The Fiskars Machete-Saw
« on: January 21, 2016, 01:05:11 AM »
I purchased the Fiskars machete-saw for $16.95 and I couldn't wait to try it out. It has an overall length of 23 and 1/2 inches and an 18 inch blade. It does not come with a sheath. Because of the aggressive saw back I think it will cut through a canvas sheath so I purchased one of the Ontario military type solid PVC scabbards for it. So far my impression is it needed sharpening right out of the package, but that is normal. The handle is ridiculously thick and wide. It initially feels like you're holding on to a brick or a 2x4, but I imagine that is to distribute the impact better in your hand and make a few hours work less painful. I did get used to it after repeated uses.
The sawback is very aggressive, and very sharp. It cuts on both the push and pull strokes and is self clearing so it cut very well when I tried it on some oak, bamboo, and palm fronds. As for the hacking capability, I used it to take down some Brazilian Pepper I had growing behind my shed. It didn't bite as deep as I'd like, so severing branches often took multiple strokes. Instead of cutting through a branch it would cut into the branch, and cut long into the grain, splitting it instead of severing it. I'm sure this is due to the concave edge as well as the wide handle. I felt as though I couldn't grasp it tight enough to have the control that I normally have with my other machetes.
I might do better despite the wide handle if I work on the bevel of the blade just a little. I'll grant that I really didn't have room for too many full swings in the small space behind my shed, and that may have been a factor as well. The wide handle does save your hand though. After some vigorous chopping for about half an hour, I didn't have the usual pain in the palm of my hand. This could be good in the long run if I can learn to control the cuts. Later, I took the Fiskars machete-saw to my hedge and used it to square off the face of the hedge. It worked very well here and the cuts were mostly clean without smashing and stripping the ends of the branches. The hedge looks properly manicured. The wide handle was not an issue when the machete-saw was used in this manner, and I did have room for full swings when working on the hedge.
I did not attempt to baton this machete because of the sawback, but I imagine that it wouldn't be a problem as long as you didn't mind dulling up the very good saw in the attempt. I have since cut additional palm fronds and have decided that I really like this machete. It just took a while to get used to it. Overall I find the Fiskars machete-saw is a well made and useful product for the price. The only down sides are the overly wide handle, until you get used to it, the concave edge which is fine for trimming a hedge or cutting through an overgrown trail, and I wish it came with a sheath, although the Ontario type PVC scabbard works well with the sawback.
Good, well made product for the price.
The saw works very well.
The wide handle does distribute the impact in your hand.
The concave edge makes it unsuitable for cutting hardwoods or green branches.
You have to buy a sheath, preferably the Ontario type PVC scabbard.
Most people will get used to the thick handle, but don't even bother if you have small hands.
I recommend the Fiskars Machete-Saw for landscaping and yard work, but not if you want a machete for survival and extraction or for your daily use if you live in a jungle.