Although the European Sven Saw isn’t my number one choice as the best backpacking saw (that distinction belongs to the Canadian-made Sawvivor backpacking saw), it’s still a time-tested, proven folding saw design. People have been using Sven saws for ages, and lots of folks are perfectly happy with the design just as it is.
Now better for backpacking
For hikers, the main drawback of the Sven Saw was simply its size. In its original incarnation, it sports a 21-inch blade, with an overall length of 24 inches. Not many people want to put a 24-inch metal folding saw into their backpacks.
But recently, Sven heeded the calls for a smaller version. Now you can get the same simple, proven to work design with a smaller 15-inch blade that’s suitable for backpackers or anyone who wants to keep the size and weight down. The 15” Sven Saw is a decent camp saw for hikers who would otherwise carry a smaller, less-capable folding saw just to save weight and room in the backpack.
It’s nice to see that Sven is responsive to the market. Loyal users of their original product wanted a smaller, more portable version to take along with them into the back country, and Sven was happy to oblige.
Drawbacks of the Sven Saw design
Like I mentioned earlier, this is an older, time-tested design that’s worked very well for countless campers and foresters. But because of the large size, it’s been less than ideal from the standpoint of the backwoods backpacker. The smaller, 15-inch model addresses this concern and brings the Sven saw to the forefront of the group of best folding backpacking saws.
But it’s still a bit slower to assemble (and fold up) than the Sawvivor or one of the other leading folding saws. When you own a Sven, you have to use a wing nut to put it together. This takes time and it can be annoying when you’re wearing gloves. Plus, there’s always the risk of losing the wing nut, especially if you’re working in cold, snowy conditions.
But then again, who am I to criticize, right? After all, many thousands of satisfied Sven saw users don’t have a problem with the design. If you’re already happy with this style of folding saw, I’m not going to presume to stand in your way.
Quick comparison between Sawvivor and Sven Saw
Here is a chart that illustrates the differences between these two good folding saw designs:
|Speed of assembly/disassembly||Fast, swings into place. Blade automatically finds correct tension.||Slower. You need to use a wing nut to secure the blade.|
|Size||Slightly more compact (15 inches folded)||Longer (17 inches folded)|
|Blades||Crosscut wood blade standard, 2 other blades optional||Only a crosscut wood blade easily available|
|User satisfaction||Very good reviews||Very good reviews|
|Price||Lower price||Slightly higher price|
It’s a good saw
In this review, I conclude that the Sven Saw comes up just a bit short compared to TrailBlazer’s Sawvivor folding saw. But that doesn’t mean the Sven isn’t a good choice. It is. Lots of folks swear by it. Click here to check it out for yourself at Amazon and read the user reveiws.