Folding saws are one of the best tools available for maintaining your property or taking out on the trails. They’re great at removing small to medium branches and can even help you break down logs for use in a campfire. With how useful they are it’s no surprise the market is crowded with high-quality products. We’ve put together a list of the best folding saws and related tools to help you find the one that meets all your needs.
- 1 Best Folding Saws
- 1.1 Bahco Laplander Folding Saw
- 1.2 SOG High Carbon Steel Folding Saw
- 1.3 Silky Professional Series Folding Hand Saw
- 1.4 Corona Razor Tooth Folding Pruning Saw
- 1.5 Gerber Freescape Camp Folding Bow Saw
- 1.6 Sven Saw Folding Survival Saw
- 1.7 EverSaw All-Purpose Folding Hand Saw
- 1.8 Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw
- 2 Best Pocket Chainsaws
- 3 Best Multi Tool Saws
- 4 Saw Buyers Guide for Camping, Survival and Outdoor Activities
- 5 Final Thoughts
Best Folding Saws
With folding saws there are two main categories to look at. These are the knife style folding system and the foldout bow saws. The knife style open up just like a giant pocket knife. They’re great for clearing brush or cutting branches up to about 7 or 8 inches in diameter.
Bow style folding saws are almost always larger. They generally weigh a bit more as well though not as much as you would think. They’re perfect for cutting larger trees or preparing logs to be split for a fire.
Here are several high-quality version of each.
Bahco Laplander Folding Saw
The Bahco Laplander is widely considered to be one of the best folding saws on the market today. It has an excellent handle design that gives you a firm grip while remaining comfortable throughout the days work.
The blade is 7.1 inches long and has 7 teeth per inch. Unlike many of the folding camping saws on this list the Laplander uses a push/pull configuration for its teeth. This makes it great for beginners or people who just want to clear brush and debris from their property. It’s also coated with a non stick and corrosion resistant material for added durability.
It uses a one sided locking system that will lock the blade either open or closed. This is an important feature as it helps protect you from an unexpectedly open blade. If we had to criticize anything about the Bahco it would be its color choices.
Don’t get us wrong, the dark green handle and black blades look very sharp. Unfortunately they also blend in very well with grass, brush, and other things you’re likely to drop it in. Still a great product at a very reasonable price overall.
SOG High Carbon Steel Folding Saw
SOG is well known for the quality and ingenuity that goes into all their products. Their folding saw is 8.25 inches long and has a metal and rubber handle for comfort.
It uses a straight blade configuration and has a push/pull design for its teeth. It’s great for clearing brush and debris from a trail or pruning back branches around your property.
It comes with a black nylon belt pouch and has a lanyard ring located at the base of the handle. All in all it’s a quality tool from a trusted manufacturer. It has a nicely sized blade for its purpose and won’t let you down when it counts.
Silky Professional Series Folding Hand Saw
The Silky Professional Series is made up of several different saw length and blade styles. They’re manufactured in Japan and can be adapted to work with different types of wood, in different conditions.
They start off at 5 inches and go up to 6 and ¾ inches long. You can get them with teeth per inches starting at 7 and going all the way up to 22 for working on fine hardwood. This gives you a lot of options in the Silky line for finding something that will work.
Each saw comes with a really stylish clear plastic carry case and belt clip. The workmanship of the saws is excellent and they cut well through the material their blade was designed for. The only real flaw we found was their relatively short length.
They aren’t quite long enough to use for processing true camping logs or larger branches. If you’re just looking for a pruning or carpentry tool though Silky is a great company that makes high-quality products.
Corona Razor Tooth Folding Pruning Saw
The Corona Razor Tooth folding pruning saw is a curved style saw designed for cutting through small to medium branches. It gives you a 7, 8, or 10 inch blade that has 6 teeth per inch and weighs just 12.8 oz.
Because of its low teeth per inch and curving blade design the Razor Tooth is best suited for cutting branches up to about 5 or 6 inches. Anything above that and you’ll start to slow down once you get deeper inside it.
The handle itself curves in a similar manner to the blade. When combined with the rubber grip overlay this makes it very comfortable to use over time. It has an ambidextrous lock switch and a safety latch when the blade isn’t in use. This prevents the blade from swinging out accidentally.
The Corona Razor Tooth is great for yard work or clearing brush but isn’t well suited for camp site work. It would struggle to cut logs for the fire or clear trees above about 5 inches. If you’re looking for a quality pruning saw though there are few better than the Razor Tooth.
Gerber Freescape Camp Folding Bow Saw
The Gerber Freescape is a folding bow saw with a sturdy aluminum frame and comfortable rubber handle. It’s a bit on the small side with a 12 inch blade but does accept all standard saw blades for replacement.
