clearing foliage from trails

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  • clearing foliage from trails
  • nonk
    Member

    I have a wilkinson sword retractable saw.
    Ace .

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    bilhook?

    my folding saw does a half decent job, but gets stuck in thicker brambles when i’m trying to ‘swish’ through a load at once.

    i have a folding sickle, which does better, but appears to be made of cheese…

    wordnumb
    Member

    A hand scythe, a decent glove, nobody standing nearby.

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    A brush hook is probably the right tool for the job but I’d be wary of using and carrying mine around in public.

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    I carry secateurs and a folding saw with me, not sure I’d want an open blade in my bag though. But if that doesn’t bother you, machete? 🙂

    Folding saw is very versatile and light

    nick1962
    Member

    Slight bike mod required

    Or a traditional backpack version

    What’s wrong with finding a stick and hacking them down? That’s what I normally do.

    Premier Icon bigdean
    Subscriber

    Glad its not just me then. Was looking for a folding scythe the other day.

    Search for grass slasher on ebay. Only a fiver.

    Folding Sythe but machine in some teeth towards the tip and a hook to get the last of the cut. Saw teeth on the reverse/top of the blade is handy too

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    can you use a folding/fixed pruning saw like a machete as well? I’d feel a bit better about carrying a saw than a brush hook (though one of those looks like it would be perfect!)

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    What’s the best tool I can put in my backpack for clearing foliage (ferns/nettles mainly, some thicker stuff like brambles/blackberries) from trails as efficiently as possible?

    jekkyl
    Member

    I like to use my arms for brambles and my legs for nettles.

    Premier Icon JoeG
    Subscriber

    A walk behind string trimmer like the DR is fantastic! Bought a used one on Craigslist this spring!

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    Ferns, just pull out with your hands. The ones you pull out won’t be growing back then at least.

    slowoldgit
    Member

    I wouldn’t handle bracken, it has nasty tiny biting molecules in it.

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    Brush hook.

    Meet Nancy.

    mlke
    Member

    Wear longs and squish nettles etc down whilst riding. Secateurs and gardening gloves for the brambles. If serious blocked trail then I’ll take loppers or a hand saw out with me.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Do people really ride with these brush hooks in their backpacks? Riding from urban areas to the trails, obviously less of an issue if you live/ride in the middle of nowhere. Do they tend to come with sheaths? Anyone recommend a decent one?

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    You’d jolly well best not get searched with that on you, I’d wager!

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    Fiskars is the only one to consider, you can get them from B&Q. Yes, has a case, but latch/fastening doesn’t last very long.

    I wouldn’t ride round Leeds with one no, I live in the dales.

    I only take it when I know I’ll need it, as its a bit big to not be a pain to have in your bag. I actually have mine for formal trailbuilding, but its a useful tool for round the garden.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Anyone recommend a decent one?

    Silky Yoki if you want to go native. Fiskar are good and readily available. if you want under £20, maybe Stihl will be ok(don’t know if it comes with a sheath tho).

    st
    Member

    Good luck explaining away a machete in your bag if you ever get into an discussion with the 5-0.

    As per other comments a folding saw with a reasonable length blade will do a good enough job and you’ll have half a chance of returning home with all you fingers.

    Premier Icon Kona TC
    Subscriber

    Do people really ride with these brush hooks in their backpacks

    In STWer Land nothing would surprise me 😉

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ
    Subscriber

    Lidl folding saw £2.49.

    z1ppy
    Member

    Anyone gotten a link to a folding scythe? Can only find one, & that on evilbay. I abandoned some local trails of late, as the brambles are just ridiculous. Want something I can carry, the bill hooks might be better but you can’t carry those on a bike

    Ps: folding saws don’t work well as scythes

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    that’s the one i’ve got.

    the blade is good, but the handle+mechanism is a bit crap, it’s over-priced really.

    something like this linky might be an idea – you could change the nuts for wingnuts – and it would *nearly* be a ‘folder’…

    (but, i’ll just get a fiskars billhook next year)

    z1ppy
    Member

    I actually already have one of those, but I wouldn’t really want the blade rattling round my backpack, & prefer the idea of a ‘folder’.
    A couple of the trails are a good walk away from the road, so even traveling by car back afterwards, isn’t exactly a great option (let alone it’s a private wood…sssshh).

    I do like this version, as the handle looks better, but I can’t find it for sale anywhere (and I don’t need 1000-10000 units).

