Stephen Hayes pruning saw

Ok I have to know what brand of saw he is using in this video. That thing looks dangerously sharp. He is cutting 1" limbs with just one or 2 strokes.

I have watched dozens and dozens of his vids and I seem to remember that he once said that it was a Japanese saw. Sorry don’t remember name but hope it helps some.


I think they are Silky Saws

I think you are correct DN. seems to be a decent price online for them. I may have to get one.

Be really careful with them, I’ve seen some of his videos and he cuts himself.

It is the Silky. I found the video. At around the 40 second mark he gives the name and model of the saw.
Cute… he says that if it is not sharp enough to “hurt you badly” it is not a good saw.

SEE below


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I’ve used a Bahco saw and a silky saw. The Silky saw is a better saw. Silky saws have a thinner profile at the back of the blade vs. the width of the blade at the teeth. This makes them cut through wood faster than other blades.

They are expensive and break easily if one tries to saw too vigorously, but they are a good saw.

My favorite loppers are the geared Friskar loppers. I’ve tried aluminum handled Bahco loppers, but both my son and I, prefer the cheaper Friskar geared loppers, even though they don’t fit in as tight spaces as the Bahco loppers. The Friskars make a cleaner cut with less effort. I just got through buying another pair at around 45 bucks.

For secateurs/hand pruners, I prefer the ARS. They make different models, but they make them with very hard steel which stays sharp a long time. Very good quality hand pruners.

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I completely agree with your taste in saw and loppers. It makes me want to try ARS pruners. I haven’t tried them, and use Felco.

BTW, I bought a beautiful Silky Gomtaro Pro Sentei (with 2 tooth pitches) for my casual use, then lent it to my brother who used the snot out of it. You can buy replacement blades, but they are 80% or more the cost of the whole saw.

But I found a shorter (which I prefer because it is stiffer) replacement blade on Amazon for an amazing $20. I’m very happy with it, maybe I should have bought more than one. The shorter blade makes it more stable when cutting with the tip that has a finer tooth pitch.

… Hmm, now I just looked again and the blade I bought is up to $27 but many of the blades are less than $30, half the cost of a saw.

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OK, I’m glad that others have found the great utility of Silky saws and ARS hand pruners, but I should warn you all that not all Silky blades are equal. Beware of blades produced in Taiwan- whether on a Silky or Felco. The blades made in Japan are pricier but worth the difference- at least to me who uses over 24 blades a year at over $32 per blade in quantity (that includes my helper). That’s what a Gomtaro 300 MM blade is up to now.

Olpea, was that the Bahco ultralight you used?


It is.

I don’t feel like the Bahco loppers are bad loppers. They are actually pretty good. Lightweight and well built. It’s just that for the way we prune our peaches, the geared loppers are better. They cut through pretty thick stuff with amazing ease. They also stay sharp enough to make clean cuts for a long time. The package says something about a titanium blade, but I imagine it’s just coated with titanium (like drill bits). The loppers would be much more expensive it the blade was truly titanium.

It was you who originally suggested the ARS pruners and the Silky saws. In my opinion you were right on both those counts. Thanks.


I’ve tried Felco pruners and prefer the ARS. It seems like cutting too big of stock with hand pruners seems to make most hand pruners start to not cut very well. We are as guilty as anyone of trying to cut stock too big with hand pruners, but the ARS seems to stand up to that abuse better than any other pruners I’ve tried.

That and ARS blades are harder steel- very brittle stuff- I’ve chipped blades when dropping them on ice. They need less than half the sharpenings as Felco. They also feel better in the hand to me and most other folks I’ve introduced them to… Partially because they come in 3 separate sizes.

The Felco design is more ingenious in the mechanism they use to keep the blade and anvil properly spaced with that gear like piece. They also are much more fixer friendly with inexpensive replacement parts readily available.

However, for the average backyard orchardist-gardener an ARS pruner should last about a decade before needing replacement parts if you know how to sharpen a blade.

Olpea, thanks for the acknowledgement. Feeds a hungry ego. When someone like you or Scott or FN shine the light on something for me which you and others here have on frequent occasions, I do try to remember and make note.

