Last updated: August 10, 2021

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A beautiful garden is created through a lot of love, attention and care. For this care, every good gardener needs some tools. The pruning saw is one of them. It belongs to the type of tree saws and is used for cutting branches and small tree trunks.

But it is not so easy to decide which branch saw suits you best. With our big branch saw test 2021 we want to help you find the saw that best suits your needs. We have compared the classic hand pruning saw, the cordless pruning saw and the electric pruning saw and listed the most important advantages and disadvantages. This should help you make a decisive purchase decision.




Summary

  • Branch saws are perfect for working in your own garden. You can use it to effortlessly cut branches and small trees.
  • Due to its light weight, the pruning saw is especially suitable for beginners and hobby gardeners, as it is much easier to handle than alternative chainsaws. It is also much quieter than its competitors.
  • You can optimally adjust the branch saw to your needs. You can choose between a classic hand pruning saw, a battery pruning saw and an electric pruning saw. You also have the option of buying different sizes and shapes.

The Best Branch Saw: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a pruning saw

For whom is a pruning saw suitable?

In general, a pruning saw is suitable for private use in the garden. Since the typical pruning saw is a manual saw, it is most suitable for cutting thin trees or shrubs. For felling larger trees and heavy woodwork in general, cordless and electric pruning saws are recommended. We will discuss these alternatives in more detail later.

When using a manual pruning saw, you save yourself a trip to the gym.

For use in the garden, mobility is crucial for many gardeners. With a short hand saw you can reach just about any branch in the crown of the tree. Many amateur gardeners are also concerned about disturbing their neighbours when they carry out sawing work in the garden.

Battery-powered chainsaws are much quieter than electric chainsaws and petrol chainsaws. But the quietest saws are those that are powered purely by muscle power. This means that hand saws are easy on everyone's ears and are perfect for use in housing estates

How much does a branch saw cost?

Branch saws are available in all price and quality classes. Which price range is perfect for you depends on what you want to use the branch saw for.

  • The cheaper price range is between 10€ and 30€. These models are mostly hand saws and are suitable for lighter gardening work. The price-performance ratio of these branch saws is very good.
  • The middle price range includes saws between 30€ and 60€. Some of these are very high-quality hand saws or cheaper cordless pruning saws. These saws are suitable for more regular work in the garden. The price-performance ratio is good here.
  • The upper price range starts at 60€ and can go up to 150€. These are the best pruning saws on the market. Accordingly, these saws are also suitable for heavier woodwork in the garden. However, such a model is only worthwhile if it is used several times a year. For infrequent use, it is better to choose a cheaper model.

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Whether you want to make firewood or thin out trees. Every gardener can do something with a pruning saw. < br/>(Image source: pixabay.com / iKlicK)

In what size should I buy a pruning saw?

There are many different sizes to choose from in a pruning saw. Most often, a distinction is made between the length of the saw blade. This is usually between 10 and 40 centimetres long. Here, the use of the branch saw must be considered more closely.

A rather short saw blade is suitable for shorter work on thinner branches, whereas a long saw blade is recommended for longer work, such as felling smaller trees. The weight also plays a major role.

This usually depends on the length and type of saw. Hand saws are lighter than cordless/electric saws and these in turn are lighter than chainsaws. As a general rule, however, weight is directly related to comfort. The lighter the saw, the easier and more comfortable it is to use.

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A branch saw is perfect for cutting larger branches. But even felling itself is no problem with some models.
(Image source: pixabay.com / JerzyGorecki)

Decision: What types of branch saws are there and which is the right one for you?

There are basically three different options for branch saws: the classic hand branch saw, the battery branch saw and the electric hand saw. The classic hand-held branch saw is driven by pure muscle power and is basically built like a standard hand saw.

To prevent accidents, hand-held branch saws are often equipped with a folding saw blade. The cordless branch saw is powered by a rechargeable battery. The strength of the battery varies from saw to saw, but is usually between 16 volts and 40 volts. It is used when work with a hand saw would be too time-consuming or when you want to enjoy the luxury of leaving the sweaty work to a machine.

The electric branch saw is designed very similarly to the cordless branch saw. The main difference is the power. An electric branch saw has up to 2000 watts. With it, even heavy woodwork in the garden can be done effortlessly.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a classic hand-held pruning saw?

In order to emphasise what makes a classic pruning saw special, we need to look at its use. It is perfectly designed for your own garden. There you can perform almost all common gardening tasks such as cutting bushes and branches or thinning trees. The main advantage for many hobby gardeners is the handy handling of the saw.

Compared to other types of saws, it is much lighter and more compact. This makes it less complicated to use and requires less experience. However, the classic hand pruning saw also has other advantages and disadvantages, which we list below.

Advantages
  • Compact and handy
  • No external energy needed
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used at any time
Disadvantages
  • Very strenuous in the long run
  • Thick branches cannot be chopped
  • Sawing hardwood often not possible
  • Takes a relatively long time

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a battery-powered branch saw?

The main difference between a cordless pruning saw and a manual pruning saw is, as the name suggests, that it is powered by a battery. With it, you can prevent your hands and arms from getting tired during longer sawing sessions.

