REVIEW: The Combi Saw
PUBLISHED: 11:23 10 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:23 10 March 2016
The editor tries a neat solution to hide making
One of the few things I remember about my late father was when he looked me in the eyes and told me that the man who invented the saw had made the axe redundant. As a research engineer, he explained about effort given for reward taken; a saw removes just the minimum of wood to complete the cut, whilst an axe has to chop out a big ‘V’ to achieve the same result. Despite his wisdom, I’ve always carried an axe for hide making because small folding saws aren’t man enough, and a small axe is easy to carry.
What if you could have a 17” saw that folded down to the size of a stick? Swedish manufacturer, EKA, has answered this call with their amazing Combi saw. Folded, it takes almost no space in a backpack, and yet opened out and locked it’s a rigid and effective saw. The razor-sharp blade is stored inside a long, metal tube where it can’t damage anything, and in the same slot, EKA fits a metal cutting blade - like you’d have in a hacksaw – together with a more coarse blade that works well on bone, as I found out whilst butchering a roe deer that I’d culled. The blades are replaceable when they wear, so the long-term use of the saw is guaranteed.
At just 360 grammes complete, the Combi is impressively light and tucked down the side of a daypack, I hardly knew it was there, but that wouldn’t matter if it didn’t cut well. I challenged it with wet and dry wood, thicknesses varying from 1” to about 4”, and it sliced through with minimal effort. The woodsaw tooth profile is very aggressive, cutting a broad channel that helps to clear sawdust and reduce sticking in sappy wood. Clearly, it’s not intended to cut 12” thick logs, though - that’s a job for a much bigger bow saw.
It’s a very versatile tool because of the three blades, and that makes it a good thing to keep in the boot of your car. All sorts of small cutting jobs could be done around your hunting permission with the choice of blades. I helped my farmer friend to cut out some fence wire that had caught in a machine, saving him time by not going back to the yard to get a hacksaw - that earned me a few brownie points along the way. Perhaps my dad was right - I’ll leave the axe at home and take this great little saw instead.