Homemade Pole Pruner

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An older handsaw can see new life as a pole pruner attachment.
An older handsaw can see new life as a pole pruner attachment. (Image: handsaw image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

A homemade pole pruner can help you trim dead branches off an older tree and pare down a younger fruit tree so that it produces more fruit. The simplest way to make your own pole pruner is to use a handsaw especially if the handsaw has a broken or loose handle.

Things You'll Need

  • Handsaw
  • Electric drill
  • 6 to12-foot long pole
  • Table saw
  • 1/4 inch bit
  • 2 1/4-inch diameter bolts/nuts/washers

Obtain the necessary tools and a wooden curtain rod for the pole up to 2 inches in diameter and 6 to10 feet depending on your needs. You also can use a plastic or PVC pipe, which will be a bit lighter. Find a large handsaw with a loose or broken handle, or use a new one for the project if you prefer.

Cut into the end of your pole or tube with a handsaw or, better yet, a table saw if one is available. Ideally, a table saw with a thin blade of approximately .050 or .060-inch thickness will fit the handsaw blade most snugly. Make sure the cut is in the center of the pole and the length of the cut should be one-half the length of the handsaw blade.

Remove the nuts and bolts securing the handsaw handle, if possible. If the handle is fixed permanently in place, drill into the heads of the bolts with a 1/4-inch diameter metal drill bit until the bolt heads fall off.

Remove the handle from the saw and slide the handsaw blade into the groove at the end of the pole so that the pole runs parallel along the top edge of the handsaw blade. Slide the blade all the way in until it can’t slide back any further.

Mark two holes on the side of the pole where the bolts will run through it and the handsaw blade. Mark the first hole 2 inches from the end of the pole, and mark the second 2 inches from the back edge of the handsaw.

Drill through the pole and handsaw blade and through the other side of the pole. Insert the nuts, washers and bolts and tighten until the saw blade is firmly secured.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are using an old handsaw, you can have it sharpened before re-using as a pole pruner.
  • A table saw will cut straighter than a hand saw. A lumber yard typically has a table saw available and may cut your wooden pole end for free or a slight fee.
  • If you aren't familiar with table saws it's better to ask someone experienced to make the pole cut for you.

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