Pole Saw vs Chainsaw: The Ultimate Battle Between The Two Major Tree Cutting Tools

If you want to keep your garden or lawn nice and clean, you’ll need to clear off unwanted branches, limbs, and twigs. A pole saw and a chainsaw is the two major cutting tools used to accomplish your cleaning tasks. If you’re caught up in the middle of making a decision on which is better or right for trimming your garden tree, then read on! The two cutting saws are specialized tools used for bringing down tree branches.

Truly, a chainsaw and a pole saw might seem slightly similar kinds of tools, but they serve different purposes and have their special operating technique and criteria. A lot of garden owners or arborists have been debating on the comparison of pole saw vs chainsaw. Some think pole saws are better and safer while others believe that chainsaws are more effective and efficient. To help provide credible answers to this debate on pole saw vs chainsaw, we’ll look into the features, uses, and pros & cons of each tool. Let’s roll!

Pole Saw vs Chainsaw (In Detail!)

Tree cutting becomes very challenging when the tree branches and limbs have overgrown to a substantially enormous size. Garden tools like a pole saw or a chainsaw is your best bet for making tree trimming and pruning jobs easier and stress-free. A pole saw and a chainsaw is two unique garden tools used for different cutting tasks.

Although most gardeners and arborists believe that these tools can be used for the same purpose, they are different! I won’t blame you for being tricked by the outward resemblance of these garden tools. What I want you to know is that they perform different functions! I’ve heard about unskilled gardeners using pole saws for heavy-duty cutting tasks. But the truth is they’ll never get a better and efficient outcome using a pole saw for heavy-duty tree cutting tasks or using a chainsaw for cutting high tree branches.

A chainsaw and a pole saw carry out distinct cutting and trimming tasks even if their body builds are somehow comparable. You need to be familiar with the differences between these two garden tools whether you’re cutting thick tree branches in your garden or pruning light tree branches in your backyard. Below, we’ll talk about the comparison of chainsaw vs pole saw, tips on whether to choose a chainsaw or pole saw. That’s not all! You’ll be exposed to all you need to know about a pole saw or chainsaw. Let’s ride!

Pole saw vs Chainsaw: Comparison Table

The table below contains the differences between a chainsaw and a pole saw.

ParametersPole SawChainsaw
TaskCutting and pruning a tree with light branches and limbsCutting down big trees with thick branches
CostMore affordableSome models are quite expensive
Versatility Highly versatileFairly versatile
AdjustabilityEasily adjustableNot adjustable
Reach limitExtended reachLimited reach

Overview of Chainsaw

When you take a look at the cutting head of a pole saw, you’ll see something like a chainsaw. They are similar! The name chainsaw was derived from the fact that it features a chain blade. There’s a guide bar that holds the chain blade to make straight and successful cuts by rotating at high speed. The chainsaw works automatically, thanks to its working mechanism which features a power source. There are different models of chainsaws out there on the market, but the most common types are battery-powered chainsaws, gas-powered chainsaws, and corded electric chainsaws.

Each of these types has its own capacity and working technique. So, buy the model that can suit your task requirement. If you in search of a cutting tool for heavy tree cutting jobs, chainsaws are the right options for you. They are powerful tools that are capable of bringing down big trees with thick branches and twigs. More of a reason why you’ll usually see chainsaws with a professional tree trimmer. Although that’s not to say that chainsaws can’t be used for household tree cutting tasks.

Uses of Chainsaw

  • For cutting down trees, branches, and twigs
  • Doing light work of cutting up firewood
  • Cutting up trees
  • For trimming bigger limbs and branches


  • Offers great capability of bringing down thick branches
  • It is quite easy to maneuver due to its portable body
  • Delivers elongated working hours: you can operate it for more than 16 hours
  • Good for cutting up big fallen branches
  • Provide a heavy-duty performance for huge cutting jobs
  • Great for big household gardens and professional tasks
  • Offers a high level of reliability and long service life


  • Quite noisy
  • Since you’ll have to hold it while using it, it might wear you off easily
  • Can be harmful to health and the environment due to its gas release
  • It can’t be used to cut tall branches
  • Quite difficult to start in a cold environment

Overview of Pole Saw

Pole saws are saws equipped with an adjustable pole with a cutting head in it. This adjustable pole is extendable to your required length. One thing I love about this tool is that it features a simple portable body. A pole saw has three main body parts – a long pole, a powerhouse (engine), and a small sharp blade. Some models of pole saw come with a pole removable function that delivers handheld usability. Pole saws are powered with either electricity, battery, or gasoline.

