Have a limb you need to saw that’s just out of reach?
There’s a solution for that – a pole saw.
A pole saw is basically just what it sounds like, a saw on the end of a pole.
Only, let’s do that one better. Let’s put a chainsaw on the end of a pole. That makes the cutting easy!
But it sounds heavy, doesn’t it?
However, in testing out the Sun Joe SWJ803E Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw for this review, I found that handling the weight wasn’t bad at all.
It weighs in at about 8lbs, including the sturdy pole and saw. Since it’s intended for reaching high branches, but not branches directly overhead. The angle it’s held at means the weight can be supported with both hands.
Compare the weight of the Sun Joe Pole Chain Saw to that of a small bowling ball. It’s a solid 8lbs, with a good bit of the weight on the far end of the pole. You don’t have to be a brute to handle it, but if you have below average arm strength, it may be a tiring, though certainly less tiring pushing and pulling a manual pole saw back and forth to cut a large branch.
Being electric, you don’t have to worry about a pull starter, or gas, and it’s much quieter than a gas chainsaw.
You do still need oil for the bar than the chain rotates around. The oil you want to get for it is called bar and chain oil. It’s available at any hardware store.
And of course you’ll need a heavy duty outdoor extension cord.
Let’s dig into some specifics here:
Assembly of the Sun Joe Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw
Boy, I wish this could come pre-assembled, but it doesn’t. I’m sure there are good reasons.
It’s not that assembly is that difficult, but if you don’t have much experience with chainsaws, you will wonder if you are getting it right.
The instructions are well written and walk you through everything.
Just know that the bar and chain inside the box is in the exact orientation to the pole that it will need to be installed in. It’s zip tied to the pole in the direction it will need to go. When you get the box open, don’t pull it out of the zip tie until you read through the instructions and prepare to install it.
When you open the box with the bar and chain, the chain is also zip tied to the bar in the orientation that it will need to be installed in. You don’t cut this second zip tie until you actually have the bar installed.
Getting the orientation of the bar and chain correct is critical. In practice, the Sun Joe Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw cuts through branches easily. We’ll talk more about that later. The point here is that if you’ve put it together and it’s not cutting, there’s a good chance that it hasn’t been assembled correctly.
The instructions also cover how to adjust and correctly tension the bar and chain, and how to add oil before getting started.
It’s a chainsaw. It’s inherently dangerous.
However, using a pole chainsaw to reach high branches definitely has advantages over trying to reach branches with a chainsaw while standing on a latter.
Do take the time to go through the instructions. Don’t get in a rush.
The instructions for using Sun Joe Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw are very thorough. They cover a lot of safety info along with how to best cut branches.
And… from my own personal experience… slow down and carefully look at your overhead environment and what the branch you are cutting is attached to. It’s easy to get focused on the tree trunk/branch connection that you are preparing to cut. Sometimes that branch is tangled up with other branches and vines that come down on top of you as the limb you intended to cut comes down.
It’s as easy to handle as a chainsaw on a pole can be.
You will find some reviews suggesting it is made so that you have to use your right hand on the handle to control the on/off button, but I did not find that to be an issue. The button can be easily reached using either hand.
The telescoping handle and the angle of the saw are easy to adjust.
The handle telescopes from a little over 5 and a half feet to a little over 8 and a half feet. This model, the Sun Joe SWJ803E Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw, has an angle range of 0° to 30°.
Of course, with this being electric, you do have the awkwardness of having to drag a cord around. However, for homeowner or small farm cutting jobs, thats a small price to pay compared to the higher cost, weight and maintenance required with a gas driven chainsaw.
The primary maintenance is going to be keeping oil in the reservoir and checking for proper chain tension.
The oil reservoir was the only real inconvenience I found when using the saw. Well, not really using it, but traveling with it in my car and storage.
The oil reservoir leaks. If you set the saw up against a wall or lay it flat when not in use, it’s going to leak oil. Even just a short trip with it in the back of the SUV will end up with oil leaking out (luckily, in my case, I had cardboard under it).
Sun Joe recommends emptying the oil reservoir after each use. That’s kind of a pain. Not a big deal, but it would be nice if they came up with a system where this was not necessary.
Over time, chains become dull, bars and the sprocket become worn. Sun Joe recommends replacing the chain when it gets dull, but also has tips on how to sharpen the blade if preferred. They recommend turning over the blade and replacing the sprocket when signs of wear are observed.
The Sun Joe SWJ803E has a 10 inch blade and is powered by an 8 amp motor.
Sun Joe states that the pole saw can cut through branches up to 9 and a half inches thick.
I didn’t have any branches that large to cut, but my 5 to 6 inch branches and palm fronds – absolutely no trouble at all. It powered right through them.
Electric cord powered pole chain saws are surprisingly inexpensive.
At publication time, the Sun Joe SWJ803E Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw is available on Sun Joe for $99. It’s quite a bit less on Amazon.com.
Gas powered pole chainsaws generally start in the $200 range.
Battery powered pole chainsaws start around $150.
Manual pole saws start around $40 and many do have the advantage of having a much longer reach.
The Sun Joe SWJ803E Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw is a low cost and easy to handle option for cutting limbs and branches up to 9 inches thick.
Note: the Sun Joe SWJ803E Electric Multi-Angle Pole Chain Saw was provide to Consumer Press at no charge for the purpose of this review. Positive reviews are never a guaranteed outcome when a product sample is submitted. We always endeavor to provide fair, honest, accurate, reviews. Our responsibility is to our readers, not the company.
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