This makes switching out your blades quick and inexpensive and allows you to change up the style and teeth arrangement of your Freescape. It weighs under a pound and folds up into a flat pack bar when not in use.
The benefit of the folding bow design is its incredibly compact storage and high degree of usefulness. The bow saw supports the blade at two points. This allows you to use a thinner blade that can cut faster.
Gerber is well known for their wilderness tools and cutting implements. The Freescape is another sterling example of their expertise.
Sven Saw Folding Survival Saw
The Sven Saw was one of the very first fold out bow saw style camping saws. It’s available in either 15 or 21 inch long blade configurations and has an easy to grip tubular aluminum frame.
The whole thing is designed to flip out and connect together to form a substantial bow saw. It’s great for cutting through large branches or small trees and comes with a high-quality Swedish steel blade.
The Sven Saw weighs just over a pound and is one of the most compact and easy to assemble saws we’ve reviewed. It’s assembled in the USA with American made parts and is great to keep in your car, RV, cabin, or workshop. It’s a true multi use tool that is just as good for trail work as it is for yard work.
EverSaw All-Purpose Folding Hand Saw
The EverSaw Folding Hand Saw is a carbon steel folding saw that uses a traditional fold out design. It has an eight inch blade within a rubber and metal hand grip. Once deployed it locks out with an ambidextrous release.
It has 9 teeth per inch in a pull cut configuration. This gives it a very smooth, controllable cut and lets you make nice straight lines. It’s smaller than some of the bow saw tools on this list but still a capable and well made folding hand saw.
When fully extended it’s 17 inches long and just flexible enough to be useful. It’s lightweight, compact, and great for hiking or camping needs.
Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw
The Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 is a self-tensioning folding bow saw designed for backcountry use. The whole thing folds out to create a self contained 21 inch bow saw when deployed.
The design is really quite ingenious. When you aren’t using the saw blade it slots back around into the main handle. This keeps it safely out of the way and makes it about the size of a windshield wiper.
Once you’re ready to use it again you can flip it down and simply attach it using the self-tensioning clip. This means you won’t ever have to adjust the blade when using it. It’s a great tool that gives you a fairly large and capable folding bow saw anywhere you are.
Best Pocket Chainsaws
If you’re looking to cut through really large branches in the field a pocket chainsaw is the only tool for the job. They work on the same principle as a gas-powered chainsaw but are powered by your hands instead of an engine. If you’ve never seen one used before you’ll be shocked at how quick and effective they are.
Let’s check a few out.
Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw
The Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw is a 36 inch long chainsaw made from heat treated carbon steel. It has extra wide nylon handles on either end that are attached to the chain with steel loops. It comes with a free fire starter rod as well.
One thing that really sets the Sportsman apart from its competitors is the design of the chain teeth. It uses standardized chainsaw teeth that can be sharpened with a 5/32 round chainsaw file. This greatly extends their working life compared to other pocket chainsaws.
Despite its high-quality design features the Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw is still very reasonably priced. If you’ve been looking for a pocket chainsaw that will last you should seriously consider this one.
Chain-Mate Survival Pocket Saw Chain
The Chain-Mate Pocket Saw Chain breaks the mold a bit from its competitors. It’s available in three different sizes, 24, 36 or 48 inches and is proudly made in the USA.
It comes with a nylon belt pouch and is lightweight and easy to carry into the backcountry. The multi length design lets you prioritize portability or the ability to saw through seriously large trees.
It’s a great tool for cutting logs in the wild to be split for firewood. Chain-Mate has been producing pocket chain saws for close to 40 years and they really know their market. The Chain-Mate Survival saw is a well made product that powers through wood of all sizes.
SUMPRI Camping Survival Gear Pocket Chainsaw
The SUMPRI pocket chainsaw is 32 inches long and is made using carbon steel cutting teeth embedded along one side of a stainless steel chain. To really up the wilderness value SUMPRI even included a fire starter rod with their chainsaw.
It comes with a nylon carry case and has large nylon handles on either end of the chain. We found it to be easy to set up and very effective. It cut through a 3 inch branch in seconds.
The teeth are designed to stay sharper longer. With the length of the SUMPRI you get more teeth cutting with each stroke and an effective safety distance for your body.
All in all a great pocket chainsaw that won’t let you down.
Best Multi Tool Saws
No folding saw review would be complete without checking out a few multi tools. Most full size multi tools have saw blades in them. We’ve picked several of the very best to cover for you so you can decide if a multi tool really does provide all the tools you need.
