Clearing Trail: Silky Saws’ Pocketboy

Clearing Trail: Silky Saws’ Pocketboy

I have earned the right, by some small miracle of sweat and diplomacy, to ride on some trails in Western Sonoma County. Lacing through the hidden logging roads is hand-cut singletrack. This is the stuff of rogue hoes, Macleods, chainsaws and elbow grease. The trails wind with an organic beauty, curling over this natural berm, squeezing between Redwood stumps, and diving down tiny streams of mineral soil.

Not to be obvious, but the riding is heaven.

However, given its location, these trails aren’t ridden tons, so it’s not uncommon to lock brakes and skid to a stop mere inches from a downed tree. I realized last fall that I’d be doing the community a solid if I could help clear stuff I encountered. Most folding hand saws are long enough to be problematic in a hydration pack; even folded they are too straight to conform to the curve of the pack on my back.

Then I ran across Silky Saws’ Pocketboy. The blade folds out and locks into place with an easy to operate thumb button that I had to remind myself to keep my digits off as I sawed. I’m reasonably certain this thing could take off a digit as readily as a branch. Which is a matter of how well I pay attention.

The Pocketboy comes in two lengths—don’t screw around and deadly (130mm and 170mm). I opted for deadly and it fits easily in all but the smallest hydration pack, which is a selling point for anyone looking to conceal a weapon. It comes with a plastic carrying case that could be used to clip to a belt, but I like knowing that should I get soaked the saw won’t be resting against damp fabric. Keep your powder dry, right?

Silky color-codes the saw handles to indicate the teeth configuration. Red is coarse, black is medium, yellow is fine and purple is extra fine. Not knowing much about my needs I opted for the yellow, but I’ve since realized that elegant cuts aren’t all that necessary when all you want to do is continue your ride. Time may not be money in this context, but it does translate to fun.

As to the money, the suggested retail is $48.95. More than your average multitool, but not bad considering its utility.

The grip is soft enough to remind the user of a lock-on and the chromed blade flashes in the afternoon sun. And those teeth? Sharper than the entire dean’s list.

Recently, a buddy and I encountered a downed tree on one of the trails. We began with the bigger branches, taking turns with the saw and so effective was it we kept trading after each branch in order to keep from fighting over it like five-year-olds. If there’s a better recommendation for a saw than the fact than you get excited about the prospect of working your arm back and forth until your bicep and tricep thicken with lactic acid, I’d like to hear what that is.

Final thought: Who needs bear spray?

 


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3 comments

  1. Ken Blakey-Shell

    I have used cheaper pruning saws for years to maintain trails and only got a Silky Saw in the last 6 months. They stay sharp far, far longer. The blade is much less susceptible to permanently bending/kinks and/or breaking. If you use a hand saw much at all to help keep your trails open, spending the extra to get a Silky is totally worth every penny.

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