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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralPull saw vs. Bow sawPull saw vs. Bow saw
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10/8/2016 1:26 PM

After this thread on saws I decided I need to do some more saw testing for myself. Like many (I assume) most of my sawing tasks are met handily by a small sliding gerber saw (and I'll probably eventually get a Bahco Laplander to compare against it) but for occasional larger wood cutting tasks I have a cheap fiskars bow saw (21"? maybe 24"). 

After hearing Scott talk passionately about pull saws I figure I'd better give them a fair shake this winter, but since I'm choosing not to afford a larger Silky just yet (even for science) I'm looking at budget options just to see what I think of the form factor. So to pull saw users, are any of these options good enough to give me a fair comparison?

Vaughan Bear Saw

Shark Chop Saw

Irwin Pull Saw

Corona Pull Saw

The Vaughan and the Corona are available locally, the Corona isn't terribly impressive quality wise. This review thought highly of the Shark and the Irwin, but of course isn't written with the outdoors in mind. None of these pull saws have the cutting surface of my bow saw, but it is certainly possible they could still outperform it. I'm looking for a non-folding lightweight saw that is a significant step up in performance from typical pocket saws like the Gerber/Bahco/smaller Silky's. 80% of its job would be bucking larger wood for stove use, with very occasional use for yard work, trail maintenance or inane bushcrafty shenanigans.

In addition, I was having trouble finding the "quality swedish blade" for my bow saw that Evan mentions, Bahco is a swedish company but as near as I can tell their blades are not. Anyone have a good source? I figure I'd better put one in my bow saw if I want to do a fair comparison.

New Post
10/8/2016 9:18 PM
I have the folding Corona saw and it has served me well. Very aggressive cutting action. It has taken the place of my bow saw for anything other than car camping.

Sorry I don't have more to add.
New Post
11/26/2016 1:41 PM

Quick update:

Found the Irwin locally and was not inspired by the handle or locking mechanism, decided to get the Vaughan during a Black Friday sale.

The Vaughan does have a Japanese made blade and does seem to slightly outcut my bow saw (which after locating I find is only a 21" saw) but I need to source a better bow saw blade before I compare them again. The Vaughan is vulnerable to bending the blade, especially when the wood being cut is hard to hold steady. The handle is quite nice with bare hands or mittens, but I wouldn't mind a little bit more angle on it. The blade attachment isn't the most robust but seems adequate.

Still trying to convince myself to buy a Silky, but even the replacement blades cost more then the Vaughan.

New Post
2/21/2017 7:22 PM

Got to do some comparisons this weekend:

Vaughan is a 13" blade (330mm), and 9 TPI according to the site. The silky is a 210mm and about 6.5 TPI. Cutting speed was appreciably faster on the longer vaughan, and did seem more or less proportional to size. The Silky's courser teeth where also noticeable and seemed more prone to bind, especially on smaller diameter stuff that had more flex. The Silky was every bit as good as I've heard, construction was fantastic, but for the lower price and similar weight (about 1oz heavier) I'm quite happy with my Vaughan. The Folding Silky seemed to be the obvious choice when convenience and portability are priorities, but I'm usually not terribly bulk limited when I need a real saw.

New Post
2/22/2017 7:39 AM
I cut an eight-in tree down the other day with my Katanaboy.  4 teeth per inch.  WAY to agressive for a firewood saw to feed a LW backpackable stove as it wants to grab if the piece you're cutting has any flex.  That saw and a 28in Fiskars axe will be my pioneer kit for a vehicle.  Gotta pick out a good shovel now.  Not full sized but bigger than an e-tool.
New Post
2/22/2017 1:31 PM
I am not there to see you cutting, so take this with a grain of salt. In general if the teeth are grabbing and you are getting binding with a sharp saw, you are pulling down into the cut to much. In essence digging the teeth in instead of pulling them across the top and letting them eat. Try not putting pressure on the saw and just let it ride across the top and you pull it back and forth. That being said yes bigger teeth do grab easier. The other thing is make sure you are using a full draw (length of the saw blade) it is both more efficient, but longer smoother pulls are less choppy for lack of a better work and grab less.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
New Post
2/22/2017 9:09 PM

Certainly the longer length of the vaughan felt like I could get a smoother stroke beyond just tooth size, the silky felt like I was just getting into a good stroke right when I would run out of blade. I was probably pushing down a bit hard as I was trying to be consistent for stroke counting in comparing the saws.

I still need to find a decent bow saw blade to finish the comparison, but Scot you might have made a convert out of me on pull saws. Just the other day I was trying to cut something and bottomed out my bow saw, had to switch to my tiny pocket Fiskars saw to finish the job.

HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralPull saw vs. Bow sawPull saw vs. Bow saw

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When humans first set foot in a new continent, they came in small groups under their own power, bringing only the gear they needed. Most simply called themselves The People. Over time, those who chose the rougher freer life of the up country came to think of themselves as the Hill People.
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