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Training Resources

SAWS is a leader in traditional tools and wilderness expertise. We have experts on staff willing to travel across the southeast to provide a variety of trainings to increase capacity in traditional tool use, improve awareness of wilderness character and values, provide education on Leave No Trace, and develop a variety of skills in trail maintenance and building such as stone splitting and shaping, new tread construction, switchback construction, site naturalization, and general drainage concepts. We are passionate about educating, cultivating, and empowering the public and next generation of wilderness stewards. Feel free to reach out with questions and training requests. We look forward to working with you!

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Crosscut Saw

Our resource library below features material for crosscut saw and traditional tool use under the U.S. Forest Service's national standards. Our resource library contains practical information on crosscut saw equipment and techniques. Traditional hand-powered tools and techniques are essential for maintaining wild public lands and protecting the wilderness resource. Motorized vehicles and equipment as well as mechanized transport are prohibited in federally designated wilderness according to the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Individuals and organizations using saws for trail maintenance on public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service must follow U.S. Forest Service National Crosscut and Chainsaw Policy. The U.S. Forest Service established sawyer training curriculum and materials to ensure that certified sawyers understand hazards associated with clearing downed trees and demonstrate skills to safely lead others doing this work. 

Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards is a certified cooperator in crosscut saw training for the U.S. Forest Service.

Five Step Cutting Process

OHLEC: Objectives, hazards, leans/binds, escape route, and cut plan

USFS Axe Handbook

Check out the U.S. Forest Service's guide to using an axe

Determining Complexity

Learn what factors play a role in determining cut complexity

Underbucking Tool

Learn how to make your very own crosscut saw underbucking tool

Complexity  Chart

Learn gradations of cut complexity


Learn the importance of proper wedge and axe use

USFS Crosscut Saw Handbook

Check out the U.S. Forest Service's guide to using a crosscut saw

Crosscut Saw Resource List

Print a copy of our crosscut saw and traditional tool resources

SAWS provides a variety of training across out footprint. Additional resources and handouts coming soon. Please inquire about our crosscut saw training opportunities or about other training needs you may have.

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