If you need to process a pile of wood for shelter or fire in the backcountry - by hand - a great large folding saw could save your life. Let’s take a look at two of the best folding saws for efficiently cutting wood that I’ve found.
#1 - Bob Dustrude Quick Buck Saw
When I began my quest for the best packable folding saw for building survival shelters and processing firewood in the back country - I was disappointed to find that most folding buck saw designs - like the Sven Folding Saw were limited in what they could cut, which essentially limits the length of each stroke when you cut larger trees.
Then I found the Bob Dustrude Quick Saw and was intrigued by its simple, common- sense design and massive cutting power.
3 Convenient Sizes
Bob’s saw comes in 21, 24 and 30 inch sizes. I grabbed the 24” model with an extra blade and a rustic looking cordura pack cloth case that holds and protects it all.
Easy to Assemble To call Bob’s saw into action, we simply...
Lift the arm toward the wood handle slightly to unlock the handle and blade. Then, slide the hardwood handle with blade out of the aluminum channel (that becomes your saw frame).
NEXT, open up the 3 piece aluminum channel...
And... Insert the end of the saw blade with keeper bolt into one of the slots in the open end of the frame... with blade edge out.
Then slide the handle end fully into the other slot.
NOW pivot the handle until it locks into place.
One of the cool things about this saw design is how the blade automatically tensions up nice and tight. And that’s it... no nuts or bolts to lose... which is nice. The tool can also be assembled with only one hand if needed.
Lightweight Bob’s saw weighs only 17 ounces (or about 480 grams) and makes fast work of cutting trees and good sized logs.
The down side is that it DOES take a minute to assemble and put away (so it’s not as convenient as a typical folding saw... AND it is a little longer than the height of most packs so you’ll probably need to strap it on.
Extreme Cutting Power by Hand The longer size aside... this is an amazingly rugged, lightweight and portable tool that will help you save valuable calories, reduce sweating and make processing large and small trees and logs much easier than any other packable cutting tool that I’ve found.
And at around $50 - $60 US (at the time of this review), the Bob Dustrude Quick Buck Saw is a no-brainer for those who want extreme cutting power in the backcountry.
#2 - Silky Big Boy
Next we have the Japanese-made Silky Big Boy folding saw which I have affectionately renamed the Super Silky. You’ll see why in a minute...
The Super Silky has a 14-inch or (360mm) replaceable, two-position blade and 5 teeth per inch for VERY quick cutting and retails for somewhere around $50 - $60 US (at the time of this video). Now having been a landscaper for years, I’m not a big fan of folding ‘Landscape Style” saws... they usually waste too many calories and frustrate more than help,but when I saw how the well the Silky worked at a recent survival training, my view changed.
Super Teeth “Buzz” Through Wood
I think I’ve figured out the secret of Silky Saws... I believe the secret is in the teeth. They have a unique pattern that cleans out chips and produces a cut that is wider than the blade... lowering the chance that the blade will bind and get stuck in the wood. This all makes for less work and faster cuts than I have seen in other folding saws of this type.
Comfortable to Use / Convenient Size The rubberized ergonomic handle makes this saw extremely comfortable for extended use. The Super Silky weighs just a hair less than Bob’s Quick Buck Saw at 16 ounces (or 450 grams) and packs up quite a bit smaller (with a length of about 16 inches (or 41 centimeters) versus the Bob Dustrude Saw at 25 inches (or 64 centimeters) in length.
So the Super Silky does fit inside a variety of packs.
Obviously, this large-bladed saw is best suited for rough sawing work but it can still perform some medium bushcraft cutting tasks like cutting in notches and stuff like that.
Compare the Two
We took the Super Silky out and put it up against Bob’s Saw. The Silky Big Boy performed exceptionally well against the Bob Dustrude Quick Saw and was beat out by just a few strokes. I don’t know about you, but I’d take either of these fine saws into the backcountry without hesitation. For your convenience here are quick links to the saws we just reviewed:
The Bob Dustrude Quick Saw http://tinyurl.com/kgpgaob
The Big Boy Silky Saw http://tinyurl.com/ku769qo