Pole chainsaws offer an alternative to the risky practice of standing on a ladder while trimming with power equipment. Cordless electric models, such as the Black & Decker tool (model NPP2018) that I cover in this review, not only eliminate ladders by giving you the reach you need, but also remove another hazard: cords. It is especially difficult to be dragging a cord around when you are trimming a tree surrounded by shrubs (the cord will catch on the shrub branches).
This benefit notwithstanding, the fact is that these saws get clogged with leaves when used to trim numerous small, leafy branches. Treat them as specialized tools for pruning off medium-sized branches.
Review: Cordless Electric Pole Chainsaw From Black & Decker
Let me present my assessment of this product at a glance, first, by listing its advantages and disadvantages, as well as brief description of its features:
- These pole chainsaws run on rechargeable batteries: no cord, no gas to bother with.
- Small bar size (8 inches) makes bar easy to remove and replace when cleaning.
- The Black & Decker model offers good cutting power (trim branches up to 6 inches thick).
- Pole chainsaws perform well on bare wood, but not on small, leafy branches.
- The great virtue of electric is that start-up is effortless and guaranteed.
- 8 inch cutting bar allows you to cut through branches up to 6 inches in diameter.
- The unit is 9.5 feet' long, when all 3 pieces are assembled (trigger end, cutting end, middle extension).
- These cordless electric pole chainsaws disassemble for easy storage.
- Carry bag makes it easy to keep disassembled parts together and move to other jobs on your land.
- 18-volt battery is rechargeable; charger included. Takes about 6 hours to recharge.
- Said to provide up to 100 cuts of 1 1/2 inch pine branches per charge (not tested for this review).
- Locking collars for easy (dis)assembly: just thread on, thread off.
- For cleaning, small bar size makes bar easier to (un)install than for regular chainsaws.
- Black & Decker cordless electric pole chainsaws are listed as model NPP2018.
My Overall Assessment of These Cordless Electric Pole Chainsaws
Operating power equipment while standing on ladders is rightly listed as a no-no on checklists of home safety tips. But what's the alternative when you have high branches to trim? Cordless electric pole chainsaws give you the reach you need to eliminate ladders. And since cords present hazards of their own, the fact that these pole chainsaws are cordless is an extra boon to safety.
Don't think, however, that this tool is optimal for all your out-of-reach trimming needs. E.g., I have an ornamental plum tree, which I try to keep shaped like an umbrella for its spring flowering display. But it's a pain to keep the higher branches cut back. I tried out the pole chainsaw for this task, and I was unhappy with the results. The bars of pole chainsaws, unfortunately, get clogged with leaves when used to trim numerous small, leafy branches.
The cuts also tend to shred such branches, rather than cutting them crisply. If the tree in question has lots of branches, the operation is also tiring, due to the weight of the machine.
Considering that pole chainsaws are not meant for such tasks, this is hardly a serious objection. Simply treat them as specialized tools to prune medium-sized branches. They cut through bare wood (up to 6 inches) just fine. The only question is: Do you have sufficient need for trimming such branches to warrant buying a specialized tool? Many may prefer the wider usage they'll get out of ropeless pole tree pruners. The latter cut branches up to only about 1-inch thick, but they do handle small branches very efficiently.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.