The folding saw has long been a staple of the backpacking and camping market. Folding saws are compact and lightweight, making them ideal for backpacking. With limited space and only their own backs to transport material, hikers demand products that deliver both quality cutting ability and will not weigh them down.
The folding saw is perfect when the consumer is looking for compactness and a lightweight construction. Folding saws are designed so that the blade itself folds back into the metal housing that provides rigidity for the entire device. A folding saw may appear similar to a bow saw, but unlike a bow saw, the folding saw is both compact and safe to carry. With the blade folded up, a folding saw can fit easily into tight spaces and without having to worry about the blade cutting into anything. This ability gives campers and others the power to cut small lumber out in the wilderness.
Just like any other saw, it is important to exercise proper safety precautions when it is in use. Be sure to grip the handle firmly and have an even footing before you begin cutting. As you cut, begin slowly so as to establish a groove in the wood. This groove will give the blade a path to travel along. If you begin by sawing too hard or quickly, the blade may not find a path, and could slip suddenly. Once a groove has been worn into the wood, begin cutting with full length strokes, traveling up the length of the blade and back. Cut quickly and with full strokes for the best results. If the blade should get stuck or “bind” up, do not attempt to force the blade through. Forcing the blade can damage the saw, or worse yet, cause it to pop out and potentially cause injury.
As you are cutting, you may also want to stop occassionally and clear the blade of saw dust that will tend to bend up. This will give the blade a chance to cool down as well, preventing warping or distortion. If the blade should become dull or chipped, be sure to replace it, as blades in this condition can break suddenly. Out in the wilderness, you can’t just go buy another blade, so make sure it’s sharp before heading out.
Folding saws come in a variety of sizes and prices. The smallest of folding saws can cost as little as $12.33, as with the Fiskars Folding Saw 9259. On the more expensive end, saws like the $26.95 Sven Folding Saw provide longer blades and more cutting power.