Chainsaw vs. Circular Saw

So, you want to get into woodworking, and you want to do so from scratch, which means cutting down your own trees, preparing the lumber, cutting boards to size, and then building whatever it is that you want to build. Any good woodworker and lumberjack needs to have the right tools at hand.

There are plenty of different types of saws out there, but what type of saw do you need? Two common types of saws are chainsaws and circular saws, but what are they, what are they used for, and what are the differences between the two? Let’s get to it and do a chainsaw vs. circular saw side-by-side comparison.

Chainsaw vs. Circular Saw – What are They?

Before we get into a comparison of both of these tools, let’s quickly talk about what they actually are.


A chainsaw is a type of saw that comes with a long arm, that features a chain that moves in a single direction on that arm; the chain has sharp teeth intended to quickly rip and cut wood. A chainsaw is quite simple to use — just turn it on, the get chain moving at top speed, and move it through wood.

The main use of a chainsaw is usually to cut down trees and to cut logs apart into smaller sections, although with the right attachments, you can also mill lumber using a chainsaw. In other words, a chainsaw is usually used for rougher and larger cuts. Chainsaws tend to be very loud, heavy, and powerful. Sure, there are smaller options out there, but if you want to cut down a large tree, you need a large chainsaw.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is a much smaller type of saw. Instead of having a long arm with a sharp chain that moves along the arm, a circular saw features a circular metal blade with teeth; instead of moving in an oval pattern along an arm, the circular saw’s blade simply spins in a circle.

Circular saws tend to be much smaller and lighter than chainsaws, and they are generally used for much smaller jobs. Where a chainsaw is used to cut large logs or pieces of wood, a circular saw is usually used for cutting small boards, like making simple crosscuts for carpentry. Essentially, they are two very different tools with different purposes.

Chainsaw vs Circular Saw – Main Differences, Uses, and More

Now that we have gone over what these tools are, let’s go a little more in depth in terms of their uses, features, and benefits which they bring to the table.

Power Source

One of the big differences is that these machines usually use different power sources. On the one hand, circular saws are usually going to be electric, and usually they are plugged into a power outlet. You might find circular saws that are battery operated, but most require an AC connection to provide them with enough power. You usually won’t find gas-powered circular saws because they are meant to be fairly small and used indoors, so a gas engine doesn’t really work for that.

On the other hand, chainsaws, the powerful and heavy duty ones, are going to use a gas-powered engine. Now, of course, you can find electric chainsaws, and they can be battery powered or corded, but these are not great as they usually have limited power and operational distance. When it comes down to it, a good chainsaw is gas powered, and a circular saw is corded.


The biggest difference between a chainsaw and a circular saw is what they are used for. Chainsaws have very long arms with a long cutting area. So, for instance, you can get a chainsaw with a 2-foot arm, and therefore, you can cut down some really wide trees with them, and then use that same chainsaw to cut apart those logs into smaller sections. Now, you can get chainsaw milling attachments to use this tool to mill logs into smaller boards, but as far as uses go, that’s about it.

A circular saw on the other hand, has a small circular blade, so you definitely won’t be using it to cut down trees, to saw logs apart, or to mill logs either. Circular saws can only cut to a depth of a few inches, so this means that you can only work with much smaller materials. Generally speaking, circular saws are used for making cuts on boards, whether length- or widthwise. For instance, a circular saw would be used to cut a 2 x 4 or a plank of plywood into smaller pieces.

Other Differences

So besides the main uses of these saws and what the best power source is for them, there are a couple of other differences to keep in mind as well.

  • A chainsaw is used for making large and rough cuts whereas a circular saw is intended for much smaller and finer jobs
  • Chainsaws are usually always going to be much heavier, louder, bigger, and harder to operate than circular saws
  • A chainsaw is considered a lumber=working tool, whereas as circular saw is a woodworking or carpentry tool. One is used by a lumberjack, the other by a carpenter
  • A high-quality chainsaw is going to cost a lot more than a high-quality circular saw.


If you are planning on cutting down trees and milling them, a chainsaw is what you want to have. However, if you plant on cutting apart boards of any kind, it’s the circular saw that you want. Before you make a choice in terms of which machine you want to buy, just consider what you need your machine for.

What are the Biggest Pros of Pocket Chainsaws?

If you have ever wondered about using a pocket chainsaw, and whether they are good or not, wonder no longer because that’s what we’re going to discuss. Pocket chainsaws come with a lot of pros and benefits that you might have never thought about.

They’re Super Portable

The first biggest pro that you get with a pocket chainsaw is that they are super lightweight and portable. They aren’t called pocket chainsaws for nothing. You can easily put one away into its corresponding pouch, which you can then fit right in your backpack or pocket, although it would have to be a fairly large pocket.

Either way, a pocket chainsaw is more portable than a normal chainsaw, or any other option for that matter. Moreover, they’re lightweight, so they aren’t too bad to carry around with you, especially if you plan on traveling great distances. Simply put, pocket chainsaws are lightweight, compact, portable, and convenient.

Increase Muscle Strength and Cardiovascular Health

This is something you may never have thought about, but because pocket chainsaws are hand operated, it means that you will feel the burn after a little while. Now, they are designed to be very easy to use, and that means that they should require minimal effort for you to saw through something with a pocket chainsaw. However, they are still hand operated, and this means that you do have to use those muscles of yours.