I probably won’t try your Fiskars loppers though, I’ve tried so many over the years before settling on Bahco. I find they cut as wide a diameter piece that a lopper should be used for when cutting a live tree and geared models I’ve tried are more cumbersome. But some of this is subjective.

I have tried a couple of newer designs lately, including the Stihl model and it is much like the design that Bahco has long employed, but is more expensive.

What amazes me about the Bahcos is their strength. My helper bundles tons of brush that we cut, first breaking down branches into straight smaller pieces. He is capable of bending a handle by using too much force which he did to his first lopper, but once he settled on using more normal power I haven’t had to replace a single lopper. Eventually the bumpers wear out but the handles seem never to break in spite of their lightness.

My husband trims trees regularly, all kinds. (Has for about 25 years)
He has long used Silky saws, and resharpens the blades with a feather edge file.
Yes they are sharp enough to hurt you, and he has occasionally stuck a few teeth in his hand or leg.
He has stihl hand pruners, and bought me a pair of the smaller size. He liked that you can just replace the blade, once they’re used up with resharpening.
Definitely recommend both tools. It sure makes the job easier, when you have a quality tool, in good SHARP condition.

JM, I don’t sharpen the blades and can’t find a commercial sharpener that will sharpen the Gomtaro blade because the metal is too hard, I guess. There are other Silky blades you can get commercially sharpened.

Wages are too high in the northeast to justify sharpening blades for me although I like the concept- those blades have an awful lot of sharpening points. Your husband probably doesn’t go through nearly as much wood as I do (with the hand saw) if he is a conventional arborist. They use mostly a chain saw.

Yesterday I was pruning apples all day long (as usual) and only picked up my chain saw once. Chain saws are cheaper for me to run- that’s for sure. I do sharpen my chains.

Noticed one of the silky saws in the vids is a Gomboy folding model. Mine came in today and pleased with the quality.

Got an email from A.M. Leonard today, their Silky saws are 15% off. Also possibly another $10 off using code SUB15P.

Be careful ordering a Gomboy pruning saw on Mine is taking six weeks to arrive! On the slow boat from Japan I guess. No warning of this before ordering. Not pleased. I guess its my fault, did not focus on the seller being Shironeko Shop, should have ordered from known U.S. seller.

This is a saw my hubby thinks most fruit tree pruners would like.
Its a Silky Zubat. (The short one with the scabbard) He says the downside is you cannot sharpen them because the small teeth are very hard (he tried and it tore up his file)…but the upside is that hard steel stays sharp a long time. It’s a nice size, and makes very clean cuts.
The larger saw is a Silky Sugoi360 It’s made in Japan, and he likes it a lot. It can be sharpened, (larger teeth, and softer steel) but stays sharp quite a while. He says if you’re doing a lot of big cuts, the big saw is worth having.

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I use the Silky Gomtaro 300mm. Years ago I was surprised to find that a straight blade seems to provide more push against the wood when you are working from above the cut. I only use curved blades on a pole saw, where it is clearly advantageous (to me).

The commercial growers I originally learned from usually use a straight blade so maybe my perspective was influenced by that, but I have tried both.

The silky handles definitely feel the best in my hands and the angle seems perfect to prevent muscle strain from hours and hours of cutting. Silky blades are getting pretty darn expensive, though. I go through about 20 blades a year and even at volume discount that’s about $680 a year.

For larger cuts I get out my Stihl chain saw because using it saves me money, even if it doesn’t always save me time.

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Stephen Hayes is a nice guy as well he’s taken the time a few times to comment on some video or take time to reply to a comment I put out there. I think he’s a little to busy for that now with writing his book and working. I want to get his book when released. I notice on nearly every category of fruit growing his name comes up. I’ve not followed his stuff in several months but like to go back when I have time and review his videos. If not for you guys I would have likely never watched the saw episode referred to here.

I started with a 300mm Silky Gomtaro Pro Sentei. It’s like that one but the teeth on the last few inches are a finer pitch for cleaner fine cuts.

After my brother borrowed it repeatedly and I decided I wanted a new blade, I switched to the 240mm because, at least with that type of blade, I liked to have the fine teeth closer to the handle. It was awkward to use just the tip on a blade that long. And for branches thick enough to prefer the 300 mm, I prefer to use a chainsaw.