Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Wire Saw

One of my readers came across an item on one of my favorite gadget-sites, and thought I should know about it. Turns out, I already have one, or similar at least, but I thought it apt to tell you all a bit about it too. This is a Wire Saw. For those of you who have never seen one, it is a strand (or strands) of wire with some form of edge cut into it. Mine has a spiraling ridge that is cut into the strand running the length of the high-tensile wire. I have also had one that had circular grooves cut into the entire length of the wire, (confiscated by airport security somewhere...). The way these are used is to drape the wire over the item to be cut (wood, plastic, soft metals, bone, whatever) and by tensioning the wire with the rings, cutting by drawing it back and forth.

Because it's a flexible tool, and includes the split rings at each end, the length of draw can be extended by adding cords, which can even enable you to cut overhanging, out of reach or hard-to reach spots. You can also fit it to a flexible pole to make a bow-saw. The offering from Zazz has a multiple strand wire which is probably more sturdy and lasting, as well as giving a better bite and cut. I've used mine to cut a dangling broken branch as thick as my forearm which was blocking a CFA water-truck whilst at a festival, much to the volunteers delight, to rough-cut 2x4 planks and to put notches into poles for lashing purposes. Never a problem with cutting, no failures. Bear in mind this isn't nearly as bitey as a proper toothed sawblade, or a chain-saw (even the manual kind, thanks to Ken of Modern Survival Blog), but its light, packs to nothing and won't cut your gear even when stored haphazardly.

One of these features in the Bear Grylls' Ultimate Survival Pouch that I reviewed a while back, and I can't recommend them enough to anyone who adventures in the wide and wild outdoors, wants to be ready in case of disasters, or perhaps just wants to look like a bad-ass zombie-decapitating mall-ninja! I keep mine in my messenger bag, I'll let you be the judge of my mall-ninjaness.


  1. These are great for occasional use, especially hiking. The bigger the saw the faster the cut, with some older models being designed for metals up to mild steel. However they attract a very poor reception from authorities. In the past these have been used as hidden weapons and escape tools and while not prohibited they will cause problems in suburbia. The inevitable question being "and why would you need one here sir?" leading on to other nonsense.

    Again a very useful, cool and totally legal item, but best left in the boot of the car or well stowed in a hiking pack, like mine.

  2. hehehe.... I bought a Pocket Chainsaw after reading this review. its one of the more bitey kind with a lot of teeth and been having a heap of fun with it in the garden. heaps easier to use than a bow saw.

    I might look at the wire saw done the track but dont have a lot of need to cut things harder than wood, although I do like the compact nature of the one you reviewed here.


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