Ryobi Pole Chainsaw & Electric Lopper Reviews

Ryobi Pole Chainsaw & Electric Lopper Reviews

Part of the worry in trimming your own trees is getting at the high stuff. If working off a ladder isn't your style, Ryobi offers some great extender saws. These come in both battery and electric and can help you get the job done with your feet on the ground.

In this article, we'll look at three Ryobi pole chainsaw & electric lopper reviews. We'll compare each product's features and capabilities, and we'll also compare them to other similar tools in the market. Here are the three main products in this roundup review:

Ryobi RY43160 6 Amp 8" Bar Electric Corded 9-foot Pole Saw

Reviewed Saw: Ryobi RY43160

Overall rating:

Performance

Forgiveness

Build Quality

Look & Feel

Price

PROS

  • For the price, this is a great saw with 9 feet of extension and plenty of power.
  • Angled head makes it possible to rest the saw on the branch, and improve visibility to make a better-controlled cut.
  • The blade is narrow and unlikely to get hung up inside a cut.
  • The handle offers plenty of space to grip, and adjust your grip if your hand gets tired.

CONS

  • Miles and miles of extension cord can be dangerous if the grass is wet or if you lose your footing in the coil of the cord. 
  • The fiberglass handle can leave the whole tool feeling a little wobbly when fully extended.
  • This is a refurbished tool, so the warranty is short. Take it out and put it to work right away.

Ryobi RY43160 Key Features

If your yard is small and you have plenty of extension cord, this 8" electric chainsaw with the 9-foot pole is hard to beat. Ryobi helps home trimmers with an angled saw head. Not only does this saw head make it easier to see what you're cutting, but you can rest the motor housing on the branch in question before starting your cut, giving you more control and more weight falling naturally on the saw blade.

Pole saws are inherently out of balance, but the angled head helps to compensate. The biggest drawback to using the Ryobi electric pole saw is the cord itself. When cutting over your head, you've got a lot of safety factors to keep in mind. Where will that branch fall? Will it split close to the trunk, putting the tree at risk for pests and disease? How will I get out of the way if things get dangerous?

Always be mindful of where the cord is lying and be sure to keep your feet free of any tangles. Should a branch fall badly, you need to have your escape route clear. Of course, any time you're cutting over your head, face and eye protection, as well as gloves to protect your hands from chatter, are critical.

Ryobi RY43160 Review

  • Performance: The Ryobi RY43160 will run consistently as long as it has power. You will need to haul out extension cords to use this saw, but if your property isn't too deep or too wild, this shouldn't be a problem.
  • Forgiveness: This saw has a narrow blade for an efficient cut. The angled head will allow you to rest the saw on the branch while you check out the fall-path of the branch and get ready to make your cut.
  • Build Quality: The Ryobi pole chainsaw product line consistently demonstrates quality and is focused on safety. The pole length and angled head make it possible to get a visual fix on the blade, line up your cut, and execute with an excellent chance of controlling the path of the falling branch, protecting both yourself and the health of your tree.
  • Look & Feel: If you've never used a manual pole saw, the electric version can feel a little strange. If possible, use the pole at the shortest setting to get used to the weight of the saw. Once extended, the pole will flex and may feel out of control. Keep the saw in front of you, not directly over your head, and rest the saw head on branches when you get ready to cut.
  • Price: The Ryobi 43160 is a great value for home tree trimmers with plenty of extension cord and fairly small, smooth yards. lay out your electric cords before you start cutting, keep an eye on your feet so you don't trip yourself up, and trim away!

Ryobi ZRP4361 18-Volt One Plus 9.5 ft. Cordless Electric Pole Saw Kit

Reviewed Saw: Ryobi ZRP4361

Overall rating:

Performance

Forgiveness

Build Quality

Look & Feel

Price

PROS

  • Cordless tools reduce the amount of cord you have to drag around. If your yard is large, a corded tool may prove too much hassle.
  • The saw is angled against the pole rather than straight with the shaft, which makes the blade visible from underneath. This allows you to align the saw while you rest your hands before pulling the trigger for a more precise cut.
  • The chain oiling process is automatic, so little risk of having your chain bind and break 9 feet above your head.

CONS

  • Battery power may not last long during extensive work days; be prepared for charging brakes. You may need to invest in a second battery.
  • The telescoping handle can feel a little flimsy. Be prepared to take the time to let the saw cut, rather than applying pressure.
  • This saw is more expensive than the electric, but it can save you risk and time in laying out extension cords.

