I enjoy backpacking. Seriously though, who doesn’t? It’s a great way to enjoy the charms of nature and satisfy the intrinsic human love for adventure. Like any adventure, however, you never know what you will encounter on the way. You come across people from various backgrounds. See animal species you never knew existed. And sometimes you find a trail clogged by overgrowth or fallen tree trunks. It’s all part of the thrill. Therefore, a backpacker needs to be entirely prepared for every situation. The best backpacking saw is one tool I always carry on my travels. It helps me cut any overgrowth and remove fallen tree trunks to clear the path – not only for myself but also for others. Moreover, it also helps set up the camp and prepare some firewood for the campfire. So, it is quite a handy item, I say – especially compared to other saws that I have previously reviewed, like gas chainsaws.
In case you are a backpacker like me, you need backpacking saw that keeps your back during all the adventures. They are usually compact yet sharp enough to handle light to medium-duty tasks competently. If you have no idea what you are looking for, then don’t forget to check out my reviews, later on, to know about the best folding saws for backpacking. Meanwhile, grab a cup of coffee and read on as I guide you to understand more about these tools.
If you don’t want to read through the entire buyer’s guide, here are my recommendations.
- 1 Our Recommendations
- 2 Everything you need to know about best backpacking saws
- 3 Product Reviews
- 3.1 BOREAL21 Backpacking Saw
- 3.2 Gerber Freescape Camp saw
- 3.3 Sportsman’s Pocket Chainsaw
- 3.4 KatanaBoy Folding Saw
- 3.5 Coghlan’s Folding Saw
- 3.6 SUMPRI Pocket Chainsaw
- 3.7 Felco Folding Saw (F 600)
- 3.8 LiveWild Camping Pocket ChainSaw
- 3.9 Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw
- 3.10 Corona RazorTooth Folding Pruning Saw
Everything you need to know about best backpacking saws
Backpacking saws are a particular type of ordinary saws. They’re lightweight, easy to use, and safe to handle. That is why picking up a backpacking saw isn’t like buying just any saw you find on the market. To learn more, keep reading!
There are three main types of backpacking saws – each with a different area of excellence. These are
1. Folding: Best folding saw for backpacking – as the name suggests – fold down for easy packing. They are multipurpose tools with double rows of teeth. Specially designed for camping, you can utilize them for trimming, clearing, cutting, as well as for building a shelter.
2. Bow: Shaped like a bow, these saws are most easy to recognize. They tend to be more substantial, that is why most people prefer lighter options. Their only benefit is they offer great strength and durability. Best for complicated pruning or cutting jobs, bow saws are quite rare.
3. Pocket: saws are part of the survival gear. Consisting of a chainsaw chain and two handles of rope, these saws require considerable effort on the user’s part. These are handy for various hiking tasks and easily rip through small tree branches. You may need helping hands for a smooth cut, though.
Each type has its own advantages and limitations. Therefore you should choose a saw according to the job you want it to perform. Determine what qualities matter the most for you and then decide accordingly.
The very first thing to consider is the efficiency of backpacking saw. It is measured by how much wood can it cut with a single stroke. Some blades are designed to cut on the pull stroke while others cut both ways. Aim for a saw that cuts more wood while causing less sweat. Efficiency also depends on the length.
While backpacking saws are obviously short in length, you have to make sure that it’s sawing blade is at least 50 percent longer than the tree diameter you intend to cut. Otherwise, it won’t cut the plank properly.
The material determines the strength and quality of a saw. Steel blades are most durable, but they also rust fast. For best quality, ensure that the steel blades are adequately insulated with a protective coating to prevent them from rust.
Comfort and Safety
better your control on the saw, safer it will be for you. So consider its ergonomic design before you buy it. Design determines the level of comfort. Backpacking saw should fit comfortably and firmly in your hand. No doubt, it needs to be long enough, but not so long that it hinders the way you control it. Remember that safety always comes first.
A sharp saw is the best saw. Everything else is just a secondary consideration. Obviously, new saws have sharp edges. But best saws are tempered and coated so that they remain sharp for a very long period and extensive use. In this regard, some brands like Silky, Gerber, and Bacho make the best tools.
Alright, that took a while. Hopefully, now you know everything about the general aspects of the best folding saw for backpacking. Let’s take a look at some of the best backpacking saws that the market has to offer today. I’ve compiled this list after extensive research about their various aspects like pros, Cons, safety features, and user reviews. Read on!
- Dimensions: 24 x 4 x 4 inches
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Size: 21″ blade, 21.5″ closed, 22″ tip to tip open
- Material: Aluminum Frame, Glass reinforced Nylon Handle
- Compact and lightweight – It can collapse down entirely
- No tool required to change the saw or assemble it
- Suitable for home as well as away tasks
- Very portable due to its small size and compact design – take it anywhere you want, it fits anywhere.
- Cuts sideways
- A little expensive when compared with other items on this list.
