it should. Others had issues with the automatic oiler clogging.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.