The Gerber Exchange-A-Blade folding saw is a lightweight, light-duty saw. If you’re expecting to a workhorse saw, you’re choosing the wrong tool. In our view, the Gerber Exchange-A-Blade is great for a hunter who wants a lightweight saw that can handle both bone and wood.
For instance, small dedicated bone saws work great for bone — but they aren’t that effective for larger branches. At one point this archery elk season, I wanted to hang some elk quarters in the shade, but I really needed a lightweight packable saw to cut a sapling strong enough hold the quarters. My buddy and I didn’t have a saw with us, and we figured it out, but it would have been an easier and much faster job with a saw.
Meanwhile, the saw handle is made from a tough glass-filled nylon with a grippy rubber insert. A push button must be depressed to open the blade or lock it — but there is a slight trick to using it. When you want to open the saw blade, you don’t need to depress the button very far and it’ll open right up. If you push it too far in, it won’t open at all. It’s a bit counterintuitive, but you’ll figure it out.
To close the saw blade, you can depress the button just a little or all the way and it works both ways.
As a general rule, especially when using inexpensive folding saws like this, I tend to pull toward me with more downward pressure and lighten up on the forward stroke. This is opposite to how most people use Wyoming saws or hack saws or even traditional wood saws. You don’t have to go all Japanese pull saw here, but understanding the mechanics and physics of your saw will save you a lot of headache.
If you have to put a lot of pressure on the saw, it’s getting dull and you’re probably due for a replacement. Fortunately, Gerber offers replacement blades. Granted, we’re not talking about a lot of money for this saw either way, but it’s nice to be able to save a few dollars and reduce sending materials to the landfill.
It’s easy to change blades.
Knob for removing blade.
Included carry case.
Some rules of thumb might also be in order here: If you’re looking to cut wood larger than 3″ in diameter, this probably isn’t the saw for you (but it is doable).
If you’re looking for use on saplings and branches 2.5″ or so in diameter, you’ll likely be good to go. The same goes for a bit of bone, but it’s not the type of blade you can use to aggressively plow through bone like the Gerber Vital Pack Saw. If you need to cut through a pelvis, spine, leg or neck, you can get it done if a situation arises, but again, if you frequently saw a lot of bone, I’d go with a stouter dedicated bone saw.
All-in-all, the Gerber Exchange-A-Blade saw is a thoroughly decent inexpensive combo saw aimed at hunters who want both bone and wood options — and want those options in a lightweight, inexpensive package.