Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hultafors HVK Review

The Hultafors knives have been taking a larger and larger share of Mora’s market, with knives that are fairly similar in design. With respect to the bushcraft community, the Hultafors HVK has made serious gains in popularity.

Knife Length: 8 1/4 inches (210 mm)
Blade Length: 3 11/16 inches (94 mm)
Blade Thickness: 3/32 inches (2 mm)
Blade Width: 23/32 inches (18 mm)
Blade Material: Unknown Japanese carbon steel
Blade Hardness: HRC 58-60 on the Rockwell Scale
Type of Tang: Partial concealed
Blade Grind: Scandinavian with a very small secondary bevel
Handle Material: Plastic
Sheath Material: Plastic
Cost: $12.00

The Hultafors HVK is a cheap knife, and even though it has been hard to find them in the US, more and more distributors are starting to sell them here. Even getting it shipped over form the UK should keep the price down to under $15.00.

When compared to the Mora 1, the Hultaforst HVK has an almost identical blade, with a very similar grind. The thickness, width and length are about the same, but the Hultafors HVK has a very slight secondary bevel at the edge unlike the Mora 1. The handle on the HVK is a little thinner and noticeably longer than that of the Mora 1. It is quite comfortable. If does have a finger guard, which I find uncomfortable. It is a lot more comfortable to use for wood working tasks than the more robust Hultafors GK because of the narrower blade, but the finger guard on the handle still limits certain grips.

The Hultafors HVK has a concealed partial tang. Just like with the GK model, the connection to the handle felt very secure. The picture was not taken by me.

The knife had no problem with light splitting and batoning. The blade is thin, so while it will eventually go through the wood, it is not nearly as good of a splitter as the more robust GK model.

The knife feels very secure, so I had no problem truncating with it. The slight secondary bevel on the edge helps to prevent rolling.

The knife came sharp, so there was no problem with making some feather sticks.

The sheath of the Hultafors HVK is of higher quality than that of the Mora 1. It holds the knife securely and has a good belt attachment. It is still a cheap plastic sheath, so you shouldn’t expect too much, but it is very usable.

Overall, I like the Hultafors HVK a lot more than I did the GK model. The blade is thin and narrow just like that of the Mora 1, which makes it good for more intricate tasks. Of course, those characteristics make it less effective at heavier tasks such as batoning. The handle is not my favorite. I tend to like shorter handles, but that is a personal preference. I found the finger guard to get in the way a good chunk of the time, so if I was to use this knife, I would probably try to remove it. For the price, not bad at all.

Brandon Stanton: Humans of New York

Photo © Brandon Stanton-All Rights Reserved
Here's a really great project!

As many of us who follow photography and photojournalism remember, and still frequently refer to, The New York Times' series of One In 8 Million were superb multimedia visual narratives about interesting New Yorkers...and photographer Brandon Stanton has followed with his compelling Humans of New York; portraits of New Yorkers of all stripes, shapes and background.

Brandon's goal is to gather 10,000 street portraits and plot them on an interactive map. More than 2000 portraits have been gathered so far, and even include stories about some of the fascinating people photographed.

One of the stories I especially liked was the one about The Poet. I have seen this guy a few times...and saw his sign.

Ah, if only these stories were also captured by using a handheld sound recorder!!! The audio could then be added to the portraits, and we'd be in incredible multimedia paradise!

According to Brandon Stanton's biography, he has had a colorful background. He currently lives in New York, where he’s on a mission to find every interesting person in the city, and take their photograph.

Long Clawson Dairy - Cooking Creatively With Cheese

Cooking Creatively With Cheese has been published to celebrate Long Clawson Dairies centenary year.

The dairy, which celebrates 100 years in 2011, has worked alongside Michelin starred chef, Tom Aikens, to compile a cheese recipe bible, packed with scrumptious recipes celebrating the cheeses the world famous dairy produces.

The book takes you through the decades, starting from 1910s. It uncovers Long Clawson Dairies history piece by piece in each chapter, whilst also offering a delicious selection of cheesy recipes typical of each decade, including Bread and Butter Pudding, Broccoli & Stilton Soup and Shepherds Pie, with each dish photographed exclusively for the book.

The collaboration with Tom Aikens, who created ten new recipes for the book, came about through his love of British products and cheese in particular, Tom Aikens said 'It's been a passion of mine since I can remember, so it comes as no surprise that cheese is a regular feature in the menus of my restaurants and my recipes'.

