As summer nears and fire season tags right along on its heals, many homeowners are facing the task of trimming trees and pruning back foliage that has grown too close to the house for comfort. Anyone who has worked up a sweat hacking at overhead limbs with a manual pole saw or teetered on a ladder while trying to balance a gas-powered chainsaw knows all too well that there’s nothing fun about this necessary evil of homeownership.

However, all you limbers and pruners can take heart this year, thanks to three new products recently introduced by Remington. All three–the Pole Saw Wizard, the Branch Wizard, and the Hedge Wizard are lightweight, electric-powered tools that get the job done quickly without the strain of manual saws and all the noise, hassle, and weight of gas-powered chainsaws.

The Pole Saw Wizard is a clever combination of a chainsaw and a pole saw. The chainsaw is a 6 amp electric model with a 10-inch bar, and it has enough power to get through about a 6-inch limb. It’s attached to a telescoping pole that is lightweight fiberglass on the outside with an aluminum inner pole for extra strength. A simple clamping lever locks the two poles at the desired amount of extension, and fully extended you can cut branches about 15 feet off the ground without having to lug a ladder around.

Now granted, it’s still not the easiest thing in the world to handle a chainsaw on the end of a pole 15 feet in the air, but with a little practice you can get through a lot of wood in a much shorter time than you could with a manual pole saw. The Pole Saw has a low-kickback chain and a narrow bar that is also designed to minimize kickback, along with a chain-catcher assembly for additional protection should the chain come off the bar.

Once those limbs are on the ground, the chainsaw disconnects and detaches from the pole by removing a simple nut and clamp assembly, which does not require any tools. In under a minute you have a chainsaw without the pole, and can finish up your trimming jobs on the ground.

For smaller jobs on limbs up to about 12 feet off the ground, there’s the Branch Wizard. This is a somewhat smaller version of the Pole Saw, and the saw does not detach from the pole. The Branch Wizard has a 6-inch bar, a 6-amp motor, and a narrow, in-line cutting head that makes it easy to maneuver between branches. The pole is fiberglass with a rubberized, non-slip grip, and does not adjust. The whole assembly weighs in at only 6 ½ pounds, which makes it easier on the arms.

Last but not least in the trimming arsenal is the Hedge Wizard, which is an electric hedge trimmer with a 17-inch cutting bar. The cutting head has a blade speed of 4,000 strokes per minute and will trim branches and limbs up to ¾ inch in diameter, so you can clear up dangerous overgrown brush in a hurry.

Unlike a lot of hedge trimmers, this one comes attached to a lightweight fiberglass pole with D-handle and switch at one end, allowing you to reach up to 10 feet. The head also pivots through a full 180 degrees, so you can set it to cut the tops of shrubs, or prune down low without bending over.

While well built, all three tools suffer from the same problem that is plaguing many tools these days – poor instructions. The small, rather densely written multi-lingual manuals separate the languages on some of the pages and combine them on others, making for very difficult and confusing reading. However, there are some very important safety and operating instructions contained somewhere in the booklets, so be sure you make the effort to read and understand them.  It’s also important that you wear proper clothing and safety gear when operating the tools, especially overhead, and don’t exceed the tools’ recommended limitations.

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