Pole Saw Vs Hedge Trimmer – What’s the Actual Difference?

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If you are a home keeper or just a garden enthusiast, chances are that you have worked with multiple tools to tidy up the garden.

In some cases, you might not have the right tool to handle the specific activity in the garden. Take, for example, you want to trim the hedges around the home. At this point, you’re not sure which tool to use between using a pole saw vs hedge trimmer. What really is the difference between them, and which one would you use in such a situation?

Read on to get the answers to those questions and understand deeply how the two garden tools differ.

A Pole Saw: What is it?

Let’s not define a pole saw based on the common dictionary definition. Rather, let’s look at it more practically, shall we?

You see, a pole saw is more of a chainsaw that is mounted at the end of a pole. That’s pretty much it. So, the long pole, which also works as the handle, offers you an extended reach. In other words, it lets you reach the limbs and branches of the tree with ease so that the chainsaw can do the cutting job.

Pole Saw Applications

According to our definition of a pole saw, you can already guess what job it would do best. But just to set the record straight, a pole saw is mostly used in these applications;

  • Pruning overgrown bushes/shrubs.
  • Trimming trunks and limbs of a tree.

Types of Pole Saws

Like most garden power tools, pole saws come in two major categories.

  • Gas-powered models. These models will mostly run on gasoline, and they tend to have more power to handle demanding jobs. They are also heavier in weight and are louder when running.
  • Electric models. With the electric pole saws, they can either be battery-powered or they will run on electricity with a cord. They tend to be lighter than gas models, but possess less power output. But on the plus side, they will allow you to work with them remotely (battery-powered). Electric pole saws also have low operation sound.

They are also some manual pole saws as well. When choosing it is important to understand the type of pole saw that suits you best.

Things to consider before buying a pole saw;

Before you step out to purchase a pole saw, here are some top factors you should consider;

  • Length. Choose one that lets you reach the high branches in your yard with ease.
  • Weight. Pick a pole saw that won’t be too heavy for you to operate.
  • Power. The power output of the pole saw must match the demands of the job you have in your garden.

What to Love about a Pole Saw;

  • They can cut trunks and branches of a tree, as well as trim bushes and shrubs
  • Some pole saws are compatible with multiple attachments; versatile
  • You can reach high branches and twigs without a ladder
  • Some models are usable for low-height tasks since the chainsaw can be detached from the pole
  • Some models are generally affordable

What Could Be Better

  • They are not the best pick for precise pruning jobs
  • The weight can be unbalanced, which requires you to maintain balance
  • Other models are quite expensive (especially the electric models)

Hedge Trimmer: What is it?

Simply put, a hedge trimmer will handle the trimming tasks on the hedges. Plus, you can use this tool to prune shrubberies if you want to keep the sides even or in good shape.

They are the best for trimming shrubs precisely as the blade will move in reciprocating motion for accurate cutting.

Applications of Hedge Trimmer

Here are the common uses of a hedge trimmer;

  • Maintain upkeep of hedges
  • Tidy up unkempt shrubs

Types of a Hedge Trimmer

Hedge trimmers also come in two major types;

  • Manual trimmers. These are like scissors with long handles. They are operated manually and take long hours to get the job done.
  • Powered hedge trimmers. With these models, they take less time and effort to handle the unkempt shrubs and hedges. They run on battery, electricity, or gasoline.

Plus, powered hedge trimmers come in different lengths and sizes.

Things to consider before buying a hedge trimmer;

Like any other power tool, you must consider a few factors before you purchase a hedge trimmer. Here are the things to consider;

  • Type. Would you prefer a manual or a power hedge trimmer?
  • Size/length. Most gardeners prefer a long hedge trimmer for handling the high and thick hedges.
  • Handle. A comfortable handle offers you better control.

Other features; you should also consider a model that has a sound and vibration dampener, as well as a debris shield.

What to Love about a Hedge Trimmer

  • They are compact and lightweight
  • Hedges trimmers can trip bushes evenly and precisely
  • They can make artistic shapes on your shrubs
  • Some models can trim vines, tall grasses, and handle other ground tasks
  • The reciprocating blade eases and speeds up the trimming job

What Could Be Better

  • They are relatively costly
  • They have a limited reach
  • They can’t cut through branches, limbs, or twigs.

The Differences: Pole Saw Vs Hedge Trimmer

The major difference between a pole saw and a hedge trimmer is their main purpose.

A pole saw is mostly used for performing overhead pruning tasks, while a hedge trimmer is best suited for trimming and tidying up hedges and other shrubberies.

The cutting capacity of the two tools is another difference. A pole saw can cut through the limbs and logs of a tree, whereas a hedge trimmer cannot handle those logs and limbs.


Q. Can a hedge trimmer be used on tree branches?

Ans. Since hedge trimmers come with about 0.75-inch grooves, they cannot handle tree branches. It is, therefore not advised to use a hedge trimmer on tree branches.

Q. Can a pole saw be used on tree limbs?

Ans. Yes, it can. Generally, a pole saw is the best tool for handling the overhead tree branches. Learn the steps of using a pole saw.

Final Words: When Should I Use One?

A pole saw is best suited for handling larger tree limbs and branches in the yard, while the hedge trimmer is made essentially for thin twigs or leaves on a bush.

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