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4864 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Rad
I'm interested in hearing about what tools people use when harvesting sticks. My favorite is my opinel folding saw. I also take along a folding entrenching tool and my leatherman multi-tool is always with me wherever I go anyway.
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So far I use a small hand saw, a set of pruning loppers, and some pruning shears for the smaller shoots. The loppers are fast for sticks up to about 1 1/2" diameter. The saw doesn't see as much use as the other tools.

I use an 8" folding pruning saw. Have also used a bushcraft knife, and sometimes a pocket chain saw. It is just a length of chain blade rolled into a shoe-polish sized can and held by 2 steel loops at each end. It will handle small logs if need be.

I understand that if one is going for root balls, an adze is preferred.
I've always enjoyed getting out searching as much as the making. I keep it pretty simple and carry a small folding saw and a scraper like pictured. Ive found for peeling wet bark off sticks if preferred, I haven't found anything that beats it. I also carry a strap with adjustable rope loops at each end so i can carry out multiple sticks on each journey.


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A small folding saw similar to the one Sean uses and a pair of by pass pruners. Wind storms harvest a lot of my wood for me.
1 sharp hatchet usually.

I find saplings and push them over and cut the roots, then chop the top to a manageable length

I have found some 2 year old stumps with new growth while out. I flag them and come back with a battery powered reciprocating saw.
a pruninng saw a hand pruner for cutting of side branches . a good heavy duty lopers cuts up to 2inches well they say so but does cut up to 1.5 inches well

also rope to bundles up the shanks into bunches and a water proof ground sheet to protect the car interior
Hey guys thanks for all the info! Sean, I also like to just spend the day in the woods. A bottle of coffee,a sandwich and a nice day doing what I love. As for peeling the wet bark. Do you have any trouble seasoning with the bark off?
its better to season with the bark on helps to prevent the wood from splitting whilst drying .It will give you more time in the woods to harvest those shanks .

Some across the pond like to take the bark of whilst wet suppose it depends on the type of wood , but I would never do it.
Speaking of harvesting, will have to look this spring for some more sassafras. Just noticed the 2 I had seasoning in the garage have both split 1/3 of the way down, bummer! Might be able to salvage a bit for carving toppers but not enough left for a decent staff.
It may help to seal the ends of the shanks .It should help to even the drying of the shank .A exposed area of a fresh cut shank tends to dry more rapidly and is subject to more shrinkage than the rest of the shank which will lead to shrinkage /cracking

You could try sealing it with wax paint or bitchimmin and may help to even the seasoning process

I don't get this problem with hazel and have never bothered to seal the wood so wood type must play a part in this?
Seems pretty general - folding pruning saw and I also use a pair of ratchet secateurs and a flexible wire saw similar to gdenby's pocket chain saw, good for a tight spot when the one you want is too close to other shoots to get anything else in without cutting shoots off that may be good next year.
Hey guys thanks for all the info! Sean, I also like to just spend the day in the woods. A bottle of coffee,a sandwich and a nice day doing what I love. As for peeling the wet bark. Do you have any trouble seasoning with the bark off?
It depends on the time of year and the wood. I try to harvest most in the off growth season when the sap isn't running. I find the wood is less prone to checking. I also will seal the ends usually with a varnish of some kind if concerned about seasoning. I cut long if the ends do crack they will be cut anyhow.
Some i leave the batk on, love the look. Peeling the bark off wet saplings as they dry some start to bleed out some nice color and make a fine looking stick.
The little folding saw looks like it would be handy. I think I'll take a look at them next time I'm in a hardware store. The loppers work and they're fast but they're also more awkward to carry.

Yeah agree,harvesting is one of the best parts of stickmaking. I prefer large loppers for a nice quick clean cut,small secateurs for side branches and a foldiding saw for bigger stuff.


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Not forgetting extra thick elastic bands to bundle them,string and my trusty bag to carry them!
looks like youhave a good natural thumb stick topper there shame you couldn't get the whole stick with it .but would look good with a nice collar when mounted
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Hey thanks for all the tips folks! I don't usually seal my sticks after cutting as I tend to go for the root ball, so I just leave all the mud and such on it(much to my wife's dismay)during the seasoning. Seems to work pretty well.
I also take a good quality pruning saw, I have had about three cheapo pruning saws and they don't cut very good for me! I found myself a nice Bahco saw and that has served me well. Secateurs, Loppers (carried over my back, tied with twine) I also have a small knife, rope and twine and sometimes a 12 inch bow saw. I leave this kit in the car all the time just in case I see "The Perfect Shank" N.
Especially when I'm harvesting root stock, I take a shovel, folding saw, axe, loppers and of course my 3720 John Deere with front end loading bucket for carrying everything -- and bringing sticks back. Sometimes I tack along a flat bed trailer and my lunch. :)
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