I am starting off my list with an absolutely fantastic and versatile bow saw BOREAL21. Take it camping, canoeing, off-rail, backpacking, or merely clearing the brush around the house. This little bow saw will prove to be your best travel companion. Opens in seconds – unfold, snap, and get working. It’s that easy. The automatic blade tensioning ensures that there are no loose parts. Working with BOREAL21 is safe and sound. You don’t even need to touch the blade while opening and closing. High grade anodized aluminum frame, stainless steel hardware, and nylon handle provide enough durability that it will last a long time without breaking down
Overall, I love it because it is one of the best folding saw for backpacking. The reviewers love it. And I am sure you will love it too.
- As portable as backpacking saws get
- Clever folding mechanism
- Opens and collapses without any hassle.
- Great shape
- Small blade length – that means shortcutting stroke
- No handguard
- The frame is rather flimsy and not very durable
Gerber Freescape is a similar item – though comparatively low priced. This portable camping saw features an ergonomic design that allows it to fold up flat without any need to dissemble. This means it has no parts. Therefore you don’t have to worry about misplacing various parts – unlike others. Its 12 inches saw blade has 4 pivot points in order to maximize the cutting area. However, the usable blade length is quite small if you are to compare it with the previously mentioned product. As per the manufacturer, it can cut wood through 4.25 inches in diameter. Featuring a rubber freescape textured handle, it makes your work significantly comfortable.
With that said, this product is best for its portability. Otherwise, due to its small size and saw length, it doesn’t have as efficient a cut as BOREAL21. On the whole, It is undoubtedly a right product for bushcraft. However, if you are not too keen on made in china products, then you should take a look at other alternatives on my list.
- Longer chain means longer strokes and shorter cutting time
- Even the highest branches are within its reach
- Can rip through thicker tree limbs like butter
- Extremely portable
- Very economical
- Chain links are rather weak, exerting too much pressure while overhead work can break the chain.
- While bidirectional, It has no double-sided teeth which limit its functionality.
Your search for the best pocket chainsaw is about to end. Sportman’s Pocket Chainsaw comes with 36 inches saw length. So you can easily tear through most wood without exerting much effort. It is self-cleaning and bidirectional (Please note that it has no double teeth). Due to its long chain and more teeth, it cuts significantly faster than other backpacking saws.
What’s more, it makes cutting overhead branches very easy. Just wrap it around any branch and pull back and forth the two rugged and cross-stitched handles. In case you find saws with pointy teeth hard to sharpen, this product may just be for you because it has no pointy teeth. Its metal brackets can be sharpened within minutes and without any safety issues.
By and large, due to its low weight, portability, and flexibility, this saw should be a part of everyone’s emergency survival toolkit – whether for home or landscaping.
- Dimensions: 46.3 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Size: 19 inches blade with 10 inches cutting capacity
- Excellent value for money
- The blade zips through the wood faster than you would expect
- Silent and lethal
- Opening and folding take some time to get used to.
- Definitely pricey
What if you could hear the birds chirping and smell the sweet wood scent as you cut the logs instead of hearing the noise (if you don’t use protection) and smelling the gasoline? Yes, it is quite possible with this heavy-duty folding saw. It is a double-handed professional tool that can compete in performance with any small chainsaw. Shaped like a Katana – the traditional Japanese sword – yet it is very lightweight and easy to carry around. The long blade, coupled with non-set tooth design provides extended work reach and faster cuts. It also takes considerably less effort on the user’s part. Due to this reason, it can effortlessly handle large tree trunks and limbs.
Moreover, the two-handed, nonslip rubberized handle provides a comfortable grip even in most difficult working circumstances. Take it backpacking the next time you go into the wild. This is the best folding saw for backpacking on my list.
PS: When I was first using this product, I felt like a Ninja. Did anyone else feel the same way? Just me? Okay.
- Once deployed it is a very sturdy piece of equipment
- Bacho blade does the job efficiently
- Has a perfect blade tensioning
- The finishing details aren’t smooth. So make sure to use a file to smoothen the edges somewhat
- The plastic piece that forms the pivot isn’t very durable
Now, this item looks like Gerber Freescape camping saw (already discussed on my list) due to a similar design. The triangular geometry is identical. But, rest assured, the similarities end there. It employs a longer 21 inches blade and weighs slightly more.
The integrated design has various benefits. First, such a design eliminates the possibility of misplacing a part. Second, deploying the saw is convenient. All you have to do is fold the handle down, loosen the retention screw, fold down the blade, slide the hole in blade’s free end and fold the handle up into place. Complicated? Not at all
Due to a triangular frame and a tensioned saw blade, it can tolerate any improper sawing technique. So there is considerably less risk of kinking the blade due to manhandling.
While Coghlan isn’t exactly known for producing reliable tools (most of their tools are low budget and less durable), they have finally come up with a quality product that can give any camping saw a run for its money in terms of efficiency.
