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05/18/2020 06:48AM  
Which length Irwin saw should I purchase - 15" or 20"?

Thanks.
 
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PortageKeeper
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05/18/2020 07:12AM  
9 out of 10 get the 15". This is long enough for almost all sawing and it packs nicely.
 
Castaway
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05/18/2020 07:14AM  
The 15” is the most popular by far.
 
ashlandjack
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05/18/2020 07:53AM  
Which model of Irwin Saw?
 
05/18/2020 09:12AM  
The IRWIN Tools Marathon 2011201 15-inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw is what I have and like! Particularly proud of the Ragged-made sheath.



butthead
 
schweady
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05/18/2020 11:12AM  
Yup. 15" coarse cut. That's the one.

Of course, I've found a saw I like even better....... But, I'll let you do your own searching on this board...
 
fishonfishoff
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05/18/2020 01:39PM  


Same saw as Butthead, different protective device.
 
05/18/2020 04:20PM  
Why would someone want this saw for the BWCA over a backpacking saw that can collapse into itself and take up less room?

This seems like the complete opposite of what you would want in terms of savings space and such?
 
05/18/2020 07:03PM  
A lot of the backpacking saws are great, maybe lighter weight, cut well, and pack up smaller. The Irwin is basically flat, so the space saving is negligible. The best, smallest, sharpest, lightest, backpacking saws also come with some hefty prices. They also come with hinges, or moving joints that are in fact, weak joints, and other mechanisms to hold it together. If one of those joints fail, the saw is shot. With the Irwin, there is no assembly required, and you can't beat the price.
 
05/18/2020 09:55PM  
I laughed when I first saw this come up several years ago. I had burned through several folding and lightweight saws and the ones with the ability to cut bigger pieces of wood never seemed to cut straight or bound up easily. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I bought a 15" Irwin, as well. Lo and behold, that was about six years ago and I'm still on the first one! I came back with my tail between my legs and let everyone that's interested know that they'll love this saw.

I'm not sure if Ragged still makes sheaths, but they're worth every penny and you can slip the saw on the side of any pack since it's very thin and the weight is a non issue.


This was a downed cedar tree that was about 12" in diameter and lasted a whole trip for us.
 
schweady
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05/18/2020 10:47PM  
lyontyl: "Why would someone want this saw for the BWCA over a backpacking saw that can collapse into itself and take up less room?

This seems like the complete opposite of what you would want in terms of savings space and such?"

It's pretty flat, actually.
 
houseofspam
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
  
05/18/2020 10:52PM  
lyontyl: "Why would someone want this saw for the BWCA over a backpacking saw that can collapse into itself and take up less room?

This seems like the complete opposite of what you would want in terms of savings space and such?"

I think the logic is the opposite for canoe camping. There's no reason to use a backpacking saw unless you're extremely concerned with space and weight. Most canoe campers aren't.

As stated by Knoozer: the weight and space savings is minimal. The cost difference can be significant. The backpacking saws also many more failure modes.

I carry a 21" Corona razor tooth. It'll saw through a 2x4 in about 10 seconds. I collect plenty of wood left by previous campers that was too large for their saw.
 
05/19/2020 08:40AM  
Great thanks!
 
05/19/2020 09:56AM  
I have 2 collapsing backpacker saws. The 15 inch Irwin is a bit lighter at 14.8 ounces

1pound 10 ounces in the sheath.
The length falls between the backpacking saws. Obviously the Irwin is wider but essentially not noticed on the side of my pack.
The backpacking saws now gather dust and the Irwin gets carried/used.

butthead
 
05/19/2020 04:06PM  
 
BearBurrito
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05/19/2020 04:25PM  
butthead: "The IRWIN Tools Marathon 2011201 15-inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw is what I have and like! Particularly proud of the Ragged-made sheath.



butthead"


That is the one I have as well. Except I haven't been able to get my hands on a Ragged sheath yet.
 
