Best Sun Joe Pole Saws

Updated June 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

9 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
114 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best Sun Joe pole saws

Last Updated June 2019

Regular pruning isn’t just for keeping your trees the size and shape you want; it’s also vital for the trees’ health and, in the case of fruit trees, for their productivity. A good pole saw is the best tool available for trimming, taking out branches that rub against each other (which can allow diseases to take hold), and cutting out deadwood. Sun Joe makes a high-quality, competitively priced selection of pole saws, and we’ve been looking at them in detail.

Whether you need a corded or cordless model, a reach of 7.2 feet or longer, or a pole saw that converts to a chainsaw, our shopping guide can help you decide.

Our top recommended models cover a range of performance options, and the following guide outlines the features you’ll want to consider. We also look at the safety aspects and answer some common pole saw buyers’ questions.

The best time to trim branches is late autumn or winter. A good indicator is to look at deciduous trees. If they’ve lost their leaves, they’re dormant. Evergreen trees won’t lose their leaves, but they’re dormant at the same time.

Key considerations

Corded vs. cordless

Sun Joe offers both corded and cordless pole saws. It could be argued that gas-powered models have performance advantages, but unless you’re a landscape professional, you probably don’t need it. By contrast, an electric pole saw is easier to use, quieter, and less environmentally harmful, but should you choose corded or cordless?

Corded: These Sun Joe pole saws cost less than their cordless counterparts and aren’t restricted by battery life. As long as the pole saw is plugged in, it delivers the same performance every time. There’s no need to stop working to recharge it.

Corded models often have brush motors (they’re cheaper), and that’s fine because you’re not concerned about power drain. The electric motors are either 6.5 amp or 8 amp (the latter is a practical maximum for use with an extension cord). The best way to compare them is to look at the branch size they’re rated for. The 6.5-amp pole saws can handle branches up to 7.5 inches thick, and the 8-amp models up to 9.5 inches.

The only disadvantage to a corded pole saw is the cord. The maximum recommended length for an extension is 100 feet, which is enough for many gardens, but by no means all. In theory, you could plug in another 100-foot extension cord, but resistance in the wire means there is a drop in power. Additionally, if the cord isn’t of sufficient gauge, there’s a danger of it overheating.

Cordless: These pole saws can go anywhere, which overcomes the cord problem. However, depending on the battery power available, the run time can be restricted and the power output lower. The solutions all have cost implications: you can buy a second battery so you can work while the other is recharging, or you can invest in the most powerful battery available. It’s important that the pole saw has a brushless motor because it makes far more efficient use of the energy available.

Batteries

Always choose lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which last much longer than nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries.

Batteries range from 20 volt, 2.0 ampere hours (Ah) to 100 volt, 5.0 Ah. In simple terms, voltage tells you how powerful the machine is, and amp hours tell you how long the battery can consistently deliver that power. If you have two batteries of the same voltage, the one with the higher amp hours lets you work longer and has a much slower performance drop-off as the battery discharges.

The differences are considerable. Sun Joe quotes a 15-minute maximum run time for its 20-volt, 2.0 Ah pole saw, and up to 90 minutes for its 100-volt, 5.0 Ah model in “ideal” conditions. We would be a bit more conservative and suggest real-world times of between 10% and 20% less.

EXPERT TIP

“Bare tool” is a term used with cordless models. It means that the battery and charger are not included, so you’ll need to add them to your purchase.


Staff  | BestReviews

Sun Joe pole saw features

Cutting bar: The size of the cutting bar restricts the maximum diameter branch the saw can cut, but the cutting bar is appropriately matched to motor size, so it’s not really a consideration. What may be is that some blades are a straight extension of the handle while others are angled. Angled can be a big help when trying to access awkward branches.

Chain: Chain adjustment is tool-free on most Sun Joe pole saws or only requires a single wrench (supplied) on others. Chain lubrication, vital for maximizing its life, is automatic. All you have to do is keep an eye on the level in the tank and top up when necessary.

Reach: This is a consideration and varies between 7.2 feet and 9.4 feet, depending on the model. When you add your own height with arms extended, it’s possible to exceed 15 feet. All Sun Joe pole saws are equipped with telescopic poles, which are straightforward to use and make the tool easier to store than the multipart option used by some competitors.

Convertible: Some of the Sun Joe pole saws are “convertible” in that the head section can be removed and used independently as a chainsaw. Given that these have eight- or ten-inch bars, it makes for a very useful extra tool.

