As an avid outdoorsman, it’s very rare that I find myself unprepared when I venture out into the wilderness. I always make sure to take the essentials, be it a medical kit, proper clothing, or fire starting materials. After using the Nordic Pocket Saw, I came to recognize one area in which I’ve been unprepared. By using a cheap, low-quality pocket saw, I was severely hampering my ability to create shelter.

The Nordic Pocket Saw, in my own opinion, is worthy of praise for several reasons. First, it’s designed by the Swedes. I’m almost certain that over half of that country is made up of dense forest surrounded by some of the world’s harshest arctic conditions. Second, the chains are phenomenal compared to any competition that I’ve personally used. I have owned no less than five different pocket saws, all of which have failed, one of them catastrophically DURING use. When it comes to pocket saws, I have quite a bit of experience and I know what works and what doesn’t. If I had to choose only one for an extended venture into no man’s land, I’d choose the Nordic Pocket Saw.

One thing worth noting is the quality of the chains on the Nordic Pocket Saw. Any tool that you use is going to require maintenance, no matter what. The problem with the cheap competitors is that the low-quality material makes it extremely difficult to maintain. I’ve had a couple pocket saws whose teeth broke off during sharpening. I can’t stress enough how dangerous this would be if you were relying on them to help you build a shelter or source firewood.  The cheap steel simply broke off on the competition, but I’ve barely reached the point that I need to sharpen the teeth on the Nordic Pocket Saw.

When you do get around to sharpening, however, you must use a 4mm round file. This is the perfect size to maintain the sharpness, which will allow you to keep a consistent speed in the wood, making it more efficient. Another small part of the maintenance is to use a lubricating oil on the hinges to keep them from seizing up or rusting. Again, the material in the Nordic Pocket Saw is high-quality, which means you can sacrifice a little bit of maintenance time for more important things like food or rest if you had to.

With my saw, I was able to tackle some fairly large trees with very little trouble at all. In fact, the only reason I really broke a sweat was that I haven’t kept a normal running routine! This saw can take a lot of abuse since it’s made of heat treated high carbon steel. The handles are made of Cordura nylon fabric and are attached to the chain with a triangular steel connector that is very sturdy. There are two teeth to every chain, both of them in opposite directions so you can make cuts going back and forth.

In my first go with the Nordic Pocket Saw, I downed a 4-inch diameter tree in about 20 seconds going at a slow pace. Speeding it up, I was able to drop an 11-inch diameter mammoth in about a minute and a half. The blaze orange handles and carrying case are a great addition to the quality of this product. If I were to drop the saw, I’d never have to worry about losing it in a pile of leaves, while the carrying case does a great job at securing it to my belt. All in all, the Nordic Pocket Saw provides an amazing value at an affordable price.

Author – Rodney Pointer is a former Army Infantryman. After graduating from Airborne School, he was ruthlessly assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana to live out his days as a dirty leg. He served with the 2nd BN, 30th Infantry of the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. Following his deployment to Afghanistan, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Operations. He currently works as a nuclear security contractor.