Manual Pole Saw

7 Best Manual Pole Saws

A manual pole saw is one with no engine. You’re the source of power. Most importantly, they have a long pole(s) which extend well beyond your normal reach, allowing you to trim and prune tree branches you couldn’t reach otherwise. The main purpose of this page is to help you in selecting the one that best fits your needs. Whether you’re looking for the best pole saw overall, a budget option, or the best for the money, I’ve got you covered.

Many of these products are telescoping, having a pole within the handle pole which extends the overall length. Others have separate poles that need to be attached before using. Some of them fancy come with small loppers next to the saw blade. They’re usually operated via a long cord and they are used to snip small branches quickly instead of using the saw blade. The focus of this post isn’t to present you with the pole saw with the most gadgets but rather the ones that are best overall.

Image Length Weight Brand
Corona Pole Saw 7 – 14 ft 6.4 lbs Corona TP MAX Razor Tooth
Fiskars Pole Saw 7 – 16 ft 5.9 lbs Fiskars Pole Saw & Pruner
Silky Pole Saw 7 – 21 ft 6.9 lbs Silky Telescopic Pole Saw
Jameson Pole Saw 6 – 18 ft 8 lbs Jameson LS Pole Saw Kit
Milliard Pole Saw 6 – 16 ft 5.6 lbs Milliard Extendable Tree Pruner
Notch Pole Saw 6 – 18 ft 10 lbs Notch Pole Saw Set
Gilmour Pole Saw 6+ ft 9.1 lbs Gilmour Pole Saw

How to Choose a Pole Saw

When selecting a manual pole saw its important to consider three factors; the saw blade, the overall length, and the price. The quality of the blade determines how well the saw will cut through wood. Whether or not the teeth are impulse hardened will affect its cutting ability and the longevity of that blade.

The length of the pole is perhaps the most important aspect because its the part which defines this type of a saw. As for the weight, well, that will determine how easy you can maneuver the saw. Last but certainly not least, the price is always an important factor for most people. Sure, many of us would like to have the best-of-the-best but most the time we’re just looking for a quality tool at a fair price. I’ll talk about each of these topics more in the sections below.

Saw Blade

The TPI or Teeth Per Inch refers to the number of teeth the blade has. A blade with 11+ TPI is considered a fine blade while anything less, especially around 5 – 6 TPI is considered coarse. A fine-tooth blade does best at sawing hardwood while a coarse blade is best for softwood and pruning green trees.

There are at least two more aspects just within the saw blade that determine how well it will cut; the length of the blade and whether or not it is impulse hardened. You can cut more per stroke with a longer blade. That much is fairly easy to comprehend. With a shorter saw blade, you’ll need to perform more strokes to cut the same amount of wood as a longer blade.

Another important aspect is whether or not the blade is impulse hardened. Most pruning saws nowadays have impulse hardened teeth. That’s because they stay sharp up to three times longer than a normal blade. The downside is, you can’t sharpen the teeth as easily once they do become dull. Most people purchase replacement blades which are offered by most brands.

Length & Weight

The length and weight affect how well you can handle the pole saw. For the length, well, that determines the maximum reach. The main reason people get a pole saw is to safely cut those hard-to-reach branches without getting on a ladder. It should go without saying but the longer the pole, the greater reach you’ll have.

Remember, you will be carrying this tool around and trying to handle it while reaching high-up branches; the weight plays a part in how well you’re able to do this. Materials largely determine the overall weight but so does the length. Those really long poles are great but generally, more length equals more weight, which is more difficult to control.

Price

Last but not least is the cost. Don’t worry too much; I’ve assembled a good collection of manual pole saws ranging from the best and most expensive to budget options and plenty in between. So, now that you have some things to consider while reading the reviews, let’s get into it.

The Top 7 Manual Pole Saws for Professionals

Listed below are my top picks for the best manually operated pole saws. I haven’t listed them in order aside from the first two, which are my favorites; both of which offer great value for the money.

Corona TP MAX Razor Tooth

Corona Pole Saw

The brand Corona is no stranger to timbergadgets.com – their products are often in my top lists for their unique design and superior quality. Corona makes tools for lawn and garden, landscape, agriculture, and construction. Since their founding in 1920, they’ve been a front-runner in innovation. Their forestry tools, namely their saws, are known for their quality.

So, now I’ll address the three main factors for this saw. The price is decent, coming in around $120 – slightly more expensive than others but not by much. That price tag is well worth the extra few dollars, by the way. As for the length, well, it can extend up to 14-feet which is long enough for most people.

