Ladders and chainsaws mix somewhat like oil and water. Thankfully, I didn’t have to learn the hard way, my best friend did it for me! While pruning some limbs…on a ladder…with a chainsaw, he fell 15-feet, breaking three vertebrae and his elbow. Miraculously, no arms or legs were severed in the accident, and he’s ok now, aside from ongoing back pain. Even with thirty-plus years of landscaping and lawncare under my belt, I use chainsaws and ladders, but not together. If I need to cut limbs overhead, then I reach for the Echo PPT-2620 pole saw, so I can make the cuts, from the ground.
Benefits of Using a Pole Saw
Clearing low hanging branches offer many benefits. For one, increasing the beauty of your customer’s landscape, allowing more light to the lawn and groundcover, hence more color. Next, keeping these branches away from homes or structures inhibits mold growth, moisture damage, and rodent intrusion – including squirrels. Furthermore, trimming and pruning trees help to keep a safer property. After all, even in tree felling (arborists), it’s the widow-makers that cause more then 11% of all fatal chainsaw accidents. A widow maker in the felling world is a rotten, loose, or broken limb in the tree. Regular maintenance and pruning on your trees (or your customers) not only keeps them aesthetically pleasing, but it also provides the opportunity to closely examine these trees regularly.
ECHO PPT-2620 Pole Saw Features
The prominent feature of any pole saw is the length and reach. Even collapsed, the Echo PPT-2620 pole saw provides more than eight-feet (107″) of reach. Just using this pole saw in it’s most compact form allows the user to prune branches in many trees. In Central Florida, we have several species of palm trees, which need continuous love, to keep them looking good. With a quick twist of the T-Nut on the shaft collar, the Echo pole saw can be extended to more than twelve-feet (146″). Add to this, the height of the operator, and the Echo PPT-2620 easily reaches limbs that are fourteen or fifteen-feet high.
Pro Tip: Echo even makes a 4-ft extension to the PPT-2620 to provide an even further reach. We wouldn’t recommend this for the novice, but it can be a great asset for the experienced landscaper. Again, less time on a ladder.
A twelve-inch bar and chain make the cuts on the business end of this Echo power pruner. With the automatic oiling of the onboard bar oil tank, the chain stays lubed and sharp. Er, stays sharp when you stay out of the dirt and keep free from metal shrapnel found when cutting (that’s a story in itself). Adjustments to the chain tension is done with a typical T-wrench, with the flat-blade screwdriver on one end and the socket on the other. A quick loosen of the two nuts on the bar, then adjusting the slotted screw to the desired tension of the chain. The auto-oiler can be adjusted for conditions as well.
Echo Power Pruner Build Quality
With a 12-inch bar and chain reaching out more than 12-feet, a chincy and flimsy pole won’t cut it (punn intended). The Echo PPT-2620 pole saw includes an aluminum inner shaft for rigidity and lower weight. The outside shaft is made from lightweight fiberglass, also delivering on more rigidity and control. Large tapered aluminum collars reside on each end of the fiberglass shaft to minimize flex in the joints between the handle and shaft, and shaft and cutting head (bar and chain). A large D-ring handle provides a large arch area for the user to access contols, at various angles.
For those that don’t want the D-ring handle, you can opt for the Echo PPT-2620H power pruner that includes a typical in-line handle.
Staying in the Echo family, make sure to check out our review of the Echo PB770T Backpack Blower.
Pro Xtreme Power from Echo
Powering the Echo PPT-2620 power pruner is the 25.4 cc Pro Xtreme powerplant. Delivering 1.35 horsepower, the Echo provides more than ample power for making the cut in any tree. This Pro Xtreme family of engines is said to be the most powerful 26cc engine family ever developed. I can’t speak for others, but this little beast cranks quickly and puts the power to the chain, where you want it.