Certification: Most of the Sun Joe pole saws are either CSA (Canadian Standards Association) or ETL (USA) certified as meeting the relevant country’s published safety standards.

Color: Sun Joe pole saws aren’t just available in green or black. Some models are also available in camo and a range of funky colors including purple!

Where possible, make pruning cuts at 45°. This helps prevent water damage and fungal attack.

Sun Joe pole saw prices

The Sun Joe range offers something for just about every budget. You can find entry-level corded pole saws for $60 to $70. Convertible models are little more, but most are still around $100.

If you want the convenience and freedom of a cordless Sun Joe pole saw, you’ll need to spend in the region of $180 to $250, depending on whether you’re buying a bare tool or one with battery and charger included.

Safety tips

  • Plug into a GFCI. When using a corded Sun Joe pole saw, always plug the extension cable into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). In the event of damage to the cable or anything else that might short-circuit the tool, the current will be cut before it can cause any harm. This is not an item to overlook – a GFCI can save you from being electrocuted.
  • Wear protective gear. Always wear gloves, a face shield, and sturdy boots. A hard hat is also a good idea.
  • Think about where the limb will fall. If you need to remove a long branch, cut it into several small sections. If you try to do it in a single cut, the weight of the branch might cause it to snap, potentially damaging the trunk of the tree.
  • Never work directly overhead. Keep the pole saw at an angle so you’re not standing under a falling limb.
  • Make sure you have stable footing. For example, don’t stand on a pile of wet leaves that could cause you to slip and fall.
  • Keep children and pets out of the work area.
  • Take breaks. Even with relatively lightweight tools like Sun Joe pole saws, working above your head can get tiring quickly. Take regular breaks and make sure you’re properly hydrated. Understand your limits. Overexertion can result in an accident.
EXPERT TIP

A sharp saw blade is safest because it cuts quickly and accurately and won’t wander. If you’re getting dust or scorching instead of clean shavings, it’s time to resharpen the blade.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

The Sun Joe pole saws featured in our product matrix above are all corded models, so in this section we’re focusing on the cordless range. The Sun Joe 20VIONLTE-PS8 is a lightweight 20-volt model ideal for general-purpose trimming and pruning. The telescopic pole has up to 9.2 feet of reach, and it’s rated for a maximum branch thickness of 7.5 inches. However, with a 2.0 Ah battery as standard, the run time is quite short. The Sun Joe iON8PS2 has the same cutting capacity as the 20-volt model and a slightly shorter reach at 8.5 feet. This time, though, the 40-volt, 4.0 Ah battery provides sufficient power to work for up to 25 minutes. You get an adjustable head, too. The Sun Joe iON100V-10PS-CT delivers performance to rival the best corded tools. It has reach of 8.9 feet and can cut up to 9.5 inches thick. With the availability of a 5.0 Ah battery (the option we’d recommend), it will keep going for up to 90 minutes.

If you’re choosing a cordless Sun Joe pole saw, you might want to check out their other cordless tools. If you can use the same batteries on several different models, you could see considerable savings.

FAQ

Q. Do Sun Joe pole saws need much maintenance?
A.
One of the big advantages of an electric pole saw is there’s no complex gas motor to look after, and that’s where most of the maintenance is with any garden power tool. With Sun Joe models, you can concentrate on making sure the chain is in good condition and properly adjusted and lubricated. Apart from that, an occasional clean with a cloth or stiff brush and some soapy water is usually all that’s needed. And store it somewhere dry.

Q. How do I sharpen the pole saw blade?
A.
The cheapest tool for the job is a small round file, used an an angle of 30°. Most people soon get the hang of it. You can buy a number of more complex gadgets that make the job easier, from basic guides (you leave the chain on the saw) to bench-mounted chain saw blade grinders (you need to take the blade off). The price of the latter means they’re only usually attractive to professionals who need to use them regularly.

Q. Why is a Sun Joe better than a manual pole saw? Aren’t manual ones cheaper?
A.
Prices vary enormously, but we found quite a few Sun Joe models that are cheaper than quality manual saws. Additionally, manual pole saw blades are difficult to resharpen – not a job that many can do at home. There’s also the question of ease of use. Sawing backward and forward with a manual blade 12 or 14 feet away takes a lot more energy and quite a lot of skill. Getting it wrong could damage your tree.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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