Best folding saw? Lopper? Cross-cut saw?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    sunnyside up
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    Best folding saw? Lopper? Cross-cut saw?

    Trailwork season is on us again and we need to restock our tool cache.

    Folding saw:
    I have broken the tips off a couple corona folding saws with the plastic handle, and the wooden handle one has a troublesome release pin, and gets dull pretty much instantly. I'm looking for a really sturdy folding saw, with a super sharp, stiff blade, that doesn't bend easily if it binds on the push stroke through green oak or bay laurel. I also don't want a saw that you have to assemble. Anyone have experience with the Spyder Saw
    http://crosscutsaw.com/8.html

    or the Silky Saw?
    http://www.silkystore.com/Secure/eco...s.asp?prdn=398

    Felco?
    http://www.felcostore.com/order1.jsp...ferer=saws.jsp

    Loppers:
    I like the leverage of a compound lopper but don't like how they open up over time and then won't cut small twigs. I'm looking for a non-compound bypass lopper. I have my eye on this "high torque" lopper, that will cut up to a 2" branch
    http://www.orchardsedge.com/order1.j...type%3Dloppers

    What's your favorite? Any raves or peeves? I like extendable arms, but a heavy lopper gets really heavy fast at the end of a long lever.

    Lastly, I need a cross-cut saw for removing downed trees in remote locations. The long two-person saws seem like overkill. Anyone have any experience using a hand saw on big wood (over 8 inches)
    http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?item...mType=CATEGORY

    http://crosscutsaw.com/1.html


    Patty
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  2. #2
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    Check out these reviews
    outdoors-magazine.com/s_topic.php?id_rubrique=24

    Note that the Bahco saw in that one review is the same as this
    http://www.knifeworks.com/index.asp?...OD&ProdID=7421


    As for loppers, instead of getting compound ones that can cut something in one bite, just get normal loppers and notch out your cuts like how you would cut a tree with a chainsaw.

  3. #3
    Was that a Bobcat?
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    I know someone that gets his at the county fair, he get's one that has a lifetime warranty. Then every year when the fair returns he exchanges if for a brand new one (stating that the blade has become dull, which is true because he does quit a bit of trail maintainence). Pretty good idea and good use of the warranty.

  4. #4
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    My favorite folding saw is the Fiskars Woodzig that can be purchased at Home Depot. It is a 10" folding saw with a wooden handle. What makes it different is that the blade has teeth like a chainsaw and cuts on the pull stroke, which means the blade doesn't have to be as thick and heavy. The blade of the Woodzig will sometimes get bent on the push stroke but it is easy to bend back relatively straight. I have cut logs as large as ten inches with this saw by cutting in from all sides.

    I really like the non-compound loppers made by Corona. The problem with loppers is they get dull and the high cutting force then bends the dull blade rather than cuts the wood. A sharp non-compound lopper will usually out-cut a dull compound lopper. The Corona loppers are expensive but they are built of forged steel and are designed to be regularly taken apart and sharpened. Like all premium tools they are a joy to use, which seems to make brushing more enjoyable. One suggestion is to always carry a small hand saw when using loppers. This will decrease the likelihood of trying to cut something too large, which is a major killer of loppers.

    I own four crosscut saws between 3.5 and 6 feet long, however, I wouldn't recommend them for most people. They are expensive, heavy and difficult to keep sharp. The only time I strongly recommend them is for cutting large down timber (> 24") in official wilderness areas where chainsaws are not allowed. For most mountain bike trail maintainers I would recommend a 32" or larger bow saw. They are light, the blades can be inexpensively replaced when they get dull and they can cut timber up into the 18"-24" range.

    If you have to regularly cut down timber larger than 24", I recommend a chainsaw and a trained person to run it. Large timber, even if it is laying on the ground, can be dangerous to cut and can unexpectedly roll or snap back on the sawyer. This is a good area to work closely with the land manager. Land managers usually have someone on staff who is trained in the usage of chainsaws. Volunteers can make a professional sawyer much more effective by preparing the logs prior to cutting and by cleaning away the cuttings after the sawyer is done.