Ryobi ZRP4361 Key Features

The Ryobi 18 volt pole saw is a cordless tool for maximum cutting flexibility. Once fully charged, you can take this saw to the far end of your property and won't have to worry about an extension cord, which reduces the risk of tripping. The Ryobi cordless pole saw offers 9.5 feet of telescoping fiberglass handle for a long reach.The automatic oiling mechanism is subject to gravity; when storing your Ryobi saw, be sure to keep it somewhere that you can elevate the cutting head so you don't lose chain oil.

Depending on the amount of cutting you need to do, you may need to bring extra batteries when using your cordless Ryobi. It is possible to extend a gas chainsaw; in fact, the Ryobi Expand-It 10 in. universal pole saw attachment can be used for non-Ryobi brand tools. However, gas chainsaws may be harder to handle on an extension pole than an electric saw, so be sure to get familiar with the power of a gas chainsaw on the ground before you extend it.

If you really need more power in your pole saw choice, be sure to work with the unit on the ground to get comfortable with the bounce of the blade and the trigger action. Ryobi gas trimmers and chainsaws are great tools, but they produce enough power to be hazardous if you're not comfortable handling them.

Ryobi ZRP4361 Review

  • Performance: The 9.5-foot extension and battery will give you plenty of flexibility for trimming, particularly if you need to work on ground that's rough or loaded with brush. For large yards, avoiding miles of extension cord is a luxury.
  • Forgiveness: It's critical to work slowly and carefully over your head. Use the angled head of the saw so you can keep an eye on the blade. Protect your eyes and hands. Plan your drop pattern for the branches you're trimming, and be ready to get out of the way if things go badly. If you don't rush the project, this tool can be used safely and will do a neat job on your trees.
  • Build Quality: The Ryobi product line includes many tools with excellent performance records, and this saw is no different. Travel with extra batteries to avoid making multiple trips and this saw will help you make trimming trees along your property a joy.
  • Look & Feel: This saw is not light, and once you've got it extended over your head, it may feel out of control. Always take care to hold the extended saw out in front of you, rather than directly over your head. While the attachment to the pole is extremely sturdy, you don't want to be directly under the saw if something goes wrong.
  • Price: The cordless saw is a bit more than the electric, but if your cutting zone is large or involved, the price is worth it. Check out the flexibility of this tool on this video:

Ryobi RY43200 5-Amp 8-inch Electric Lopper

Reviewed Saw: Ryobi RY43200

Overall rating:

Performance

Forgiveness

Build Quality

Look & Feel

Price

PROS

  • This tool is easy to control and offers a lot of cutting power.
  • If you've got a lot of rough brush and short trees to clear away, the wrapping jaw mechanism will make cleanup easy to control.
  • The handles offer plenty of gripping space.
  • If you notice any numbness in your hands after using the RY43200, you can use chatter-reducing gloves and still have room to maneuver.
  • This unit self-oils; store it with the blade up.

CONS

  • The Ryobi RY43160 requires a cord, increasing the risk of tangling and limiting your range.
  • Because this tool is especially helpful in clearing stubborn brush, you'll need to be very careful when laying out your cord.
  • This tool doesn't extend. It's just over a yard long from handle to tip.

Ryobi RY43200 Key Features

This Ryobi pruning saw offers home trimmers a great way to make precise, clean cuts and remove branch weight before working close to the trunk. It's critical to remember that wood is prone to splitting. If you're working on a long branch that you want to cut off close to the trunk, removing weight from the end as you work will protect the tree from invasive damage, make your cleanup easier, and reduce your risk of injury from uncontrolled falling branches.

The clamping jaws on this Ryobi tree trimmer can also be easier on your hands. Please note that the reach of this tool isn't as long as the telescoping chainsaw extenders; you may need a ladder for some cutting with this tool.No lopper review would be complete without a warning about keeping this tool clean. The clamping jaws do a great job of keeping the cutting chain in contact with the material to be cut, but they will capture a lot of dust and debris.

Check your chain oil level and don't let the tool dry out or gum up, and review your manual for the best cleaning methods to keep the chain lubricated and cutting efficiently.