OldScout48
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05/19/2020 06:36PM  
The 15 inch model seems to do the job. Price is good, pretty much takes care of most wood cutting jobs and it just seems to keep going.


Here is a picture of my saw and sheath.


The sheath is just a flexible cutting board (the thicker, the better) that is folded in half long ways using a hot air gun to heat the plastic. Be careful with the heat as you can easily melt the plastic.

I put a 1/4" thick wooden spacer inside the fold while heating it to give the sheath room for the saw teeth to move in and out. I then used the cardboard packing sheath to mark the lines to cut the edges of the sheath, give yourself an extra 1/4" to 3/8" so the you have room for the pop rivets.

Add some webbing and a buckle and you are set to go. The other part of the buckle is on the other side of the sheath.
 
gymcoachdon
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05/19/2020 09:47PM  
The one big advantage for me using the Irwin is that there is no assembly required. I take my large pack over a portage first, and it has my small forest axe on one side, and the Irwin on the other. They both tuck into the compression straps nicely.

If I run in to a down tree on the trail, it is easy to slip the saw out and start cutting. I then know i have a clear path when I come back with the canoe. I do not have a sheath, I just reinforced the cardboard cover it came in with some duct tape! Still going 3 years later.

I will say that I have only had to clear a portage twice, once in early June in the Q, and once in WCPP, also in June. It is still really handy processing firewood in camp.
 
05/20/2020 05:05AM  
OldScout48: "The 15 inch model seems to do the job. Price is good, pretty much takes care of most wood cutting jobs and it just seems to keep going.


Here is a picture of my saw and sheath.



The sheath is just a flexible cutting board (the thicker, the better) that is folded in half long ways using a hot air gun to heat the plastic. Be careful with the heat as you can easily melt the plastic.

I put a 1/4" thick wooden spacer inside the fold while heating it to give the sheath room for the saw teeth to move in and out. I then used the cardboard packing sheath to mark the lines to cut the edges of the sheath, give yourself an extra 1/4" to 3/8" so the you have room for the pop rivets.

Add some webbing and a buckle and you are set to go. The other part of the buckle is on the other side of the sheath. "


Love the creativity.
 
05/21/2020 03:00PM  
Another Irwin saw with the Ragged sheath here.

Also use Sven, Bahco, Silky but tend to favor the Irwin. I like the handle. Much easier saw for me to use efficiently in my off hand too.

As for packing; it fits great in or out of a pack. Honestly if you cant figure out how to pack a thin little saw like this you've got bigger problems.

If going ultralight then no saw. But I was born in the north and a good axe and saw in the boreal forest is just how I like it.
 
05/22/2020 12:53AM  
pamonster: "Another Irwin saw with the Ragged sheath here.


Also use Sven, Bahco, Silky but tend to favor the Irwin. I like the handle. Much easier saw for me to use efficiently in my off hand too.


As for packing; it fits great in or out of a pack. Honestly if you cant figure out how to pack a thin little saw like this you've got bigger problems.


If going ultralight then no saw. But I was born in the north and a good axe and saw in the boreal forest is just how I like it. "


+1.
also thanks to Mitch (DicecupMaker) RIP. for making an awesome sheath. Seen below laying on log.

I will add that heavily used sites that are very picked over for wood- an Irwin saw and axe can make a big difference in time it takes to produce good dry wood.
 
05/22/2020 03:14PM  
Get a Agawa Canyon Boreal 21 saw. I have the Irwin and the sheath also, but they have gathered dust since I purchased the Agawa. 17 ounces. Agawa
 
05/23/2020 09:40AM  
Frenchy19: "Get a Agawa Canyon Boreal 21 saw. I have the Irwin and the sheath also, but they have gathered dust since I purchased the Agawa. 17 ounces. Agawa "

Same with me. Frenchy and I seem to be of like minds on a lot of things......
 
