sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-opening Pruning & Cutting Tools

Sun Joe 40V Lithium Ion 8-Inch Cordless Pole Chainsaw (iON8PS2): Product Review


GPR RECOMMENDATION

Ease of Use
Quality
Cutting Performance
Summary

A superior product that is a cutting workhorse.

Overall Score 5

Available on Amazon

Buy It

The cordless, battery-powered market for outdoor tools continues to expand.  These days, virtually all hand driven gasoline powered tools have an equivalent (or close to it) battery operated model, including chainsaw pole pruners.

I tested the Sun Joe 40V Lithium Ion Battery Powered 8-Inch Cordless Pole Chainsaw (Model iON8PS2).  This tool is intended to replace equivalent corded models and hand operated pruning saws (which have the cutting blade affixed to a wooden or fiberglass pole).

[Editor’s Note] We tested the new model – iON8PS2. There’s an older model still available (iON8PS) that doesn’t have some of the featured described in this review.

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery Voltage: 40 V (Volts)
Battery Capacity: 4.0Ah (Amp hours)
Battery Type: Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Charging Time: 2.5 – 3.0 hours (for full charge)
Battery Run Time: 25 minutes/up to 75 cuts
No Load Speed: 4800 +/- 10% rpm
Bar Chain Length: 8 inches
Cutting Thickness (max): 7.1 inches
Multi-Angle Head: 00 or 300 (with the push of a button)
Telescopic Shaft: 6.1 ft to 8.5 ft
Overhead Reach: 15 ft
Oil Tank Capacity: 2.7 fl oz
Weight (pole chainsaw alone): 8.6 lbs
Weight (pole chainsaw with battery installed): 11.2 lbs

PACKAGING

The shipping box is heavy duty cardboard with reinforced areas to protect critical components.  The battery and battery charger are packaged in separate boxes within the same shipping box to protect the charger, battery and pole saw, and the bar and chain are packaged in a separate paper bag. The kit also comes with a shoulder strap.

It should be noted that the kit does not come with bar and chain oil (you wouldn’t want that to leak while in transit).  It’s easy to buy this at your local hardware store or professional arborist supply store that stocks chainsaws.

sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-packaging

Sturdily packaged, the pruner comes with a charger, battery, shoulder strap, a bar and chain, and a hex key wrench/screwdriver

Minimal Assembly Required

Some assembly is required before using the pole chainsaw.  This includes adding the bar and chain to the motor assembly, but with the detailed operator’s manual it’s a snap to assemble.

The kit also comes with a hex tool/screwdriver that fits all the necessary bolts and nuts for making adjustments.  The single assembly tool is a good example of how Sun Joe did a nice job designing a pole chainsaw where “form follows function”.

sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-assembly

Placing the bar and chain onto the motor drive is an easy process thanks to the great operator’s manual

Excellent Operator’s Manual

Sun Joe provides an extremely well written and informative operator’s manual. I especially appreciated the sections on how to sharpen a chain, proper safety protocols, maintenance procedures and all around general information that everyone who owns and operates a pole chainsaw should know.

The operator’s manual even describes proper cutting technique and has instructions on how to properly prune trees (without getting the saw jammed by a weighted limb or cutting off the branch bark collar which is critical for the tree to seal the wound). The manual also provides maintenance tips, and includes a whole section on how to properly sharpen a dull chain.

BATTERY

Operating the cordless pole chain saw is as easy as inserting the 4.0V 4.0Ah Lithium Ion battery into the battery compartment at the rear of the unit.

But before doing this, the battery has to be charged to full capacity.  It comes from the factory with a partial charge and takes about 2.0 to 2.5 hours to top off the battery before use.  Don’t forget to do this!

For complete details about Li-Ion batteries used in chainsaws, see our Li-Ion Battery FAQ’s.

The battery snaps into place at the back of the saw behind the hand bar and is held in by a plastic retention clip that’s an integral part of the battery.  The clip also helps in removing the battery – just pull up on the retention clip and the battery easily slides out.

The battery also has a fuel gauge to let you know how much power is left.  With the push of a button you can easily read the three LED lights – one for empty, one for ½ charge, and the third for full charge.

sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-battery-indicator

The battery compartment makes it easy to slide the battery into place. The battery LED lights lets you know how much battery life remains.

Weight Distribution

The saw is pretty heavily weighted toward the cutting head, even when the battery is installed at the back end of the pole.  When the pole chainsaw is extended to its full length (8.5 ft) the weight and balance distribution becomes even more front heavy.

Comfortable Shoulder Strap

I wouldn’t recommend using the Sun Joe Chainsaw Pole Pruner without the shoulder strap – it really helps with holding the saw stable (at any length) and you won’t have to muscle the unit into place each time you want to make a cut.

Weighing in at just over 11 lbs, it would take a lot of physical energy to operate this saw for any length of time without using the provided shoulder strap.

sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-with-shoulder-strap

Holding the pole saw at various lengths was easy thanks to the shoulder strap

And to create even more comfort while using the saw, Sun Joe has incorporated a thick front handle foam grip.  I found that it absorbed virtually all the shock and vibration of running the saw.

sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-foam-handle

The foam handle made a comfortable and secure grip

Adjustable Telescoping Pole

To extend the saw from 6.1ft to 8.5ft, release the cam-lock at the front of the first section of the first pole.  The cam is easy to open and close, and the cam-lock nut (for tightening or loosening the cam-lock) is easily adjusted with the provided hex key wrench/blade screwdriver.

