Gear Test: SOG Folding Camp Saw
Some tools just don’t have any competition. A serious camp saw is one of them. Have you ever tried to get through a hefty piece of wood using that puny little saw blade on a knife or a multi-tool? Go ahead, give it a try sometime, and then you’ll agree that a real saw is the only way to go.
The trouble with camp saws is that the bigger they are the better they work, but the harder they are to pack around with you. That’s what inspired SOG to develop its new SOG Folding Camp Saw F10. SOG, long recognized as one of the premiere knife and tool manufacturers in the country, prides itself on quality of both design and construction, and after my test of this saw, I believe the company has hit a home run.
When I’m packing stuff around camp, I don’t want size and weight to be a problem. The SOG F10 model weighs 5.9 ounces and comes in a tough nylon sheath with a large belt loop stitched to the back. A hook-and-loop fastener secures the flap, making it easy to open and close.
The SOG folding camp saw measures 9.5 inches long when folded, and opens to a decent working length of 14.7 inches. That’s long enough to tackle some big tree limbs, and the extremely sharp teeth were differentially tempered for long life and effectiveness at cutting soft, green wood as well as hardwood.
We tested it during a trip in a forested area where there was a good deal of deadfall. To make our wood-cutting test as scientific as possible, I measured each piece of wood I cut, as well timed the amount of time it took to make each cut. Sawing on a 5-inch diameter alder (one of the softer hardwoods) trunk, the teeth steadily gashed through the wood, leaving a nifty pile of sawdust at my feet. Time for the cut was 2 minutes 39 seconds. For the record, I found that size to be about the limit of what I would want to cut with this saw. Next, I moved to a 3-inch diameter section of the same trunk and whizzed through it in just less than a minute.
When opened, the 8.25-inch-long, tempered high-carbon steel blade locked securely into position. To fold the blade, all it took was to press a comfortably large thumb release to easily disengage the locking mechanism. Couldn’t be simpler.
The SOG folding camp saw F10 handle is made of a soft synthetic rubber material with molded grip ridges that provide good traction even with wet hands. The handle is large enough to get a two-handed grip, when necessary (I did this when working on the 5-inch diameter piece of wood). All in all, I found this to be a good tool to have around camp, especially for the price. $25. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools: 888/405-6433; sogknives.com.