Sunday, September 25, 2011

Trailblazer Sawvivor 18" Saw In The Field Review

In this video I review the Trailblazer Sawvivor Saw in the 18" model. In this new take, I give you what I have appropriately called an "In The Field" Review. ITF for short. Its impossible to have gunfire and explosions in every video I make, but hopefully reviewing different items in the environment in which they are to be used will be more beneficial than embedding footage of when I have used them over a review on the table top in my workspace.

Anyway, this is a great light to medium duty tool for the outdoorsman trying to keep size and weight down to a minimum. 18"x3" (LxW) when folded down and only about 10 ounces. Able to cut through about 5.25", depending on situation. 5.25" is the distance between the blade and the top frame of the saw. You can cut wider diameters, within reason, if you can get the wood fall away as you are making the cut to allow space for the frame to saw within (as I show with the larger limb). But for a standing tree you would be limited to the 5.25". This saw can take abuse and also dish it out to wood that stands in your way. It is a perfect size for a minimalist or someone who likes to keep size and weight down to a minimum.

A saw like this is a great addition to the gear pile for anyone who enjoys spending time in the woods, and is required to procure, and cut their wood to workable dimensions for a fire. Saws like this are a great option for making perpendicular cuts to standing or fallen wood alike to allow for easier movement back to camp. These saws don't replace a survival knife, like the RTAK 2, but have their own advantages. The energy level required to take down a tree with a saw like this is much lower than the striking that would be required with a survival knife, and energy conservation is something that is important to most campers who go on self sufficient trips (ie not in the backyard or out of the back of a truck). The size and weight advantages of this saw compared to full size saws or axes is also a major advantage. A full sized axe or saw would be great for a camper that is driving to their campsite, but carrying that weight is not very effective if you have a long distance to your location and are carrying everything in your pack. Those that would argue otherwise, are only showing their lack of experience. You can not argue with the fact that a small saw like this that weighs a thirteenth of a full sized wood axe is more efficient to carry into the back country.

As mentioned, the perfect combination of wood procuring tools is a small packable saw like this and a survival blade. The saw obviously can be used to cut the tree down, or separate it from the stump if fallen, and then use it to divide the log into manageable pieces. The knife enables you to easily remove branches before subdividing with the saw, finish off horizontal cuts that run into knots in the wood, and also increasing the space created with a cut if the wood is larger in diameter (5.25"+). Additionally, and one of the most important steps, is then batoning the wood. Obviously the knife should be your first choice here. While you could split the wood in smaller dimensions with the saw if its all you had, it would be a lot harder and require a MUCH larger expenditure of energy.

All in all this saw is a great stand alone tool, and when paired with an appropriate survival knife makes you more than capable to do some serious work.

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