The Leatherman Signal is the most camping and survival focused tool Leatherman has yet produced. It gives you 19 tools in a 4.5 inch long body while weighing just 7.2 oz. These tools include:
- Needlenose Pliers
- Regular Pliers
- Regular Wire Cutters
- Hard Wire Cutters
- Wire Stripper
- Awl With Thread Loop
- 420HC Combo Knife
- Can Opener
- Bottle Opener
- ¼ in Bit Driver
- Hex Wrench
- Bit Driver
- 3/16 Hex Wrench
- Safety Whistle
- Diamond Sharpener
- Ferrocerium Rod
Given its wilderness and survival focus it’s not surprising how many camping specific tools it has. The diamond sharpener, fire starter rod, and safety whistle are specific to camping, hiking, and bushcrafting.
The saw blade on the Signal is just under 3 inches long and has an aggressive bite pattern. Given its small size you won’t be able to cut larger branches with it but will have no problem powering through ones up to about 2 inches in diameter.
The combo knife blade has a sheepsfoot-esqe profile and comes razor sharp from the factory. We really liked the inclusion of a hammer end to one of the handles. It’s great for knocking in tent stakes. When combined with the saw and ferrocerium rod it gives you everything you need to set up camp and get a merry little fire going.
The Signal is a wilderness multi tool that has a lot of everyday value. The saw on it is reasonably sized for a full size multi tool and its overall build quality is excellent.
For more information on the Leatherman Signal, check out our full review here.
Leatherman Charge+ TTi
The Charge+ TTi is Leatherman’s top of the line full size multi tool. It’s made from high end materials using the best design principles developed. It’s 4 inches long and weighs 8.89 oz. For this it gives you 19 different general purpose tools, including:
- Needlenose Pliers
- Regular Pliers
- Wire Cutters
- Hard Wire Cutters
- Wire Stripper
- Wire Crimper
- S30V Straight Blade Knife
- 420HC Serrated Edge Knife
- Cutting Hook
- Spring-Action Scissors
- 8 Inch Ruler
- Can Opener
- Bottle Opener
- Diamond File
- Wood/Metal File
- Medium Flathead Screwdriver
- Large Bit Driver
- Small Bit Driver
The saw blade on the Charge+ TTi is 2.9 inches long and has a push/pull configuration. It’s great for cutting boards, brush, or small branches. If you’re planning a hiking or camping trip you can count on it for processing small limbs for a fire but not for any kind of serious trail work.
Attention to detail is one of Leatherman’s specialties and it’s part of the reason the Charge+ TTi is considered the best multi tool on the market today. It uses strong and corrosion resistant titanium handles along with other high end touches.
The main knife blade is made from high carbon S30V steel. This gives it a very hard edge while still being extraordinarily corrosion resistant. With its combination of files, pliers, and bit drivers you’ve got just about everything you’d need for basic repair and maintenance while out and about.
The cutting hook is especially useful if you’re in the backcountry. You can use it to quickly and safely cut fishing line, cordage, or thread. If you’re going hunting it will even work as a gutting hook in a pinch, though I’d hate to have to clean it later.
If you’re looking for the best EDC multi tool available the Charge+ TTi is it. It’s expensive, but worth every penny in our opinion.
For more information about the Leatherman Charge+ TTi, check out our full review here.
The Leatherman Rebar is a throwback to the designs of the company’s earliest days. It’s an attractive full size multi tool that packs 17 different locking tools into a 4 inch body. These include:
- Needlenose Pliers
- Regular Pliers
- Replaceable Wire Cutters
- Hard Wire Cutters
- Electrical Crimper
- Wire Stripper
- 420HC Knife
- 420HC Serrated Knife
- Awl w/ Thread Loop
- 8 In Ruler
- Can Opener
- Bottle Opener
- Wood/Metal File
- Phillips Head Screwdriver
- Small Flathead Screwdriver
- Large Flathead Screwdriver
The Rebar is styled much like the larger Super Tool 300. In just about every respect it’s a shrunken version of that famous multi tool. We really like the old school design Leatherman used for the body and handles of the Rebar.
The saw blade is just under 3 inches long and uses an aggressive push/pull bite pattern. We had no problem getting through 2ish inch thick branches with a little elbow grease. This is perfect for breaking down wood for a campfire or helping clear ground to pitch a tent.
The needlenose pliers are thin enough to work for removing stuck fishhooks. With the serrated and straight edge knife this gives you most of the tools you need for a successful camping trip. Throw in the bottle opener and you’re really ready for a good time.
If we had to choose one thing about the Rebar to praise it would probably be its price. It’s substantially cheaper than most of Leatherman’s other products while still providing a ton of value.
For more information on the Leatherman Rebar, check out our full review here.
