Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Telescoping Tree Pruner

An extendable saw makes quick work of tough-to-reach limbs and branches.

Using a telescoping saw to cut branches is less hazardous than climbing a ladder with a cutting tool in hand.
Using a telescoping saw to cut branches is less hazardous than climbing a ladder with a cutting tool in hand.Sun Joe

A telescoping tree pruner extends to 10, 15, and even 20 feet, and you can saw and snip off branches and twigs far above what you can reach with a hand pruner and a step ladder. These tools help you keep branches off roofs and make it easier to clear out unwanted vines and shrubs. Available in both manual and motorized versions, there’s a huge difference in how different models perform. Here are three things to think about when you’re ready to get to work.

Sun Joe SWJ803E 10 inch 8.0 Amp Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw
The cutting bar on this powered pruner adjusts from zero to 30 degrees for precision cuts.Sun Joe

Operating a manual pruner typically requires pulling on a long cord that activates the pruner blades, or manipulating an attached saw blade back and forth. Both styles are effective but can give you a workout. Motorized pruners are like miniature chainsaws attached to a pole and chew through branches with ease, but they are heavier and more complex to operate.

Greenworks 8 Inch 40V Cordless Pole Saw with Hedge Trimmer Attachment 2.0Ah Battery and Charger Included
This motorized pruner recharges so you don’t have to plug it in or add fuel for it to function.Greenworks

Most manual telescoping tree pruners come with a saw blade attachment, but you can also outfit powered pruners with extra tools. If you have tall bushes and shrubs, look for a pruner that doubles as a hedge trimmer.

Fiskars Chain Drive 7–16 Foot Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner (394631-1001),White
The design of this manual cutter increases your cutting power.Fiskars

If you typically cut branches or prune twigs higher than 10 feet from the ground, you may need to go with a manual pruner. Most motorized pruners aren’t longer than eight or nine feet, mainly because the mechanisms required to drive the saw chain are too heavy to handle on a longer tool. Some manual pruners, however, extend to 20 feet, giving you much greater reach.

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