Nordic Pocket Saws are sometimes confused with Pocket Chainsaws.
They are similar in that they both are made with a chainsaw strapped to straps on both ends (the older versions used wooden handles). However, the Nordic Pocket Saw chain has a much more robust chain in the way it’s put together an the quality of the teeth.
Typically a pocket chainsaw is used as an emergency cutting tool and not built to last more than a few usages. The Nordic version will last longer, cut better, and there are even some manufactured to cut in both directions which is much more efficient.
Both are the best cutting type saws to have when you’re backpacking in the wilderness and need a tool to cut moderate size branches. They are an alternative to carrying the bigger bucking-type saws or long bladed crosscut saws.
A pocket folding saw can cut through 3-4 inch wide branches, and is also a good tool to bring with you, but the pocket chainsaws are needed to cut through bigger branches and tree trunks. You wouldn’t want to use one to cut down a live tree as the trunk could kick back and result in a severe injury, but logs on the ground can be segmented into smaller pieces for firewood.
They usually come with a handy pouch for storage. Inside the pouch the Pocket Chainsaw should be in a plastic bag. This is because it should’ve come pre-oiled, and after you’ve used it, you’ll need to clean it off and oil it before storing again.
When you use it to cut through a branch place it under the area you’re going to cut:
1. Make sure the blades are facing upwards as you straighten out the chain.
2. If you’re cutting a small to medium size branch use your foot to stabilize the wood as you cut. This won’t be necessary if it’s a large log.
3. As you are pulling the straps upward side to side, don’t use your bicepts to do all the work. It is much easier if you keep both arms straightened as you go and rock your body putting most of the work into your hips instead of your arms.
The Pocket Chain saw, whether it is Nordic or a cheaper short term version, is a good tool to have on hand if you’re going to be spending any amount of time in the wilderness. They are light in weight, small in size, and very useful in preparing logs for firewood.