Extendable Jumbo Pole Saw & Pruner. Long handled tree trimmer

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Extendable Jumbo Pole Saw Pruner

This is an exceptionally versatile tool you’ll find you reach for all the time. It’s both an extendable lopper and a high-quality pruning saw. Within moments you can change between either function. Unlike other multi-function tools, both the saw and the pruner are top notch.

The heavy-duty Anvil Lopper, with a 2″ cutting capacity, is great for cutting all types of wood, but excels at cutting hard dry wood. The secret is that using the 20X mechanical advantage pulley and gear combination, the blade rises vertically to cut, instead of pivoting. thus avoiding any twisting.

This Extra Heavy-Duty tool also includes a 14″ high-carbon 6tpi stainless steel Japanese style saw blade that easily and securely attaches to the end of the pole with a quick connector. No need to fiddle with screws.

The saw extends from 4 to 8 ft in length, using an exclusive, easy to change, snap-lock (not common twist-lock) system. This tool surpasses all others that we have seen in construction and thoughtful design. Make short work of hard-to-reach tree-trimming jobs with our Extra-Capacity X.H.D. Jumbo Pole Saw.

Replacement parts are available for the pole saw and pruner.

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Jumbo Pole Saw Pruner

This is an exceptionally versatile tool you’ll find you reach for all the time. It’s both an extendable lopper and a high-quality pruning saw. Within moments you can change between either function. Unlike other multi-function tools, both the saw and the pruner are top notch.

The heavy-duty Anvil Lopper, with a 2″ cutting capacity, is great for cutting all types of wood, but excels at cutting hard dry wood. The secret is that using the 20X mechanical advantage pulley and gear combination, the blade rises vertically to cut, instead of pivoting. thus avoiding any twisting.

This Extra Heavy-Duty tool also includes a 14″ high-carbon 6tpi stainless steel Japanese style saw blade that easily and securely attaches to the end of the pole with a quick connector. No need to fiddle with screws.

The saw extends from 4 to 8 ft in length, using an exclusive, easy to change, snap-lock (not common twist-lock) system. This tool surpasses all others that we have seen in construction and thoughtful design. Make short work of hard-to-reach tree-trimming jobs with our Extra-Capacity X.H.D. Jumbo Pole Saw.

Replacement parts are available for the pole saw and pruner.

Shipping Restrictions: Air shipping unavailable. Ground shipping to contiguous 48 U.S. only. Not eligible to ship to Canada.

Additional Shipping: Shipping surcharge of 15 will be applied to this item.

Gardena StarCut 160 BL Tree Pruner: Product Review

How do you prune branches and limbs that are just out of reach or at ground level? Normally, you’d need a ladder or a full-fledged extendable pole pruner, or would have to get down on your knees. But ladders can be unstable and potentially unsafe, and bending over or getting on your knees can make for sore body parts. And what about trying to prune trees and shrubs that have thorns and prickers?

Gardena has solved this dilemma with the StarCut 160 BL, a stick-style pruner that addresses all these concerns and more.

About Fixed Length Pruners (Stick-Style)

Stick-style pruners are an excellent way to make pruning cuts when you can’t quite reach the pruning site, and where a traditional extendable pole pruner is over-kill.

These short pruners typically come in two designs. The first incorporates a rotating cutting head where the blades are rotated into position by holding onto the blade activation handles and spinning an aluminum shaft. The second type has an adjustable cutting head that is attached to a fixed shaft. The Gardena StarCut BL 160 is modeled after the second type design.

Two styles of cutting heads on stick-style pruners. The one on the left (ARS) spins and the one of the right (Gardena) bends from side to side.

Features of the Gardena StarCut BL 160

  • Length: 160 cm (approx. 5’ 3”)
  • Cutting Diameter: 32 mm (approx. 1 – ¼”)
  • 200 0 cutting angle (100 0 on either side of center)
  • T handle at end of pole that gives a cutting distance of 3.5 m (approx. 11’ 6”)


Virtually all stick-style pruners are constructed with an aluminum shaft to reduce the pruner’s weight. Aluminum is an excellent conductor of electricity, so never used aluminum shaft stick-style pruners around power lines.

About the Cutting Head

The entire cutting head mechanism is encased in a hard plastic shell, with no exposed ropes, wires, nylon webbing or springs to potentially get stuck in brush or branches. Everything that operates the cutting blades is smartly packaged inside the pruner head.

The StarCut 160 BL cutting head uses a unique geared pulley system that is housed completely inside the cutting head. This design increases the pruner’s leverage/cutting power.

