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Tool Review: Silky Gomboy Saw

by Curtis Turner
Round Rock, TX

Note: Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I have been using a Japanese Silky Gomboy Folding Saw for some time. Now, I know this is not a turning tool, however, I think most turners will find this to be a handy tool to have around. I am more of a western saw type of guy so I was a bit skeptical of this saw. I have heard good things about Silky saws, so I bought one for myself, to find out how it could help my turning.

Clean Up

This summer I had to do an unusual amount of tree trimming in our yard. I had to take down a dying oak tree and trim up lots of other trees. So I needed to use the following saws: An old Disston bucking saw, a pole saw, a chainsaw and of course, the Silky Gomboy folding saw. I actually enjoyed processing the material. A good selection of tools always make the job go smoother.

I will admit, I was leery about how well a folding saw would cut. Combination tools, whether they are folding or mini tools are often a disappointment. Don't get me started on the pocket fisherman! However, I was very impressed with the usefulness of the Silky Gomboy.

Compact Speed

This little guy is very capable of cutting much larger stock than I would have ever imagined. I was so impressed how quickly it handled de-limbing small branches.

I decided to test cut an approximately 6" diameter branch. It did the job without a complaint! I have since used the saw numerous times on similarly sized material. Of course, this is not as fast as a chainsaw for big jobs. However, if you only have a small amount of cutting to do, then it can be faster from start to finish. No mixing up fresh gasoline and dragging out all of the chainsaw gear.

So how's the cut?

The saw leaves an incredibly smooth cut rivaling the cut from my table saw!

The surface left by the saw is very smooth. It's not necessary to have such a clean cut on rough stock. The fine tooth configuration does slow the saw down a bit on large limbs, however, I do not see this as a real limitation.

How does this tool relate to turning?

I had originally only intended to use this saw around the yard, trimming small limbs and such. I have since added this saw to the tool kit I carry when I harvest wood for turning. The size is perfect to tuck into a tool box or backpack. This is a perfect saw to trim off any small branches and broken limbs to allow for easier harvesting. This saw, when stored in the included case, can easily be carried in your back pocket.

I have also started taking the Gomboy on campouts.

The Specs

The Highland Woodworking web site reports the following information on the Gomboy Folding Saw: Closed 9-1/2" with an 8" replaceable blade that locks open for a working length of 17-1/2". I also like having the option to buy a replacement blade in the future.

Several Sizes

I selected the 9-1/2" closed model. I think this was the perfect saw for my needs. There are several other sizes available. The smaller version is called the Silky Pocketboy and has a folded length of 6-1/2" with a 5" blade. The one I have my eye on now is the Silky Bigboy X-Coarse Folding Saw . It has a folded length of 16", blade length of 14-1/4", and the locked open position creates a working length of 30". I saw this saw hanging up in the Highland store in Atlanta a few weeks ago. It looks like an amazing saw! I have added it to my Highland Woodworking Wish List page!

This saw would make a great travel saw for those that harvest wood for turning. It is perfectly suited for taking care of any cutting jobs around the yard. It would also make a useful tool for the gardener who might be on your holiday shopping list.

CLICK HERE to purchase your own Gomboy Folding Saw

Curtis was a former President of Central Texas Woodturners , is a member of the American Association of Woodturners , and a member of Fine Woodworkers of Austin . Curtis teaches and demonstrates nationally for Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. He also teaches for TechShop. He owns a studio where he teaches and works. Curtis lives in Central Texas with his wife and four young children. Take a look at his website at .

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