joewildlife
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05/31/2020 04:22AM  
I started with a Bob Dustrude saw and love it. I was interested in the Irwin and got one along with the awesome sheath. I brought it a few times and it worked great. Then I put a new blade on the Dustrude and it has made the last few trips. I make the decision on what to use before every trip, and won't part with either. I find a good small camp axe, a favorite saw, and a pair of leather gloves to round out a nice piece of kit.
Joe
 
HNTNWGN
  
11/30/2023 01:40PM  
Does anyone know if the IRWIN 2011201 and the Menards Masterforce MF-TDW4208 15" hand saws are the same? They both look pretty similar. I cant seem to find the IRWIN locally.

https://www.menards.com/main/tools/hand-tools/hand-saws-saw-blades/masterforce-reg-aluminum-handle-hand-saw/mf-tdw4208/p-3490591039995335-c-9123.htm
 
AlexanderSupertramp
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11/30/2023 02:50PM  
HNTNWGN: "Does anyone know if the IRWIN 2011201 and the Menards Masterforce MF-TDW4208 15" hand saws are the same? They both look pretty similar. I cant seem to find the IRWIN locally.


https://www.menards.com/main/tools/hand-tools/hand-saws-saw-blades/masterforce-reg-aluminum-handle-hand-saw/mf-tdw4208/p-3490591039995335-c-9123.htm
"


Couldn't answer that, but I have a few Masterforce saws that I have beat the ever-loving crap out of and they have held up well.
 
11/30/2023 10:18PM  
HNTNWGN: "Does anyone know if the IRWIN 2011201 and the Menards Masterforce MF-TDW4208 15" hand saws are the same? They both look pretty similar. I cant seem to find the IRWIN locally.


https://www.menards.com/main/tools/hand-tools/hand-saws-saw-blades/masterforce-reg-aluminum-handle-hand-saw/mf-tdw4208/p-3490591039995335-c-9123.htm
"


Menards used to carry the IRWIN saw, but it looks like they are trying to push their own brand now. Who knows if it is the same saw rebranded.

Speaking of Menards and saws, I have found this pruning saw to be hard to beat in terms of price and performance. It's a cheap, made in China saw, but it works well with an aggressive cut and comfortable grip. Out of stock at most stores, but perhaps they will restock come spring. On sale with the 11% rebate, I think I paid a whopping $2-$3 last season when I purchased a backup. I have been using this saw for at least 6 years now in combination with a Silky Bigboy.
Pruning Saw
 
MRH
member (24)member
  
12/01/2023 07:21AM  
I buy the Irwin saw at Blain's Fleet Farm. Nice saw that cuts fast and is easily accessible in a pack. I use it for clearing trails, when a chain saw is not necessary. I also have and use the Agawa saw.
 
scottiebaldwin
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12/01/2023 11:23AM  
unshavenman: "
Frenchy19: "Get a Agawa Canyon Boreal 21 saw. I have the Irwin and the sheath also, but they have gathered dust since I purchased the Agawa. 17 ounces. Agawa "

Same with me. Frenchy and I seem to be of like minds on a lot of things......"


+1 with Frenchy19 and unshavenman. Different strokes for different folks I guess but nobody’s going to wrestle my Agawa Boreal 21 out of my hands. I bring that, a Council Tool pack axe, and a Gransfors Bruk Outdoor Axe with me on all my trips. I usually wood gnome the heck out of whatever site at which I’m staying.
 
12/01/2023 09:34PM  
butthead: "I have 2 collapsing backpacker saws. The 15 inch Irwin is a bit lighter at 14.8 ounces

1pound 10 ounces in the sheath.
The length falls between the backpacking saws. Obviously the Irwin is wider but essentially not noticed on the side of my pack.
The backpacking saws now gather dust and the Irwin gets carried/used.


butthead"


This is a blast from the past. I have the same sheath you show in your picture. I can't remember who made them though. I remember at the time thinking I better stock up on these saws that match my sheath. Bought 5 of them.
 