    If you must have a crosscut saw, here are my recommendations. Measure the largest logs you will reasonably have to cut and buy a crosscut saw twice that length (36" log = 72" saw). If the saw is much shorter than double the width of the of the log you can't get a good stroke going and it is more likely to pinch your hands between the handle and the log. Saws this length are usually two-man (excuse me, person) and have removable handles. If possible, get a set of handles that can be mounted both parallel and perpindicular to the plane of the blade. Get a bucking saw and don't worry about tooth patterns, lance tooth, perforated lance tooth and Champion tooth will all work well. Antique stores are a good source of old crosscut saws but watch out for saws where the blade is pitted from rust or the teeth have been repeatedly sharpened until they are too short. The downside to antique saws is the saw will absolutely need to be sharpened, which will cost $6.00 per foot plus shipping both ways (http://jimscrosscutsaws.com/Sharpening.html). You can sharpen crosscut saws yourself but it will require a couple of hundred dollars worth of specialized tools. A new saw will be sharp but will have the same sharpening cost once it is dull. It is important to keep a crosscut saw in some sort of a sheath both to protect the carrier and the teeth. A durable sheath can be made from bolting together two sheets of high density polyethylene plastic (http://jthode.web.myhome.net/lccbch/sawp.htm).
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  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by bweide
    Fiskars Woodzig
    I have an old one, much like in the picture but with a plastic grip, mainly for garden work. It cuts surprisingly well, as long as you remember that it does the cutting only when you are pulling.

  6. #6

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    Good job!

    Gidday guys I use a cyclone folding saw I think Cyclone is an Australian product though but it is really handy folds up to put in your pocket, cuts extremely well. Keep it on me whenever I'm marking or working on trails.
    https://www.cyclone.com.au/products/...?productID=189

  7. #7
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    Gerber/Fiskers Retractable Saw from Target...
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  8. #8
    Trail Care Coordinator
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    1 vote for the Felco folding saw which works a treat. I also like to carry a 40cm fixed blade with sheath for big trees in the vehicle.

    8 inches no worries I have cut larger (40cm) bin the loppers they are just a pain. Get a small pair of secatures for small things and the folding saw for everything else. It also doubles as a machette in a pinch.

  9. #9
    beer thief
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    Fiskars makes great stuff. I like their small lopper, but I'd bet any of them are top-notch.



    I've broken Gerber & Corona folding saws, and am currently working on a Felco. Thin blades will break, doesn't seem like any way around it. I'll accept that for their fine functionality.

  10. #10
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    All trail crews will break tools. Some more than others. I had a small crew that was both breaking tips off Corona saws and going through a pair of heavy leather gloves in two weeks. That's totally unacceptable.

    If you watch people who break tips off folding saws you will notice that they are taking very rapid strokes. When they stick on some tree sap, even momentarily, during the forward stroke, they flex the blade and break it off. I train people to only use the full blade length when they are cutting small branches or dry wood. Otherwise I tell them to slow down a bit and take shorter strokes. That reduced breakage by 90%.

    I tried the smaller folding tri-cut limb saws because I thounght they could more easily fit into a back pocket. I quickly learned that you are better off with the largest folding saw you can find, as long as it has a tri-cut blade, if that's what they are called.

    You might want to go with a brand that offers replaceable blades. I finally went with ACE brand folding limb saws because they were fully guaranteed and they were quite cheap. There is a downside. I have yet to break a blade (most likely because of the length of the blades, maybe 9"?), however, the longer handles allow you to apply a lot of torque when cutting and I've cracked three of the plastic handles. The upside is that each time I have broken a handle, the blade was beginnig to get dull. I handed it to the clerk at ACE and they quickly exchanged it for a new saw. Full lifetime guarantees are great.

    I purchased a couple single person cross-cut saws for doing large limbs and small trees. If I had to cut a blow-down that was much over 10-12", I'd want a two person saw, or a chainsaw, if I was not in wilderness. Blow-down removal can be too labor intensive and time consuming. Maybe send a seperate crew out for the day to just travel around and cut a bunch of them with a chainsaw. The downside to that is those crews tend to screw around a lot getting to and from sites and are not very productive, in my experience.

    I have little to offer regarding loppers. We break them constantly and it's for the same reason each time. Too big of a branch, too dull of blades, too much torque. Waiting for winter to sharpen tools can be quite costly, in the long run. I'd go with overkill and get the loppers with the largest blades and strongest handles.


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  11. #11
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    Sawzall

    This post came up via Google for “best folding saw”, so even though it’s an old thread, I’ll contribute.

    I like any telescoping compound bypass lopper (as long as you sharpen it often – possibly daily – and know how to sharpen properly). I'm liking the Do-It-Best version. As far as a saw, the 10” folding Corona works best (until it gets dull). BoxElder mentioned the longer the blade the better, and he is dead right. I may try one of those Fiskars Woodzigs, since you can sharpen them. The real secret weapon though is a Milwaukee 6515-20 cordless Sawzall (18V). It’s like a small silent-running chainsaw, and fits into a Camelbak Mule. A buddy of mine is a home builder so I borrowed his and OMFG: it turns you into a one-man wrecking crew. Two batteries lasted me about 4 hours a day of primary use while doing heavy trail cutting (vs. trail maintenance – where loppers are primary). I could have used a third battery. The blades are easy to replace when they get dull, which is after about two full days of cutting. I only cut chaparral here in the Southern California Mountains though; so the base branch/trunks never get larger than maybe 8” diameter, and are generally very dry. I can’t imagine a better tool for chaparral work. Kneepads and gaiters are key, for getting up and under. Finally – the most important item – a pair of Shelby pigskin wristlet firefighter brush gloves. I’ve been through lots of gloves. These are the best. Buddies have turned me on to each of these.
    <img src="https://www.chiefsupply.com/images/products/600/5009W.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
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    <img src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7a/Chaparral_California.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

  12. #12
    sunnyside up
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    Awesome. Thanks for the tips. I have saved the last 1/4 mile chaparral until just now. I have some old growth poison oak vines -- I'm not kidding they are 6" in diameter at the base, and up to 4" thick up in the willow trees. I have about two weeks left to get in there before they start leafing out and the pitch flowing.

