If you have a large garden, chances are there will be a few tall trees that are a pain to prune and cut. And if cables and the smell of gas aren’t your things, getting the best cordless pole saw is a must. It will be much easier to use, will reach just as high as the other pole saws, and won’t restrict you as to where you can go. There are quite a lot of pole saws on the market, however. That is why I’ve made this guide in which we will go through all of the specific features to set aside the good models from the bad ones.
Below, I’ve compared some of my top picks for this year, based on their best qualities. I’ve also pointed out their most important pros and cons, as well as their most notable features.
Cordless Pole Saws Comparison Chart
Best Overall – DeWalt DCPS620M1 Max XR Pole Saw
When speaking about cordless work tools it is hard to ignore the dominance DeWalt has over the market. Along with Makita, these two brands produce some of the most durable and powerful batteries out there. The DeWalt DCPS620M1 is one of the top, if not the top, electric cordless pole saws your money can get you right now. It has incredible reach, is easy to work with, and packs a bunch of power thanks to its potent battery and brushless motor.
The battery on this pole saw is one of the bigger DeWalt battery packs and can be used across all other compatible tools from the brand. It is a 4.0 Ah 20V Max battery that is good for up to 100 cuts per charge (on normal 4×4 pressure-treated pine wood). When cutting branches with a thickness of around 3-6 inches, the battery can last even more. With the battery, you also get their battery charger which is also compatible with other battery 20V batteries from the brand.
Another one of the showcase features of this pole saw is its reach. It is one of the few models on this list, or in the market as a whole, that can reach up to 15 feet. It does so by having an extendable middle part. The adjustments are done through a simple twist-and-lock mechanism which is quite stable even when fully extended. At the end of that pole, you have an 8-inch cutting bar with a low-kickback full-complement chain. The head also packs metal bucking spikes which make for a better cutting grip. After you’re done pruning or cutting a branch, the limb hook allows you to easily remove the said branch away from the tree crown. In terms of additional features, the saw has an automatic oiling system which is always a useful thing to have. Unfortunately, there is no auto-tensioning system, although you get a tensioning wrench in the box. As a whole, there is hardly any better pole saw on the market right now that can match the performance and versatility of the DeWalt Max XR Pole saw.
- Brushless motor
- Battery lasts up to 100 cuts
- Powerful cutting capabilities
- Can reach up to 15 feet
- Surprisingly budget-friendly
- Comes with a 20V battery and a charger
- Automatic oiling
- No automatic tensioning
- A bit on the heavy side
- Doesn’t come with oil in the box
Lightweight Option – Black+Decker LPP120 Pole Saw
If you’re looking for a complete package at a reasonable price on the market right now, the Black+Decker LPP120 8-Inch Pole Saw might just be it. It comes with all the items you will need and has quite a lot of useful features that make it extremely practical. For starters, this particular model combination uses the company’s 20V Max lithium-ion battery. It is the 2.0 Ah option, although you can select larger battery packs at 3.0 or 4.0 Ah. The 2.0 Ah battery is going to be good for 100 cuts of 1.5-inch pine branches or more cuts of smaller branches. While this is good enough, the DeWalt and Makita batteries will give you more cuts per battery and will be able to handle thicker branches in general.
Still, this pole saw remains an extremely cheap and convenient option for most people. One main reason for that is its extendable pole which can reach up to 14 feet and has two other adjustment steps at 6.5 ft and 10 ft. The bar is 8 inches and can generally handle branches of up to 6 inches, depending on the tree type. Another thing that makes this model so appealing is the number of combinations it comes in. While I generally recommend the 20V Pole Saw kit, as it includes everything you need, there are still quite a lot of other cool options to pick from. For instance, you can get the kit plus a pair of black & decker gloves, a leaf collection bin, safety glasses, and more. Additionally, you can get the kit with an extra 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0 battery. Lastly, you can get the tool only without the other items in the kit with or without a battery. All these options might seem over-the-top but some people already have batteries from this company for their other tools and might just need the pole saw itself, which is why the various options exist.
One major disadvantage here, though, is the lack of an oiling system as a whole. The oil tank is completely missing from the tool which might’ve made manufacturing easier but it does mean that you will have to oil the chain manually every time you cut. In addition to that, there is also no self-tensioning system. As a whole, if you are willing to ignore these few downsides in terms of practicality, this pole saw offers a great bang for your buck and is all you will need to start pruning and cutting branches today.