Muscles in your forearms, your biceps and triceps, your shoulders, and your back will all be exercised by using a pocket chainsaw. Moreover, to get through a substantial sized log, you need to saw for a couple of minutes, and that constant motion counts as cardio exercise. Therefore, a big pro of pocket chainsaws is that they help keep you in shape by training your muscles and your cardiovascular system.

Self-Sharpening and Maintenance Free

Ok, so this pro is not one that can be applied across the board, but close enough. Most pocket chainsaws have self-cleaning and self-sharpening chains. This is indeed a big deal, because most normal chainsaws will require you to clean the blade fairly often. At the same time, most of them also require you to remove the blade on occasion for sharpening and maintenance.

However, with most pocket chainsaws, this is not the case, as most will sharpen and clean themselves just through use and nothing more. It’s very convenient if you have what amounts to a chainsaw that really does not require much maintenance at all. Sometimes minimal maintenance may be required with pocket chainsaws too, but nothing like with real chainsaws.

No Mechanical Parts

Something else to keep in mind is that pocket chainsaws are not mechanical or electrical. Whether you have a gas-powered or electric chainsaw, there are still a lot of engine parts, moving parts, and electrical components. These are all things which a normal chainsaw needs, but at the same time, mechanical and electrical components are prone to breaking down and failure. When you have so many moving parts on a single device, something is bound to break down, and yes, it happens way more often than most would like to admit.

The point is that on a pocket chainsaw, there are no electrical or mechanical components, and therefore there’s a lot less that can break or go wrong. It’s much more reliable and long lasting in this sense.

No Need for Fuel or Oil

Yet another pro that you can equate with pocket chainsaws is that they do not require any fuel or oil. Gas chainsaws constantly require new fuel and oil to function. It can be a real pain if you run out of gas and have to go out to get more, not to mention that if you run out of oil, you can wreck the motor.

On the other hand, there are also electric chainsaws, but these require you to constantly be connected to a power source. With a pocket chainsaw, the only power source you ever need are those big biceps of yours, so as long as you eat a good breakfast, you’ll be good to go. You save money because you don’t require fuel, and you don’t have to worry about running out either.

No Pollution Created

Whether you have a gas-powered or electric chainsaw, in one way or another, they all produce some form of pollution. Yes, gas chainsaws are obviously the worst, as they require gas and oil, and they produce some pretty heavy pollution in the form of carbon emissions. No, they are not good for the environment.

At the same time, electric chainsaws still draw power from the power grid, and even if that power is created through green means, there is always pollution associated with power generation. With a pocket chainsaw, because it uses no fuel at all, you don’t ever have to worry about any pollution being created by them. They are totally eco-friendly.

Easily Get Into Tight Spaces

The other benefit that comes with pocket chainsaws is that they are quite convenient to use in tight spaces. Full-size chainsaws are, well, full size, and it might be difficult to cut from certain angles or get into small areas. Of course, because a pocket chainsaw is so small and compact, this is not really a problem at all.


The bottom line is that pocket chainsaws might not be ideal for big jobs like a real gas chainsaw is, but as you can see, they still come with a lot of pros and benefits that you should be able to appreciate.

What is the Best Length for a Pocket Chainsaw?

If you’ve never heard of pocket chainsaws before, you really have no idea what you are missing out on. Sure, gas-powered chainsaws are fine, and if you have a massive job to get done, it’s probably your go-to option, but that’s where the fun ends. Pocket chainsaws are small hand-operated chainsaws, more or less a sharpened chain with a handle.

While they may sound hard to use, they really aren’t at all; it’s quite the opposite, in fact. These things are small and portable, they are lightweight, easy to use, require minimal maintenance, they don’t require any fuel source besides yourself, and they actually provide for some pretty decent exercise.

Now, with that being said, if you want to get the job done right and with minimal troubles, you need to choose your pocket chainsaw carefully. One of the main things you need to pay attention to when shopping is the length of the pocket chainsaw, but what is the best length for a pocket chainsaw? It’s not a very difficult question to answer, and it’s what we are going to talk about.

Best Length for a Pocket Chainsaw

So, you’re wondering what is the best length for a pocket chainsaw, but before we answer, let’s talk about the average length of your normal pocket chainsaw which has an average blade length of 24 inches; this tends to be the standard. The reason why 24 inches is the standard is because it seems to be the most convenient option for the majority of users.

On one hand, a 24-inch chain is long enough so you can wrap it around and saw apart some pretty decent-sized logs and pieces of wood, although not huge ones. And at the same time, 24 inches is not so long that it will give your problems in terms of how much room you require to operate. Remember, the longer the chain is, the more room you will require to operate your pocket chainsaw; this also means that you can cut much larger logs and pieces of wood.

Moreover, remember that a pocket chainsaw with a longer chain has a larger cutting surface, and therefore you can build up more speed, make longer strokes, and end up sawing a lot faster. To switch sides again though, the longer that chain is, the heavier and harder the whole thing will be to transport.

Longer and Shorter Options

Now, 24 inches is the standard chain length, but of course, it’s not the only length out there, and there are both longer and shorter options available, although not much shorter. About the shortest length you will find with a pocket chainsaw is 21 or even 20 inches, which makes for a lightweight and very portable option that is easy to operate in tight spaces; however, it’s not fast going with such a short chain, and you can’t deal with large objects either.

