Silky Pocketboy Curve 130 Folding Saw Review: The Mountain Biker’s Machete


Silky Pocketboy Curve 130 Folding Saw Review: The Mountain Biker’s Machete

This is not one of Travis’s trail-work humble-brag stories. His Silky Pocketboy folding saw can’t make lasting changes like the chainsaw or sawzall he prefers to use. But he carries a Silky Pocketboy on every mountain bike ride, and maybe you should, too.

Silky is the Snow Peak of folding saws. The Japanese manufacturer of all things sharp and outdoorsy has an enormous catalog of diverse, innovative, high-quality models that are both status symbols and virtue signals. They say you care about craftsmanship in both your tools and your trails. But using them stresses me out. For a brief while, I carried the 240 mm Gomboy Curve as a sidearm to my loppers on brushing missions, but I eventually went back to using a less boutique saw. Whenever I tried to cut something close to the ground, I worried I’d nick a stone or put the tip in the dirt. Do it enough times, and all that Japanese steel will lose its exotic edge.


That’s not the sort of cutting I do with Silky’s aptly named Pocketboy. This is the 130 mm version, so I wouldn’t want to cut all day with it. But I’ll hapily ride all day with It. It measures 265 mm when folded and weighs 178 grams. It’s small enough to fit into a sunglasses bag and light enough to disappear among the rest of my essentials. And after recently integrating a Pocketboy into my every-ride loadout, I’ve been surprised at how often I’ve found a use for it.

Our local trails often pass through old burn areas, and the dead trees dotting the hillside make for regular additions to our trail crew’s to-do list. We’ll often organize a mission to clear several new falls, only for a wind event to curse us with several more that very night. They’re always a buzzkill when you encounter one on a ride, but much less so when you can at least climb through without snagging your pack or your shorts or your derailleur. That’s my favorite use-case for the Silky Pocketboy. And I was surprised at how well it handled thick branches. I’ve cut through logs with a diameter over half my blade’s length. It’s just a matter of changing angles once in a while so you’re attacking the thinnest edge of the uncut segment.

That’s made easier by what is both my most and least-favorite feature on Silky saws. They have a two-position “open” mode that can lock the blade in line with the handle or a few degrees behind it. That makes it nice to hit a hard-to-reach branch at your chosen angle, but on the tiny Pocketboy, it’s hard not to keep knocking the release trigger and repositioning the blade when you don’t want to. I had to remind myself to hold near the Pocketboy’d base. Thankfully, that’s pretty comfortable, though not ideal in some cutting situations.

It also bugs me that Silky’s triggers don’t function as a lock to keep the saw in its closed position. It’s not a big deal when they’re new and tight, but they tend to flop open easily once they break in. Maybe that’s part of the reason for my other main nitpick of Silky saws: The case.

It adds weight, takes up space, and inhibits easy access. And even if my packs had utility-belt-style structures, I wouldn’t use them. This isn’t a beeper. My access doesn’t have to be that easy. That’s why I like the sunglass case. It takes up very little space, and does a fine job keeping out debris and holding the saw closed. I want to at least try to protect it.

The Pocketboy cuts extremely quickly. And to be honest, that’s true of most decent hand saws … as long as they’re brand new. Especially with all the dry, brittle branches I deal with, my inexpensive Corona-brand saws will get stubborn after just a couple months of semi-regular use. But I’ve noticed Silky blades stay sharper for longer. It’s especially noticeable on those dry branches. I didn’t do the whole bushcraft-youtuber thing where I timed the cutting speed of my Silky. It’s more than just the quickness. It’s the easyness. I can keep a really light touch on the saw and it seems to almost pull itself through the cut. And that effect is increased thanks to the curved blade.

I was going to compare the Silky Pocketboy to a no-name saw of similar size and shape, but I couldn’t actually find one. There were plenty of 130-ish-millimeter options on Amazon. One is even a blatant knock-off of the Pocketboy, right down to the color. But none had a curved blade. With such a short saw, it was nice to have that natural ramp-up at the end of the stroke (to pull one of my favorite suspension characteristics) that you get with a curved blade. It keeps you from pulling out too far, and feels like it gently increases the downforce at each end of the motion.

Of course, those Amazon options are much cheaper. That knock-off is $18 compared to $48 for the real deal. And a replacement Silky blade is $40. But for what I use this saw for, it’s a worthy investment. It’s not a workhorse that’s going to get hours of abuse at a time. I can give it the care it deserves. My Silky Pocketboy isn’t out there making spotless bermed-out high sides. It’s just gotta get me past a cumbersome downed tree or a buzz-killing low branch. I only really worry about spotless high sides on work days (humble brag).

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