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Overland Essentials - Trail Clearing With Our Favorite Folding Saw

We’ve driven enough miles to know that the Katanaboy 650 Folding Saw from Silky of Japan is unmatched in overall efficiency when clearing a trail. No other cutting tool packs down smaller or is lighter than the Katanaboy, it’s truly the closest thing we’ve found to a human-powered chainsaw.

Early Spring Conditions

No matter where you explore, it’s imperative that you are able to safely and quickly clear a downed tree from the trail. Just about every trail you’ll ever travel down will have signs of a cut off tree somewhere and it’s likely you’ve already had to deal with a downed tree on a recent trip this spring. Being unprepared to deal with even a small “blowdown” can turn into a time consuming hassle or even a potentially dangerous situation. Preparation is king, you will always want to have some way to cut a tree out of your way so you can safely pass. It’s also in service to your local trails to keep them maintained for others.

Katanaboy 650 Folding Saw from Silky of Japan

Silky Katanaboy 650 Folding Saw


  • 650mm Blade Length
  • 1473mm Total Length
  • Premium Proprietary Japanese Steel
  • Carrying Case With Shoulder Strap and Slot For Extra Blade (sold separately)
  • Safety Release to Open and Close

Handsaw vs. Chainsaw vs. Ax

There are plenty of ways to clear that tree off your favorite trail. It’s always advisable to try the easiest options first. Before getting any tools out try a push in the direction of gravity to see if the tree might just be rotten and barely hanging on. A quick tug with a winch might also be the best choice, especially if the tree is fully broken off and very thick. Leaving it on the downhill side of the trail is best and knocking bigger branches before moving on.

An Ax is a great tool to have on board and often can double as a long handled hammer. However they are slow to chop through a green tree trunk and have been known to cause an injury or two. Chopping through an unstable, elevated tree is a challenge even for an experienced user. That said, we all love a small ax or pulaski as a back up.

A chainsaw is sometimes the only tool for the job if the plan for your day is to just clear trail or cut piles of firewood. They go through just about anything and when used correctly are the most efficient tool. Chainsaws that run on fuel do require the right care and maintenance to be reliable and useful. You’ll need a few tools, proper safety equipment and fuel in addition to the saw itself, so plan to have plenty of available space in the back of your truck. Chainsaws that are battery powered are becoming more prevalent and certainly do solve some of the maintenance and fuel handling issues but still take up a fair amount of space and have their own requirements to use effectively. The battery options are also far quieter than their fuel powered forerunners. We like the 12 inch bar 20v option from DeWalt if you have the budget and space available.

A handsaw is great because it can essentially live in your truck, always at the ready and never forgotten. There are folding bow saws, fixed blade handsaws, and fold-into-handle saws. We love the two handed Katanaboy pull saw made by Silky of Japan. It can handle just about any tree that needs to be cleared and is so statiflying to use. It’s hard to understate the usefulness of this tool for going though up to a 25 inch thick three while weighing only 3.4 pounds. It’s the go-to saw for trail clearing and also doubles to cut down the perfect camp fire logs or build a temporary shelter. It’s a true essential.

Essentials - Simple, Reliable and Ready.

We want to inspire you to let 2022 be the year of rediscovery. Your great backyard likely has some places you’ve not yet been. A lot can be uncovered just a few hours from home. There are only a few essentials you need to get out and get lost. We’ll continue to provide the best advice to keep your trips going with minimal complications.

What are some of your favorite essentials for a day, a week or longer trip?

Nomadica Outfitters

Nomadica Outfitters is an outdoor equipment store specializing in tools, gear, and apparel to address the challenges presented by remote off-road adventures. Our overland products facilitate simple fast setup, easy stowage, and are built to last - allowing you to spend more time adventuring and less time packing. Be curious, embrace the unexpected, explore, and discover the wonder that is planet earth.

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