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Reviews > Knives > Saws > Nordic Pocket Saw > Test Report by Michael Pearl

DEL TORRI AB NORDIC POCKET SAW
TEST SERIES BY MIKE PEARL
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - March 01, 2017
FIELD REPORT - May 23, 2017
LONG TERM REPORT - July 25, 2017

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Pearl
EMAIL: mikepearl36ATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 43
LOCATION: Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)

I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and get out at every opportunity. I am a three-season, learning to be a four-season backpacker and year-round hiker. Currently, my trips are two to three days long as well as an annual week-long trip. I utilize the abundant trail shelters in my locale and pack a backup tarp-tent. I like to cover big distances while still taking in the views. I have lightweight leanings but function and reliability are the priority. I mostly travel woodland mountain terrain but enjoy hiking beautiful trails anywhere.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Del Torri AB IMAGE 1
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: nordicpocketsaw.com
MSRP: US$49.00

Listed Weight: 4.6 oz (131 g)
Measured Weight: 4.7 oz (132 g)
Chain Length: 25.6 in (65 cm)
Measured Length: 25.5 in (65 cm)

Measured Handle Length: 6.5 in (16.5 cm) each
Overall Measured Length: 40.5 in (103 cm)

Saw Materials: Chain - Heat treated high carbon steel & Handles - Heavy duty nylon
Handle Colors Available: Green, Orange and Red

Case Material: Cordura
Case Weight: 2.1 oz (60 g)
Measured Case Weight: 2 oz (57 g)
Case Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.1 x 1.2 in (11.9 x 10.7 x 3 cm)

The chain is made with double cutter teeth on every major link providing cutting in both directions of pull.

Care - To decrease friction and prevent wear, the chain should be lubricated regularly with chain lube. Thoroughly rinse with degreaser before lubrication. Teeth can be sharpened with a 4 mm (0.16 in) round file if needed.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

IMAGE 2The Pocket Saw arrived cable tied to a display hanger. After removing the cable ties I opened the carrying case and found the saw inside a plastic bag. The saw arrived with a coating of chain oil. I assume the plastic bag is to maintain lubrication during shipping. Also in the case was a small sheet of paper with safety warning and warranty information.

The carrying case looks and feels sturdy and well made. The front and back portions of the case are thick and semi rigid. The sides are thinner and stretch. The opening has a hook and loop closure as well as a belt loop on the back. The straps or handles of the saw are 1 in (2.54 cm) wide. They provide a 5 in (12.7 cm) opening to pass my hand through. The handles are flexible enough to be comfortable to grasp.

The handles connect to triangular pieces of metal. These pieces of metal then connect to the saw teeth. The teeth all look very uniform and are sharp to the touch. Each tooth moves smoothly at its connection point with its neighbor. The saw is easy to open and fully extend from its wound up shape out of the case.

All parts of the Pocket Saw appear well made of quality materials and construction. Weighing in under a pound (0.45 kg) and stowing away in a rather small case the saw seems understated. However, seeing and feeling the saw gives the impression of an aggressive serious cutting tool.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The Pocket Saw did not arrive with instructions for its use. However, the company website has a video demonstrating its use (in Swedish). The design of the saw is simplistic enough that just seeing the video is enough to understand how to use it.

The Nordic Pocket Saw has a 5-year limited warranty. This covers only defects in materials and workmanship and only for consumer, noncommercial use by the original retail purchaser.

The safety warnings are mostly common sense but go into great detail. The saw being a tool designed to cut things is inherently dangerous. So I understand the warnings of property damage, bodily injury, and even death as a result of misuse.

TRYING IT OUT

My first use of the Nordic Pocket Saw was cutting a 4 in (10 cm) diameter branch. The branch was cut from a tree at the end of the summer. I placed the branch over the end of our deck. I placed one foot on the branch to secure it in place and then began moving the Pocket Saw. The saw quickly bit into the wood. The teeth moved easily through the branch and increased the speed of moving the saw. The Pocket Saw cut clean through the branch with little effort without skipping or binding.

