Today I finally dug out the pickup truck and got rid of the huge post-Snowmageddon limb that was leaning against it. The tool I used for the latter task was a Black and Decker Alligator Lopper. Imagine a big lopper with a chainsaw replacing one tine and you get a picture of what this can do. You won’t take down any substantial trees with this thing but it will absolutely chew up big branches — and it will do it in a vastly more safe manner than a chainsaw.
I’ve used a lot of power tools over the years but I’ve never liked using a chainsaw. They are inherently dangerous and there is really no way to make them safe — especially gas-powered chainsaws, which are heavy and clumsy. The first time you experience chainsaw kickback, you’ll ask yourself why this thing is in your hands. But the lopper takes most of the danger out of chainsaw use — and it doesn’t really throw wood chips and has multiple safety features. I highly recommend it.