Felco 600 Folding Saw: Product Review
A folding pruning saw for more uses than just cutting branches,
Available on Amazon
I have had my Felco 600 Folding Saw for years and I use it all the time. It is a standard in my gardening bag for pruning and so much more.
Felco 600 Folding Saw Specifications
- Weight: 5.5 ounces
- Length (when folded): 8 x 2 x .75 inches
- Length: 14 inches long when open, with a 6-inch serrated blade
- Cutting capacity: Branches up to 4 inches in diameter
- Locking blade
One of the features I particularly like is the ergonomic handle design. It is comfortable in my small hand both with and without gardening gloves. The curved rear portion of the handle at the back of the saw makes it easy to grip, even with sweaty or gloved hands. This results in using less hand strength to hold onto the saw while cutting. In my opinion, this handle design would be excellent for people with arthritis.
The red on the plastic handle makes the tool easy to find when dropped on the ground or sitting in the bottom of my garden bag.
And a final design feature that I like is the molded hole in the back of the handle. It is great for hanging the saw on a nail or running a loop of leather or cord through to hang it on a hook.
Excellent For Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Felco claims that the 600 Folding Saw will cut through 4-inch branches. While I haven’t tried it on that size, the blade length is definitely long enough to do this.
I have very few trees on my small property but have used the Felco to trim small limbs/branches (in the neighborhood of 3 inches and under). It did an excellent job – it was easy to get the cut started and there was no binding. It also did a great job at cutting larger limbs off trees and then cutting the branches into shorter lengths.
The teeth design eliminates clogging while cutting and also helps reduce sap build-up. The saw cuts on a “pull stroke” vs. the “push stroke”. The pull stroke tends to be an easier way to cut, particularly in the gardening or landscaping environment (and often in woodworking situations as well).
Great For Dividing Plants
Although it’s technically not intended for this use, I frequently use the saw for dividing plants. I am the “Digging” Chairman for my local garden club and can be involved in digging, dividing and potting over 400 plants a year. Some plants, such as hosta and old herbaceous peonies, can have very thick rootstock. I find it easiest to use the Felco saw to divide these plants and I think it does less damage to the root system than using a shovel. It is small enough to get into tight places, yet still strong enough to get the job done. I use it to divide all sorts of clumping plants, including Coreopsis and Echinacea.
Sharp, Tough Blade
The blade has remained sharp despite years of use. I did have to replace my blade once but that was only because I was dividing loads of hosta that had rocks embedded in the roots. (Actually, I bought a new saw, not just a new blade – a new saw was only $3 more than buying a replacement blade.)
The blades are made from high quality, rust resistant chrome coated steel that has been impulse hardened (just another way of saying the saw blade is extremely hard and makes for long-lasting cutting). But impulse blades are difficult to sharpen, if not impossible. You’re better off buying a new blade than trying to sharpen a very difficult blade like the Felco 600.
Little Maintenance Required
There is very little maintenance needed for this tool. I rinse it or wipe it off after use (be sure the blade is dry before you fold it up for storage). If it gets really dirty from dividing plants I will take it apart, rinse it and put it back together. I clean it with rubbing alcohol to remove any tree sap or if it has been used on diseased plants.
I love that this is a folding saw. The blade only locks in the open position and is released by pressing the large black bar on top of the saw in front of the grip. It’s placed nicely out of the way so you don’t accidentally release the blade while cutting. When folded, it’s easy to keep in my gardening bag. The saw may seem to lock in the closed position but this is the result of the nut and bolt (that hold the blade into the handle) being screw together very tightly at the factory.
There is also a small silver colored pin next to the screw. Over time for me, this tends to work its way to protruding on one side. I can easily tap the pin back in place. I’m pretty sure this is why the lock isn’t fully functioning.
[Editor’s Note: Felco tells us that they’ve never had anyone report this as an issue and they’re unaware of any problems with the locking mechanism or pin.]
Plenty of Replacement Parts Available
You can easily buy replacement parts online (like through the Felco website or the Pruners Warehouse), including everything from blades and nuts, to bolts and closing catches. The only thing I couldn’t find a replacement for is the handle. But if you have to buy that then you’re better off buying a new saw. In fact, given the cost of replacement blades, you may also want to consider buying a whole new saw if you need a new blade.
It is easy to unscrew the one screw on the handle to change the blade, although you may need to pry the nut out from the other side. After a lot of use, the nut and screw don’t just drop out when unscrewed.
Basically, the saw is warrantied against defects in materials and workmanship.
Unlike older versions of the Felco 600 (which were – and still are developed in Switzerland) the newer saws are manufactured in South Korea. Prior to that the saws were manufactured in Japan.
The Felco 600 Folding Saw has incredibly sharp teeth that cut through tough wood like butter. It has survived for many years through hundreds of pruning cuts and plant divisions, and the blade has remained sharp. It’s lightweight, small enough to get into tight spaces and comfortable to use. Replacement blades are available although it’s more cost-effective to buy a whole new saw instead.
Where to Buy
And now, over to you – what’s one tool that you’ve owned (and loved) for a long time? Let us know in the comments below!
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