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  1. #1
    TMR
    TMR is offline
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    Two Harbors, MN

    Default Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    Hi All...the "forest" is turning my property into jungle and I need a heavy duty pole saw to keep the lower branches clear on my 120 acres...at least the portion that I have by our house and trails...and a bit more.

    I want the longest "practical" reach and a pro/commercial duty. I know it won't be $100-$200.

    What brand do you have experience with...particularly those of you who use in a demanding way.

    Do the "extensions" work effectively?

    Any brand/model info would be appreciated as well as to your thoughts as to utility of these little devils

    Edit: Stihl 265 or the new 280 appear in the range I am shopping. I think the 265 w/146' reach plus an available 48" extension would be pretty good. The 280 is 12" longer but you get the extra 12" when collapsed and not sure I need that. Your experience with long reach pole saws? TMR

    Thanks...Tom R
    Last edited by TMR; 09-26-2010 at 01:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    242
    Location
    Stonington CT
    Tractor
    Kubota L-45

    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    I work for the local municipality and they have three of the STIHL's, Not sure of the model number but they are some of the bigger ones that stihl makes I think the number is like 101 or something. Any ways we use them all the time and they get thrown around and stuff and they keep on working. I like them so much that I plan to buy one in the next month or so.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    522
    Location
    KS.
    Tractor
    Case 1845C skidsteer

    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    I have a Stihl 101 and really like the way it cuts. My problem is sometimes I purchase items without factoring in my age. At 68 the saw is a real handfull for me fully extended. Generally last about an hour and call it a day. Retired tho, so I can go back the next day. Some of my younger friends also like my saw and will cut for me in exchange for saw use. The Stihl is a little pricey also at $600 +.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    906
    Location
    upstate South Carolina, Greenville
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800, Massey Ferguson 240

    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    I have the same problem. I maintain about 6 mile of roads and trails, and it is a constant battle to keep them open. Believe me , I am experienced in this area.
    The first tool you need is a Stihl Kombi, the KM 110R motor, and the chain saw attachment for it. It is light weight, powerful, and makes short work out of limbing and cutting down small trees (up to 5") and allows you to reach up to about 9 or 10 feet, plenty high for roads. They make an 4' extension, but it adds weight and makes it much more difficult to handle. Cutting is easy, picking up the debris is the hard part. The saw is nice because the working end is far enough away from you that it is much safer than a regular chain saw. Only down side is that you go thru lots of blades, as they are short, but I keep about 10 and cycle them and sharpen. I walk down the road and zip off the limbs or cut small trees off at the base. I have learned its often better to cut the whole tree rather than the limbs, as you will see every year, you will be trimming the same tree over and over. Now the other thing you need to really complement this is a grapple (like a Markham, 48") After felling all of these limb and letting them fall across the road, you can put the teeth down on the grapple and drive forward and slowly push them up into a big mass, then pick them up and place them whereever you need to. I also pull a box scrape while I am doing this to collect the few limbs that get by the grapple. You can get about 90 percent in one pass, much easier than picking them up by hand. I also use the grapple to uproot trees and widen the road, so trimming becomes much less of a problem.

    I also recommend the Sthil telescopic pole saw (manual) as it can reach higher, but it will wear you out! You can see many nice manual polesaws (most are Japanese) at any Arborist supply catalog, but the Stihl is as good as any. It is sold under several different labels. Forget about the Home Depot saws, as they are worthless, and don't buy any pole chainsaw but the Stihl.

