The week following was just too hot & humid to be playing outdoors. Well I braved the humidity today and here are my thoughts:
Pre-notes: The only multitools I have are : Leatherman Wave (old style), Victorinox Classic SD (Black), No name cybertool wanna be, Wenger T-814 Evogrip soft touch.
I mention this as my experience is fairly limited. Even knowing the terminology, product lines etc... without the field experience I'm still just a newbie in these things. With the help of many of you, I'll continue to learn and along with experience, I hope to bring something good to the table (for lack of better words).
Thanks to all who have shown interest so far.
Woodsaw (2.75" dbl cut, no locking)
The lack of a locking feature for me isn't a big deal. The saw on the Wave locks, but since the sawing motion is usually straight back and forth, it's more likely to bind the saw to a dead stop than it is to have it fold on you. If it does fold, the wood would be in the way of the saw's teeth and your hand (hopefully).
The teeth are about twice as deep as the old style Wave, and for this I believe to be responsible for a much faster cut. The teeth are also extremely sharp, so much, that I went to one hand close the saw and caught the tip of the middle finger in one of the teeth, leaving a triangle shaped hole with a flap of skin covering it. Yes, the initial bite hurt, but in 2 or 3 days was fine.
The back of the saw has some very sharp edges, not a very round shape as with the other implements. I found that on closing the say, I also cut my hand twice from the friction of the side edge rubbing into the skin of my hand. One slice didn't bleed, the 2nd one, however did. Please be careful when closing ANY tool, not just from wedging your fingers, but also the outside could be rough. I use my pant leg now to close up, fingertips on the scales.
Sawing motion is good, very good. The sharp and deeper teeth definitely make for a faster cut. The Wave's saw is slow but steady, easy to start but can bind near the end a lot. The Wenger is tougher to start but rips through wood MUCH quicker. I didn't time anything, but I would say with confidence, that the Wenger's saw is 25-50% faster than the Wave's (old style). While cutting, you can see 2 streams of saw dust coming from both ends. Being on a trail I was only cutting DEAD branches that were on the ground or off of completely dead trees. The only live stuff I'll cut is for pruning or taking down unwanted bushes etc for neighbours. So please, when you get a new toy to play with, hack up the dead stuffs only unless it's on your own property.
I spent some time cutting small branches (Less than an inch) up to 2 inches in diameter. Some of the deadwood seemed to be pretty hard stuff, and I think it might have been maple.
The smaller branches were toughest to start, having little room to initially bite in. Larger branches were easier to start having more surface room to catch. If you're lucky enough to be in a position to shoulder your weight into the saw, the results are even more impressive. Also be aware, that this much hard work, does heat up the saw rather quickly.So when you go to put it away, you might want to blow on it or wave it around to cool it off first.
The only issue I had with using the saw, was the key ring. As a right hander, the key ring kept rubbing into my index finger at the side. For long cutting sessions (mutiple branches etc...) this could cause cuts or blisters. Some may opt to take the ring off all together. The little nub that the ring is attached to probably won't be an issue for most.
As far as lefties go, I might expect that the key ring might irritate the thumb while cutting. The soft touch ergoniomics are especially nice to have, and I've appreciated them very much for labour intensive tasks, whether I was using the saw, blade or anything else.
The saw is good. It may be a bit stubborn trying to get it to bite at first, but once it gets going lookout! For stubborn starts you might want to try scoring the branch a few times, using puling strokes. Then let 'er rip. Near the end of the cut, it usually doesn't bind, just cleanly cuts right through.
It cuts well enough with a minimum effort, if you have more than average muscle, you'll likely laugh at the ease of cuts it provides.
Left or right handed shouldn't matter much here, except that pesky key ring. I wonder if a lanyard carefully laced through the corkscrew might provide an alternitive solution.
If anyone tries this with any degree of success please let me know. If the saw on the Wave (old style) was a joy to work with, than the Wenger is a true pleasure.