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Blank Space
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Discussion Starter #1
I've had an intermittent need to cut branches off trees that were too high to get to with a hand held chain saw and too big for the manual pole pruners. I have a Remington pole saw with removable 10" chain saw, but I don't always have power available where I need to trim. That one can get quite unwieldy with most of the weight at the far end too.

Saw a deal on this Trimmer-Plus add-on pole saw and thought I'd give it a try. Comes with an extension bar that makes the effective length about 6 feet when fully assembled on a power head. So far I've only tried it on my newer Husqy 128LD.

First impressions are ... mixed. It cuts fine for what it can reach. At 6' compared to nearly 10' for the Remington, you can't reach quite as far and with an 8" bar instead of 10", you're limited to branch size. I was hoping it would be easier to maneuver also, but it's still too heavy to use comfortable for any amount of time. The tool is only about 3 pounds, but when you get it out at the end of a 6' metal pole, it becomes heavier that you might think. Maybe a math wiz could calculate the effective weight?

The plus is that it does cut well. I took off a few 3-4" branches with no effort once the bar was positioned. The trimmer provides enough power to cut through them easily where I couldn't even get started with the manual pole saw with curved blade. Once through, you have to be able to control the weight again to keep from dropping it and damaging the bar or chain. Also got it pinched in the branch once or twice, but that may be getting used to the procedure. Undercutting a branch isn't the same as with a regular chain saw either. When trying to do it using the top of the bar, it tries to stutter and bounce away from the limb, so you have the control issue again.

Overall, it's a good tool and will be helpful to many, but you have to be careful with the weight and positioning.
 

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Registered
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5,416 Posts
Years ago, I doubled the length of reach on my pole pruners and know what you mean about all that weight on the one end. The way I solved it was to add a counterweight at the other end. I put wheels on the counterweight and just let it drag on the ground behind me.

I wondered if a battery powered chainsaw could be mounted at one end and the batteries at the other end but then there would probably be too much voltage loss on the long conductor in the handle.
 

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never too old to learn
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376 Posts
I bought the Trimmer Plus saw for my Troy-Bilt and finally got to use it this past Winter when limbs were breaking during every storm. I have a longer pole saw (16’?) for manual clipping and cutting, but Trimmer+ saw does okay.

it pinched in the branch once or twice, but that may be getting used to the procedure.

Right? I had to take the attachment off the device and get a ladder, and the manual saw, to unbind this, twice!

Balance was challenging, and I repositioned the handle for leverage. I had some minor issues with bar oil leakage when in the shed, and I had to adjust the carburetor to run smoother in the cold, but I think with more use I could get the hang of this. Guy on YT makes it look so easy...
 

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Premium Member
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5,674 Posts
I have a Trimmer Plus that I bought for an old Roybi (sp?) trimmer that finally gave up the fight so I now use the Trimmer Plus on an electric power head and it works quite well. Kinda aggravating pulling the generator trailer around when I am out of range of outlets but thankfully that is not to often. Plus it give me a chance to exercise the generator.

My SIL bought a Sthil pole saw I have yet to get my hands on and it has a 20' reach, gonna have to try it out one of these days.
 

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Blank Space
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Discussion Starter #7
Funny you should mention that. I wanted just a little extra length and was trying to figure out how to make another extension segment. While looking through my trimmer graveyard, I found the remains of one of those tiller attachments that had long since passed on. I had looked at a couple of curved shaft trimmer heads but the curve was too extreme. This tiller shaft caught my eye though since it has much less of a curve and I thought it might work nicely to do just that ... get at the top of branches instead of the side. Got it all rigged up and ready to go, but the saw chain didn't move. Looked a bit deeper and realized this thing didn't have the cup to accept the flex drive cable/shaft for the next section. Gotta look to see if I can find a way to do that.
 

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Minding my P's & Q's
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2,025 Posts
Obscured_by_Clouds,

Glad you started this. Will be following along.

I have been pondering getting a 10' 110V pole saw.
Was thinking of adding an extension to the handle to get more reach and to help counter balance the front end a bit.
Wondering if l'll be able to lock the switch ON, and use an extension cord to turn the saw on and off by plugging it in and unplugging it. May need a helper for that. Or build a switch box I can have near me. Thinking of a rocker switch that fits on to a power cord.

Studying some dead branches I have to cut I can see I do not want to lift that much weight that far out on a long pole. And I do not want to cut right above my head or anywhere close to it.

In some cases I am thinking of a rope over a higher branch and tied close to the saw. Then have a helper pull the saw up as I guide it to where I want it. I am thinking if the rope can hold some of the weight it should be easier if extended out 12 or 15', Maybe even 20'. Especially once the saw cuts through the branch.