The geared cutting mechanism contributes to the power of this pruner. Image from Gardena.

The cutting head is only 1-1/2” wide, the narrowest head of all stick-style pruners of this type that I’ve tried to date. The narrow width certainly had its advantages when I needed to thread it into tight places.

The narrow cutting head makes it easier to get the blades into tight spaces.

Rotating Cutting Head

The cutting head moves 100 0 in each direction from its center (zero position) on the aluminum shaft, giving it a wide range of cutting angles.

Cutting Head Doesn’t Lock In Place

As you move the cutting head from side to side, you’ll hear and feel a “click” as it goes through each 9-degree increment. That’s supposed to lock the head in place, but it doesn’t really work and it’s one of the areas that I felt fell short on this tool.

Other adjustable head stick-style pruners I’ve used have a locking mechanism to make sure that that head stays in place while in use, and that’s a feature that comes in handy.

With the Gardena StarCut stick pruner, I had problems with the cutting head when pushing it into dense brush – the cutting head would hit a branch or limb and pivot to another cutting angle, making it impossible to make my pruning cut. In some situations, the head went from 0 0 all the way to 100 0 as I pushed it into a shrub or tree canopy.

The lack of an aggressive locking mechanism to hold the cutting head in place is definitely the Achilles heel of the StarCut stick pruner. Gardena suggests that this is actually a benefit – simply clamp the blade around the branch to be pruned and then push the cutting head into the perfect position. That may work if you have a clear path to the one branch you want to cut and no other obstacles in the way, but trees and shrubs rarely cooperate by providing this perfect pruning environment.

The cutting head rotates up to 100 degrees in either direction.

Cutting Blades

The cutting blade is extremely sharp and has a special shape intended to “hold the cut material in an optimal cutting area and allow an especially easy and clean cut.”

The blades are coated with a non-stick material that resists sap and prevents them from sticking together. I found that it worked quite well when cutting sap-producing wood.

Good Cutting Power

Of all the stick-style pruner I’ve tested so far, the Gardena had the best cutting power – but only when the cutting head was in the 0 0 position (in line with the aluminum shaft).

Cutting power was still adequate in the 45 0 range but the farther I moved the cutting head away from 0 0. the smaller the diameter of material the StarCut cut through. It was at its worst when the head was at 100 0. At this angle, the blades could only cut through material that was about half of the maximum blade opening (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch).

The specs says that the Gardena StarCut 160 BL will cut through 32mm (1 ¼”) material, but my experience was that it actually cut through only 1 1/8” (although that’s not a huge discrepancy). The widest distance between the cutting blades is 1 ¼”, but that’s at the very tip of the blades, which isn’t a place where this diameter wood would even have a chance of being cut.

Still, the BL160 is a cutting beast. It made quick work of 1 1/8” material when the head was at 0 0 and a little over half that diameter when the cutting head was rotated to 100 0 off center.

It made clean cuts, probably due to the unique blade design and the extreme sharpness of the “precision ground” cutting blade. Even after hundreds of cuts, the blade was still super-sharp.

Of all the features in this handy tool, I would say its greatest attribute is its cutting power and cleanliness of cuts (compared to other stick-style pruners). Plus, it’s great for cutting branches, stems, etc. below your waist. In most cases there is no need to bend over – just set the cutting head to the proper angle, slide it into the cutting zone and pull either the center or T-handle.

The Gardena pruner makes clean cuts of material up to 1 1/8-inch thick.

Blade Operation

Like some of the other fixed shaft/adjustable head pruners on the market, the StarCut 160 BL cutting head is actuated by nylon straps (also called webbing) that are attached to both the middle handle (at the center of the aluminum shaft) and the T-handle at the end of the shaft (opposite the cutting head).

Tension Adjustment

Like similar stick pruners, the StarCut has an extra length of strap emanating from the center handle – it’s used to adjust the webbing tension.

Unfortunately, the strap on our unit was so short that I had to use needle-nose pliers to pull it out from under the handle. That caused the blades to close, leaving no room for tension adjustment. I suppose that if the webbing stretches it’ll be easier to access the adjustment strap but it would’ve been better to have a longer strap in the first place. [Editor’s Note: Gardena’s website shows this product with a long tension adjustment loop that looks nothing like what we received.]

Instead of the loop shown on the website, the tension adjustment strap on our unit was too short to use and had to be pulled out of the handle with pliers.


Gardena incorporates two handles to activate the cutting blade.

