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  1. #1
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    Chainsaw substitute silky katanaboy folding saw

    So for some reason, I don't know why, I find cutting down trees fun. So I was tired to cutting 12"+ inch trees with a 9 1/2 inch folding saw. So I was thinking of getting a chainsaw but I really like ALL my fingers and I know they are not allowed in some trails. So I did some looking on the net and I found the silky katanaboy folding saw. it is a two handed 19 1/2 inch folding saw that is made by one of the top saw makers in the world. so I order one from Forestry Suppliers, Inc. 800-647-5368 and I have used it on a few 10" to 12" inch trees and this thing works great! here is some photos and a video of I made of it.


    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hCQY3-OVBMc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>





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  2. #2
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    COTA Has been using these for the last year or so with great results. The nice thing is that you can take one on your regular bike ride and not have to deal with saw, oil,gas, files, chaps and other PPE. You can't get everything with the Katana Boy but We have been impressed with what we can cut out with them. Four guys with different size Silkys can bust it out pretty good on a ride.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by seedy View Post
    .............. Four guys with different size Silkys can bust it out pretty good on a ride.
    Sounds like a porno.

  4. #4
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    Wow, $184 for the saw and $90 replacement blades. I love buying trail toys but I don't think I can rationalize that much money for a portable hand saw. I have had good luck with the smaller but similar Gerber Double Joint folding saw. Two-handed handle, 13 inch blade and $29.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Chainsaw substitute silky katanaboy folding saw-gerber-double-joint-folding-saw.jpg  


  5. #5
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    ya, I was on the fence about spending that much money for a "had saw". I had the money saved up to buy a chainsaw but I thought I would give it a shot and it is great! that is why I wanted to make the post. if you need to cut trees that are "to big for a hand saw" then this is the way to go. also if you need a chainsaw but are not allowed to used one on that trail (the problem I had) then this will get the job done. you can cut trees that only a two man cross cut saw or chainsaw can handle.
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  6. #6
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    Cool toy!
    Must comment though, that you are the trail equivalent of the guy who rides to the grocery store and does his shopping with his helmet still on.
    Dork!

  7. #7
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    Great saw

    The magnum hand saw! Thanks for the info.

  8. #8
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    Like the samurai sword of folding saws. I give folding saws out to my volunteers to keep in their packs. Gotta keep the costs down, but cool tool nonetheless.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowMongoose View Post
    Cool toy!
    Must comment though, that you are the trail equivalent of the guy who rides to the grocery store and does his shopping with his helmet still on.
    Dork!
    why I keep my helmet on. first is I sweat a LOT, and I like how the sweat runs off the front of the helmet and not down my face, also I don't like to put my helmet back on after is is drench in sweat, and it the fall, spring and winter it gets really cold fast and make that even worse. and the last reason is that I allways leave it on when cutting trees because of falling branches (even thought that tree was on the ground, some of them are not, so it is a good ideal to keep it on when ever cutting trees) so ones the helmet gos on, it stays on untill the rides is over.
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  10. #10
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    The Katana is a cool saw, but as others have pointed out expensive. If it were half the cost then I could see it. For a less expensive option the Silky Big Boy is a great saw as well and only slightly smaller.

    Silky Bigboy - Length 14.17" for ~$60 with $30 replacement blades
    or
    Silky Katanaboy - Length 19.5" for ~$180 with $90 replacement blade.

    I've taken out 12" diameter trees with the big boy nearly just as easily as with a longer blade. For the added 5.33" it is not worth the added $120 in cost to me personally.

    I do like how you did the videos though.

  11. #11
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    I can see how the saws would be lighter and safer than the chain saws...can someone educate me on the smart way to use the nylon wedges to enhance the cutting experience so that the saw does not become pinched when you are bucking the downed trees? I am thinking that there are some general rules about wedge placement.

