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You don’t get much more specialised than a top handle chainsaw, so it’s very important to make sure you pick the right machine when making an investment. These tools are small chainsaws with the handle and controls situated directly over the engine, which allows them to be used one-handed for cutting work at heights. Lightweight and well-balanced, top handle saws are thus an essential part of arboriculture and take the place of standard rear handle chainsaws for those working half way up a tree. The specialised nature of these machines also means that they shouldn’t be used for general cutting work, however, so they are only available to qualified tree surgeons with a CS39 certificate.

The key to a good top handle saw is to be light and manoeuvrable enough to use while climbing, though this cannot come at the expense of power if you are taking on challenging cutting work. As such the machines we sell are compact and typically feature much shorter guide bars than rear handle models, allowing the user to achieve a precise cut in even the trickiest circumstances.

It is also worth noting that with top handle chainsaws the kind of ergonomic features considered a luxury on other machines become essential, as when working at a height anti-vibration systems and comfort grip handles help to ensure that you stay in complete control at all times. As with any other saw you will want to make sure that the model you pick has enough power for the intended application – so engine size and chain speed are important as well as size and manoeuvrability – and ease of access to the air filter and chain tensioner will make routine maintenance simple to ensure increased reliability and a longer service life. More specific to top handle saws are features such as belt hooks and an independent chain brake, each of which aid elevated operation.

Of course a specialist saw demands specialist protective equipment and amidst our extensive range of work wear you will find a number of accessories designed specifically to aid hardworking tree surgeons, including hooks, strops and eyelets to help you free up your hands for climbing and flexible but hardwearing work clothes. Properly equipped with a high quality top handle saw and all the necessary accoutrements, you will then be prepared to take on the kind of challenging treetop cutting work for which only professional tree surgeons are qualified (while the “groundies” below look on in wonder).