12/02/2023 08:08AM  
okinaw55: "
butthead: "I have 2 collapsing backpacker saws. The 15 inch Irwin is a bit lighter at 14.8 ounces

1pound 10 ounces in the sheath.
The length falls between the backpacking saws. Obviously the Irwin is wider but essentially not noticed on the side of my pack.
The backpacking saws now gather dust and the Irwin gets carried/used.



butthead"



This is a blast from the past. I have the same sheath you show in your picture. I can't remember who made them though. I remember at the time thinking I better stock up on these saws that match my sheath. Bought 5 of them."


Not used as much anymore as I stopped canoe tripping, still a favorite part of a well enjoyed past! The maker is a forum member, ragged from Minneapolis, MN.

butthead
 
AlexanderSupertramp
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12/04/2023 01:42PM  
I needed another saw, so I picked up the 15" today at Acme Tools in Duluth for $20. I couldn't justify the $80-100 some of these saws are costing these days, especially when I already have a Silky Gomboy for Summer tripping. The Irwin will be only for winter use though. Can't wait to make a cool sheath for it.
 
Minnesotian
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12/04/2023 08:45PM  

I got the Irwin Saw and use it all the time. I was also lucky enough to get one of Ragged's sheaths for it. I used to use a Sven Saw before it, but never really liked all the pieces that could get lost, the limit of how thick of a log you could cut through, and all the potential points of failure on the Sven. Still have it though if I want to take it backpacking, but I find the Irwin cuts faster, no parts to lose, and its solidly built.

 
AlexanderSupertramp
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12/05/2023 07:44AM  
Minnesotian: "
I got the Irwin Saw and use it all the time. I was also lucky enough to get one of Ragged's sheaths for it. I used to use a Sven Saw before it, but never really liked all the pieces that could get lost, the limit of how thick of a log you could cut through, and all the potential points of failure on the Sven. Still have it though if I want to take it backpacking, but I find the Irwin cuts faster, no parts to lose, and its solidly built.

"


I've never understood the hype on the Sven saw as a good backcountry tool honestly. I played around with one at Piragis last week and found it pretty frustrating (and that's with warm hands inside a building), I can't imagine fiddling about with that on a winter trip when you cant feel your fingers. Not to mention the loose wingnut that could get lost... Drop that in the snow and she's a goner, rendering it useless. There are better iterations of the folding bow saw out there these days.
 
scottiebaldwin
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12/08/2023 12:56AM  
AlexanderSupertramp: "
Minnesotian: "
I got the Irwin Saw and use it all the time. I was also lucky enough to get one of Ragged's sheaths for it. I used to use a Sven Saw before it, but never really liked all the pieces that could get lost, the limit of how thick of a log you could cut through, and all the potential points of failure on the Sven. Still have it though if I want to take it backpacking, but I find the Irwin cuts faster, no parts to lose, and its solidly built.


"



I've never understood the hype on the Sven saw as a good backcountry tool honestly. I played around with one at Piragis last week and found it pretty frustrating (and that's with warm hands inside a building), I can't imagine fiddling about with that on a winter trip when you cant feel your fingers. Not to mention the loose wingnut that could get lost... Drop that in the snow and she's a goner, rending it useless. There are better iterations of the folding bow saw out there these days. "


Hear, hear!!
 
uqme2
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12/08/2023 10:54AM  
Wow! The Irwin is surprisingly light with a nice price point.

In defense of Sven Saws, two Bungee Dealee Bobs or velcro straps and a thwart make for easy access and storage. While I'll admit a Sven may take an IQ of >85 to assemble and use properly, the wing nut is the same size as the nuts on my yoke pads.
 
12/08/2023 04:06PM  
The Irwin is a really good choice in my opinion. It holds up staying sharp well, is lightweight, and it's cheap. I still use mine.
 
12/09/2023 02:17AM  
I heat my home with wood. ALWAYS have IRWIN Saw and a small axe near my stove to make wood into what is needed.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
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12/09/2023 07:18AM  
okinaw55: "The Irwin is a really good choice in my opinion. It holds up staying sharp well, is lightweight, and it's cheap. I still use mine."