  12. #12
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    I've been using the OregonPower Now Battery powered chainsaw. It rocks! Kind of pricey once again but it works damn great!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguehoe View Post
    I can see how the saws would be lighter and safer than the chain saws...can someone educate me on the smart way to use the nylon wedges to enhance the cutting experience so that the saw does not become pinched when you are bucking the downed trees? I am thinking that there are some general rules about wedge placement.

    think physics. and where is gravity going to pull down. if there is nothing holding the log up and you start cutting thru, the log is going to fall down and pinch the blade. you can place the wedge at the top of the cut so they don't come together. there is some other cuts you can make, but i don't know how to desribe them. How is gravity going to affect what you are cutting? that is what needs to be going thru your brain. As far as using wedges to drop the trees, you really should have someone show you how. it can be dangerous. if you are dropping a tree and you pinch you blade. you can always take the blade off of the saw and use more wedges to help get your bar out. And if the tree does come down, it wont take out the motor of the saw.

  14. #14
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    thanks..that is pretty much what I have been doing..I was just looking for other tricks/tips about the wedges that someone with more experience would have. I rarely have the need to fall a tree, but there are lots of blowdowns thanks to the pine beetle infestation we had a few years ago.

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    i will try and explain how i do it without wedges.

    The log is parellel to the ground but not on the ground. I will make a downward cut in the log to roughly the half way point or a little more. when i see the log starting to pinch, i stop and pull the bar out of the log. I than move over a couple of inches, depending on size of log and cut at an angle towards my first cut. I than remove that wedge. I than go back to the area of the original cut and finish cutting thru the log. That way when one side drops, there is no material to catch on.

    typing and writing are not my strong point. i hope this makes sense.

  16. #16
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    Yes, I have seen this done before...seems to be good technique. Thanks for sharing.

  17. #17
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    I like the 15 inch sven saw about 30 bucks weighs about a pound. It's nice to be able to clean up trails without having to wait for crews. I Love wood tools

  18. #18
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    I cut the biggest tree yet over the week end. I used all 20" of the saw to get this done (the tree was not 20" but you need some room on the saw to go back and forth)








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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyM14 View Post
    I cut the biggest tree yet over the week end. I used all 20" of the saw to get this done (the tree was not 20" but you need some room on the saw to go back and forth)
    Wow, that's impressive. How long did that take? I've been packing a battery powered chainsaw that rocks but this saw could be useful for a lot of the smaller stuff.

  20. #20
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    I was there for about an hour, but I was only cutting for about 20 minutes. I an not in shape enough to cut non stop and it was very hot with 100% humidly so I was taking it slow.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyM14 View Post
    I cut the biggest tree yet over the week end. I used all 20" of the saw to get this done (the tree was not 20" but you need some room on the saw to go back and forth)
    Chevy:

    How long has that log been down? It amazes me how long it takes people to do some trail maintenance. Great Work You have to wonder why pepole have to pay to go to the gym

  22. #22
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    Lass then a week as far as I know.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyM14 View Post
    I was there for about an hour, but I was only cutting for about 20 minutes. I an not in shape enough to cut non stop and it was very hot with 100% humidly so I was taking it slow.
    Love the saw, love the thread. If I rode places I couldn't use a chainsaw, a saw of this caliber would be a consideration.

    Going to the title of the thread though, chainsaw substitute, that last tree is a 7 minute project with a chainsaw, that includes putting on and taking off all the proper protective gear from a Bob trailer. I wouldn't consider 20 minutes to one hour a "substitute". It's a poor compromise, one forced upon you by your land manager. I just though I'd mention this in case a land manager reads this thread and says "see, we don't need volunteers using chainsaws!"

    I use a hand saw on occasional blow-down softwoods under 7" and hardwood under 6". In those situations, I feel I can cut through the log with my handsaw, a $20 Corona from Lowes, faster than I can unload the chainsaw from the Bob, gear up, start it, un-gear, and repack the Bob.

    I do want a Silky Big Boy.
    Last edited by Fattirewilly; 08-28-2012 at 05:16 AM.
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  24. #24
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    That's an impressive folding saw. How does it compare to a hand-powered chain saw?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirewilly View Post
    Love the saw, love the thread. If I rode places I couldn't use a chainsaw, a saw of this caliber would be a consideration.

