Despite the Tim Allen-grunt-inspired popularity of chainsaws, we’ve recommended safety saws for most homeowners. They’re not as versatile as full-on chainsaws, but they trade a little bit of utility for a ton and a half of safety, which can make all the difference for someone who probably picks up a saw only once or twice a year. We’ve heard plenty of good things about Black & Decker’s Alligator Lopper, and Worx offers something sort of similar — but even simpler in operational terms. They call it the JawSaw, and it’s a little cheaper now than when it was first introduced.
Like the Alligator Lopper, the JawSaw shields the blade and restricts cutting motion to prevent accidents, but the JawSaw takes this a step further, burying the blade entirely in the “jaw” of the tool, exposing it only when cutting. To cut, you place the branch in the jaw then push forward on the JawSaw’s sliding handle, activating the blades and moving them into position to cut the gripped branch.
The whole system looks surprisingly slick, especially when you consider that an available extension lets you reach up to 12 feet to cut high branches. It’s electric, but not cordless, and relies on a 5A motor to support its 4″ cutting capacity. It also includes auto-tension and auto-oil features, so it’s about as idiot-proof as something with moving chain blades can be.
Street pricing starts around $110, with a 12′ extension pole checking in at around $35 more. Hell, this might make a decent gift for someone you know who trims their own trees, and it’s far less likely to cut off their (instead of the tree’s) limbs than a chainsaw. Of course, keep the Alligator Lopper in mind as well. It’s a little cheaper at $90. Our key message here: if you (or more importantly the person for whom you’re buying this saw) doesn’t have experience with full chainsaws — or just wants to accomplish basic lawn and garden cutting tasks — these safety models make a lot of sense.