Beautiful gardens, trimmed or wild, should be tranquil places where families relax and entertain their friends surrounded by shrubs and trees. The problem is those tranquil, relaxing spaces need upkeep. If you’re like me dragging a ladder around the garden and then climbing to an unnatural height wielding a saw just doesn’t work.
As I see it, if you’re not into climbing ladders and your trees and shrubs are running out of control, you have one of two choices – call an arborist or find yourself a durable, versatile and top-quality extendable pole saw.
If you’re wondering what is the best pole pruner to buy, we think we’ve found it, and it’s the Fiskars Pole Saw & Pruner. No more climbing ladders to cut the overhead branches. For other hand operated alternatives, check out our review of the best manual pole saws.
This saw and pruner boast a pole that extends to 16 feet. The pruner and chain-driven saw make light work of clearing unwanted and unruly overhead growth.
Fiskars, a Finnish company, was founded in 1649 and is one of the oldest companies in the Western World. Fiskars products are sold globally. They have won numerous product awards for innovation and quality. Their trademarked orange handled scissors have sold more than a billion pairs.
Fiskars has stood the test of time and the company stands by the quality of their pole saw and pruner, supporting it with a limited lifetime warranty.
I the following review we take a look at how this tool performs in cutting branches, whether it is easy to use or not, and all the best practices when using this product.
For the DIY gardener, the Fiskars extendable pole saw and pruner is an all in one overhead garden tool.
Properly used it can quickly thin out the overhead growth. It is easy to handle, lightweight and the extendable pole fits snugly into your hand, giving you a decent grip.
This saw weighs in at less than 6 pounds, a lot lighter than some of the competitor poles. This makes cutting so much easier to control.
The pruner and saw can lob branches from heights in a matter of seconds. Even thick ones come off at pace.
The pruner can cut branches of up to 1 ¼ inches thick.
Larger branches are dealt a blow with the 15-inch hooked serrated blade which makes short work of anything of up to 18 inches thick.
The pruner, located beneath the saw blade, is made from hard-wearing steel that is has a low friction coating to ensure that it cuts through the branch smoothly.
The coating also protects the blades from rust and prevents dirt and gum from building up on the blades.
This saw boasts a gear mechanism that is chain driven offering 3x more cutting power than a regular pruner.
The gear mechanism is small enough to stay out of the way of the surrounding branches meaning you don’t lose time disentangling your pruner from the foliage.
The telescopic system extends to 16 feet so you should reach most branches from the ground. The fiberglass and aluminum poles are oval-shaped and solid, so they don’t flex, giving you maximum control.
Use the hooked saw as an anchor to keep the tool just where you want it.
Not all poles have effective locks to keep them in place when extended.
The extendable pole saw and pruner is not one of those. It has a very effective lock which will keep the tool extended when it is hard at work.
It has a double locking system featuring flip locks and a spring button lock inside the poles that keeps it firmly in place.
The mechanism is designed so that you can extend the rod to any length between 7 and 16 feet. This is because there are several holes along the length of the pole.
To lock the pole, you locate the hole you want and then click the spring lock into it and lock it into place with the double flip locks.
For storage, the pole will retract just over eight feet.
The product arrives fully assembled. The only work you must do is to attach the blade with the provided wingnut.
There isn’t much not to like about this tool but there are some small exceptions. The pole boasts a 16-foot extension, but it loses some of its rigidity beyond 14 feet.
The rope also tends to get in the way when the tool isn’t fully extended as there is nowhere to put it when you are working.
Some users find that the pruning lever tends to stick. Perhaps it could do with a bigger spring, but if you keep the blade clean you should resolve this problem.
The product has a lifetime guarantee.
It’s always a good idea to use safety equipment around chainsaw tools. Bear in mind the blades are really sharp so they could do you an injury and even if they don’t the branches falling from above could.
Before you set to work in your garden it is a good idea to dress in long sleeves and long pants.
Wear fully enclosed shoes and leather gloves and don’t forget the protective eye-wear.
A hard hat could also serve you well.
Cutting overhead branches can be dangerous so make sure that no-one enters the area when you start the pruning operation.
Also, make sure to clear the area of fallen branches once you have finished as these can present trip hazards.
Do not cut overhead branches anywhere near overhead electrical wires.
Plan the job before you start. Cutting a branch often requires several cuts to reduce the weight of the branch. Cut the smaller branches with the rope operated pruning section and the larger ones with the pruning saw.
If you’re using the pruner place it over the branch and pull the rope. If the branch doesn’t drop on the first try, tug the rope again.
Using both hands get your saw vertical. Rest the weight of the saw on the branch at the spot that you plan to cut. Don’t stand below the branch that you’re cutting. The saw should be at a reasonable angle to ensure that you’re safely out of the way of falling branches.
Extend the pole if necessary.
Start by cutting a groove so that your blade doesn’t slip. This may be difficult on a sloped branch so it may take more than one try.
Once you have a groove keep sawing until the branch is about to fall and then make sure that you step out of the way before you finish the job off.
At some stage, you’re going to have to restring your Fiskars telescoping tree pruner. You’ll know it’s time to restring the tool when the rope starts to show signs of wear.
Early intervention will ensure that your pruner remains in peak working condition. Restringing this tool is not a difficult task. The company sells replacement parts for all their garden tools, but you can use a laundry rope as well. Below we’ve given you a step by step guide to restringing your pole saw:
Clean and lubricate the pulleys. While you’re about it check the pulleys for signs of wear and tear.
Choose a rope that fits well into the pulley grooves. A rope that is too thick or too thin is likely to jamb up the works. If you use plastic rope just ensure that the ends are burnt off to prevent it from unraveling along the line.
Pull one side of the rope from the outside through the top pulley and down towards the blades. Beware the blades are very sharp. Keep your fingers out of the way.
String the rope from the pole side to the outside around the pulley at the bottom.
Run the rope up and then from the outside of the clip on the upper pulley in the direction of the blade assembly.
Tie the rope firmly onto the clip.
The other end of the rope should go through the guides that you use when cutting the branches from the trees.
Pick a utility knife to cut the rope to length. It should be no longer than the extended pole. The trimmed end should go through the hole on the handle where you can tie it.
Your saw is only as good as the blades are sharp. At some stage, the saw blade will require attention since the dirt collecting in the blades will cause them to blunt and prevent a clean cut.
Your blades have a low friction coating so cleaning them should be as simple as washing them in warm soapy water.
Make sure to dry them thoroughly when you’re done.
All Fiskars blades are made from hardened steel, so they will stay sharp for longer.
Nonetheless, they could still do with some attention from time to time.
It is best to use a flat file to sharpen smooth blades. Just make sure that you run the file at the same angle as the blade. Ensure that any notches or dents in the blades are properly filed off.
The manufacturers have improved the locking system on the pole to ensure that it stays fully and firmly extended when in use. Other than that, the product is the same.
All manual extendable pole saws that have a pruner connection operate with a rope. The rope is used to close the blade of the pruner to lop off the branch.
To install the saw blade, drop the round hole of the blade onto the screw on the end of the pole. Then line up the rectangular notch with the matching rectangle on the blade housing.
This extendable pole saw and pruner is durable, affordable and easy to use. It makes work more effective for the DIY gardener.
In my opinion, this product offers good value for money, particularly when you take into account the fact that the saw comes with a lifetime warranty.