Pat Cascio 10.23.13
I’m always on the look out for new and inventive survival-type products. It’s a passion of mine. I also collect survival how-to books, and my family is always buying me survival products and survival how-to books. I really enjoy putting products to work, to see how well they work in real life as opposed to the hype that surrounds them.
We’re all probably familiar with the little wire ring survival saws, the ones that you can buy for a buck. These things used to come in the survival kits of hollow-handled “survival knives.” But did you ever really try to cut anything with one of those little ringed survival saws? I have, and they are a real bear to use. The keychain-type rings that are attached to each end of the saws really hurt your fingers in very short order, and if you try to cut anything but the smallest tree limb, you’ll discover that they just don’t work — period. Oh, that’s not to say that there aren’t some really good ringed survival saws on the market. There are, but most are junk.
I received the Pocket Chainsaw for Christmas last year, along with a lot of other super-cool survival products, from my wife and two daughters. The Pocket Chainsaw really intrigued me because it’s not the typical itty-bitty thin survival wire saw. Nope, this hummer looks like a chainsaw blade. Well, I’m just now getting around to testing the Pocket Chainsaw after it got buried on my work bench for many, many months under a pile of other products I needed to test. I won’t carry a product for my own survival if I haven’t tested it myself, nor would I expect anyone else to pack something in their backpacks, without first testing it.
The Hype and the Specs
Ok, first the hype. On the instructions on the package that the Pocket Chainsaw came in, it claims that it’s the fastest cutting pocket saw in the world! Quite a claim, to be sure, and one I wanted to test. They also claim you can cut a 3-inch diameter limb in under 10-seconds? Ok, sure!
The Pocket Chainsaw consists of several parts: the chainsaw itself, the can it comes in, and two poly handles that have a paracord attached to them. You attach the paracord through a couple of stainless steel attaching points on either end of the Pocket Chainsaw. It only takes a minute to get it set-up.
The can is the size of a shoe polish can, and the handles don’t fit in it. I’d like to see a container big enough to hold not only the chainsaw portion, but the handles as well so they don’t get lost or separated. Without the handles, you are up a creek – the chainsaw is useless.
The saw itself is made out of high strength heat-treated steel, and it’s coated to help prevent rust. It’s 28-inches long, and it has 124 bi-directional cutting teeth. It can also be used by one or two people.
I live on a small homestead out in the boonies, halfway between two small towns. I only have 3 1/2 acres of land, but much of it is heavy timber. I have plenty of trees to cut on during my testing of knives, saws, and axes. I have a wild plum tree right next to my driveway that needed to be trimmed, and one particular branch needed to go. The only problem was that it was it a hard spot to get to with my power chainsaw. So, I thought it would be a good test for the Pocket Chainsaw.
As I said above, the instructions claim you can cut through a 3-inch diameter limb in under 10-seconds. Well, the limb I needed to trim was about 5-inches in diameter, so I thought it would take me a little longer than 10-seconds, and it definitely did. It took me about 5-minutes to get through this limb. However, part of the problem was that this limb was hard to get to. I really was surprised at how fast the Pocket Chainsaw cut through this limb, though — faster than I thought it would. I also tried the Pocket Chainsaw on some much smaller limbs, and it still took me more than 10-seconds to cut through them. So I don’t think you can cut through a 3-inch diameter limb in under 10-seconds.
But the good news is, the Pocket Chainsaw works and works quite well. It actually worked better than I thought it would, and it didn’t break. I’ve had those cheap wire survival chainsaws break on me numerous times.
Now, if you’re cutting a tree limb that is over your head, and pulling down on the Pocket Chainsaw, it does cut much faster than when cutting horizontally. The only thing is, you can’t always pick and choose which tree limbs you plan on cutting. In my case, the limb was vertical, and I was cutting on a horizontal plain – so it naturally took longer. However, in all my testing, I wasn’t able to cut a 3-inch diameter limb in under 10-seconds.
All things considered, I was favorably impressed with the Pocket Chainsaw. It works a thousand times better than the little wire ringed “survival” saws. Now, I wouldn’t want to saw down a big tree with the Pocket Chainsaw, but I honestly believe you could take down a fairly large tree with a lot of effort. White this little saw wasn’t designed for that type of use, it’s good to know it can take down something a lot bigger than 3-inches in diameter.
My only complaint is, as already mentioned, the handles don’t fit in the shoe polish sized can that the saw fits into. I’m thinking that before putting this neat little saw in my BOB (Bug Out Bag), that I’ll get a little duct tape and tape the handles to the can.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a really worthwhile addition to your BOB, the Pocket Chainsaw is it. I may buy one for my wife and two daughters and give them to my girls this Christmas. Turn about is fair play, but I know they’d appreciate ’em.