All you have to do is lift the weight of the cordless saw, and the battery does the sawing for you. This is the main advantage of the cordless pruning saw. With it, you have the possibility to do larger jobs in the garden without having to take a break all the time. However, the cordless pruning saw also has other advantages and disadvantages, which we list below.

Advantages
  • Suitable for longer sawing sessions
  • Suitable for thicker branches
  • No need for a constant power connection
  • Less strenuous to operate
Disadvantages
  • Operation needs practice
  • Lacks power for very thick branches
  • Not suitable for all woodwork
  • Less flexible to use

What distinguishes an electric branch saw and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

There are two major differences between the battery-powered branch saw and the electric branch saw. The electric saw has considerably more power. It is therefore recommended if you need to cut very thick branches or hard wood. For this, however, the electric saw needs a constant power connection.

You must always make sure that a power socket is available near the place of use. In addition to these aspects, the cordless branch saw also has other advantages and disadvantages, which we have prepared for you.

Advantages
  • Suitable for longer sawing sessions
  • Suitable for very thick branches
  • Operation is not so strenuous
Disadvantages
  • Operation needs practice
  • Less flexible in handling
  • Constant power connection needed

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate branch saws based on these factors

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between a variety of possible branch saws. The criteria that you can use to compare the pruning saws with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we explain what the individual criteria are.

Saw blade length

The length of the saw blade of your pruning saw determines the maximum diameter of the wood to be cut. You cannot cut a 30-centimetre-thick branch with a 30-centimetre saw. Your saw would immediately get caught in the wood.

The longer the saw blade, the thicker the branch can be.

Note, however, that a large blade also brings problems. It makes the saw heavier and more difficult to handle. In addition, handling a larger saw is more strenuous.

Safety

The issue of safety should not be neglected when buying a branch saw. Every new saw should have a super sharp saw blade. Unfortunately, this can lead to injuries if the saw is handled carelessly. But being careful alone is not enough for your own safety. Especially with the classic hand branch saw, you should not do without a suitable bag or case. This will ensure that you do not injure yourself when transporting or storing the saw.

Just throw the saw into the shed after use? NO GO!

Handle type

Besides the saw blade, the handle is another important part of your pruning saw. It should fit comfortably in your hand so that you do not have problems even when working for a long time. Most handles today are made of plastic, but there are also some saws with wooden handles

So if you have the opportunity to test different saws - take the chance!

You also have the option of buying a saw with a telescopic handle. This allows you to carry out sawing work at height without having to carry a ladder with you all the time.

Toothing of the saw

The branch saws can be distinguished by the teeth of the saw. There are three coarse types of teeth. The fine, medium and coarse teeth. Which teeth you need depends on the wood you want to cut. In the following table you can see the different areas of application for each type of tooth.

Serration use
Fine for precise cuts, very hard wood, dead wood
Medium normal thickness wood
Coarse fresh, living wood

Fixed or folding saw blade

Another important distinguishing feature of pruning saws is whether the saw blade can be folded in or whether it is permanently fixed. You can think of it as a pocket knife. Folding the saw makes it safer to transport and store. The blade is also permanently protected. On the other hand, the saw is not as stable and its size is limited. You have to decide for yourself which version is better for you.

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Facts worth knowing about branch saws

What safety precautions should be observed?

Unfortunately, serious accidents happen time and again when working with saws of all kinds. Electric/battery-powered branch saws are equipped with some safety features, but these do not always protect against operating errors. You should therefore always be careful when sawing and always wear the appropriate protective clothing. This includes:

  • Cut-resistant trousers, boots and jacket
  • Hearing protection if you are using an electric or battery-powered branch saw
  • Face protection or at least safety goggles
  • Cut-resistant gloves

Blunt saw blade, what now?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer here. It depends on what kind of saw you have. For electric or battery saws, please proceed as follows. Before you sharpen a saw blade, you must recognise that it is blunt. We have prepared five signs for this:

  • The saw does not pull cleanly into the wood, but must be forced with force.
  • When cutting vertically through wood, fine sawdust is produced instead of coarse chips.
  • The saw rattles and bounces when sawing.

If this happens to your saw, you can start sharpening your saw. Make sure you have enough space and wear resistant gloves so that you do not cut yourself on the saw blade. The next step is to clean the saw thoroughly and check for damage. Now you can sharpen the cutting teeth of your saw yourself with a round file.

However, the tool used must be suitable for the saw in question. If you use the wrong file, you can even reduce the cutting performance of the saw. Most manufacturers also offer sharpening of the saw. So you can also opt for professional maintenance. With a classic hand saw, there are models where you cannot sharpen the saw. In this case, you have to buy a new saw blade. If you can sharpen it, please proceed as above. First clean, then file.

What are the best care and cleaning tips?

Regular cleaning, constant care and maintenance will increase the life of your pruning saw enormously. You should clean the tool after every use. Dust, dirt and sawdust can be removed quickly and easily with a brush. A special cleaner is recommended for coarser dirt such as resin. If you notice any damage to the pruning saw during cleaning, you should have it inspected by a professional

A saw that is only half-functioning is a very big danger!

If the pruning saw is not going to be used for a long time, you must store it properly. Make sure it is stored in a dry and rust-free place. In the case of cordless pruning saws, remove the battery beforehand and store it in a room at room temperature.

Photo source: Melnychuk/ 123rf.com

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