The blade is where this tool really stands out. Corona’s blades are all coated in a hard chrome layer to prevent rust and reduce friction. More important, the teeth are impulse hardened which increases the amount of time you can use the blade before it becomes dull. Also, since the blade is curved it helps in the process of cutting branches. The only thing I wish this tool had was a hook at the end of the blade to keep the saw from slipping off the branch you’re cutting. More of the specs are listed below.

  • Maximum Pole Length: 7 to 14-feet
  • Overall Weight: 6.4 lbs
  • Pruner attachment: Yes
  • Impulse Hardened: Yes
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass
  • Saw Blade Length 13-inches

One feature I almost forgot to mention was the pruner attachment. The pruner is located at the base of the saw blade. You operate it by pulling the handle of the cord once you’ve placed the pruner blades around a small tree limb. You can buy the Corona TP MAX Razor Tooth online for around $125.

Fiskars Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner

Fiskars Pole Saw

Fiskars is yet another brand that is no stranger to this website. All their products are fairly well made but it’s the price-point that usually draws attention. Fiskars is rarely known for the quality of their tools but that doesn’t mean they’re bad products. Quite the opposite, in fact. Their tools are exceptionally well made for the price they cost. That’s the point I want to get across. Fiskars is known for offering incredible value for the money. Their pole saw is no exception.

The extendable pole saw & pruner from Fiskars weighs a bit less than Corona’s, coming in just under 6 lbs. It also extends a little farther, reaching up to 16 feet. This is a good length for most people but it still won’t reach the tops of most trees. The saw blade is 15-inches in length and its hooked at the end. This is a nice feature because it helps keep the saw resting on the branches you’re cutting. More of the specs are listed below.

  • Maximum Pole Length: 7 to 16-feet
  • Overall Weight: 5.9 lbs
  • Pruner attachment: Yes
  • Impulse Hardened: Yes
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass & Aluminum
  • Saw Blade Length 15-inches

Similar to the previous pole saw, this one also offers a pruner attachment. It is located at the base of the saw or end of the pole. Using the pruner is accomplished by placing it on a small tree limb and pulling the rope cord handle. You can buy these in various home improvement stores or online for around $100.

Silky Telescopic Landscaping Pole Saw

Silky Pole Saw

If you’ve spent any time at all working with pruning saws or learning about them, you probably already know about Silky. Silky Saws are known for being the best of the best. They’re a company with a long history, having been founded in 1919 by Mr. Katsuji Miyawaki. Some of their products have won the Japanese Good-Design award due to their clever innovation. It’s easy to gush over Silky Saws but let’s take a closer look at their pole saws in particular and find out why they’re the best overall.

The pole length depending on the pole saw. Silky offers multiple pole saws from 9 to 21 feet in length. For the sake of this review, I’ll be going over their 21-foot telescopic pole saw. It’s just about as long as you can get. With a reach of 21 feet, you can trim and prune lots of trees. While you can’t exactly reach the top of them all, this is about as close as you’re going to get. And with an overall weight of 6.9 lbs, it’s fairly easy to wield.

As for the saw blade, it is slightly curved and has a hook at the end to keep the saw from slipping off the branch you’re cutting. Silky’s saw blades are known for being the fastest cutting blades in the industry. They are impulse hardened and made from SK4 high carbon steel. More of the specifications are listed below.

  • Maximum Pole Length: 7.4 to 21-feet
  • Overall Weight: 6.9 lbs
  • Pruner attachment: No
  • Impulse Hardened: Yes
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Saw Blade Length 15.4-inches

This is easily the best pole saw overall but I will point out a couple downsides. It doesn’t have loppers; that’s isn’t a huge issue because we’re focused mainly on the saw. More importantly, the price is rather high. The 21-foot Silky pole saw costs around $296 online; the smaller versions cost less, of course. If you’re a professional or just looking for the top of the line – look no further.

Jameson Landscaper Pole Saw Kit

Jameson Pole Saw

The Jameson Landscape pole saw is a great option for any arborist or homeowner needing to trim some branches. The thing that sits this pole saw apart from the others is its design. While the others involve a system in which poles are kept inside one another and extended to create a greater length, this one is not.

Instead, it has a base pole which is 6 feet in length. The 16-inch saw blade attaches to the end of that pole. Should you want to extend the pole you simply remove the saw blade and attach a separate pole.

It comes with a base pole and two extension poles, all of which are 6-feet in length. That brings the grand total to 18-feet, not including the length of the saw blade. Each pole is crafted from fiberglass and the overall weight isn’t too bad, coming in around 8 lbs. There are more specifications listed below.

  • Maximum Pole Length: 18-feet
  • Overall Weight: 8 lbs
  • Pruner attachment: No
  • Impulse Hardened: Yes
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass
  • Saw Blade Length 16-inches

The design may not seem as convenient as the others but it helps make the pole saw sturdy. With any large pole, you’re bound to have some wobbling but that’s to be expected. Anyway, you can find these online for around $90 plus shipping.