Janice Breedon, Marketing Manager at Long Clawson Dairy, said: 'We're delighted with the book. I can't think of a better way to celebrate 100 years than to share the Long Clawson recipe collection alongside Tom's creations. We really want to inspire people and show them how versatile our cheese is - and there are 45 different recipes in the book to help do this'.

Leek and Bacon Risotto

There is a 'Did You Know' on each recipe page with fascinating facts -
Did You Know: It takes 78 litres of milk to make one whole Blue Stilton Cheese(8kg).
Did You Know: Stilton must always be made with full fat pasteurised milk and made into a cylindrical shape.

More fascinating facts:
Long Clawson Dairy is the largest producer of Stilton Cheese in the UK.

In the 18th century cheese was procured by a Mrs Paulet, a farmer's wife living near Melton Mowbray for the Bell Inn Stilton (in Cambridgeshire) where her brother-in-law, Cooper Thornhill was the landlord and that's how the cheese came to be known as Stilton. Coach travellers on the Great North Road got a taste for the blue veined cheese and its fame spread as Stilton Cheese.

Blue Stilton can only be made out of milk from Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in strictly specified ways by the traditional dairies including Long Clawson.

I was thrilled to be sent this book as I originally came from the area, and Long Clawson Dairy is a name I grew up with. I am still a regular visitor to the area and I found this book of recipes, photographs and social history a fascinating read.

The book can be bought from Amazon.

Thank you Katie.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Alexander Martirosov: Venice & Its Carnavale

Photo © Alexander Martirosov-All Rights Reserved
Alexander Martirosov is a photographer from St. Petersburg, Russia, and specializes in portraiture, fashion and fine art photography. He recently staged two exhibitions, opened his own studio, formed a team of associates, and became a finalist in several competitions held under the auspices of the International Federation of Photographic Art, FIAP.

Alexander's background is in fashion retail, and he is the founder and owner of one of the largest retail chains of Italian fashion shoes in St. Petersburg. Previously, he graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Technology, majoring in Radiation Processes in Nuclear Energy. You'll agree that his luminous photographs of masked characters at the Venice's Carnavale betray his fashion background and affinity...they could be featured in all the major international fashion glossies.

The Venice Carnavale is the most internationally known festival celebrated in Venice, Italy, as well as being one of the oldest. This congregation of masked people began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Indigo Restaurant

I was recently invited to the VIP Evening at Indigo Restaurant. My husband took the photographs and as you can see, we all had a wonderful time. The narrative is by one of the partner's daughters who has kindly written this Guest Posting.

The restaurant concept - we wanted it to be funky, modern, yet unique in style and something to stand out. Although we chose vibrance as colour, we wanted private seating arrangements away from the outside life. As you may notice - we tried to prevent windows and made the restaurant enclosed from what is going on outside. Instead, we chose to select ideas and detail to catch the eyes of customers inside the restaurant.

Interior and colours - the colours chosen came from the name itself, Indigo and led to a purple/blue theme, which just expanded with ideas. The Managers also travelled out far to explore different restaurants (the top ones), to see what they offered, so that we could be on a similar level. We wanted the interior to look different, unique and a style no one had seen before (especially locally). Again, much research was done to get the interior spot on.

The artist with some of her work which adorns the walls of the restaurant.

How the restaurant name was chosen - the colour created the name itself, also the fact that the restaurant provides Indian foods, Indi-go!!

Food - the food served is a la carte, it was a buffet on the VIP evening though. All food is cooked from fresh including the desserts. The food on the menu includes Himalayan, Rajasthani and Jaipuri dishes and also dishes from some of India's biggest and famous cities.

The chefs - there are several chefs with years of experience. They work fast and will only cook from fresh.

Indigo Restaurant
Claverley Drive
01902 621155/621144

Angkor Photo Workshops 2011

Now in its 7th year, the free 2011 Angkor Photo Workshops is now officially accepting applications from all young Asian photographers.

To get started, photographers can download and read through the application guidelines and the application form below:
The guidelines and form contains all the information needed on how to apply for this year’s workshops. However for clarifications and or questions, the Angkor Photo Workshops can be contacted email at angkorworkshop [at] gmail.com .

The workshop will be held from November 17 – 23, 2011 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. As per the previous years’ workshops, 30 participants will be selected from amongst the applications received. The deadline to submit the application is July 15, 2011.