Fiskars Pole Saw Product Review. 14 Ft. Long PowerLever Tree Pruner

Middle Handle

One handle is placed in the middle of the aluminum shaft. It’s round where you grip the handle, but also has a flared (fatter) end that faces the back of the pruner. This flare gave me greater pulling power as my hand tended to slip backwards when making difficult cuts through large diameter wood. The handle was comfortable and ergonomically well designed.

The only thing I wish Gardena had incorporated into the middle handle is some type of rubberized grip – I always find that plastic by itself is more slippery, particularly if my hand begins to sweat or the handle gets wet. The StarCut BL 160 has three rows of raised ridges on the middle handle, which I figured was to create a more secure gripping surface, but they seem to be mostly cosmetic and didn’t really prevent slippage.

I recommend wearing gloves with a rubberized palm when using this stick pruner. I would stay away from a leather palm as I’ve found that these can slip more than a bare hand. Instead, try nitrile (or equivalent) coated gloves. See our Glove Guide Recommendations for more details.


On the back end of the aluminum shaft is a T-handle to provide another pull-point. Overall, I really liked the T-handle as it provided a very secure gripping point for making long reach pruning cuts.

One small thing that I didn’t particularly like was that the T-handle had a trapezoidal shape that required the vertical part of the T to be inserted into the aluminum shaft in a specific way. This kept the handle from rotating, but I’m not sure why it was incorporated into the design instead of a round piece. After each T-handle use, I was forever fiddling with it to align the vertical part of the T back into the aluminum shaft and it became a real annoyance after a while.

The orange T-handle increased reach for more distant pruning cuts but getting it back into the shaft after each cut was a real pain.

Instructions Would Have Been Helpful

Most stick pruners are pretty straightforward to use so instructions are less necessary. But the Gardena StarCut has some unique features that require explanation. Unfortunately, the pruner came with no instructions so I checked the Gardena website where I discovered (at least I think I did) two things that were not self-evident.

The place I found the most useful information was on the Gardena website video.

Blade Locking Mechanism for Safety

The specs said it had a blade locking mechanism to keep the blades shut while in transport (a nice feature for sure) – but it wasn’t clear where that mechanism was or how it worked.

Extendable Telescopic Landscaping Pole Saw with 2-Foot Saw Blade for Pruning

After some finagling, I discovered that the nylon webbing attached to the T-handle can be pulled from the back of the pole and looped under a piece of plastic attached to rear of the pole. This wasn’t an easy task as the plastic (I’ll call it a “clip”) clip lay flat against the aluminum pole. It took several tries and a little prying with my fingernail to get the strap under this clip. I found that the webbing would slip if I only stuck it under the clip once and left the handle dangling, so I made another revolution around the aluminum shaft and tucked another coil under the clip. This did the trick and kept the blades closed, but it wasn’t simple to do.

I also discovered that instead of making a double turn of webbing under the clip, I could shove a short piece of webbing that emanated from the clip back into the trapezoidal hole at the end of the shaft and insert the trapezoidal T-handle against the webbing. This achieved the same effect as a double tuck of webbing under the clip, and it kept the T-handle from dangling in free space, where it could get caught on something.

Without instructions, most users will miss this great safety feature.

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It would have also been nice to see instructions about how to operate the unit. I have lots of experience with these tools and even I didn’t fully grasp how to use the “self-adjusting” head until after I’d read the instructions.

A clip near the end of the shaft can be used to hold the cutting blades closed while in transport.

Lightweight for Extended use

The entire unit weighed in at just under 2 ½ lbs, which is a pretty typical weight for this style of pruner. The nice light weight of the StarCut BL160 made it easy to haul around and work with for long periods of time without muscle cramps or getting overly fatigued – definitely a plus.


A 25 year guarantee is front and center on the advertising placard that comes with the tool but it doesn’t mention whether that is a limited or a full lifetime warrantee. I searched the Gardena website and could find no answers there (maybe I just didn’t search hard enough).


The strength of this stick pruner is its cutting power. If you need a pruner that’ll make clean cuts through easily accessible thicker material, then this may be right for you. The StarCut’s geared-transmission allows you to cut both live and dead wood up to a maximum diameter of 1-1/8” diameter, although the cutting power diminishes quickly as the cutting head is rotated from the 0-degree position. The blade-locking feature is a nice safety feature, although instructions on this feature, as well as how to operate the self-adjusting locking mechanism on the cutting head, would be helpful. The center handle would benefit from the addition of some non-slip material (or use nitrile gloves when using it) and our unit didn’t have a usable tension adjustment strap. Finally, the cutting head’s lack of a true locking mechanism is problematic when pruning in tight or overgrown areas.

Where to Buy

Your best bet is to buy the StarCut 160 BL on Amazon where it retails for around 97.

