- Apr 13, 2019 at 11:31 am #3588562
Sometimes I like to pack in with a tarp, ground sheet, or build a bushcraft bed. Either way it is very minimalist. If anyone else out there has similar interests you may be able to help me? You have to bring a saw and a knife, especially during winter or cold climates, a lean to made with a tarp and all you need is a fire and a wool blanket.
My question is, I am considering buying the silky gomboy saw, it folds in half doesn’t take much room and is a very aggressive saw. I currently have a silky zumbat 330. 7.5, it is a very good saw but it doesn’t fold, probably weighs a pound or less. It costs much more than the gomboy, but does anyone know if it cuts as aggressively as the gomboy? I’ll probably get the gomboy anyway just because it is smaller and folds in half. But the zumbat is made for cutting thicker logs, and if anyone that requires warmth from a fire you know that two 10 inch logs 3 to 4 foot in length stacked on top of each other with a spacer near each end the fire will last most of the night and usually longer depending on the density of the wood . My total pack load including food for 3 days is about 15 pounds . I would not recommend a through hike this way, but I have packed in for almost 2 weeks, sometimes adding fish, or early green edibles to my food stash, including mushrooms. Fried trout and fried mushrooms are hard to beat, especially if you carry a little olive oil, but that isn’t necessary , you can cook trout in green leaves rolled up on coals, or on a stick spit style. Cheers Bobby neumanApr 13, 2019 at 1:02 pm #3588571
Over the last 45 years I believe I have owned or tried the majority of small, packable saws appropriate to backpacking. I have settled on the Opinel no.12 when I need a saw.Apr 13, 2019 at 2:27 pm #3588576
Gary DunckelBPL Member
My large Sven saw weighs 14 oz. It doesn’t fold up, but when disassembled the blade slides into the handle. This makes for a very packable portable saw, and it is burly enough for most all cutting needs.Apr 13, 2019 at 3:00 pm #3588580
Corona 6.5 inch folding saw – 5.5 ounces – $14
I’ve used these a lot.
That Opinel looks pretty good though, a little shorter, $35Apr 13, 2019 at 5:05 pm #3588592Apr 13, 2019 at 6:37 pm #3588603
Jason McSpaddenBPL Member
@jbmcsr1Locale: Rocky Mountains
Not as light as above but a really good saw!Apr 13, 2019 at 7:22 pm #3588608
Jeff LaVistaBPL Member
I have been very happy with my fiskar’s folding pruning saw. It makes gathering firewood an easy chore when I want to enjoy a nice campfire and cheap enough to replace when the teeth dull. No assembly or fuss required, it just flips out like a lock-back pocket knife.Apr 13, 2019 at 7:48 pm #3588610
We recommend what we use. The Silky to me is overweight and overpriced—so I backpack with a Corona 10 inch folding saw, available at Lowes for $20. (In the old days—1970s—we used to backpack with 21 inch bowsaws btw).
I use it for backpacking when I have to get thru on-trail blowdowns which stop me in my tracks (along with a pair of Felco #9 pruners). This combo is great. (Shown is a different Felco model).
With heavy use I find this saw lasts me about one full year of heavy cutting before it needs to be replaced. The saw dulls out (can’t be sharpened?) and the slight teeth kerf (sideways teeth making the cutting line wide) tends to straighten out over time resulting in more effort and harder sawing.
When new this saw cuts “like thru butter” and rarely binds like a Felco straight saw I have. The Corona also has a backwards cutting advantage which helps.
The blades rusts easily so I always take a tiny vial of machine oil to coat the thing after use on my trips.
Apr 13, 2019 at 8:25 pm #3588617
- This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Tipi Walter.
I use one of those 10 inch Coronas at home. Works really good like you said.
The 6.5 inch model is just the same, only shorter.
Another thing about those Coronas is there’s a curve to the ends of the teeth along the blade length. As you pull it, it puts downward force by the teeth against the wood.
