Backpacking

Laplander folding saw

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General purpose folding saw for wildlife enthusiasts, hunters, and campers

As an avid backcountry hiker, I need a compact and reliable folding saw for preparing firewood, trail maintenance, and occasional bushcrafting. The best saw I have used to date is the Bahco Laplander. This Swedish-made folding saw features an 8-inch blade with hardened teeth that work equally well on green and deadwood. The blade locks both in the open and closed position, and the textured plastic handle is comfortable to use for extended periods and allows a two-hand grip if desired. With proper sawing technique and a little bit of practice, I can comfortably prepare 3-4 armfuls of “fuelwood” in 30 minutes with logs up to 6″ thick. Cleaning and maintenance is dead-simple. Remove one standard Philips screw, and the handle and blade will separate. Wash the former, lightly lubricate the latter (I use WD-40), and reassemble.

Other brands I have used over the years have succumbed to various ailments, including expensive and difficult to procure parts (Silky), questionable build quality (Coghlan’s), small parts that are inevitably lost (Wyoming & others) or are unergonomic (Sven). The Bahco suffers from none of these problems and yet is criminally under-priced at roughly $20. Countless 5-star reviews on Amazon and glowing YouTube testimonials should remove all doubt that this is simply an outstanding piece of kit. Next to my personal locator beacon, this is the first piece of gear I reach for when packing for a trip.

PS. Canadians may find an orange version of the Laplander at their local retailer under the model name “Expert.” Apart from the color and lack of a lanyard, it is 100% identical to the Laplander (and the version I prefer since orange is much harder to misplace in the wilderness).

-- Nabhan Islam 09/8/20