Tool Box: A pruning saw to put in your pocket

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A FEW ancient hawthorn trees stand like gaunt and stunted sentinels on our southern boundary, facing the prevailing winds that rampage up the Welsh Marches. The need for some sort of 'halfway-house' tool became apparent when I was trying to remedy damage inflicted on them during the winter.

I needed to cut through branches that were just a bit too thick and tough for loppers, but not quite formidable enough to warrant a full-scale, Rambo-esque assault with the chainsaw.

The answer came in the convenient shape of a Silky F-180 pruning saw from Japan. The replaceable blade is 8in long, has 47 razor-sharp teeth - and a safety catch - and folds into a handle with a rubber grip. It weighs next to nothing and is compact enough to go in a trouser pocket.

Although very impressed by the saw's ability to clean-cut thick twigs and thin branches, I was sceptical about its alleged suitability for forestry and fencing tasks.

To my surprise, it needed only 25 seconds to go through three inches of hard, close- grained hawthorn. The usual price ( pounds 15.95) is reduced to pounds 11.95 for the benefit of Tool Box readers. That includes post and packing.

Damar International Ltd, 45 Humberstone Drive, Leicester LE5 ORE (0533 764144).

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