When I was a kid, our standard camp saw was a trusty bow saw my dad brought along on every trip. It weighed several pounds, had a blade that could take down an oak tree, and was about as long as I was tall.
Camping saws have come a long way.
Today, we have multiple great options that can fit in one’s pocket. The SOG Folding Saw is one of them. I’ve tested out a few folding saws before—most notably the Silky Gomboy 240 and the Rexbeti Utility Saw—and was impressed by both in different ways.
Let’s see how the SOG Folding Saw compares.
SOG Folding Saw: First Impressions
It’s immediately apparent that the SOG Folding Saw is a tough and sturdy piece of equipment. It has a solid amount of weight to it—not so heavy that I would think twice about tossing it in my backpack, but enough to know that it’s not some flimsy piece of junk. Given that this is definitely a budget folding saw, I’m already impressed.
The handle is comfortable in my hands, the blade has a handsome black finish to it, and the push button locking mechanism is smooth and effective. The SOG is a little more coarse-toothed than some other folding saws I’ve used, so I’m eager to see how it performs.
Measurements & Specs
The SOG Folding Saw has an 8.25-inch blade for an overall open length of 17.25 inches. It’s about 9.5 inches long in the closed position, and weighs 9.2 ounces, not counting the lightweight nylon sheath that comes with it, adding an insignificant amount of weight. The blade of the SOG is made of high-carbon steel with a black finish, and the handle is steel with a thick rubber (or rubber-like) coating.
Blade Design & Performance
The overall profile of the SOG Folding Saw has a gentle curve from the front tip of the blade along the spine to the rear end of the handle. That being said, the cutting edge is straight, in the sense that a straight line could be drawn along the tips of each tooth.
The teeth themselves are alternately beveled in opposing directions, which helps the saw bite into wood more effectively and improves its cutting power. As I said above, the teeth are more widely spaced than on many other folding saws; the SOG has roughly 5 teeth per inch.
That makes this a good saw for tackling fairly sizable chunks of dry, seasoned wood, which these teeth rip right into. It’s less impressive on smaller, greener pieces of wood, which it has a harder time getting a grip on. The key there is to start with a light touch, just easing into the wood on the pull stroke.
Ultimately, it’s hard to specifically measure the performance of a saw, but in a side-by-side comparison with the Silky Gomboy 240 folding saw on the same piece of wood, the SOG doesn’t cut quite as fast. I credit that to the Silky’s triple-ground teeth, which fly through wood more efficiently than the SOG’s double-ground teeth and slightly thinner blade.
The other side of that coin is that the SOG’s simpler, coarser teeth don’t get gummed up with sawdust and pulp as quickly, which allows you to keep sawing longer without having to clean out the teeth. Ultimately, there’s a trade-off there.
The only other thing I want to mention about the blade of the SOG Folding Saw is its composition. I can’t find any info on the specific type of steel we’re looking at here other than “high carbon steel.” The folks at SOG describe it as hardened and tempered, and it has a pretty tough black powder coat on it.
I’m actually quite impressed with how well the coating holds up. Mine shows no signs of chipping after repeated use, but it’s inevitable that it will start to wear off eventually. When that happens, corrosion will become something you need to watch out for, so be sure to keep your saw dry.
Handle & Locking
I like the handle of the SOG Folding Saw. It’s comfortable, has decent grip to it, and stays in my hand in any conditions. I’m not sure what exactly it’s made of. The package my saw came in says “textured rubber handle,” and I’d like to take them at their word, but this just doesn’t feel like natural rubber to me. I could be wrong, but it has more of a plastic feel to it.
Anyway, the handle has steel liners beneath its outer layer, and there’s a usable lanyard hole at the butt end. There’s a lock at the top of the saw where the blade meets the handle, and it locks the blade in both the open and closed positions with a solid and satisfying ‘snap’. Mine has a high-vis orange lock, a nice touch in case I drop my saw in the weeds.
There’s also a screw at the forward end of the handle, which can be used to increase or decrease the tension of the blade, and also allows the blade to be fully removed. SOG offers replacement blades, so you can easily swap the blade out while keeping the handle.
Sheath & Carry Options
The nylon sheath is simple but effective, with a velcro closure that holds the saw snugly in place. I honestly like it a lot better than the clunky plastic case that comes with the Silky Gomboy folding saw. It’s thin nylon, but ultimately that helps keep it light, and I haven’t noticed any signs of premature wear.
The SOG sheath also has a belt loop with a snap, making this easy to carry on one’s hip. The whole package is also light enough that I generally carry it in my pack if I’m hiking, but belt carry is certainly an option.
Final Thoughts on the SOG Folding Saw
There’s really no reason why I wouldn’t recommend the SOG Folding Saw. Even though it doesn’t quite possess the aggressive cutting speed of the Silky Gomboy, it still has a lot going for it.
What really shines about the SOG is its sturdy construction. The blade, handle and lock are all rock-solid, making this a folding saw that truly feels like it was made for hard use. If you’re looking for a saw to cut up firewood on your next camping trip, or to use for landscaping and outdoor maintenance chores, this is a great option.
And while there are lighter folding saws on the market, this one is still light enough that I have no problem tossing it in my hiking pack, or wearing it on my belt in the handy sheath that’s included with it. The SOG is also compact enough that you could fit it in a large pocket if need be.
At around $20 to $25, it’s about half the price of a comparable model from Silky. And sure, if you pit them against each other, Silky wins in a head-to-head matchup. But the SOG Folding Saw is a really excellent budget alternative.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights, and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his client’s websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.