    I have never been personally responsible for flagging and cutting corridor through PO like this before. It is wild. My dog got poison oak sores from running through the cut stems. I have to renew my steroid cream RX as I use it after every project.



    Patty
    "...So forget all your duties, oh yeah! Fat bottomed girls, they'll be riding today..." Freddie Mercury

  13. #13
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    Poison-Oak

    Holy Murgatroid that’s thick Poison-Oak. I have scars from PO, so the vision of a 6” root is like the opening shot of a very bad nightmare (…completely surrounded by vine – in a cave of PO…). Unless it is a really bad case, I’ve found that if I let it run its 7 day course, it heals faster than if I use RX steroid cream (Efudex 5%) or pills (Prednisone 20mg). The cream/pills rout immediately clears up the open blisters – within hours – but then takes up to four weeks to completely heal the affected area, whereas the regular o-natural course is exactly 7 days. Of course if it’s so bad that bandages can’t contain the puss, I go with the prescribed method just so people at work don’t get all freaked out (but being jacked up at work feels like the scene from Fight Club where Ed Norton hisses at a guy that looks at his bruises…).

    My long standing ritual is to rinse/towel-off after a ride immediately, then when home (after lunch/drinks) spend about 15min in the shower with a clean wash towel, a bottle of cheap rubbing alcohol, and a 12oz bottle of Technu Cleanser. Soap/rinse, alcohol scrub/rinse, Technu scrub/rinse (1-2-3); rubbing down every inch of skin, not just the exposed parts. I’ve tried Zanfel (expensive) and it’s not worth it. Many of my friends swear by dry Tide-like washer soap, because it’s granular and feels like it’s exfoliating. I think of Poison-Oak oil exactly as I do a price tag – where you peel off the tag but you can’t rub off the glue unless you have alcohol or something – you just kind of smear it around. The magic reference point is if by the second day after a ride you take a shower and HOT water feels good… you know you’re in trouble…. and it’s too late.

    I have few problems now that I have the mandatory after-ride ritual, but back in the day my worst bouts I started to swell up within hours. One time I sat on a downed log during a night-ride, waiting for a regroup, and the next morning my ass cheek was full-blown raw meat. The oil soaked through my board shorts and tights and gave me a hospital trip the next day it was so bad. I’ve turned my outer calves into hamburger a few times too, which left scars. I’ve had blisters larger than halved golf balls on my wrists before (no ****). One time I put on clear Oakley’s – so I could get in close – and took a Westcott stainless steel ruler to my calf and scraped down and blew out 9 inches - about 10,000 – high-pressure puss modules. It was the most marvelous thing that ever happened to me. That and God’s very own HOT water. Poison-Oak is definitely a love-hate relationship.

    Sorry to ramble. More info for the masses. I’m going to go take a shower. Be safe out there.

  14. #14
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    http://www.silkysaws.com/ These look nice
    What are you doing reading this? Go out and RIDE!

  15. #15
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    A zubat is it's case is big but it's great.
    :)

  16. #16
    Just roll it......
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    Loppers

    I've been using the big Fiskars Loppers for a couple months on a project. I've literally had to cut through a huge section of devil's club and spent many days using these. The cam action really makes cutting thick stuff easy. Compared to my old loppers which were making my arms/shoulders super sore, these are amazing.


  17. #17
    turtles make me hot
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    I can't believe no one's mentioned a bowsaw. I've cut down some pretty good sized trees with one. If I wanted to transport one on a bike, I'd remove the blade and and tape it to my top tube and carry the bow part on my back. One of my friends fights forest fires and swears by them.
    I like turtles

  18. #18
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    . . .UG! Why not someone mention "ax"? Me use ax! It remove not only small trees but roots too. It are good tool! Pick-ax am good too. It are remove small roots and good for shaping new trails; maybe good for skinning ox for winter-coat too....

  19. #19
    local trails rider
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    If you want to carry a saw with you "just in case" a Wire Saw can be handy:
    https://web-tex.co.uk/accessories/we...prod_1389.html

  20. #20
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Sven Saw or a GB axe has always done the trick.
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