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Keeping it all under control; Choosing and using the right saw

Summer’s here, and with it the need to keep some of the larger plants on your property under control. Getting just the right selection of saws (and knowing how to use them properly) can make all the difference to the ease of the job as well as your own safety.

We’re going to introduce you to a couple of gardening tool staples that will help you make short work of your overgrown plants in no time.

Choosing and using the right saw

Hand pruning saws

A quality pruning saw is a must for bigger, thicker cutting jobs that a pair of secateurs or loppers just can’t handle. Pruning saws can come with a curved or straight blade, and can be folding (where the blade folds into the handle of the saw) or fixed. Straight blade saws are great when working around the same level as your body whilst curved blade saws are ideal for overhead work, although both will still work fine for either task. Virtually all the saws we stock only cut on the “pull” stroke - that is, they don’t cut when you push the saw forward. It is essential when using these saws not to put any force on the push stroke, as the saw won’t cut anyway and you risk snapping the blade if it binds in the cut as you force it forward. Our range of pruning saws are designed to cut very quickly and leave a smooth finish. The specially designed teeth on the blades do all the work, so just let the saw glide forward and then pull back…very little pull force is required, so save your energy!

For general purpose pruning of green timber we usually suggest a medium tooth blade, as this provides the best balance between speed and smoothness of cut. For large branches we would suggest a large tooth saw for faster cutting, and for dry/hard timber or bamboo we recommend using a fine tooth blade.

Pole saws

Pole saws are great tools for reaching those high branches and palm fronds that are blocking the sun or getting in the way of your power lines – all while remaining firmly on the ground. They’re a lot safer than climbing a ladder with a chainsaw, which can be a recipe for disaster.

As with pruning saws, pole saws that we stock only cut on the pull stroke. Once you have the pole saw positioned on the branch or palm frond you wish to cut, pull the pole back towards you, then let the blade glide forward before pulling back again. Don’t put any force into the push stroke, as you risk snapping the blade if it binds (and it doesn’t cut in that direction anyway, so you are wasting effort).

Whatever you do - be sure to look into getting the right saw for your needs (don’t get a pole saw any longer than the maximum height you’ll need to prune as it just adds extra weight) and don’t skip wearing the proper safety gear. Pruning with a pole saw can be dangerous, especially in the Australian summer when the sun is blazing and the plants are dry. You need to protect yourself from falling branches, flying debris, sharp blades and heat stroke. Wear a hard hat, goggles, gloves, long sleeves, pants and boots. Also, apply sunscreen, drink plenty of water and remember to take some breaks in the shade.

All saws are not equal

A quality saw makes all the difference and it’s hard to go past the Japanese when it comes to blade technology and quality. Professional arborists, landscapers and home gardeners alike are providing rave reviews for Silky Saws and Silky Pole Saws, and with good reason - they’ve been perfecting their products since 1919 and make some of the highest quality, incredibly durable and best value saws available.

We’ve got a great range of Silky products available right here in Australia, and if you’re ready to start taming your property (and make the most of the great outdoors) here’s 3 great options you might want to consider right now:

Silky Hayate 7.7m Telescopic Pole Saw

The Silky Hayate 7.7m Telescopic Pole Saw provides plenty of reach thanks to its lightweight aluminium alloy pole in 4 sections. Cutting on the pull stroke, the 420mm special alloy blade makes easy work of some of the trickiest pruning jobs. Includes blade sheath.

Silky Forester 4.5m Telescopic Pole Saw

Compact and lightweight thanks to its aluminium alloy oval extension pole, the Silky Forester 4.5m Telescopic Pole Saw has precision-ground, razor-sharp teeth that provide a fast, clean cutting action on the pull stroke. The blade length is 380mm and it comes with a plastic sheath.

Silky Pocketboy 170mm Outback Edition Folding Saw

A superbly versatile tool, the Silky Pocketboy 170mm Outback Edition Folding Saw is a premium folding adventure saw that will fit in your pocket. The 170mm blade cuts bone and wood and is ideal for work around the garden and camping. A taper ground blade with non-set teeth reduces cutting resistance enabling smoother, easier, faster cutting – it can rip-cut, cross-cut and slant-cut – and the Impulse hardened teeth retain sharpness for longer. The Arbor Composite Grip provides a warm and comfortable touch, excellent rigidity and superior control in dry or wet conditions.