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Pole Gaffs or Tree Gaffs for the novice???

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by PlatinumGroup-CHASE, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. PlatinumGroup-CHASE

    PlatinumGroup-CHASE ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hello everyone! So i plan on leaving the ground soon and start climbing with gaffs (oldschool i guess). My question is Pole or Tree Gaffs. I work in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York, so its a lot of Maples, Poplar, Tulip, Cottonwood, Pines, Oak and Black Spruce. Im a little confused on the differences in gaffs and read lots of mixed stuff on each type. Any help would be really appreciated. Also, I'll only be climbing twice a week, so how important is upgrading saddle and spurs from a basic Wesspur Beginner kit?
     
  2. Chris Hatley

    Chris Hatley ArboristSite Lurker

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    Get tree gaffs. You might not like pole gaffs in pine. The only thing I don't like about tree gaffs is I can't sink them in hardwood, which is mostly what I climb. You get used to it though.
     
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  3. PlatinumGroup-CHASE

    PlatinumGroup-CHASE ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks! Any particular brand?
     
  4. Chris Hatley

    Chris Hatley ArboristSite Lurker

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    I use Buckingham steel replaceable tree gaffs with aluminum caddy pads. Seems alot of people love the gekos and edlrid too. They are pricey though. Get the best you can afford with the best pads. Good pads are key.
     
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  5. rngrchad

    rngrchad Addicted to ArboristSite

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    X2 on the caddy pads. Really night and day from the L shaped ones.
     
  6. PlatinumGroup-CHASE

    PlatinumGroup-CHASE ArboristSite Lurker

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    Just an update, I ended up getting a free pair of Climbright Aluminum Pole Spurs from a friend, I purchased a pair of Big Buck Pads and just like that I'm going up now. So far so good I guess, I really don't know any better. I did notice I was gaffing out a lot around the thick vines, maybe tree spikes would have worked better? Also, is a 1/2" rope flipline better for small diameter trees, I had a hard time with 5/8" steel.
     

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  7. Luckysaturn

    Luckysaturn ArboristSite Lurker

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    I spent a year and a half w pole gaffs money was tight and they were free. I slid around alot on dead wood and thick bark but they worked and I learned how to gaffs now I have a pair of Buckingham aluminum ones that work well. People will run their mouths about pole gaffs but if money's tight and u can make them work have at it I did!
     
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  8. TreeMonkee58

    TreeMonkee58 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Tree gaffs are for trees and pole gaffs work best on poles. Good tree gaffs will sink into hardwoods, it all depends on how much force you use to sink them. I am spoiled with the titanium gaffs on my Gecko Carbon Fibers though.
     
  9. Canyon Angler

    Canyon Angler ArboristSite Guru

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    I just bought my first spurs and on the advice of this thread, I went with tree gaffs.

    Today, I saw this video from Wesspur, and the guy who does the video really pushes pole gaffs over tree gaffs, particularly for east coast guys and smaller trees. The last minute or two of the video is where he compares tree gaffs vs pole gaffs, and says he will almost always choose pole gaffs over tree gaffs because he says they're more stable in thinner-barked and smaller trees. You can see how the tree gaffs, in addition to being longer, really stick out farther laterally, making your feet more likely to pivot since they end up being farther away from the tree. FWIW:



    I don't know enough to have an opinion on the question, but this guy sounds like he knows what he's talking about.
     
  10. Griff93

    Griff93 ArboristSite Operative

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    Both. You do this enough and you'll want to have both. I keep both on the truck and choose depending on the species and size. Not all pole gaff are created equal. Some are very short and don't work well for tree work. The slightly longer ones do work well for things like maple. If I'm climbing a small diameter tree I much prefer the pole spikes. They are much easier to use as you can plant them in all the way. I'm not a small guy at 220 lbs but I don't generally have much problem spiking out with pole spikes. That said, you really need tree spikes for stuff like Pines. I think pole spikes are easier on your knees and ankles vs tree spikes as the load is more in line with your leg. The tree spikes can put a pretty good side load on you if they aren't digging in deep. I'd like to see someone plant my buckingham tree spikes all the way into some hickory. I don't think it's possible without just stomping them in repeatedly in the same spot.
     
  11. JeffGu

    JeffGu Antagonist/Heckler

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    He does. I have two sets of Gecko CF climbers, one always has tree gaffs mounted, the other set I use either pole or Euro style gaffs (depending on the trees I'm climbing).
    Having two sets of climbers is nice, because it's faster to change to another set than it is to swap out the spikes. Still, it's only a few minutes to swap them out on those Climb Rights, so you might want to get a set of the tree gaffs for them and try them out. It will only take you a few climbs in various tree species to figure out that having both is a huge advantage.
     
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  12. PlatinumGroup-CHASE

    PlatinumGroup-CHASE ArboristSite Lurker

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    For $50 I think its a good investment, i'll experiment until I have of a baseline to have a real opinion. I have been happy/lucky this far on the poles.
     
  13. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    Whoever makes the two in one gaffs that are pole gaffs on one end, tree gaffs on the opposite end?

    That can be quickly unlocked n swiveled, then locked back down?

    Perfect for thick bark at the bottom conifer's n eucs that are thin barked up top!

    I want it all!

    Pizza Pepsi now!

    Jomoco
     
  14. MP321

    MP321 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Get tree gaffs. I have a set of pole spikes for certain species with thin bark. But if u have to get one, get tree gaffs for sure
     

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