Overview Of Pole Saw Cutting
Pole Saw cutting can be broken down into three major parts; the first part is the engaged, or locked position.
The second part is referred to as the power stroke, or unlocking of your saw to allow it to rotate freely.
The third part is where you retract your pole saw after completing its cut.
When learning how to use a pole saw, the engaged position is very important as it will vary depending on your technique and type of pole saw.
Some pole saws have a button release trigger that activates its locked mode; others will require you to pull back and hold down a locking mechanism by pressing the handle into the ground (this enables free rotation).
Once your saw is locked into the engaged position, you can start your cut by holding onto your pole saw with your dominant hand and grasping the saw’s body with the other.
The clasped hands of both hands together create a sturdy grip that will help you guide and control your cuts as you make them.
The power stroke is a circular motion where a user rotates the saw’s body as it faces away from them (away from their legs) and the opposite of the direction they are walking.
Think of this as a shield to protect you from any debris if the cut is not complete; but also as another guide to ensure you make a full cut, shaping your desired tree limb precisely and without issue.
As you rotate in a clockwise motion (assuming your dominant hand is also the one closer to the handle) and make contact with the limb, follow through by continuing to guide and apply pressure until you complete your cut.
Then slowly start retracting your saw back into an engaged position (pressing down on its locking mechanism or button if applicable) while being mindful of any debris your cutting motion might have created.
The final part is to start over again with the opposite foot leading, or in other words, start walking backward while continuing to guide the saw towards the opposite direction you are moving.
This enables you to keep your cut even and at a consistent height across the board.
Cutting Techniques Of Pole Saw
1. The Straight Cut
The straight cut can be done while the branch is on the ground or while it is still attached to a tree.
You will need a strong stance and a solid hold of your pole saw for this type of cut.
There are three different techniques that can be used in order to make clean straight cuts:
Downward Cut– Begin by adjusting the cutting bar so that it is facing downward. Hold your pole saw securely while you cut off branches, allowing the weight of the branch to assist in its own removal.
Straight Upward Cut– Begin by placing your pole saw perpendicular to the ground, then cut upwards at a slight angle until you reach the desired point.
Guide Cut– This is done by making a smaller cut in the branch or trunk of the tree, then following that cut with one that will remove it entirely from its housing.
2. The Wedge Method
This method can be used when you need to make a limb fall off in another direction besides downward (such as towards you).
It is important to have a strong stance and a good hold on your pole saw before you begin.
You will need to place the cutting bar between the limb and its anchor point, then use it as a wedge to create separation from either side.
The direction in which you want your cut to be made should determine which side of the branch that you use as a wedge.
3. The Lumber Jack Cut
The lumberjack cut is useful for removing large branches from trees, especially those that are bigger than 9 inches around.
This method should be used by professionals or those with a lot of experience using pole saws because it requires stability and control over the entire process.
In order to make this cut, you will need to place the blade of your pole saw vertically against the limb. It should be placed as close to the trunk of the tree as possible.
You will then use a circular motion- either clockwise or counterclockwise- to make a clean cut around it.
This type of cut can take some practice, so keep working at it until you can maneuver your pole saw easily around the entire limb.
4. The Back Cut
The back cut is usually the last step in making a clean cut with your pole saw.
It can also be referred to as a hinge cut and it must be done with total precision or else you will end up with an unacceptable result that will require another completed pass at your tree.
Once you have made all of your other cuts, you will want to place the blade of your pole saw in line with the limb that you are cutting.
You must be sure that it is within 1/2 inch or so of the limb because if it is too far away, then your final cut will not be effective.
The back cut begins at a point where your previous cuts meet at the center of your limb. Make a straight cut from one end to another, allowing both pieces of your branch to fall off.
If you are not sure where to make this cut, then use a compass or pen and mark a circle that is 1/2 inch wider than your limb on the surface of the tree trunk that you are cutting into.
This will ensure that your final cut is accurate and precise.
5. The Undercut
The undercut is another type of cut that can be used to free a limb from its anchor point or allow you to lower it down to the ground, especially when combined with other techniques such as back cuts.
Place your pole saw below where you are cutting and begin by making a cut that is perpendicular to the ground.
Make sure that you are using a steady and controlled motion because it will be difficult to complete if your saw starts moving erratically or becomes lodged in the tree.
Once you have completed one pass, then make another pass at an angle beneath the first until you completely sever your limb from its source.
6. The Standing Cut
This method is used to remove branches that are relatively flexible and can bend in the direction of your cut without breaking or snapping.
To make this cut, you will need to place your saw above where you want to begin cutting so that it makes full contact with the limb before pushing down on it.
This motion should allow the branch to begin bending over.
Once it has reached a downward angle of 45 degrees, you can push it down so that it lays flat against your tree trunk and completes the cut.
The standing cut is not used as often because most branches are too strong for flexible saws to cut through, but this technique is good for those who want to try something different.
7. The Cut-Down Cut
The cut-down, also known as the plunge cut, is similar to the undercut except that it makes its way straight through your entire branch rather than just severing it at the center point.
If you want to completely remove a limb from its anchor point or create a clean cut for a branch that is too high to reach, then this cut will do the trick.
However, it is not as easy as it sounds and may take some practice before you can make a clean cut through your tree limb.
Place the blade of your saw at a 45 degree or greater angle and begin making long vertical cuts along the length of your limb.
This process can take as long as 30 seconds or more to complete.
Once the saw has made it halfway through, you will be able to use your weight and gravity to help push down on the limb until your pole saw contacts your tree trunk.
At that point, just pull back so that you can create a clean cut all the way through.
Pole Saw Precautions:
It is important to be very conscious of your surroundings when using a pole saw, especially because so much attention needs to be paid to what you are doing.
There are several safety precautions that should be followed in order for this equipment to function properly and to limit the risk of incidents.
- Always turn off your pole saw when you are changing or adjusting any part of it.
- You should also switch off your pole saw if there is more than one person around it at a time so that both people can be aware of what they’re doing while working with it.
- When cutting a limb that is very near a tree trunk or other object, be sure to use a guide.
- Make sure the locking mechanism on all of your pole saw’s handles and joints are working properly to prevent them from slipping while you’re using it.
- Be aware of where the tip of your cutting bar is at all times so that you don’t accidentally cut yourself with it.
- To avoid the possibility of limb splintering, do not apply too much pressure to your saw when you make a cut.
- Be sure that you are only putting an appropriate amount of force on your pole saw, and nothing more.
Cutting With A Pole Saw Why?
As more and more people develop the urge to go into forestry as a profession or hobby, it is important that they learn about some of the tools involved.
One such tool is the pole saw. A pole saw is used to cut high branches on trees.
This can be done by extending the pole saw to its full length, or by using it in combination with a ladder.
A common problem when cutting high branches is that the branch can continue to bounce back and forth, making it difficult for an amateur to produce clean cuts.
To perform clean cuts, professionals use specific techniques when working with a pole saw.
When using a pole saw to cut tree limbs, it is important to remember that the blade will move in a pendulum motion.
When cutting above your head, make sure there are no people below you, as it is possible for the branch or limb to bounce back after being cut.
Also, wear protective eyewear and gloves while using a pole saw.
Cutting with a pole saw is not an easy task. It requires you to have proper training and to know the right techniques.
If you are planning on making money by cutting tree limbs, make sure that you know how to do it properly.
If one of our readers has any other useful tips or advice for fellow lumberjacks while using a pole saw, feel free to leave a comment below!