Ryobi RY43200 Review

  • Performance: The Ryobi 5 amp loppers offer home trimmers a lot of power in a small package. Because loppers are often used to clear away small trees and brush, you'll need to plan your cutting process carefully; the RY43200 is an electric tool and requires an extension cord.
  • Forgiveness: No power loppers review would be complete without a discussion of grip and hand strength. While this tool does include jaws to wrap around the branch to be cut, it will take some strength to maneuver and complete the cut. That being said, a manual lopper will take much more force to cut through branches that the RY43200 will handle easily.
  • Build Quality: The Ryobi RY43200 is a simple, powerful tool. There are no telescoping extensions that may feel wobbly or uncontrolled, and the power connection has a cap to protect against accidental disconnection or moisture, such as dew in the grass. The wrapping jaws protect the chain as it works; just store this tool blade up when not in use, keep it clean per the manual and you should get plenty of trimming sessions out of it!
  • Look & Feel: One of the best loppers review questions is how does the user feel at the end of the project? The Ryobi RY43200 is not a tool that you'll have to fight or wrestle with to get it to work. In addition to a wrapping jaw and quality chain movement, you'll find plenty of space inside the handle for easy control and a long trigger so you can adjust your hand position if you should grow tired.
  • Price: The Ryobi RY43200 is not as inexpensive as a manual lopper, but you'll get a lot more cutting done with this workhorse. For busy people with lots of yard work and other projects to work on, this tool will make yard cleanup a breeze. On with the rest of your weekend!

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE MODELS

Ryobi RY43160 vs Ryobi ZRP4361 vs Ryobi RY43200

While both the 43160 & 43161 are electric chainsaws on extension poles, the 43200 is a 40-inch long electric lopper. Loppers are an ideal tool for clearing away low growing brush and thick stemmed weeds but are generally not available as an extendable tool.

Electric loppers feature jaws that wrap around the branch to be trimmed and may bind up or get clogged with debris. Working on the ground, clearing this can be a nuisance, but if the saw is over your head and hung up in a tall tree, you may be in a dangerous situation.Extendable electric chainsaws have a narrow blade that's less likely to bind and clog.

In addition, the Ryobi 43160 and 43161 feature angled heads that offer users great visibility from the ground and a little extra weight to help you control the action of the chainsaw.The 43160 is electric; the 43161 is cordless. If your yard is fairly small and you're not plagued with a lot of rough terrain, the 43160 may be a great tool for you. All it takes is plenty of extension cord and someone to keep an eye on where the cord is pooling or tangling.

Chainsaws are extremely efficient cutting machines and will gladly slice through whatever you put in front of them. When working with an electric chainsaw or loppers, always keep an eye on that cord. Chainsaws throw a lot of debris and dust. Should you catch a faceful of sawdust and have trouble seeing, the last thing you need to do is trip over your cord.

Additionally, wood is prone to splitting. If you're working over your head and the branch you're sawing off starts to split halfway through the cut, you may be in the direct path of a swinging branch. Always have an escape route; somewhere clear that you can move quickly to get away from falling branches. Be ready to release the trigger and toss the saw as well. Your safety must always come first, so keep an eye on the cord and avoid any coils.

A cordless chainsaw will be more expensive, and if you've got a lot of cutting to do or a lot of ground to cover, you may need to stop for recharging or carry extra batteries. However, losing your footing while working with a chainsaw is more than an inconvenience. Such a stumble or fall could cause serious injury or death.If you're burning through batteries due to a large cleanup project, consider investing in a Ryobi gas pole saw.

Another option is to invest in a larger capacity cordless, such as the Ryobi 40v pole saw with variable speed trigger.

HOW DO THEY COMPARE?

This section will focus on several chainsaw models that compare to the Ryobi products above. Some of the models discussed have similar features, and only minor differences can be noted between them.

Remington RM1025SPS

The Remington RM1025SPS electric chainsaw is similar in power to the RY43160, but the head isn't angled and the blade is straight. This configuration will make it hard to see the blade over the branch.

Remington RM1025SPS Comparison

Worx WG309

The Worx WG309 is another electric pole saw with a straight blade. However, the extension pole only goes to 8 feet and features fewer segments. If the Ryobi line of electric pole saws feels wobbly, this saw may be a better choice.

Worx WG309 Comparison

GreenWorks 20672

GreenWorks vs Ryobi is a close match in battery powered pole saws. The GreenWorks 20672 is comparable in cost to the RY43161, features an angled head and has a telescoping aluminum handle that extends to 8 feet. If the fiberglass Ryobi handle feels too wobbly to use over your head, this tool may be a great choice. No Ryobi pole saw review would be complete without addressing concerns about the fiberglass handle; they flex, and that can be disconcerting.

GreenWorks 20672 Comparison

Worx WG320.9 cordless JawSaw chainsaw

If your yard is just too rough to make it worth dragging an extension cord through the brush, consider the Worx WG320.9 cordless JawSaw chainsaw. This tool will also wrap around the branches and brush you need to clear, but you don't have to fiddle with an extension cord.

Worx WG320.9 cordless JawSaw chainsaw comparison

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