Saws for every purpose

Saws like all cutting tools can be a source of debate. As a forester I have many saws for many jobs so let’s take a look at some options. Firstly, saws fall into two different types with two different types of blades. This can be confusing to some, but in this blog, I’ll be looking at saws which are used for different jobs and then I’ll aim to clarify some of that mystery for you.

Firstly, folding or fixed blade saws? It really derives on the purpose, folding saws are easy to transport and to store however they have reconnections that’s why we always recommend folding saws that lock both when open and closed. Both the Laplander by Bacho and Airaj pictured below have this feature.

Bacho Laplander

These saws both have advantages and disadvantages so let’s have a look at them. As you can imagine it’s always best to use the saw appropriate to the job and often these saws are carried together for forestry operation.

Aggressive teath of the Airaj

With the aggressive Airaj it is used to remove tree limbs and then the finer tooted Laplander is used to tidy up the cut at the collar on the main truck. The reason for this is they have different blade types.

Finer teath of the Laplander

On one had a green wood blade with raker teeth is used to clear the cut from sawdust absorbed in tree sap, where deadwood blades would clog up. This means they react in different ways to the stress. The blade is only meant for green wood and will jump all over the place on seasoned wood. The Laplander is something that deals well with smaller green wood and not bad on seasoned wood, so is a good allrounder.

It is important to note, always use the right type of blade for the job, as not only can it jump and seriously damage you but also seasoned wood blunts green wood saws and green wood clogs up universal type blades

But what about the cut. Some saws cut on both the push and pull stroke however most professional saws only cut on the pull.

Laplander cuts on push and pull

I use a variety of fixed handle saws, they are hard to compare, but I’ll list the pros and cons below. They fall into certain types, which I’ll name as I go through them.

The small narrow nosed bowsaw has a specific use in pruning, and it’s designed to get into tight spaces for live or green wood, it is popular in coppicing and hedge laying crafts. I’ve never bothered to put a seasoned wood blade on one of these saws, as it’s limited in terms of sectioning up fire wood etc. It’s generally suited to branches up to 75mm thick.

Small narrow nosed bow saw

The standard bow saw comes in various sizes, this 20-inch version with the correct training can fell and dismantle a 9inch tree. They also deal with seasoned logs with the right blade on them, up to 12 inches, as long as you can roll them.

Standard Bow Saw

The belt saw is my favoured saw, this Silky Gomboy 300 mm straight bladed version is useful for everything including felling. I do however avoid felling with the curved bladed version as you can’t get the correct hinge with them.

Silky Gomboy
Silky Gomboy Teeth

I mainly use the big curved saw for dealing with large green windblown branches etc but with a 20inch blade it’s a bit over kill unless you’re doing a lot of serious green wood stuff.

Draper Expert curved blade

The straight greenwood saw is great for green wood carpentry, prosision work, and felling small trees, but not suited to pruning etc.

Straight greenwood saw
Straight greenwood saw

In summary what I am saying is don’t ask which is the best saw for Bushcraft but look at what jobs you want your saw to do and then you can make your informed choice from there.


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