How to Use an Electric Pole Saw

Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

find out how to use an electric pole saw

So did you recently get an electric pole saw and now are wondering how to use an electric pole saw safely and correctly?  Electric pole saws are great for trimming limbs or tree branches from the ground safely without using a ladder.

If you have ever used manual pole saws, you know how much of a benefit using an electric pole saw can be for tree trimming. Cutting limbs or tree trimming with manual pole saws can be exhausting.

Electric pole saws are basically electric chainsaws on extendable poles.  The extendable pole allows you to reach those limbs that you can’t easily reach from the ground with a standard electric chainsaw. Check out the simple steps below, and you will be using your new electric pole saw in no time.

Safety First – What to do before powering up your Electric Pole saw

Just like with all-electric outdoor power equipment, make sure you follow some basic safety standards so that you remain safe while operating your electric pole saw.  This is especially important when operating an electric chainsaw. Using some form of safety precautions will help keep you safe.

Wear Proper Safety Gear

When operating an electric pole saw you need to put on some proper clothing.

As an operator of an electric chainsaw, you should be wearing some durable and heavy-duty clothing.  The clothes should be well-fitting so that nothing has the chance to get caught in the chainsaw when in operation.

The electric pole saw operator should also make sure they are wearing protective eyewear, gloves, and boots.  Ear protection is a good precaution as well, though one of the benefits of using an electric pole saw, is either a cordless pole saw or a corded pole saw is a reduction in noise from not having a gas engine.  If you are removing limbs above your head it is a good idea to use a protective hard hat as well.

Check the Oil – The Bar Chain Oil

One of the great benefits of having an electric pole saw is that you don’t have to deal with gas and oil for the motor of your pole saw.  You do need to think about the bar/chain oil though.

Having the correct level of bar/chain oil is essential for the proper operation of your electric pole saw.  Without the correct level of bar/chain oil, you will risk causing damage to the chain or the bar of the electric pole saw.  Make sure that your electric pole saw has the correct level of bar/chain oil according to pole saw manufactures recommendations.

Clear Your Work Area

So pole saws are intended to cut limbs out of trees, so the possibility of limbs falling down where you are working is almost 100%.  Make sure the area where you are working is cleared off.

Make sure children and pets are not in the area you will be working in.  Also, you might want to make sure that there are no other tools or power cords to trip on as well.  Needless to say tripping and failing with a running electric pole saw isn’t a good idea.

Securing Your Power Cord

If the electric pole saw you are using is a corded model, then you need to make sure you attach the extension cord correctly and that the extension cord you are using is approved for outdoor use.

Most corded electric pole saws have cord retainers near the power trigger to keep the cord from coming loose from the saw. If you are using multiple extension cords you might want to loop them together at the plug so they don’t come loose when you move around.

If you are using a cordless model, you can ignore all of that information, but it is always good to be aware of your surroundings. Cordless pole saws as the name imply do not have a cord and run on battery power instead.


How to Use an Electric Pole Saw

Actually using an electric pole saw is pretty easy.  An electric pole saw consists of just a few parts.  There is a small electric chainsaw head, extension poles or adjustable poles to attach the chainsaw head, and a power cord or battery.  The chainsaw will operate like any other electric model chainsaw, and you will need to add bar/chain oil as needed.

Have a Clean Work Area

Like I mentioned above, you need to have a clear area to work.  This is especially important if you have a corded electric pole saw.  Make sure there is nothing around that could catch on your power cord.

Also, remove limbs as you cut them so you don’t trip over them when making new cuts.  Removing downed limbs will also keep you from tangling up your extension cords if you have them.

Start From the Bottom Up

Take a look at the tree you are looking to remove some limbs from. Are there lower branches that are in the way of the higher branches you need to access?  If so, then you need to remove those lower branches first.

The same goes for larger size branches.  Remove the smaller tree branches around the larger branch before trying to remove them.

Prepare to Make the First Cut

When you are about to make that first cut with your electric pole saw, you need to position the saw and yourself in a correct manner to make a good safe cut.

  • make sure to be standing in a stable position
  • hold the pole with your left hand and keep your right hand on the throttle control away from the trigger.
  • take a look at the limb you are wanting to cut, and make any adjustments to the pole extension to make sure the saw can reach the limb safely.
  • Make sure you are at an angle to the limb you are wanting to cut and are not beneath the limb.  You wouldn’t want the limb to fall on you.
  • Ensure that you have control over the saw and never cut with your arms above your head.

Making your first cut with your electric pole saw

After correctly positioning yourself and the saw you can finally make that first cut with your electric pole saw.

  • Squeeze your hold your throttle or power release button
  • Squeeze and hold the throttle or power trigger to bring the electric pole saw to speed. Ensure you have a good grip on both the throttle and saw pole.
  • When the saw has reached full speed press the pole saw blade against the tree limb you are wanting to cut
  • Let the weight of the saw help with the cut, don’t press too hard against the limb with the saw as you might cause the saw to bind up.
  • The chain should be doing all the work and with slight pressure, the saw will cut through the limb.
  • After the saw cuts through the limb release the throttle or power trigger and throttle/power release to stop the electric pole saw from spinning.
  • If the limb is large enough you might want to use the saw to cut the limb into smaller pieces once it is on the ground.  This will make the limb easier to move.

Moving to the next limb to cut

After each cut, there are a few things you should check with your pole saw.

  • Move the limb you just cut out of the way so you can make more cuts in the tree you are pruning.  If you cut the limb into smaller pieces, make sure you have moved all pieces so you can safely cut again.
  • Check your bar/chain oil.  I can’t emphasize how important this is.  Running a saw without the proper oil can cause damage to the chain, bar, and electric motor.
  • Check the chain tension on the blade.  Make sure the cord is disconnected or the battery is removed prior to checking the chain tension.  Tension the blade according to the electric chain saw manufactures specs.
  • Make sure your extension cords haven’t gotten tangled and remove any tangles if they exist.  If you are using a battery powered model, make sure you have the power to make additional cuts before starting up the saw again.

Simply repeat this cutting process over and over again until your are done with your tree pruning.

Quick Electric Pole Saw Safety Tips

Here are some additional safety tips you should consider when using your electric pole saw each time you use it.

  • Always only operate the pole saw in the day where you have plenty of visibility
  • As with all electric outdoor power equipment, do not use it in excessive wet conditions.
  • Be careful of any areal objects, such as power, cable, or telecommunication lines that might be around the tree or trees you are working on.
  • One limb at a time.  Don’t get in a hurry and cut more than one, as tempting as it will be.
  • Watch for a kickback, where the saw will kick back at you as you attempting to cut the limb.
  • Be careful with limbs that might have tension on them.  They can bounce back as the tension is released, and could possibly hit you.
  • Don’t cut limbs that are too large for your saw to cut.  Cutting too large of a limb can make the saw bind up in the limb and get stuck.

Some Final Thoughts on Electric Pole Saws

Electric pole saws can be very handy and electric outdoor power tools to have at your home. Chainsaws are great tools, but you need to take a few extra cautions when using them in your landscape for tree trimming around your home.

They are great for storm cleanup and can make pruning a standing tree so much easier. Be safe and you will have those limbs cut down and cleaned up in no time.


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