It’s also available at some garden centers and home improvement stores, but check with the store before you go as it can be hard to find. You can’t order products directly from Gardena and their website doesn’t list specific locations where their products are available in the US or Canada.

Now over to you – What’s the most effective stick-style pruning tool you’ve tried? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!

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Related Reviews

Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Gardena for giving us a free tree pruner to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

Please note that the Amazon links (and only the Amazon links) above are affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase products through these links, GPReview will make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps to support this website and our gardening product reviews. Thank you!

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The best tools for pruning

Discover which pruning tool suits which type of job in the garden.

Pruning is an important job in the garden – it helps to keep plants in shape, encourages the production of fruit and flowers and can help to prevent disease. So it’s worth getting well kitted out with pruning tools.

Related content:Watch our video guide to the basic pruning cuts

Secateurs, loppers and a folding pruning saw will enable you to tackle a wide range of jobs. Other useful tools are handy for specific pruning jobs, such as shears for clipping hedges or topiary, and long-reach pruners for high branches in trees.

We outline the best tools for different pruning jobs.


Bypass secateurs, which have a scissor-action, are great all-rounders for pruning and cutting back plants. They’re ideal for cutting soft stems up to the thickness of a pencil. Anvil secateurs (where the blade cuts onto a flat surface) crush as well as cut, so are best used only on woody stems. Watch Alan Titchmarsh’s No Fuss video guide to choosing secateurs.

Pruning saw

Pruning saws come in various sizes and can be used on branches up to 5cm thick. Some have coarsely angled teeth so they cut on both push and pull strokes, but many cut only on the pull stroke. Use larger bow-saws for bigger branches and small trunks.

Long-reach pruner

Long-reach pruners are like secateurs on a long pole. They’re operated by pulling a rope or lever at the other end. They’re ideal for the occasional pruning of tall trees or big shrubs cutting woody branches up to about 3cm thick.


With long handles for good leverage and heavy-duty blades, loppers cut woody stems up to 3cm thick. They’re ideal for tough pruning. Some have extendable handles and a ratchet system to make cutting easier.

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Hand shears

These short-handled shears are perfect for clipping hedges, box edging and topiary, cutting stems up to pencil-thickness. Some have extendable handles for tall hedges. Read more about trimming topiary.

Topiary shears

Also known as sheep shears, topiary shears are used one-handed for trimming soft green shoots up to 5mm thick on small topiary and shaped shrubs, evergreen herbs, and other detailed work on compact plants.

Care for your tools

Whichever tools you use, it’s important to look after them. Sharp secateurs, for instance, are a pleasure to use when working properly, and when they cut cleanly they don’t tear plant stems. Always wipe the sap of the blades blades after use, spray or wipe with oil, store them in a dry place so they don’t rust – and remember to sharpen them every winter. Watch Alan Titchmarsh’s No Fuss video guides to sharpening garden tools and sharpening secateurs.

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Tree Trimming Tips

Tree trimming is a regular part of maintaining a yard and garden. In this guide, we offer tree trimming tips that help keep trees healthy while giving your yard a professional look. Many people don’t realize that tree trimming is also a way to avoid hazards. That’s because overgrown trees can fall in high winds or even provide an obstacle for traffic.

Editor’s Note: Trimming trees and pruning trees are two slightly different things. Pruning typically refers to removing dead or infected branches. Trimming is usually cutting back overgrown trees and plants. In this story, we cover primarily tree trimming.

The Importance of Tree Trimming

Doing a good job of trimming your trees is vital to the health of the trees. Overgrown trees can grow through electrical wires or other essential cables. Trees can fall during high winds, and this can cause damage to houses, cars and even injure people. Avoiding property damage and personal injury are reason enough to properly trim your trees.

In addition, overgrown trees can get in the way of important fields of vision, such as on the road. Imagine if a tree has started to block the view as you leave your driveway, for instance.

Overgrown trees can also become an eyesore. Tree trimming is a way to control their growth. Following these Smart tree trimming tips can ensure that trees grow in an upright shape. Ignore proper tree trimming and you risk having trees growing at unusual angles, or even tangling with other trees. Trimming a tree can also encourage healthy growth in a shape that is right for the tree’s species.

Also, trees can get infected by pests and disease. Proper tree trimming can stop the infection and save the tree.

Proper Ways of Tree Trimming

There are many popular techniques for tree care including thinning the crown or raising the crown. Crown thinning is done when the tree’s branches have become too dense and are causing problems. Raising the crown is all about cutting away the lower branches. This is commonly done on trees when the low branches are getting in the way. For example, if the branches are starting to impact pedestrians walking alongside a tree.