One thing I like about the adjustable telescoping pole is that it’s made from fiberglass.  This gives the saw a real sense of quality and keeps the poles stiff when extended to its full reach of 8.5 ft.  The poles are also oval in shape so the cutting head doesn’t twist.

sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-cam-lock

The cam-lock makes it easy to adjust the length of the poles

Cutting Performance

In my tests, it was apparent from the get-go that the Sun Joe 40V 8-Inch Cordless Pole Chainsaw has a lot of cutting power.  First, I pruned several small branches (about 2” in diameter) to get a feel for the saw.  It sliced through these like a hot knife through butter.  I then moved to larger branches, in the neighborhood of 4”.  It made quick work of these as well.  The ultimate test was cutting a branch that was almost 7” in diameter.  I was surprised to see the power of this cordless pole chain saw – it had absolutely no problem slicing through large pieces of dead Mesquite wood (which is really hard stuff).

sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-cutting-through-7-inch-wood

The pole chainsaw had no problem cutting though nearly 7” wood

Two Cutting Angles

A feature I really appreciate (and that I haven’t seen on other saws in this class) is the saw’s ability to adjust to two different cutting angles – both a straight-on, 00 position and a 300 off-set one.  Simply push the multi-angle head adjustment button to change the head angle from 00 to 300, and back to 00.

The adjustable head comes in handy when making an undercut where the blade needs to be almost parallel to the ground (I set the saw head angle at 300).  You can also run into situations where it’s easier to have the head at an angle when cutting branches high in a tree and you need them to fall off straight vs. at an angle.  And there are still other times where having the head at the straight-on 00 angle is preferable to having it at an angle (like simple pruning of smaller branches).

This is the only saw I’ve tested to date that has the flexibility of head adjustment.  I found it very useful.

sunjoe-chainsaw-pole-pruner-tilting-head-capability

The 30 degree multi-angle head adjustment makes it easy to tackle virtually any cutting situations.

Sunjoe-Chainsaw-Pole-Pruner-head-in-straight-on-positon

The 0 degree straight-on angle makes pruning small diameter branches a breeze.

The telescoping pole (from 6.1 ft to 8.5 ft) gave me the reach I was looking for when pruning or limbing.  It kept me out of harms way, and saved a lot of physical energy versus using a hand operated pole saw.

Makes Clean Cuts

Overall, the cuts with the Sun Joe saw are very good (the super sharp chain and automatic bar and chain oiler make sure of that).  Despite its rather large cutting head, the saw is able to get into pretty tight places to provide a proper pruning cut.

Safety First

The Sun Joe 40V 8-Inch Cordless Pole Chainsaw (Model iON8PS2) has great safety features built into the rear handle to prevent accidental starting.  There’s a safety lock switch in the rear handle that must be depressed before the throttle trigger switch can be engaged.

When operating any chainsaw, I recommend a certified “hard hat” helmet, hearing protection, gloves, pants, protective chaps (a chap that goes over your pants that prevents chainsaw cuts), long sleeve shirt, boots and safety glasses.

SPARE PARTS

Sun Joe offers the following spare parts:

  • EcoSharp 40V 4.0Ah battery
  • EcoSharp 40V 5.0Ah battery (for longer run time than the 4.0Ah battery)
  • EcoSharp 40V Lithium Ion Battery Charger
  • 8” guide bar (chainsaw blade)
  • 8” chainsaw chain (that fits on chainsaw bar)
  • Bar and Chain Oil

WARRANTY

Sun Joe warranties its new products to the original purchaser for two years against defects in material and workmanship when used for normal residential purposes.  If a replacement part or product is needed, they’ll send it free of charge to the original purchaser.

Batteries are covered in full for 90-days from the date of purchase.

The exceptions are that the product must be used for personal use, not commercial use or leased out (within the first 90 days from the date of original purchase).  Also, you’re responsible for correctly performing all maintenance and minor adjustments explained in the owner’s manual.

Parts that normally wear, like chains, belts, etc., are not covered under the Sun Joe warranty.

RECOMMENDATION

I like the Sun Joe 40V Lithium Ion battery powered 8-Inch Cordless Pole Chainsaw (Model iON8PS2) – plain and simple. The power to weight ratio is great, making the saw powerful but not too heavy (particularly if wearing the shoulder strap).  It makes very clean cuts and the fit and finish suggest quality throughout.  In my tests, the motor never lacked the power to cut through the thickest woods (up to the saw’s maximum cutting diameter), including incredibly hard deadwood.  A single tool to tighten the front cover nut, chain tensioner screw, and telescoping cam lock is a real plus (one tool beats the heck out of many).

Overall, the saw operates very much like its commercial grade, higher end, gasoline driven counterparts.

WHERE TO BUY

The Sun Joe 40V 8-Inch Cordless Pole Chainsaw (Model iON8PS2) is available on the Sun Joe website for $309.00. Extra batteries are available from Sun Joe. A 40V 4.0Ah battery costs $149.99.  A 40V 5.0Ah battery list for $159.99.  A 40V EcoSharp battery charger costs $49.99. An 8” replacement chain costs $14.99, and a replacement bar costs $19.99.

The product is also offered at retailers such as Home Depot, QVC, Walmart, and Lowes.

However, your best buy is on Amazon (Prime) for $260.19.

Extra 40V 4.0Ah batteries from Amazon cost $118.95 (Prime), replacement chain costs $10.00 (Prime), replacement bar costs $24.99 (Prime), and bar and chain oil costs $6.97.

And now over to you – Have you used a battery-powered pole saw? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Sun Joe for giving us a free sample 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.

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