Monday, October 3, 2011

SOG Folding Saw Review

This product was provided to me for purposes of the review by Appalachian Outdoors. Appalachian Outdoors is not the manufacturer of this product, they are simply retailers, and supply a large number of outdoor equipment and gear.

While the Bahco Laplander has established itself as the favorite in the small folding saw category, there are a number of similar saws currently on the market. The SOG folding saw is one of them, and I decided to see how it compares.

Overall Length:
9 3/8 inches
Blade Length: 8 1/8 inches
Weight: 8.9 oz
Cost: $18.00-$26.00


You can see the saw next to the Bahco Laplander. They are similar in design and size.



There are some differences however. One is that the SOG saw has a button for the locking mechanism for the blade located on the top front section of the handle, unlike the Bahco Laplander where the button is located on the side of the handle. As I have noted before, I am not a big fan of this positioning for the button, because it can be pressed when you hold the handle close to the blade.

Another difference is that the SOG saw can actually have its blade opened beyond the 180 degree mark. It will not lock in that position, but it can be useful for getting into some hard to reach places.


The SOG saw also comes with a sheath, unlike the Bahco Laplander.


Overall, the SOG saw feels like a much more serious tool. It is heavier, and seems to have a lot more metal components as opposed to the plastic of the Bahco Laplander. The teeth are also of a more aggressive design, with a slightly longer blade. Of course that translates into greater weight of 8.9 oz as opposed to the 6.4 oz of the Bahco Laplander. In return however, I expected increased performance.

Unfortunately, that did not turn out to be the case. When I did a comparison test, the SOG saw managed to saw through a 3.5 inch piece of oak in 29 seconds, while the Bahco Laplander managed to do the same in 26 seconds. The results might improve for the SOG in soft wood due to the larger teeth, but I expected it to clearly dominate the comparison, not fall behind.

Similarly, even though the SOG saw feels like a more solid tool when you are holding it, once I started sawing, it felt a lot more unstable. There was a lot more movement in the blade than there was with the Bahco Laplander.

Generally, it is not a bad choice for a saw. It is robust, and will get the job done. It also comes with some extras like a sheath. In terms of pure performance however, it falls behind the Bahco Laplander. Depending on what price you manage to find for it, it may be a decent cheaper alternative to the Bahco Laplander.

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