Friday, 27 May 2011

Northwest Woodsman Buck Saw

Repost of an old article i wrote about the NW Woodsman Buck Saw

The saw as it arrives from Eric at NW Woodsman is contained in a strong, draw top nylon bag, the packed saw measures 62 cm long and weighs in at 784 grams, the saw uses standard off the shelf 24" saw blades, once assembled the saw is rigid and the blade is held under good tension, it's not going to bend or break under normal use, the steel cross bar fits into the uprights perfectly and has no lateral movement at all once the saw has been tensioned, the blade is retained by strong metal pins inserted into the base of the uprights, In use the saw performs flawlessly and maintains its rigidity, something some saws don't do leaving you with a feeling that it may collapse at any time, not with this saw.

Disassembling the saw is, as you would expect the exact  reverse of the assembly, once the saw has been taken down, the uprights pivot over and the blade is contained safely within the handles


The finish on the saw is excellent, no rough spots, nor did any hot spot occur on my hands whilst using the saw, a testament to the high stand of finish.

Would i change anything?, the answer to this being yes I would, but only minor changes to be honest.

1 - My biggest fear with tensioning rod, would be to lose one of the wing nuts or washers whilst out in the field, we all put things down on the ground when we are in the woods and these being small could be easily lost in the leaf litter.

2 - The tensioning rod does add weight to the set up, albeit not a lot, and to be totally honest i would and have replaced the rod with a simpler windlass tensioning system.

3 - I would replace the blade retaining pins with small bolts with spring washers, as this would ease blade replacement.

4 - I, personally would prefer to see the saw supplied with a peg tooth saw blade rather than the peg & raker blade supplied, 90% or more of the saws use will be with dead wood, which the peg tooth blade is more efficient at cutting, this is only a small point and easily rectified by the user of the saw should they prefer a different blade type.

Having noted the above changes, i made some small modifications to the maple saw Eric sent me,

You may think from the above changes i would make,  that i don't rate this saw much, well you would be wrong, the saw is well built, lightweight and certainly up to the job in hand just as it is supplied from Eric,  but having given this saw a good and i mean a good work out up the woods for a considerable period of time, to the point where i have used it in ways that should have broken it, cutting with a twisted blade and deliberately banging the uprights into the logs as i cut them, i have not seen any sign of a failure in the saw whatsoever, in fact the wood used in it's construction is not even scuffed, would i buy another one, yes i would without hesitation,

So if you are in the market for a bucksaw, i would recommend this product whole heartedly, see Eric's website for further details and to order


Since i first wrote the above review, Eric has modified the saw and i believe it now supplied with both a the metal tension rod and a windlass system, the pins are replaced by small bolts, not often a maker listens to his customers and uses the feed back to build a better product.

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