- Relatively cheap
- You get a complete package
- Reaches up to 15 feet
- Powerful motor
- Long-lasting battery
- Easy to use
- The construction quality isn’t great
- You have to oil it manually every time you cut
- No self-tensioning system
Best for the Money – WORX WG323 PowerShare 10″ Cordless Pole Saw
For the money you’re going to pay, there is no better deal currently out there than the WORX WG323 PowerShare Cordless Pole Saw. It comes with all the bells and whistles of more expensive models and is packed full of useful features, and then some. All that comes at a bargain price that borders the budget category and it has its battery included in the package, unlike some other brands that don’t. Speaking of the battery, this saw uses a 20V lithium-ion battery that has a 2.0 Ah capacity. While this isn’t great for the battery life, it delivers plenty of power to spin up the 10-inch bar and chain up at the front. The chainsaw attachment at the end is detachable and becomes a full standalone 10-inch chainsaw which is one of this pole saw’s best features and truly sets it aside from the rest.
Even with the chainsaw attached at the end of the pole, this model barely weighs 11 pounds with its battery on it. This also makes it one of the lightest on the market and super easy to maneuver in crowded tree crowns. The 10-inch bar upfront is super helpful when it comes to cutting larger branches of around 6-8 inches. The ergonomic grip at the bottom makes for a safe and easy operation, while the extendable pole allows you to reach quite far up in the tree. The pole itself might be one of the few downsides of this saw as it is only 10 feet, compared to other similarly priced pole saws that often reach anywhere from 12 to 16 ft.
In terms of additional features, this saw has both auto-oiling and auto tensioning systems. This is yet another thing that makes it super easy to work with and actually, a perfect pole saw for anyone that hasn’t worked with one before. For the oil level, you also get a small window at the side of the chainsaw attachment. As a whole, if you aren’t on a super tight budget, this is the best thing you can invest your money in without burning a hole in your pocket. The pole saw also comes in different packages, all of which include different items such as a bigger battery, a pruner, a hedge trimmer, additional chain oil, and more.
- Great bang for the buck
- 10-inch bar
- Auto-oiling system
- Auto-tensioning system
- The pole isn’t as long as some competitors
- Goes through oil fast
- The chain isn’t very stable
Best Budget – Greenworks 40V 8″ Cordless Pole Saw
If you have a tight budget to work with, the Greenworks 8-inch Cordless Pole Saw is one of your best options. It comes at under half the price of some premium models on the market and has a fairly practical design and decent functionality for the money. Another reason to get this particular pole saw is that it is incredibly light. Without its battery attached to it, the saw weighs in at 9.2 lbs which is the lightest out of all the other models on my list. That really helps with sawing branches that are high in the trees and is also much easier for transportation. Unfortunately, with a standard length of 6 feet and an extension option to 8 feet, this is also the shortest saw here, making it less-than-ideal for pruning higher branches.
The battery here is a 40 Volt 2 Ah lithium-ion one which is good for up to 65 cuts. While this isn’t great compared to some DeWalt models, it certainly isn’t bad for a budget saw. The reason for the low efficacy is the fact that this is also one of the last remaining pole saws without a brushless motor on the inside. These motors use older technology and tend to be less effective in terms of power consumption. They are potent, however, and allow the pole saw to cut through 4-6 inch branches rather easily. Additionally, there is an automatic oiler and an easy-adjust chain tensioning system which adds to the practicality of the model.
- Automatic oiling system
- Easily adjustable chain tension
- Very cheap
- Good for beginners
- Relatively lightweight
- The battery capacity isn’t great
- Only reaches up to 8ft in length
Best Battery – Oregon PS250 Cordless Telescoping Pole Saw
The Oregon PS250 Cordless Telescoping Pole Saw is a super capable and practical cordless saw that has tremendous battery life thanks to the huge battery pack that comes with it. This battery is, in fact, the main focus of this saw and is what sets it aside from other competitor models. With a fully charged battery, you can make up to 500 cuts on tree limbs with a diameter of around 3 inches. The 40V lithium-ion battery is also quite long-lasting, with a guaranteed life of at least 1000 cycles. This means that you can also use this battery in the off-season for your other Oregon instruments.