There are much longer pocket chainsaws out there that come anywhere up to 39 inches, sometimes even as long as four feet. Just remember that the longer it is, the faster you can cut wood, and the larger a piece you can handle, but of course, it also comes with more required space for you to operate in, and it does add to the weight.

Other Things to Consider When Purchasing a Pocket Chainsaw

Besides the length of the chain itself, there are some other considerations to keep in mind before you go out and buy a pocket chainsaw, so let’s quickly go over the most important ones.

Blade Material

You will want to look for a pocket chainsaw that features a hardened steel chain, and if you can find one that is carbide tipped, even better. You want to look for a blade that is very hard, durable, and long-lasting. The harder the material, the longer it will last before it gets dull, and the lower the chances of something breaking.

Self-Sharpening and Cleaning

Some chainsaw blades allow you to sharpen them with traditional chainsaw sharpening kits, and others do not. The fact of the matter is that many newer pocket chainsaws feature self-sharpening chains, and many also have self-cleaning chains. This means that through the use of the pocket chainsaw, the chain will actually clean and sharpen itself, something which helps make life a lot easier. This is a big thing to look for when purchasing a pocket chainsaw.

The Handles

The next aspect to pay attention to when purchasing a pocket chainsaw is what the handles are like. Most pocket chainsaws will come with loop handles, which are fine because they provide a great grip. As long as the handles are easy to hold, comfortable, and durable, you should be fine. Some models come with wooden handles or other materials, but not soft loops. These can be fine, and are usually more comfortable to hold, but they can be harder to grip onto.

Carrying Pouch

The other thing to look for is that your pocket chainsaw comes with a good pouch. Something you can clip or tie onto your pants is always good, and of course, you want that pouch to be fairly durable and long-lasting.


There you have everything you need to know about the length of your pocket chainsaw and how to choose the best size for your needs. Although this may be one of the most important purchasing factors, keep the other points we have discussed in mind as well. Put everything together, and you have got yourself a high-quality pocket chainsaw.

How to Mill a Log With a Chainsaw

So, you’ve heard that it is possible to mill a log with a chainsaw, but exactly how is this done and what kind of equipment are you going to need? That’s what we are here for. Let’s get to it and discuss how to mill a log with a chainsaw.

How to Mill a Log With a Chainsaw – Step-by-Step Tutorial

In all honesty, milling a log in your own garage, shop, or backyard with a chainsaw is really not all that hard. As long as you have a bit of patience, you know how to operate a chainsaw, and you have the right tools, it’s a pretty simple process, but it does need to be done right, and it needs to be done safely as well. Let’s go through a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to mill a log with a chainsaw.

Get the Right Chainsaw and Chain

The first step in milling a log with a chainsaw is to get the right chainsaw and the corresponding chain. Keep in mind that the more power the chainsaw has, the more efficiently and smoothly you will be able to mill your lumber; it all depends on the size of log you are looking to mill.

For instance, if you have a log that is 20 inches in diameter, you’ll want a chainsaw with at least a 24 inch chain. It needs to be long enough to get through the diameter of the log in a single go. Moreover, you also need something that has a lot of engine power, especially if the wood has a lot of knots in it.

Most people will say that a 50cc engine is fine, but we personally would go with something a bit more powerful. Next, you do also need to ensure that you have the right kind of chain attached. Generally speaking, a ripping chainsaw chain is best for log milling, as it allows you to easily make your way through thick and tough knots.

The Chainsaw Milling Attachment

Now that you have the right chainsaw and chain, you also need the chainsaw milling attachment. Some people choose to build their own setup, but if you are not an expert, and you want to save some time, a good chainsaw milling attachment is what you want to go for.

Of course, the size of the milling attachment you need will depend on the size of the chainsaw, and the size of the lumber being milled as well. Whatever chainsaw lumber milling attachment you choose, be sure that it is a fairly high-quality option that will last you for some time.

The Easy Rails and Making the First Cut

What you might not know is that you need to make a first cut; you cannot just begin milling a log using a chainsaw and the milling attachment on a round edge. You need to make a first cut so you have a flat reference point to work with, along the length of the log. Most people, to make sure that the cut is straight, will use easy rail attachments. These are rails that you can buy in most lumber shops and easily set up on your own, with this exact purpose in mind.

The rails are nailed to a side of the log along the length, the side which you plan on cutting off to get that straight edge. Build the rails to the right length, nail them on, attach your chainsaw to the rails, as instructed in the user manual, and use it to get that first cut done. Some people will choose to attach a winch to the end of the log to make pulling the chainsaw through much easier. As long as you get that first straight edge, you are good to go.

Set the Attachment Depth and Get to Work

Now that you have chosen your chainsaw, you have attached the appropriate milling tool, and you have used some easy rails to get that first cut, you will have a straight edge to work with. The rest of the process is quite easy. Take the chainsaw and the milling attachment, and use the instructions or user manual if needed, to set the cutting depth. Once you have set the cutting depth, place the milling attachment on the flat surface of the log, the surface you cut in the step before.

What’s important to remember is that you want to start your chainsaw and get it moving before you start cutting into the length of the wood. It should be going at more or less full speed before it makes contact with the log.

