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Chainsaw vs. Pole Saw: What’s the difference?

Cutting down trees, dry tree branches, twigs, and bushes are important tasks that need to be carried out throughout the year, especially if you own a garden. For these kinds of tasks, there are various saws to choose from, but the choice eventually comes down to two main cutters: a pole saw or a chainsaw. Some people refer to a pole saw as “a chainsaw on a stick.” Actually, this phenom may be somewhat true to its name. A pole saw is a chainsaw that has an extendable pole for cutting trees. This tool consists of the powerhouse – the engine, a long drive rod, and a saw that takes the ensemble of a chainsaw, but is a bit shorter. Due to this, pole saws are often preferred when a gardener needs to cut dry branches and maintain the detailing when trimming tall trees without making use of a ladder.

Chainsaw vs. Pole Saw, What’s the difference?

The major difference between a chainsaw and a pole saw is their length. The chainsaw is short and is used to work close to your body, to cut trees or logs. A pole saw is long, like a chainsaw on a stick, and is mainly used to cut and trim at places you can not reach with your chainsaw.

A lot of people are familiar with chainsaws but many have little or no knowledge of saws as the pole saw. Pole saws and chainsaws have many common features as well as differences. These features and differences should be considered when you need to decide on which one to purchase.

Do you need to know the differences between these two saws? Do you want to know which one suits your garden best? Don’t look too far, we’ve got you covered. This article will guide you through the relevant things you need to know about a chainsaw and a pole saw.

What is a Chainsaw?          

A chainsaw is a cutting tool that has teeth on a chain and is typically powered either by gas or an electric engine. The cutting chain is usually attached to the guide bar, it is mechanically powered to spin the chain. This cutting chain is responsible for cutting through wood. Whether you’re felling trees, trimming large branches, or cutting firewood, a chainsaw is the fastest, most effective way to cut wood. They can also be quite dangerous if you handle them carelessly.

Chainsaws are not only powered by gas, there are several electric chainsaws on the market too. They are typically smaller in size and are easier to handle, making them a great alternative for many. Chainsaws can perform their function as a result of an internal combustion engine connected to the chain with sharp blades. The simple mechanism has an increased level of reliability. There are always two options to pick from.

  • Electric chainsaws, are very powerful and multifunctional. In fact, you can conveniently use it for up to 15 hours a day without a break as long as you have spare charged batteries
  • Gasoline chainsaws are a great option for occasional use. The greatest advantage of gasoline chainsaws is that they are lightweight and small in size. Hence, they can be used to cut a small amount of firewood for igniting and burning a furnace. The basic capability of a gasoline chainsaw is very limited so it is recommended that you use it for not more than 2 hours per day.

What is a Pole Saw?

As mentioned earlier, a pole saw is best described as a pruning saw attached to the end of a pole. Pole saws are great for trimming tree limbs and branches that are hard to reach. So instead of using a ladder, getting a good pole saw is a better idea.

Just like the chainsaw, pole saws come in different types – manual, electric, and gas-powered pole saws. A gas-powered pole saw is like a chainsaw with an extension. They can be quite dangerous but if you’ll be doing a lot of trimming, you may want to consider a power pole saw. Electric pole saws are easily powered when plugged in a power cord or connected to a battery pack.

Types of Pole Saw

Pole saws, like the standard chainsaws, are available in two basic types – the electric and gas-powered pole saw, each has its pros and cons. There are also manual pole saws but if you’re not a professional, you’ll probably have no use for one.

1. Gas-Powered Pole Saw:

They are the most heavy-duty of all the pole saws. They are also the most powerful, and most popular choice for professional landscapers. Gas-powered pole saws are relatively easy to use, very mobile, and provide a great amount of cutting power that is versatile enough for different scenarios. They have a gas-powered engine on one end, and a small chainsaw blade on the other. The length of the pole is mostly dependent on the model, but the minimum for most models is 6 feet, with some extending a little further.

Gas-powered pole saws are quite similar to gas weed eaters in the way they operate. The engine style is basically the same, and so is the operation. You prime the engine, pull the cord to get the engine going, and then use a trigger to send different levels of power to the blade at the end. Apart from offering mobility, they are capable of operating for long periods in between fuel refills. This is the major reason many professionals prefer to use them.

2. Electric Pole Saw:

Just as the name suggests, electric pole saws are powered by electricity instead of gas. They are also of different types. Like their gas-powered counterparts, they have a build similar to a weed eater. The only difference is that the engine does not rely on combustible fuel. The sizes and reach of electric pole saws vary but certain professional models extend up to 6-10 feet. The engine portion of the saw is located on the bottom, which connects to a trigger that controls the speed of the blade.

Electric pole saws are of two categories, corded and cordless models. Usually, it all comes down to the preference of the user because the two types don’t vary much in size and power. However, the corded models have infinite power supply and are a bit more powerful, hence they are often suitable for people with average-sized yards that only need to cut down a few branches or two now and then. Cordless pole saws, on the other hand, use a rechargeable battery pack. These power packs have a limited amount of charge, so they can only be used for a short period. Although they have the advantage of being fully mobile, the battery can quickly run down before you know it. They are often less powerful than their corded counterparts, but not always.

3. Manual Pole Saws:

Manual pole saws are simple yet efficient for several reasons. Without a need for an engine or a battery, manual pole saws can use longer poles for an even greater reach. They are also very easy to maneuver, even though they require a considerable amount of work to get the job done. Most professional landscapers and arborists have at least one manual saw on hand despite the popularity of the gas and electric models. Manual pole saws require skill to use. They usually have less damaging effects on tasks.

Chainsaw vs. Pole Saw: The Difference

The major difference between the two saws is their length. The chainsaw is capable of working in tight areas as well as in up close and personal spaces. It can also accomplish any task from trimming branches or cutting down trees to creating a piece of folk art using a block of wood.

A pole saw, on the other hand, is a chainsaw on a stick, and that simply extends your reach. This extension adds an extra level of safety for the saw. The operator no longer needs to climb ladders or put themselves in a potentially harmful position just to achieve their task. The extended reach of the pole saw offers a new dimension to the use of chainsaws. It is capable of tasks that the regular gas chainsaw would not be able to accomplish.

Pros of Using Chainsaws Compared To Pole Saws

  • In terms of power supply, most chainsaws do not necessarily require a power supply, the corded pole saws are at a disadvantage in this aspect.
  • Electric chainsaws are much more powerful.
  • Chainsaws can perform long enough without interruption.
  • Chainsaws are good for use in different kinds of environments.
  • Gas chainsaws have a high level of reliability and durability.

Cons of Using Chainsaws Compared to Pole saws

  • Compared to pole saws, chainsaws make loud noises.
  • Gasoline tools are more harmful to human health and the environment because they emit fumes.
  • Gasoline tools produce vibrations that make the handling complicated
  • They can incur additional charges because fuel-powered chainsaws require regular filling.

Chainsaw Extension

A Chainsaw extension or chainsaw on a pole is what you need to easily reach high branches while allowing your feet to stay planted on the ground. There are different kinds of chainsaw extensions, but the most common are gas-powered pole saws, corded electric pole saws, and battery-powered or cordless pole saws.

Final Remarks

Now that you have seen the types and differences, if you are still unclear about which type of chainsaw you would prefer, you may want to compare the options offered by their manufacturers. As you know, both tools are efficient and powerful and are also easy to handle. The choice now depends on your daily tasks or what you’ll be using them for. We hope this article has been helpful. Good luck!