Folding Saw Field Test 2015

Back in 2009 I conducted a field test on saws and I'm grateful for all the interesting and nice feedback I got from you guys. Now I've done another test of folding saws and I hope it will help you to find out what you are looking for in a folding saw. These tools are a nice complement to your axe and knife while out enjoying the outdoors.

Thought the years I have had the pleasure of getting aqueinted with more saws than the four tested during the first field test I made six years ago. This means that this years test consist of 12 differet test objejcts. I've kept the old saws and just added new ones along the way. This means that the test period of these saws vary from two months up to six years. So some of these saws have been in the game for some time know and it's interesting to see how the connection between the ratio of price, quality and durability applies. You can see my old test by clicking HERE.

Different Saw Concepts
When it comes to man power driven saws there are a great variety of concepts; Crosscut, Bow, Buck, Rip, and so on. There's a lot of interesting bow saw versions adapted for carrying in the backpack, but these acquire some assembly/dissemble in between use during hiking. The folding saw is somewhat more accessible as it's a hybrid between a folding knife and a saw. Of course the folding saw's often shorter blade gives a tool with less cutting capacity than the often bigger bow saw, but the folding saw's availability makes it a pleasant choice for outdoor exploring. But frequently new interesting saw concepts pop up in the market using techniques like wires, chains and  on. Two interesting examples of this is the holster saws with fixed blades like the Fiskars 123840 or the Casström No.11 Field Saw.

Test Execution
I now have actively used these saws out in the field throughout different seasuns working on different wood. I've also used the tools when out hunting taking care of the game, but this test mainly look at processing wood with these saws. More about the test methods are to bee found under each feature.

Below you'll find my test results in the form of a picture and a list ranking which position the saws placed themselves regarding each feature. And in the end I've also picked out my two personal favorites from this test.

The Test Objects
The saw's I've included in this field test are (in alphabetical order):

Bacho Laplander 396-LAP
Biltema 16424
Fiskars Small Garden Saw
Fiskars Xtract SW73
Fiskars Xtract SW75
Jula 702047
Opinel No.18
Opinel No.12
Silky Pocket Boy 130
Silky Super Accel 21 
Silky Ultra Accel 240 Curve
ØYO Butchering Saw

Please click on each saw name to read my review on that particular saw.

The four features I've prioritized in this test are; Capacity, Size, Weight and Functionality.

My definition of capacity is how quick the saw cut the wood. In the final run of this test I lined up all saws and used them in a structured way cutting fresh and dry branches of Birch, Pine, Aspen and Apple Tree Wood. The branches had diameters ranging from about 30 mm - 100 mm and I counted the number of strokes it took to cut the branch. I strive to apply the same force by using the same technique when cutting with each saw on each branch. Here you have the result of my capacity test with the saw needing the lowest number of strokes to cut the branches placed in 1st place, and so on.

  1. Silky Ultra Accel 240 Curve
  2. Silky Super Accel 21 
  3. Opinel No.18
  4. Fiskars Xtract SW75
  5. Bacho Laplander 396-LAP
  6. Silky Pocket Boy 130
  7. Fiskars Small Garden Saw
  8. Fiskars Xtract SW73
  9. Opinel No.12
  10. Jula 702047
  11. Biltema 16424
  12. ØYO Butchering Saw
Note: As a reference I also used a full-size bow saw on the same branches just to see the difference. The big bow saw had twice as good cutting capacity compared to the folding saw with the highest cutting capacity. This didn't come as a surprise as the full-size tool's have longer blade and a very powerful design, compared to folding saws.

In this feature I've measured the length of the saws when folded. Sometimes a longer saw actually feel shorter because of a slimmer design. But in this comparison I have focused on the actual length of the folded saw to make my ranking. Here are the result placing the shortest (folded) saw on top, and so on.

  1. Opinel No.12
  2. Silky Pocket Boy 130
  3. Fiskars Small Garden Saw
  4. ØYO Butchering Saw
  5. Fiskars Xtract SW73
  6. Jula 702047
  7. Bacho Laplander 396-LAP
  8. Opinel No.18
  9. Silky Super Accel 21 
  10. Biltema 16424
  11. Silky Ultra Accel 240 Curve
  12. Fiskars Xtract SW75

Using a kitchen scale I've weighed each saw. Here you have the ranking between the saws when looking at the weight feature.

  1. Fiskars Small Garden Saw
  2. Opinel No.12
  3. Fiskars Xtract SW73
  4. Silky Pocket Boy 130
  5. Bacho Laplander 396-LAP
  6. Opinel No.18
  7. Silky Super Accel 21 
  8. ØYO Butchering Saw
  9. Jula 702047
  10. Fiskars Xtract SW75
  11. Biltema 16424
  12. Silky Ultra Accel 240 Curve

By functionality I refer to the mechanical solutions, design and choice of materials in the saw. All my experiences from using these saws out in the field I've toked in consideration when choosing my personal favorites in the end of this test. One functionality aspect I'd like to highlight is the safety advantages of a double action locking mechanism. A blade lock that also secure the blade when folded decreases the risk of damaging gear or limbs during transport. Therefore I give the below saws some extra cred as they all use a double action blade locking mechanism. If you have a saw without this safety feature: my advise is to now and then tighten the blade screw to maintain a high friction securing the blade in folded position.

Jonas Favorites
Based on the above results and my time spent with each saw I've picked out two of my personal favorites among these 12 nice saws. For trips when I have room in my backpack for carrying my saw; the Silky Ultra Accel 240 Curve is more than welcome to tag along. The Ultra Accel is a very capable tool when it comes to cutting due to the generous blade length and design in combination with a robust and effective grip. For occasions when I want to be able to carry my saw inside the pockets of my pants or jacket I choose my old partner; the Fiskars Small Garden Saw. Although this six year old saw have been through a lot it still measures up to it's younger siblings. The strength of the Fiskars Small Garden Saw is it's small size and weight (lightest in his test) combined with excellent cutting ability. An impressive note is that this actual little Fiskars saw also came out on top in my field test on saws back in 2009.

I hope you found this field test on folding saws useful and inspiring. Don't forget to click on the above text's links to read more about each saw. The results of this test is entirely based upon on my alone opinion on these tools after using them. I welcome your input regarding these saws or other saw models you have used. I always appreciate your feedback. I learned a lot from this test and I'm looking forward to Jonas Vildmark's next test on saws. Hope it doesn't take six more years until then.

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