HAE gives the Boreal 21 Saw a Good Field Testing.
Yepper Buddy, we love our fires. Whether they be the massive Box of Death or the contained Big Top woodstove, burning wood can be an essential part of the Half Ass Expeditions backwoods experience.
This year our Maine expedition featured a relic from HAE’s past: the classic folding Mountainsmith woodstove. For a stove like this one to work, wood needs to be processed quickly and properly. The pieces must be shorter with clean, flat ends so splitting them down would be easy. Normally I’d break out the Sven Saw but this year it was all about the Boreal 21 folding saw.
This was a Kickstarter project I found last summer (2014). If you haven’t checked out the Kickstarter website, you’re missing out. Image hundreds of ideas just looking for funding and you can get in on the action with a click of your mouse! If the funding goal is met, you can get the first “products” produced. This cool saw was one of those ideas.
What I really like about the Boreal 21 folding saw is the no-nonsense folding design that eliminates “parts”. When it is extremely cold out, the last thing you need to be doing is searching for the wingnut that you just dropped in the snow. This saw simply unfolds and locks together with a snap. It is a pretty clever design that is so simple you’ll wonder why it hasn’t been done before.
The deep cut this saw can make is another big plus. The blade is set over a large bow capable of cutting some big ass logs. By eliminating the triangular shape, the full stroke of this saw is usable while cutting without the handle hitting the wood.
The handle is made of plastic which scared me at first. Subzero temps can sometimes make plastic brittle and prone to failure. Well, the company designing this saw is from Canada, eh? Canada knows subzero! This plastic handle makes sense… comfortable grip when sawing and it won’t stick to wet wool like an aluminum grip does.
What is missing on this saw is some sort of lanyard or even a hole to ease hanging and to secure it to the outside of the pack. There is a few sheath options available but I don’t want to add that extra weight. The Boreal 21 is a wee bit heavier than the large Sven Saw which I use sheathless as well but it does have a hole I loop some para cord through.
Another small issue (really small) is the use of a “C ring” to hold the blade pin in place. This part is tiny. Yes, they give you a replacement (right in the repair kit, thank you) but it looks like a potential point of failure. I will purchase another blade pin to put next to that C clasp in my repair kit.
The Boreal 21 folding saw performed flawlessly during our thrash through Maine. We had to cut a ton of wood and the multi purpose blade cut through it all like butter. I give two enthusiastic “wool clad” thumbs up for this innovative wilderness tool.
You’re gonna want to check out the “>Boreal 21 (Agawa Canyon Inc.) website and learn more about this amazing new saw and how to get your mitts on one for your next expedition. I expect more cool gear from this company so I will be bookmarking their site and checking in from time to time.