As in the step before, with the rails, some people use their own muscle power to pull the chainsaw along the length from one side to another, and others will attach a small winch to one side of the log, with the other hooked onto the milling attachment. This way, instead of having to force the chainsaw through the log with pure muscle power, you can use the winch to easily pull it through. It’s just something that helps make life a bit easier.

That’s really all there is to it. Once the cut is made from one side to another, remove the cut board, go back to the other side of the log, and do it all over again. Of course, you will get to the bottom of the log, and there will be another rounded edge. Once you run out of space to work with, you know you’re done.


As you can see, there is really not that much work that goes into milling your own log. Yes, you do need the right tools, which included the right chainsaw, chain, easy rails, a winch, and the milling attachment. However, if you have all of these, milling a log with a chainsaw is quite easy.

How Does a Pocket Chainsaw Compare to a Hatchet?

So, you’re going out into the woods, want to cut some wood for your needs when you are camping. Which is better for you, a hatchet or pocket chainsaw? How does a pocket chainsaw compare to a hatchet?

Pocket Chainsaw vs. Hatchet – A Side-by-Side Comparison

We wanted to do a side-by-side comparison with pocket chainsaws and hatches. We will be looking at some of the most important aspects that are going to make a difference to you.


So, one of the most important points to keep in mind has to do with overall portability. One of the reasons you are using a small hatchet or a compact pocket chainsaw is because they are both fairly portable. However, which one of these is more portable? Is either a hatched or pocket chainsaw more portable than the other? We would say so.

Hatchets tend to not be all that large or heavy, and yes, they do usually come with a pouch of sorts, although it will only cover the hatchet head. With a hatchet, there is really nothing that can be compacted or folded down more than it already is. A good hatchet is going to come with a certain weight. While they are not super heavy, good ones won’t be super lightweight.

On the other hand, pocket chainsaws are much lighter. Moreover, they have a chain that can be bundled up into a small package, and everything, including the loop handles. can be stored neatly in a small pouch that can be attached to a backpack or even to your pants. Therefore, when it comes down to it, a pocket chainsaw is much more portable and ideal for transportation than a hatchet. They are lighter and way more compact.

Size of Job That Can be Performed

Something else which you need to think about is what you will be using the hatchet or pocket chainsaw for. Now, hatchets usually only come in one standard size, with not all that much deviation from that size, so that is one thing to keep in mind. On the other hand, pocket chainsaws can be as short as 20 inches or as long as 48 inches, so there are several options available.

What you also need to think about is the size of job you want to complete with the item in question. On one hand, your average hatchet is only intended for smaller jobs, things like splitting small pieces of wood, de-branching larger branches and tree stems, and maybe even for cutting down a really small tree. However, other than that, a hatchet really cannot cut down full trees or saw apart full logs. You’d be working on it forever.

When it comes to the pocket chainsaw, the shorter options will only be ideal for sawing smaller logs and trees, but remember that there are also much longer options to go with. If you plan on sawing a part a large log or tree stem, a good 4-foot pocket chainsaw is what you will need. The point here is that you can complete some pretty large sawing jobs with a pocket chainsaw, jobs which hatchets just cannot handle.

Speed and Accuracy

The next point of consideration is the speed at which you can get through a log or piece of wood with either of these tools. A hatched will eventually get you through any piece of wood, but that slow and repetitive swinging can get very tiring, plus you usually end up taking out small chunks only. Plus, there is the issue that with a hatchet, you have to strike in the right place every single time. If you don’t hit your mark, you are simply wasting time and energy. No, hatchets are not the fastest option around.

That being said, if you are looking for speed and accuracy, it is most likely the pocket chainsaw that you will want to go with. For one, with a pocket chainsaw, once you have that initial cut made along the diameter, there is no aiming involved. The chain will simply guide itself, so there’s no missing the mark and wasting time. Moreover, unlike with a hatched, with a pocket chainsaw, every single movement you make, that back and forth motion, works to cut the wood. This is unlike with a hatchet, where only the downstroke actually cuts. Simply put, a pocket chainsaw is much faster and more accurate to use.

Size and Job Restrictions

Above we discussed how pocket chainsaws can generally handle much larger logs than hatchets, at least if you plan on sawing it apart in a decent amount of time. If you have a very large log, a pocket chainsaw is only so long, and will only be able to handle up to a certain size. While pocket chainsaws are better than hatchets for large jobs, there is a certain limit here.

Because a hatchet is not constrained by a chain, or in other words, a maximum length, you can technically work on massive pieces of wood with a hatchet. Sure, it will take forever to complete, but you are not hindered by the length of the chain.

There is also the fact that pocket chainsaws are meant for one thing only — sawing apart tree stems and logs. However, a good hatchet can do so much more. With a hatchet, you can cut firewood, kill fish, defend yourself in the event of an emergency, and even use it as a hammer.


There you have it — the 4 main differences between a hatchet and a pocket chainsaw. The bottom line is that if you need something to cut through good-size logs fast and with accuracy, plus ease, it’s a pocket chainsaw you want to go for. However, hatchets have more tasks they can be used for.

What Size Chainsaw for Milling?

Getting freshly cut lumber ready for use involves a number of processes, with one of the main being milling. If you cut down a tree, to get usable boards out of it, you first need to mill the logs down to size. Now, generally speaking, log milling is done in large-scale lumber mills, and they large machines to get the job done.