    Going to the title of the thread though, chainsaw substitute, that last tree is a 7 minute project with a chainsaw, that includes putting on and taking off all the proper protective gear from a Bob trailer. I wouldn't consider 20 minutes to one hour a "substitute". It's a poor compromise, one forced upon you by your land manager. I just though I'd mention this in case a land manager reads this thread and says "see, we don't need volunteers using chainsaws!"

    I use a hand saw on occasional blow-down softwoods under 7" and hardwood under 6". In those situations, I feel I can cut through the log with my handsaw, a $20 Corona from Lowes, faster than I can unload the chainsaw from the Bob, gear up, start it, un-gear, and repack the Bob.

    I do want a Silky Big Boy.

    I think my Fanno 30" Bull Saw is a good chainsaw substute. It rides in a leather scabboard that straps to my bike frame and takes 15 minutes to cut a 12" deadfall. I'll be done before you even get there with your bob'n saw.
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  26. #26
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    The folding saws have the edge in weight, and they never run out of juice (the people running them - that's another story...), and can be carried around all the time to take care of the unexpected fallen tree. If it's known work - I've had great luck with a cordless sawzall. I have the Makita 18 volt LTX, and use 12" blades. 1 battery can usually take care of 3 or 4 cuts through decent sized hardwood.

    The downside is weight, and when the batteries die you're done. As a side note - Unless I can see clear sky all around me, I leave my helmet on when working on blowdowns. More than once clearing out a blowdown other stuff came down with it...

  27. #27
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    Very cool! I didn't know folding saw that size exist. As for cost, I've never priced chainsaws (never bought one). Can you get a good chainsaw for $180? (I thought they were considerably more?)

    I have a small Gerber folding saw, and I can easily cut things up to 6" in diameter with it (maybe a bit more).

    Fortunately, in my experience, 90% of the stuff I find that I want to cut is 6" or smaller...so the small folding saw works fine.

    As to the argument that a 7-minute chainsaw job = a 20-minute handsaw job, I've got no problem with that. I like the exercise of a handsaw...and unless I'm in a huge rush (like an hour before a big race with several trees down across the trail)...I've got plenty of time, and don't feel like making a pile of noise pollution (as well as CO2) in the woods.

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  28. #28
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    I have the Silky Gomboy 300mm. Just less than 12" long blade and folds to less than 13", VERY SHARP. When cleaning trails I ride with it in my back pocket and sharp pruning shears in my other back pocket. I can walk the trail and use the saw for removing fallen branches without bending over, very versatile. I think it was $50.00 new and a replacement blade was around $33.00.
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  29. #29
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    I have a Silky Bigboy, as do a few other trail crew members in the local club. Nice thing about folding saws like this is they are light enough and small enough to always carry in your camelback, so when you find deadfall on the trail, you can quickly deal with it, before ride-around trail braids become established.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    I think my Fanno 30" Bull Saw is a good chainsaw substute. It rides in a leather scabboard that straps to my bike frame and takes 15 minutes to cut a 12" deadfall. I'll be done before you even get there with your bob'n saw.
    Good one! Yup, you could probably cut it with a butter knife before I get there w/ a bob'n saw.
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  31. #31
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    Impressive folder!

    I have never gotten a good feeling from the folders I have tried, and I prefer a smaller one handed saw.

    I carry one of the non-foldable 13" corona saws in a kydex sheath. I ziptie this to the outside of my camelbak since it's longer than the internal storage compartment. Forrestry Supply sells them for about $40 with the sheath.

  32. #32
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    had no idea you could chop such big logs with such a compact saw. will have to get one of these!

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    ... and if we just ... I'm going to try that! :D

    Hey, thanks to the OP for posting his video and thoughts, and for everyone who has shared their perspective - you all have inspired me to buy this type of saw to remove some trees that are blocking the Santa Anna River Trail, just east of Angeles Oaks!

