Choosing a saw

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Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
188
82
Nottinghamshire
I've been into camping and bushcraft for a few years now and i've mostly made do without any form of saw for wood processing. Other than occasionally taking a bow saw.
I have seen how useful they can be for getting cleaner cuts, processing firewood and general bushcrafty jobs and projects.
I have decided i'd like to invest in one when the money comes up, but i'm not sure what to go for
I'd prefer if it'd fit in a pack, be able to handle wood about 6" around give or take a bit, for those winter campfires, but will be used generally for smaller jobs as a all round bushcraft saw.
A folding or take down saw seems ideal and while im not shy about lugging tough heavy duty kit about (army surplus fan over here), i am slowly starting to take weight into consideration more and more as i get more into hiking/walking.

I have also looked into the bahco and silky saws as they both have great reputations so will probably go for one of them but I would love some recommendations and any reviews on either of the brands/saws mentioned and any that you guys use.

I also like the idea of a takedown saw for the full sized saw in a compact package.

Like I saw any recommendations, any comparisons, what's better for what reasons, what fails for whatever reasons.
Yknow the usual stuff.

Thanks

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Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,462
483
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
Silly saw, all the way. They're the choice of professionals and the ease and quality of cut out shines the bahco. In terms of specific model, I can't say. I have a number of models of different sizes across the range and am happy with them all so would just suggest that you find one that fits your size criteria and go for that.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,794
2,962
Mid Wales
This is another topic that polarises people sometimes. I spent years trying to find a small saw that was cheaper but as good as a Laplander or a Silky but failed (having bought a number of 'gardening' saws and rejected them).

You wouldn't want to cut many 6" logs with a Laplander - that's not what it's designed for but it would do it at a push. There are a few Silky saws that would be better (such as the Big Boy) but they are bigger and more expensive - at the Laplander size there's not much between them in use to be honest (others will disagree I'm sure).

It all comes down to what you will use it for the most. I am working in the wood most days. Depending on the task in hand I will use a chain saw, a bow saw, a Laplander an axe and a knife. If I'm camping out at a base camp it will be the Laplander and the bow saw. If I'm backpacking the only saw I carry is on my SAK and that's just used to cut hazel for sticks or pegs. OT but I once snapped a Victorinox saw blade and they replaced it FOC!

So, for camping in the woods, don't waste your time like I did, get a Silky or a Laplander. If you've got to prepare bigger material for a fire then it's got to be a bow saw IMHO. :)
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,462
483
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
For a fixed saw, I use a silky Ibuki. It's taken down some big trees in it's time - the blade is 39cm long and the curve helps pull it into the cut. I just made my own handle for a bare blade to save cost. The thin profile helps it get inbetween other branches too. It's like a static chainsaw!
 

mowerman

Full Member
Aug 23, 2015
120
11
Shropshire
Hi, like the others have said, I've done the messing about and ended up with a bacho laplander. It's a good saw and a good size. Cost me less than £20 delivered and I've had it for 2 years without any problems.
However I have used silky saws at work and I would like to try a silky pocket boy to see how they compare. The only inhibiting factor is the silky is almost £40 with delivery and an extra blade is another £15 on top.

I will follow this thread with interest
 
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Kepis

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 17, 2005
6,302
1,178
Sussex
Silky F-180 costs around £20.00, even a blunt one knocks a brand new Laplander into a cocked hat, spare blades are readily available from many places on and off line and its comparable in size to a laplander, blade locks open with a choice of two positions, but unlike a Laplander it doesn't lock closed, never had a problem with any of mine opening up in my bag or pocket though. Only thing to remember with Silkies is they cut on the pull stroke not the push, so a slight modification to technique is needed but it doesn't take long to get used to it. I use Silkies both personally and professionally from the Pocketboy 130 through 170, F-180 and right up to 300mm Gomtaro's, after these its the realm of bowsaws and chainsaws.
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
When I do work on the houses, or just need to harvest some wood in the firest for a project, I use a Japanese saw, with cutting teeth on both edges, one side fine the other medium.

They cut only on the pull stroke.
It cuts incredibly well.
Had I had a need for a saw while overnighting I would take that saw.

Edit: mine is made in Japan, but it is an Irvin, so cheap-ish. Detachable blade so easy to pack. Being Irvin the handle is reinforced plastic, so functional but ugly.
 
