Folding Saw Initial Impression: Bahco Expert PG-72

Bahco PG-72

Name: Bahco Expert PG-72
Model #: PG-72
Store: MEC
Price: $17.75
Blade: Peg
Blade Length: 7¼”
Folded Saw Length: 9⅛”

The Bahco Expert PG-72 is a folding saw designed for pruning. Found it locally in store at MEC for $17.75.

  • Features a safety locking button for the folded and unfolded position
  • Light weight at around ~200g
  • Lanyard hole
  • Blade is a peg like tooth pattern, 7 TPI
  • Rubber grip handle

On first impression, the bright orange color stands out. It’s an excellent color as it will stand out on the ground in the woods.

The saw is a good saw size, and feels solid in the hand. Plastic handle is strong and durable. Unfolding is a simple process. Press the button to unlock the blade, and pull it out till it locks in place. Afterwards, press the button again to fold the blade back into the handle.

Watch out for the blade, though. The teeth are razor sharp and dangerous. Tooth profile is triangular. However, every third tooth is cut off. Supposedly this helps to remove wood chips. Each tooth edge is beveled to act like a chisel to shave wood. Finally, between each tooth is a smooth gullet. It’s a fascinating three function tooth design without rakers.

Given the length of the blade, 7¼”, it looks like it will comfortably cut though a 4” diameter tree branch.

Overall initial impressions are great. A cheap compact portable saw with aggressive teeth for cutting wood. Price to performance looks top notch.

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Is This an Orange Bahco Laplander?

No. It’s very similar but it is not a Laplander (396-LAP).

Bahco’s description is vague but there are minor differences.

Spare Parts

The PG-72 is part of the Expert tool line. Key point is “no spare parts available”. In this case, the blade is replaceable, but the PG-72 blade cannot be purchased individually. A worse blade or better blade, however, can be bought.

  • To make it like the Laplander, use the replacement blade (396-BLADE).

Hardened Teeth

The blades are different. According to Bahco, the Laplander blade features XT hardpoint toothing for “cutting both green and dry wood, plastic, bone etc”. The PG-72 only features “anti-friction coating for fast cut in hard and dry wood”. In other words, the Laplander blade’s teeth have been heat-treated to specification. Properly hardened teeth will stay sharper for a longer period of time.

The XT-tooth design (every third tooth cut off and set), 7 TPI, and blade length are the same for both blades.

Accessories

The Laplander comes with a leather lanyard. The PG-72 does not.

Color

The Laplander is dark green. The PG-72 is orange.

Price

The PG-72 is significantly cheaper at $17.75. The lowest Canadian price I could find for the Laplander is $36.97 (amazon.ca). For less than half the price, the PG-72 is effectively the same as the Laplander at cutting wood. Purchase a Laplander replacement blade, and they are the same saw except for color.

Replacement Blades

Avoid the 396-JT-BLADE. Despite claims from MEC, it is an inadequate replacement blade designed for light winter pruning at vineyards and orchards. It features a 45° cutting angle, triple grinding, long tooth with narrow gullets, non-set but taper ground blade. It is not intended for cutting tree branches and trunks on the trails. Due to the narrow gullets and non-set teeth, the blade will bind as it is unable to clear wood chips effectively. Lastly, the blade lacks hardpoint teeth. Improper use, they will break.

Get the 396-BLADE. This is the blade on the Laplander for cutting green wood, dry wood, plastic, and bones. It is designed for hunters and campers. Features XT hardpoint toothing, 7 TPI. The blade is coated for rust protection and low friction. This is a logical upgrade to the PG-72 blade as it includes the same features plus hardpoint teeth.

The 396-HP-BLADE is also a good replacement. It features the same XT7 tooth profile. Compared to the PG-72 blade it adds hardpoint teeth, but loses the anti-friction coating for rust protection. Compared to the 396-BLADE, it lacks the anti-friction coating.

Blade XT Tooth Hardpoint Coating
396-BLADE * * *
PG-72 Blade * *
396-HP-BLADE * *
396-JS-BLADE *
396-JT-BLADE

References (01/13/14)

Bahco Expert PG-72

Bahco Laplander

Bahco Tooth Design

Blades


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