However, chances are that you probably don’t have a full scale lumber milling operation, with all the required machinery, set up in your backyard. Yet, if you didn’t already know, you can mill a log using your chainsaw, along with the appropriate attachment. Let’s talk about what kind and size of chainsaw you need to for milling, as well as some other important factors.

Why Use a Chainsaw for Milling Lumber?

You might be wondering why you would want to use a chainsaw to mill your own lumber. For one, chances are that you don’t have a lumber mill in your backyard. This would mean that after you have cut your tree (s) down, you would have to transport it to a lumber mill, which you might do on your own, or you might hire a lumber truck for the job.

Either way, you are looking at paying someone else to transport that lumber to the mill, to get it cut for you, and to then transport it back home. So, in essence, the reason you want to mill your own lumber has to do with cost effectiveness.

Transporting heavy lumber costs a lot of money, and the same goes for hiring a lumber mill to cut it down to size for you. However, with a good chainsaw of the right power and length, and the right milling attachment, you can do all of this in your own backyard totally free of cost, well, besides the initial purchase of the equipment, but still, you won’t have to hire anybody to transport and cut the lumber for you. It really is a great way to save money.

The Chainsaw You Will Need For Milling – Power and Size

The first thing that you need to look into is the chainsaw itself. You will want to invest in a fairly high-quality chainsaw, one that will last you for quite some time. It’s always a good idea to get a chainsaw that you are comfortable using. Something to keep in mind is that you do not automatically need the largest chainsaw available, just one that is ideal for dealing with the size of logs you plan on milling.

When it comes to the size of the chainsaw you need, a lot depends on the size of the logs being milled. If you are simply sawing down whole trees, it might be fine to go with a smaller chainsaw. If you have a small chainsaw, it might take more time and effort to cut down a tree than with a much larger saw, but generally speaking, you can still get the job done. However, in terms of milling that log into boards once the tree has been cut down, you need something large, smooth, and powerful enough to efficiently mill the lumber.

Engine Power – the CCs

What is important is engine power. When milling lumber, the engine power of the chainsaw will determine how much effort you need to put into milling, how long it will take, and how smooth the job can get completed. Usually, for most milling purposes, a 50cc chainsaw should do just fine, at least for everything but the largest of jobs.

That being said, the heavier and more powerful the chainsaw is, the faster you can get the job done, the smoother the cuts are going to be, and the easier to control the chainsaw will be as well. Therefore, for the best results, you want a chainsaw with a lot of engine power. If you are serious about milling your own lumber, and you have some large and knotted logs that need dealing with, you might want to invest in a 100cc chainsaw.

Chain Length

The other important factor to consider is how long the chainsaw is, specially the arm and the chain. For most purposes, an average 20-inch chain should do just fine. That said, do keep in mind that 20 inches is not all that long, and if you are dealing with very large logs, you will want to go for something longer than that. You may need a chainsaw with a chain length up to 30 inches, or more. Remember that how long the chain needs to be depends on the diameter of the logs being milled.

Simply put, as long as the saw is long enough to make its way through the diameter of the log, you should be good to go. So, keep in mind that there really is no general rule of thumb here. The size of chainsaw you need, in terms of chain length, depends on the size of lumber being milled.


As you can see, if you want to mill your own lumber, you really don’t need that much equipment. You will need to get a high-quality milling attachment for your chainsaw; you really cannot mill lumber without the appropriate chainsaw attachment. Of course, you will also need an appropriate chainsaw for the job. Usually, this means having a chainsaw of at least 20 inches in length and with 50ccs of engine power. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, the size of chainsaw you need to get to mill lumber completely depends on the size of the lumber itself.

How To Safely Use A Chainsaw

Chainsaws are very useful, but that said, they are also really dangerous if not operated properly. Today we want to talk about how to safely use a chainsaw so you don’t cause injury to yourself or others around you.

Chainsaw Safety Tips

We want to cover some crucial chainsaw safety tips. If you follow all of these tips on how to use a chainsaw safely, you are one step closer to remaining intact.

Get the Right Size Chainsaw

This has more to do with purchasing the right chainsaw rather than using it safely, however, to use a chainsaw safely, you need to have the right size. Simply put, is the chainsaw too large for you to operate safely? If you feel as though you cannot easily support its weight and size with nothing more than your hands and arms, you are probably in trouble.

Chainsaws, if they slip out of your hands, or you drop them, can quickly cause injury. So, you need to be confident that you can hold onto it with ease for a prolonged period of time.

At the same time, when it comes to the size of the chainsaw, using one with a 2-foot arm to cut apart branches that are half a foot in diameter is total overkill. On the flipside, using a 1-foot arm to cut down a tree with a trunk much larger than that, is also not a good idea.

A lot of it comes down to having the right size chainsaw, both for the job at hand, and for your own abilities. What you need to remember is that the longer the arm and chain is, or in other words, the larger the chainsaw, the harder it is going to be to control and safely operate. Smaller is not always worse.

Feet Should be Shoulder-Width Apart and 2 Hands on the Chainsaw

Another big chainsaw safety tip is that you always want to have a good stance when using one. This means that your feet should be firmly planted on the ground, with a shoulder width stance. This will allow you to have good balance when using your chainsaw.