SUMMARY

The Nordic Pocket Saw is compact, lightweight, solidly made wood cutting tool. I like its straight forward design and function. The Pocket Saw is easy to use and store between use. My one question now is how often will it require care as far as lubrication and sharpening.

Several times a year I perform maintenance on a 2.2 mi (3.5 km) section of the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. I carry a bow saw which is bulky or a hatchet which is heavy to remove downed branches and small trees. I will occasionally carry the hatchet while backpacking to process firewood. The Nordic Pocket Saw overcomes both downsides of these tools. Based on my initial experience I feel the Pocket Saw stands a good chance of replacing one if not both of these tools.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Two trail maintenance hikes, both on the Appalachian Trail - Pomfret, Vermont - 4.4 mi (7 km) from 775 to 1295 ft (236 to 395 m). Temperature 60 F (15.5 C) and sunny. Pack weight - 15 lb (7 kg).

Day hike Smarts Mountain - Lyme, New Hampshire - 8 mi (13 km) from 1050 to 3238 ft (320 to 990 m). Temperature 65 F (18 C) clear and sunny. Pack weight - 18 lbs (8 kg)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have carried the Nordic Pocket Saw on multiple hikes but have used it on three. While stowed away in my pack I didn't even notice it. The Pocket Saw is compact and light taking up little space and weighing the same as two Clif Bars. When I encountered a trail maintainers most prized discovery of trees fallen on the trail the Pocket Saw burst forth from my pack.

The limbs cut were from about ankle to thigh size (mine to be exact) and still green. The Pocket Saw cut through them with minimal effort. The saw is easy to unfurl from the case. After selecting a place to make a cut the saw, is easy to position and engage. It smoothly moves through the wood with the pull of each handle.

IMAGE 1


The first two cuts in the field were not 100% successful however. The design of the Pocket Saw makes cutting from the underside the easiest and most efficient approach. And this is how I approached the first two branches. The problem occurred about three quarters through the cut, the weight of the cut end caused the branch to sag pinching the saw. I was unable to pull the saw and complete the cut. Luckily I was able to lift the branch enough to free the saw. I then completed the cut from the top of the branch. Stubborn as I am, I tried the same approach on the next branch. The result was the same.

Next I tried to prop the branch to be cut with a previously cut branch. The idea to hold the weight as the branch gave way from the cut. This worked better in that the saw was not pinched. At the point where the branch was no longer held together very well it became unstable. The supporting branch shifted and both branches crashed to the ground. While the saw did not completely cut through the branch it did detach and the trail cleared. The downside was the need to quickly jump back with a sharp tool in hand.

The branch I made an initial cut from the top side of the branch about a third of the way through. This is kind of awkward as I had to reach under the branch to pull the handle furthest from me to move the saw. This worked but not as fluid and quickly as from the underside of the branch. Once the branch slightly sagged I moved the saw to the underside and completed the cut. When making this underside cut I rapidly moved the saw, especially toward the end. This had the branch dropping without the saw binding.

On the smaller ankle size branches or ones with little weight on the cut end binding was not a problem. Increasing the speed of the saw near the end of the branch was enough complete the cut. The Pocket Saw is quick and easy to coil up and slip into the carrying case. The teeth of the saw remain very sharp to the touch and when cutting after about a dozen cuts. I have not performed any maintenance or special care at this point. The Nordic Pocket Saw remains in like new condition.

SUMMARY

The Nordic Pocket Saw is easy to pack, lightweight and very sharp. It does a very good job cutting small to medium size branches. It has performed just as well if not slightly better than other wood cutting tools I have used. The major advantage of the Pocket Saw is its size and weight. I look forward to using the Pocket Saw in a camp setting on upcoming backpacking trips.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Two day overnight backpack to Stratton Mountain - Stratton, Vermont - 13 mi (21 km) from 2300 to 3950 ft (700 to 1200 m). Temperature 50 to 70 F (10 - 21 C) partly sunny, muddy and very buggy. Pack weight - 25 lb (11 kg).

