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POCKET CHAINSAWS: Different teeth style / teeth count

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by Mikel_24, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. Mikel_24

    Mikel_24

    Sep 19, 2007
    Hi there,

    I have browsed the forum looking for information about the different pocket chainsaws out there. Most of the threads are 8 years old or older and they don't address my question.

    The thing is that like 22 years ago I bought a Pocket Chainsaw like this one while I was in the US as an exchange student: https://supremeprod.com/pocket-chain-saw/ (same tin can, different round handles, etc).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have to say that it works great (not that I go through cords of firewood in a regular basis). I was using it yesterday with my, almost, 7 year old daugther and don't ask me how, one of the chainlinks bent backwards (by design the only coil/bend one way). I muscled it back to where it belong but in the event it craps out I would like to get a spare. Living now back in Spain, buying one from that site is out of the question, as the shipping, customs, etc would probably end up costing more than the item itself.

    Browsing through internet I realised that, not counting wire saws, there are two main type of saws. The one I own (flat links, staggered teeth, two per link, narrow kerf) and others that resemble the chain of a gas/electric powere chainsaw (thicker links, sharpen-able cutting edges, etc). Regarding this last style, seems like some saws have bi-directional teeth and also the number of teeth vary (from one each X links to one in every link). See below a picture of each.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have checked YoutTube videos and reviews to see which ones work better and I still don't have a clear picture. The second style seems to take more effort as it needs to remove a bigger amount of wood. If you have less teeth they seem to catch in the wood. Maybe the higher teeth count helps, as I assume it would reduce the pressure and avoid catching.

    Anyway, what is your take regarding these two styles of pocket chainsaws? Have you had the chance to try both and compare? What about the number of teeth?

    I know I know... I will probably end up buying one of each, but I would like to know your opinions...

    Mikel

    PD: Let's try not to turn this thread into pocket chainsaw VS folding prunning saw VS axe/hatchet... we have several of those already!
     
  2. neo71665

    neo71665

    183
    Feb 18, 2020
    Only time I have ever tried to use one I wasn't impressed. Started out with one of the wire ones that was covered in something and after a few seconds I went and got a saw. Made one out of a chain saw chain but I don't ever know what happened to it. Been 20 something years ago.

    I can understand the idea and they pack up small but for me it would be the last resort option.
     
  3. C_Claycomb

    C_Claycomb

    711
    Dec 11, 2000
    I had the same one you show with the flat links and triangular teeth. Same tin, but the handles were just tubular. I sold it. The only time I found it useful was when attempting to cut branches way above my head, when I could operate it with extra rope to the handles. For cutting firewood or shelter/crafting wood I found it very inefficient and inconvenient when compared to a folding pruning saw. I have never regretted getting rid of it.

    Regarding the other style, it makes sense that more teeth would be better, giving a smoother cut. This goes for any kind of saw. The saws with a tooth every 4th link do not look like they would work. I haven't used both kinds, but the people I know who have, tended to like the chainsaw style a little better. This could have been because the teeth were sharper. If I were to buy one now, I would look at the Nordic Pocket Saw, it looks the best made, and I know I don't like the flat link kind ;)

    I didn't try, but I don't see a reason why the flat link version could not have its teeth sharpened. It doesn't seem likely that they are induction hardened. A saw sharpening file might work, if not, a diamond rod could be worth a try. Depending on how and where a link fails it might be possible to remove a link and hand rivet a repair.

    I know it isn't what you asked, but one of the things that moved me past wanting a pocket chain saw was learning how to make a Kochanski (also see Kelly Harlton) bucksaw frame. When I have flown from the UK to Sweden for canoe trips, where we would be cooking for a group on wood fires, I have simply carried a 30" bowsaw blade protected in a cloth sheath, rolled into a 10" coil. I then make a frame when I get there. I know that doesn't help with cutting up high, or clearing fallen trees from roads, but those were not the primary reasons I bought my Pocket Saw.

    All the best

    Chris
     
  4. reppans

    reppans

    81
    Oct 25, 2018
    I’m into ultracompact and like the ones with real cutting teeth on every link. In terms of speed, they fall right in between my proper bow saw, and my Bahco Laplander. Technically there’s more work involved due to the width of the chain (you’ll throw more saw dust), but the stroke utilizes very powerful core muscles in a kayak-paddling type of stroke. For me, it’s a wash... like bench pressing 150lbs or leg pressing 300lbs, the latter is technically twice the ‘work,’ but arguably easier.

    [​IMG]

    <1lb back pocket bushcraft kit; hard-use folder, chainsaw, micro splitting wedge, pocket bellows.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Mikel_24

    Mikel_24

    Sep 19, 2007
    I see... You used a wire saw first (which are pretty useless if you ask me) and then a regular chainsaw chain (which is uni-directional as it does not cut both ways). I can totally understand that you didn't like the performance...

    Chris, thanks a lot for all the information. I also hade a look at the references you made for the bucksaw frame and I will definitely try it. I see where it could come handy if I were to camp for a few days in the same place and the sawblade + two bolts weights next to nothing. Not so useful for a quick one time use so I guess a pruning saw is the only option if we exclude the chainsaws.

    Finally I have both types of saws on the way so will be trying both of them soon and be able to compare myself. The teeth on the flat link saw are definitely not hardened, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to bend them back to true after they folded the wrong way..

    Great info Reppans! Regarding the micro splitting wedge... wouldn't be practical to make one out of hardwood in once in the forest? Telling by the looks it seems like hard plastic (not that it weights a lot but it is another thing to carry).

    Mikel
     
  6. C_Claycomb

    C_Claycomb

    711
    Dec 11, 2000
    Hi Mikel,
    Have a look for wooden gluts...proper name for wooden wedges, or at least, if you Google for "wooden wedge" you get door wedges and all sorts of stuff from the home. Search for wooden gluts and you get things more like what you want. They might be a bit big, but they should show possibilities. Use of a wooden wedge was one of the things Mors would demonstrate, along with a baton on his Mora, all ways to expand the capability of what you carry, without carrying more.

    When you have tried both saws, any chance you can post your experiences back here, maybe some photos?

    ATB

    Chris
     
  7. Mikel_24

    Mikel_24

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thanks a lot for the reference to the wooden gluts. I did some googling and came across this document right here which I found quite interesting: https://blog.lostartpress.com/2013/06/11/the-wedge/

    And yes, my idea is to try both saws side by side and see which one I like the most. Pictures and videos will be taken! I promise!

    Mikel
     
  8. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    I don't know anyone here who carries or uses a pocket chainsaw. We're in a working forest and lots of folks are out hiking and trail clearing.

    Silky saws are the way to go. For bigger cuts a folding buck saw is the thing.
     
  9. reppans

    reppans

    81
    Oct 25, 2018
    I find hard wood wedges get stuck when splitting hard wood - corners of the split start digging into the sides of the wedges..... and/or carving an acute enough wedge angle is just too much work.
     

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