Both hands are just as important too. To safely operate a chainsaw, it takes 2 hands. Sure, you can probably keep a chainsaw running with just one hand, as long as you keep pressing the fuel or power trigger, but you also need the other hand, the one on top of the chainsaw holding the safety and guide rail. You never want to let go of that safety rail while you have the saw running because it can cause kickback and it will cause you to lose control of the chainsaw. So, 2 hands on the chainsaw and 2 feet firmly planted on the ground.

Get the Saw Moving First

One mistake which many people make when using a chainsaw, at least beginners, is to touch the chain to the wood before the chain is moving. This should be avoided at all costs. You need to give power to the saw and get the chain moving first, before you touch it to the wood.

If you have the chain touching the wood before the chain is moving, you can run into some serious problems, mainly that your chainsaw is going to bounce, twitch, and move all over the place, possibly and likely causing injury.

However, if you get the chain moving first, the result, when the moving chain hits the wood, will be like a hot knife moving through butter. On that same note, it is never a good idea to stop the chainsaw in the middle of a cut. Whenever possible, whenever the chain is in contact with wood, it should be moving.

Sawing on The Ground and Nothing Over Shoulder Height

Something else that you may see people doing is getting up on a ladder to saw branches off a tree, which is a big mistake. What happens if the ladder happens to fall with you on it, with a chainsaw in full motion? What happens if your foot slips and you go tumbling down? What happens is serious injury or even death.

Chainsaws are meant to be used with both feet planted firmly on the ground, not on an unstable and elevated surface like a ladder. On that same note, never try to cut anything above shoulder height. The higher you have to lift a chainsaw, the more dangerous the operation becomes. Imagine dropping a moving chainsaw on your face or having a branch come crashing down on you! There are other tools for cutting branches off a tree higher up than ground level.

The Right Clothing

Something that is also very important to keep in mind when using a chainsaw, is that the proper clothing and gear can make all of the difference. For one, never wear loose clothing. Anything that can get caught in the moving chain is a tremendous safety hazard. So, loose sleeves, loose pant legs, very long hair, or anything else of the sort should be avoided for your safety.

Proper chainsaw attire includes chaps (special pants designed for protection), steel toe boots to protect your feet, special woodworking or lumberjack gloves, and the proper helmet complete with a faceguard. Although maybe not 100% essential, a good pair of ear plugs to protect your hearing probably won’t hurt.


Remember to always use a chainsaw on the ground and to not cut things over shoulder height; always keep both feet on the ground and both hands on the saw; get the right size of saw you feel comfortable with; and wear the proper attire.

Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw

Fiskars Chain Drive 7–16 Foot Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner (394631-1001),White
  • Easily cut high branches with a sturdy tree trimming system that extends up to 16 feet and features a chain-drive design for up to 3X more power
  • Includes a precision-ground steel pruner for cutting branches up to 1 1/4 inch thick and a 15 inch hooked WoodZig saw for removing larger branches
  • Oval-shaped fiberglass and aluminum poles greatly reduce flex, allow you to control the cut direction and fit the natural shape of your hand
  • Secure double locking systems ensure the extended pole stays put
  • Full lifetime warranty

Are you tired of using whatever kind of saw on a shaky ladder to cut some branches off of trees in your yard? It can be not only difficult but downright dangerous, and this is why the higher powers invented the extendable pole pruner. Today we are here to review a specific model, the Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner.

Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner: Review

The Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner is a very affordable long-range pruner pole designed for pruning high-up branches off trees. It’s a pretty all-around durable, useful, affordable, and user-friendly manual pole saw that we think many people could benefit from.

Who is this product for?

The Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner is a great item for professional tree pruners and gardeners, as well as for the DIYer doing everything at home on their own. If you have medium-size trees in your yard that have branches that need pruning, but you don’t want to get up on a shaky ladder with a saw, the Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner is the perfect tool for the job. Keep in mind that it works well for both thicker and thinner branches alike.

What is included?

When you purchase the Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner, you get a combination aluminum and fiberglass telescopic pole system that is hooked up to a chain drive pruning blade, as well as a long 15-inch serrated blade for thicker branches.

Overview of features

The Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner is great if you need to engage in some tree or bush pruning, especially when it comes to heights. One of the big advantages is that this pruner is an extendable pruner. It comes with a telescopic pole that can extend from 7 feet out to a whopping 16 feet.

When it is contracted, the 7 foot pole is easy to store in a garage or other tight place, plus it makes a good tool for pruning ground-level items. The Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner then extends out to a full length of 16 feet, making it ideal for pruning branches from trees that are fairly high up. Of course, you can choose to extend the pole from anywhere between 7 and 16 feet, whatever works best for you.

Keep in mind that the Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner comes with a secure double-locking system. This allows the pole to stay secure and in place while extended, so it doesn’t retract on its own. The double-locking system is very easy to use; it’s pretty simple both to extend and retract the pole. Another thing to keep in mind is that the poles on this Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner are made out of oval shaped aluminum and fiberglass. This is beneficial because the combination of materials helps to reduce flex and movement, thus allowing you to cut branches with ultimate accuracy and stability. There is also the fact that these materials are very tough and designed to take a lot of punishment. It is a pruner that should last for quite some time.

The Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner features a pruner or clipper that is ideal for cutting branches up to 1.25 inches thick. Simply get the branch in the pruning blades, pull the included rope, and the branch should pop right off. The chain drive system used to control the pruning blade is very reliable and it provides you with a lot of torque to get through branches easily. What is nice here is that the Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner also comes with a long 15-inch serrated blade so you can saw through thicker branches with ease, especially when it comes to heights. In terms of pruning pole saws, the Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner is hands down one of the very best out there right now.