    And because I love tools, I bought both the Silky Katanaboy and Bigboy models, to see for myself if the extra length is worth the extra cost and/or the trouble to carry. Also, I'm typically riding with at least one other person, so I don't want to hog all the fun out there - this way, others can join in on the woodcutting!

  34. #34
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    roguehoe, what is it you don't understand about using plastic falling wedges? I understand you aren't falling trees, but rather bucking through fallen trees on or above the ground.

    the wedge should be put in to the kerf behind the saw blade/bar to keep the kerf open (so as not to close and pinch the blade/bar.)

    if you have room to insert the wedge into the cut and whack it in with a 3"- 4" tree limb (or axe, rock, etc.) then you will be able to benefit from the use of a wedge. the wedge is only keeping the cut open.

    if the tree is supported at each end and you need to cut it in the middle, that is where the wedge will work for you..., but, it's best to use an under-buck to finish the cut, even if you have set a wedge in the top cut.

    the compression forces generated at the top of the tree where you will be putting a wedge are so great that often a wedge is useless, and your saw will be pinched solid no matter what as you attempt to saw from the top down.

    with a wedge in the topside, you can usually cut down 3/4 of the way no problem.

    it's best to finish the cut from the bottom up, and that looks like one of the advantages of chevyM14's saw: it looks like it could handle the final cut safely.

    by finishing the cut from the bottom, you are releasing some incredible tension that has built up in the bottom side of the tree as you've cut down from the top in the first cut.

    usually, the tension is so great that the tree snaps rather quickly as you begin your under-buck. don't be in it's way.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    Very cool! I didn't know folding saw that size exist. As for cost, I've never priced chainsaws (never bought one). Can you get a good chainsaw for $180? (I thought they were considerably more?)
    Silky saws are nice, but be careful on the push stroke. If it jams and bends the blade will probably eventually break at that point. I've broken 2 blades, but I blame myself, I get carried away.

    The silky's are definitely worth the money though IMO. We have a major blowdown problem due to caterpillars killing thousands and thousands of trees about 8-9 years ago. Now every time the wind picks up they fall like matchsticks. I try to carry the handsaw with me all the time but nothing beats a chainsaw. I got a Husqvarna 240 for $199 and it does pretty well. But I've been out cutting with a guy who has the Husqy 455 and that one is a serious saw, much more power and a longer bar. But, it's also twice the money and heavier, and since we carry them in backpacks that's a big deal.
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  36. #36
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    Yep..I see what you are saying. I talked with some experienced sawyers and feel quite confident now. I just wanted to know all the tricks of the trade so to speak. I like working smarter and not harder. Thanks.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    I have a Silky Bigboy, as do a few other trail crew members in the local club. Nice thing about folding saws like this is they are light enough and small enough to always carry in your camelback, so when you find deadfall on the trail, you can quickly deal with it, before ride-around trail braids become established.
    I picked up a silky bigboy folding saw after reading this thread - love it. It fits easily into my camelback and cuts through pine and redwood like a warm knife through butter. Highly recommended.

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    Need IT!

    Should be nice for setting up NICA courses too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyM14 View Post
    So for some reason, I don't know why, I find cutting down trees fun. So I was tired to cutting 12"+ inch trees with a 9 1/2 inch folding saw. So I was thinking of getting a chainsaw but I really like ALL my fingers and I know they are not allowed in some trails. So I did some looking on the net and I found the silky katanaboy folding saw. it is a two handed 19 1/2 inch folding saw that is made by one of the top saw makers in the world. so I order one from Forestry Suppliers, Inc. 800-647-5368 and I have used it on a few 10" to 12" inch trees and this thing works great! here is some photos and a video of I made of it.


    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hCQY3-OVBMc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>





    why would you cut that down when its so easy just to ride over. i love down logs there fun to try to get over with out hitting your chain ring or going OTB.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by tevor4 View Post
    why would you cut that down when its so easy just to ride over. i love down logs there fun to try to get over with out hitting your chain ring or going OTB.
    What you like and what the land manager who governs the area requires can differ. It is the old, "the boss is not always right, but he IS always the boss".

