When it comes to pruning trees, you have limited choices. You can use a manual saw if you have the strength and endurance for the job. You can use a electric model with an extension cord but the weight of the saw head on the end of the pole will quickly wear you out. A gas powered pole saw is another possibility if you don’t mind the hassle of dealing with mixing gas and oil, yanking a pull cord starter and all the other maintenance issues. That leaves battery powered electric saws but do they have the power needed for the job? Let’s look at what I discovered about the GreenWorks 20672 G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 8-Inch Cordless Pole Saw and find out.
The GreenWorks 20672 is an eight inch battery powered chainsaw on the end of an adjustable aluminum pole. The pole is a three piece design that allows up to eight feet of extension. The adjustability is due to the ability to use the middle piece of the pole or not. This design isn’t as easy as a telescoping system would be but is much more rigid.
The battery pack actually serves two useful purposes. As you would expect, it provides the energy to run the saw but its position behind your hand makes it serve the second purpose. The weight of the battery acts as a counter balance to the weight of the saw head, making the saw much easier to use and less straining.
The saw head itself includes an automatic oiler to keep the bar and chain properly lubed. A properly lubed chain will stay sharp longer and bind less,making the work faster with less routine maintenance.
The G-MAX battery system is a great idea that is well executed. The battery included with this saw will work in any other GreenWorks G-MAX tool. The interchangeability of batteries means that as you build a collection of G-MAX tools, you will also build a collection of back-up batteries, ensuring you always have power ready no matter what the task at hand requires. And when you have plenty of batteries, you can save a few bucks by buying other tools you need without batteries, knowing that the ones you have will work without issue.
Features and Benefits
- The pole saw comes with a 2 Ah lithium ion battery and charger so you always have enough power to finish the job.
- The battery is a G-MAX 40V battery that is compatible with many other GreenWorks tools.
- The saw is also compatible with the G-MAX 40V 4 Ah battery for extended usage.
- The pole is made of three separate pieces of aluminum to allow you to adjust to the length needed for a specific job, up to eight feet long.
- The chain tensioning is easily adjustable to make keeping the chain tight in the field as easy as possible.
- The saw has an automatic oiler so the bar and chain always stay properly lubed for clean quick cuts and longer chain life.
The GreenWorks pole saw has some outstanding reviews. 72 % of the reviewers rated it perfect with five stars and 93% gave it at least four. This vote of support answers questions about the quality built into this tool. There was a lot of praise for the battery life and the overall usability of the saw.
Many praised the sturdiness of the pole. When trying to cut with a saw at the far end of an eight foot pole, the last thing you need is to have to deal with flexing or sagging. The sections screw together to increase rigidity and eliminate the danger of separation.
The battery life received mention as particularly praiseworthy. Cutting with any pole saw is physically demanding and the consensus was that you will be ready for a break by the time the battery gets low. The lithium ion technology used means that there is little if any drop off in effectiveness as the battery discharges. My own Li-Io tools seem to run at peak right up until they just quit as the battery dies. Lithium ion batteries are also are quick to recharge. The reviewers agree that a complete recharge takes about an hour.
In my opinion (shared by several reviewers), the best thing about the GreenWorks 20672 is the fact that you get the powerful performance expected from gas powered tools without the hassle, mess, or noise of a gas motor. There is no mixing gas and oil, no storing volatile flammable chemicals, no fighting with primer bulbs and pull cords before you are even able to start the job.
Most complaints were about the amount of oil used by the lubing system. It was considered excessive by some reviewers and others complained about how fast the reservoir was emptied. Fortunately the oil reservoir is clear so you can see at a glance how much oil is left and it is easy to refill.
Another complaint was that the chain tensioning system was less secure than that found on regular chainsaws. The chain seems pretty quick in working itself loose. On the bright side, it was extremely easy to adjust the tension in the field without special tools. When the chain loosens, a quick adjustment is all you need to be back in business.
From the beginning, the big question is “Can a battery powered tool be powerful enough to tackle the jobs a pole saw is called upon to take on?”. From everything I saw and read, the GreenWorks 20672 G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 8-Inch Cordless Pole Saw easily meets this test. It easily cuts everything from wispy willow branches to those low branches on your oak tree that reach out over your driveway threatening to scratch your car. Between this and the fact that the batteries promise interchangeability with an array of tools, I find it hard to do anything but recommend it to serve all your pole saw needs.