  5. #5
    TMR
    TMR is offline
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    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJtractor View Post
    I have the same problem. I maintain about 6 mile of roads and trails, and it is a constant battle to keep them open. Believe me , I am experienced in this area.
    The first tool you need is a Stihl Kombi, the KM 110R motor, and the chain saw attachment for it. It is light weight, powerful, and makes short work out of limbing and cutting down small trees (up to 5") and allows you to reach up to about 9 or 10 feet, plenty high for roads. They make an 4' extension, but it adds weight and makes it much more difficult to handle. Cutting is easy, picking up the debris is the hard part. The saw is nice because the working end is far enough away from you that it is much safer than a regular chain saw. Only down side is that you go thru lots of blades, as they are short, but I keep about 10 and cycle them and sharpen. I walk down the road and zip off the limbs or cut small trees off at the base. I have learned its often better to cut the whole tree rather than the limbs, as you will see every year, you will be trimming the same tree over and over. Now the other thing you need to really complement this is a grapple (like a Markham, 48") After felling all of these limb and letting them fall across the road, you can put the teeth down on the grapple and drive forward and slowly push them up into a big mass, then pick them up and place them whereever you need to. I also pull a box scrape while I am doing this to collect the few limbs that get by the grapple. You can get about 90 percent in one pass, much easier than picking them up by hand. I also use the grapple to uproot trees and widen the road, so trimming becomes much less of a problem.

    I also recommend the Sthil telescopic pole saw (manual) as it can reach higher, but it will wear you out! You can see many nice manual polesaws (most are Japanese) at any Arborist supply catalog, but the Stihl is as good as any. It is sold under several different labels. Forget about the Home Depot saws, as they are worthless, and don't buy any pole chainsaw but the Stihl.
    Wow...6 miles! I have a bit over 1 miles and quite a bit around our house and our cabin. I have a total of 120 acres and am moving toward retirement and want to make trails and generally work on my land in retirement.

    You don't like the extendable chain saws? Extended reach 13'...b4 4' extensions. Too heavy to work with when extended? I have a manual pole saw and that get old real quick

    As far as a grapple...I need to get a tractor first...Thanks...TMR

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2009
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    Location
    upstate South Carolina, Greenville
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    Kubota M6800, Massey Ferguson 240

    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    I have 300 acres. I developed a cross country running course for my daughter's cross country team. We also hunt there and need the roads open so that you can drive around without scratching your vehicle (or getting slapped in the face when on the tractor). I have found that for vehicular or foot travel, the clearace only needs to be 8 or 9 feet, easily reached with the Kombi saw I mentioned. It is very light, balanced, and you can literally cut all day without fatique (now picking up and disposing of all those cuttings is another matter) When I added the 4' extension, I was surprised how negatively it impacted the balance and weight, and using it extended is much more difficult and tiring. So I think a telescopic saw would be very tiring to use, and there is no reason to go over 9 or 10 feet anyway. For those occaional high limbs, use the manual saw. Another nice thing about the Kombi, it that you can also add other "ends" to the same motor. I also have an articulating hedge trimming attachment (also good for cutting briars or tall weeds) and a string trimmer, and a great sidewalk edger, all of which use the same motor. The weight of the cutting head is critical. Mine is so light and balanced that it is a joy to use.

    And yes, you need a tractor. I first "bush hog" my roads. You can do a lot with a good rotary cutter, keeping the lanes open and wide. I usually make 3 passes. As far left as I can go, as far right, then down the middle. It is the overhanging stuff that requires the Kombi saw. Then of course, you can use the boxscrape and landscape rake, but that is for "advanced" trail maintenance.

    By the way, we also often cut shooting lanes for visiblility from our elevated tree stands. In this case we often need to cut much higher, as high as 30 feet. We use the Stihl telescoping manual saw. It is in three sections, and can go up 20 feet , is fairly light, and well made (for the most part). But it will really wear you out! Especially if you cut hardwoods, and the blade must be very sharp. But for just maintaining roads and trails, you really don't need a saw that will go that high. I also have a high end fiberglass shafted sectional saw like aborists use. I have three 8' sections, so I can go really high, but it is heavy and no fun to use. Only use it when I have to cut something over 20 feet, and I curse the whole time I use it. Hope this helps.