- Meager price (This is the lowest-priced item on my list)
- Compact and quick – save time and resources
- Best for cutting down high branches without climbing on trees like a monkey
- No double edges
- The strap handle is somewhat small
Now’s the best time to throw out your rusted out and old folding backpacking saw and buy something better and modern. Something like this device. Similar to Sportman Pocket chainsaw, the SUMPRI’s product is tailormade for boy scouts, campers, trekkers and backpackers alike. It can cut through a 3 inches limb in less than 10 seconds, thanks to its longer bidirectional and self-cleaning saw blade.
The extended saw makes cutting overhead branches very easy. What’s more, even the handles are extendable. You can tie ropes with its handles and extend the length to as much as your job requires. It is water-resistant, fireproof as well as shatterproof – thus quite durable.
With a price as low as $16, nothing can go wrong with this purchase.
- Innovative design to prevent clogging
- Maneuverable in unconventional cutting spaces
- The cuts are very thin and precise
- Excellent quality and very durable – expect it to last longer than your bow saw
- The blade tip breaks if you try to handle bigger branches with it
A classic little saw for pruning the trees and other related tasks. Rust-resistant chrome blades and high-quality steel deliver precise and clean cuts – effortlessly. Further, its impulse heated teeth resist corrosion after coming into contact with water and remain maintenance free for a very long time. In addition, it can cut branches as big as 4 inches in diameter. Thanks to a uniquely shaped saw blade, which is thinner on top and thicker at the bottom, it prevents binding and clogging.
While this is a classic pull stroke saw, you can fold it without difficulty in half and carry it in your pocket. Its ergonomic nonslip handle makes the tool safe and comfortable. That said, this little wonder is best for pruning tasks. Therefore if you need to replace your bow saw with a more maneuverable and lightweight item, then Felco’s folding saw should be your first priority.
- Adjustable handle length. You can add some rope and increase the handle length for overhead tasks.
- Has sawing teeth on every link
- Incredibly useful in terms of performance
- Requires some muscle power for use on larger tree branches
- Not really friendly for old people
LiveWild’s pocket saw comes equipped with 3x more teeth, making very sharp cuts in no time. A part of the credit goes to industrial-grade heated-treated steel as well. Its chain links create a steady bidirectional motion during the cutting process. So you can have fun while working. Engage your 10-year-olds, and I am sure they will enjoy it more than anything while camping. Having no pointed teeth makes it safe to use as well. Nevertheless, I will not recommend kids using it without adult supervision.
This multi-purpose tool is useful and effective in all situations – from hiking to camping and emergencies to simple backyard work. So if you are on a budget, this tool will keep you working.
- The saw blade cuts fast and stays sharp for a long time
- The saw blade is thicker than most saws in this price range
- Easy to replace the blade
- Seven TPI
- Even though the blade is sharp, slight sideways pressure on the upper half of the body bends the blade which is quite uncomfortable while working with more massive woods
- The saw size is rather small due to which it takes comparatively longer time to cut a log
- When in open position, the lock doesn’t hold
If you are a professional and haven’t heard about this saw before, then you must be living in a cave because Laplander folding saw is quite well known. This is an all-purpose folding saw for cutting both dry or greenwood. Specially designed for hunters, campers, and wildlife enthusiasts, it is versatile, lightweight, and compact.
Additionally, the two-component plastic handle and leather strap provide the perfect grip for hard-hitting tasks. Besides, the slightly longer handle also adds to the overall comfort. To ensure safety, it uses a safety lock that secures the tool even when folded. Due to its small size, it fits nicely in my pocket. So this is one of the best folding saw for backpacking.
- Handy and quick to deploy
- Compact size yet a workhorse
- Suitable for all ages and genders due to sharp teeth that require minimal effort
- Big-bang for the bucks
- Not stainless Rusts when it comes in contact with moisture
- Once folded it doesn’t hide all the teeth of the saw which can be dangerous
“A Little Workhorse,” is how I will sum up this product in three words. It comes in multiple size options from 7 inches up to 10. The 3 sided razor teeth deliver efficient cuts for as large a branch as 6 inches. Due to its durability, this saw can hold up to quite a lot of wood without going dull.
Ergonomically designed, compact comfortable, handy, and safer to use – Corona RazorTooth Pruning Saw is one little jack of all trades saw you have been waiting for. With a price as low as 20 bucks, nothing can go wrong with this best backpacking saw’s purchase.
All said and done, my list of best backpacking saws is by no means exhaustive. There are still other saws available in the market that deliver excellent quality and efficiency. I chose only ten chainsaws based on what I liked the most about each product. After reading this Buyer’s guide, I hope you now have a much clear idea of different kinds of saw that are most suitable for your backpacking requirements. Now all you have to do is to go and get that one product. So what are you waiting for? Also, check out these backpacks that are especially made for hiking.