Tree trimming cuts should be made at a 90-degree angle to try to prevent infection or water damage. Before making a cut, look for the branch collar. The collar is the swollen “shoulder” between the branch and the trunk. Cutting just outside the collar is the perfect place to cut the branch. Cutting in this area makes the tree callus and recover more quickly.

However, if you are removing a large branch, it’s best to use a three-cut process. This will ensure that the branch is removed without any damage to the tree. Watch This Video.

You may want to give your trees a yearly “tidy up” trim. This is sometimes called “crown cleaning.” It involves cutting off limbs that are growing at the wrong angles and crossing over each other. This is also a good time to remove any dead or infected branches.

Frequency of Tree Trimming

Some flowering trees might need yearly maintenance to keep them clean and tidy. But many trees can thrive for years at a time without having any sort of trim. Other tree species need to be trimmed once every 3-5 years. However, if you have a lot of trees, you might hire a tree trimming company to help with the upkeep.

Many different factors go into whether a tree needs to be trimmed. The species and location of the tree can play a huge part in how quickly they grow. Keep in mind that it is always possible that a tree can become infected, even one that is decades old. That’s another reason to work a Master Gardener or professional arborist to get your trees periodically inspected.

Best Hand Tools for Trimming a Tree

Tree trimming requires the right tools to make the job easier. So, make sure you’ve got high-quality tools for pruning and lopping. And make sure you keep them sharp. Home Garden and Homestead receives a small commission from sales made through Amazon links in this story. Thanks for supporting this website!

A pair of hand pruners with ergonomic handles can give you plenty of power for cutting those smaller branches. Some modern pruners have clever designs to give more pressure and cutting power. A soft-gripped saw is a good idea for making quick cuts. Some small saws even have folding blades for easy storage.

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An extended lopper with telescopic handles is a must-have tool for cutting low branches. But don’t buy the cheap ones. Pay a few dollars extra for a pair of heavy-duty bypass loppers.

The Steelhead Heavy-Duty Loppers have telescoping extendable handles for extra reach. The loppers also have a ratcheting gear that gives you more cutting power for thicker branches. The ergonomic grip handles also make this tool a pleasure to use. Check Price and Shipping.

Pole Pruners for Tree Trimming

A pole pruner is basically a cutting blade at the end of an extendable pole. Getting a pole saw with an extendable handle can allow you to reach branches even if they are 10 feet or higher from the ground.

There are three basic types of pole pruners. The first type is the traditional pole pruner that has a bypass pruner blade at the end of the pole. This is a great pruner for light duty use.

A great example of this type of pruner is the Mesoga Cut and Hold Bypass Lopper. The 6-foot-long pole is made of lightweight aluminum. The bypass lopper head has a sharp razor-edge blade encased in tough plastic that helps hold the branch in place. The blade head is spring loaded, so it snaps back after cutting to greatly reduce operator fatigue. Check Price and Availability.

The second type is a pole pruner that has a hand saw at the end of the pole. This is a great pruner for medium-duty use. The Corona Max Razor 14-foot Tree Pruner has a tough steel saw blade at the end of its telescoping pole. The pole extends up to 14 feet.

The Corona powerglide rope pull system enables you to move the saw blade. The handle has a comfortable 24-inch-long foam grip. All in all, this tool is engineered for impressive performance. Check Price and Shipping.

The newest kind of pole pruner is our favorite. It’s got a cordless electric power saw at the end of the pole. This type of pruner can quickly handle medium-duty pruning with very little physical effort.

The Greenworks 40-volt Cordless Pole Saw features an 8-inch bar and chain, automatic oiler and chain tensioning. The pole extends to 8 ft. and collapses to 5 ft. This tool is compatible with other Greenworks G-MAX batteries. (This tool is available with a rechargeable battery and charger, or as a tool only model.) Check Price and Availability

Let’s Not Forget Chain Saws!

Of course, the big daddy of tree trimming and tree pruning tools is the chainsaw. The classic chain saws are powered by gasoline engines. The new generation of chain saws is powered by cordless electric motors with rechargeable batteries. Check out this assortment of great chain saws.

If you love trees but have a small yard, be sure to read Best Trees for Small Yards.

Reader Interactions

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Thank you for telling me about tree trimming and how trees can become infected with pests if this is not done. I used to think tree trimming was just something people do for aesthetics, but this story has given me a better idea of how to take care of my trees. Since I don’t have the necessary tools to perform trim my trees, I will look for a tree service expert in the area to help me out.