Milliard Tree Pruner / Pole Saw

Milliard Pole Saw

The tree pruner and pole saw from Milliard is one of the best options on this page. Especially if you’re looking for something of decent quality and not too expensive. That’s not just coming from either, it has one of the highest ratings across the board.

So, it’s close to the same weight as the other manual pole saws, coming in around 5.6 lbs. The extension system allows for a 6-foot to 16-foot reach. It’s certainly not the longest pole but it’s long enough for most people.

The saw blade is curved and it, like the others, is impulse hardened. This helps the teeth to remain sharp for an extended period of time. Milliard uses SK5 high carbon steel in making the blades and each tooth is sharpened on three sides for better performance. More of the specs are listed below.

  • Maximum Pole Length: 16-feet
  • Overall Weight: 5.6 lbs
  • Pruner attachment: Yes
  • Impulse Hardened: Yes
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass & Aluminum
  • Saw Blade Length 14-inches

One more thing I almost forgot to mention; it comes with a pruner, as the name suggests. Its location is directly under the saw blade and it can be operated by pulling the long cord and handle. You can find these online for around $63, making it the cheapest option at the time of writing this review.

Notch Pole Saw Set

Notch Pole Saw

The Notch yellow pole saw set like the Jameson and Gilmour brands in terms of design. The poles are stored separately and attached as you see fit. This one comes with a base 6-foot pole and two 6-foot extension poles, for a grand total of 18 feet in length. I imagine you could buy more extension poles if you need to but this set comes with 3 to get you started.

Notch seems to cater to arborists and homeowners alike, especially with this tool. It’s a very well-made, quality piece of equipment. Its SK4 high carbon steel, 15-inch curved blade makes short work of nearly any type of wood. And the simple yet effective design will put a smile on your face for sure. Listed below are some of the specifications.

  • Maximum Pole Length: 18-feet
  • Overall Weight: 9.1 lbs
  • Pruner attachment: No
  • Impulse Hardened: Yes
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass
  • Saw Blade Length 16-inches

The Notch pole saw set is simple, effective, and easy to use. It’s high-quality design make it a worthy competitor to brands like Silky. This set is sold online for around $146.

Gilmour Commercial Grade Pole Saw

Gilmour Pole Saw

The Gilmour company makes lots of products, most of which fall into the lawn and garden category. As for history? Well, that begins in 1949 when a man by the name of Robert Gilmour created the Gilmour Manufacturing Company.  Some of their first items included sprinklers, pistol grip spray nozzles, and hose repair clamps. Their plant is located in Excelsior Springs, Missouri and nowadays they’re making a wide range of products including this pole saw.

This manual pole saw similar to Jameson product I already reviewed; it has separate poles which are attached to increase the overall length. The base pole is 6 feet in length and if you want to increase the length more, simply attach another 6-foot fiberglass pole. For this product, however, the extension poles are sold separately. It comes with one 6-foot pole and a saw blade. I wasn’t able to find an all-in-one set with multiple poles. If you’re interested in this product, you can simply buy more extension poles as you see fit.

As for the saw blade, it’s 16-inches in length and has a curved blade. There is some assembly required in order to attach the saw to the first pole. Holes must be drilled through the top part of the fiberglass pole in order to attach it properly. More of the specs are listed below.

  • Maximum Pole Length: 6+
  • Overall Weight: 9.1 lbs
  • Pruner attachment: No
  • Impulse Hardened: Yes
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass
  • Saw Blade Length 16-inches

The reason I put “6+” on the maximum length is that each pole is 6-feet in length and the extension poles are sold separately. Technically speaking, you can buy as many 6-foot extension poles as you need, making it as long as you want. Anyway, the Gilmour commercial grade pole saw sells for around $110 online. Remember, pay attention to the number of poles it comes with. In most places, you need to purchase the extension poles separately.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a gardener, professional arborist, forester, or self-proclaimed woodsman, there is a pole saw for you. I recommend the Corona or Fiskars saw for most people. If you need something a little fancier, the Silky telescopic saw won’t disappoint.

My favorite one overall is the Corona Razor Tooth because it offers great quality at a fair price. As for my budget picks, I recommend the Milliard or Fiskars; both products are similar in comparison. Silky is the brand I consider to be the best overall but it’s also the most expensive. Whichever route you choose, I hope this page helped you in making your decision.

photo credit: StromBer / Wikipedia

Comments

  • Neil Franke

    I have been looing to buy the Corona TP Max Razor Tooth for a few months. Amazon and Ebay don’t have it. Where in Toronto Canada can I find it ??

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