Ryobi Expand-It Universal Pole Saw Attachment
Before trying out the Ryobi Expand-It Pole Saw, my only previous pole saw experience was with a very different device. The purpose was the same, to reach up into trees to prune branches. But the process was a lot slower, and way more painful.
Imagine a 14” curved blade on a 15’ long pole extended up into a tree sawing off a tree branch one stroke at a time. It wasn’t a shoulder workout, it was a shoulder endurance test where the operator was always the loser. So it shouldn’t be any surprise to hear that torture device seldom leaves the garage. Which means there was plenty of “opportunity” around my property to try out the Ryobi Expand-It Pole Saw.
It’s almost not fair to call both of those tools by the same name. I didn’t dread using the manual one, I just avoided it. But with the Ryobi Expand-It Pole Saw, let’s just say no limb within reach is safe anymore. Bottom line, besides getting the job done well, it’s just plain fun to use.
I mean, what can’t be fun about a miniature chainsaw on a stick? You just get the engine or motor to full speed, put the chain against the offending limb and before you know it, it’s falling to the ground. Of course there is a bit more to it.
As with any pole saw, you’ll want to make a partial undercut slightly away from the trunk, a top cut farther out, and then the final top cut close to the trunk. This technique prevents your bar from getting bound in a limb far beyond your reach. And if you’re not familiar with the technique, don’t sweat it. The manual covers it in detail with good illustrations.
One of my teenage summers was spent helping clear land for housing after a previous company botched the clearing job, so I’ve spent a good bit of time around chainsaws. But no worries if you haven’t, everything you need except a power head is in the box.
The instructions go over proper use, safe technique, and how to get the tool ready for use and installed. Plus, it comes with the tool to adjust the bar tension, and a tanks worth of bar and chain oil so you won’t be making another run back to Home Depot to get started if you forgot to buy some.
I really appreciate that this was designed to have the saw head on a short pole, and an extra extension pole. I put both poles onto my Ryobi 40v Expand-It Power Head and with it’s 9.5’ reach was easily able to prune out the branches starting to droop too low over my sidewalk and driveway.
But then after all the branches were down, I quickly switched to cutting without the extension pole thanks to the quick release tabs that hold everything together. Without the extension pole, it was much easier to break down the limbs into the sub 4’ sections the waste disposal company requires to pick up brush.
The Ryobi 40v Power Head and Pole Saw didn’t have any problem cutting through 2” thick red maple branches and never bogged or bonded up. But, you don’t have to have a Ryobi Power Head to use this pole saw. It uses a universal attachment system and will attach to most major brand gas or battery power heads made for accessories.
While the pole saw did the cutting, and the power head provided the energy, the included sling made it almost too easy for me. I’m standing here buzzing through limbs that are well overhead and I don’t even have to hold the weight of the power head with my arms. It just rests comfortably in the sling while the saw weight is on the limb it’s cutting. I almost forgot this was work. Well, at least until I had to pick up all the limbs.