Since its inception in 2005, more than 180 young photographers from all over Asia have been selected to participate in the annual free Angkor Photo Workshops. Conducted by renowned international photographers who volunteer their time, the Angkor Photo Workshops provide participants with firsthand training, invaluable exposure and a chance to perfect their art.

Over the years, the workshop has highlighted emerging talent from the region, and many previous participants go on to embark on successful photography careers both regionally and internationally.

I'll be there!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cold Steel Trail Hawk Review

The Cold Steel Trail Hawk is a tool that I have had for some time now, but have held off on doing a review because it has a wide following, including people who I respect as woodsmen, and I was trying really hard to see what they see in it. I am afraid I have failed in that task.

Manufacturer: Cold Steel
Axe Head Weight: 3/4 lb; 1.5 lb overall weight
Axe Length: 22 inches
Axe Head Material: 1055 carbon steel
Handle Material: Hickory
Cost: $25.00

To begin with, this is what these days is referred to as a tomahawk. There are some slight variations between modern axes and tomahawk, and the Trail Hawk embodies all of the characteristics of a modern hawk. You can see some of my thoughts on the differentiation between axes and tomahawks here.

As you can see from the specifications, the Trail Hawk has a handle similar in length to the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe. The head however is about half the weight of that of the Small Forest Axe. In terms of comparison, for most of the pictures I used the Small Forest Axe to illustrate the features. For the testing however, I also compared the Trail Hawk to the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet, which has the exact same overall weight of 1.5 lb. Here you can see the Cold Steel Trail Hawk next to the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe.

The handle of the Trail Hawk had several disadvantages over a traditional axe handle. As you may know, the head of the Trail Hawk is not placed on the handle from the top, as it would be on an axe, but instead, it is threaded through the bottom of the handle, all the way to the top where it is held by a swelling of the handle. This necessitates that the handle takes the shape and size of the eye of the head. The result is a straight, very thin handle. I found it to be incredibly uncomfortable. Not only was it too thin to swing properly, especially with two hands, but it also has no swell on the foot of the handle for a secure grip. The grain on my Trail Hawk was nearly horizontal, but I have seen some other ones with good grain, so it seems to be a quality control issue. The head is placed on the handle as described above, and is held in place by a screw. The head was loose on mine, even with the screw in place.

The head of the Trail Hawk has some interesting features as well. In order to allow for the hanging process referred to above, the eye of the Trail hawk has to be fairly large and round. This creates a very inefficient design, as there is little chance that the eye will pass through any piece of wood when chopping or splitting. Traditional designs compensated for this problem by elongating the bit of the axe, so that it may penetrate the wood without the eye ever reaching the tree. The Trail Hawk does the same thing. The bit is very long. This creates another problem-the head has an absolutely horrible overall geometry. There is no transition to speak of between the cheeks and the eye. The bit is narrow the whole length of the cheeks, and binding is a significant problem.

This binding issue is partially alleviated by making the head very narrow. This does two things. First it minimizes the amount of metal that enters the wood in the hopes of reducing the binding, and second, the small cutting edge allows for the force to be concentrated, increasing the penetrating power of the tool. The down side of this design feature is that chopping becomes very inefficient because the contact area with the wood is so small.

The balance of the Trail Hawk is not particularly good, but it’s not the worst I have seen either. From the picture it looks pretty bad, but the feel of it from a balance stand point is okay.

In terms of performance, the Cold Steel Trail Hawk is far behind most other tools I have tested. After spending some time putting a good profile on the bit and sharpening it, I took it out for some comparison testing against the Small Forest Axe and the Wildlife Hatchet. For the test, I removed the screw that was holding the head in place, as that is characteristically what most users of the tool do. To hold the head I relied on friction.

The testing was as conclusive as I have seen in a while. As expected, the Small Forest Axe outperformed the Trail Hawk significantly when it came to chopping, splitting and carving. Interestingly however, the Wildlife Hatchet outperformed the Trail Hawk just as soundly in all of the categories. In the picture you can see the results in a log after the same number of swings with each tool.

The very poor head geometry explains a lot of the failures in performance with respect to chopping and splitting. In terms of carving, the deficiency comes from the small bit, which does not offer a lot of cutting surface. This, combined with a rather annoying feature which I will speak about shortly makes it very hard to use as a carving tool when compared to some other hatchets and axes.

The practical reason often given for carrying a tool like the Trail Hawk over a hatchet or axe of comparable weight is that it is more “versatile”. By that people usually mean that you can easily remove the head to use either as a small, very uncomfortable and inefficient knife, or to replace the handle if you ever break it somewhere deep in the woods and must do field repairs.

