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Cyclopath
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PostSun Jun 23, 2019 10:22 pm 
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I spent Saturday in a trail maintenance class, and at a work party.  We did brushing.  They taught us a lot, including specifications, and showed us examples of good and bad jobs.  Then today I hiked a badly overgrown trail, it was unpleasant, I could have made a difference and still enjoyed the lake.

I have a pair of fill sized loppers, I use them to do battle with the blackberries in my garden.  I'd like a smaller and lighter pair, wondering if anybody has any surefire recommendations.  The long arms give you leverage and reach, I'm not sure how small I can get away with?

Also, a folding saw?  Again, small and light, I'm thinking about branches on blow downs that aren't going to be fixed for a while.
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Sky Hiker
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 12:27 am 
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Fiskars pruners and a Wyoming folding saw.
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 6:54 am 
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I use a pruning saw blade DIY attached to a replacement garden rake handle for ski trail maintenance.   It works really well for cutting branches at various heights and reaching deep into a bush .  I always try to cut as close to the trunk or ground as possible.  Stuff 1/2 or thinner usually requires only a single pull to cut through.   I think it would be far less effective at nipping stuff mid branch due the branch flexing.

Probably a lot bigger and heavier than you were thinking about.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 8:45 am 
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Sky Hiker wrote:
Fiskars pruners and a Wyoming folding saw.

Holy crap, they have an adjustable length lopper!  Thanks for the recommendation!
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 8:48 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
I use a pruning saw blade DIY attached to a replacement garden rake handle for ski trail maintenance.   It works really well for cutting branches at various heights and reaching deep into a bush .  I always try to cut as close to the trunk or ground as possible.  Stuff 1/2 or thinner usually requires only a single pull to cut through.   I think it would be far less effective at nipping stuff mid branch due the branch flexing.

Probably a lot bigger and heavier than you were thinking about.

They stressed what a big deal this is several times.  And encouraged us to hide any remaining portion, if you can't pull the roots out.

I have a section of PCT I'm responsible for and will bring plenty there.  But you're right, I'm looking for small and light to just leave in my pack so next time I'm on an overgrown trail and feel like doing something helpful, I can.
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MultiUser
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 9:26 am 
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Was that the Evergreen class that was held over the weekend?

Silky handsaws are the best thing short of a chainsaw.  If you really want to commit, Trail Boss tools are great for remote work. https://trailbossusa.com/
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Oldguy
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 9:35 am 
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I do trail maintenance and the lightest tools I've used were the Fiskar power gear plastic loppers and the Ace Hardware folding pocket saw with a Corona blade.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 9:39 am 
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MultiUser wrote:
Was that the Evergreen class that was held over the weekend?

Silky handsaws are the best thing short of a chainsaw.  If you really want to commit, Trail Boss tools are great for remote work. https://trailbossusa.com/

Thanks for the recommendation.  It was "Trail Skills College," put on by PCTA with hello from WTA.
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InFlight
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 9:43 am 
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There are a lot of 8 inch folding saws that easily fit in a side pocket with your water bottles.  Just the right size to remove limbs of a downed tree to make it more passible.  Wouldn't be ideal to cut up large trunks.  (Husqvarna and Skill Saws are not my idea of easily packable)

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whitebark
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 10:09 am 
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Corona saws have sharp, long-lasting blades. The 8" razor tooth folding saw is light and cuts fast.  If you have room for one, the fixed 14" razor tooth saw is a powerful cutter that can deal with surprisingly large logs.

There are a lot of cheap 8" folding saws out there. Don't bother with them - they cut slowly and their cheap blades go dull quickly.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 10:49 am 
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What's a good 8 (or so) inch folding saw?

Will hand sized pruners be enough to get through the types of brush that be tend to overgrow the trail, like blueberries and salmonberries?  I know serious work requires more, I'm thinking about leaving it in my pack for good, for occasional light brushing where it's needed.
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RodF
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 10:54 am 
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Cyclopath wrote:
Holy crap, they have an adjustable length lopper!

Yes, but it's not lightweight.  Fiskers makes geared loppers of various sizes and lengths (all of which are far more capable than Corona un-geared loppers).  Their short loppers are really handy for general brushing and are the trail tool I use most often.  Their long-armed loppers are unwieldy for brushing, but great for reaching small limbs.

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Brushwork
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 12:34 pm 
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I’ll second the Fiskar’s lopper and Corona saw.   
     The Fiskar I have is light weight and still works after several years of trail work. 22”   Don’t know if they make them any more.  They’re worth looking for. The new heavy ones are a lot more effort for me to use.  The 15” is still useful and really light but not as powerful. Useful to carry a little steel wool, oil and piece of cotton to clean off plant gunk while on trail - helps a lot. 
     The Corona saw blade is wonderfully sharp!!!!  I have a 14” blade pruning saw and it is really great and also not heavy.  Agree with Whitebark on other brand folding saws !  A blade cover is a must.  Occasional oil on the saw is useful too... with a saw especially , gloves are good.
     Clippers are useful for only small amounts of clipping.  It’s hard on the hand.... really hard.

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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 2:19 pm 
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I really appreciate the recommendations and the reasoning behind them.  I've had a set of loppers in my garden for years, I use them occasionally to hold the blackberries back.  I haven't had to think about this in a long time.

Any thoughts on these 15 inch, 13 oz Fiskars loppers?

Fiskars 15 Inch PowerGear Super Pruner/Lopper https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004SD73/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_WUueDb98T7G5H
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Brushwork
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 2:38 pm 
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That’s the small one I have, quite light weight and can do a lot!   Cuts diameter up to slightly smaller than the next size up, but really great for the weight.  It would be my recommendation.    Welcome to trail work!!!

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