Casstrom No 7 & No 11 Saws
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 16/12/2016
It`s easy to get carried away with choosing your new stalking rifle and scope and wondering which sound moderator to buy and what would be the best ammunition for each species. But really one of the most essential items any stalker needs and cannot do without is a knife. Without that one simple item you risk ruining any venison by not properly gralloching the beast where it was shot.
Here comes the rub, there are an infinite number of knives available on the market today so choosing the best for you can be problematic. Enter David Backström from the Casström company 01628 330330, he has a vast array of blade related items that are not designed to thrill the knife collector but will actually do the job properly in the real world by people that really rely on them.
I was actually interested in a rib cage saw, as on older or bigger species deer cutting through the rib cage to remove the heart and lungs can be a chore. You also want an efficient, safe and hygienic tool to get the job done.David sent two of his Field Saws for testing; a No 7 and No11 model, the index referring to the actual cutting edge length in cm.
Both saws are designed to be as functional as possible. In this I mean, cut cleanly with a safe grip and easily cleaned, whilst having the ability to change a dull blade if necessary, David has thought of everything.
Other than the size of the cutting blades both saws are identical but you can have either black or orange coloured handle.
I prefer the orange handled approach as it easy to gralloch a deer and forget to pick up your knife or saw whilst you prepare the beast to be extracted from the site. At least an orange handle is pretty obvious, even to me!
Each saw comes in a tough cordura/nylon sheath with belt loop for easy fitment around the waist and is accessed by a single popper button.
The actual saw is really well engineered and solidly made. The handle is precision milled from G10 laminated glass fibre and is therefore highly impact resistant and weatherproof. This being so it is also very hygienic as no ingress of blood or body fluids can contaminate it so very good for all carcass prep work. It`s design is also very well thought out and ergonomic. It has a curved back piece that fills the contours of your palm for a steady hold so your thumb rests over the top section aided with grip from eight profiled grooves. Where your thumb reaches over your index finger meets it, gloved in a recessed well so you have a solid grip between these two digits. Your remaining three fingers grip around the lower section of the handle again aided for grip by more grooves and slightly cut away in the handle`s side walls. It’s very comfortable and allows an incredibly solid and safe grip of the saw which is reassuring, as if like me most of my stalking/gralloching is done with cold fingers or covered in blood. The handle also has an overall dimpled surface.
There is nothing worse than having a favourite knife or saw and then damaging it without an way of changing the blade. The CasstrÖm`s handle as discussed has four securing bolts with Allen heads that when removed allow the blade to be exchanged in a trice.
The blades have 7cm and 11cm cutting edges for the No 7 and No 11 respectively with a blunt rounded top edge so as not to puncture any of the gut, liver or thorax contents. The actual cutting edge is frighteningly sharp consisting of a twin set of teeth for dual action cutting arranged in a staggered formation to cut and then not clog up with bone fragments.
The blade is stainless steel and heat treated to a hardness of HRC 56-59 and has the composition of:- C 0.80%, Mn 0.40 %, Cr 13%, Ni 0.20 %, V 0.10% and Mo 0.15%. This allows a precision grind to the teeth with also excellent corrosive resistant properties. The blade is about 1.25mm thick and so has just a little flex that I like and the whole package wants for nothing.
So Does It Work?
On Roe deer, my main species, the rib cage is actually not that difficult to cut with a knife but this No 7 Casström cut through each rib as though it was not there. This is not only helpful and speeds up the gralloch but also - more importantly – is much safer.
I had just returned from Scotland so missed the chance on reds but a friend invited me fallow stalking in Sussex so this would be a good test for each saw as some of his Bucks get pretty big.
Strapped to the belt you will not notice it until you need it and after a very early and productive morning we yielded five cull fallow deer. They were paunched with a knife and then the Casström
No 7 again breezed through the chest cavity rib cage with minimal effort. My friend was so impressed he refused to give me back the No 11 model!
With any rib cage cutting saw you do have fragments of bone that enter the chest cavity but these are easily washed out. This Casström produced very little debris and gives a very clean and precise cut, which is certainly worth noting, especially if you have a fussy game dealer.
I really liked the feel and control from the excellently designed grip and handle and to be able to change the blade so quickly is a genuine bonus
Best of all is that they will not break the bank either. The smaller No 7 Casström which I prefer costs only £24.95 whilst the larger No 11 saw costs £29.95 - both bargains in my view. They will pay for themselves with the speed of the cut and safe gralloching they give you.