Opinel 12 Saw

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by CSugg, May 29, 2011.

  1. CSugg

    CSugg Scout Bushclass I

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    My day walk carry bag is a British gas mask haversack. It's a great bag that is just big enough, mostly. Occasionally I would like it to be a little lighter. So I am going through a process to lighten what I carry.

    One of the things that I carry and find to be useful is a saw. I usually carry a Silky Pocket-Boy 170. I've had it for a couple of years and find it to be very useful. But with a metal joint, and rubber handle, it is a little weighty. I bought a Opinel 12 saw to replace it. Here is a review of the saw and a comparison of both.


    [​IMG]

    Both saws. Silky on top.

    Overall closed length:
    Silky- 8"
    Opinel- 6 1/2"

    Blade length:
    Silky- 7"
    Opinel- 4 7/8"

    Teeth per inch
    Silky- 7
    Opinel- 9

    Max.Width closed:
    Silky- 2"
    Opinel- 1 1/2"

    Cost:
    Silky- about $34
    Opinel- about $28



    I tested them both by timing my cutting thru the same timber sample.
    These times are mostly just relative as I took a sec or 2 to start and stop timer. I did the same on both saws so relative times give a good comparison.



    [​IMG]

    Cutting thru green 2" sweet gum



    [​IMG]

    2" green sweet gum



    [​IMG]

    Cutting thru 2" dead and dry poplar



    [​IMG]

    2" dead and dry poplar



    We see that Silky cuts through both green and dry wood about twice as fast as Opinel.

    Now the important factor for me, weight of the saws.



    [​IMG]

    Silky about 1/2 lb.



    [​IMG]

    Opinel about 1/4 lb.



    In this test/review, the Silky obviously out cuts the Opinel, but it also out-weighs it, and is physically bigger. Is that weight and size enough to cause me to replace the Silky with the Opinel? In my case, yes. I'm going to at least give it a try.

    Probably a fairer comparison would be with a Silky 130, roughly the same size and weight as the Opinel. Maybe I'll try one someday, but this Silky 170 is what I have been using and is what I compare the Opinel to.

    Ches
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  2. RangerXanatos

    RangerXanatos Scout

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    Thanks for the report. The most likely reason why the difference in time is because of the longer stroke with the Silky. Those 2 extra inches can mean a lot.
     
  3. CSugg

    CSugg Scout Bushclass I

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    Perhaps. I think a big reason was the smaller teeth. They just didn't clear as much wood as the larger teeth on the Silky.

    Ches
     
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  4. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Chesleysugg Thanks for the review !!
     
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  5. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    Very cool head to head of two very cool saws.
     
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  6. Shamgar

    Shamgar Tracker

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    Thanks for the great review.
     
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  7. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

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    Very cool review on the Opinel. I have had mine for about a month and it works great for wood less than 3" diameter. It has replaced my Gerber folding saw (which weighed 16oz). I find that I never hesitate to put the Opinel in my bag because the size and weight are so minimal. My Gerber did not make it along on a lot of trips because it was heavier and bulkier.
     
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  8. WoodsDevil

    WoodsDevil Scout Bushclass I

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    I love wood handled tools and been thinking about a pocket saw. That OPINEL looks like the one for me...thanks for the review!
     
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  9. OhCanada

    OhCanada Scout

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    I too agree that longer saws (with pretty much all else being equal) cut faster than shorter saws.

    It's a balance between what you want to carry and what you need to cut. A Victorinox SAK saw works fine with anthing I can saw with that can easily be hacked with a large knife or axe much quicker, but the SAK saw (and similar small saws) are great when you need that smooth cut for a craft.

    The right tool is always the one that makes you most happy, and you have gotten closer to your ideal tool.
     
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  10. saintnick001

    saintnick001 Guide

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    Didn't know that Opinel made a saw. Gonna have to look for one of them. It does it have a lock on the blade, right?
     
  11. goosefacer

    goosefacer Guide

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    Yep, the same locking ring the larger Opinels have.
     
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  12. Tom's Backwood's

    Tom's Backwood's Guide Bushclass I

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    There in the bushcraft USA store....
     
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  13. IA Dragoon

    IA Dragoon Guest

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    Thank you for the review I have bein looking at this saw for some time. my grand father gave me a #6 for my 14 birth day. I still have it. only stoped useing it so I can pass it down to my son.
     
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  14. Wizard9

    Wizard9 Scout

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    Thanks for the review Chesley, always wanted some input on the Opinel saws. This looks like a future purchase to me. Thanks again.
     
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  15. jswi2374

    jswi2374 Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I think this will be my next big gear trade / purchase. I like my folding saws but am slowly moving to more traditional kit. A modified #12 saw would just look so good alongside more traditional gear...
     
  16. jswi2374

    jswi2374 Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I broke down and got one for Father's Day. It has become my "just in case" saw of choice. It's not the saw I grab if I know I will need a saw, it's the saw I grab when I don't think I will need a saw but just in case... For that odd branch across the trail, the improvised tent stake, or the branch that just won't snap. For the smaller odd job, it is perfection!
     
  17. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I like the idea of an Opinel saw especially for a day pack. I really don’t think I really need a saw for just a day hike very often. It would come in really handy on occasion for small tasks though. Say for getting just a small chunk of wood to be battoned into kindling or making a few cuts to set up a small tripod or poncho shelter.
    I’ll have to think about this. It’s too easy for me to add, “just one more little thing” until I’ve got myself overloaded again.
     
  18. woodsmanjohn

    woodsmanjohn Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Great review CSugg, although the Opinel is shorter and takes a little longer to cut through the shown material. I like the wood handle and compact design. I own several Opinel and have given them as gifts over the years great blades. I have heard good things about silky as well. But may have to pick up that Opinel next time I go up to SMKW I like the weight too. Great Review buddy.
     
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  19. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    Thanks for the review brother! I’ve been interested in the Opinel for a while now
     
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  20. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    2AD3F263-E2C1-4806-AC9F-E478322FB282.jpeg Ive gone through the same thought process. I have the Silky Pocketboy 170 and when I feel it is unlikely that I will want to saw any wood and want to carry less weight I carry my Victorinox Rucksack which has a 3.5” saw on it that works very well. Another option for those looking to shed weight and have another blade as a backup, etc. Longer saw and knife blades compared to the Farmer and weighs less than the Farmer.
     
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  21. jswi2374

    jswi2374 Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    That's a nice SAK! I may not have gotten the 12 if I had one of those already. I imagine they serve the same functions.
    This is the Opinel forum... I think you owe a quarter to the patch fund now.
     
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  22. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting!

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    For the size and weight difference though the Opinel did pretty well and depending on the pack or job I think it would be a great choice. I currently have neither of those models so my opinion is unbiased, but both are on my list.
     
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  23. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great review!!
    I kind of like the slower cut rate and thus control I get from the Opinel when I’m carving. I have no problem making a stop cut, or depth cut with the saw and popping chunks of wood away with a blade or even a wood chisel down to the saw cut. It’s not strictly traditional whittling, but it works for me :D
     
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  24. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I love this saw. It does have it's limits, but what doesn't? It fills a spot. :) Bigger than a sak saw, smaller than the big folding saws.

    It cuts good, is comfortable to use, great steel, lightweight. :) I often carry mine in my tool belt.

    I don't use it every time I go out, but it seems quite often when I don't bring it is when I find i could have used it.
     

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