    I spend countless hours and days doing these tasks. I have tried all types of tools over the years, and this method is by far the most efficient and less fatiqueing. Since I bought the Kombi, I rarely use my full size chain saw...only for cutting down larger trees. And I will de-limb them with the Kombi, as it is much safer, and gives me "reach" so I don't have to wade into thick places.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    I went with Echo. I have two Stihl chainsaws and an Echo weed eater. The Echo engine starts easier and never gives me any problems. I understand that the chain saws work harder and have a harder life, but at start up, the Echo is far superior.

    I looked at both Echo and Stihl. I like Echo better and wont buy another Stihl anything if I the option of buying Echo. If you haven't had Echo or tried it, I would recomend doing so before spending the money on Stihl.

    Mine is the PPT-265 and I think I paid between $500 to $600 for it. I don't remeber for sure. In a day, I can cut a weeks worth of branches to pick up. The chain is super aggressive and just melts right through the branches. There are lots of chips and goggles are mandatory. Stuff is flying all over the place!!!!

    It's also heavy. If held upright, all the weigh is on the strap and your shoulder, but if you hold it out at an angle, it can get very heavy, real fast. Half way through the day, my biceps are screaming.

    Tree Pruners, Long Reach Pole Pruners, Extended Reach Pruners - ECHO USA

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  8. #8
    TMR
    TMR is offline
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    Two Harbors, MN

    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJtractor View Post
    By the way, we also often cut shooting lanes for visiblility from our elevated tree stands. In this case we often need to cut much higher, as high as 30 feet. We use the Stihl telescoping manual saw. It is in three sections, and can go up 20 feet , is fairly light, and well made (for the most part). But it will really wear you out! Especially if you cut hardwoods, and the blade must be very sharp. But for just maintaining roads and trails, you really don't need a saw that will go that high. I also have a high end fiberglass shafted sectional saw like aborists use. I have three 8' sections, so I can go really high, but it is heavy and no fun to use. Only use it when I have to cut something over 20 feet, and I curse the whole time I use it. Hope this helps.
    Great input on the trail work...right on target with my trails...I am cursed with balsam trees...they grow like weeds here. I agree that I need to cut them at the base and just get rid of them. My trails also need to be widened a bit....larger than a Polaris Ranger and close to car size.

    I do need a longer saw but not nearly as often. I have sugar maple on my home property that I need to trim up pretty high to get a bit of sunlight in. Also, some pine at our cabin that I want to limb as they grow...lower branches die out and would like to clean up the trees and let in light...really looks nice. Norway/Red pines are my hobby.

    I think the problem with my manual pole saw is that it is both cheap AND dull. I think I will take a look at an upgrade of that and see how long I can get...they are exhausting working overhead...but not that many branches to trim...nothing like the work that needs to be done on the trails.

    Thank You...you have been very helpful...Tom R in Two Harbors, MN

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2010
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    522
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    KS.
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    Case 1845C skidsteer

    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    I have a stihl pole saw as stated in a previous post on this thread. I ordered (last week) a "limbhog" to go on my Case 1845C skid steer. I have hopes of using it to cut overhanging limbs and in the case of large limbs making firewood as I am cutting the limbs down. Talked to several limbhog owners and all gave good reports. I have a lot of osage orange tree rows around the property that I hope to keep from encroaching into the pastures and ag fields. Will use for shooting lanes also in my timbered area near the creek.

    LIMBHOG.com

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Pittsburgh, Pa
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    Chinese quality - Jinma 2420 - Ford 1900 - Steiner 420

    Default Re: Pole Saw...Comercial Grade Gasoline

    I have a Ryobi polesaw from Home Depot and mine came from Sams club on clearance for $50. It's been a great saw. I bang it around all over the farm cutting 75 acres of trails. We have about 4 mi of trails all on logging paths. I run the Farm Pro 2420 finish deck on it it's cut like your yard. That along with the pole saw work and chainsawed sections every two years it keeps it accessible. It's a lot of work like the other poster says. We use ours for hunting and quad riding recreation mostly. I wouldn't say the Ryobi is a junky saw. It's just "cheap". Keeping the chain sharp is very, very important on them.

    Steve

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