I paid $100 for this Greenworks 6.5 amp saw with 9 inch bar. The reach is 8 feet. It's awesome.
I've been waiting for a cordless, battery powered model. This one needs an extension cord. On the weekend, a little job ($200) came up. It was a big hedge with several areas that were too thick for the hedge cutter. I was able to quickly walk the length of it while cutting the thickest parts from the ground. These cuts were between 8 and 12 feet from the ground. I can reach to 15 ft when going almost vertical. After all the big stuff was removed, the rest of the job went quickly. Five minutes with the pole saw, saved me from having to climb the ladder with the chainsaw 20 times.
It's a little heavy when held out full length horizontally. This is done when a big hedge is topped. One length of the handle can be removed, which makes it about 5 feet long. This is perfect for topping. Giant laurel hedges are often 10 feet thick. I can position the ladder and cut everything within 7 feet with ease. Much safer than the one hand reach with the chainsaw that I've done a thousand times.
This big cedar is too close to the house. I've trimmed it before, using the chainsaw and pruning lopper pole. Using the pole saw, I was able to drop enough material to fill a pickup in 20 minutes. I was able to stand at a safe distance, without leaning over the edge.
These branches were 6 inches in diameter. After cutting them back from the roof, I put up a ladder and cut them to the trunk. By using the pole saw, I didn't have to climb so high and I let the firewood fall at a safe distance.
It has excellent start up power. I was able to rest the chain on the branches before applying power. This makes for more accurate cuts. With a regular hand held saw, the chain should be moving before the saw touches the wood.
This cedar hedge is far too close to the house for the guys were putting on the siding. It took me 40 minutes to cut 30 feet long by 12 ft high. The last 10 ft was behind the house and only needed a light cutting.
It's a bit ragged, but it accomplished what we need done. Once it grows out, I will come back at some later date and cut it more accurately.
I started out in the short mode where the saw reaches only five feet. After going along and cutting everything to that height, I put the extender on and went full-length.
There's enough stuff to fill a pickup truck. After it was on the ground, I used the saw to cut it in smaller pieces. It was easy to reach to the center of the pile.
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I've done about $2000 worth of work with this tool. It's my primary tool when I shorten overgrown cedar hedges. I seldom use the extension. I can reach about 7 ft horizontally when it's set at 5 ft. I draw the material towards myself as it's cut.most falls into the right yard, without hanging up.
The much more expensive ($650 plus a $200 battery) Stihl cordless pole pruner is used when a longer reach is required. It can cut stuff 14 ft from my shoulders, but more than 10 ft is awkward on a horizontal cut.
I can whack big hedges faster than the majority of professionals.
Dale... You're a good man, as usual — for posting this review.
But I want to ask you about gas-powered pole pruners, if you know anything about what's currently available. Reason being: During winter I sometimes need to clear out tree branches when they droop with heavy snow and impede the path of tractor, etc. (Yes, of course I have a chainsaw... for trunks or heavier branches.) Also, I do some large-fruit-tree pruning in spring.
I've been disappointed with battery-powered sawing equipment, either in terms of torque or work time between recharges. And a 700-1000 ft extension cord for an electric pole pruner would be impractical.
I've owned both Stihl and Shindaiwa 2-cycle equipment. In fact I wore out a Stihl brushcutter, and found the Shindaiwa I replaced it with has outlasted the Stihl by two or three years already.
BTW, I'd only be giving the pole pruner maybe 6-8 hours use each year, but it would represent a huge help to me.
My online educational sites:
I've only used one briefly. My Stihl pole pruner is an awesome machine.
If I were looking for a gas one, I would probably go for a Stihl or Husqvarna, just because they have such awesome service for everything. Perhaps you should seek out another one made by Shindaiwa. With such a small need, it might be best to look for a used one.
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit