Small Woodland Owners' Group

Tool list for a new woodland owner

A place to discuss or review of tools and equipment, how to look after them, handy hints for using them.

Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby smojo » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:44 pm

Getting close to owning my wood now and looking at what tools I might need so I can start looking out for them. Some are obvious like chainsaw, brushcutter, billhook (found one in my old mum's shed - no idea how it got there). I have quite a comprehensive set of ordinary woodworking, metal working etc tools but what do I need specifically for looking after a small woodland. What are essential and what are good to haves.

Here's my list I think I'll need so far, in no particular order, some I may already have but fire away anyway. Might help other newbies when we get a good list going. Perhaps you could copy the list to your replies and add to it so the list grows as the posts progress (easier to see at a glance what people are suggesting. Critiques of my list welcome, so are recommended makes/models of anything you have found particularly good.

Essential

brushcutter
Decent bushcrafter style knife
Bow saw
Pocket pruning saw
axe
Wheelbarrow
Billhook
big mallet (for driving in stakes - can make one out of a log though)
Kettle or billy can and firelighting method (lighter or firesteel etc)
stainless steel mug
5 gallon clean water container
strong boots, gloves, PPE etc

Good to Have

chainsaw (probably essential but not necessary to own it)
wide rake
tarp or basha for making a shelter for wet weather
canterbury hoe (for those pesky bramble roots)
machete (would a billhook do the same for slashing softer materials)?
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:25 pm

Apart from the Stihl MS261 chainsaw and Husky 143 RII brushcutter which are kept securely I find the most frequently used which are always in my car normally are;

Mobile Phone
Duel Oil/Fuel can, Sharpening Files, Helmet, gloves, 2 stroke oil & Fuel Fit additive
Water container.
Kelly Kettle
Bahco Laplander Saw
Mora Robust Bushcraft Knife
Pliers & plastic coated green garden wire
Turbo Jet ciggy Lighter (garages, 80p) & box of firelighters
Fiskars Brushhook for removing brash & those spare thumbs :roll:

Others with a regular run out are

Canterbury Fork
Chillington Adze
5Lt Sprayer loaded with SBK Brushkiller (spot used on bramble regrowth)

In hindsight where there's a colour choice, go for fluorescent finishes, not a nice invisible shade of green unless you want to spend hours looking for them.

I have them all in a bread-tray type box to stop them rattling round the car, and be careful not to wander round in public inadvertantly with a large knife hanging off your belt, Mr Plod will not be impressed.
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby SitkaSpruce » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:40 pm

Guess It will depend on what you plan to do and the stage your wood is at.
Part of my wood is young and occupies most of any work- my most useful tools are - folding pocket silky saw, fiskar geared loppers, can of tree marking paint, weeding hook for bracken, moro knife for splitting tree shelters, garden type string.
for clothing - boots with good grip, wax coated cotton trousers- tucked into socks and some DEET to defeat the ticks, long cuffed leather gloves.
I take a small wood gas stove that fits inside a little pan. matches. water carrier if you don't have a source.
also essential- mobile phone, camera and binoculars.
If both of us go with the car then we also take folding chairs and the kelly kettle.
things I hardly use but bought- portable stove, tarp, bow saw, trolley for hauling wood.saw on an extending pole- but the pole is the most use for poking hung up branches out of trees!
I don't own a chain saw as yet- had my wood for over 2 yrs and not had a need. may change if we get a wood burning stove at home!
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby outeredge » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:36 pm

Just completed on my own so have been going through a similar process of gathering tools so I can get stuck in. Here's what I've got or ordered so far;

Fiskars WoodXpert Brush Hook (XA3)
Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe
FIskars X27 Splitting Axe
Huskvarna 143RII Brushcutter with Mulching Blade (on oldclaypaws recommendation!)
Frontier Stove & Kelly Kettle
Wheelbarrow & spade
Wickes Bowsaw (thinking of taking this back and buying a Bahco with tension adjuster)

..oh and a Nepalese Kukri that I picked up on a trip over there earlier this year

I did buy a Husky 346XP chainsaw on ebay but need to return it due to poor condition (don't bother buying a used saw!) I'm thinking about going new now with a Husky 550xp but may need to sell the kayak I bought last year to fund it and the PPE (won't use it now I have the woods!). I've never used a saw before and even though my woods are small I like the idea of having one around.

It seems common to carry a folding pruning saw, what are these used for that couldn't be done with the brush hook/chopping axe? Also, excuse my lack of knowledge but what is a canterbury fork used for?
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby boxerman » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:43 pm

Can't answer much on here cos, as you know, I'm a total newbie at this idea but if you're going to buy a stainless steel mug, whatever you do, make sure it's a double skinned one or you won't be able to hold or drink from it......

Watching this thread with interest..
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby outeredge » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:03 pm

What about a traditional enamel mug vs double walled stainless?
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:12 pm

Congrats on your wood Outeredge and your excellent choice of brushcutter. The boy shows promise. Must remember to ask Husky for my sales commission. :D Folding saws fit neatly in a pocket and are useful to casually carry round in a pocket to accurately prune small side branches or if cutting walking sticks or poles. They are good in confined spaces. The Bahco Laplander is only about £15. Canterbury forks are great for bringing down behind a bramble root and then pulling it straight out. Looking at your pics and the pines and rhodos and bracken I'd guess you've got a degree of acidic soil, maybe sandy or peaty? That isnt necessarily a bad thing at all but something to bear in mind as to what'll do best there. There are mixed views on Rhodos, they're pretty and good firewood, but often seen as invasive and tricky to get shot of. Being evergreen they suppress native ground flora. Love birch trees. Welcome aboard. :D
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby boxerman » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:32 pm

What about a traditional enamel mug vs double walled stainless?


Same difference as a single skinned stainless one - believe me, as one who's done 50 years of camping you do not want a single skinned anything other than plastic if you don't want to burn yourself..... Don't ask how I know......
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby outeredge » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:46 pm

Thanks ocp, i've updated my intro thread so I don't get told of for going off topic here!

weeding hook for bracken

Doesn't pulling them by hand bring the bulb too? I don't think I would have the patience to use a hook, that's why I bought the brushcutter :D I do love a bit of bracken though, pretty stuff.
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Re: Tool list for a new woodland owner

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:44 pm

I do love a bit of bracken though, pretty stuff


Japanese Knotweed is pretty attractive too in the morning sun, as are triffids !

'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'.
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