Oregon as a brand has always been known for producing some of the finest saws out there too. This pole saw here is no exception to that. It cuts through larger limbs with no issues and the 8-inch bar at the top is easily good enough for pruning and cutting most tree branches. The bar is extendable and can reach up to 15 feet which is quite a lot more than regular pole saws. Another thing that helps with reach and usability is the relatively low weight. With its (4.0 Ah) battery attached, the saw weighs just 13.5 lbs which is among the lightest on this list. The mid-mounted motor helps with weight distribution and also makes the head smaller, allowing it to easily navigate through thick tree crowns. Lastly, there is also a branch hook that allows you to easily remove limbs that are already cut off and don’t want to fall.
If the higher price tag is an issue, you can always opt for the 2.6 Ah battery pack which will shave off a few bucks from the price. You can also get the pole saw with no battery included if you already have other tools from the brand and want to use their (compatible) batteries instead. Conversely, you can spend more than a hundred dollars more on the model version with a 6.0 Ah battery pack. This one is even stronger than the 4.0 Ah one and can make up to 700 cuts on 3-inch branches. In conclusion, if money isn’t an issue, this is a super reliable and practical pole saw that has little to no disadvantages.
- Superb battery life
- Only 13.5 lbs with the battery
- Extends up to 15 ft
- Up to 500 cuts on a single charge
- Powerful 8-inch bar and chain
- Ergonomic design
- Branch hook
- Very expensive
- Oiling and chain adjusting aren’t easy
Best Heavy-Duty – Milwaukee M18 Cordless Pole Saw Kit
The Milwaukee M18 Cordless Pole Saw is one of the most expensive models on this list but there might be a very good reason for that. Thanks to its powerful 9.0 Ah motor, a bar length of 10 inches, and a 3/8″ low profile chain pitch with a .043″ gauge, this is one of the most potent saws here. It is capable of dealing with thicker branches of oak and other hardwoods. It also uses the M18 patented Redlithium high-output technology from the brand. That allows the battery to provide more power instantly and run 50% cooler versus the previous battery packs from Milwaukee.
The saw comes with Milwaukee’s Quik-Lok attachment system which allows you to use it with various types of tools from the brand. These include a pole saw, an articulating hedge trimmer, an edger, a string trimmer, and more. There is also the option for an additional 3-foot pole to be attached which brings the total length of the pole saw to 10 ft.
Even though this saw doesn’t have an automatic chain tensioning system it has the brand’s patented easy-access chain tensioning system. It is a semi-automated one and does make relatively quick adjustments. The oiling, on the other hand, is done automatically by the saw itself. All you have to do there is refill the oil tank when needed, which will be often since the 10-inch bar does gulp a lot of oil to work properly.
- Powerful battery
- Cuts through thick branches easily
- 10-inch bar
- Quik-Lok system
- Comfortable handle
- Quick start
- Not a lot of cuts per charge
- Very expensive
- Not ideal for beginners
- Not very long
Cordless Pole Saws Buyer’s Guide
When shopping for your first pole saw, you will have to first decide what type it will be. While gas and corded options each offer their sets of advantages, cordless options are becoming increasingly popular. This is thanks to their portability, convenience, and decent power. They are also getting better and better each year, with most experts thinking they will surpass gas models in terms of sales in a few years. With all that aside, there are quite a lot of things that you will have to look for in a pole saw in order to make the best choice for you. Let’s talk a bit further about that now…
What is a Pole Saw and Why Do You Need One?
Pole saws are basically smaller chainsaws that are strapped to a long pole. This gives you all the cutting abilities of a regular chainsaw but with a remote operation option. That allows you to prune tree branches that are otherwise hard to reach. It also helps with cutting thick branches in the higher portions of the tree without the need for a ladder or unnecessarily risking your health.
As I already mentioned, they come in three different options, all having different motor types. There are gas pole saws that are quite powerful but rather noisy and depend on gas to work. Electric pole saws can be corded and battery-powered. Corded ones pack a bit more punch but are harder to use due to the cable getting in your way. They are also a bit lighter than battery-powered models due to the lack of a heavy battery attached to them. Battery-powered models are super easy to use and often have their batteries at the back of the unit, helping with weight distribution. They are just as long as the other two types but are slightly less powerful. They are also limited by their batteries and certain models can only make 30-50 cuts before you have to swap or charge the battery.