    Trailbuilders must work with the land managers to gain and keep trail access.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by tevor4 View Post
    why would you cut that down when its so easy just to ride over. i love down logs there fun to try to get over with out hitting your chain ring or going OTB.
    ...also depends on the overall technical difficulty of the trail, and how the tree falls across the trail.

    If the trail is intended to be technically difficult and the tree falls across the trail in a way that 1) it's do-able for the intended trail skill level, 2) it's not easily ridden around and 3) it's stable, not rotten, and unlikely to move, then sure, I agree with you, leave it in place for the added tech factor.

    On the other hand, if the trail is intended to be easy, or the tree is elevated off the ground, or falls at an angle that makes it difficult/dangerous to ride over, or the tree is easily ridden around, or it's rotten and decaying, or it really messes with the flow, then I would remove it.

    In the first 2 pictures, the tree is elevated, at an angle, rotting, easily ridden around on the left, and difficult by most riders to clean on an otherwise buff, low-tech-looking trail. I would remove it before a trail braid gets established on the left.

    The last picture, I can't tell if the tree was a candidate for removal.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    ...also depends on the overall technical difficulty of the trail, and how the tree falls across the trail.

    If the trail is intended to be technically difficult and the tree falls across the trail in a way that 1) it's do-able for the intended trail skill level, 2) it's not easily ridden around and 3) it's stable, not rotten, and unlikely to move, then sure, I agree with you, leave it in place for the added tech factor.

    On the other hand, if the trail is intended to be easy, or the tree is elevated off the ground, or falls at an angle that makes it difficult/dangerous to ride over, or the tree is easily ridden around, or it's rotten and decaying, or it really messes with the flow, then I would remove it.

    In the first 2 pictures, the tree is elevated, at an angle, rotting, easily ridden around on the left, and difficult by most riders to clean on an otherwise buff, low-tech-looking trail. I would remove it before a trail braid gets established on the left.

    The last picture, I can't tell if the tree was a candidate for removal.
    you are 100% right on every point about this tree. it would have made a bad log roll for anyone of these reasons and it had all of them! "In the first 2 pictures, the tree is elevated, at an angle, rotting, easily ridden around on the left, and difficult by most riders to clean on an otherwise buff, low-tech-looking trail. I would remove it before a trail braid gets established on the left."
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    So for the guys who've used the 15" and 20" blades, is the larger one worth the extra money, weight and size to pack?
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    Quote Originally Posted by INABIL View Post
    I have the Silky Gomboy 300mm. Just less than 12" long blade and folds to less than 13", VERY SHARP. When cleaning trails I ride with it in my back pocket and sharp pruning shears in my other back pocket. I can walk the trail and use the saw for removing fallen branches without bending over, very versatile. I think it was $50.00 new and a replacement blade was around $33.00.
    Got one as a gift, awesome trail tool.

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    The 14" (or whatever it is) just barely fits in my C-bak Mule. It's awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyS600 View Post
    So for the guys who've used the 15" and 20" blades, is the larger one worth the extra money, weight and size to pack?
    Obviously the katanaboy is probably amazing, so get one if you want.

    But are you talking about the katanaboy and also the bigboy? Cause' I didn't see a 15" blade katanaboy. I have the bigboy 2000 and it is the best folding saw I've had by far, but it isn't as good as the Corona non-folding pruning saw I used for a while.

    That Corona wouldn't fit inside my pack, and the bigboy does(barely) so that makes the bigboy good for me to carry along to clear deadfall as it pops up. If I was going to prune all day I might bring the Corona because the blade is about twice as thick and doesn't flex like all the folding saws do. The Corona is a 14" blade and it got dull eventually so I use it around the house only.

    My point is, if you are going to get the 20" blade and strap it to your pack, why not get non-folder and do the same, it will be cheaper and better than every other folding saw. Silky has some real nice non-folders it looks like, if you want better than corona, and you can pick any length you want. Just make sure you get a scabbard with it, I homeade one and it wasn't the best.