I find that the ease of removal of the head on the Trail Hawk is a direct result of the head being inadequately attached. For me, this is a tool with a loose head. Just because it is held from flying off during a swing, does not make it properly attached, much like a ducttaped loose axe head would be considered problematic.

The head continuously comes loose during use, whether it be chopping or carving, sliding up and down the handle. Any kind of precision is made very difficult. Even after spending a significant amount of time trying to create a good friction fit, after several swing the head would come loose again. Now of course, there are ways to secure the head. If the head is pressed onto the wood with sufficient force, similar to what you would see in the eye of an axe, it will probably hold. Some manufacturers have taken to epoxying the head in place, or we could put back the screw (the head would still be loose, but will not slide up and down). Of course if we do that however, we remove the “versatility” from the hawk.

In my opinion, carrying this tool in the bush rather than an axe or hatchet of comparable weight just because it may be easier to re-handle in the event you ever have to do that, is the same as using a butter knife to do your carving because you are less likely to cut yourself with it. While that is true, it kind of misses the point, as it fails to do the tasks ordinarily assigned to the tool. I use axes to do a lot of chopping, splitting and carving. If a tool fails to do those things well, it does me little good that I can more easily re-handle it. If you are interested in seeing what it takes to re-handle an axe in the woods, see here.

Overall, if you plan on throwing hawks, or need a possible weapon, then this may be a good choice for you. If on the other hand you need a tool for chopping, splitting or carving of wood, there are many better options out there for the same weight.

Lola Akinmade Åkerström : A GeoTraveler

Photo © Lola Akinmade Åkerström _All Rights Reserved
Since today is the (un)official start of the summer season in the United States with an exodus of people towards vacation destinations for the long Memorial Weekend, I thought I'd feature a renowned travel expert on The Travel Photographer blog.

Lola Akinmade Åkerström does everything; she's a photographer, a writer, an editor, a photojournalist and worked for NGOs. She has won countless awards for her photography and travel writing from the National Geographic magazine to major newspapers. In her photography, she specializes in travel photography and is known to be a food photographer as well, especially if in exotic locales.

I chose to feature Lola's exquisite image of a pensive Egyptian overlooking the Nile for this post. She has many more, and although her imagery is not grouped by country...she classified her work in groups instead.

For those who are on their way for the long week end, let's go let's go let's go!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paul Levrier: Mekong Delta

Photo © Paul Levrier-All Rights Reserved
I've posted the work of Paul Levrier before on The Travel Photographer's blog, but he just alerted me that his website Visions of Indochina had been updated, and now included large sized images...and he was right. His portfolio is certainly large sized, making it easier and more enjoyable to appreciate.

Having said that, I especially liked his must-see new section On Assignments which features his work from Can Tho, the largest town in Vietnam's Delta, where his intent was to record life on the Mekong river and its famed floating markets. He used a wide angle on a number of his shots, and with the extra large size he chose for his images, they appear almost life-like.

Reading Paul's notes on his accompanying blog, he tells us that while tourists usually visit the Cai Rang market, the largest on the Mekong, he headed instead to Nga Bay, but found that the local authorities had closed and pushed the vendors further up river to a rural location called Cho Noi...which was difficult to get to, and was consequently free of foreign sightseers.

I traveled to Can Tho in 2003 (eons ago, it now seems) photographing for a NGO, and unfortunately had no time to photograph the floating markets. After seeing Paul's images, this is high on my to-do list.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Basic Tarp Configurations

This post is intended for people who are thinking about using, or have just started using tarps as a shelter method. I want to just show a few very basic configurations that can be put up fairly quickly. They will require one or two trees to put up as I have described them in this post. There are numerous more advanced techniques which can be set up using poles and other methods, but I will not cover any of them here.

For the pictures I am using a DD 10'x10' tarp. For lines I am using simple paracord cut up into different lengths. I use paracord instead of thicker ropes because I have found it to be strong enough, and it significantly saves on weight. The ropes will be one of the heaviest parts of your shelter set up. It is not uncommon to see people carrying a light weight tarp with enough rope to make it weigh more than a three person tent. For stakes I simply use sticks that I sharpen in the field. It adds another 10 minutes to the set up time, but I just see no need to carry them from home.

