Silky Pocketboy and Ultra Accel Saws
- Pocketboy — 170 mm, Curved Blade, Large Teeth
- Ultra Accel — 240 mm, Straight Blade, Large Teeth
- Pocketboy: $51.95
- Ultra Accel: $58.99
Test Location: Montana
Test Duration: ~4 months
Our more astute readers may be wondering why we’re reviewing saws in the bike portion of Blister. Well, it’s spring here in Montana, and that means most trails have about a year’s worth of firewood lying across them. And since I’m not that excited about pseudo-cyclocross events, I’d rather cut those trees than hike over them. So on most rides I do this time of year, I carry a saw in my pack.
I’ve been using two different options from Silky — a 240 mm Ultra Accel with a straight blade and large teeth, and a 170 mm Pocketboy with a curved blade and large teeth.
Background & Use
Now, before I go on, I should note that I’m mostly using these saws for trail work. “Spring cleaning” for me mostly means clearing deadfall and trimming back brush that’s encroaching onto the trail. Cutting speed and ease are top priorities — less time cutting means more time riding. Accuracy and clean cuts don’t really matter too much for this. And since I live in Montana, I’m mostly cutting soft woods and some Alder, which is usually pretty small in diameter.
And for the saw itself, I look for something that folds down fairly compact to fit in my pack, and that holds up to some abuse. Of course, there’s a ton of other uses for a saw, and someone that’s looking to prune their prize cherry tree might have an entirely different set of priorities than I do.
Silky has a reputation for making excellent saws — I’ve spent plenty of time using cheap hardware store saws in the past, and have actually gotten disapproving comments regarding my cutting implements. “It’s not a Silky? Oh… ok.” So I figured it was time to see what all the fuss was about.
And yeah, those people were right. Both of the Silky’s I’ve been using are fantastic, and they cut noticeably quicker than the cheap saws I’ve used in the past. And the construction of the Silky saws is also significantly more robust — even after months of use and zero maintenance, the pivot and lock are still smooth on both saws and the blades are still (very) sharp.
The PocketBoy is easily my favorite of the saws I’ve used, in large part because it comes with a plastic case that I can clip onto the belt of my pack. I can ride with the saw on my belt, which makes any project I come across on the trail that much quicker to take care of.
For slightly bigger jobs, the Ultra Accel is preferred, mostly just by virtue of the longer blade. The 170 mm Pocketboy is fine up to a ~5” log, whereas the Ultra Accel can handle up to ~8” logs without too much trouble. Beyond that and I’m just gonna pack in a chainsaw in my Evoc Trail Builder pack.
If I were to do it over again, I’d go with a curved blade on the Ultra Accel — the straight blade does well, but for quick jobs like the ones I’m doing where accuracy doesn’t matter, a curved blade would probably cut a bit quicker with less effort, and it works better for cutting small-diameter brush.
I should also note that I’ve played with some shorter (130 mm) Pocketboys — they still do a good job, but the handle is a bit short, and they’re more annoying to use because of that. I’ve also used some longer folding saws like the Big Boy with a 360 mm blade. While that’s great for cutting bigger logs, it’s also a pretty big saw to bring in a pack, and cutting big logs by hand kinda sucks. Personally, I’d only go with something that big if I was clearing trail in an area that didn’t allow chainsaw use.
Sick of down trees cluttering up your favorite trails? Knuckles getting bruised from trailside foliage thwacking at your handlebars? Do something about it! There’s nothing like the satisfaction of a sharp saw running cleanly through wood.
Personally, if I was going to get one saw for “casual” trail clearing, I’d get the Silky Pocketboy 170 Curve with large teeth. It’s small enough that there’s no good reason not to bring it, and it’ll take care of a good portion of the projects that are realistically feasible for a hand saw.
Other saws will more or less get the job done, but the Silky’s are, without a doubt, the best I’ve used. They’re built better, and they cut faster and cleaner. They cost a bit more, but for something that’ll last a long time, I’d say they’re worth the $15-20 premium over some of the more generic options.