It looks like the Opinel has the same type of blade, except it’s straight, not curved.Apr 13, 2019 at 9:01 pm #3588624
I like the immediate folding feature of the Corona—whereby I can keep my pack on and slip the folded saw down inside my t-shirt as I hike—after cutting something in my face. Safety along with quick access.
And my Corona gets me through stuff on a trail I cannot pass thru otherwise—since I’m always wearing a heavy pack.
This hell clump confronted me one day and it gave me the excuse to dump my pack and take a break and clear the way.
VOILA! The hike continues.Apr 13, 2019 at 9:42 pm #3588631
Jeff CadorinBPL Member
@jeffcadorin-2Locale: paper beats rock
This is the one I plan on buyingApr 13, 2019 at 9:45 pm #3588632
Good job, thanks!
I do that a lot. I’ll leave the biggest one or two that are just a bit too big for my little saw. Maybe when a real crew comes along they’ll have a big saw and I’ve done most of the work. In the mean time, it’s easy enough for people to walk over.
Another thing is, there’s often a tangle of branches. If I can just untangle them and throw them off trail there’s no need for saw.
For anyone doing this – when cutting branches, try to cut off at least three feet from the centerline of the trail. Then someone won’t have to follow up and re-cut further back.Apr 13, 2019 at 9:56 pm #3588634
The buck saw looks interesting (it’s in Ryan Jordan’s latest video) but really it’s just a fancy updated bowsaw—with the confounding plastic blade guard (like on most bowsaws) which is a hassle to put on and remove a hundred times a day. The corona simply unfolds and then folds fast. And the buck saw looks hard to stuff down my t-shirt when I’m hiking—like I’d need a harness or a pouch for it.
Of course the Buck is half as light but at $74 . . . well . . . that’s almost 4 Corona saws.Apr 14, 2019 at 12:33 am #3588653
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
“$74 . . . well . . . that’s almost 4 Corona”
More like 50 or 60 Coronas.
Apr 14, 2019 at 4:48 am #3588682
Franco DarioliBPL Member
I have used a lot, when I had the bush property, the Felco 600 pruning saw.
6″ long blade, 5.5 oz.
Only a pool saw but works very well for small branches.Apr 14, 2019 at 11:29 am #3588698
I understand your view of the corona, and it has its place. I recently watched a video comparing the 2 and the corona failed miserably compared to the subat, silky.
There is nothing wrong with the corona if that is your budget, and are not totally relying on it if it were a life and death situation. I know you can buy at least 3 coronas, but what would happen if you were in a winter survival situation? The corona does not have a full tang, plus it is 10 times more likely to rust or break. All I have is a tablet and don’t know how to show you where to go to see the comparison. I believe the corona has it’s place, and it beats out a lot of competitors , but in the long run I want something I know I can depend on. I have personally hiked in the winter far enough where if my equipment failed I would have been in big trouble. I no longer take those chances as I’ve gotten much older (67) but I still like the outdoors even in winter, and sometimes having the right fire makes the difference of being comfortable or having to pack it in and go home. I appreciate your comment. Actually I was amazed at how many comments came, yours was the most negative, only because the corona is so much cheaper, but it was designed for backyard pruning where it may only be used once every couple years, a professional silky is designed for everyday use, an the blades have to be changed every couple years, that is if you use it every day, if you only use it on camping and hiking it will last a life time. Thanks again for your comment cheers RobertApr 14, 2019 at 12:05 pm #3588699
Hi everyone, I appreciate everyone’s comments, quite a few actually. I failed to mention the name ,style, size of my current silky. It is the silky zumbot 330. 7.5, it has a full tang, and a curved 13 inch blade. It is also one of their professional series. I first got it about 5 years ago, and I don’t use it everyday, it is made for everyday use with blade change every 1 to 2 years depending on usage and care. You don’t need a chin saw with this saw. It easily cuts a large V in a 25 inch tree then straight in on the other side would take the tree down in less then 1/2 hour. That is just what it is capable of I have no intention of doing that. My intentionson of building long fires from 2 logs that lasts all night, no need of getting up and stoking the fire as long as it is done right. Two four foot logs ten inches around with 1 1/2 inch split off each log , then rough the flat parts of the logs easily done by sawing 1 to 2 inches and chopping with a camp hatchet or a good knife, filling from one end to the other with tinder, bark, small twigs etc, laying the logs flat side against each other using spacers, either green wood, I prefer dry flat rocks one at each end about 6 in. In and about a 2 inch width between the logs enough to get the fire started between the two logs. This type of fire emits most of its heat out the sides and if your using hardwood it will last usually all night. You may have to steady the logs by placing one on top in the opposite direction. It is also wise to have another log between you and the fire just in case it falls off with a heat deflector this is the most effective fire I have ever seen for winter warmth. Rule of thumb is three feet of log per person so if there are 2 people use 6ft. Logs. Cheers. Bobby Neuman…if there are more than two people, build a shelter on the other side,Apr 14, 2019 at 12:28 pm #3588702
Everyone should watch Bob’s video from four dogs at the top! I might just try thatApr 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm #3588718
Corona, Felco, and Opinel are pretty similar. I’ve just used the Corona, quite a bit.