It's only 4 ounces heavier than the Silky Big Boy Outback, which was my original choice at first. But for $100... meh.
 
Sparkeh
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12/11/2023 06:18AM  
https://www.acehardware.com/departments/tools/hand-tools/hand-saws/2030501?store=11390&gad_source=1&gclsrc=ds

Fiskars looks like the new irwin. Includes a sheath. $23 at ace.
 
01/04/2024 08:02PM  
15" fits better. Is Ragged still making sheaths?
 
andym
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01/05/2024 12:17AM  
My memory is that ragged stopped making them.
 
01/12/2024 09:57AM  
Something I'm surprised isn't mentioned more is the grip. A folding saw works, but the Irwin gives you a mechanical advantage for the sawing action. The Sven saw might provide a similar advantage but the grip doesn't feel as nice.

Cutting firewood with a little folding saw has been on of my least favorite camp chores. Right up there with washing the dishes when the mosquitoes are thick. Once I figured out a good system with the Irwin and a hatchet (as a wedge only), gathering firewood was once again enjoyable and I didn't have to go so far out of my way to avoid cutting anything.
 
01/15/2024 08:23AM  
Sparkeh: "https://www.acehardware.com/departments/tools/hand-tools/hand-saws/2030501?store=11390&gad_source=1&gclsrc=ds

Fiskars looks like the new irwin. Includes a sheath. $23 at ace. "


Looks like a better alternative to me, assuming the teeth are as good.
 
Chuckles
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01/15/2024 10:42AM  
A1t2o: "Something I'm surprised isn't mentioned more is the grip. A folding saw works, but the Irwin gives you a mechanical advantage for the sawing action. "


Irwin saw fan here, but I'm confused by the 'mechanical advantage' point above. Not trying to be a pain or mince words, but do you mean it is more comfortable in your hand, therefore it is easier to use? Or is there a different mechanical advantage I'm not aware of.
 
uqme2
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01/15/2024 03:00PM  
Chuckles: "
A1t2o: "Something I'm surprised isn't mentioned more is the grip. A folding saw works, but the Irwin gives you a mechanical advantage for the sawing action. "



Irwin saw fan here, but I'm confused by the 'mechanical advantage' point above. Not trying to be a pain or mince words, but do you mean it is more comfortable in your hand, therefore it is easier to use? Or is there a different mechanical advantage I'm not aware of. "


Or is there a different mechanical advantage I'm not aware of.
 
uqme2
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01/15/2024 03:02PM  
WhiteWolf: "I heat my home with wood. ALWAYS have IRWIN Saw and a small axe near my stove to make wood into what is needed.
"


You heat your home with wood and you saw/split it in your house?
 
01/16/2024 11:35PM  
uqme2: "
WhiteWolf: "I heat my home with wood. ALWAYS have IRWIN Saw and a small axe near my stove to make wood into what is needed.
"



You heat your home with wood and you saw/split it in your house?"


By near- I mean outside the front door on the landing.
 
mgraber
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01/20/2024 08:00PM  
Agree with just getting the Agawa Canyon 21". Get the kit with sheath and extra blade. The agressive ranchers blade is wicked fast in dry wood, the all purpose is better with green wood and very good all around. I've had a few saws, this is the best I've found.
 
01/22/2024 08:42AM  
mgraber: "Agree with just getting the Agawa Canyon 21". Get the kit with sheath and extra blade. The agressive ranchers blade is wicked fast in dry wood, the all purpose is better with green wood and very good all around. I've had a few saws, this is the best I've found."


I also love my Agawa Boreal 21, the main reason I got it over a Silky is because it's much more ergonomic. Though I suppose not quite as ergonomic as the contoured handles on the Irwin and Fiskars. And with the extra blade and sheath it cost 5x as much.
 
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