This post is a perfect example of why it’s so important to try out wilderness survival skills in the comfort of your own back yard rather than wait until you’re in a life and death situation to find out that something doesn’t work. I recently watched a survival show in which one of the participants showed how you could take a piece of wire and twist it into a wire saw to use in a survival situation. Seemed like a great idea, and I thought it had a pretty good likelihood of working. I have, after all, seen a plumber use a piece of nylon twine to cut PVC pipe, and this seems like kind of the same idea. So, I did an internet search on how to do this and I only found one short video on the subject and, even though it did kind of work, I can’t say that the results looked all that impressive. Strange, I thought, usually when a skill this awesome presents itself there will be a lot of posts, discussions, and videos about it. Well maybe this truly is a new skill, I thought. I’m going to see how it works. So I took a roll of snare wire and a couple of short sticks, and this is what I did: Pictured below: snare wire
First I cut a piece of wire that was about two and a half times as long as I wanted the finished saw to be. Then I cut a couple of short sticks for the handles. Pictured below: wire and handles
Next I twisted the ends of the wire together to make a loop. Pictured below: wire ends joined into loop
I then took my sticks and stuck them up into opposite ends of the loop. Pictured below: sticks inside of wire loop
After a bit of twisting I had a nice tightly wrapped wire saw blade with a wooden handle on each end. Pictured below: finished saw
I took my new wire saw and went to work on a green sapling that was about two inches in diameter. At first it seemed to bite right in, but as soon as I got past the bark it felt like the blade was just rubbing back and forth rather than cutting in. After about five minutes of sawing, I had cut about three sixteenths of an inch deep. At this point the wire broke right in the middle. It was very warm to the touch. A lot of friction; not much cutting. Pictured below: top, cut in sapling made by improvised wire saw; bottom, broken wire saw
I thought maybe I had picked a particularly tough tree, so I got out my store bought wire saw and went to work. In about eight minutes I had cut through the sapling. Pictured below: top, store bought wire saw; bottom, cut sapling
Maybe somebody out there can tell me how to do this. I’d love to hear from you, but pleased don’t offer advise unless you have done it yourself. There’s to much false information on the internet because somebody reads how somebody else did something, assumes that it works, and then passes it on as gospel. I try to never post anything about a survival skill that I haven’t done or experienced myself and this article is a good example of how that turns out sometimes. So, until I can make this work myself, I am not recommending that you rely on it as something that you can use in a survival situation. My recommendation is to carry a pocket knife or a multi-tool with a saw blade, and use your snare wire for setting traps.