“ Type: Saws „
When your secateurs have fallen apart, and your loppers just can't quite get round that branch that you want to cut off, then you go out and grab the 'big guns', and this Yeoman Bow Saw is the biggest gun of them all, and there is very little that will stop this saw going through it.
Yeoman produce a range of saws for use in the garden to cut off quite thick and large branches etc from trees and bushes. So about 4 months ago, I decided that my ordinary garage wood saw wasn't really quite up to the job of pruning my trees. Hence, doing a little research on the web I came across the idea of a Bow Saw, saw a few versions on Amazon, and decided that this 21" version was ideal for my purpose. And with a price tag of just under £10, I thought it would be an absolute bargain.
For those of you not familiar with these types of saw, it is basically a large 'C' shaped metal frame which holds a thin saw blade taut between the ends. The blade itself is a very course cut affair with large teeth, specifically designed to cut through large tree branches etc. To give you some idea of how much cutting power you have with this device, this particular size of saw will go through a 12" thick branch or tree trunk (of preferably dry wood) with ease, and I know that I have proven it through an 7" trunk once that wasn't quite dry, but it still did the job. So it is ideal for situations where you don't want to risk getting a chainsaw out, or up a ladder into a tree.
Now Yeoman have really carefully thought out the design of this bow saw. At the one end of the 'C' you have a handle/clamp like affair which pivots off the end of the frame. The base of this handle on the other side of the pivot is connected to one end of the blade. Undoing the handle releases the tension on the blade, and hence allows you to change the blade as required. Folding the handle back up against the frame again re-applies the tension to the blade. Thus, changing blades can be done quickly and with ease. But a neat little design touch here is that the handle has also been ergonomically designed to be the handle of the saw itself, and using it for any duration is quite comfortable on the hand. The saw is also provided with a special plastic cover which just snaps on and off of the blade to protect it when not in use.
In use, there is no stopping it. Just grab the handle, line up your blade to where you want to cut, and start your sawing action, and very quickly you'll be cutting through sizable thicknesses of branches and trunks with ease. When I've used it for pruning etc, you can quickly cut everything from little twigs coming off the main branches and trunk, right through to the more substantial parts of growth. Now Yeoman talk about thicknesses of up to 12" thick that could be cut with this saw if the wood is dry, but I've cut through 5-6" thick live branches with ease that were causing an issue across the house. Just make sure that your blade is sharp.
In summary, this Yeoman Bow Saw is well built and nicely designed so as to be very comfortable to use, and for the low cost of ownership, this is one of those must have garden tools that you should buy and have stored in your shed to bring out every now and then to do your bit of pruning. So highly recommended.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
When it comes to gardening a lot of people hire hands for major projects, such as cutting back/down trees and hedges. I prefer to undertake the tasks which I can do, managing my large conifers on a regular basis. Once a year I go about tackling the unenviable job of cutting around a dozen conifers down to size which seperate mine and my neighbours' gardens. A lot of the work can be carried out using shears, but particularly on the top the branches can be quite thick and brittle.
The 21" Yeoman Bow Saw is perfect for use on jobs of all scales, and available for around the £12 mark online they are simple to purchase and will come in very handy for tasks similar to mine. The traditional bow saw design is an ideal starting point for such a product, and the precision ground tempered serated cutting edge will soon have you cutting your task down to size in no time at all. The ferocious looking blade measuring 21" has a simple tooth guard to protect both the blade itself and you! Due to this, storage is simple.
The bow saw is designed to make light work of even the trickiest of pruning tasks, the lightweight and ergonomic approach from Yeoman gives the user comfort and efficiency during a sometimes arduous chore. The soft grip handle ensures prolonged use will not cause discomfort, and the saw as a whole feels very robust and up to each task it undertakes.
For around the £12 mark you really cannot go wrong with the Yeoman Bow Saw. Replacement blades are available for around £5, which is also very reasonable indeed. Corners have certainly not been cut in the design of the saw and although you may expect to make comprimises with a budget product I don't feel that is the case here.
I have three bow saws and this is the best of the three - it was also the most expensive and replacement blades are also quite expensive.
I used to live on the edge of a forest and after harvesting, there was always lots of spare wood and off cuts lying round on the forest floor. It was common practice for locals to help themselves to this wood, left behind by the contractors as being unsuitable and not cost effective to take to the sawmill. It helped them to have this removed as in due course the felled area would be replanted.
Because the wood was largely conifer varieties, you got two types of wood - thinnings and branches which were lopped off the main trunk. Thinnings were always the better option to collect, but it is important to store this new wood for a couple of years to properly mature. If you try to burn it whilst freshly cut you will have problems. It will not burn efficiently and will coat your chimney with oily sap, which if left on can cause a fire.
Similarly, wet or new wood is much more difficult to saw and the blade keeps getting stuck. This was even a problem for the Yeoman which was always my best bow saw - at only 21" it was not the biggest, but it was big enough to get the job done. So, you had to have a system in place which allowed you to have weathered stock and I would only cut it when it was dry. Fortunately I had a sheltered area so it stayed dry, but it was also open to the elements so in a couple of years it was ready to be cut and used.
