First Impressions: Gerber Vital Pack Saw

The Gerber Vital Pack Saw is a really small and extremely light bone saw that I keep in my hunting pack to assist with some medium game quartering tasks in the event loppers aren't available.

After quartering a few deer, one notices there are a few tasks that are just easier to do using something other than a knife. The tasks that come to mind include detaching the head, separating the hind quarters from the hip joint, and routing the anus (and tubes connecting the male reproductive organs) through the pelvic canal. The tool that makes these tasks super easy is a set of loppers. However, loppers are large, bulky, and can be heavy, making them less than ideal to include in a hunting pack. As such, I opted to pick up a small light bone saw that can make these tasks a little easier while not adding weight or taking up a lot of space in the hunting pack. It’s now included in my deer hunting load out.

Enter the Gerber Vital Pack Saw.

This little saw seems perfect for my intended application. It doesn’t take up a lot of room but is long enough to work in those medium game tasks I mentioned. I suspect it will work for larger game animals as well, but that is pure speculation given I have no experience with hunting large game. Even though it’s small it feels good in the hand, the offset T shaped grip is easy to get a good grip on and make smooth natural sawing motions.

I like the blunted tip on the saw. It seems like a really good idea to help prevent accidentally puncturing, ripping, or cutting the colon, urethra, and abdominal sack while working through the pelvic canal. It also seems like it will provide a tactile stop to begin a new saw stroke. Since I haven’t put this little saw to the test, I can’t affirm or deny the value of the blunted tip. Nevertheless, I am optimistically curious about it.

The saw weighs very little (0.25 lbs according to product descriptions). This makes the saw a viable tool for those long hike in and pack out hunt scenarios. It also makes it a no brainer for the “ride to the blind and back to a processing area” scenario in lieu of loppers.

The saw comes with a nylon sheath with a belt loop. I don’t really see myself ever attaching it to a belt. Right now it sits in my hunting pack. I figure if I need it, then I can grab it out the pack that should be close to me anyway. I do keep it in the sheath so it doesn’t snag on anything else in the pack, but that’s just me. I suspect some folks will like the option of attaching it to their belt. I will say the sheath is really thin and I doubt it will hold up very well to heavy use and long exposure to the elements. I could be wrong, but that’s my impression of the sheath.

I don’t see many other applications other than harvesting game on a hunt from this saw. The cutting surface is not much bigger than what one would find on a small saw found on a Leatherman or a Swiss Army knife. If one isn’t hunting and doesn’t carry a multitool with a saw blade and has a need for a small packable light duty saw, then I would probably suggest something like a Bahco Laplander folding saw instead of this small saw. Perhaps I’m just not seeing other applications, but the Gerber saw seems like a niche tool with a very specific application.

Overall, I think this small and light Gerber saw offers plenty of value to medium game hunters (and perhaps large game hunters). I, for one, am certainly looking forward to trying it out in the field (in lieu of loppers).

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