Troy-Bilt Premium Folding Hand Saw (RE-K): Product Review
A fast and clean cutting saw in need of some improvements.
Available on Amazon
So it’s time to get out in your garden or overgrown landscape and tackle some serious pruning jobs. But not just any tool is called for – hand pruners are way too small and loppers, even the 2” capacity models, are underpowered. So where do you go from here?
It’s time to consider a pruning saw.
Maybe your project doesn’t warrant a full-fledged bow saw, but something more manageable, like a folding hand saw, would be perfect. That’s where a pruning saw like the Troy-Bilt Premium Folding Hand Saw (model RE-K) comes in.
- Adjustable Tightness of Blade to Handle: Yes (with Allen wrench)
- Special Features: Lanyard hole
- Cutting Direction: Pull stroke
- Blade Locking Mechanism: Thumb lever
- Overall Length (including blade): 15 ¼ inches
- Folded Length: 9 ¼ inches
- Blade Material: High carbon steel
- Blade Plating: Chrome plated
- Curved or Straight Blade: Straight
- Blade Teeth Design: Triple grind geometry
- Replaceable Blade: Not likely. No information found at the time of review
- Weight: 6 oz.
- Can Blade Be Sharpened: Yes, but is not recommend since achieving the proper teeth angle is extremely difficult and improper sharpening will ruin the blade
The saw is attached to a plastic-like placard with the blade well covered to prevent cuts while in the packaging. Upon opening the cardboard shipping box that the saw was delivered in, the product arrived unscathed.
BLADE LOCKING MECHANISM & BLADE TO HANDLE TOLERANCES
Like some of the other folding hand saws that I reviewed, the Troy-Bilt has a thumb lever to lock the blade in both the open and closed positions. Troy-Bilt touts its “SmartLock” technology as ensuring safety during the storage and cutting process. I found this true based on how tightly the blade locked into the handle in both the open and closed positions.
The lock, however, has a very heavy spring tension and although I could open and close the saw using my thumb, it was a lot easier for me to use my index finger. I think someone with less hand strength will have to resort to using their index finger only to disengage the lock. I sure found it a lot more comfortable to do it this way.
NICE GRIP & POCKET READY
The handle felt comfortable in my hand with its oval design, grooved knob at the end, and textured finish on the top of the handle and handle knob to enhance grip. Although it does not have a rubberized grip, I found there was no problem holding it firmly without slipping.
In its folded position, the saw was comfortable to carry in my hip pocket. I shied away from putting it in my back pocket because the depth of the pocket is not as deep as my hip one. I also find that folding hand saws tend to move around in my rear pocket while walking from jobsite to jobsite. They are also very uncomfortable to sit on when taking a load off.
Ease of Cutting: Start of cut is very easy
How Clean is the Cut: Very clean
Cutting Speed: Very fast
Although the Troy-Bilt folding hand saw cuts quickly and cleanly, it does have one limitation; the saw teeth do not extend the full length of the blade so you cannot use the full blade when cutting. The pocket of untoothed metal between the handle and the saw blade constantly gets caught when trying to make a full stroke cut, making for a frustrating pruning experience.
Check out the Troy-Bilt Premium Folding Hand Saw in action to see how well it cuts. Some initial thoughts on the saw are included in the short video as well.
SPECIAL TOOL NEEDED TO ADJUST HANDLE TO BLADE TENSION
You’ll need a 5mm (millimeter) Allen wrench to adjust the handle to blade tension. I wish the saw had a bolt head that accepted a straight or Phillips screwdriver. Not everyone has a 5mm Allen wrench sitting around (it would take a special trip to the hardware store or an online purchase). But this is not a deal breaker so I didn’t mark off any points. Other tools we have reviewed have had similar bolt configurations and we did not penalize them for it.
HIGH CARBON STEEL BLADE
The saw blade is made of high carbon steel with a chrome plating that should inhibit rust formation, as well as the buildup of sap and wood resins.
Think of carbon as the stuff that makes steel hard. The more carbon in the steel, the harder it is. To make folding hand saw blades stay sharp through many hundreds if not thousands of cuts, the blades must be “heat treated” (one of the processes in hardening metals). High carbon steel is the preferred material used in triple edged folding pruning saw blades because it is so hard and consequently stays sharp for a long time. The conventional hardening of high carbon steel takes the highly heated steel and “quenches” it (lowering the heated metal blade into a bath of oil or water until it cools).
As with any coated blade, the chrome plating can begin to wear off after extended use, especially around the cutting teeth. When you notice a duller blade color (rather than the shiny chrome), it probably means that the coating is wearing down. And once the chrome is gone, the saw will rust unless it’s lightly oiled to keep it protected from moisture. High carbon steel has a way of doing that.
I like to take care of my tools, they just last longer that way. A light oiling of the blade and a little a squirt of lubricant in the area where the bolt goes through the blade and handle, along with the locking mechanism, will keep your saw in tip top shape. My favorite lubricant is Tri-Flow®
Wear gloves and eye protection – period! As far as eye protection is concerned, there are two main reasons that come to mind. One is falling sawdust while cutting over your head and the other is blades that snap if over stressed (for example, bending them at extreme angles).
Also, this saw blade with its triple edge cutting teeth is extremely sharp. One slip and you’ll likely be on your way to the hospital for some stitches or worse if you don’t don gloves. I suggest a full leather glove, as this provides the most protection. Be safe. Enough said.
Troy-Bilt offers a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
The Troy-Bilt Premium Folding Hand Saw makes very clean and fast cuts – some of the best that I’ve tested. However, the cutting teeth don’t extend the full length of the blade so the saw constantly gets hung up near the handle (unless you’re very careful to make shorter sawing motions which, realistically, isn’t going to happen). If this one area were addressed I would rate this saw as one of the best. As it is, I found it somewhat frustrating to cut with.
WHERE TO BUY
Last update on 2020-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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