Sunday, 3 June 2007

Still Wheezing And A Little Saw.

Not much to report on the fitness part of the project this week.
Sadly there was plenty of Un-Fitness to report on at (ominous drum roll) the Running Club.
Anyone on first name terms with your pal the Bushwacker will surely tell you the words ‘Bushwacker is running’ aren’t usually used in the same sentence unless the sentence ends ‘down to the Off Licence to get more beer, wine, ice, vodka.....’ with the ‘running’ part being a figure of speech. So it was with no small trepidation that I set off for further punishment from the British Military Fitness Crew at their Running Club.

Shock is probably the hardest thing for a person to fake or try to hide, and glee is the response it never occurs to anyone to hide. Most of the attendees of the running club didn’t bother hiding anything, once the shock had subsided they all wanted to stand next to me at the start of every ‘run’, so they could ‘burn me off at the lights’. I felt like the most talented self-confidence therapist in the world. They arrived half whipped expecting more ritual humiliation at the hands of the speed merchants, only to find that far from being the slowest or having the most pitiful wheezing noise, their day had come.
Some of my delighted classmates actually took to letting me catch up with them so the could redress the humiliation they had themselves suffered. Leaving me for dust.
Still if 'waddling' is half way between sleeping and running, I can at least say I met them half way.
Oh the pain of being a wuss, a fat, greedy, lazy...................

Saw these and thought you might find them useful

The Sven Saw (inc 1 blade) $24.99 spare blades $7.95 each

Tested against

The BCB Commando Saw (inc 3 blades) from £4.99 to £12. Will take generic replacement blades (approx £5 for £3.99) and a BCB Nato & US forces 28” eight strand wire saw, cut in two would make two replacement wire saws for £2.61

I’ve used the triangular Sven Saw a few times and the aggressive ‘bow saw’ type blade is certainly very good for
fire-wood-ish type cuts and will stand a lot of abuse. The saw is light, and durable. The triangulation that makes the saw so strong is also its weakness as not all of the blade can cut to the saws maximum depth. The design suffers where an exposed wing nut provides the blade tension. It's jagged and do you really want to have to carry a spare?

The first way the BCB wins is the smooth, square frame design that gives you the use of the whole length of the blade cutting through larger diameter logs. With a choice of three blades kept neatishly in the handle the BCB saw will cleanly cut wood, bone, plastics and metal. Where the BCB let itself down during my test was that the 'all purpose and hacksaw' blades supplied with the saw are not very good. In fairness, this is not a review of cheapo blades, better blades are easy to come by and the handle feels unbreakable. The wire saw is excellent, but was let down by the aluminium crimps that act as its end stops, which are woefully inadequate. One popped off on the saws second use, and the other was very easily pulled off with a pair of pliers. The blade that is supplied with the Sven Saw is much better quality (which you have to pay for), but limits you to rougher cuts. The BCB has an edge, in that on your travels it’ll take any brand of hardware store blade that’s 12-13”.

The Bottom Line:

Both saws are very good choices, strong, cheapish, and lightweight.
The BCB has a neater handle design, bombproof build quality and the option of the versatile and robust wire saw.
All for a fiver! Now that I've added better crimps (took five mins.-was very easy) it will be my choice every time.

BCB's site - lots of other cool stuff

You may get the Sven Saw for a buck or so less, but REI’s customer service is magic.

The best price I found for the BCB saw was at