Best Manual Pole Saws of 2020 – [Our Favorite Models]

by Tom Fidgen | Last Updated: June 12, 2020

Best Manual Pole Saw

A good manual pole saw is hard to come by. With so many people going electric these days less and less attention is being paid to this tried and true backyard treasure. Should you even get one? My conclusion is a resounding yes.

Manual saws are quiet, environmentally friendly, and infinitely safer than their electric or gas-powered alternatives. You’ve just got to find the right one and it is to that end that I can be helpful. Read on for some in-depth manual pole saw reviews that will help you pick the best manual pole saw for your needs.

Best Manual Pole Saw Reviews – (Updated List)

1. DocaPole 5-12 Foot Pole Pruning Saw

The DooPole rests at anywhere from 5-12 feet in length. It is collapsible in nature which makes it easier to store and maneuver with. It is also lightweight and extremely tough. The blade itself is really sharp and should not have any trouble at all working with a wide variety of different branches.

Editor Choice

DocaPole 6-24 Foot Pole Pruning Saw (Heavy Duty) // DocaPole Double-Duty Extension Pole + GoSaw Attachment // Use on Pole or By Hand // Long Extension Pole Saw // Telescopic Tree Pruner Pole (NEW)

DocaPole Pole Pruning Saw

Combined with our best selling 12’ DocaPole Extension Pole – the 12 Foot DocaPole + GoSaw Combo is the lightest weight mid-sized tree pruner on the market

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The only real issue is the price. As is to be expected with a high-end product it runs fairly expensive. For the money, you spend here you could actually probably get a very affordable electric style unit. But hey, quality is quality, and if you want something that works well you’ve found it here.

What We Like:

  • It’s just a well-rounded high-quality tool that does pretty much everything right. If performance is your top concern you are in good hands here.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • It’s pretty expensive. Be prepared to bust out the piggy bank.

2. Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner

The Fiskas is a 14-foot long unit that can be easily extended and retracted through the use of an onboard lever. It is also extremely lightweight and fairly effective in its cutting duties. The blade locks into place for enhanced effectiveness using a special button on the trigger.

Best Value

Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner (93016059J)

Fiskars Extendable Tree Pruner

Power-Lever technology maximizes leverage to give you up to two times more cutting power than traditional tree pruners

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The only real issue I detected pertained to the pole itself. It’s a fiberglass build which is great for keeping the unit lightweight but not so good for enhancing its durability.

It tends to sway a good deal, which may not completely jeopardize the performance but it will certainly complicate it a little bit.

Is it a big deal? Not necessarily. You can still get plenty of good mileage out of this unit. Just be mindful of the slightly flimsy nature of the pole.

What We Like:

  • It’s all pretty similar to our top choice, but for a price that is much more attractive.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • There are some durability issues, especially as it pertains to the pole itself.

3. HAYAUCHI 3-Ext. Polesaw

The Hayauch enjoys twenty-four feet of reach and features a wide range of stop points. You can go pretty much anywhere from eight to twenty-four feet making it extremely versatile in what it gives you access to.

Professional Pole Saw

Silky HAYAUCHI 3-Ext

3-extension 4-poles/sections telescoping pole saw model that extends to 21 feet

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It is also very lightweight. The aluminum build of the pole serves to be relatively tough and very easy to maneuver with.

The only real issue that I had is a simple fact that the blade is very flexible. If you try to use it with tougher woods you will probably run into some problems.

What We Like:

  • With up to twenty-four feet of reach, it is safe to say that pretty much nothing will be off-limits to you. This is one of the longest saws on our list today by a pretty huge margin.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The blade is a little bit flexible. This can be frustrating, especially when you are trying to cut thicker woods.

4. Gilmour 16-Inch Curved Blade Commercial Grade Pole Saw

The Gilmour is a great way to get an affordable product that is complete with a slew of very handy features. For your money, you get eighteen feet of access, a sixteen-inch blade, and a durable, high performing cast aluminum blade.

Commercial Grade

Gilmour 20-18 16-Inch Curved Blade Commercial Grade Pole Saw With Fiberglasss Handle

Gilmour 20-18 16-Inch pole saw

16 inch curved saw blade with nonstick coating

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These things in mind it is highly effective in moderate trimming efforts. My biggest issue with the tool is in how it is marketed. The company claims that it is a pro-grade tool and that simply isn’t the case. While the performance will suit the needs of the amateur, the pros will find that the blade is not tough enough, and the pole is not durable enough.

It’s still a good product but only for a certain type of user.

What We Like:

  • It’s a slew of good features all for a very reasonable price.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The Company markets this tool as being commercial grade. Nope, not even close.

5. Corona TP Dual compound Action 14-ft. Tree Pruner

The Corona is a moderately sized unit that has been specifically optimized for use on orchards. The thirteen-inch blade and fourteen feet of access are both great at giving you access to the tops of moderately-sized trees. The blade is activated via a pulley system that makes it easy to control.

