How Good Are Battery Operated Pole Saws?

For trimming branches that are high up and out of reach for a standard chainsaw, a pole saw is the obvious choice. Pole saws provide additional length to help reach those hard-to-get-at branches while keeping your feet firmly on the ground.

This is a much safer option for those who are not comfortable climbing up tall trees to remove a branch or two! But how good are battery operated pole saws?

For the average user, battery-powered pole saws provide more than enough power to deal with the majority of jobs around the garden.

The advantage of a battery-operated pole saw is the freedom to move around without the restriction of a power cord required for electric pole saws… and without the noise and hassle of maintaining a gas powered one.

Battery operated tools are huge nowadays due to the ease of use. But there IS a trade-off with this. Cordless pole saws are powered by rechargeable lithium batteries that have come a long way in the last 10 years.

Related Article: The 5 best pruning pole saws – With pruning attachment!

However, they are still limited in the power department compared to a mains power source like electricity or the robustness of a fuel dependant engine.


The main advantages of cordless pole saws

Despite being less powerful than mains powered or gas powered pole saws, they are still more than capable of doing what they were designed to do – trimming branches.

They are still essentially a pole-mounted chainsaw that has a sharp spinning chain driven by a motor, only the motor is powered by a battery instead of mains electricity or gas.

For the average user, battery operated pole saws are ideal for around the garden. It’s unlikely your average home owner is going to be spending hours and hours using a pole saw. They are generally purchased to trim a branch or two every so often when required.

The advantages of battery operated pole saws for the home owner are:

  • No maintenance – No need for fuel or oil
  • Quiet – No engine noise
  • Ease of use – Simply plug in a charged battery and off you go!
  • Versatility – No power cord to limit movement
  • Lightweight – Easy to deliver cuts without fatigue
  • Adequate battery life – On average they supply between 30 to 60 minutes of cutting time. More than enough for most jobs
Man using polesaw
Image credit: Canva

What should I look for in a cordless pole saw?

Battery size

Firstly, the most important consideration is battery size. These typically range from 18 volt up to 80 volt. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the saw and the easier it will be to trim thicker branches.

Top Tip: You should always make sure that whichever pole saw you purchase comes with a spare battery. This means that you can always have a backup battery ready to go if the first one runs out.

Cutting Bar Length

The cutting bar determines the maximum diameter of branch you can cut. Bar lengths range from 6 to 12 inches, with 8 inches being the most common length.

A general rule of thumb is to have the cutting bar 2 inches longer than the diameter of the branch you need to cut. For example, an 8-inch bar will cut a branch 6 inches in diameter.


Important point to clarify – The working height or reach of a pole saw is the length of the pole plus one arm’s length. If the working height is advertized as 10 feet, the actual length of the pole saw will be around 7 or 8 feet long. It’s always best to check the product dimensions to be sure of the exact pole saw length.

You wont find many pole saws with a reach greater than 14 feet as these can become difficult to use in a safe manner. There are also telescopic models on the market that can be adjusted to suit your application if preferred.

Related Article: The longest pole saw ever – 26ft Reach!


Cordless pole saws weigh far less than gas powered pole saws for instance, but they can still weigh around 15 to 20 pounds. It’s important to be able to easily handle the weight of a battery powered pole since it’s going to be held at the end of the pole with the cutting end elevated.

That said, most users find the average cordless pole saw to be light enough to wield effectively.


Safety should be your first concern when it comes to operating a cutting tool like a pole saw. The extended length that a pole saw provides makes them more difficult to hold, move around, and control accurately compared to a standard chain saw.

Always follow the manufacturers instructions and be vigilant whenever using power tools of any kind! Be sure to have the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before powering up your pole saw. Gloves and eye protection are required as a minimum.

Easy grip handles and telescopic poles help to provide better control over the saw when in use. Saw guards can be helpful to protect the user and the cutting edge when the pole saw isn’t in use.

Cordless pole saw review and demo

To show how battery-powered pole saws perform, I’ve included this short video on the RYOBI 10″ 40V Cordless Pole Saw – one of the best available on the market right now. Take a look below:

RYOBI 10″ 40V Cordless Pole Saw on Amazon


The only disadvantage battery-powered pole saws have are in the power department. However this becomes meaningless due to the relatively short time a pole saw is in use.

Sure, if you are spending all day trimming hedges and tree branches as a job, you’ll probably want to invest in a gas-powered model for maximum performance. But for the average home owner, a battery-powered pole saw works like a charm!


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