The thinner pieces were easier to cut with the bow saw if I didn't fancy getting the chain saw out. Once the thickness went above say 5", it was easier to use the chainsaw. In selecting a location to start sawing, you must be mindful of the size of your fire grate and also avoid any knotted areas on the wood or you will find it very difficult going. I used to draw back the blade across the wood to start me off and then with a firm and steady hand saw through the wood in steady rhythmic motions ( oo er, missus). I used to be able to get through the thinner branches in 10 or 15 sawing actions - not exactly cutting through butter but very satisfying nevertheless.
It was a much easier task if you used a sharp blade. You could always tell if the blade required replacement as the saw would get stuck and it would take longer to saw through the wood. I used to wear gloves whilst using the saw as, if used for any length of time, you could otherwise get blisters. That said, I used to only cut a week's worth at a time so it wasn't too exhausting.
The saw is quite heavy though, so I would advise lightweight lady users and pen-wielding puny persons to delegate the job to their male partner if they have one or buy a smaller saw that will be suitably lighter.
Most folk who burn wood will tell you that they find the whole process of cutting logs and chopping kindling quite enjoyable and therapeutic - I'm no different. These tasks appeal to the backwoodsman in me!
These days, we still burn wood but it is now mostly bought in as barn dried logs which are invariably small enough to go straight on the fire and although I still wield my chopper or rather log splitter from time to time to split the larger logs, the opportunity to use my bow saw is now increasingly rare.
The teeth on this saw are really very large and for sawing planed wood, designed for interior use, it really isn't appropriate. You would need a much finer toothed saw.
Now I know that this is an unusual category for me to be writing in so I'll start by giving you some background as to why I would be found using a bow saw!
When we moved into our cottage we had a multi fuel burner installed although we actually use it just as a wood burner. We have a friend who is a gardener and he lets us have the wood from any trees that he either prunes or cuts down so we end up with free fuel and that can't be bad can it?
Dave has made a saw horse for us - for the uninitiated amongst you that's a sort of frame on which the wood is put for sawing and it keeps the wood still so that there is less likelihood of accidents which is a good idea for the accident prone like me!
Now the really large pieces of wood are cut by Dave using the chain saw and there is NO WAY that I will be having a go with that one! I like having 8 fingers and 2 thumbs thank you! The chunks of wood then get chopped with an axe - now I did try this but managed to hit myself with it quite quickly so I gave up on that! Incidentally I did only give myself a small cut and still have all my digits!
This leaves the smaller branches which need to be cut into pieces with a hand saw of some description and initially we were using the small tenon saw that we had in the workshop, but this wasn't very efficient to say the least so we decided to buy a bow saw.
I initially used a bow saw purchased from £4.98 from B & Q which, to be fair I still have, but I also have a Yeoman Bow Saw which I received as part of my Christmas present. I grant you it isn't a typical girlie present but it is a very useful one which is exactly what I wanted!
I have done a search to find out current prices and these are available new on EBay at £9.99 plus £3 postage and packing.
The saw is described as being 'general purpose pruning of mature and dead wood' and it will allegedly cut stems up to 300mm in diameter although the ones that I cut tend to be somewhat smaller than that.
The metal support for the blade is black with a black handle attached along the metal at one end. The saw blade is steel and is 620mm long, or for those of you like me who still think in old money about 24 inches! By the way a replacement blade will cost you about £3.50 and they are very easy to change too!
The blade that was in the saw was for cutting wood from trees (yes I know it all comes from trees!) but I also have various bits of planed wood such as old floorboards to cut so I use the old B & Q saw for these as the blade in that one is specifically for treated wood. If you are interested the arrangement of teeth is different - the one for cutting treated wood has a regular evenly spaced set of teeth and the other one has longer and shorter teeth in a sort of pattern along it. Using the correct blade for the type of wood does actually make quite a difference too.
Anyway I can use the bow saw easily. Obviously the thicker the wood the more difficult it is for me to saw through so I started with the thinner pieces but I found that, once I had got used to it, even the thicker pieces were easy to cut! Incidentally it is also easier to cut the drier wood rather than the greener wood.
As I said earlier it is easy enough to use - you just have to draw the blade backwards and forwards across the wood until it is in two pieces - the wood not the saw!
The saw is also ideal for cutting the branches from trees that are just too thick for the loppers to cut. I haven't actually tried this as we don't have any trees to cut in our own garden but I am assured that this bow saw is an excellent piece of kit for the job.
The other advantage is that it is good exercise and it certainly warms me up and makes me glow (us ladies don't sweat do we?).
At the moment Dave is working on a contract in Scotland so I am trying to get as much done as I can whilst he is away so he isn't left with everything to do at the weekends when he gets home and of course whilst I am working in the garden Mew comes out and keeps me company! I keep asking him to go and put the kettle on for me but he just says 'me? how?' (meow get it?)
So, if any of you out there have an open fire or a wood burner I would certainly recommend this piece of kit!