For my last birthday, I did my family a favor and purchased a bunch of my own presents. I'm notorious for having already picked items off my own wish-lust-lists.
Think Geek has been a good source for gadgets and gizmos to feed my need, and this year was no exception. The difficulty being getting items that can be shipped to Australia, as they have started restricting items based on, well, "pointiness" as far as I can tell. The UC M48 Ranger Hawk,KA-BAR Zombie Killer knives and even the Dead-On Annihilator Superhammer available through Think Geek are not for export to Australia. Sad-making!
However, one of the pieces of kit that IS still available, is this, thePocket Chainsaw.
I have covered my Wire Saw's previously, which are a gorgeous bit of kit to have stowed away in a Bug-Out-Bag or camping set, but there are times when you really need a bit more bite.
I've never been very comfortable with powered saws, (even when Picatinny-rail mounted...) because of the risk of kickback as seen in Dawn of the Dead and described to me by a variety of experienced wood-cutters (not all of whom had all their fingers). I can and have used chainsaws, I just prefer non-powered tools to do the job. Slower, I know, but unless I needed to do a lot, and often enough to become familiar and proficient again, I'll stick to hand-tools.
This pocket chainsaw fir my need perfectly! Made of high strength, heat-treated steel which has been coated for rust resistance and smoothness of cutting action, it comes with bent rings to hook through the lead ends of the chain, and corded plastic handles to ease the cutting action, and increase the draw and reach of the saw.
The 70cm (28") saw features 124 bidirectional teeth, capable of cutting in both the forwards and backwards draw, and the beauty of this piece is that when you are done wit hit, it rolls up into a coil that fits int its own carry-can, along with the welded loop-hooks, and the whole package weighs only 140g (5 oz)
It comes with two molded plastic handles with cord loops, which I fixed to the loop-hooks with a larks-head hitch. The loops and handles added about another 50cm or so of reach, as well as keeping my knuckles clear of both saw and log.
We had some pretty damaging spring wind-storms here, and my partner Anastasia had a largish gum-tree branch fall on her shed, which seemed a perfect chance for me to finally get to use some of my newer acquisitions.
I chopped the smaller limbs with my
Ranger Hawk, as will as its big brother, the M48 Walking Axe which packed considerable wallop for such a small cutting head. Both bit faster and deeper than my usual go-to Fiskars Log Splitter. However, when it came to cutting through logs, after I had trimmed the branches off, it was time for the saw to do its thing.
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The saw bit in fast and made quick work of the first third of the log, but I found that a comfortable, narrow shoulder grip tended to cause the chain to bind up, leading to me needing to take a very wide stance to effect my cuts.
Once I cleared the hard core of the branch, I was a matter of raising the ends, so that gravity would force the log open, to reduce that binding. This was because I was cutting "up" standing over the log. Pulling "down" and cutting a suspended branch would have been much easier, but dangerous.
When I was done, the loop-hooks simply disengaged, I unhitched the handles and stowed the coiled saw and loop-hooks in the pocket tin. The handles had to be stowed separately. This was an excellent, easy to use and practical addition to my car-kit, ready to pull out and cut up road blocking obstacles without the need for fuel, and storage space.
Here's just a quick picture of the M48 Walking axe, hanging off the largest of the limbs I cut with it, in-situ. The para-cord wrap on my M48 Ranger Hawk completely unraveled whilst chopping, which was very unsatisfactory. I will eventually re-tie it myself.
The folding pocket chainsaw worked tremendously well, silently, and quickly.