by Bob Dorenfeld
Silky BIGBOY 2000
July 23, 2015
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.
||Central Colorado, USA
||5' 6" (1.68 m)
||142 lb (64 kg)
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)
0.2 in (0.5 cm)
Stated Weight: 1 lb
Measured Weight: 1 lb
Replaceable Blade: Yes,
Country of Origin: Japan
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).
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.
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.
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.
- two cutting positions
yellow handle makes it easy to find
- folds/unfolds easily
- sharp teeth in blade center not fully protected when closed
Southern Colorado Mountains