Having the proper tree trimming equipment can greatly aid you in caring for those gentle giants of your landscape — trees. Consult these consumer product reviews before buying, so you won’t be stuck with any lemons (unless you have lemon trees, of course!). Pole pruners, electric chain saws and wood chippers are all covered below.
1. Pole Tree Pruners
Corona TP 6870 Dual Compound Action Tree Pruner
Owning pole tree pruners promotes safety for those who need to trim small to medium-size trees. With the aid of pole tree pruners, you can maintain such trees in their proper shape without having to climb a ladder with cutting tools — a dangerous proposition! My review looks specifically at the Corona brand of this tree trimming equipment.
Pole tree pruners give you the reach you need for trimming via a telescoping pole. For the Corona brand, the telescoping action is controlled by a nut; the mechanism may vary slightly for other brands. Loosen the nut to adjust the reach (12′ maximum). Tighten it back up when you have the right length. The durable fiberglass pole is light-weight, so your arms don’t tire while making multiple cuts. The rubber grip is kind to your hands.
There are 2 trimming options. You can use the sawing component or the pruning component. The former is a 12″ saw that is used primarily for removing a whole limb (maximum: 2″ in diameter). For trimming a portion of a limb (i.e., a branch, with a maximum diameter of 1″), you’ll find the pruning component much easier to use.
The pruning component operates by virtue of a compound-action pulley system. Its blade is housed in a hook. This blade is attached to a cord, which you pull to unsheath the blade from its housing to make a cut. Releasing the cord returns it to its housing. Sort of a reverse guillotine! To “behead” a branch, just place the hook over its “neck” (the intended location of your cut) and pull the cord.
- User-friendly, with its light-weight construction and cushion grip.
- Telescoping pole extends up to 12′.
- Quality pruning blade (die-cast zinc alloy) and saw (heat-treated, Teflon-coated cutlery steel).
- These pole tree pruners have an adjustable extension of up to 12 feet.
- A cushion grip makes the pole tree pruners easy to handle.
- Fiberglass pole for durability and ease of use.
- Pole tree pruners are not meant to cut large limbs.
It can be hazardous for the do-it-yourselfer to be standing on a ladder to cut high branches with a saw. Instead, keep your 2 feet planted firmly on the ground, and use a pole tree pruner! My preference is for the light-weight choice offered by fiberglass models.
2.Remington Electric Chain Saws
Remington-RM1025P 2 in 1 Electric Chain Saw Pole Saw Combo
When you mention “tree trimming equipment,” chain saws come to mind immediately. But what type of chain saw should you buy? Gas-powered saws are fueled with a gas/oil mix, and you’re forced to calculate the ratio. With electric, you just plug it in and go! That goes for startup, too. Gas-powered saws start with a starter rope that you tug at. With electric, startup is a sure thing. At about 5 pounds the electric chain saw I review here (a Remington) is also easy to wield once you begin to cut.
Small electric chain saws such as the Remington models are fun, cheap and easy to use. The convenience begins before you even start cutting. Gas-powered chain saws are fueled with a gas/oil mix, and you’re forced to calculate the exact ratio. With electric chain saws, you just plug it in and go! That goes for starting it up, too. Gas-powered chain saws start — if you’re lucky — by means of a starter rope that you tug at. You can tire out before you even begin to cut with these beasts! With electric chain saws, the startup is a sure thing. If you have a lot of trimming to do, it’s also important to consider the weight of a chain saw — you’ll be lugging it around for extended periods of time. Electric chain saws tend to be light; for instance, the Remington electric chain saw model that has a 14″ bar weighs in at just 5.23 pounds, while the 16-incher is 7.05 pounds. Once you’ve experienced easy cutting with an electric chain saw, you won’t go back to cordless again, unless you’re cutting deep in the woods.
- For convenience, it’s hard to beat the price. Cheap compared to a good gas-powered chain saw.
- Easy to use. With electric, you don’t have to worry about getting a precise gas/oil ratio.
- Easy to use. Light-weight, so you can cut for hours before tiring.
- Being electric, it just plain starts up — no Ands, Ifs or Buts. No tugging at a starter rope!
- The 14″ model is for trimming limbs and cutting small trees; for heavier work, go with a longer bar.
- The oil cap is located right on top of the chain saw for easy access.
- As with all chain saws, wear protective gear, including goggles, helmet, and steel-toed boots.
- As with all chain saws, don’t let the very tip of the bar come into contact with anything.
- Great for backyard work. If you’re going “deep woods,” you’ll need a gas-powered chain saw.
- Never worry about gas/oil ratios again!
- Light-weight: Easy to carry and manipulate.
- Easy startup: No tugging at a starter rope!
- Need to drag an extension cord around.
Unless you’re playing Paul Bunyan and hauling yourself out deep into the woods to cut, you can’t beat electric chain saws (chainsaws).
3.Troy-Bilt 10 HP Wood Chipper / Shredder
Troy-Bilt 3 in. 250 cc 2-in-1 Upright Gas Powered Chipper Shredder
You’re committed to recycling those raked leaves, right? But storms have shaken large tree branches loose, and they’re mingled in with the leaves. How can you recycle these branches? You need a wood chipper! Of course, wood chippers double as leaf shredders, so that you can also turn those leaves into compost faster. In addition, feeding garden plants into shredders after the harvest, before adding them to the compost pile, hastens decomposition. Wood chippers are versatile; once you have one, you’ll be spoiled.