Looked on line at the Ryobi 8" saw steddy mentioned. Battery operated, 9.5' length, but that angled head would be a good thing. (Same as on my manual telescoping pruning saw.)
Can understand why saws get pinched when the head is parallel to the pole and you are cutting branch from the side. Being able to have the saw on top of the branch was another reason for extending it.
Could be out farther from it when cutting. Blade would be more on top than along the side.
Seems to me all the saws should have the blade at an angle off parallel from the pole.
 

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Professional Homeowner
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7,507 Posts
Any of those are safer than the one I made and used a couple weeks ago. I don't think I recommend this.

Notice the trigger is rigged with duct tape. I had my daughter operating the end of the cord. When I was ready to cut, I told her plug it in. When complete, I'd holler to unplug it.

I really need to buy an actual pole saw...
 

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Choke's stuck on!
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496 Posts
I also have the trimmer plus saw attachment. I can echo all of your issues, Obscured. Still it works for occasional use.

steddy, you should look into marketing that rig. (flashback to SNL skit "Bag of oily rags and a lighter") :)
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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5,775 Posts
I'm following this as best I can. I'd say a picture or two would be useful.

But, I'll throw my 2¢ in even if I am not precisely following the goals of the OP. First, let me admit, I'd love a power pole saw. I've used a very nice Stihl saw for pruning the low branches that interfere with the mower on our Church property. For trimming those branches just out of reach of my chainsaw, but still more or less 10' above ground, it was the cat's whiskers. But this task happens about once every 4 or 5 years, and I'm finished.

On the other hand, I have 1500' of driveway, most running through the woods, and most with utility lines strung on regulation, but privately maintained utility poles. I do pruning there every year, and that pruning is typically 16-20' above the ground. For that, I have a three section fiberglass pole saw with interchangeable Marvin heads with a pruner and a triple cut saw blade.



I tackle 4" and 5" and even 6" branches regularly with the triple cut. It makes fast work of green branches, less fast work of dead oak branches, but even there, the weight of the extended pole and head provide extra help on the cuts.




I also have quite a few ornamental and fruit trees that I prune annually. Some to keep them from rubbing against house, garage, and shed, others to promote growth of fruit. All out of reach for any of the powered pole saws I've seen, and in many cases, better fodder for the pruning head anyway.





So, let me clarify, I am not arguing with the utility of a nice powered pole saw. But, for my purposes, an investment in a better balanced, lighter head, fiber (non-conductive) pole, pruning saw made more sense.

Obviously, YMMV
 

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Blank Space
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Discussion Starter #12
I have a couple of those too, but not the fancy expensive ones. I find them hard to use though on anything of size since they need the manual back and forth sawing action. The most I can cut with them is maybe 3" and they take a lot of work -- 60-70 strokes at the very least for most of them. That gets old - quick.
 
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Mine is an electric Remington 10" that extends out 15 feet. I use it once or twice a year after a storm. I think I paid 100 for it years ago. Trimming trees I usually leave it up to the pros. I hire a professional. I know they have hydraulic ones, so I guess the people that have a tractor with hydraulics can use them out in the field.
 

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Blank Space
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Discussion Starter #14
OK, success?

The original straight shaft is the black one with the yellow tag. The extension boom that came with it is the black shaft with the red clamp. The curved shaft from the old tiller is now attached to the saw head. Going back to the straight shaft is a matter of one pilot/orientation screw and two clamping screws - less than 5 minutes.

Curved shaft was about a half inch too long and the drive cable wouldn't engage. Hack saw solved that.

 

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Premium Member
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Yeah I also have a couple of the "manual" trimmers (not fancy ones either) and use them quite a bit but only a a quick nip here and there. Anything more than an inch or so in diameter and they are just to hard to use.
 

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I picked up a Stihl HT103 in June and I've been very pleased with it. Cuts like butter, and the adjustable reach is nice.
 

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Administrator
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In regards to the weight, you might try a Telescoping Wand Support Harness such as shown below. Available at lot of places, under $25. With the support at bottom of pole, leaves one arm avail to reach higher and steady pole with little effort. Just my2¢.
MikeC
 

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Blank Space
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Discussion Starter #18
I rigged my own similar gizmo, but I lost too much reach with it since everything starts out so much lower. That extra foot or so between waist and chest high makes a lot of difference.
 

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Minding my P's & Q's
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I've been looking for a harness for my Craftsman Brushwacker. That might work. Thanks for posting it.
I will have to see if I can shorten shoulder straps so tool attached at the chest rather than the waist.
I do not want to run that brush blade w/o a harness.
 
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