Customer Reviews: Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw, 9-Inch Blade, 7 TPI
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on February 5, 2010
I bought this saw for backpacking so I could process wood for fire. This thing cut through the wood like a knife cutting through butter. It is very light and compact, which is anyone who backpacks loves tools that weigh virtually nothing yet gives great performance. This saw is a must have for any backpacker or bushcrafter.
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on July 8, 2010
I'll write this review in the same format as I write my knife reviews. I absolutely love this saw, it is definitely the premier foresting saw on the market right now in both quality and price. I find it really hard to compare this folding saw to others because well, other saws don't compare.

Price, the only way to match this saw is to pay twice as much (and the 396-Lap will still probably win)
Cuts on both push and pull of blade unlike most bargain saws that only cut on pulls
The safety on the saw is a necessity, the safety is extremely tight and won't close (or even open!) without the depression of the safety
Cuts like a champ, I just cut through a 7 inch diameter tree in 45 seconds... a real screw you to axes and machetes everywhere
Smooth woodcutting with minimal blade catches or sticks
Ultra light weight
Easily fits in my tac-vest

The blade is significantly thinner than handle it folds into giving it a slight loose feeling while folded
Leather wrist strap... I'm not a fan of any leather wrist strap, I prefer nylon but others could like leather
No foresting tool should be ALL GREEN because if you drop it in the woods you won't find it! please wrap some orange tape on the saw handle before you bring it anywhere

Why pay 30 dollars for a saw as opposed to the usual folding saw that costs 15-20? Because all other folding saws are garbage, this is literally the only folding saw I've used that wasn't more trouble than it was worth (its actually quite the contrary, I can't live without this tool). Don't try to look for a better folding saw because you won't find one, you won't even come close!

EDIT- seeing how I have never used a silky, i would like to clarify my statement... this saw is hands down better than the saws you will find in hardware stores, however if you buy a silky you will probably be equally satisfied.
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on February 9, 2014
There sure are a lot of favorable reviews of this item so I purchased this and a Corona folding saw and tested them on piece of firewood over a couple of days. The wood is a piece of dried out ash 2 3/4" wide at its widest.
The Bahco worked OK. I sawed and sawed like crazy and at first it went through well but as the saw had more surface area to rub against it was a fight to get it moving. My guess is the matte finish creates friction which just makes it harder and harder as you get deeper in. I only made one cut but half of the finish was pretty much worn or scraped up. I've posted a photo of both blades. I had to stop several times because I was getting tired since it was a fight to get the thing moving. It folds fairly compactly since the blade is straighter and weighs the least at 7oz.
The Corona worked much much better. It was harder to get it started and I was sliding side to side but it's because it only cuts on the pull so that was my fault. However, once it got going it cruised through the same piece of wood in less than half the time. It has a polished blade and it did start resisting the further I went in but it wasn't as bad as the Bahco and I didn't have to once stop to shake out my arm. I will say though that because of its curved blade it folds into a bigger package overall and it comes to 9.6oz. I think having to carry an additional 2.6oz would more than make up with the energy you would save cutting with the Corona.
What's interesting is the Corona is listed as a 7" blade and the Bahco just says 9". I was confused but their blade sizes are identically 7". Also, when folded they are the exact same length of 9". I think these sizes are important since they aren't listed exactly for either product. I sort of thought the Bahco was going to have a longer blade but nope. Both are about the same price as well so it's all up to personal preference I guess.

Update: I got a scale. The Bahco came to 6.6oz and the Corona came to 6.65oz so almost the same.

Update2: It seems as long as there's no friction it works extremely well. This occurs when you cut a branch off a tree since as you cut the branch naturally falls away. Because of this I'm upgrading it to a 4.
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on October 21, 2010
Took this saw backpacking with me along Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore and it was a great help. I was surprised to find downed wood at the only campsite we were allowed to have a fire at but this saw performed flawlessly.

It cut through 2-3" branches in no time at all. 4" branches took just a bit of time. I did manage to get a 6-8" log cut but that took a solid 5 minutes for me to go through(had to take a break lol - in all fairness this was at the end of the day which included a 9 mile hike with a 50lb pack). The guy that cut the 7" log in 45 seconds...he must be a cyborg or something or else the wood he was cutting was extremely soft. Then again, I was cutting through a downed maple tree that was good and dry.

I especially like how the blade's teeth are aggressively cut and I like that the saw cuts in both the push and pull directions. Other pruning saws only cut in the pull direction(which reduces the chance of bending the saw and also allows for a finer cut finish -ideal for pruning, but not so much for stroke efficiency.)

I love that the blade locks into the handle and also into the open position. I have not had any trouble with the blade unlocking at inopportune moments but I've really only used this saw one day.

The rubber grip on the handle is excellent and comfortable and the longer handle provides room for any size hand and position. You can almost use two hands on it.(Probably could if you have small hands but I have quite large hands - usually XL or XXL in gloves)

The only thing you need to watch out for with this saw is BENDING THE BLADE. The blade is thin to make it lightweight and also to make cutting easier but if you happen to stray off center in a push-cut then you can bend it fairly easily if you're not paying attention. I didn't have a problem with it, but I can definitely see it happening.

I'm also not a fan of the leather strap on a plastic & rubber handled tool. It just feels out of place not to mention that it's fairly dry and doesn't feel like it will hold up that long. I've already replaced it with some bright neon green para-cord to aid in finding the tool if dropped. It IS a very dark green/black handle/blade and blends in easily with ground cover.