Features to Look For
Some of the most important features that you need to pay attention to when buying a new cordless pole saw are:
- Cutting Bar Length
- Chain Tensioning System
- Head Angle
- Additional Features
Pole saws are intended for one specific purpose – reach where no chainsaw can reach. They are the tool you buy when your pruning loppers simply aren’t long enough to do the job. This is why one of their main features and often a huge differentiating factor between the different models is the reach each one has. Typically, most pole saws will have a reach of around 8 ft but some models can go all the way up to 16! On average, you can adjust your pole saw between 8 and 12 ft. The extra 2-4 feet are achieved via extension rods. These are attached to the saw and allow it to reach further than it could before. They do, however, make cutting with the saw a bit more difficult as more of the weight is shifted further from your body. For most practical reasons, you won’t need more than 10-12 ft of reach but if you often cut high in the trees, getting a 14-16ft pole saw is a must.
Cutting Bar Length
Apart from the pole saw’s reach, you have to take a look at its bar length. With cordless pole saws, you will consistently look at 8-inch bar models. That is because that length doesn’t add a ton of weight to the far end of the saw. At the same time, 8 inches is more than good enough for cutting small and medium-sized branches. If you want a pole saw that will cut through bigger branches, you will have to go for a 10-inch model. Unfortunately, there aren’t any 12-inch battery-powered pole saws, as most batteries nowadays won’t be able to give the proper output for such a chainsaw to cut well. If you want a bigger bar, it is better to go for a gas-powered model. One more advantage of shorter bars is that they are also easier to maintain and have their chains swapped (and oiled).
A good rule of thumb is that an 8-inch bar is good for 6-inch branches, while a 10-inch bar will be able to go through an 8-inch branch without a lot of issues. Another part of the bar is the actual cutting chain. There are quite a lot of chains out there, all made out of different materials and featuring different teeth designs. The good thing with chains is that you can, later on, swap them out easily for another (better) type. They aren’t as expensive and you can have a few chains for different purposes even.
If you want to learn more about the different methods used with this tool, check out my article on the best pole saw cutting techniques!
The weight of pole saws is pretty unevenly distributed throughout the body of the saw. One of the main issues with these cordless models is that their further end weighs quite a lot more than the base (which houses the battery). This makes operating them slightly harder than gas saws. In gas models, a big part of the weight is at the close end of the pole, where the engine lies.
When comparing gas-powered, corded, and cordless pole saws, the gas ones are the heaviest. After the gas-powered saws come the battery-powered models which are slightly heavier than the corded saws due to having a battery pack strapped to them. Even with an extra pack of batteries, these cordless models often weigh no more than 10-15 lbs. This is reasonable enough, especially if the saw has an 8-inch bar, making it lighter at the top.
To deal better with uneven weight distribution, some models have a large handle at the bottom part which makes moving the pole saw around much easier.
Almost all modern pole saws use lithium-ion batteries. To help with battery life, the industry has now fully transitioned into using brushless motors, as they are much more efficient. The battery life of a saw is determined by the Ah (amper-hour) rating of the battery pack. Most batteries out there are 2.0 AH which is good enough, although there are 3.0 and 4.0 battery packs that are more expensive. Money aside, getting a larger battery pack is always a good investment as it will save you time and money in the long run. This is especially true if you have multiple tools from the same brand and they share the same battery pack technology. To make sure your battery is compatible with other tools, you need to see if they are 18, 20, or 40-Volts. Most saws are 20 and 40V, which is also another determining factor when it comes to the power (higher voltage = higher discharge).
Oftentimes with saws, you will see that the battery capacity is measured in cuts. For instance, a decent battery will perform around 50-100 cuts before it is depleted and in need of recharging. Good batteries from companies like Makita and DeWalt will typically last anywhere between 100 and 160 cuts.
The grip of a saw is quite the subjective feature, meaning only you can tell if something is comfortable to hold or not. Still, there are models that have given their best effort to make the grip as comfortable as possible. This includes a larger handle, bigger easier to use on/off button, rubberized materials to minimize vibrations, and more.