14-ft. Tree Pruner

Corona TP 6870 MAX RazorTOOTH DualCOMPOUND Action 14-ft. Tree Pruner

Corona TP 6870 MAX Tree Pruner

14-foot compound action tree pruner with steel blade

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However, when it comes to taller trees, you are probably going to run into some problems. The blade is fairly short in length and the pole itself is just not tough enough for heavy-duty.

What We Like:

  • This is a great product for orchard trimming. In short, you should find great success in working with a variety of shorter trees.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • It’s not so great for taller trees. At only fourteen feet in length, this is actually one of the smaller units on our list.

6. Milliard 6-16 Feet Extendable Tree Pruner

The Milliard is great for working with moderately sized trees and shrubs. The pole can range from between 6-16 feet in length and is designed to be very lightweight in nature. These features all make it great for light amateur use.

Extendable Tree Pruner

Milliard 6-16 Foot Extendable Tree Pruner/Pole Saw with 3-Sided Blade

Milliard 6-16 Foot Tree Pruner

Pole extends to a towering 16 feet high, so you can effectively reach all those branches that used to be too high up to take care of.

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The package is completed by a durable and ultra-sharp blade that will make quick work out of moderate thick wood stock.

There are a couple of issues though. The moderate length as well as the flexibility of the shaft both make this product ill-suited for heavy-duty use. It’s still a good tee pruner but it has its limitations.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight and great for tough branches. Perfect for the home user with moderate needs. And the 16 feet of reach doesn’t suck.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • It’s not well suited for bigger jobs.

7. Silky Telescoping Pole Saw Hayate

This unit is truly made for the pro. It is extremely tough, lightweight and easy to wield. It can extend up to twenty feet which means you will be given access even to very tall trees.

The blade is also very tough, which means that it will stand up well to heavy-duty even with harder woods.

Telescoping Pole Saw

Silky Hayate 3-Ext. Polesaw

3-extension 4-poles/sections telescoping pole saw model that extends to 20 feet

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The only issue is the price. For the money, you spend here you could realistically buy several gas-powered units of similar quality.

If you need the best pole saw that you can get your hands on this may be a top contender. However, the price will eliminate it as an option for most people.

What We Like:

  • Literally, every feature of this unit is expertly built and well implemented.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • It is super expensive.

8. Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw

The Jameson is a solid option for anyone that needs a lightweight, easy to store trimmer. The unit can extend up to twenty feet which makes it great for gaining access to a wide variety of different trees and shrubs.

Best Combo

Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner with Two 6-Foot Fiberglass Poles

Jameson FG-6PKG-1 Manual Polesaw

13-inch tri-cut saw blade for clean, quick cuts with less wear

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However, components of the pole can also be removed for the purposes of storage, or simply to make it easier to control when dealing with smaller trees.

The blade is controlled via a pulley system that makes it easier to saw branches.

The only major issue is simply that it is quite pricey. Though the unit does not necessarily outperform the other options on our list, it is considerably more expensive than most of them.

What We Like:

  • I liked how easy this unit is to store. The entire thing breaks down effortlessly for cleaning, transportation, and storage.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • It’s pricey. There are many units on this list of comparable quality that are available at a fraction of the price.

9. ARS SC-EXW18 Telescoping Pole Saw

The final product on our list is designed to be used for light use. It is just four to six feet in length which means it is not suitable for the majority of tasks you might need a pole saw for.

However, it does still succeed in plenty of important ways. For example, the saw is incredibly lightweight, coming in at just a single pound. It is also very lightweight and easy to use.

Budget Choice

ARS SC-EXW18 Telescoping Pole Saw

ARS SC-EXW18 Telescoping Pole Saw

Telescopes from 4′ to 6′

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Finally, the grip is designed to be ergonomic. That’s a relatively basic feature but it is actually quite handy to have, especially if you anticipate long hours on the job. Bottom line? It’s certainly a good product but it just won’t be right for everyone.

What We Like:

  • This unit is comfortable and easy to use. What else could you want?

What We Didn’t Like:

  • This is a very short pole. It varies between just 4 and six feet which will not suit the needs of most people.

What to look for When Buying Telescoping Pole saw

At this point, we have seen nine outstanding pieces of equipment. The goal now is to decide which one will be right for your needs. Below, I go over some handy considerations that may simplify your buying decision somewhat.

Read on for a manual pole saw buyers guide!

Weight

Pole saws tend to be extremely long, but also very lightweight. Tools that run up to thirty feet in length can naturally be very challenging to work with. Consequently, it is of the utmost performance that lightweight workability is put at a premium.

Some of the units on our list were just a pound or so in weight. The lighter the saw, the more options you will ultimately have in terms of maneuverability.