Using any kind of long range tree and branch trimmer like this is really not that hard. Just extend the pole as far as needed, get a smaller branch in the pruning blades, and pull the rope to cut. For larger branches, you can use the saw to cut wood, just like with any other saw. If you need a better tutorial for using one, check out the video we have included below. Yes, it is Martha Stewart using a pruner, so not only is this video helpful, but it has awesome entertainment value too!


  • Very durable
  • Telescopic pole – 7 to 16 feet
  • Secure pole locking system
  • Sturdy tree trimming system
  • 15 inch serrated saw


  • Hard to balance with
  • Cutting blade is not all that sharp


Fiskars 28 Inch Bypass Lopper Black/Orange (391461-1003)
  • Ideal for cutting green, living growth like tree branches
  • Fully hardened, precision-ground blade stays sharp through heavy use
  • Rust-resistant, low-friction coating helps the blade glide through wood and prevents it from gumming up with sap and debris
  • Length: 28 inches with a cut capacity of 1-1/2 inch thick branch

The Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner is obviously designed for long-range pruning, especially higher up in trees. However, you might want an item that is better for cutting branches at ground level, in which case you might want to look at an alternative such as the Fiskars 91466935J 28 Inch Bypass Lopper, which is ideal for cutting fairly thick branches at ground level. If you want something even smaller, such as a small pair of pruning shears, we would recommend looking at the Fiskars 91095935J Steel Bypass Pruning Shears.


When it comes down to it, the Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner is one of the very best extendable pole pruners on the market today. It may have a flaw or two, but so does every other product. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s one of the more useful and durable pruners available.

What is a Pole Pruner?

Working on trees and bushes in your yard to create a beautiful setting is something we all like to do. Moreover, not only does taking care of the trees around your home make them look better, but you also need to prune trees for their own health as well. Many people will choose to use some kind of short-range tool in combination with a ladder.

However, ladders are pricey and operating any kind of tool or machinery on a ladder at great heights can be dangerous. There has to be a better tool for trimming tree branches at great heights, right? A great tool used for pruning and trimming high up tree branches is known as a pruning pole or a pole pruner. These are very useful tools when it comes to being an arborist or just working with trees in your own yard. Let’s take a look at these convenient tools right here and now.

What is a Pole Pruner and What is it Used For?

A pruning pole is a device that is used for pruning tree branches at heights. A pole pruner usually consists of a long pole which has a pruning system attached to the front. They are usually made of something like fiberglass, or some other kind of hollow and lightweight material that is easy to lift and maneuver.

These poles are usually either telescopic or come with multiple pieces so you can extend them to reach heights. Some pruning poles can reach up to 18 feet in height or even higher in some cases.

A pole pruner will then have some sort of pruning system located on the front of it, which usually consists of a chain-drive rope-operated blade system. When you pull on the rope, the blades snap shut and cut off the branches. Generally speaking, these pruning systems can cut branches up to 1.25 inches thick, or depending on the model, up to 12 inches.

Most of these pole pruners also come with a long serrated saw located on the front, which can be used to saw branches that are too large for the pruning system. The main point of a pole pruner is to be able to cut branches off trees at heights without having to step on a flimsy ladder and leave the comfort of the solid ground under your feet.

Benefits of Using a Pole Pruner

A pole pruner is definitely a very useful tool, one that helps make your life a whole lot easier and safer when it comes to working with trees, mainly in terms of pruning and trimming branches that are too high to reach on your own. So, what benefits come along with using a pole pruner?

Extended Reach

Perhaps the biggest benefit that you get from using a pole pruner is that they greatly help extend your reach. Instead of using a short-range tool while standing on a ladder, you can use a pole pruner while standing on the ground. You could even get on a small ladder and use it from there. Some pole pruners can extend out to 20 feet or more, thus providing you with unprecedented range to cut and trim high branches that you would not be able to reach otherwise.

Increased Safety

Another big benefit is that it is very safe when compared to other trimming methods. The fact of the matter is that using a saw or power tool to cut tree branches while standing on a ladder is just not very safe. Ladders can be flimsy, tipsy, and they need stable ground. Getting on a ladder to cut branches without somebody holding the ladder below you is not very safe.

A pole pruner eliminates the need to get up on a ladder with tools, thus being quite safe. You don’t have to worry about the ladder tipping over, or about losing your balance or tripping on the ladder, falling off it, and injuring yourself. This is one of those tools that can help make life a whole lot safer. Of course, this only goes so far, because these things have 20 foot poles, or less sometimes, so they can only reach so far.

Multi-Purpose Use and Power

Yet another benefit that you get with the pole pruner is that they usually have multiple uses or functions, well, 2 of them anyway. Your average pole pruner is going to come with a pruning system which consists of a closing blade and a rope to pull. This is ideal for cutting smaller branches with a quick pull of the rope.

Furthermore, your average pole pruner is also going to come with a long serrated blade, which is built to handle thicker and larger branches which the main pruning system cannot deal with. Going back to the pruning system, another advantage you get with it is that you don’t have to saw back and forth forever, and you don’t need to have a lot of muscle to use it. As long as the branch is not too thick, a simple tug on the rope should be more than enough to snap it.


