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How many Toolmongers own a folding saw? I haven’t seen them very often, but the Sven 15″ from REI is one I’m thinking of putting in the toolkit in our truck. With an aluminum frame, it weighs only 15 oz. and reviewers say it’s so effective and easy to use (one said “like a deli slicer on a salami”), you have to take special care to keep your fingers out of the way. Fortunately the blade folds into the handle for storage.

It’s another great piece of camping gear, capable of cutting firewood, removing fallen branches from roads, slicing up a turkey roast, cutting a Christmas tree — this lightweight saw is supposed to cut through 6 – 8″ thick logs in seconds — at least that’s what almost everyone who reviewed them says.

The 15″ Sven runs around $27, and REI offers an online-only 21″ version for $28.95.

What about your experience with folding saws? Are there any major drawbacks we should be aware of?

Sven 15″ Folding Saw [REI]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


12 Responses to Sven 15-Inch Folding Saw

  1. Marsh says:

    Depends on what you’re cutting, I have one of these as a emergency saw.
    It does cut pretty fast.

  2. BJN says:

    I have one. It’s a mixed bag. The diameter rating is optimistic. Think about it. As you cut, the triangular space gets filled up and the cutting stroke gets shorter and shorter. You can cut up to 6-8 inch round diameter wood, but you have to keep rotating the log. That’s not always possible and your cutting speed will slow as you cut deeper.

    It’s a pretty good saw, but not as good as a real bow saw. You also need some pliers to tension the blade via the wingnut.

    Plus side: it’s compact and protects its blade when in storage configuration. I’d try to find one cheaper than $30.

  3. Slow Joe Crow says:

    We used to use them to cut up firewood when I was a Boy Scout in the 70’s. They worked OK on small limbs and dead fall and they were easy to stuff into a pack since the blade fold into the long silver piece and the colored piece slips over it. My take is that as long as the blade is sharp and well tensioned it would useful for camping and the occasional small pruning job but any serious tree work would call for a proper bow saw or a power tool.

  4. Brett from Utah says:

    I’ve never had a bow saw of any kind work very well for me- However I am a big fan of the folding pruning saws- the ones that cut on the pull..I keep one in the truck at all times and transfer it to my daypack or backpack as needed. It’s great for firewood and camp chores.

  5. gillsans says:

    I used one in the Boy Scouts many years ago that convinced me to buy one when I needed a bow saw a few months ago. It cuts well and is light and convenient to pack.

    I’d suggest buying the larger one if you’re planning on cutting anything larger than 6″ though.

  6. clueless says:

    I really like the Sven saw that I picked up at REI many years ago.

    For another folding saw option, check these out:


    BTW, REI is a great place to deal with.

  7. rob says:

    I used to have one of these


    they work pretty good I used it to cut all kinds of stuff
    when I was younger was just thinking about digging it out
    for a little trail clearing here soon

  8. Kevin says:

    For car camping I have a normal bowsaw and stuff around the house gives me an excuse to fire up the Stihl, but for backpacking or canoe trips its the Sven all the way. Its biggest advantage is that its light and packable while still being able to cut well… of course there is a trade-off of what you can do with it, but its certainly better than those little folding hand saws (in the size of material it can cut) and I personally like it better than the hand chain variety. Got mine from REI years ago, still going strong.

  9. R Brown says:

    I was backpacking with a couple buddies of mine in the Olympic national forest and stumbled across one of these on the trail. We used it for the next two nights, and fell in love with it right away. The next morning we happened across a couple of rangers, they asked if we had seen a saw… we hesitated and handed the saw over.

    The next summer me and my buddies regrouped to backpack in Big Sur, when we broke camp the first night each of us produced a Sven saw from our backpacks… This was about 9 years ago… I still take my saw camping every time… no rust, it’s still sharp.

    Defiantly on my list of camping gear must haves.

  10. mcglvry says:

    For the serious camper (who doesn’t need a machete) the Sven saw is the only larger-than-pocket-size cutting tool I’d recommend: it’s super light, dependable, effective, and SAFE.

    Keep in mind that for the last 10+ years Sven’s frames have been made from high grade anodized aluminium which transformed them from a necessary nuisance to a truly fantastic tool. All the slots in the frame are extremely precise which keep both the frame and blade tight and true. Combine this with the reduced weight of Al vs steel and the older Svens are dull in comparison (wa wa wa).

  11. Beans Baxter says:

    After looking into the Sven saw and the various folding saws, I ended up with a Bahco/Kershaw folding saw. It’s 6.4 oz., has a 7.5″ blade and is about 9″ closed. It has a similar cutting capacity as the Sven saw for less weight, smaller pack size and easier assembly.

    I think the Sven saw is an awesome tool but for my purposes, the Bahco was a better choice.

  12. Tim says:

    Its a great saw, nice and compact and easy to use, easy to put together, no don’t need pliers to tighten the wing nut, i like it cause its fast and light and you can use 2 hands to cut and it folds up small
    Its great for up to 8 inch logs

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