This diminutive pruning saw is capable enough to transition easily from the garden to the great outdoors, making it a very versatile tool for home and camp alike.
- • Very lightweight
- • Extremely compact
- • Soft and comfortable grip
- • Relatively short blade
- • Doesn’t lock in closed position
- • No lanyard, pouch or carry case supplied
Felco F600 pruning saw: first impressions
While the Felco F600 pruning saw functions quite happily as a bushcraft tool, the Swiss brand it comes from will probably be more familiar name to green-fingered gardeners. Felco is best known for its excellent range of secateurs, pruning shears, loppers and grafting knives. Unsurprisingly, they also make various pruning saws, the smallest of which is the Felco F600. Equipped with a 6.25-inch blade that folds away into the handle, it’s a compact-yet-capable tool that can do far more than simply tackle tasks in your backyard or garden. It’s also ideally equipped for life around camp or on the trail.
In terms of size and weight, it’s perfect to store away in your best daypack or slip into the pocket of your best hiking shorts – it’s among the lightest and most compact saws we tested for our best camping saws buying guide. The bright red color reflects the brand’s Swiss heritage, but also means you’re unlikely to lose it in long grass or undergrowth.
The blade is made from chrome-coated carbon steel, which adds rust resistance for better durability. However, the blade is easily replaceable if necessary – though Felco’s proprietary heat treating and hardening should ensure a long-lasting and high-performance cutting edge too.
The handle is nicely sculpted, with a rubber pistol-style grip that feels both secure and comfortable in the hand. A thumb indent on the back of the saw enables better control and precision. It also has a large lanyard hole, though no lanyard is supplied. It’s worth fitting a loop of paracord or similar if you’re likely to be pulling this saw out of your pocket on a frequent basis.
But how did it fare under test conditions for our best camping saw buying guide? Read on…
• RRP: $30 (US) / £26 (UK)
• Weight: 153g / 5.4oz
• Blade length: 16cm / 6.25in
• Overall length: 35cm / 14in
• Closed length: 21cm / 8in
• Teeth per inch: 6
• Blade: Chrome-coated carbon steel
• Lanyard: No
Felco F600 pruning saw: in the field
Despite Felco’s Swiss roots, this saw is actually manufactured in South Korea. That’s no indication of poor quality, though – quite the opposite. The 16cm blade is high quality steel that has been impulse hardened rather than quenched, increasing the steel’s hardness.
It features triple-ground teeth designed to cut on the pull stroke, with six teeth per inch. This makes fast work of branches up to about three inches in diameter, ripping quickly through green wood and seasoned wood alike (do you know the best trees for firewood?). The coarser blade does make starting off a cut a little trickier than blades with more teeth, but on the flipside it makes for fewer strokes and rarely clogs with sap or sawdust.
The soft touch, non-slip handle is perhaps our favorite element of the Felco F600’s design. It is ergonomically shaped for either left or right handers and feels exceptionally comfortable in use. We particularly like the top thumb indent, which aids dexterity when cutting in confined spaces, for example if working in thick tangles of brush or processing piles of deadwood.
The lever that locks the blade in place is made of hard plastic, but it has a stiff backspring that means it is unlikely to deploy accidentally. It also has a very positive action as it clicks into place, which is reassuringly solid.
When folded, the design is equally secure, as the contours of the handle completely cover the tip of the blade. There are a few teeth on display, though, which isn’t quite as neat or elegant looking as some rival saws. And while the few millimeters left exposed aren’t enough to catch on anything, bear in mind that the blade doesn’t lock closed, so if it were to open a fraction, this might become an issue.
Still, we experienced no problems on test, and overall we were very impressed with this little saw, which delivers considerable cutting power in a very compact and portable package.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.
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