The last benefit we can think of here is that a pole pruner is a really affordable option. Instead of spending money on a ladder and various tree pruning tools, you can simply buy a single pole pruner. They tend to be fairly inexpensive. There are super expensive models meant for pros, but there are also a whole lot of highly affordable options too.


The bottom line is that a pole pruner is a very useful tool when it comes to trimming and pruning tree branches at heights, but you don’t want to have to deal with ladders.


Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner Review

Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner with Two 6-Foot Fiberglass Poles
  • Versatile 2-pole system with easy-change aluminum ferrules
  • Hollow core fiberglass poles with 0.125-inch wall thickness
  • 13-inch tri-cut saw blade for clean, quick cuts with less wear
  • Fixed pulley bypass pruner offers a 1-1/4-inch side cut capacity
  • Includes 6-foot base pole, 6-foot extension pole, pruner, saw head, pole adapter, blade and 20-foot rope

If you work with trees a lot, you need to have the right tools for the job. Maybe your tools are getting old, wearing down, and breaking. Whatever the case may be, if you are an arborist that deals with trimming and pruning trees, or you have a lot of trees on your property that you want to deal with yourself, you need the right tools for the job.

This means that you will most likely need a good pruning pole, a long-range device used for cutting branches high up without having to get on a ladder or put yourself at risk. In this article, we will be reviewing one particular long-range tree branch pruning pole, the Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner.

Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner: Review

The Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner is a very high-quality and expensive professional pole saw and tree pruner. If you are professional that works with trees, you might need something like this to prune high branches without the need for a ladder. As you will notice, this particular tool is quite pricey, especially when compared to other options out on the market right now, but it is an investment worth making considering the high level of quality you get.

Who is this product for?

Something to keep in mind is that the Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner is that it is a professional tool. As it runs on the high side, price wise, you should really have good use for it. If you just have a couple of smaller trees or bushes that only need occasional pruning, this pole saw might qualify as overkill. It is something that a professional would get for constant and daily use, as it is a very tough, durable, and high-grade tree pruning pole, one that does come in at a fairly high price. However, you know what they say, you get what you pay for, and here you get a whole lot.

What is included?

What is pretty neat about the Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner  is that it comes with 2 x 6 foot poles, which includes the 6-foot base pole and the 6-foot extension pole, both made of hollow core fiberglass. Moreover, you get a great rope-operated pruner system with high-quality blades, as well as a serrated saw head for getting through thicker branches. Remember that you can swap out the pruning system for the serrated saw at any time you choose.

Overview of features

The Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner features dual hollow core fiberglass poles. These poles are ultra-lightweight and they do not have much flex. This makes them ideal if you are going to be using this thing all day, as it is light enough to hold for a prolonged period of time. Moreover, since the poles do not flex too much, you can accurately and easily cut branches with steadiness. At the same time, although fiberglass is very light, it is also very durable and should last for quite some time.

An advantage you get with the Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner is that if you buy extra extension poles, you can extend the range from 12 feet to 18 feet or more, as long as the poles are compatible. This is a 2 pole system, so you simply pop one pole into the other and you are ready to go.

You will have to pop the attachment onto the extension pole, but that is about it. Here you get a chain drive style rope operate branch pruning system that can handle branches up to 1.25 inches thick, plus you also get a 13-inch serrated saw blade for thicker branches. Now, this Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner might not sound that impressive, but in all reality, this is one of the more durable, functional, and trusted products of its kind out there right now.


Using the Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner is about as easy as can be. First, put the extension pole into the base pole for a full 12-foot pole. Keep in mind that if you have extra compatible poles, you can actually attach these as well. Next, pop in either the rope-operated tree branch pruning system or the serrated saw blade into the front of the extension pole, and you are ready to start pruning. If using the rope-operated pruning system, find a branch that is 1.25 inches or under into the blade system, pull the rope hard, and that’s about it.


  • Very lightweight and stable
  • Extremely durable
  • Easy to attach the extension and attachments
  • High-quality blades


  • Could be a bit longer
  • Very expensive


Fiskars Chain Drive 7–16 Foot Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner (394631-1001),White
  • Easily cut high branches with a sturdy tree trimming system that extends up to 16 feet and features a chain-drive design for up to 3X more power
  • Includes a precision-ground steel pruner for cutting branches up to 1 1/4 inch thick and a 15 inch hooked WoodZig saw for removing larger branches
  • Oval-shaped fiberglass and aluminum poles greatly reduce flex, allow you to control the cut direction and fit the natural shape of your hand
  • Secure double locking systems ensure the extended pole stays put
  • Full lifetime warranty

The Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner does only reach out to 12 feet, and to use it, you have to choose between attaching the pruning system and the serrated saw, plus it is on the expensive side. If this item does not seem right for you, you can always look at something like the Fiskars Chain Drive Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner. Here, the pole is telescopic, which is convenient, plus the pruning system and the serrated blade are both attached, which is pretty useful, not to mention that this item is much less expensive than the main pruner we reviewed today.


When all is said and done, we think that the Jameson FG-6PKG-1 FG-Series Manual Pole Saw and Tree Pruner is one of the better options out there right now. It might be a bit expensive, but in our opinion it is well worth investing a few extra bucks for a high-quality product.