A little while back, I decided to landscape my back yard, which is surrounded by beautiful vine maples. Although pretty, the branches hung over my house and need a trimming. After trying to use a manual pole saw on the flimsy, flexible vine maple branches and watching my saw flop around ineffectually, I decided it was time for something with a little more guts.
I looked at many, many pole saws, but eventually found the Earthwise 2-in-1. I saw that, unlike other saws, it had the added benefit of converting into a chainsaw. I decided to pull the trigger and immediately tried it out when I got home.
It was surprisingly well-built. I’d had a few mishaps purchasing electric-motored tools in the past, but was pleased at the relative sturdiness of the construction. That the pole was made from stout fiberglass pleased me.
I was also pleased at how easy it was to understand how to use the saw. Having grown up around gas-powered chain saws, this electric unit seemed so simple. Simply depress the safety switch and pull the trigger. I was also glad to know that the automatic oiler worked perfectly, and that the reservoir was large enough to keep working for hours. Adding oil was somewhat tricky from the container, so I ended up putting my oil in a clear condiment squeeze bottle with a pointed cap and used that. I also pre-lubricated the Oregon bar that came already installed.
I began using the unit as a pole saw and was amazed at how much power it had. I was able to cut through five to eight inch limbs easily. I could simply lay the saw where I wanted it, pulled the trigger, and let the weight of the unit pull the blade down as it cut. I was hacking away limbs, which would have taken me five minutes to go through, in a matter of seconds. The unit felt incredibly sturdy as I worked, and I never once worried that I was going to break it from normal use.
Once I had my limbs downed, it was time to try converting my saw into a chain saw. It was as simple as removing the pole and connecting the head unit to the handle directly. And there I was, working away again. The unit surprised me at how hard I could be on it without problems. The benefit of an electric motor was the most obvious when I was starting and stopping cutting and the chain didn’t need to build up speed.
Overall, I was able to do the work of three days in one, and I had a handy pile of firewood by the time I was done. Had I attempted to do all of that work with a manual saw, I might never have finished my project within my time scope.
But, it wasn’t a perfect experience.
The unit is heavy. This can be attributed to the quality construction, but the head unit on the end of the extended pole was somewhat unwieldy at times. I found myself having to reel back to keep the saw from swinging down after cutting a branch, even if the weight made it easier to cut.
It doesn’t have a great reach. At only 10 feet the unit is fully extended. Most other products have a 12-foot reach, which would have been useful at times. However, I couldn’t imagine trying to control the cutting head on an even longer pole.
It wasn’t exactly cheap at a little over $100. While it wasn’t half as expensive as professional, gas-powered pole saws, it was much, much more expensive than a traditional saw. Although the cost is offset by running the unit on electricity than gas, I still cringed when I saw how much it added up to the total cost of my little project.
Even with the faults…
I really was pleased with my purchase. The saw performed much better than I had expected, and I even began to enjoy the benefits of using an electric chainsaw over a gas engine when I didn’t have to wait for the speed of the blade to build up before cutting. Being able to convert the unit turned out to be the sole reason I was able to finish so quickly. I’ve since used my chainsaw to cut up branches that have fallen, and it still works great after months of storage. I would recommend this tool to anyone who has a considerable amount of trees around their house.
And no, you can’t borrow mine.