Do you ever wonder why some people carry an axe and others carry a saw? We’ve all seen the iconic photos of the almighty bushcrafters walking the woods with an axe strapped to the side of their packs. And sure, an axe has its time and place. But a saw processes wood faster. Much faster! It’s also quite the rescue tool to get you un-stranded – which we’ll cover in this post! We’ll also sneak in a little review of my favourite saw, the Silky BIGBOY 2000! So let’s get started.
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- The Silky BIGBOY Saw’s Greatest Advantage: Getting Un-Stranded!
- Processing Wood Faster
- Why the Silky BIGBOY?
- Other Saw’s to Consider
- Purchase the Items in this Post
- Further Reading
The Silky BIGBOY Saw’s Greatest Advantage: Getting Un-Stranded!
Yes, you read that correctly and obviously, we are not talking about an on-foot situation as that wouldn’t make sense. No, No. This is for the overland experience by car, or that side-by-side trip down a trail. Speaking of trails, maybe even that snowmobile trip you always dreamed of.
The trouble is when you have a vehicle travelling down a forest trail or road, quite often a tree comes down and blocks your path out. That’s if you are lucky, storms can bring down multiple trees. Going around can often mean a hundred kilometres or more of a detour. And that usually happens when you least expect it.
If you are already wondering why not just go around, imagine a forest so dense even an ATV or sled can’t get by. If you still think that’s not possible, it’s happened to me at least 3 times in the last 5 years – which is why the Silky BIGBOY has a permanent home in my kit!
The axe lovers here will argue they can do anything with an axe. But if you need to cut a downed tree, usually in 2 places so you can drag a section off the road, it’s more work than you think. Especially if that’s a hardwood and 2 feet in diameter. But that’s a job the Silky can handle in 5 minutes a cut, without physically draining yourself by hacking at something that feels as hard as a rock. Something in the way of your freedom.
Processing Wood Faster
Many people will argue this is the saw’s greatest advantage. I place self-rescue in the first place, just because we can avoid so many other problems, potentially serious problems, by getting out of the one we are already in. But forget rescue or emergencies for a minute. If we are camping, hiking, overlanding, canoe tripping and so on, a saw will process wood MUCH FASTER than an axe. And by wood, we mean firewood.
This is the other reason why the BIGBOY is always in my pack. When ATVing and out 30 clicks on a lonely trail, if an emergency presents and I have to spend the night, it won’t be a problem. With fire, we have heat, a source to cook food, and a means to make water safe for drinking.
For those overlanding, heading to a hunt camp and so on, the saw is a great backup to your chainsaw. If you’ve ever had your chainsaw pinched where you need a second incision to relieve tension (and get your chainsaw back), you’ll know exactly what I mean. If not, maybe you just need to get out more:)
Why the Silky BIGBOY?
The question should be why would you want anything else? First and foremost, the Silky BIGBOY is a folding saw. This cuts the size down in half when not in use – not to mention protect its blade (and you and your pack) in the process. It also fits my 37-liter backpack, zipped up neatly in the back outside pocket which is outstanding.
Opening up the saw yields a 14.5″ (360 mm) cutting edge which is massive for a hand saw. Couple that with the fact that it only weighs a pound and you quickly realize you have the potential to carry some serious machinery in a light payload.
When purchasing your BIGBOY, you have some options:
|Yellow||Extra Large||5.5||Pruning, Green Wood|
|Red||Large||6||Pruning, Green Wood|
|Blue||Fine||11||Hard Wood, Bamboo|
I’ve had the pleasure of owning a BIGBOY for years now and by complete accident, or let’s rephrase that, choice of stock at the time, ended up buying a yellow which is extra large. I can wholeheartedly say it cuts everything with ease.
What is the Difference in a Silky BIGBOY “2000”?
Up until now, we have referred to the saw as the BIGBOY, which is the model. Silky, by the way, is the manufacturer. So when it comes to the BIGBOY 2000, it simply has a curved blade instead of a straight one and it only comes in the XL tooth version. If you are wondering, my saw referenced above is a BIGBOY 2000.
Silky claims the low angle curve of the 2000 model “enables cutting branches smoothly and incredibly fast”. I don’t have a regular BIGBOY to compare to and can’t speak to their claim – but their brand and saws are legendary. I would assume for the most part they are both comparable.
Silky provides a rubberized, non-slip cushion grip on the saw. It really is well thought out from all aspects. The BIGBOY and the BIGBOY 2000 are made in Japan and that automatically instills a lot of confidence. If that’s not enough, their limited lifetime warranty should dispel any concerns over quality. After years of use, mine looks brand new. I can’t imagine requiring any warranty service.
Are There Any Issues With the Silky BIGBOY Saw?
Only one. But it’s super minor and also easily fixable yourself! So, this would be the moment we should mention the blade locks in place in the open position. That’s expected, of course. But there’s nothing to keep it in its folded and closed state. The saw would open up in my pack, and I would worry about it damaging the insides of the pack and/or other items in the same pocket.
For a good year, I used a simple velcro cable wrap. Once set to the right size, you could slide it over the end of the saw until snug to keep it closed. A friend of mine had the exact same squabbles with his saw – so I gave him the velcro solution. However, you have to not lose the velcro and it’s an extra step every time you pull out or put away the saw.
Then there’s an even better solution we found:
Other Saw’s to Consider
Perhaps getting stuck somewhere is never a concern for you. Or maybe you don’t need to cut bigger chunks of wood. So be it. But if a saw in general still sounds like a good idea, in comes the Silky POCKETBOY. And of course, we have one of these as well!
The Silky Pocket Boy comes in 2 sizes: 5.12″ (130 mm) or 6.69″ (170 mm), the smaller one weighing only 170g (6.0 oz.) I don’t know about you, but when I order black forest ham at the deli, it’s usually 200 grams and it’s a pretty small bundle. In other words, the saw lives up to its “pocket” name both in size and weight.
Unlike the BIGBOY, the POCKETBOY also comes with a hard sheath that keeps it perfectly secure, in addition to being attachable to a belt. It is an outstanding piece of gear to add to any kit and a very HANDY item to have in your pocket if frequent cutting is your thing.
We will always stand by our comment that the saw is mightier than the axe. But then again the hardcore bushcrafters will always want both and the combination of things you can do with these 2 tools is limitless. So who knows? Maybe you want both as well.
Have any cutting experience you want to share? Comment down below.
Purchase the Items in this Post
We can’t write a novel about a saw… But the good news for you blade junkies is we have a very in-depth review of the Morakniv Garberg Carbon. It’s a wicked bushcraft knife that should always go hand in hand with that shiny new Silky saw. Just don’t forget the band-aid aisle!