The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Felco 600 pruning saw

Felco pocket saw for pruning and cutting

We got this Sierra Saw on the left as a gift to commemorate Anna's first deer kill(Thanks Jayne).

It didn't get used for sawing any deer bones, but turned out to be one heck of a hand saw.

The blade has a tooth pattern that cuts while pushing and pulling, which makes the cutting go fast. I started using it as a machete to clear away brush and may have pushed its cheap plastic handle a little too far because it eventually broke requiring some electrical tape surgery.

Our choice for a replacement was the Felco 600 pruning saw. Expect to pay a little over 3 times what the Sierra costs, but you'll feel like you got your money's worth the minute you hold the Felco. It cuts a little better than the Sierra with a handle that's easier to grip.

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

It looks like the design was well thought through. But I wonder how easy it is to sharpen the teeth when they've gone dull? It looks like you'd have to take off a significant amount of material to rebuild such a slender tooth. On a standard crosscut saw you can easily sharpen the teeth with a file and re-set them with a screwdriver if necessary.

For sawing wood I really like saws with tungsten carbide teeth because they stay sharp very long.

Comment by Roland_Smith Thu Sep 22 16:24:06 2011
Good point about sharpening. I don't know if the Sierra saw is self-sharpening or if we just haven't used it enough to dull it, but it still feels remarkably sharp after nearly two years of moderate use.
Comment by anna Thu Sep 22 17:03:52 2011

I have just been through the process of buying a pruning saw, and these are my observations:

set teeth - most saws have teeth that are "set", or splayed out so as to cut a kerf wider than the saw blade, so that it can cut freely without binding.

taper blade - an alternative to set teeth is taper ground blades, where the blade is thicker at the tooth edge than at the non-toothed edge, ie tapered. It has the same effect of allowing free movement through the kerf by the blade, but has less tendency for the cut to "drift" as the set teeth cut into the side of the kerf. The result is a very smooth surface cut, in my opinion a better pruning cut.

sharpening - many saws are heat tempered or hardened point, and may or may not be able to be sharpened with specialist saw doctoring equipment. This is no problem, just make sure that if you buy a saw that can't be "home sharpened" then make sure it has replaceable blades and then the first time it needs sharpening, replace the blade with a new one, and send the old one off to be sharpened. Also, many saws have different tpi, or teeth per inch, the more the tpi the finer but slower the cut will be. When you make initial purchase, consider choosing two teeth spacings, and buy the most needed... and then when buying the replacement while the first one is being sharpened you buy the other size, so that you eventually have the ability to swap blades for specific purposes (pruning/grafting or cutting firewood), and you will have of course a selection of only 1 at any time when a blade is off being sharpened.

My choice - 15" blade, 6.5 tpi, taper ground non-set, folding handle. Will add a spare 14 tpi blade at the first sharpening.

Comment by Mark Tue Jul 23 23:25:48 2013

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.