Samurai saws, manufactured by Kanzawa Seiko of Japan are to take on Silky (of Japan) in the NZ pruning saw market. The Samurai saw will be introduced to New Zealand by the local Jameson Distributor, Aorangi Merchants of Timaru.
Silky is the dominant player in the worldwide pruning saw market and will be very hard to dislodge from the top position in New Zealand. ARS (also from Japan), Bahco and Felco (a Swiss brand but the saw blades are made in Japan) all have professional folding and sheathed saws on the market but none come anywhere close to Silky in terms of numbers. There's a reason for this: a Silky saw is a damn good tool. That's not to say the other saws are inferior, they are just not as popular with arborists and landscapers.Samurai blades boast the legendary Japanese Samurai sword steel - although marketing for ARS and Silky follows in a similar vein. The big difference will be in a number of areas: the ergonomic design of the Samurai handle (and gaudy colors), the way the blades are attached to the handle and the tooth pattern on some of the blades.
The Samurai has a soft, tactile, rubber-like ergonomic handle designed to reduce slippage of your hand off the end of the handle on the pull stroke. On a wet day this feature will be important.
A number of the Samurai blades, both curved and straight have a Raker tooth design which aids in the removal of sawdust, particularly when cutting softer wood. This type of tooth pattern is usually found on larger pole pruner saw blades. It is definitely efficient but we have not seen the quality of cut yet on these smaller saws.
Perhaps the biggest question regarding the Samurai is the way the blade is attached to the handle. A feature of Silky saws is the blade extending all the way through the handle. Anyone who has replaced a Sliky blade will know what we mean.
The Samurai blade is attached with a couple of screws and does not extend through the length of the handle. It does however, have a metal insert in the handle which accommodates the first of the blade screws forming a collar around the bolt. According to users of the saw there is not a problem with blade attachment but trials in the field will tell us more.
Indicative pricing suggests it will be in line with other pruning saws of this quality.