What is the difference between a pole saw and a pruner?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

The difference between a pole saw and a pruner lies in their functionality and the amount of effort required to use them. Both tools are designed to help with tree trimming and pruning, but they have distinct characteristics and purposes.

1. Functionality:
– Pole Pruner: A pole pruner is primarily used for pruning small branches and limbs. It typically consists of a long pole with a pruning head at the end. The pruning head usually includes a cutting blade or shears that can be operated manually or with a pulley mechanism.
– Pole Saw: A pole saw, on the other hand, is designed for cutting larger branches and limbs. It features a saw blade attached to the end of a long pole. The saw blade can be either manual or powered, depending on the type of pole saw.

2. Effort required:
– Manual Pole Pruner: Hand-operated pole pruners require more physical effort to use. You need to exert force to cut through branches, and it can be tiring if you have a lot of pruning to do. However, they are generally lighter and easier to maneuver due to their simpler design.
– Powered Pole Saw: Powered pole saws, whether electric or gas-powered, require less physical effort as they have a motor or engine to assist with cutting. This makes them more suitable for heavier cutting tasks and allows for quicker and more efficient pruning. However, the additional weight of the motor or engine can make them slightly more challenging to handle.

3. Versatility:
– Pole Pruner: Pole pruners are great for reaching higher branches that need trimming, especially when you have limited space to maneuver. They are ideal for precise pruning and shaping of small to medium-sized branches.
– Pole Saw: Pole saws are better suited for cutting larger branches and limbs that are beyond the reach of traditional pruners. They are commonly used for trimming overgrown trees or removing deadwood. With their long reach and powerful cutting ability, they can handle more demanding pruning tasks.

4. Safety considerations:
– Pole Pruner: Manual pole pruners are generally considered safer to use as they don’t have a motor or engine that can cause accidents if mishandled. However, care should still be taken to ensure proper technique and safety precautions, such as wearing protective gloves and eyewear.
– Powered Pole Saw: Powered pole saws require extra caution due to their potential hazards. The use of sharp saw blades and the possibility of kickback make proper safety measures crucial. Protective gear, such as goggles, gloves, and a hard hat, should be worn, and it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines.

The main difference between a pole saw and a pruner lies in their functionality, the size of branches they can handle, and the effort required to use them. Pole pruners are suitable for smaller branches and offer more precision, while pole saws are designed for larger branches and provide more cutting power. Your choice between the two will depend on the specific pruning needs and the level of physical effort you’re comfortable with.