Chain Tensioning System
As with most other saws out there, having a chain tensioning system is a must. Whether that system is manual or automatic, however, is what sets the good models from the okay ones. Having to manually adjust the chain of your 10+ ft pole saw is a huge chore and the last thing you want to do when you’re in the middle of a cut. This is why most models come with automatic chain tensioning which takes care of that while you’re cutting. There is still room for malfunctions in which you will have to manually fix the chain on the bar but those are quite rare.
One of the most distinctive features of pole saws, in general, is the ability to adjust the head angle. There are still some models with fixed head angles but the majority of newer models can have their head tilted and rotated based on your needs. This allows you to easily position the tree branch to be parallel to the head’s angle and thus being cut much more easily.
The materials of which the pole saw is made are often a topic of discussion. The reason for that is because corded and cordless models often lack the level of quality of gas-powered saws. They have more plastic components (to help with weight), making them a bit less heavy-duty. Look for models that have metal extension poles, as well as sturdy plastic covers on their motors and cutting heads.
There are quite a few additional features that will make for a better pole saw. One of my favorite ones is the automatic lubrication some models come with. This feature removes the need for manual lubrication and keeps the saw blades well maintained even when you’re cutting thicker branches. All you will have to do with a saw that automatically oils itself is refill the oil tank. As I mentioned earlier, another automated feature that is nice to have is chain tensioning. Usually, it is done by hand but some more expensive models have it done automatically.
While noise levels cannot be discussed as a separate feature, there are some pole saws that have brought their own noise levels quite far down. If you’re living in a neighborhood with strict noise laws, it is good to check the decibels of the saw you want to buy beforehand.
Another cool additional feature is a detachable saw head. This gives you the opportunity to use the saw individually as its own standalone cutting tool. Moreover, this adds for easier storage of your saw. Detachable heads like in some Makita models also allow you to swap out different attachments at the end of your pole saw, such as weed eaters and more.
Few other things are also worth checking, such as potential fast charging options for your saw’s batteries as well as a good warranty. Most models will be covered by 1-2 year warranties but some brands offer 5 full years for theirs.
One last thing we also have to talk about is the pole saw’s price. Generally speaking, these saws aren’t the most expensive out there and can set you back anywhere from 50 to 300 dollars. That will depend a lot on the saw’s reach, power, and more importantly – brand. I recommend checking some of Greenworx’s models if you’re on a tight budget but still want something of decent quality.
If you need a spring maintenance checklist for your lawn, click here!
Benefits of Using a Cordless Pole Saw
There are a number of benefits that come with a battery-powered pole saw. Some of the most important ones are:
- Cordless saws are often much cheaper than gas-powered models
- They are much easier to use in remote locations
- You can buy an extra battery pack if you have lots of work to do
- Most models have quick-charging capabilities reducing their downtime significantly
- Cordless pole saws are lighter than gas pole saws
- They can have 8 and 10-inch cutting bars
- Most cordless models can reach up to 15-16 ft
And while there are a few drawbacks like the lack of a ton of power, these saws are often a preferred alternative compared to corded or gas options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cordless pole saws any good?
While gas pole saws are the true kings of all pole saws, cordless models are making a name for themselves recently. The reason for that is because they are incredibly practical for small to medium-sized yards. Moreover, their batteries are lasting more and more with each new model, making them much more reliable.
How far can a pole saw typically reach?
While some normal gardening pole saws reach up to 8ft, there are professional models out there that can reach a height of 12 ft.
Can you trim hedges with a cordless pole saw?
While they are typically too bulky for smaller tasks, pole saws can come in handy if you need to trim thicker limbs above your height. They can also be used to trim brambles and vines from time to time.
If you want to learn more about how to trim, prune, and shape your shrubs and bushes, make sure you read my detailed article on that topic!
When picking the best cordless pole saw, you will have to take into account a few very important features. The main thing with battery-powered models is to look for the battery’s performance. That means both its power and its capacity. Most batteries are good enough to match a corded pole saw’s performance but can only last up to 50 cuts. Some companies like Makita and DeWalt produce strong batteries that can last up to 150 cuts. Then, look at the pole’s length (reach) and the bar length, as these are important features when it comes to pruning and cutting high tree branches.