Now if I can just find replacement blades for this saw(not that I need one now, but it'd be nice to know they're available if anything ever happens to this one) then this would be the ULTIMATE lightweight pack saw.

All in all this a great saw that merits the extra initial expense.

UPDATE ON COMMENT QUESTIONS(2-21-2012):Hmmm... I don't have a kitchen scale to give you oz/grams but a little googling for "bahco laplander" brought up a few reviews(brian green / brian's backpacking blog) and some video reviews on you tube. According to "Brian" it's 6.4oz!

In my experience: it's lightweight for its size, the blade is only about 1mm thick maybe a hair more so it limits the amount of steel, and it's slightly heavier than my 2-3" pocket knives(with aluminum handles and steel liners) but way lighter than my SOG B61 Multi-tool(iron brick lol). I just compared it to an empty nalgene bottle(32oz/1 liter size) without the cap on and the saw felt slightly heavier. More googling (backpack gear test)and I find that a review lists the 32oz Nalgene bottle with CAP was measured at 6.2oz. So that makes sense to me.

If you would rather have grams, there's always google.

The bottom line is this: If you're going to be backpacking and heavily dependent on wood fires - it's a life saver. IF you're mostly using stoves in the summer you could go without it. In the winter though - I'd carry this and a hatchet but I live in the wooded north or Michigan.
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on December 28, 2014
Made in Sweden. Cuts very well. Use mine to cut limbs from trees deer hunting. Locks open and closed. It does not include a sheath. I bought this one and it fits like a glove. Corona AC 4510 Nylon Scabbard with Sharpener Pocket Even the paint on this saw is great. It does not even have a mark after sawing many limbs. That's shocking.
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on January 23, 2015
My wife picked this up for me to replace a cheesy WalMart special that crapped out on me. Of course, I couldn't wait to try it out. I have to say that this saw actually lives up to the hype! Now, instead of re-hashing everything said in all the hundreds of other reviews for this saw, I'd like to share something I discovered. A lot of folks would like to have a belt sheath for their Bahco without breaking the bank buying one from some cat on ebay for $55 and up. I found that this saw fits perfectly in the cordura carry pouch to an extendable baton that I had lying around! Money saved!
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on August 21, 2010
I haven't used this saw yet as my trees were trimmed before I got it, but it feels a bit flimsy. The handle will flex a bit, but should be fine for normal use. Proper replacement blades aren't available in the US. You have to order them from the UK. It would be cheaper to buy a new saw stateside. I wish I had known this before it was too late to cancel my order. Should have done better research.

You can get other Bahco replacement blades in the US, but they aren't Laplander blades (396LAP). Kershaw doesn't sell replacement blades at all.

The 396HP and 396JT blades from Bahco are the closest replacements available stateside, for around $15 and $20 respectively, but a whole new Kershaw saw can be had for under $20 if you look.

The lock is a pin that goes through the blade, so it's pretty solid.

I'll have to do some cutting and edit my review at a later date.

Do yourself a favor and order the Kershaw. It's the exact same saw and it's cheaper. You will just have to wait indefinitely for it to be in stock as Bahco can't keep up with the demand.

Update 9/19/10: I finally got around to using my Laplander. I used it and a hatchet to cut out fatwood from an old pine stump in dense woods. I had to clear some branches out to get to the stump, then make several cuts on the stump before using the hatchet. The Laplander held up to the task quite nicely.

The blade cut very easily even though the wood was hard and sticky, and the sap was caked on the blade. I flexed the blade pretty good a couple times and it just bounced right back without the slightest curve in it. Even the Bahco logo survived the job, until I cleaned the blade with a strong solvent. Even then the epoxy coating was undamaged. Just a few teeth are now silver, but it's hardly noticeable.

The handle didn't cause any blisters or hot spots and it wasn't difficult to use at all.

I admit I was originally wrong about this product. It really does live up to the hype. Well worth the money.

I added an extra star since it lives up to the hype, but it's not a 5 star item because of the replacement blade issue.

*Update 2-1-2012: This saw continues to work exactly as hyped. It even took down a couple small diameter (3-4 inch) seasoned hickory trees. That was some real work, but it got the job done. Works best in green wood.
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on November 27, 2013
I bought this for backpacking and minor limbing around my house. I previously had a sliding gerber saw which never did cut well. This saw cuts like butter. It can tackle a limb 5 inches in diameter in well under a minute (probably 20-40 seconds depending on your vigor).

The saw locks closed and locks open.
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on February 27, 2015
Great tool. Recent heavy snowfall caused 2 10ft trees to topple. The Bahco had no trouble sawing through the trunks up to 5 inches in diameter. 1-2" limbs were cut in seconds. Pretty amazing for such a small instrument. Highly recommended. Check out the pic from the actual incident.
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on February 21, 2016
I originally bought this for camping, but I live on several acres of forest and I now carry it every time I go out for a walk. When I see a branch that needs trimming or ivy crawling up a tree, I remove the saw from my Felco 910 leather holster (meant for pruners) and cut away. The saw cuts fast and does not bend. It cuts wood with amazing speed and efficiency. I highly recommend getting a Felco 910 to carry it around. Absolutely one of my most favorite tools. No regrets whatsoever.
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