Rope, Chainsaw??? Are they all Junk??

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Sep 9, 2010
Bought new house last year and am currently getting ready for the burning season. The last owner let the tree out front grow up and over roof/chimney. I need to clear my chimney of branches and have got all the ones that are within reach with 30 ft ladder and 14 ft pole saw. Have a few just out of reach. Only like 2 about 3 inch in diameter. I would hate to call professional for such a small job.
I think the recommendation is to clear within 10 ft of the chimney. these are just above 10 feet over chimney I just don't feel comfortable leaving there.
So has anyone tried the High reach saws that look as if they are a length of chainsaw chain attached to 2 ropes. You use fishing line and slingshot to loop over high branch then pull rope and saw into place. Internet makes them look slick but probably junk. Just thought I would ask the knowledgeable members of this forum if you have any experience with these or any recommendations about brands or other options thanks.



Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
WI, Leroy
Do they work , Yes, until ya get it stuck. Just relaying the experience of a friend of mine. Oh and it took one of those extendable pole gas powered limbing saws to get it out!;)
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Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
I've seen them work and they do work well if all goes well. Recently I was given one. It even came with a nice throw bag and lots of line. Chain is sharp too but I have not yet tried it. I may try it soon though as it seems I'm always cutting some shooting lanes in the woods for hunting.

Throwing the lines to get where you want them is perhaps the most difficult thing. Practice helps and sometimes a sling shot is not a bad idea with a 1 pound bag of something. I've even used an old galvanized elbow and it works well but look out if you miss!
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Minister of Fire
Oct 3, 2010
Leicester, NC
I happened to be at a rental place today and for ~ $200 you can rent a boom lift that will take you up 45' in the air. You need relatively flat ground to park it on before deploying the outriggers. I doubt you could get an arborist out there to trim for less than that.


Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2010
If they are that small I'd just get a rope on them and pull them down. They'll break...


Minister of Fire
Jul 13, 2007
Central Maryland
I have used one of these rope saws for a few years. Yes, they work....up to a point.
1. I have used a specially rigged slingshot for years to put lines in trees (and elsewhere). The secret here is persistance. The shot bag that comes with the saw is too heavy, but still usable.
2. If it is an oak tree, I usually have reservations about using the rope saw. The harder woods have a better chance of sticking the saw in the kerf. This is the biggest problem with these saws. I once had to rescue the saw with a pole pruner, ladder, and a lot of cussing/sweat.
3. Softwood trees are usually easy ebough to do.
4. Oil the chain well. I store mine in a think plastic bag for this reason.
5. And keep it sharp. The diameter of these cutters is not the same as most chainsaws. Had to buy special files (I think 5/16).
5. Wear gloves.

You'll get better with practice. Start with a low branch; work your skills to the ones you want. Good luck.

Let us know if you try the 45' manlift idea that Mark had. I would be interested.

Edit: I think this is where I bought it:
I got the professional model. The standard was too short chain.


Feeling the Heat
Nov 18, 2005
They usually jamb because you cut through the sides of the branch and it rolls and pinches the chain. The way to fix that is to have two people use the saw. Throw the saw over the limb and have two people stand AT LEAST as far apart as the branch is high and play a cooperative game of tug of war. This way you will cut mostly from the top.

If you are sawing a larger limb and don't want to tear out the main trunk, cut the limb a few feet from the trunk and then cut the stub off in a 2nd cut.


Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
Central Virginia
Well, I am opening a five year old thread - any points for that? I have had success with mine. I tied a 1/2 inch rope on mine, about 100 + feet, and cut off a large deadfall limb that was over top of my kennels. The biggest problem was getting the blade curved so the cutting edge was facing the limb, so I ended up using a plastic wire-tie attached to the upper rope to force the curve and then break the wire tie at the limb by pulling on the lower line. I managed to undercut the limb by walking back the line so the blade cut the lower portion first. I purchased a pistol crossbow and attached fishing line to the bolt and crossed the limb on the second try, then I connected paracord to the fishing line and attached the rope to the paracord. Cutting off the limb was pretty easy and the chain cut quickly.
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New Member
Feb 9, 2021
Oklahoma City
I bought a double-sided rope chainsaw form Amazon and it works ok. I used a fishing rod and reel to throw a fishing line with lead weight over the limbs (Sometimes many tries to get it where I wanted) I did manage to cut a few relatively small limbs off of a Cottonwood tree and then I tried cutting a 3-4 inch in diameter limb and the blade got caught maybe 1/2 way through the limb. The limbs look a lot smaller from the ground than they actually are after they fall-I took out my vinyl fence twice.
The Cottonwood tree has a LOT of moisture/water within the tree and I suspect that may be one of the reasons it retained the saw blade but it is noteworthy to remark I was the sole operator yanking alternatively with right and left arms on one side of the limb.. At present it is too cold to extract the blade so as soon as it gets warmer, I am going to put a come-a-long on the base of the tree extend a rope to the end of the offending branch and put some pressure to pull the limb and hopefully I can get my chain blade back.
I went so far as to buy a safety harness and lanyard so I wouldn't fall and kill myself but he wife says I shouldn't climb trees at 77 years old. Heck, I've been climbing trees all my life and only fallen once acting stupid like Tarzan when I was a kid.
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