How to use a pole saw with rope

Most people are more familiar with and prefer using chainsaws, circular saws, and miter saws while often overlooking the benefits a pole saw provides. Especially when it comes to cutting and pruning of branches.  

There’s a chance that you’re using the wrong tool in trimming branches, chainsaws are considered to be overkill when pruning trees.

One tool that’s specifically designed to make your job of trimming branches easier is the pole saw. 

What is a pole saw? 

As with most gardening tools and saws out there, their names are very self-explanatory. The name pole saw is exactly what it means, a saw situated at the tip of a pole.

With a pole saw, you extend your reach, allowing you to cut through a branch that’s way up that a normal saw couldn’t. You can often extend a pole saw up to 10 to 20 feet, and if you include your height, you’ll have a total reach of 22-25 ft. 

There are two types of pole saw; one is used manually, while the other has a motorized miniature blade that you can operate through a trigger.

But in this article, we’ll be tackling how to use a manual pole saw, or a stringed pole saw. 


Before we get to the tutorial on how to use a pole saw with a rope or string, you’ll have to be mindful of a couple of things. 

Whenever a branch needs cutting that’s way out of your reach, you’re not entering a dangerous situation. When professionals cut huge chunks of wood, they don’t drop it. Instead, they use a pulley system that’ll help them control the descent of the wood to the ground. 

But for a house owner like us, setting up a pulley system can be tedious and time-consuming. Rather, we let the branch or piece of wood fall directly down to the ground uncontrolled, which can lead to someone potentially getting hurt, or your property getting damaged.

So before even doing your trimming or pruning, make sure that your area is clear of any items that will hinder your movement. Also, never work somewhere that’s near power lines. 

How to Use A Pole Saw

  • Establish and clear off the area in which you’ll be working in. Remove any properties and cordon off the area, or instruct people not to go near it. Survey the work area and clear any trip hazards.
  • Establish a plan on where and how you’ll cut a branch. Remember that to cut a branch, you need to do sectional cuts to reduce the weight before your final cut. If the branch isn’t too hard to access, make sure to do a horizontal cut, or as close to horizontal as possible.
  • Position the saw and yourself properly. You need to use both your hands to stabilize the pole saw and rest it on top of the branch. You then need to position yourself where you’re not directly under the branch. Position the saw pole on the cutting spot and hold the pole saw at chest level.
  • After positioning yourself, you can now start cutting. Start by cutting a groove, you can do this by slowly stroking the pole saw, cutting at a perpendicular angle so that your first stroke cuts deep as possible. The idea of a groove is that it guides your next strokes so your pole saw doesn’t jump from spot to spot.
  • Once the saw is situated inside the groove, you can now begin applying more pressure and speed to your strokes. Wear protective goggles and never take your eyes off the branch, especially when it’s about to fall.
  • Once you’re done with your first cut, clean up the area for any debris and trip hazards before moving on to your next cut.