Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Works well for light pruning

Reviews: Oster 5712 Fiskars 9301 Power-Lever 14-Foot Tree Pruner

I purchased this pole saw to trim two trees around our house. A very tall cypress had branches that were overhanging our roof and preventing a smaller Japanese maple from growing and a pine tree that had branches growin too close to our roof. While shopping, I was torn between this saw and a pole mounted electric chainsaw. However, I decided that the amount that I would use the tool is not enough to justify the extra money for the electric saw.

After using the saw for about 2 hours (in 100 degree Dallas weather, not the best idea) I can say that it works as advertised provided that one uses it correctly.

First, the pruners work better than I thought they would. They cut smaller branches easily and can cut through anything that fits inside of the cutting hook. If it won't fit inside the hook, then it needs to be cut with the saw.

The saw works well, though it is tedious to use. It's slow going but it gets the job done. The key to using it is to put pressure on the blade only on the "pull" stroke as the blade doesn't cut on the "push" stroke. Also, make long strokes that use the entire blade. Changing angles during the cut seems to make it go faster as well. Have patience, it gets somewhat monotonous. A branch with a 4" diameter took about 8 minutes to cut through.

A word about safety: first, don't stand under a branch that you are cutting (common sense right?). Second, use the pruners to trim down large branches so that when you saw through the branch near the trunk, there's less mass falling down. Third, when using the saw to take down a branch, make two cuts, the first about a foot away from the trunk. This allows the branch to fall without tearing bark off the tree trunk. Make the second cut close to the trunk for a clean look.

If I had more pruning to do I'd probably invest in a light chainsaw, but for some basic work here and there, this saw gets the job done.

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