Tree Gaffs Vs Pole Gaffs

Tree and pole climbing spikes.

Spur climbing may be one of the many methods you can use to climb a tree or utility pole. It makes use of climber gaffs or spikes that you strap onto your lower leg to make the gaff protrudes from your foot’s instep. Thus, if you want to engage in spur climbing, choosing the right gaff and the right spur pad will be useful, for poorly fitted gaffs, and pads may cause you pain and discomfort when you climb a tree. 

When it comes to gaffs, you got two basic choices: tree gaffs and pole gaffs. Understanding the difference between pole and tree gaffs can help you zero in on the suitable gaffs for your tree climbing adventures.

Which is Better Between Tree Gaffs and Pole Gaffs?

If you are a newbie in tree climbing, you may get confused about which of these two types of gaffs is worth investing in. Well, it will be useful to know that you can use both gaffs for climbing action at the onset. Yet, a shade of difference exists between these two types of gaffs. The big difference lies in their applications. 

For example, tree gaffs are perfect for tackling hardwood with thick barks and softwoods, while pole gaffs are perfect for tackling hardwood with thin bark and flat angles. Nevertheless, you can use both gaffs when climbing poles and trees, and they can both come in handy.

Tree Gaffs 

If you want to engage in tree climbing, one piece of equipment you should always have is the tree gaff. Tree gaffs can come in handy when you want to cut down a tree or remove it. Tree gaffs had been used by early tree climbers, and at present, you will find different varieties of tree gaffs in the market. 

With the use of tree gaffs, you can lessen the risks concomitant with tree climbing. Moreover, using them can make tree climbing convenient and comfortable for you. Tree gaffs mostly come with safety straps and metal spikes for climbing trees with ease. 

The spurs of the tree gaffs are mostly made of steel. Nevertheless, you can also find gaffs made of titanium, alloy, or carbon. The spurs are the main components of the tree gaffs, and your choice of tree gaffs will depend on what you want, whether you want something heavy or not. If you want something heavy, you can always settle for the steel types of spurs. The best tree gaffs, of course, can bear a huge amount of weight. They are also rated depending on their maximum carrying capacity.

Tree gaffs can be very useful when tackling hardwood with thick barks and softwood trees. They afford you better high-heel angles, which are very needed for tree climbing. However, compared to pole gaffs, they may be less durable.

Pole Gaffs

Pole gaffs are perfect for reducing the risks involved in peeling or cutting poles. They let you handle challenging and rough blows, and they are durable, especially the leather pole gaffs. Pole gaffs are also made of high-quality materials, and when using these gaffs, you can work with ease on any flat angle poles. 

Pole gaffs also come with maximum carrying capacity, and they come in beautiful designs. They also feature an inner cushion padding that helps in protecting your legs. Moreover, you can find pole gaffs with great shapes for maximum comfort. 

The prices of pole gaffs vary, ranging from the cheap ones to the expensive ones, and the type of gaffs you get would usually depend on what you pay for. With quality pole gaffs, you will find ascending a pole convenient and easy, allowing you to rest your legs and feet every once in a while. 

You will also find most pole gaffs highly adjustable. The pole gaffs, of course, are perfect for hardwood with thin bark. Moreover, pole gaffs feature flat angles.


Pole gaffs and tree gaffs may have different names, but their applications and functions are almost identical. They function to protect climbers when they engage in pole or tree climbing. They also both come in handy when cutting or removing trees. 

Regarding the question of which is better between the two, well, it all depends on your needs and your budget. If you are looking for durability, of course, you will settle for pole gaffs because they are known for durability and strength. Remember that your needs and the applications will also factor well in your choice between the two.

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