    As for the that 1st folder above I’ve found the same a bit cheaper on worldwide ebay, so might give it a try.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Well, I took the plunge and bought a Fiskar brush hook from B&Q today. They don’t look nearly as scary in reality as they do in the pictures; it’s more handle than blade and it’s not particularly sharp so I’ve got no qualms about carrying it in my pack. It’s clearly a tool not a weapon. It’s also assuaged my fears that I might cut my own leg off or something! I quickly found the best way to swing it was a sideways swiping motion rather than chopping like an axe which makes it safer too as you’re always swinging it away from you.

    Even though it’s not that sharp it does go through ferns, nettles and brambles up to about 1/2″ like butter which is exactly what I wanted. It happily goes through thicker branches too with a few chops but I would definitely get a pruning saw if I were going to do that often.

    Spent just over an hour this evening clearing a totally overgrown trail – quite enjoyed it actually! (Except for the fact that I’d forgotten my Jungle Formula so got eaten alive by biters!) Had a good sense of accomplishment afterwards when I rode the cleared trail. Already know which one I’m going to clear next!

    The only problems with the Fiskar are the crappy “sheath” and the fact it’s quite big because of the long handle (doesn’t quite fit in my pack). Kind of wish I’d gone for the Silky Yoki which has a proper sheath and is quite a bit shorter. It’s over twice the price though and would have been a lot of money to splash out not really knowing anything about that sort of tool.

    @z1ppy – B&Q also had a folding scythe, IIRC exactly like the one in your eBay link but a different colour and cheaper (around £15). Looked a bit shoddy quality-wise but will no doubt do the job.

    cruzcampo
    Member

    nice job zilog!

    A local trail I ride, which is seldom used by others and my arms and legs take the brunt of the stings, scratches, and make a slight indent into the trail, only to have regrown on next visit LOL

    rentachimp
    Member

    I have a couple of machetes: never got on with the bill hooks, but grass hooks/scythes are good, too.
    Studied foresty with a guy who worked as a landscape gardener and he said the No.1 way of dealing with brambles was to pull them up with a pair of welding gloves. No blades needed 🙂

    z1ppy
    Member

    Cheers for the thought zilog, I had found it search the net the other day, but not been near a b&q yet to see one.

    z1ppy
    Member

    Well I bought the b&q one & by god it’s a scary bit of kit, give it a flick & the blade flys out & locks in position. It’s a damned Kusarigama… got age checked on the express till to buy it though, which is no bad thing.
    Looked at the fiskars brush hook too, & it’s not exactly bike portable, that said the Folding scythe would only be something I carried on specific missions to clear trails

    dannyh
    Member

    Aldi folding saw in stock yesterday.

    £2.99

    Looks ok, looks safe for in-pack stowage, although I’m going to wrap it in some heavy-ish canvas to ensure a crash won’t spring it open.

    Nothing like some of the more ‘specialist’ options above, but I think it’ll do 99% of the stuff that makes me think ‘someone ought to chop that back a bit’.

    I’m up for clearing trails, not some kind of Chindit style mission into Japanese occupied Burma!

    dannyh
    Member

    The aldi saw got a quick run out today, clearing some brambles and nettles that were making a rideable set of rocks unrideable by blocking the view of the first rock.

    It easily dealt with these, you need a pronounced wrist flick to generate enough speed in the blade to go through multiple small stems, but it did the job very nicely. It will go through an inch thick branch in about 15 seconds, so it will easily deal with most foliage ‘issues’.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    With the fiskar’s brush-hook, it’s well worth taking the time to put more of an edge on it- makes it much better at grass, fibrous plants etc where as standard it tends to hang up or just drag them along. it’s a nicely weighty, strong blade so it’ll do axework surprisingly well as long as you don’t get carried away as it’ll get stuck if you hit too hard. Very handy things.

    Oh, the plastic sheath is really impractical, I just rolled up a newspaper to the right size for it to stick into, perfect.

    Aldi ones will blunt quickly. But they are cheap. Buy three

    z1ppy
    Member

    Well I’m un-impressed by the B&Q folding sycthe, yes it did the job, but after a couple of hours use yesterday the the thing is starting to fall apart.


    Folding Scythe by z1ppy2, on Flickr

    Self destructing:

    Folding Scythe by z1ppy2, on Flickr
    TBF I like the idea, and it did work surprisingly well, and if better built it’d be nearly perfect. Especially if you could integrate an solid telescopic handle too.

    So gunna try and hassle B&Q for a refund and try a proper Brush hook Screwfix sell the Spears & jackson one for £25 vs the B&Q Fiskar one @ £35, so am tempted to try the former vs the later

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