It seems very reliable to me. The only risk would be the rotating joint would quit working. But, it’s a pin that goes through a hole in the blade, and a hole in the handle, not much that can fail.
If you can just get it open, there’s a mechanical stop that keeps the blade straight with the handle so you can saw with it.
I’ve used a buck saw type saw and switched to the Corona. I’m sure I’ve sawed more wood with the buck saw. It was non folding so not as easy to pack.
But, they’re two types of saws that are worth trying to see what works best for you.
Maybe a buck saw is easier to resharpen. And make sure the teeth are set so the kerf is wider than the saw. Maybe the C/F/O type saw is disposable so not as good for someone that has a lot of wood to saw. Pre chainsaw they used buck saws.Apr 14, 2019 at 3:59 pm #3588740
I’ve probably put my Corona 10 inch saws thru 10,000 cuts over the years and never had a break or a failure. Of course the blade does dull out after about 800 to 1,000 cuts.
My reply to Robert N—What is a life and death situation? With a saw?? Winter survival situation? The Corona is 10 times more likely to break? Designed for backyard pruning? “Where it may only be used once every couple years”????
None of these comments come close to my experience with the Corona. I pull alot of winter backpacking trips and no saw is part of my survival plan—nor is a wood fire. My “fire heat” comes from my WM -15F down sleeping bag and my Hilleberg tent and 7.5 Rvalue pad system. Camp fires are vastly over rated—for this backpacker.
Now, when I lived in my NC ridgetop Tipi—I did process alot of fire wood to feed my woodstove but used bowsaws of different sizes. But as a mobile wilderness backpacker I’m out of my “bushcraft” mode and don’t require building debris huts or camp furniture or whatever else.Apr 14, 2019 at 4:06 pm #3588741
I also have a light weight portable buck saw, it opens up into a buck saw quite ingenious really. I haven’t had the chance to use it, it was on sale for $35 so I picked it up even though it is rather small. I like the looks of that 4 dog saw, (they make 4 dog stoves too), it’s similar in principle to the buck saw it all folds into an aluminium shaft, but it looks kind of long and heavy. I’m sure it is the most durable and fast cutting portable saw that I have seen. The real problem with the Corona is that it’s not full tang and the steel is thinner than the Silky saws, from what I’ve researched they are good for what they are designed for, which is not the hard work it would face in the backwoods. I’m sure it would work, at least for awhile but the blade ends at the handle so if it breaks and you don’t have a back up your in troubleApr 16, 2019 at 1:36 am #3588965
Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
My boyfriend has one of these http://qiwiz.net/saws.html. It’s actually pretty easy to put together and it works really well. It’s not as handy as a folding saw, but it works well. Of the folding saws we have tried, silky boys work best and last longer than others you can get at hardware stores. We use saws not for foolish bushcraft nonsense but to cut the chaparral that grows over the trails or for blowdowns so we can get through. The qiwiz.net little buck saw isn’t very good if the stuff you are going to saw is pretty small. For that it’s better to have loppers.Apr 16, 2019 at 7:27 am #3589014
Thank you for your imput, I also prefer silky saws, but I disagree with your “silly bushcraft ” how do you think our fore father’s camped ? And they did camp, especially fur trappers in the cold n.w. but also everywhere else they didn’t have the luxury of a 900 fill goose down bag, they had to rely on oil clothe tarps and wool blankets , and we’re still very ultra light even by our base weight standards. I have every kind of camping equipment there is from minimalist ultra light to bushcraft and everything in between. As. I stated I would not attempt a through hike bushcrafting.and I realize it is not for everyone . Besides what’s wrong with a little nostalgia? CheersApr 16, 2019 at 1:56 pm #3589036
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Well, I will disagree on all the pull saws. They really allow cutting in one direction only. This makes them inefficient since your arm while sawing works in two directions, push and pull.
