Saws on blades

Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Messages
118
Do saw teeth have much purpose on a knife, whether survival or not? In my experience the saw in my swiss army knife has worked the best of any, although it's small size is a real limitation.
Has anyone found a knife saw that's more useful than just chopping away with a 9" blade?
I include fine-tooth metal saws, my mother knew a guy who hacked his way out of a B-25 with a Randall and he always wanted an "aluminum saw" after that.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
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571
do you mean serrations? or do you mean staggered saw teeth like found on a wood saw?
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Messages
118
Staggered saw teeth or flat triangle teeth (think hacksaw)to be used in a sawing motion - I love serrations on the main cutting edge. But I've found the "saws" that come on some knives to be afterthoughts at best, and wondered if anyone considered them particularly useful.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2001
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My personal prefference is to stay a LONG way away from saw teeth on knives.
I dont care if they really work or not, my reasoning for not wanting them doesnt give a crap if they really work or they dont.
A knife is just that, a knife. Not a saw, not a hammer, not a pry-bar.
In a desperate survival situation the knife may be the last two, but I would hope I had enough sense to pack a small folding saw in my BOB or my back-pack if it was just a regular hiking trip.

Also, if I have to kill someone (or maim them. whatever. If my knife is out, my knife has a mission... do as you like with yours tho) with a knife, I dont want to stab in, and have the saw teeth hang up on a jacket when I pull it out.
Thats my main reason for not wanting any sort of big teeth on a knife, this is why if I have even regular serrations, I like the smaller/shallower, and without such pointy points.

Carry a knife AND a folding saw... You'll be better off, IMO.
 

wlf

Joined
Apr 27, 2002
Messages
57
Ditto what Satin said. Plus, none of the saws on the backs of knives that I've experimented with work very well. This is because none of the saw teeth I've seen on knife backs are correctly designed saw teeth. One of the typical reasons given for putting saw teeth on the backs of pilot survival type knives is that you can use them to cut your way through the aluminum skin of aircraft. Actually you can probably do this quicker and better just by cutting it with the blade.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
482
The Randall Model 18 was specifically designed with a working sawtooth pattern, and this pattern was meant to assist in ripping - not sawing - through light aircraft aluminum such as that used in helos. This according to the late Bo Randall, who I discussed this knife with when he was still with us.

Bob Parrish made a great survival knife with a working sawtooth pattern (triple tooth) that didn't gunk up when used on wood and such.

Of the many sawtooth knives out there that I've worked with these are the only two I'd own if such a feature was critical to me.

The Swiss Army Knife saw blade(s) are designed as saws and therefore work as saws. I've never had a problem with this pocket folder saw when carrying a SAK. A good choice for everyday carry and outdoor use.

Sawteeth on knife backs got the big push when Jimmy Lile made the first Rambo knife. Awesome looking, and scary. Perfect for the big screen. However, not necessarily the best place or tool for such a feature.

A number of bayonets feature sawteeth. World War 1 "saw" the very best used in trench warfare with great and grisly effect. Soon, those soldiers who carried and used a sawtooth bayonet in CQB and were unfortunate enough to be captured...were often gutted with their own bayonet due to the hideous wounds these inflicted on folks.

I stay away from sawteeth of any kind on a field knife. We have credible serration patterns galore and these work great. Sawteeth are best kept on saws, or are offered as saws on SAKs.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2000
Messages
262
I agree about the teeth on the Parrish, they work very well.

A company that has a very good design as far as sawteeth, check out TOPS. They have a few knives in the line up that have functional sawteeth. I just received one of the new Tom Brown Tracker models and the sawteeth work pretty good. Not designed to drop trees or cut like a Gerber saw, but serviceable if one did not have a saw at all for smaller diameter wood. I believe the teeth on this model are made for "notching" vs. sawing.
 

not2sharp

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Joined
Jun 29, 1999
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19,260
I believe there is a niche for the sawbacks, but it not what you saw Rambo doing in First Blood.

The sawback was traditionally issued to pioneer and NCO troops (about 5% of the total) during the 19th century, and they were used primarily as a combat engineering tool. I would guess that while a knife or short sword can be swung to cut an imposing tree limb, it would be advantageous to use a sawback on those occasions when someone was actually shooting at you. You could remove the limb while exposing less of yourself to direct fire, and with a much smaller sound signature.

The prohibition against sawback bayonets during the First World War was an Allied propaganda move to help demoralize German troops. Somehow everyone had forgotten that they had all issued sawback bayonets only a few years earlier. Most of them still do today including the US.

The sawback may also have a role in dealing with winter conditions. Perhaps in cutting through ice coated lines, or even in the making of ice blocks. Chopping hard material, like ice, is a good way to damage your edge, and it doesn't cut very well, but, you may be able to saw through it fairly quickly (just tap the ice off the blade to keep the teeth from clogging).

The sawback is not a panacea, but it can be useful, and if works for you then go for it. There are plenty of good sawback knives out there. Cutting wood is only one of the possible uses for this type of blade.

n2s
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2000
Messages
913
They just look totally cool. Unfortunately, none of my blades see enough "real" use for me to comment on their practicality. What little experimentation I have done has been excellent. The teeth on my Buckmaster 184 cut thru anything like butter. I'd much rather do that, than try to chop. I think they could be very useful. Just my opinion.

drjones
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2000
Messages
535
I like the saw back on my Chris Reeve Aviator. It works well for creating a groove for cord to fit into when tying two round branches together. Its crude, but works great. The saw on my Swiss Army knife works well on little jobs as well. It will saw the breast bone of deer in two, easily. The aviator can do the same thing. Its kind of gimmicky as a small saw is easy to pack and much more efficient. It would be interesting to get Chris Reeve's opinion on what he designed his for. I like the knife. Its less of a sawing tool and more of a ripping tool. Stab in with the knife and then pull up and rip back on the material. If you wanted to cut some sheet metal crudely it would be better than using the blade of the knife.
 
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