The more time you spend outdoors in the woods honing your skills, the more you’ll come to realize the importance of ‘tools’ to make life a little easier. Obviously the more tools you take with you into the woods turns into weight that you have to carry. Me personally, I don’t have an issue carrying the extra tools and can easily justify the added weight. Part of being prepared ahead of time includes physical fitness, and being able to carry your kit over distance. If I’m going out to practice my skills (whether that’s on my own property, or public land somewhere else) I carry a fairly standard set of tools. More often than not this includes; a fixed blade knife, hatchet, and folding saw. The name of the game here is to think smart, not hard. Yes I could use my knife to baton through wood (to process that for fire), primitive trap making, or shelter building, but that is not what your knife should be used for if you have the correct tools with you. It is much easier to use a folding saw to process down wood for a shelter, or other bush crafting tasks. Once the wood has been processed down into smaller more manageable pieces then you can use your knife or hatchet to complete the finer work.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at an American made folding buck saw. When I’m looking to add another tool to the tool box I look for simplicity, and rugged construction. I want a tool that contains the least amount of moving parts and is able to withstand the harsh weather conditions of the Eastern Woodlands. The Bob Dustrude Quick Buck Saw is the answer to those requirements. The Quick Buck Saw consists of two pieces that is all held together via a cam system that puts constant tension on the saw blade. Both assembly and disassembly of the saw take less than 1 minute.

This Quick Buck Saw was invented by Bob Dustrude, a 92-year old WWII Fighter Pilot and veteran outdoorsman. Bob handcrafts each saw at his Northern Minnesota home. The saw is constructed of lightweight aluminum (held together by sturdy copper rivets) and is a marvel of simplicity and ruggedness. This would make a great survival tool for any bush pilot or cross-country pilot to keep in their plane. Makes me wonder if that was part of the reason Bob created this saw since he was a fighter pilot in WWII.

Tools of the Outdoorsman: Bob Dustrude Quick Saw
The arms are held together via tough copper rivets

Bob Dustrude Quick Buck Saw specifications:

  • 21″ saw dimensions (reviewed in this article) – Closed 22″ long / Open 21″ long, 8″ tall
  • Made of high tensile extruded aluminum channel for a lifetime of heavy use
  • Comfortable hardwood handle for quick assembly and proper blade tension for straight cuts, every time
  • Takes any standard 21″ bow saw blade, so it’s easy to find replacement blades
  • No wing nuts or bolts to lose, means you’re always prepared in the bush
  • Consists of two assemblies that can be put together with one hand if necessary – which could save your life if you break an arm or hand in the wilderness
  • Light weight (only 15oz with blade on the 21” model) and made tough for hard field use
  • Great for canoeing, camping, horse packing, trail maintenance, backpacking and any wilderness travel.

The wooden saw handle is made from Northern Minnesota Ash and soaked in paraffin wax to waterproof the handle in order to eliminate any type of rotting or moisture damage during use in inclement weather. The instructions for assembling the saw are actually printed onto the handle before being sealed with the wax. This is beneficial for two reasons off the top of my head. First, if you’re out in the woods with somebody else and something happens to you (that renders you unable to move or use the saw) then that other person can easily figure out how to assemble, and use the saw to process wood for fire and/or a shelter. Second, if you’re solo out in the back country and become disoriented (due to dehydration or hypothermia) your memory and motor skills become degraded. Having the directions on the handle itself could possibly assist you in getting this saw out to complete a few tasks to save your life.

Tools of the Outdoorsman: Bob Dustrude Quick Saw
Instructions printed on the handle

Assembling the saw is just a matter of unfolding the two arms that make the handles, attaching the saw blade to one end of the aluminum arms, attach the wooden handle to the other aluminum arm, and finally rotate the handle until it folds back into the aluminum arm that its attached to. This cam action puts constant tension on the saw blade.

Tools of the Outdoorsman: Bob Dustrude Quick Saw
The saw collapses into a small form factor for transport.
Tools of the Outdoorsman: Bob Dustrude Quick Saw
The saw blade attaches to the aluminum arm.
Tools of the Outdoorsman: Bob Dustrude Quick Saw
Wooden handle attaches to the other arm putting constant tension on the saw blade.

Not only is this saw ideal for the back country woodsman, but it’s also pretty handy to have in your tool shed in case you need to clear any downed trees on your property as a result of a storm or high winds. Also available from Duluth Pack is a custom canvas saw case. The case is made from tough 15 ounce canvas and will hold both the saw and spare blades. With an MSRP of just $50.00, this handcrafted saw by a WWII Veteran is an absolute steal.

This saw be found here, or on Amazon here.