Pack Essentials: Laplander

A forester in your pocket, the Bahco Laplander is an essential for anyone planning to spend any amount of time in a forest.

This foldable saw will cut through most wood like it’s made of butter. This is down to the fine and extremely sharp teeth. One of the first times I used mine was after Christmas, as I was taking out our tree to be recycled. I figured managing it would be simpler if I cut off the branches first. Holding the bottom of the stem upwards, I sliced through each branch with an intoxicating amount of ease. Admittedly I was a little disappointed when I’d finished!

Unlike the smoothness of a knife, the teeth of the serrated edge deals out a messy cut if you’re careless, so make sure you know how to be safe with it. Thankfully this saw blade locks in both the open and closed positions, meaning there’s less chance of an accident. I’ve felt the sting of its blade, and trust me, it teaches you respect.

At the Frontier Bushcraft course* I attended this summer we were issued these to aid us in sourcing wood responsibly. As well as instructing us in saw safety, they passed on an essential tip. The Laplander comes with a long leather lanyard attached for retrieval from a pack or pocket and to wrap around your hand when using. However Paul Kirtley (the course leader) made the very good point that, with it open in your hand, there’s a chance that this long lanyard could get caught on something in the undergrowth, especially when you’ve not wrapped it around your hand. If you don’t notice that it’s caught and keep moving, the result will be a misery inducing tear across your palm. The simple solution is to remove this leather or replace it with a short length of paracord. It’s handy to have use a visible colour in case you drop it or set it down somewhere briefly.

I’m always surprised when someone else I know either owns or has heard of these fabled saws, but I shouldn’t be. They’re low cost for what you get, the quality is outstanding. The tool is light and makes seriously quick work of most medium sized cutting tasks. Whether it’s fuel for the fire, shelter construction, gardening or fallen branches across the road, if you ever need to cut wood, from the width of a finger to a few inches short of the 8″ blade, then get a Laplander.

*The Frontier courses are full of tips like this that come out in their teaching in addition to the content of the course. I highly recommend attending one, or finding one in your local area.

Anything I post up will have spent time in my pack; either joining me for specific trips or being carried with me every day.

By Nat Wagstaff

Editor-In-Chief, more posts.

The product(s) being tested and reviewed here were purchased fully by the reviewer.

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