Pole Saw Vs Pole Pruner – Which One Should I Use?

In the early days, when cutting or trimming branches out of reach, people used to climb trees or use ladders. This was a very dangerous thing to do, especially if they had a saw in their hands. As the proverb says, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’; the necessity of safety of the workers gave birth to two tools: the pole saw and the pole pruner.

Both the pole saw and the pole pruner are long tools with some trimming or pruning equipment attached to it. They help reach the branches which were too high to reach before. Although they look and sound the same, they are anything but.

So, due to their similarities, inevitably, confusion arose as to how and where these tools should be used. Below, I have prepared a comparison of pole saw vs. pole pruner to help get rid of any such confusion.

Pole Saw Vs. Pole Pruner: Everything You Need to Know

Pole Saw Vs Pole Pruner

Pole Saw

Pole saws are chainsaws that are attached to a pole. These devices help cut thick branches up to 8 inches in diameter. These thick branches, when unattended, make the garden look messy and unappealing. So, this is a very popular tool among gardeners to take care of their gardens.

These saws come in three types: Electric, gas-powered, and manual. Pole pruners are a kind of manual pole saws. So, the debate of pole pruner vs. pole saw has turned into an electric vs. manual pole saw debate over time. Electrical pole saws are the best in terms of efficiency. While manual pole saws are a great choice for pruning trees because of their simplicity and ease of handling.

What are Pole Saws Used for?

A Pole Saw

From cutting branches to trimming bushes, pole saws are used for many reasons. Some of them are mentioned below :

1. Cutting branches: Pole saws are most commonly used to cut large branches. The gas-powered ones cut thicker branches, whereas the electrical ones deal with the thinner branches of the trees, which can’t be reached from the ground.

2. Shaping trees: You can also shape the trees with them by cutting off the extended and unwanted branches.

3. Trimming Bushes: They can even sometimes do the work of hedge trimmers by trimming bushes and shrubs, although somewhat imprecisely.

4. Removing dead branches: Sometimes, dead branches are still in the trees instead of falling off. These hinder the growth of the trees. Using a pole saw, gardeners can cut off these unwanted branches.

Pros and Cons of Pole Saw

The pole saw is an excellent tool for gardeners to use. Despite its many uses and advantages, there are some drawbacks to it as well.


  • Cutting Branches
  • Trimming and pruning trees and bushes
  • Compatibility with various attachments
  • High reach
  • Convertibility into a handheld chainsaw


  • The heaviness of gas pole saws
  • Uneven weight distribution
  • The inability of precise trimming
  • Being unsuitable for wet conditions.

Pole Pruners

Pole Pruner

To a perfectionist, who wants to give their trees a perfect shape and look, pole pruners are probably their best friend. Pole pruners are a better tool than other pruners as not only do they work like handheld pruners, but they also have a much longer reach.  As a result, gardeners don’t have to put too much effort while pruning their trees.

Also, pole pruners save you the difficulty of climbing a tree with a sharp object. When buying one, it is better to buy a drop-cast metal or die-forged pruner, as they provide much-needed durability. They also come in three types: Bypass Pruners, Anvil Pruners, and Ratchet Pruners. The Bypass Pruners are the most commonly used.

What are the Uses of Pole Pruners?

Pole pruners have a variety of uses, from trimming branches to pruning shrubs. Some of them are discussed below :

1. Trimming Small Branches and overgrowth: Small branches and plants sometimes grow near the top of the trees. This unwanted overgrowth is a nightmare for gardeners who want a perfect tree shape. So pole pruners can be used to trim or cut these.

2. Pruning water sprouts and vines: Water sprouts are a particular kind of growth called suckers because although they suck the nutrients from the trees, they provide no benefits, such as bearing fruits or flowers. Some vines grow spiraling along the trunk of the trees, which can hinder the trees’ growth. Not only these water sprouts and vines are harmful, but they also take away their beauty them.  So it is better to use a pole pruner to prune or altogether remove them.

3. Trimming and tidying up climbers and wall shrubs: Plants that grow upright while getting support from a larger, stronger plant/tree are called climbers. Pole pruners can be used to trim and tidy up these climbers, which include plants like Clematis, Trumpet Creepers, etc.

Pros and Cons of Pole Pruner

Nothing in this world is perfect. No animal, plant, living and nonliving thing has been blessed with perfection. Pole pruners aren’t perfect as well. That means they have their upsides along with some downsides as well.

Pros :

  • Eliminating the need for ladders
  • Giving perfect shape to trees
  • Pruning unwanted growth
  • Trimming suckers and climbers
  • Reducing fatigue and injury
  • Helping in making plants and trees healthy
  • Improving air circulation
  • Making passage of sunlight easy
  • Making harvest easier

Cons :

  • Inability to branches
  • Unavailability of electric devices
  • Time-consuming
  • Less versatility than pole saws.


How do I know which tool is best for my needs?

It depends on the type of work you are doing. If you want to trim branches from trees, a Pole Saw is likely the best tool. If you want to trim shrubs and bushes, a Pole Pruner is likely the best tool.

What types of maintenance are required for a Pole Saw or a Pole Pruner?

Both tools should be regularly maintained to ensure they are working correctly. This includes sharpening the blades and cleaning the tool after each use.

Are Pole Saws and Pole Pruners safe to use?

Yes, both types of tools are designed to be used safely. It is essential to read the instructions before using either tool and to wear appropriate safety equipment such as eye protection, gloves and long pants.

Can Pole Saws and Pole Pruners be used for other tasks?

Pole Saws and Pole Pruners can be used for other tasks such as cutting roots, clearing away overgrowth and removing dead wood. However, it is important to read the instructions before using either tool for different tasks.

Final Words

If we look at the above comparison of pole saw vs. pole pruner, we can see that despite looking similar, the work these tools do is entirely different. Pole pruners can’t do what pole saws do, nor can pole saws be substituted in place of pole pruners despite being more powerful. So, it is better to use these two wonderful tools differently.

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