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Reviews > Knives > Saws > Silky BIGBOY 2000 > Owner Review by Bob Dorenfeld



Silky BIGBOY 2000 folding handsaw
Owner Review by Bob Dorenfeld
July 23, 2015

Tester Bio
Name: Bob Dorenfeld

I'm an active hiker, snowshoer, skier, and of course backpacker.  Home base is the Southern Colorado Rockies, ranging from alpine tundra to piņon-juniper scrub and desert at lower altitudes.  Many of my backpack trips are two or three nights (sometimes longer), and I usually shoulder about 30 lb (14 kg).  My style is lightweight but not at the expense of enjoyment, comfort or safety - basic survival gear plus extras like a camera and air mattress make my trips safer and more pleasurable.
Email: geartest(at)sageandspruce(dot)net
Age: 57
Location: Central Colorado, USA
Gender: M
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
Weight: 142 lb (64 kg)


Product Overview

 

Manufacturer:   Silky
Website:  www.silkysaws.com
MSRP:    US$93.95
Model Reviewed:  Extra large teeth, yellow handle
Measured Unfolded (working) Length:
  30 in (76 cm)
Measured Folded Length:  16 in (41 cm)
Measured Blade Length:  14 in (36 cm)
Tooth frequency: 5.5 per in  (2.2 per cm)
Tooth Length:  0.2 in (0.5 cm)
Stated Weight:  1 lb
Measured Weight:  1 lb
Replaceable Blade:  Yes, MSRP US$52.95
Country of Origin:  Japan


 Folded

The Silky BIGBOY 2000 folding handsaw is a lightweight yet durable and effective limbing and small tree cutting tool for trail or yard work.  The folding blade opens to two positions for most effective leverage based on cutting situation.  The blade is made of SK4 High Carbon Steel pivoted into an aluminum handle, and is shaped into a low-angle curve to maximize cutting force.  A non-slip soft plastic covers the aluminum handle which can accommodate two hands.  The BIGBOY 2000 comes in four tooth sizes/configurations:  Extra Large/Coarse (pruning, green wood) [reviewed here], Large/Coarse (pruning, green wood), Medium (soft wood), and Fine (hard wood, bamboo).

Field Performance    

foldedI purchased my Silky saw in early 2015 on the recommendation of several hiking friends and a trail stewardship organization.  I pack it along on all day trips and many backpacking outings.  Although I don't keep track of how many limbs and trees I've cut with it so far, a conservative estimate might be upwards of 300, ranging in diameter from less than finger-width to 10 in (25 cm).  I use the saw for clearing hiking trails - removing brush, limbs, and small trees from routes in the mountain ranges near my home. 

The BIGBOY is easy to carry, as folded up it fits nicely into the side pocket of my pack where I can slip it out or in with minimal effort.  It also folds out easily, and by pressing my thumb on the edge of the spring-loaded cam the blade locks into one of the two positions (see photo below).  I usually use the first, or overhand, position, which holds the blade at the same arc as the handle; this is ideal for cutting downwards and offers the most leverage.  But sometimes a branch is best reached from the bottom, or an undercut is necessary to drop a tree, and the underhand position works better there.



Overhand                                                   Underhand
overhandunderhand




This type of pruning saw, with a thin metal blade, is designed to function best on the pull stroke; I'll push it only very gently to avoid bending or binding the blade (unless it's cutting a very thin branch).

I use the BIGBOY 2000 on aspen, willow, other small deciduous shrubs and trees, Gambel oak and occasionally cottonwood, as well as a variety of conifers, including pinõn, ponderosa pine, limber and bristlecone pines, Douglas fir, true firs, spruce.  Old dead wood can be hard indeed, and these down trees across a trail can be tough for any kind of saw (including my 3-foot (0.91 m) crosscut saw).  But the Silky rewards patience, and I'm always impressed by the job it does on the hardened dead wood.  Fresh aspen, however, cuts like butter when fewer than 10 strokes make short work of a 6 in (15 cm) recent live-wood fall.  Inevitably, on more than one occasion I've pushed the saw too hard and bent the blade, but up to this point it's always recovered and I'm hard-pressed the make out any kink in the blade even now.

The blade has so far maintained excellent sharpness, despite my occasional carelessness at sawing a rock that I didn't see, or chopping the dirt when the log is on the ground.  And the blade is replaceable, which was one of the selling points for me.  I have no doubt that I'll be able to finish out this hiking season with the current blade, and I'll evaluate it next spring to see if I need to replace it.  Conifer pitch does often accumulate on the blade, and whatever doesn't rub off during use I can remove using a solvent such as xylene or Goo Gone.  The latter also makes a good lubricant to ease the saw through larger logs.

I purchased the Extra Large/Course blade because I only need to make rough cuts in the field, and I'm happy with that choice.  But be warned: the teeth on the Silky are very sharp!  More than once I've carelessly cut a finger (not deeply) after not watching what my left hand was doing while the right was sawing, or not carrying the open saw carefully, or folding it up too fast.  Perhaps my only criticism of the BIGBOY 2000 design is that the teeth are slightly exposed in the center portion of the blade even after folding it into the handle, where fingers and clothing could possibly get caught in them.  However, it didn't take me long to work around this potential problem by just being aware of it, and it hasn't been an issue after my first couple of outings with the saw.


Concluding Thoughts    

I'm very happy with the Silky BIGBOY 2000 folding saw.  It's allowed me to clear a lot of trail so far this 2015 hiking season.  This is a very durable and well-made piece of equipment that I expect to last me for many years.  It's versatile, lightweight, well-balanced, and the blade is replaceable.  And last but not least, it's also a very nice-looking piece of equipment with clean and functional lines.

Pros
    - lightweight
    - durable
    - two cutting positions
    - bright yellow handle makes it easy to find
    - folds/unfolds easily

Cons
    - sharp teeth in blade center not fully protected when closed

 Reviewed By
Bob Dorenfeld
Southern Colorado Mountains





Read more reviews of Silky gear
Read more gear reviews by Bob Dorenfeld

Reviews > Knives > Saws > Silky BIGBOY 2000 > Owner Review by Bob Dorenfeld



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