The F180 is one of Silky’s cheapest hand saws, so I set out to test whether or not it lives up the reputation of their other saws. Silky has a line of cutting tools such as hand, folding, and pole saws; all of which are known around the world for their superior quality. The f180, however, seems to be less popular than the slightly more expensive Silky Gomboy. It was my goal to find out why…
I recently wrote a page about the best folding saws in which I did not include the F180. The reason for this is simple; I added the Gomboy instead. Without going too far into detail, I’ll just say I didn’t want the same brand (Silky) to take up two out of the three available spots. But that’s beside the point, the F180 is a great folding saw. If you’re game for a short read, I’ll tell you a little more about this saw and why I like it.
Not everyone has the time to read the whole review, some are lazy, and other’s simply don’t care. So, to make this page as helpful as possible, I’ll give my recommendation in this paragraph, list some specs below, and provide you with a link to Amazon so you can look at it for yourself. The Silky F180 is a great folding saw around $32. It has two different locking locations for a more customized cutting experience and the rubber grip is a pleasure to work with. The impulse hardened blade cuts better than most and stays sharp for a long time. Simply put, it’s awesome. Worth every penny. Click here to see it on Amazon →
- Blade Length: 7.1 inches
- Blade Thickness: 1.4 mm
- TPI: 6.4
- Impulse Hardened: Yes
How it Cuts
The F180 cuts really well. It’s designed to cut on the pull rather than the push. The blade has a slight curve to it but nothing too drastic. Another neat feature is the impulse hardened teeth. If you’re not familiar with impulse hardening, it’s the process of heating and cooling the blade with impulse energy. The results are very sharp teeth which hold an edge up to three times longer than a normal blade. Unfortunately, this process makes it more difficult to sharpen the teeth with a normal file.
For this reason, Silky offers replacement blades for around $20. A standard Phillips screwdriver is all you need to loosen the blade, allowing you to swap out the old for the new. As far as the blades go, there is a “Large-teeth” version and “Fine-teeth” version. The large teeth blade is meant for softwood and pruning while the fine teeth blade is more suitable for hardwood.
Anyway, cutting with the F180 was a pleasure. I found myself wanting to cut something even when I didn’t need to. For the sake of this review, however, I fulfilled my desires by finding an old fallen tree. It happened to be hardwood. Now, hardwood is obviously different than softwood and as such, many saw manufacturers offer two separate blades; one for softwood and pruning and one for hardwood. A hardwood blade is typically considered a “fine” blade, having more TPI (Teeth Per Inch). The blade on my Silky F180 happened to be their large teeth blade; meant for softwood and pruning, not hardwood.
With the saw gripped tightly in my right hand and an old, fallen hardwood under my foot, I contemplated whether or not my ‘large-teeth’ blade would hold up. Gently placing the saw on the tree’s sapwood, I paused momentarily. Seconds passed as I stoked my courage with an underwhelming pep-talk. After much hesitgation, I started. Would the F180’s teeth shatter under the pressure, leaving me stranded several hundred feet behind my house with nothing but a busted holding saw, or would succeed? Only time would tell…
My eyes narrowed as I pushed the saw to its limits. Suddenly… *SNAP* my eyelids pinched shut. “What happened?” I wondered to myself, too scared to peer downward. As I opened my eyes I could see it. The branch of hardwood, laying in two pieces, yielded to the Silky Saw.
Okay, so that’s not exactly how it happened. Basically, I started sawing the tree branch all willy-nilly and the F180 cut through like it was nothing; even with the 6.4 TPI, large-teeth blade.
Versatility & Ease of Use
The Silky F180 is perhaps one of the most versatile and easy to use folding saws available. It comes complete with two locking locations, allowing you to slightly alter the way you’re cutting. The first locking position is what I consider a normal location. The second position allows for more force in tricky cutting situations.
There is no locking position for the blade once it’s folded into the handle, unfortunately. That’s the only thing I don’t like about it. There is enough tension in my F180 to keep the blade from coming open on its own but after a few years and several camping trips, this might not be the case. Perhaps this can be adjusted by tightening the screw but I won’t know for sure until the time comes. Don’t get me wrong, the blade just dangles there it doesn’t unfold on its own. At least mine doesn’t.
There is a hole for a loop, in case you want to carry the saw that way. Otherwise, it’s small enough you can fit it nicely into your pocket. Another option is to throw it into a rucksack or backpack if you’re going camping. It weighs almost nothing, coming in around 5 ounces.
It’s simple to use. Unfold the blade from within the handle until you hear the blade lock in place. Once locked, place the blade on the branch of whatever type of wood you’re sawing. Remember, the Silky F180 is designed to cut on the pull. With this in mind, start your first stroke with the base of your blade on the wood. This will help you get your first cut started.
Is it Worth the Money?
So, when I purchased my Silky F180, I got it from Amazon for around $32. That’s a great price for this folding hand saw. If you can get one at that price or for less, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. For a few dollars more, though, you can get the more popular Silky Gomboy; priced at $40 at the of writing this review. Click here to see the Silky Gomboy on Amazon.
To give you another comparison, the Silky F180 costs $7 – $10 more than the Corona Razor Tooth and Bahco Laplander. Both of which have hoards of fans, all claiming their favorite saw is the best. To answer the question; Yes, I think its worth the money. Having said that, the F180 is slightly more expensive than the Corona Razor Tooth and Bahco Laplander and it’s only a few dollars cheaper than the prized Silky Gomboy.
I hope this review helps you make an informed decision. In case you’re still ‘on the fence’ about the F180, I encourage you to check out this page where I compare three top-notch folding saws.