Based on the maker of your pole saw, the cutting head of the saw comes with nice functions. If you go for the powered pole saws, you’ll get to enjoy cool functions like branch hook extension, auto-lubrication facility, simple maintenance system, simple chain tensioning capability, and so on. The extending function of a pole saw differs in various pole saw brands. The technique of using a pole saw is quite easy and straightforward to follow. With this extension function, you’ll be able to reach the highest tree branches by extending the pole up to a certain length.

Uses of Pole Saw

  • Ideal for tree pruning
  • Thanks to its adjustable pole, it offers an extended reach to cut high tree branches
  • Can be used for trimming large bushes
  • Great for bringing down thick branches
  • It is very versatile, thanks to its compatible attachment
  • Some models can work along with handheld saw
  • Used for cutting unruly trees and shrubs
  • Delivers quick ignition: electricity-powered pole saws are ready for use as soon as it is plugged in
  • Doesn’t release exhaust fumes and oil waste


  • Easy to transport from/to job site
  • Can be easily maneuver
  • Great for high tree trimming
  • Lightweight and portable body
  • Unlike the chainsaw that can easily wear you off, pole saws deliver an effortless cutting experience
  • Pole saws offer extended reached high above the ground


  • Can’t be used for so long as a chainsaw
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty performance
  • Pole saws can’t cut branches thicker than 9 inches in diameter
  • Might get stuck when used for cutting thick tree branches and twigs

Difference Between Pole Saw and Chainsaw

If you’re looking for the most versatile woodworking tools for cutting purposes, a chainsaw or pole saw can’t be underemphasized. A pole saw has a similar body build with a chainsaw with an exception of an equipped elongated pole on its backside. Moreover, a chainsaw is a heavy-duty garden tool used for cutting trees and twigs. There are certain differences between pole saw and chainsaw, but many new users have been in confusion about which is the best to choose between the two tools.

The capability of reaching extended lengths and heights is the basic difference between chainsaw vs pole saw. A pole saw is ideal for people in search of a cutting tool for pruning the backyard trees throughout a whole year. Moreover, people who deal with heavy-duty daily cutting tasks should pick up a chainsaw. What I love about pole saws is that attachment of an extensive pole helps them to reach extended heights and lengths. Accidents are promptly reduced because you won’t have to climb a ladder to reach those high tree branches.

Also, I love that pole saws are lightweight and portable. That’s not all! There’s more. With a pole saw, you’re assured of less noise during operation. You don’t necessarily have to disturb your neighbors when working on the trees in your backyard. But the truth is a pole saw is less powerful than a chainsaw.

I recommend that you go for both tools if you have no budget problem and limited space in your workshop. Why? Having both a pole saw and a chainsaw in your workshop will help you cut any sizable tree branches from small sizes to large sizes. Don’t forget that what I said is just advice. If you’re on a tight budget or you have limited space in your workshop, just go for the one that best suits your needs. Each of these tools will perform efficiently and effectively when used for the right purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We’ve provided some questions and answers on the comparison between pole saw vs chainsaw to help you understand these tools better.

Closing Thoughts: Which to Use?

You should know it is quite unreasonable to use a pole saw in place of a chainsaw after seeing the similarities, pros, cons, and differences between pole saw vs chainsaw. They both have different functions and features. If you want to prune or trim light tree branches and limbs in your garden, you should pick up a pole saw. However, if you want to cut down or cut up thick trees and twigs, I recommend a chainsaw.

As you know, the two garden tools are powerful and efficient and are easy to operate. Now, the selection depends solely on your task requirement. I’ve reached the closing chapter of this informative article. I hope you were able to find good and reliable resources in your quest to know the pole pruner vs chainsaw comparison. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks.


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