Telescopic

Pretty much all pole saws are telescopic. You just need to prioritize how telescopic you want your pole saw to be. In other words, what is the maximum length and what is the minimum length? You may find it to your benefit to invest in something that has a relatively moderate minimum length.

Why? For one thing, not every job requires that you get way up in a treetop. Manual pole saws are also great for hedge work. Shorter poles are also just uh easier to wield and store.

A unit that has a modest minimum length and a big maximum weight will be super flexible.

Modular

While some units are telescopic others are modular. The modular pole saw will easily break down so that you can independently store separate pieces. This feature makes it easy to clean and transport, but it also leaves you with the responsibility of keeping track of all the various components.

Price

Needless to say, the price of a pole saw can vary pretty spectacularly. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30-200, though most will hover around $100.

What does more money buy you? Usually, you get more length and better component quality. However, unless you are a professional the difference between a $100 and a $200 unit is fairly negligible.

Material

Ideally, the materials of a pole saw are going to be the perfect combination of tough and lightweight. Fiberglass tends to be a really great material for the pole as it tends to be lightweight and portable.

As far as the blade is concerned, cast aluminum is often the way to go. While not indestructible it is lightweight and often tough enough to accomplish the jobs you have in mind.

Why manual?

Hey, there is a question. Why should you go with a manual unit when gas and battery-powered tools are now so widely available? There are actually a number of reasons why it can be to your benefit to invest in a manual piece of equipment.

The most obvious of these reasons is simply that manual saws tend to be much more affordable than those of the gas variety. Of course, there are many exceptions to this, but that is a general rule of thumb that can be dependably counted on.

Maul gear is also just easy to control, and infinitely safer. Ask yourself, do you really want to hold a chainsaw over your head for prolonged periods of time?

I don’t either. Not if I can help it anyway. With the manual saw you get all the utility of a gas-powered unit but with a little bit more user-friendliness thrown into the mix.

Pros will often keep manual and automatic pole saws on hand to fulfill a wide range of different utilities. If it will only be one or the other for you, however, it may be to your benefit to invest in the moderately priced but always quite safe manual pole saw.

Blade Size

The size of the blade can also have a bearing on the overall performance of the tool. The longer the blade, the easier it will be to tackle bigger branches and materials. However, there is a con as well: bigger blades tend to be fairly tough to work with and control.

They also struggle to gain access to tighter spots. You will simply have to evaluate your needs and decide for yourself what blade size is best for your purposes.

Comfort Grip

Pole saws are not historically very comfortable to use. An ergonomic design concept can mitigate this problem significantly. Ideally, you will be able to find something with a grip that has been padded and designed specifically to comfortably fit the human hand.

Ergonomic technology is nothing new, but it is actually surprisingly scarce in the world of pole saws. Only a few of the products on this list today included this handy feature.

However, if you anticipate that you will be using your pole saw often, an ergonomic design concept is a truly invaluable feature to have.

F​​​​​AQ

What is the best pole pruner to buy?
Of course, the answer to that question will ultimately depend on your needs. That said, the DocoPole pruning so is a good example of a high performing unit.

What is the best battery powered pole saw?
Maybe the manual saws weren’t doing it for you. If so, there are also plenty of battery-driven units to choose from. Greenworks is a good example of a company known for making high-quality batter tools.

What is the longest pole saw?
Pole saws can range pretty substantially in length. Longer units can be upwards of thirty feet. Any longer and the unit would be very difficult to control.

How thick can a pole saw cut?
Frankly, there are too many variables at work to give a concrete answer to that question. It will depend on the strength of the blade, the strength of the wielder, the integrity of the branch, the type of wood, etc.

In general, pole saws are very effective at sawing a wide variety of woods and thicknesses. However, sometimes specialty products (like a gas-driven tool) are needed to work with particularly stubborn woods.

Conclusion

As you saw from my manual pole saw reviews, there are tons of products to choose from. However, the purpose of this guide isn’t just to expose you to all of the great options. It is also to make it easier for you to decide between them.

Have you made up your mind yet? Maybe you are a person that buys for quality. If so you are sure to find a friend in the DocaPole 5-12 Foot Pole Pruning Saw. It is a high-end piece of equipment that will be great for high volume users or possibly even professionals.

Then again, not everyone has a ton of money to spend. If you are on a more restrictive budget you will probably gravitate towards a budget-friendly pick. In that case, the Gilmour 20-18 16-Inch Curved Blade Commercial Grade Pole Saw is likely to be to your liking.

At the end of the day pretty much any of these saws will be able to get the job done for you. Now that you are familiar with each of them my hope is that you won’t have any trouble picking the right one for your needs.

Tom has over 15 years’ experience as a woodworker and his fair share of expertise in the field. He also knows all about the right woodworking tools and materials and shares his invaluable knowledge to help you with your DIY projects.