  47. #47
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    With the spring trail maintenance season starting, I picked up a 14" Silky Bigboy and a 10" Corona Razor for comparison, figuring I’d use the silky for the early season cleanup and the Corona as an everyday pack saw.

    The Silky is built like a tank and pretty hefty, being all metal except for the rubber handle covering material, which provides a great grip. It has two locking positions for the blade to accommodate varying cutting angles, but oddly, the blade doesn't lock in the closed position, which can be a bit of a safety concern, depending on how you carry it. The blade pivot is very tight, so the blade isn’t likely to move unless it’s jarred pretty hard.

    The Corona is plastic except for the blade and its pivot and lacks the solid feel of the Silky. The grip material only covers about half of the handle and it’s not very tacky, but the flare and curve at the end provide a solid grip in use. The blade locks both open (1 position) and closed.

    Comparing the blades, the tooth size is essentially the same, with the Corona being slightly finer pitched (7 tpi vs. 6.5 for the Silky). Both are incredibly sharp. The Corona was more polished and the back of the blade had smoothly rounded edges. The Silky blade has sharp edges on the back that took a few minutes with 400 grit sandpaper to smooth.

    With both saws, some of the blade teeth are partially exposed when the saw is closed, so you don’t want to pack them close to anything delicate or that could snag on the blade.

    In use, they both cut very quickly, with the Silky having an advantage only because of it’s 4” longer stroke (13 5/8” across the teeth, vs. 9 5/8”). After a quick test on a fresh 2” poplar branch, it was time to hit the trail. The first tree I cut with the Silky as a nice test, a 10” live pine that had been blown down only a month prior. It took me about 15 minutes to make two cuts to remove a 4’ section, including time for resting and panting. Not that it really matters, but I was amazed at how smooth the cut surfaces were and really impressed with the saw’s performance. I didn’t need to cut anything else on that ride, but that was enough to gauge its performance.

    I took the Corona out the next day and we encountered quite a bit of downed wood that tested the capacity of the smaller saw. It worked fine on both live and dead pine up to 8” in diameter. On the bigger stuff, I missed the Silky, but with a bit more effort the Corona did the job. Overall, it performed really well.

    The bottom line? The saws will do exactly what I had hoped. The Silky is ideal for the early maintenance season and larger trees. Its construction will ensure that it lasts for years. The Corona’s light weight and outsized performance will make it a great daily companion for the rest of the season. And the other bottom line? At $50 on Amazon, you get what you pay for with the Silky Bigboy. However, the Corona was only 20 bucks at Lowes and performs nearly as well, which makes it an outstanding value.

    Both saws will fit in a typical hydration pack and I intend to carry the Corona that way, but for spring cleanup where they’ll get used a lot, I wanted a quicker to access carry method. I used some 1/1/4” PVC pipe and a heat gun to create a couple of mounting brackets that will attach to water bottle mounts. You can see them in the following post:

    Handsaw Mounted On Bike

    The Corona can also be stuffed into a wide-mouthed water bottle for a “quick and dirty” carrying solution.
    Last edited by Bnystrom; 03-13-2014 at 07:43 PM. Reason: fixing typos

  48. #48
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    A bunch of use use a Thomson Seat Post Stem bag to keep our Corona Saws in.

  49. #49
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    I guess great minds think alike!

    That's exactly what I do when I don't have the saw mounted on the bike or on the outside of my pack. I guess that's just one more good reason to buy Thompson posts.

    Are you using the bags with folding or fixed-blade saws?

    The silky got a workout today, but nothing we encountered would have been more than the Corona could handle.

  50. #50
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    I use the Thompson bag with the Corona folding. I have a larger Corona fixed saw that came with a Cardboard cover. I saved the cover and wrapped it with Duct Tape to make a cover for that saw. The Corona tools have been dependable and a great Value for the cost. I ride with the folding in my hydration pack when needed. I would never ride with a fixed saw sticking out of my pack.

    Bnystrom is also the name of an awesome and famous Hockey player from the Islanders. He is also a local Mountain Biker.

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