But what features do you look for when purchasing wood chippers? Durability and powerhead the list. This Troy-Bilt wood chipper/shredder has both these features. It’s got tough steel blades to grind up all that coarse debris, and it’s powered by a 10 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine. You can feel confident as you feed branches up to 3 inches in diameter into the hopper or chipper chute. If you’re shredding leaves that will need to be hauled somewhere, save yourself an extra step by simply hooking up the 5-bushel collection bag.
Troy-Bilt also makes cheaper wood chippers/leaf shredders with a 6.5 HP engine. My advice is not to waste your money on wood chippers with less than 10 HP. Wood chipping is tough work for a piece of equipment; this is not an area of ground maintenance where you want to make compromises on power! Troy-Bilt does, however, also make a 5.5 HP chipper/shredder/vacuum useful for fall leaf removal.
- Durability: Steel blades built to last.
- Power: With a 10 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine…
- This tool has the power for chipping branches up to 3 inches in diameter.
- Ease of storage: This equipment isn’t very wide. No problem finding storage space for it.
- Not cheap. But then, when feeding a log in, you’ll appreciate the power you’re paying for.
- Always follow common-sense safety practices when operating wood chippers….
- Use safety goggles and ear protection; keep young hands away from the equipment.
- Rear wheels are pneumatic, an upgrade over wood chippers with those hard plastic wheels.
- 1-gallon capacity gas tank.
- Twin-feed for versatility.
- Ease of storage.
As anyone knows who lives around trees, lawn clean-up is about more than just leaf-removal. Especially after fall hurricanes and winter ice storms, which can leave your yard strewn with branches. If you have a large property, owning a wood chipper makes life a lot easier. Turn those branches into wood-chip mulch! But when you need to chip up a branch, you don’t want to be handed the short end of the stick when it comes to horsepower! This 10 HP wood chipper gives you the power you need.
4. Black & Decker Alligator Loppers
Black and Decker 20V Max Lithium-Ion Alligator Lopper Saw
Rating this tool fairly is a difficult job. When rating a tool, we are usually (even if only implicitly) comparing it to another tool. But to what do we compare Alligator Loppers: to chainsaws or to hand tools that perform similar tasks, such as standard loppers?
The waters are muddied further by the fact that the Alligator Lopper is a corded electrical device. So if we were to compare the Alligator Lopper to a gas-powered chainsaw, each would have its own distinct pros and cons. Which is better? That question can be answered only in the context of performing a particular task. Where maneuverability is required, gas-powered tools are a logical choice; but for more stationary tasks, corded devices offer a clean, easy-to-use alternative.
Ultimately, the Alligator Lopper must be judged in light of its capabilities as a specialized tool. The following are examples of jobs for which I’d use Alligator Loppers:
- A hurricane knocks down a tree in your front lawn. With little debris underfoot (because it’s only 1 tree), use Alligator Loppers to remove the branches, before using a heavier chainsaw to buck the trunk up into manageable lengths.
- If you’re sawing wood to burn for a stove, cut the bigger logs first with a heavier chainsaw, then clean up the smaller branches left on the ground with Alligator Loppers. No sawhorse is required, as the design protects the saw’s tip from striking the ground (a major safety hazard with most chainsaws).
- Alligator Loppers can cut mid-sized branches (up to 4″ thick) too thick for standard loppers.
- The clamping jaws grab and cut in one motion.
- Lower guard and top jaw encase cutting teeth, promoting safety superior to that of most chainsaws.
- Other safety features: reduced kickback guide bar, reduced kickback chain and double switching.
- Double-switching system is like safety handle on mowers: let go of the triggers, and device stops.
- Alligator Loppers are powered by a 4.5 amp motor.
- Alligator Loppers really function more like chainsaws (but safer!), but they do resemble loppers.
- Alligator Loppers are good for repetitive, stationary work, for which the cord’s not in the way.
- Alligator Lopper’s manual would read better if instructions were segregated from safety tips.
- The Alligator Lopper is really a chainsaw for light cutting — only it’s safer than a chainsaw.
- Use Alligator Loppers as a specialized tool for repetitive, stationary tasks.
- Dispense with sawhorses and cut branches right on the ground with Alligator Loppers.
- Double switching system and protective jaws for added safety.
- On a worksite with lots of brush or branches underfoot, Alligator Lopper’s cord would be in the way.
- The manual that comes with Alligator Loppers is hard to read.
- The oil hole is small, rendering lubrication painstaking.
- You have to clean it, as you would a standard chainsaw.
Alligator Loppers resemble standard loppers (2 handles, 2 jaws) and, like them, are used to trim branches — but the similarity ends there. Really a chainsaw, the Alligator Lopper strikes me as being a specialized tool. Because it’s corded, it’s not as maneuverable as gas chainsaws, standard loppers, handsaws or axes. But its safety features and power are selling points, and matched to the right job, this tool excels. Just be sure to have complementary tools handy to do the rest of the work.