Field Test of Black & Decker 6.5 amp 10 Inch Corded Pole Saw
By Larry Walton
First Impressions and Features
I was immediately impressed with the build quality of this homeowner tool. Since the owner must assemble the bar and chain, I noted that working end of this tool is an the Oregon brand bar and chain, which is what you would expect to see on a pro level chainsaw.
The 10 inch bar will make this saw useful on branches up to about 8 inches, which is pretty big. Owners would do well to pay attention to the cautions mentioned in the owner’s manual for this tool. Large branches overhead can be very heavy and dangerous so pay attention to what you’re doing with this serious tool.
The bar adjustment and locking mechanism are well designed, allowing for a single tool to adjust the chain tension, which is a very important aspect of keeping a chainsaw operating safely and efficiently. Again, take the time to read the adjustment instructions for the chain and check the tension periodically as you would with any chainsaw.
The tool has a built-in oil tank, which it uses to automatically oil the chain. A window in the side of the tank lets the operator see that he still has chain oil.
The pole itself is a sturdy and light composite that should withstand years of occasional, seasonal use. The telescoping lock mechanism features a large grip area for smooth operation even while wearing gloves. The lock is clearly marked for locking and unlocking, which is not always the case with telescoping poles.
You can adjust the pole saw for any length between 6 feet and 9 feet, which is what a pole saw is all about for tree pruning with an extended reach. We are not sure why they call this a 9 1/2 feet tool because ours fully extended is 9 feet and 1/2 inch.
Field Test Updates
Our first test involved pruning several branches (see the video below) on trees around the house. We operated the saw on a 50ft., 14 gauge extension cord, which worked well.
The balance of the saw was good with good grip areas to keep the tool in safe operating position while reaching.
Saw rpm matched the cutting rate of the chain, which gets through average branches fairly quickly.
What we did not expect was the ability that this tool has for limbing and cutting up tree parts on the ground. We had a sizeable tree top to cut up and this pole saw made quick work of it.
Conclusions will be added at the end of our FTJ test period.