Trail maintenance hike on the Appalachian Trail - Pomfret, Vermont - 4.4 mi (7 km) from 775 to 1295 ft (236 to 395 m). Temperature 80 F (27 C) and sunny. Pack weight - 15 lb (7 kg).

Two day overnight backpack to Mount Chocorua - Albany, New Hampshire - 14 mi (22.5 km) from 800 to 3500 ft (244 to 1067 km). Temperature 55 to 80 F (13 to 27 C) sunny, windy and still buggy. Pack weight - 25 lb (11 kg).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Both overnight trips were very buggy. During the day the infamous and often feared New England blackfly feasted. Sunset brought a change of shift and the mosquito went to work. While hiking or in the wind we had refuge from the buzzing and biting. While in camp these conditions were not possible. Therefore the first task was to make a nice and smoky fire.

The Pocket Saw was great for quickly processing downed branches for firewood. The saw is very effective with very little effort needed to cut through wrist and arm sized branches. I was able to keep the fire fed all evening and into the night. In the veil of the smoke screen the bugs were kept at bay.

After a fairly severe thunderstorm rolled through our area, I knew it meant a trail maintenance hike. All was well with the exception of a group of four tree limbs across the treadway, the largest of which was about the size of my thigh, 22 in (61 cm) in circumference. The Pocket Saw handled the smaller tree with no problems. I first made a cut about a quarter of the way through the side opposite whichever side I would be working from. In most cases, I worked from the bottom or the side, this being the easiest way to pull the saw across the wood. Then once the weight of the branch began to bind the saw I could lift the branch just enough to free the saw. Now I would finish the cut from the opposing side.

I was going to leave the largest branch for the chainsaw crew, but then I thought why not just give a go and see how the Pocket Saw would handle it. This time I attacked from any side I could manage to pull the saw from. Half way through the saw became quite hot. I took a break for the saw and myself. This branch had me sweating, with tiring arms as well. But I was making good progress so I went to finish it off. Up to this point in time I had not oiled or sharpened the saw. I wanted to see how many cuts I could make before the Pocket Saw needed any attention. These ended up being about eight green limbs and about three cuts to dry wood. On this final limb I could feel that the saw had dulled and pulling it took more effort. After several pulls the weight of the branch became too much and it pinched the saw. The weight of the branch and the way it laid across the trail made it too difficult to move. I could not free the saw. Luckily I always carry a backup extra cutting tool. After several swings of the hatchet the branch gave and the Pocket Saw fell free.

While I probably took on a larger than intended limb and neglected recommended upkeep I wanted to get a feel for the Pocket Saws limits. I had every intention of sharpening and oiling the saw before my next hike. However, it slipped my mind as it did not make it to the "to do list". The Pocket Saw made it back on the trail without any attention. It still did a good job cut smaller, dry branch for firewood.

After returning home I quickly went to the local hardware store for chain oil and a 4mm (0.16 in) round file. I gave the saw a proper tune up, a slow almost meditative and rewarding task. I then went out in the yard and cut a baseball bat size branch. The Pocket Saw quickly and smoothly zipped through it. From here on out I will pay closer attention to regular sharpening and oiling.

IMAGE 1


SUMMARY

The Nordic Pocket Saw has been an excellent addition to my trail maintenance tools. In addition it has been the lightest, easiest to pack and use tool for cutting campfire wood. The saw remains in very good working condition with only expect wear from regular use. There is no damage to any part of the saw or carrying case. I find the Pocket Saw best at cutting wood propped on a log on the ground, as shown in the photo above. But it can accomplish cutting branches in other positions as well. I will continue to carry the Pocket Saw on the trail maintenance hikes as well as whenever a campfire is an option.

This concludes my Long-Term Report. I would like to thank Del Torri AB and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Nordic Pocket Saw.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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