Let me be honest, I’ve never had an opportunity to use this nifty little tool. Of course, I should probably be thankful for that as it has been resting peacefully in my bug out bag for a few years now.
The other day I was rummaging through my bug out bag and decided I would test out my Pocket Chainsaw just for grins. After all, if I expect to use it as a survival tool, I ought to know how to use it and whether it will perform when I truly need it.
When I first became interested in survival preparedness, I found myself interested in many different gizmos and tools (as many people do) and, if it had the word “survival” stamped on the package, I probably bought it. In fact, one of the first purchases I made were several of the thin ”commando survival saws” sellers offer as a pocket saw because it was incredibly small and lightweight. I thought that was a cool idea so I bought some. I remember being excited when my package arrived. I immediately included these “commando survival saws” into my bug out kits and even my vehicle kits thinking I was that much more prepared for doing so.
I happened to have two extra commando saws left over so I decided to cut off a few braches from my trees I intended to cut down anyway. To my disappointment, cutting was extremely difficult and after just a brief moment the commando saw I was using broke where the ring connected to the saw teeth. Un-deterred, I choose to try the other saw I had left. The outcome was much the same. I never did finish cutting down the branch I was working on with a commando saw. Needless to say… I was dissapointed.
Fortunately, that moment led me to realize that I need to understand what I was buying and that I should be more interested in a quality product rather than just any survival product. I immediately went searching for a better replacement and ended up with the Pocket Chainsaw. Sadly, I’m just recently learning my other lesson: know how to use what you have and ensure it is a worthy tool for your survival.
As I stated before, I’ve never had to use this pocket chainsaw for real. So, I brought it to the backyard, found two sturdy sticks I could insert through the eyelets, propped up a sturdy tree branch and began sawing.
Although a little awkward at first, I got the hang of it rather quickly. Before I knew it I was nearly through the branch I was sawing and rather satisfied that the Pocket Chainsaw hadn’t broke apart like the commando saws did. Thus far I was pleased. I decided to find an actual tree branch to cut down (whether it need to be cut down or not) and in no time at all I had another victim.
I Tried to Break It!
Pleased that the saw hadn’t broken yet and that it seemed to cut fairly easily, I began to wonder just how tough this little saw really was. So, I decided to stick my foot in the middle of the saw blades (probably not the best idea) and pulled with all my might. I was a little hesitant at first because I didn’t want to break it–or ruin my old shoes too much–and found that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t snap the saw blades or eyelets.
Satisfied, I wiped off the blades, oiled them, and returned the Pocket Chainsaw to its case.
Saw length (without eyelet handles) - 27.5 inches
Saw length (with eyelet handles) – 32 inches
Saw with round case – 5.1 ounces
Saw without case – 4.0 ounces
Overall, I would say that the Pocket Chainsaw works really well as a survival saw. It is really lightweight, compact, and sturdy. Granted you’re not going to cut down a large tree with it but you’ll certainly be able to cut down descent sized branches for shelter and fires. The only minor drawback I might mention is that cutting is slightly awkward, especially if you’re trying to cut branches down to a smaller size after already being removed from a tree. Besides that, I would certainly recommend this saw for your bug out bag.