The first configuration is one of the most basic, and in my opinion most useful and versatile ones. The reason why I say it is versatile is that it can be set up at different heights, offering different types of shelter. You can put it high up, giving you sufficient room to work, or you can place it close to the ground for better rain protection. In more advanced techniques, you can use poles to lift up one side of the tarp, offering better exposure to a fire.

The set up is simple. If you look at the tarp, most likely there will be a centerline of loops. Thread a line through them, and tie each end to two appropriately spaced trees. This is not a post on knots, so use the knots that work best for you. Nothing fancy is required. Along that same centerline of loops, there will be a two additional loops at each end facing outward (on most purpose built tarps). Thread a separate line through each of them, and pulling them tight, tie the lines to each tree. This ensures the tarp is well stretched out. If the trees are far apart, you can tie these two lines to the main centerline with a friction knot instead of tying them to the trees.

Once this is done. Tie short lines to the corners on the tarp (or to as many of the loops that run along the sides as you like), and tie them down to stakes that you place in the ground. I would recommend placing the stakes at an angle, facing away from the tarp. This ensures that the rope will not slide off, and holds the stake more securely in areas where the ground is soft.

When tying the rope to the stakes, I make sure to use a friction know so that I can adjust the tension as I work through all the different points along the tarp.

That is all there is to it. I have found that the set up is fast. The most time consuming part for me tends to be the finding of suitably spaced trees that have a fairly good piece of ground between them.

Another easy set up, which I like a bit less, but is even easier to put up is this:

Here you will use the tarp diagonally. Stake down one of the corners, and just tie the other one to a tree. All you have to do then is go around the tarp and stake down the remaining loops. It is just that simple and it offers good protection.

A variation of the first tarp set up, which offers a huge amount of protection from rain and wind is this:

It is put up exactly like in the first example, with two differences. The loop on one of the ends along the centerline has been staked to the ground instead of tied to the tree, and the corners of the tarp on that end have been tucked in under the tarp. The rest of the loops along the tarp have been directly staked to the ground without the use of any ropes. This creates almost tent like protection, but limits space under the tarp.

None of these set ups are complex, nor do they require any special skills or equipment.

If you are just starting out with tarps, an important tip is to keep a way to isolate a wet tarp from the rest of your gear. This is an easy way to quickly see who has never had to actually use a tarp in the rain. The tarp will protect you from the rain just fine, but when you take it down, you can’t just put it back in you pack. I like to carry a plastic, waterproof bag for the tarp that I can put inside the stuff sack. That way the rest of my gear stays dry. Similarly, I keep my ropes in plastic bags because they get just as wet.

Carolyn Beller: Oaxaca

Photo © Carolyn Beller-All Rights Reserved
I wager that readers of The Travel Photographer blog will agree with me that this third in a row pure travel photography post is a home run!

Carolyn Beller started her photography work in earnest as recently as 2006 with an established background in art, interior design and pottery, as well as in teaching art.

Her biography tells us that she took up photography when realizing that it would serve to document the lives and culture of various indigenous people she came in contact with when she worked on pottery projects. She traveled to Nepal, India, Burma, and Rwanda.

Carolyn attended workshops with Alex and Rebecca Webb, David Alan Harvey, Jay Maisel, Nevada Wier, Catherine Karnow and Jim Richardson. Some of those names I obviously recognize and others I don't...but I thought her wonderful photograph of young boys and their shadows in her Oaxaca gallery has much of Alan Harvey's and Webb's influence in it.

After seeing Carolyn's photographs made on the Staten Island ferry, that's a project I ought to take on as well. Staten Island is part of New York City, isn't it? If so, I consider it my purview as much as Chinatown and Washington Square Park are.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rush Mat Tepee, c. 1903

This is a picture of a tepee covered with rush mats. That is specifically why I find it interesting. Most tepees we see are covered with canvas or hides. The image was taken at the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington.

Jochem Gugelot: Iran

Photo © Jochem Guegelot-All Rights Reserved
This is the second day in a row that I feature pure travel photography to The Travel Photographer blog...this time it's the work of Jochem Gugelot whose biography tells us that he lives in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and who's a freelance graphic designer and photographer.

The graphic influence is very much at play in Joachem's work. First of all, his galleries (what he calls photo series) are displayed in a very large size, which is what I've advocated for a few years now. When I am sent website galleries by photographers, I can't describe how much more receptive to featuring them when they consist of large images....to my eye, 1000x667 pixels ought to be the norm...but Joachem's are much larger than that. I view the site using a Chrome browser on a monitor of 1920x1080, and it's stunning.