In the landscaping world, and others to boot, it’s not just the all-out power, but also the cranking that can save, or consume time. Time is money!! The Echo PPT-2620 pole saw starts quick, every time. Even when cold. A few primes on the bulb, close the choke, two pulls and it fires. Open the choke, and another pull brings the PPT-2620 to life. I have found that if I let the Echo power pruner idle for a few seconds before grabbing a hand-ful or throttle, it has much less bog. Of course, after it’s warm, there is no evidence of any bogging. Also, after the Ehco PPT-2620 is warm, it starts on the first pull, every time.
The powerplant hangs off the backside of the pole saw, both keeping the warm/hot engine away from the user, and providing better ballast. Even with the lightweight aluminum and fiberglass pole, the saw end of this Echo PPT-2620 pole saw can get a little heavy. Extra ballast from the engine being on the back helps to assist in balance. It’s not exactly heavy, at just over seventeen-pounds, but it will get to your back when extending outward for long periods. Again, to assist in this hindrance Echo provides a shoulder strap that attaches just ahead of the D-ring handle.
Florida Trees vs. Echo PPT-2620 Pole Saw
As mentioned above, we have palm trees galore in Florida, especially in the southern and central part of the state. While there are many species of palms, they seem to all share the same needs — Pruning!! Year-round palms like to shed their old limbs and grow new, along with any “fruit” they may disperse. This one tree species can keep a landscaper busy with a pole saw. In addition, our Forida oak trees like to grow with wild abandon as well, so keeping these at bay is another great test for the Echo PPT-2620 pole saw.
Within a few minutes starting the PPT-2620 power pruner, I quickly realize what a time-saver it is to use a long-reach pole saw. It only took seconds to work my way around three palms, cutting the lower limbs, rejuvinating that picturesque Florida palm landscape. Next, a few feet over is a 70+ feet tall oak tree with a 6-inch branch, 14-feet up the tree. No problem, slide the shaft all the way out, grab a handful of throttle, and the branch is on the ground. Voila! No ladder needed.
The Echo PPT-2620 power pruner worked extremely well in trimming and pruning trees and shrubs. With minimal work, and without a ladder (yes, I know that I’ve mentioned this a few times), the Echo pole saw makes shorter work of many jobs. I have to admit that I’m a pretty big fan of Echo, and it’s not becuase they’re perfect in evey way. It’s imperitive that my equipment stays running, and it’s inevitable that equipment will break. Knowing that just about any small engine shop can work on Echo equipment provides more confidence that my equipment does stay running. Furthermore, so many of these mower shops sell, stock, and service Echo equipment, so most common parts are easily available.
Coming clean with few of my druthers, I do have a couple to mention. I would love to see Echo go to an auto-return style on/off switch, rather than actually sliding the switch to “On” or to “Off”. Even after many years around this type of equipment, you find youreself pulling and pulling, only to find that the power switch is “Off”. Second, this would be a great opportunity for Echo to have a carbon-fiber shaft, which can not only lighten the load, but also provide less flexing. Of course, adding carbon-fiber will increase costs, but I’d bet that landscapers are willing to pay an extra $40 for a lighter and stronger tool.
Thumbs Up for the Echo Pole Saw
Would we recommend the Echo PPT-2620 pole saw to other professionals? Absolutely! This is not only a more efficient tool for cutting higher branches, but it’s also a safer option than climbing a ladder (there I go again). You can find the Echo PPT-2620 Pro Xtreme power pruner for about $599, and Echo covers the PPT-2620 with their 2-year commercial and 5-year consumer warranty.
Click to find out more about the Echo PPT-2620 Pole Saw .
Echo Power Pruner PPT-2620 Specifications
Engine Displacement (cu. cm.): 25.4 two-stroke
- Engine Displacement (cu. in.): 1.55 two-stroke
- Carburetor: Rotary
- Length Extended (in): 146
- Optional Extension (ft): 4
- Bar Length (in): 12
- Bar Oil Capacity (fl. oz.): 7.6
- Starting System: Standard
- Dry Weight (lbs): 1 17.4
- Fuel Capacity (fl. oz.): 20.6 Pre-mix
- Consumer Warranty: 5 years
- Commercial Warranty: 2 years
- Length Collapsed (in): 107
- Rental Warranty: 90 days