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For years I drove a green Jeep Grand Cherokee — a Laredo, not a Limited, thank you. It was great, complete with a nice 318 V8 and all the full-time 4×4 mojo, but none of the bells and whistles. The only reason I got rid of it was the fact that I had a truck as well and didn’t really need to tow with my people-carrier any more. But here’s the trick: When you have a 4×4, you eventually end up off-road. It’s a given. And if you’re a Toolmonger, you end up actually doing things off-road.

That’s when things can get a bit hairy, and that’s why I used to keep the Jeep’s awesome storage compartment under the rear seats full of good crap to help get me out of the jams I’d put myself in. What you see above is a slightly-nicer version of a similar saw that was part of my “oh s#!t kit.” I found my saw in an abandoned storage unit, though. Otherwise I’d have one like the one above, because it’s right in my budget: $5 at Northern Tool.

I used my saw exactly once in the whole time I kept it in the Jeep, but that one time would have totally been worth the $5 purchase price. I’d gotten a trailer stuck deep in a back-woods area near a local college. (Don’t ask why; it had something to do with a stupid-ass idea of playing a concert for drunk college kids at a moon-tower-like kegger.) A thunderstorm flooded the whole place, so I abandoned the trailer and came back the next day to fish it out with the Jeep. During the flood, the trailer had shifted about 20 feet, which placed it square between two trees, one large and one small — but just big enough that I couldn’t run over it. I used my little saw to cut the tree off low enough for the trailer to clear it.

Other stuff from my kit: an axe, 50′ worth of tow straps (a 20′ and a 30′), a folding shovel, jumper cables, 100′ of climbing rope, a come-along, and a bunch of ratchet straps. You’d be surprised what you can get yourself out of with just what was in the back of my Jeep.

Anyway, if you need a saw for your kit, I found a cheap one. If you know where people can get one cheaper, post it in comments.

Klutch Folding Saw (8-1/2″ blade) [Northern Tool]


12 Responses to Cheap-Ass Tools: A Folding Saw for $5

  1. Brett says:

    I carry a similar saw like that in my altima. Never know when you will need it.

    Oh, I remember that jeep. It was a good jeep.

  2. Shopmonger says:

    Yeah me thinks these are a good place for a cheap tool……Not used very often, but can get you out of a bind, like when a hurricane comes though jersey …..wtf


  3. Joshua says:

    I have the SOG version of this. I picked it up with a hatchet and e-tool. The e-tool was worthless but the saw and hatchet are in my vehicle at all times along with some other survival themed tools. You just never know when you will need something like this. I’ve used it a handful of times.

  4. Angelbane says:

    I have a milk crate in the jump seat of my pickup with those exact contents and use it all the time.

  5. JoeyBob says:

    I have a Gerber folding saw in the back of the truck, very similar. A surplus e-tool, AK bayonet with the handy wire cutter built into the sheath, and an assortment of hand tools make up my kit. I don’t go off road (on purpose), but will have to add some tow straps and rope.
    Oh yeah, I never leave home without duct tape!

  6. Dreamcatcher says:

    The one shown looks like a knock off of a Silky folding saw.

    If you don’t know the Silky brand yet then you should certainly become acquainted. Their high quality Japanese made saws cut through tree limbs like a razor knife through butter. I was introduced to them a few years ago by an arborist friend of mine who informed me that Silky saws are the choice of his trade. After I bought and used one for myself, I decided to buy one for male relative and friend on my Christmas list…. I still get thank-yous and complements to this day.


  7. Mike says:

    Has anyone here actually used this saw? I’m curious about the construction quality. Thinking about getting a couple at that price if they are decent quality.

  8. bill says:

    A $5 saw from Northern is probably not a great tool to depend on. The Gerber (Fiskars) 46048 saw is a small, extremely lightweight folding (actually sliding) saw that cuts at least three times as well as it has any right to. It’s about 12 bucks.

  9. Mac says:

    +1 on the duct tape! That and a couple coat hangers covered 90% of my emergency repairs of my old Jeep.

    Have a similar cheap-@ss folding saw, and have used it a couple times. It’s so old I don’t have any idea what I paid.

    Good stuff on the off-road kit.

  10. Jim K. says:

    Add duct tape, some farm wire and a tube of jb weld and you’d pretty much be looking at my kit. With those things, some common sense, a touch of creativity and a bit of luck and it’s pretty impressive the binds you can get yourself out of.

  11. zoomzoomjeff says:

    Nice article, Chuck. I have the same Jeep….Limited, thank you very much. Have a similar kit stuffed in an old cardboard box (apple boxes are sturdy as hell), but should consider one of these knives.

    I should also keep shovels handy. I buried mine in snow, called my fiance’ to pick me up, headed to Lowe’s for 2 shovels, and we spent my birthday digging me out. Married that girl!

  12. Maurice says:

    Great stuff! Keep the comments coming!

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