Can You Use A Pole Saw To Trim Hedges: Double In Your Pole Saw As A Hedge Trimmer

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Do you own a pole saw, and you’re wondering if you can double your pole saw as a hedge trimmer and trim hedges? If so, then this article is just the right place for you.

Using a pole saw to trim hedges is a possibility, but it’s not the best option to have. Pole saws are extremely versatile and effective at cutting, which makes them decent enough for trimming hedges. Using a pole saw will save you money, time, and effort, although the results might not be most accurate.

In this article, you’ll get to know all about pole saws and hedge trimmers, the advantages and disadvantages of the two tools, can you use a pole saw to trim hedges, how to use a pole saw to trim hedges, and more. Continue reading to know all the answers that you’re looking for.

What are pole saws?

The main aim of using a pole saw would be to dispose of plant parts that are past your usual reach. It isn’t necessarily meant to be used on the ground level, as the long pole could be tricky to move evenly. It is usually used for overhead gardening tasks.

Pole saws are cutting tools that are joined to chop down long, branches, and overhanging tree limbs. They come in different shapes, sizes, and features that highlight where the cutting unit can be calculated, or the pole adjusted to lengths as indicated by the user.

Pole saws have different versions with gasoline, battery, or electricity as their power source. The basic unit comprises a motor and small sharp blades that cut the trees. You’ll be able to adjust the power according to your preference and the pole. A few models allow you to remove the pole and give a handheld cutting experience if needed. A few models are also adaptable with different attachments, which make the pole saw a versatile multipurpose gardening tool.

What are hedge trimmers?

Hedge trimmers are gardening tools that look like giant scissors and are used for trimming shrubs or hedges. They’re used for tidying up unkempt shrubs. It can be the manual version or also known as the hand-operated hedge shears. It looks like shears with long handles and powdered versions fueled by gas, fuel, batteries, or power.

The primary reason to use a hedge trimmer is to maintain the upkeep of hedges in your backyard. Although there are many alternative tools available in the market, the size you might need will depend on the size of the working environment and your gardening requirements.

The manual hedge trimmers will require extended periods of work, and they inevitably take a toll on the user. The fueled, or battery-powered ones have successfully made their place alongside other gardening tools. The basic unit of a powered hedge trimmer contains a motor. It contains the blades’ movement to hold stems in place as they’re cutting through the plantation. Some standard extra features are sound dampeners, vibration, debris shields, comfortable handles, and handguards.

Pole saw vs. hedge trimmer

As outdoor shrubs and trees develop a significantly large size, trimming them could be a tricky task. Luckily, you’ll be able to ease the difficulty by using the right pruning tools available for the trimming job. These tools can vary from scissors, pole saw, pruning shears, hedge trimmer, and more. From the bulky oak trees to the thin tree limbs, these come in a wide variety of sizes. It implies an assortment of devices when it’s the ideal opportunity to trim and prune. It shows that a single regular garden isn’t a one-size-fits-all tool for all outdoor gardening activities.

Although a pole saw and a hedge trimmer are unique gardening tools, some gardeners regularly ask can you trim hedges with a pole saw. In contrast, others, due to their resemblance without knowing which task the manufacturer intends for them to be used, use a pole saw for trimming their hedges. In some cases, it can work. However, the outcome of such a job is generally poor and with an untidy finishing.

Pole saws and hedge trimmers might appear comparable. However, the tools have distinct tasks that they can carry out. You must comprehend the distinctions to help you with picking the right tool for the pruning job, regardless of whether you’re trimming the hedges in your backyard or chopping down trees in your backyard.

Can you use a pole saw to trim hedges?

