Why do I need a folding saw?
Like most outdoor activities, hunting requires at least some wilderness survival skills and the tools that go along with them. The more tools you have to assist you, the easier your hunting trip will be. Chances are you’ll run into some tough obstacles, so a folding saw to cut through them is an essential accessory.
Saws are great for bushcraft like building your own ground blind or prepping a tree for your stand. If you’re camping on your hunting trip, then of course you’ll have to cut would to clear an area and make a fire. Folding saws are compact and much easier to pack with your gear than an axe or full-sized saw.
You can even use some folding saws to field dress animals.
Wouldn’t an axe be better?
Axes do have certain advantages. You can put a lot of power behind them. However, axes tend to be large and bulky to carry while saws are more compact. Saws have other upsides as well.
Using a saw is actually quicker than an axe as well, on average about one-third of the effort is required. You also don’t need a ton of room for a saw like you do an axe. For branches which may be hard to reach, you can even ‘pole mount’ the blade for that sawing action.
Bushcraft saws vs pruning saws
There are some important factors you should consider when specifically choosing a bushcraft saw. Pruning saws can be a vital part of a home gardener’s arsenal, but they may not be as useful in the wilderness.
When choosing a saw for camping, survival or bushcraft, you want something lightweight and portable, but still reliable. Build quality is more important since you’ll be packing it in with gear a lot.
Unlike in your yard, you may not know exactly the types of trees and wood you’re going to encounter while hunting. It’s best to choose a tool that is as versatile as possible. Many of the woods you come across will be softwoods, like willow, which need large teeth for cutting. However, areas with harder wood will need a small-toothed blade. It’s probably best to choose a medium blade if you’re going to be hunting a lot of unfamiliar areas.
Can you sharpen a folding saw?
The blade of a folding saw may become dull over time, which results in a rough cut. A dull blade can also slow down your work or be more dangerous to use.
Although many hardware or outdoor shops offer professional sharpening services, it’s easy to do at home. Tightly clamp the blade into a vise and use a small metal file or grindstone to sharpen the blade.
You will notice the teeth of the saw alternate between flat and beveled edges. You only have to sharpen the beveled edges.
If you’ll be doing mostly up-close work, opt for shorter blades (about 6 inches) and short handles. For big jobs, such as cutting back an extensive privet hedge, choose longer blades (9 to 12 inches) and longer handles.
Most quality hedge shears on the market are straight-blade shears made from forged steel. One advantage of straight blades is that they can be easily sharpened by hand with a millstone and/or sharpening stone.
Ideally, the blades on your hedge shears should touch only at the cutting point to reduce friction and sticking.
Some shears have serrations on one or both blades, which can be helpful when gripping and cutting twigs larger than ? inch.
Another feature on some designs is a non-stick coating, purportedly to keep the blades from gumming up and/or rusting.
Wavy-blade shears are also sold. They grip the twigs, preventing them from sliding along the blade while you’re cutting, an advantage with open-structured plants. The disadvantage is that wavy blades require professional sharpening.
Another feature to look for is a good adjustable pivot-bolt assembly, which allows you to adjust the blade tension as necessary. This is often the first part of the tool to fail, so being able to buy replacement pivot bolts is an advantage.
How to Choose the Best Loppers for You
Loppers come in a range of styles, sizes, and price points; what’s best for you depends on the kind of pruning you’ll be doing, your size and strength, and your budget. Pruning can be heavy, repetitive work so it’s important to buy the right loppers.
Loppers come with a wide range of handle/grip sizes, shapes, and materials. Some are “ergonomically designed” to fit your hand, while others are made of softer material to cushion impact. We found that the softer, foam grips are most comfortable, but they’re also the most prone to damage. Handles with contoured grips may be most comfortable for some people, but try it out before buying as not everyone holds loppers the same way. Also check on the size of the grips; some are rather short, which limits hand placement on the handles when pruning.
All better loppers have a bumper or other cushioning mechanism (usually near the blades) to prevent the handles from smashing together as you complete a cut. Make sure that the bumper prevents your hands from touching as you cut and try closing the loppers forcefully to see how well the bumper absorbs shock.
How a Pruning Saw Differs From Other Saws & Why It Matters
Some saws might appear the same at first glance, but some key differences make the pruner saw ideal for the job of tricky pruning work.
Anyone who knows me well (or has read my columns here) knows that I thoroughly enjoy pruning trees. It’s one of my favorite farming tasks—nothing can change a landscape more quickly than trimming the messy lower branches of a spruce tree, and I spend a good portion of the year going around the farm and working to keep encroaching trees and branches under control.
There are also plenty of apple trees to care for, and of course they require occasional pruning as well, albeit with a focus on fruit production more than aesthetics. With this in mind, I was recently given a new pruning saw as a gift, and suffice to say I’m excited to start using it now that spring is just around the corner.
You might wonder what makes a pruning saw different from any other saw. Pruning saws come in a few different shapes and sizes, with some of them attached to long poles and aimed at pruning out-of-reach branches high above your head. My new pruning saw is simpler—at first glance, it’s not much different than a regular hand saw—but a closer examination quickly reveals a few key differences that make it more ideal for tricky pruning work.
First let’s consider shape. Rather than having a straight blade, my new pruning saw features a curved blade, and from what I understand this is often the preferred shape for pruning work. Having never used a curved blade before, I’m looking forward to comparing and contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of the two designs.
What Is A Pruning Shear
A pruner shear is a tool that is used for cutting and trimming plants. It has a long blade and a short blade. The short blade is for cutting and the long blade is for trimming. It is used to cut and trim plants such as roses and shrubs. There are various types of pruners on the market, but they all have similar blades. The difference between them is their size, shape and other features. Some are designed for indoor gardening or home use while others can be used outdoors.
They are also made in different sizes, shapes and prices. The most common type of pruner shears is called an angled pruner. Many garden centers sell this kind of pruner because it is fairly easy to handle when you need to do some trimming around your house. It allows you to get close to the plant without having to bend over much. If you want a good quality pruning shear that is not expensive, then look for one with a rubberized grip to make sure it will hold up against rough surfaces. You should also check if it has a comfortable handle and easy-to-hold trigger lever. Most of all, try out the pruner by using it first before buying it.