Jocahem features his work from Iran, the Seychelles and the Maldives as well as a delightful photo series of the Himalayan Kingdoms. You'll also notice he's partial to low angles as well as photographing from above the scene. gallery of the Himalayan Kingdoms, which include Sikkim (and Darjeeling).

Out of all his series, I particularly like his work of Iran...a country long demonized by the US for no reason, and one that hasn't been sufficiently featured on my blog. You'll see a number of landscape photographs with a few street scenes. Jochem also included frames of Istanbul and Dubai in the gallery.

Monday, May 23, 2011


This classic recipe is taken from Nigel Slater's wonderful book Tender Vol II.
A Cook's Guide to the Fruit Garden.

Only three ingredients are used in this delicious recipe, lemons, sugar and cream and they produce one of the best desserts you will ever eat and perfect for a Summer's day.

Many people pass on making the dessert course and this is sometimes because of time restraints or possibly cost. This is a dessert that can be made in advance, takes ten minutes to prepare and for a cost of around £2.50 fills eight shot glasses. I bought my shot glasses from a well known discount department store and have used them time and time again. They are a crafty way to serve individual desserts and always look good on the plate.

My shortbread is a recipe by Lorraine Pascale from Baking Made Easy and you can see my posting here. The shot glass is perhaps swamped by the shortbread, but who wants a tiny piece of homemade sugary shortbread anyway.

Makes: 8 shot glass servings

500ml double cream, 150g caster sugar, 75ml lemon juice.

1. Place the cream and caster sugar into a saucepan and then bring to the boil, stir occasionally in order to dissolve the sugar. Now lower the heat and leave to bubble for approximately 3 minutes, stirring from time to time.
2. Reduce the heat enough to stop the mixture boiling over, now let it bubble enthusiastically for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
3. Remove from the heat, now stir in the lemon juice and leave to settle.
4. If you are using glasses leave to cool for a while and then pour into your glasses, cover with clingwrap to prevent a skin from forming.
5. Place in the fridge for a few hours before serving.


I made this shortbread to go with the Lemon Posset in the above posting. The shortbread melts in the mouth and is extremely moreish.

Shortbread is something I haven't made for a long time now and I forgot just how much better it is than shop bought. The recipe is easy to make and one that I will put on my list of recipes to return to time and time again. Dreamlike Shortbread is the recipe title and I couldn't think of a better way of describing it.

The recipe is taken from Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale.

Click here for the recipe on the BBC Food Website.

Silky F180 Folding Saw Review

This is another folding saw that is similar in size to the popular Bahco Laplander. In the interest of providing more options, I figured I would review it and see how it compares.

Overall Length: 9 inches
Blade Length: 7 inches
Weight: 6.34 oz
Cost: $28.00

Here you can see the Silky F180 next to the Bahco Laplander.

In size and weight the two saws are virtually identical. They also both perform very well for the size. I was not able to tell any difference in the speed of cutting between the two. The silky F180 has larger teeth than the Bahco Laplander, and I’m sure that would make a difference in certain types of wood, but in the cutting I did with it, it was not noticeable. The Silky also has a smaller cutting surface. While on the Laplander the teeth extend all the way back to the handle, on the Silky they stop about 3/4 of an inch before the handle.

There are a few differences between the two saws, mostly in the locking mechanism. While the Bahco Laplander has only an open and a closed position, the Silky F180 has two open configurations. The second configurations allows you to open the saw even further, as you can see from the picture. I am not sure what advantage that offers, but options are always a good thing.

Unlike the Bahco Laplander however, the Silky F180 does not lock closed. I did not have the saw open in my pack, but I would have certainly preferred it if it locked when closed. Another problem with the Silky F180 that I found very irritating was the placement of the closing mechanism. On the Bahco Laplander the button that releases the locking mechanism and allows the saw to close is on the side of the handle. On the Silky F180 it is located on top, and is a rather prominent, large button. This prevents the holding of the saw close to the blade. If you hold the handle in that location, which I like to do, you unavoidably end up pressing the release button.

I also found the blade of the Silky F180 to have a bit more movement than the Bahco Laplander. While the wiggle was small, and did not effect the performance, when we are talking about two good saws, the small things make the difference.

Overall, I prefer the Bahco Laplander. The performance wasn’t all that different, but a few small things made the difference for me. The most important was probably the location of the release button for the locking mechanism.