Essentially, a pole saw is just a chainsaw that has a pole attached to it. If you’re wondering can pole saw trim hedges, then yes, it is a possibility to take your pole saw and use it to trim the hedges. It can do a decent enough job, but it isn’t as good as expected, and the work could look sloppy. Yes, pole saws and hedge trimmers seem similar, but each tool has a specific job that it can do. It is important to have a basic understanding of the differences, as it’ll help you select the right tool. Whether you’re cutting trees in your backyard or trimming the hedges, you’ll be able to get the job done.

can you use a pole saw to trim hedges - gardener trimming hedges using pole saw

Jobs for pole saws

Pole saws are used for cutting down trees, branches, and trunks. These types of saws come with a bar that can be more than 48 inches and can be read through the trunk of an oak tree. Without a pole saw, the only other way of cutting down trees would be through an ax or a handsaw.

Jobs for hedge trimmers

For a hedge trimmer, it can be used to shape hedges and shrubs beautifully. Hedge trimmers are used for trimming the ends of small branches. Yes, you can always take a pair of loppers or clippers to prune the small branches or hedges, but it can get time-consuming. Moreover, it’ll add up extra work. This is why it would be best to use hedge trimmers. Hedge trimmers don’t require significant effort to use, and they’ve got less power than a pole saw. They’re only meant to be used for trimming the tip of small branches.

The cutting actions of pole saws and hedge trimmers

Both pole saws and hedge trimmers have bars and both of them are gas, electric, or battery-powered. This is where the similarities between the two types of tools end. The cutting action of a pole saw can be described as very similar to a band saw. The teeth on the pole saws move around the bar while tearing and cutting through whatever they touch.

As for the cutting action of hedge trimmers, it’s like a reciprocating saw. The blade on a hedge trimmer oscillates back and forth, and it can cut through whatever is small enough to fit through the notches that are on the bar.

Pole saws might not be the best for trimming

You wouldn’t really pick up a hedge trimmer to go out and cut a tree down, isn’t it? A hedge trimmer just won’t have enough power to be able to cut through thick branches, let alone a tree trunk. However, technically, you can pick up a pole saw, go outside, and cut down the hedges. This is because pole saws are powerful. As they’re capable of cutting through tree trunks, surely they can easily cut through small branches.

If you’re using a chainsaw to trim the hedges, you might be successful, but it won’t be the best decision. You’ll more than likely start feeling agitated with this scenario. When you’re using a chainsaw to trim hedges, often, the saw will take the tiny branches and push them to the side instead of just ripping through them. Moreover, you should also consider the fact that if the small branches got stuck in the chain, it could be damaging. They can interfere with the motion of the pole saw, causing it to kick back at you. In fact, every year more than 36,000 chainsaw accidents are reported, with the most common reason being kickback.

How to know which tool is the right option for the job?

To determine which tool you’ll be using for the job, you should step back and look at the branches. If the branches seem too big, and it would take some time to rip through them, use a pole saw. If the branches are too big and don’t look like they’d fit between the notches on the trimmer, a pole saw can get the job done. For a hedge trimmer, if the trim is more than an inch thick, it’ll be time to break out the pole saw.

If you’ve got a large shrub or a hedge that has many branches that you know your hedge trimmer cannot handle, then you can try using a brush cutter. If the branches are less than one inch thick, a hedge trimmer can do an amazing job. 

While it might sound like a great idea to take your pole saw and start trimming the hedges outside, it isn’t really ideal to use a pole saw until it has got a hedge trimmer attachment.

Reasons to use a pole saw for trimming hedges

Using a pole saw for trimming hedges will give you certain benefits such as –

Saving money

Hedge trimmers are fairly expensive power tools. A decent-quality hedge trimmer can easily cost between $50 and $300. You’ll be able to save a vast sum of amount if you’re using a pole saw for trimming hedges.

Saving time

Learning to use a professional hedge trimmer can be time-consuming and quite a hassle. You’ll need to learn to operate a completely new set of tools for hedge trimming. If your need for a hedge trimmer is fairly limited, learning so much could feel like a waste of time.

Therefore, if you already have a pole saw and know how to use it, you can use it to trim hedges too. This way, you can save a decent amount of time. You don’t really need to learn new skills and spend some time researching and purchasing a hedge trimmer.

