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Opinel No.12 Stainless Steel Folding Saw

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Opinel No.12 Stainless Steel Folding Saw folding knife

A handy, no-fuss pruning saw ideal for small arboreal tasks at a very reasonable price. The classic and simple design has remained unchanged. Functional, affordable with a lovely feel compared to saws with a plastic handle.


  • Ease of use
  • Simplicity
  • Cost
  • Looks


  • Blade is thinner and shorter than other popular pruning saws.

I have used a Bahco Laplander and an Opinel folding pruning saw and I was interested to compare the two. For me, the Opinel is the superior saw. Unlike the Laplander which failed after a short amount of time, the Opinel has proven to be dependable and durable in cutting through branches up to 3-4 inches in diameter (over this and I would be turning to a bow saw–right tool for the right job etc). Opinel is a design classic and the saw uses the same locking feature and handle design as the rest of the range. 

As a student said to me today when using my saw, he loved the texture and feel of the wood. He is very smart. The feel of a tool in your hand is a vital part of the pleasure gained from using it. It's why I use a Gransfors axe over a cheaper one with a plastic handle for example. Both do the job intended but, the experience of a tool with a wooden handle and an ingeniously simple design is far superior and satisfying. 

To use, the blade is swung into the open position and held in place by simply turning a metal ring—much simpler than the Laplander. This is what failed on mine after limited use. Nothing wrong with the blade; in fact it is better than the Opinel, but that counts for nothing if it cannot be safely locked into place.

The blade is shorter and thinner than the Laplander but the whole unit is smaller and easily stowed in the tool pocket of my rucksack. The rake of the blade is suited to green wood and cuts on the pull. It cuts cleanly and although it does get a bit choked it will handle most types of wood up to 3-4 inches in diameter. It will cut thicker but the length of the blade is not suited to this. This is where I move on to a bow saw. Why make the task harder than it needs to be?

Overall, I really enjoy using the saw for small pruning jobs. It is a no-fuss design that is dependable and durable. I much prefer this to the Laplander, which although roughly the same price and has a better blade, has a fussy locking mechanism which in my experience failed prematurely. For me, the Opinel is the better of the two. 


I use the saw for work at my Forest School to prepare wood for craft projects. I also use it for bush crafting when clearing an area, preparing wood for fuel, or making things around camp.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £21.49

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Price MSRP: $35.00
Historic Range: $35.00
Dimensions, open 12 x 3 x 1.5 in
Blade Material Stainless Steel
Blade Length 8 in
Handle Material Beech Wood
Product Details from Opinel »