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Ridenfool

Favorite Trail Tools

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A thread to share your faves.

Fiskars:

The best thing about this brand is a lifetime warranty. Send them a photo and they send a new tool or the parts needed to repair it.

fiskars-loppers-379722-1001-64_400_compr

15" PowerGear Titanium Lopper $23 at HomeDepot

This tool's power gear makes cutting things a breeze. It's blunt ends make it easy to slide the handle into a waist belt on a pack and carry it on a ride. It is lightweight and very unobtrusive. I've ridden with one like this for over a decade without a mishap. I always carry with the plastic anvil against my body. I'm hard on these tools and have received several replacements over the years without a qualm from Fiskars over any claim.  This is my most-used trail maintenance tool.

 

 

fiskars-pruning-saws-390470-1006-64_400_

10" Power Tooth Folding Saw $20 at HomeDepot

This one is an improvement over earlier models. The blade is a thicker gauge and doesn't bend as easily as other saws. The teeth are amazing in how fast they can cut. Fits easily into most packs, and has a hole to string accessory cord through for other carrying and storage options. Also, the blade has three locking positions, Stowed, Regular Cut (shown) and Undercut where it flips another 90 degrees to have the teeth up.
 

 

54" EZ Reach Stick Tree Pruner $40 at HomeDepot

You can quickly cut things like Yaupon near the ground without bending over each time, and you can reach branches high overhead in order to cut them back further. It is lightweight, durable, and guaranteed for life. This tool is magical in making quick work of trimming as it easily slides into thick brush to get to that difficult to reach branching point without getting poked in the eye trying to wrangle loppers in a tight space. Eliminating all the bending and squatting that cutting at ground level usually demands will allow you to get more done without wearing you out.

A truly amazing tool, best for those days when you are walking in as it would be challenging to attach to bike or pack due to the length.

The lopper and the pruning stick are capable of cutting up to 1.25" diameter. If you want to maximize the reward from your efforts, use tools like these to make it easy to clear the corridor and sight lines back enough to last for years.

 

Oddly enough, these tools can all be used around the yard at home too. Though I can't imagine anyone spending their prime trimming time on yard work when there are trails to maintain. :classic_cool:

 

What are your faves and what makes them so?

Edited by Ridenfool
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Definitely need to upgrade to geared loppers.  And that tree pruner, I have a nice one with a saw at the end, but the lack of string on this one seems very nice!

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Fiskar's lifetime warranty is a very good selling point. A better selling point would be to fortify the handle better so that they wouldn't break ALL THE TIME. I have purchased three of these saws. They have now sent me twelve saws total to replace those three broken saws. All broken at the exact same spot. They even sent me two of a different model to try. They don't carry them at Home Depot. The blade would slide out from the handle instead of unfolding. I thought, "that might be the solution." But the blade was so thin it literally broke the first time I used it. Fiskars use to use wood on their folding saws. I wish they would again.

My mattock would be the next most used tool in my arsenal. I hardly ever take my Mcleod out because the mattock can do the same thing. Can't say the reverse. 

Lastly would be my steel toed boots. It's hard to explain how much has been accomplished with the kicking, stomping, smoothing, and just "walking hard" I have done with my boots.

I am mad at my loppers. I snapped the handles together over a month ago and whacked my finger with it somehow. My finger is still swollen and hard to bend.

Edited by The Tip
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On 2/13/2019 at 7:21 AM, The Tip said:

My mattock would be the next most used tool in my arsenal. I hardly ever take my Mcleod out because the mattock can do the same thing. Can't say the reverse.

I've been using a Mcleod for a long time, but have done very little work with a Mattock, Pick, etc. as the trail surface I've worked on mostly needed raking, dragging, and tamping. I used to pack along a small Mattock-like tool, and eventually started leaving it behind due to the weight, unless I had a specific reason to bring it along.

It is a stretch for me to see how you do the same work with a Mattock that others use a Mcleod for, but your work may be mostly on a surface better suited to the strengths of the Mattock.

Mcleod

11Z396_AS01?$mdmain$

 

Mattock

garden-mattock-913-mattock-tool-500-x-50

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I'm not talking about trail maintenance. I guess it's better at raking leaves. But this is about making new trail. Like through grasslands. Those big tufts of vegetation are very difficult to remove with the "light weight" Mcleod. Chop chop chop scrape chop is about how it goes. With a mattock its "whoosh" done!  But even just scraping the easy grass off, down to the dirt. is easier with the mattock. I will run two 4" wide lines to break it up, then smooth it out with my boot. Believe me, I have used my Mcleod a lot in the past. So what I'm telling you is not based on a one or two time use of it. Or 20. lol

So even on what a Mcleod is supposedly better for I disagree that it's better. And then there is all the other things that the mattock does that it was designed for.  Like removing rocks. The leverage action of the mattock is superior to the Mcleod. The Mcleod usually bends when you try the same thing.  And then there's shaping dirt, like bench cutting. No contest.

Now you have me all worked up. I hope it rains soon so I can stop riding and get out there and have some real fun! (sigh) It's a sickness, yes?

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1 hour ago, The Tip said:

I'm not talking about trail maintenance. I guess it's better at raking leaves. But this is about making new trail. Like through grasslands. Those big tufts of vegetation are very difficult to remove with the "light weight" Mcleod. Chop chop chop scrape chop is about how it goes. With a mattock its "whoosh" done!  But even just scraping the easy grass off, down to the dirt. is easier with the mattock. I will run two 4" wide lines to break it up, then smooth it out with my boot. Believe me, I have used my Mcleod a lot in the past. So what I'm telling you is not based on a one or two time use of it. Or 20. lol

So even on what a Mcleod is supposedly better for I disagree that it's better. And then there is all the other things that the mattock does that it was designed for.  Like removing rocks. The leverage action of the mattock is superior to the Mcleod. The Mcleod usually bends when you try the same thing.  And then there's shaping dirt, like bench cutting. No contest.

Now you have me all worked up. I hope it rains soon so I can stop riding and get out there and have some real fun! (sigh) It's a sickness, yes?

I see what you mean. The Mcleod I use is heavy, like 3/32 or 1/8 steel plate, not like the one pictured. It can do much of what you describe and I can see how the lighter stamped sheet metal ones would not have the heft to cut tufts nor dig without bending. In the gravel of RHR it is perfect, but the Limestone of the Edwards Plateau will need something with a little more fortitude to leave a lasting impression.

It is a sickness. I went out and repaired the Carpet Bridge at RHR after work today. This involved a Hi-Lift jack, a motorcycle tie-down, several Ryobi power tools, metal strapping, deck screws, concrete pavers, and some heavy lumber. Oh, and a hammer, naturally. All on privately owned land. (Grey does me right by my efforts) The bridge isn't wonky any more, but I think there will be something done to replace it, someday. Paul pointed out there is a pile of leftovers from some LCRA high lines where they replaced wood structure with metal. Whoo-hoo!

Edited by Ridenfool

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