For once a year branch maintenance, or a daily tool for tree-trimming, there are many options for picking the best tree pruner.
With choices like a telescoping pole, cordless saws, ropeless operation, it can get overwhelming quick. All you want to do is cut that pesky limb that keeps scraping across your truck or clean up the trees around your house.
Lucky for you, we’ll provide a buyers guide to help you pick the best trimmer for you, and three reviews so you have an idea of what tree pruners are available.
Buyers guide for the best pole saw pruner
There’s quite a few options available for tree pruning tools, each depending on the level of work you need to do. Selecting the best tree pruner involves matching features such as length, power vs. manual operation, cost, weight, and telescoping handle to the individual doing the trimming as well as to the tree to be pruned.
You can pick up a typical roped, pole saw that will cut smaller limbs and branches well, or go for a cordless pole chain saw that will slice through that thicker branch with ease.
A ‘telescoping’ style will extend the pole from twice to three times its normal size, allowing out of reach limbs to be safely cut without teetering on a ladder.
You’ll need to inspect your desired section of tree to trim, and decide how long of a pole you’ll need to do it.
Next, the size of the blade, and thickness of the wood should be taken into account.
You don’t want to be standing for 20 mins sawing away at a 3 inch diameter branch with what feels like a butter knife.
If the limbs are very thick, contemplate getting a cordless saw to make the job quicker and easier. Choosing a roped or ropeless trimmer will suffice for thinner branches.
First and foremost, a gardener or landscaper must be able to reach the branches and leaves needing to be pruned. A tree pruner of 12 to 14 feet can reach the tips of moderate size evergreens and cedar trees as well as mid-size trees. Shorter pruners of six to ten feet are better for hedges, low-hanging branches, or small trees.
Pruners with a telescoping handle are compact enough to store in a garage, but when they are extended, the can reach up to three times the original size. Such pruners can reach 16 to 18 feet. They are the most versatile models and work well for any size bush or tree.
Manual, electric, or gas-powered
Manual pruners with a scissor jaw work well for thin branches or branch tips. Manual saw-tooth pruners work well for thin or mid-size ranches up to 1 to 2 inches in diameter. For pruning jobs requiring many trees or many branches, an electric or gas-powered pruner can prevent muscle fatigue and cut work time by half.
Electric pruners have either a cord or a battery. Electric pruners can rival the power of gas-powered pruners, but battery-operated units do not have the consistent power for long jobs involving thick branches. Additionally, cords can limit the range to 75 to 100 feet, and they can get in the way during trimming operation.
Lithium batteries are the standard batteries for electric pruners. They provide consistent performance even as the power drains. Although they provide 45 to 90 minutes of operation before requiring recharging, they can swell in hot temperatures.
For heavy jobs or commercial usage, a gas-powered tree pruner provides the most durable and consistent cutting power, but they can weigh up to 3 to 6 pounds more than other units. Gas-powered pruners might require oil as well as gas, or they might require a pre-mixed oil/gas mixture. They do produce some exhaust, so a simple mouth-and-nose mask might be desired.
Bar, blade length
Manual cutters have a blade length of 1.5 to four inches. Electric pruners have a blade length of 6 to 10 inches and can cut through a 2 to 10 inch branch within a few second to a few minutes. Gas-powered bar length comes in a minimum of 12-inches and can cut any branch size smaller than the overall length. Electric models typically come in six or ten-inch lengths.
Upgrades and attachments
Attachments such as saw attachments for manual trimmers can make decrease work time and increase cutting capability. Shoulder harnesses can reduce back or hip strain. Sap grooves can help direct sap so it doesn’t drip all over the pruner or the person. Coated blades provide smoother cutting operations and offer increased durability. Corrosion resistance provide even more durability by reducing effects of rust. Rubber grips along the handles offer better handling.
Manual and cordless electric units weigh the least, but corded models still provide a comfortable weight and ample power. Gas-powered pruners can weigh up to 4 to 8 pounds (about the weight of a splitting maul) more than manual or electric models, so people needing a gas-powered pruner should shop for one with a shoulder harness to help distribute the weight across the shoulders.
Of course, manual pruners are the quietest, but battery-operated units are nearly as quiet. Corded electric models can be worn without ear muffs. Gas-powered pruners are very noisy and for maximum safety, ear protection should be worn.
Manual pruners range from $20 and up. Electric pruners range from $60 and up. Gas-powered units range from $150 and up.
Although electric models are cheaper, for large or repeated jobs, the cost of electric might need to be considered.
Additionally, for commercial jobs or large yard, they might require a 14/3 heavy-duty extension cord with 13 to 20 amp capability.
Some electric appliances are not safe if connected to an extension cord, so for jobs requiring long distance, a generator might be required. Such requirements increase the initial cost of the pruner, making a gas-powered unit a better choice.
Hopefully now, you’ll be able to decide which is the best tree pruner for your home forest.