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Chainsaw Vs Pole Saw | Choosing the Best Saws for Your Landscaping Business

While chainsaws and pole saws are both designed to cut through branches, each comes with its own benefits and advantages. Depending on the job at hand, you will find that one or the other will be better suited either for safety or practicality. That said, you may need to consider having one of each in your toolkit.

But if you are unsure, here's everything you need to know about choosing the best saws for your landscaping business.

A professional P.O.V 

We spoke with Sam from Everyday Arbor, a climbing arborist, with 16 years of hands-on experience. Sam is passionate about his work and has graciously shared with us his insights on chainsaws vs pole saws and how to pick the right one for the task.

Perform a risk assessment

The first thing to consider is whether you will be cutting something above shoulder height? Sam mentions that safety is a big factor and says; 'You can't operate a chainsaw above shoulder height - it can get really dangerous as you don't have proper control. When you need to cut tree branches above shoulder height, it is best to consider a pole saw'.

Continuing with why a pole saw may be better when weighing up the risks, Sam mentions, "Another reason you may use a pole saw over a chainsaw could be that you are cutting fallen branches... “Sometimes it can be hard to tell where the tension and compression on a branch is." He adds, “If it's caught between fences and other trees and it's under extreme tension, when you cut it with a chainsaw, it can go flying - so the extra distance of the pole saw can be a much safer option."

By understanding the different types of situations your business commonly finds itself in, you'll be able to find a saw that not only improves productivity and output, but also improves overall safety when at work. 

Arborist with 540i XP Chainsaw

Helping you make your mind up

Finding the perfect chainsaw or pole saw for your professional landscaping business requires an understanding of how, where and when you'll be using it most. Once you can answer those three questions, you'll find matching your business to the perfect saw much easier.

With a huge variety of battery and petrol chainsaws, pole saws and combi trimmers, Husqvarna leads the way with cutting-edge design, ongoing durability, and maximum power and performance. View the full range online, make comparisons between the different models and order via click and collect or visit your local authorised dealership where friendly and experienced staff will be more than happy to assist.

Chainsaw T540XP, T540 XP

Evaluate common uses

If your landscaping business mainly performs ground-level felling, then a chainsaw is probably going to be more convenient in the long term. Sam notes, "You have a lot more control with a handheld chainsaw as you have more leverage." Chainsaws are also a better option when regularly cutting through larger stock, mainly due to being able to have a longer bar.

If the bulk of your work involves removing branches from above shoulder level, dealing with fallen trees, or needing a saw that places distance between the operator and the cutting task, then a pole saw is ideal. However, should you encounter thick branches that your pole saw can't safely handle, and if you're not an arborist, Sam recommends getting a climbing arborist with a handheld chainsaw to sort it out.

Pole saws work best when you:

  • Need to cut branches that are above shoulder height.
  • Want to remove branches up to, or less than, 100mm.
  • Need to work on uneven or slippery surfaces.
  • Have to deal with fallen tree limbs.
  • Want a tool that has multiple uses.
Pole Saw Attachment, Combi Trimmer

Chainsaws work best when you:

  • Need to cut branches that are below shoulder height.
  • Need to remove branches more than 100mm in diameter.
  • Need improved manoeuvrability, handling and control.
  • Are a trained and qualified climbing arborist.
  • Want to change the size of the bar.

Consider convenience

Convenience is everything when it comes to maintaining client trees and shrubs, so choosing a tool that fits your needs is vital. Available as battery-powered and petrol-powered models, which one you choose will depend on your own personal preferences. Here are a few benefits of each type.

Petrol chainsaws and pole saws

Offering a more traditional look, feel and sound, petrol-powered saws are often the first choice for tree care professionals who work away from power sockets or in inclement weather conditions. A few other benefits include:

  • Unrivalled power and durability.
  • AutoTune™ and Air Injection™ additions.
  • Fuel efficiency with X-Torq® engines.
  • Quick and easy refuelling on the job.
  • A larger range of models available.
Campaign image - Jo sawing big log up in tree

Battery chainsaws and pole saws

Providing a much more user-friendly experience, battery saws use advanced Li-ion battery technology and power-boosting features to maximise performance and productivity. Quieter, cleaner and more comfortable to use, a few other benefits of battery models include:

  • Efficient brushless motor.
  • Zero direct exhaust emissions.
  • Fewer uncomfortable vibrations.
  • Reduced noise output levels.
  • Interchangeable batteries.
  • More variety with battery pole saws.

One advantage some battery pole saws have over a battery chainsaw is the ability to change out the accessories to transform them into a whole new tool. This is something that is possible with particular products such as the 120iTK4-P allowing one machine to be used as a pole saw, hedge trimmer, blower, rotary brush and much more.

When looking at chainsaws, Sam mentions that the Husqvarna 550 XP® and T540 XP® are great options, with the 540i XP® battery module giving the operator brilliant precision and control.