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MikeE

Full Member
Sep 12, 2005
984
37
62
Essex
I have all manner of saws but almost always pack my Silky 210 folder as it is packable but makes easy work of most woods, fresh or not. I also use a similar sized Razorsaw (Japanese too) it has graduated teeth front hilt to tip, also very good. Hardly ever use my Laplanders now!
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,675
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McBride, BC
The choice of professionals. What are the professionals cutting?
My range runs from firewood (electric & gas power saws) to 1" prunings to flush-cutting dowel pegs with a saw
that has a single-sided kerf. Pick saws for the jobs. There's no"do-all."

If I had the choice of hand saws for a hike and maybe a 2-night camp-out, probably a big folding pruner.
 

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,721
644
Berlin
Yes, the Silkys are good.

The Fiskars is very light, but it can open in the ruck sack. If you saw the hook away it becomes better. If you do this, watch out for the internal little hook! If not you will get problems.

For fire wood a foldable frame saw, a foldable bow saw is the first choice for trekking. Unfortunately the perfect "Sawivor" disappeared from the market.

Which now is the lightest and best I can't tell you, because my "Sawivor" serves me well since 25 years.

But the question is: Do you really need a saw? I used it a lot for processing fire wood to light the fire in the tent.
Outside it's OK to break the wood in Germany. But our weather isn't so whet like in Britain.

In whet and cold times I sometimes take the very light small Fiskars x-trakt with me. The bow saw I used most times for groups and longer camps if I wanted to light the fire in the lavvu.

(See video: "Kohtenaufbau auf Zeit" to see the tent)
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I have trekked all over Scandinavia, since the early 70’s ( with dad, I sm not yet 60) and I have brought, used a saw only a handful of times, for very specific purposes.

With a proper, quality sleepingbag, you do not need a larger fire than your hand.
Most dead wood is wet anyway. The dry bits are usually dead branches on living trees, so easy to harvest.

Sawing thick wood costs energy. Which you have to carry.
I am lazy.

The above is in my opinion, of course.
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,365
558
Canada
Just yesterday, I mentioned elsewhere that cost-wise and performance-wise a 15" panel saw is worth trying. Fierce cutter and there's no danger of crinking the blade like you can with a Bahco, and even a Silky. Also the handle is easier on the wrist.

It is worth a go. I mean you are likely to need one for around the house anyway, right?

Also, if you take a violin bow with you, you can entertain the local fauna with spooky renditions of God Save the Queen
 

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,721
644
Berlin
In Germany we have a lot dead and dry standing trees which are thick like an arm.
German Boy Scouts use the saw to produce poles and pegs for the Kohte from forest wood and continue to process a bit of fire wood that is dried next to the fire in it's outer parts.
We do it in Scandinavia too. With a fire in the tent we don't have any problems with moskitos. They don't enter the tent if the fire is burning.
If needed, we heat our tents up to 20 degrees Celsius. That allows to use a light summer equipment even in winter times, but of course we have to look after the fire over the night. Usually Scout leaders can do that while sleeping, they just do not close the sleeping bag.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
"Here" in British Columbia, we have 18,000,000 ha standing dead, dry and cracked pine from the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic.
Any 30" bow saw ( I use 3 by Sandvik) will quietly drop a few that you can buck up for fire wood.
Very few people flit around the forest for no reason.
Most hunting or prospecting camps run 7-30 days so you can judge firewood consumption with or without a cabin.

I live in the Boreal Forest. I have the luxury of a roof over my head at night and open sky all day long.
 
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Kepis

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 17, 2005
6,302
1,178
Sussex
For fire wood a foldable frame saw, a foldable bow saw is the first choice for trekking. Unfortunately the perfect "Sawivor" disappeared from the market.
I had a sawvivor many moons ago, hated the thing, too small for large hands and the cross bar was restrictive as to the size of logs you cut as it was too close to the blade, also found the very short blade (15" iirc) was not giving a long enough stroke to be efficient, much better to use a folding saw i found.

I ended up getting a Bob Dustrude Folding Bucksaw from Duluth Pack, has a proper sized blade giving a full stroke on the cut, so is more energy efficient, very comfortable to use, light but also incredibly strong, only three parts so no wing nuts, washers etc to lose, only drawback was the cost.

saw1 by Mark D Emery, on Flickr

The other option of course is to just take a decent sized bowsaw blade with you and make a saw in the woods, doesn't take long.

DSCN8035 by Mark D Emery, on Flickr

bowsaw by Mark D Emery, on Flickr
 

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,721
644
Berlin
@Kepis
You found the Sawivor to small?

I never had a Problem with it and I have glove size 10,5.
But of course a longer blade is more efficient.
What's the weight of your saw, please?
 
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