Zippo Axe Saw
If you’ve been looking for a single tool for all your campsite wood processing needs the Zippo Axe Saw just might be it. It combines the features of a small felling axe with a 15 inch bow saw blade.
What really sets the Zippo Axe Saw apart from other bushcraft tools is its innovative yet simple design. The sheath for the axe blade acts as one point of contact for a saw blade. Once attached to the other part of the handle you’ve got a self-tensioned saw blade ready to go. When you’re done with the saw you can even store it and a spare inside the axe handle.
It lets you cut through branches and logs with ease then split them with the axe. It even has a hammer point on the rear of the axe head for pounding down tent stakes. The whole thing weighs under 3 pounds and looks really cool when set up.
This is the kind of multi purpose tool we love to come across. It can do just about anything you’d need to do with wood while out in the backcountry and do it well.
Saw Buyers Guide for Camping, Survival and Outdoor Activities
When looking at folding saws you really have to ask yourself what you want to do with it. Pretty much everything else stems from that question. Once you know that you’ll be ready to compare handle styles, sizes, blade types, and the teeth arrangement.
How Will You Use It?
This more than anything else is what you should consider when picking out a folding saw. If you’re planning to do serious trail maintenance while hiking miles you’ll need a hard working saw that is still easy to carry.
Likewise, if you’re looking for something to help you build a shed or lean to a hiking tool just won’t cut it. Make sure you think carefully about:
- The type of wood you’ll be cutting
- How large the branches are
- How often you’ll be using it
- If you have to carry it
As long as you know what you want to do with your folding saw you’ll know what to look for in one.
Size and Weight
The general rule of thumb is to carry as much saw as you can. As saws get larger and heavier they’re able to cut through thicker and larger branches. If you’re just working in your yard at home you should keep as large and sturdy a folding saw as possible.
For bushcrafters and others who have to pack in all their gear saving on weight is essential. Thankfully advances in materials and manufacturing capability have created small and lightweight saws that are fully capable of cutting through large branches.
Unfortunately, to get one of those very capable saws you should be ready to pay for it.
For a folding saw the only acceptable blade material is high carbon steel. It’s a very hard steel that holds an edge well and gives you a lot of time before sharpenings. Given how tedious sharpening saw blades are this is definitely a good thing.
With high carbon steel you have to pay special attention to how you store your saw. It isn’t as corrosion resistant as stainless steel and requires additional care. Make sure you always thoroughly dry your saw after each use and oil it periodically.
Curved or Straight Blade
This may seem like a small thing but it does affect how quickly your saw will cut certain types of branches. A curved blade is better for sawing through smaller branches. A straight blade is better for working your way through larger ones
Consider where and how you’ll be using your saw to pick out the blade geometry that works best for you.
Teeth Per Inch
Teeth per inch again comes down to how you’re going to use your saw. The more teeth a folding saw has per inch the smoother and cleaner it will cut. On the flipside, it takes a lot longer to cut through wood with a dozen teeth per inch than it does with 2 or 3.
If you’re clearing brush or cutting branches for firewood a large toothed saw with just a few teeth per inch is fine. If you’re roughing out wood for carving you’re probably going to want something a bit more delicate.
Push or Pull Cutting
The majority of folding saws are pull only cutting tools. This allows them to have thinner blades and makes them overall more controllable. It’s a lot easier to keep your strength under control when pulling a saw back to you than pushing it away.
There are some push and pull saws available but they aren’t as easy to cut a clean straight line. They’re great for rough clearance of nuisance wood because they cut twice as fast as pull only saws. The downside to this is that they really tear up the wood and tend to leave a ragged line.
Never buy a folding saw that doesn’t have a locking mechanism. A saw blade that’s able to fold in on itself while you’re holding the handle is a recipe for disaster.
Double check how the lock on a saw works before you buy as well. If you’re left handed you’ll want to make sure you get one with an ambidextrous lock release if possible. It’s a little thing, but it does add to comfort and usability over the long haul.
Make sure you check out the cost of replacement blades before purchasing a folding camping saw. You may think you’re getting a great deal when you buy it but later find out you’re in a printer and ink situation.
The printer is practically free, but the ink costs and arm and a leg. If you really want to save money you can learn to sharpen your saw blades. With how inexpensive most replacement blades are though we generally don’t recommend it.
It’s a tedious and difficult process involving some pretty precise file work.
When it comes to hiking, camping, and outdoor saws you’ve got a lot of choices ahead of you. You can pick out the best folding saw or choose to go for a bow saw, pocket chainsaw, or traditional multi tool.
As we said above, spend a little time and figure out how you want to use your saw. That more than anything else will determine what kind of saw you need.
As long as you have a clear idea of how you’ll use and carry your folding camping saw you’re sure to pick out a winner.