Useful for quick and rough trimming

It helps if you’re looking to trim thin branches, twigs, and barks not more than half an inch in thickness. Moreover, the hedges must be trimmed for rough usage instead of professional trimming. If you’re fine with that, then a pole saw can be used for trimming the hedges.

can you use a pole saw to trim hedges - professional gardener trimming hedges using pole saw

Reasons to not use a pole saw for trimming hedges

Using a pole saw for hedge trimming also has a few major drawbacks, including –

Imperfect trimming

If you’re looking for professional hedge trimming, you can use the specialized tool known as hedge trimmers. Using pole saws on hedges might cause uneven and imperfect trimming of the hedges. This could damage the overall aesthetics of the hedges. 

Even a slight amount of imperfect trimming will be noticeable from a long distance. This is why hedges in residential areas and commercial areas must be trimmed by a hedge trimmer and not pole saws.

Could cause accidents

A powered pole saw features a small chain saw installed on one end of the pole. Pole saws can be a hazardous tool if you’re not careful, and they must be used carefully to avoid any fatal accidents.

As manual pole saws cannot be used to trim hedges, only powered pole saws should be used. If you’re looking to trim the hedges using a pole saw, you should hold the pole horizontally.

The weight distribution of the pole saw doesn’t actually support holding it horizontally. You need to lift and hold cautiously while applying more force. A slight amount of mistiming or disbalance could cause a serious injury.

How to use a pole saw for trimming hedges?

For emergency or random situations, a pole saw could be needed for trimming hedges. Before doing so, you should learn the step-by-step process of using a pole saw for trimming hedges.

Step one: Do the preparation

Inspect the worksite and arrange a preliminary preparation to trim the hedges. Make safe and secure connections if you’re using electric pole saws. Wear a full set of personal protective gear for keeping yourself safe. Keep the work site clean of any branches, dead leaves, and bark of trees. Never allow kids or pedestrians anywhere near the site you’re working at.

Step two: Do the trimming

Minimize the pole saw as much as you possibly can. Now, hold the operating end of your pole saw firmly in a horizontal position. You should take enough time to understand the weight distribution. Then, you should slowly throttle the pole saw and swing from backward to forward direction. Remember not to overswing the pole saw when throttling. Move forward and then keep on swinging the pole saw with patience and ease.

Use the right tools to keep your backyard tidy

Those who work in their backyard and love keeping things tidy probably have all kinds of tools in their shed. Different tools have different purposes when it comes to outdoor activities. Tools like chainsaws, pole saw, hedge trimmer, log splitter, and more are essential to keep your backyard tidy. There might be times when you haven’t got the right tool for the job at hand. Sometimes, you might be unsure if it’s the right tool for the job. For instance, you might be thinking if your pole saw can double in as a hedge trimmer and help you trim hedges.

can you use a pole saw to trim hedges - hedge trimmer

Rakes, lawnmowers, hoes, and shovels are the most common and essential gadgets for your toolbox. From the branches of an oak tree to the lush hedges, there’s a wide variety of gardening tools available in the market. 

A hedge trimmer is essentially an electrical device used for cutting and shaping isolated shrubs. Gas-powered or electric hedge trimmers are more powerful compared to handheld ones, as they can cut branches up to an inch in thickness. Hedge trimmers are for the thin twigs or leaves on the bushes. Although the blades are sharp, hedge trimmers aren’t powerful enough for cutting through thick branches. If you’ve primarily got large trees in your backyard, a pole saw would be better suited for your needs.

A pole saw, often in the form of a chainsaw, is a tree-trimming tool powered by electricity, gas, or battery. There are non-electric pole saws too that need manual action to operate. Pole saws are designed to grip branches and provide a smooth cut.

Can You Use A Pole Saw To Trim Hedges?


Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about pole saws and hedge trimmers, the advantages and disadvantages of the two tools, can you use a pole saw to trim hedges, how to use a pole saw to trim hedges, and more. While it is possible to trim hedges with a pole saw, it’s not the best option to have. Pole saws are extremely versatile and effective at cutting, which makes them decent enough for trimming hedges. Using a pole saw will save you money, time, and effort, although the results might not be most accurate.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.