Pole Saw vs Hedge Trimmer

While pole saws and hedge trimmers are different maintenance tools, they share some similarities too. So if you are seeking to know what separates the two and whether you can use one in place of the other, you have come to the right place.

To fully understand our subject, we comprehensively discuss the distinctive features and uses of the two items to help you clear any confusion.

Hedge Trimmers

pole saw vs hedge trimmer

Precisely, hedge trimmers give more of a fine touch to your bushes. However, they have limited reach, so you can only use them on hedges and shrubbery, etc. That makes them the preferable choice for topiary and sophisticated work of this sort.

They lack the power that pole saws offer. The typical hedge trimmer is only usable when pruning twigs and stems of 1-inch diameter. Specialized trimmers that offer more power are available for thicker diameters. But with more power comes a more expensive price tag.


  • A hedge trimmer is more of a precision tool compared to a pole saw.
  • Reciprocating blades should make for a more comfortable and cleaner finish.
  • They’re often lighter.
  • Easier to handle.
  • It should easily cover your typical hedge pruning needs.


  • They may not be as affordable.
  • Not as versatile as some pole saws can be.
  • Provide limited reach so no overhead work can be done directly, for example, tree trimming.
  • Often lack the sheer power that pole saws may offer.

Pole saws:

Pole saws are more capable of delivering pruning services for trees and taller hedges. They’re also better for thicker hedges. In addition, they generally deliver more power. So they should be able to take on branches and stems with diameters exceeding the capabilities of a hedge trimmer (i.e., thicker than an inch). Pole saw comes in 3 types in terms of power . Manual pole saw, gas-powered pole saw electric pole saw.

The trade-off is that the finish may not look as sharp as it should when done with a hedge trimmer. In addition, the long pole can make it harder to handle. That would give your shrubbery an uneven-looking cut. Also, there aren’t any reciprocating blades for that fine cut you might be looking for.

Some other models offer you the option to remove the pole, which w makes handling at close range easier. But, generally speaking, pole saws may be cheaper than hedge trimmers.


  • Much longer reach compared to hedge trimmers. That makes trimming stray tree branches and taller hedges possible.
  • Offer more power. When the diameter of stems or branches exceeds an inch, it should be preferable to use pole saws.
  • Better for rougher pruning that doesn’t require much attention to detail.
  • They are more versatile than hedge trimmers; for example, you can remove the pole to provide you with a handheld chainsaw with a more limited reach.
  • It may be more affordable.


  • A pole saw isn’t as much of a precision tool as a hedge trimmer.
  • It can be much more difficult to handle horizontally.
  • Vertical work will also look rough and sloppy.
  • It may be noisier when they have to deliver more power.


 Hedge trimmersPole saw
ReachShorter reach. Not possible to trim tall hedges or to prune trees.Much longer. Great for trimming tall hedges and pruning trees.
Ease of handlingHorizontally great. Vertically limited.Vertically superior. Not so good horizontally.
PrecisionReciprocating blades and better handling allow for fine work. Preferable for topiary.Not good for any precision work. Some models may allow for the removal of poles which may help in precision and handling but will limit reach.
Sheer powerVariable but generally should be less powerful than pole saw.Also variable but generally should be more powerful than ordinary hedge trimmers.
VersatilityNot versatile. Apply to a specific task and may not provide as much flexibility.Somewhat versatile in models that allow for poles to be removed altogether. Other models may allow for varying pole lengths.
AffordabilityWill vary with power and quality required. But generally should be more expensive than pole saws.Power, quality, and versatility determine the price. Should generally be cheaper alternatives to hedge trimmers, especially where more power is needed at medium length.


Both come in models that can either be manually operated or gasoline, battery, and electricity-powered.

Final thoughts on Pole saw vs. Hedge trimmer.

If you’re looking for a tool that’ll help you trim your hedges and bushes, then the hedge trimmer is the way to go—provided that the hedges aren’t too thick (with branches of diameter not exceeding an inch) or too tall. A hedge trimmer should deliver enough power and ease of handling to get you over the bridge or the hedge, should I say.

However, if you’re looking for something that will help you prune taller and thicker hedges or trees, you should look towards the tall pole saw. It’s also better for hedges that are harder to get through.

Related Articles:

Pole saw vs pole pruner

How to sharpen a pole saw blade

How to use a pole saw

Best tool for cutting high tree branches

Last Updated on January 30, 2022 by John G. Anderson


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