Gardener’s Supply Folding Hand Saw: Product Review
An exceptionally high-quality pruning saw that’s worth every penny.
Available on Amazon
So you have a large branch that needs to be removed from one of your trees. Clearly, you’re not going to pick up your hand pruners or even your largest lopper capable of a two inch cut. And you don’t need a full-fledged bow saw. Plus you want the convenience of a saw that you can stick in your hip pocket. Enter the Gardener’s Supply Folding Hand Saw.
- Adjustable Tightness of Blade to Handle: Yes (with the straight bladed screwdriver)
- Special Features: Lanyard or hook hole at end of the handle
- Cutting Direction: Pull and push stroke
- Blade Locking Mechanism: Thumb lever
- Overall Length (including blade): 17 ¾ inches
- Folded Length: 9¾ inches
- Blade Material: High carbon steel (impulse hardened)
- Blade Plating: Chrome plated
- Straight or Curved Blade: Straight
- Blade Teeth Design: Triple grind geometry
- Replaceable Blade: No
- Weight: 8.5 oz.
- Can Blade Be Sharpened: No
In this short video clip, you can see the Gardener’s Supply Company Folding Hand Saw in use, see some of the specifications, and learn what we liked about it.
I’m used to having hand saws packaged in rigid plastic with a placard backing. The Gardener’s Supply Folding Hand Saw came in a simple plastic bag. I liked this. It seemed like more of a “greener” approach than all the extra plastic and cardboard that items are usually packaged with these days.
The only downside to this packaging method is that there are no saw specs or pruning directions. But folding hand saws are not rocket science, so I let the thought go. The saw came through without a scratch, dent or blemish on it.
BLADE LOCKING MECHANISM & BLADE TO HANDLE TOLERANCES
The blade is locked open with a thumb lever. As I opened the blade to its fully open position the thumb lever lifted up and then snapped into place with an audible click. There was the slightest play in the up and down motion of the blade but it was so little that it was hardly noticeable.
To close the saw all I had to do was press down on the thumb lever and rotate the blade into the handle. Be aware that the blade only locks in the open position; there’s nothing to keep it locked when folded. However, at no time did the blade inadvertently open and I never experienced any potential cutting hazards. I even felt comfortable when I first used the saw that the blade to handle tension (set at the factory) was more than adequate to hold the saw blade closed.
If you’re concerned about this saw’s safety without a closed locking option, then you may want to consider a saw that locks in the closed position. See our other folding saw reviews for one that will fit this need.
The saw has a large blade to handle tensioning screw that can be operated with a standard straight bladed screwdriver. The blade is easily tightened to the handle.
GREAT HANDLE GRIP
The saw has one of the best handle grips of all that I’ve tested. It’s coated with a rubberized material that extends the whole length of the saw (with the exception of where the thumb lock and adjustment screw are located). Unlike many folding hand saws that incorporate a “hook” at the end of the handle to secure your pinky finger, this saw has more of knob at the handle end.
This did not present a problem as far as grip was concerned. The knob helped prevent my hand from slipping off the end of the saw. Bottom line, the rubberized grip made up for the lack of a pronounced hook.
LONGEST SAW I TESTED
This saw has the longest overall open length (17 ¾ inches), primarily because it has an 8-inch blade instead of the 7-inch blade found on other models I reviewed. But I’ve tested a lot of Gardener’s Supply products over the years and wanted to test their folding hand saw – and this is the only one they carry. In its closed position, it measures 9 ¾ inches. The only comparable length saw I tested was one made by ARS.
JAPANESE STEEL BLADE
And finally, there’s the cutting blade itself. Gardener’s Supply notes that it’s Japanese steel (SK-5) has been impulse hardened (more on this below). The Japanese are known for producing some of the finest steels on the planet (think of Samurai swords).
In my tests, only three companies (ARS, Corona, and Gardener’s Supply) make a saw blade that is impulse hardened high carbon steel. This process according to ARS “involves both the heating and cooling within several thousandths of a second using impact energy created by high frequency current.” The advantage of impulse hardening is that it remains sharp much longer than conventionally hardened high carbon steel blades. However, because of its hardness, the blade cannot be sharpened.
Learn more about pruning saw blade materials and hardening in this article >>
- Ease of Cutting: Start of cut is extremely easy. Very easy pull stroke. Also cuts nicely on push stroke.
- How Clean is the Cut: Very clean
- Cutting Speed: Very fast
This saw has exceptional cutting power. It makes fast clean cuts and has the benefit of cutting on both the push stroke and the pull stroke (most saws cut on just the pull stroke and this is the only folding saw I tested that claims to cut on the push stroke). However, the triple grind teeth geometry is like most of the other saws I tested, and it definitely cuts better on the pull stroke.
The Gardener’s Supply folding saw has a straight blade, which means that it cuts best when used at heights between your shoulders and hips. Learn why here >> .
Chip expulsion was good for both the push and pull stroke so the teeth didn’t get clogged while cutting.
EASY TO CARRY
This saw when folded is 9 ¾ inches long. Although that’s relatively long for a folding saw, I found it easy enough to carry in my hip pocket. It may slide around a bit in your back pocket (depending on how deep it is). I prefer the extra security of carrying it in my front pocket as it’s deeper and just feels more comfortable to carry, particularly when sitting down.
As with most carbon steel saw blades, this one is chrome plated to inhibit rusting and minimize sap and resin buildup. It’s a nice added bonus, but it is not bullet proof. After extended use, chrome plating starts to wear off, particularly around the cutting teeth. Keep an eye on the blade color; when the shiny surface starts to dull you’ll know the chrome is wearing off and the blade will need some extra care to stop it from rusting.
To keep your saw in tip top shape, avoid getting it wet and from time to time, lightly oil the blade and lubricate the locking mechanism and bolt that holds the blade to the handle. My favorite lubricant is Tri-Flow®.
Always wear safety glasses when using a pruning saw; it will help prevent sawdust from falling into your eyes when cutting over your head or on a windy day. Although rare, blades can snap if bent at an extreme angle, sending metal flying. We recommend these glasses.
And don’t forget a good pair of gloves. One slip with this extremely sharp saw blade and you’ll likely be on your way to the hospital. Full leather will give you the best protection.
Gardener’s Supply is one of the few companies that guarantees the product for life. If for any reason you don’t like the product, the company will refund your money (less the shipping charge – you have to ship it back to them on your own nickel).
If you’re looking for a great folding pruning saw, this is a definite contender. With its long-lasting, impulse hardened teeth and ability to cut in both directions, it makes quick work of cutting through even the hardest wood. The sticky rubberized handle gives you excellent grip, the locking mechanism works flawlessly, and the large adjustment screw makes it easy to adjust the handle/blade tension. Plus, it still fits securely into a hip pocket. What more can I say, it’s a terrific saw.
WHERE TO BUY
The 8″ Gardener’s Supply Folding Saw is currently available only from Gardener’s Supply. The cost is $19.95 (plus $8.50 shipping).
It has previously been available to purchase on Amazon, but was unavailable there at the time of this review.
Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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