A short 12″ or 14″ blade is inefficient, too. You arm can travel about 18″ comfortably. With mounts, this means a 21″ saw is just about right…even that is a bit too short for more than 2-3″ sticks. Have you ever tried to cut an 8″ log with a 14″ saw? Most of the time, you spend the majority of effort clearing the kerf of sawdust than cutting actual wood. The blade needs to be at least twice the length of the largest diameter you are cutting, to insure efficient removal of sawdust.
Thin blades work well. A thin blade with will allow a thinner kerf set on the teeth and still clear any fibers in the wood. Removing less wood per cut is inherently more efficient. A narrow, up to about 1-1/4″ (around 3cm) blade means there will be no more excess friction in the cut besides what is necessary for blade/tooth stability. Chattering and vibrations in the blade cause loss of tooth cutting edge contact while cutting. Very high tensions are needed for thin blades to emulate their thick bodied counterparts, maintaining less spring in a cut, less chatter & vibration, and less wasted work, generally.
In order to meet these design constraints, I have tried several “traditional” buck saws. Eventually, not always on the first or second use, the “H” design proved heavier and less satisfactory for maintaing high tension than a triangular design. The constant fiddling with the cord and wedge, and occasional knocking it loose, meant it was not as easy to use as a straight forward triangle shape. The bent metal designs were always quite heavy, even after buying an aluminum framed version. The little pruning saws I had, always seemed like they were more work than than what they were worth, since breaking anything up to a two inch branch was possible.
After going through about 20 different saws, I finaly tried a Sven saw in a 15″ version. This worked well, but the stroke was limited by the blade length. The return stroke or “pull” was facilitated by the angle of the lower handle, though, giving the saw a two direction cut, a thin blade, a narrow blade and high tension to keep the blade stiff, without fiddling with cords and wedges. I got a larger 21″ saw.
This is what I have used for the past 40 years. The same Sven saw with a few minor tweaks. It weighs about 14oz which is rather heavy, but can cut an 8″ log easily, and uses the same handle design allowing a two direction cut with one hand. (Usually I cut these heavy logs during trail clearing and hike them back to camp, but, I have been known to cut a few out from downed wood for a camp fire. Likely the best overall design for a saw I have ever used. Not as large as a full buck saw, but also not as heavy. Very easy to set up, and it has a built in blade guard, turning it into a simple stick about 22″ long. BTW, It works well as a pack support when placed diagonally in the pack.Apr 16, 2019 at 2:09 pm #3589038
Those lightweight pull saws don’t need to be super efficient. You carry it and then pull it out to saw several branches. Or a few branches for a fire. More important to be lightweight than efficient.
You can cut a 6 inch branch with a 6 inch saw but it’s a pain. Theortically you can cut a 12 inch branch with a 6 inch saw. 9 inch branch would be more doable. Like if there was just one of them.
It depends on the use. If I had a lot of wood to cut then definitely the saw should be twice the branch diameter.
If you’ve used your saw for 40 years you must be able to resharpen it.
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