5 Best Folding Saws
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For people looking for a quality survival tool while out camping, a folding saw can make a huge difference. Ideally, your folding saw should be able to chop, saw, and whittle your way through various tasks. It also needs to be portable, instead of being big and cumbersome to carry around. There are many low-quality folding saws in the market today, and the cheapest options just won’t cut it (pun intended) for some tasks.
When searching for the right folding saw, you’ll likely be faced with an overwhelming variety of choices, which makes it a daunting experience to know the right one to choose. To help you make a better choice, we spent a few weeks testing out the top options available on the market today. We then designed this guide to not only help you narrow down your selection based on the features that are most important to you, but also provide you with the factors you should have in mind when choosing a folding saw.
1. Best All-Rounder: Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw
When it comes to the top performing folding saws, Bahco Laplander is often mentioned, and for a good reason. The folding saw is designed to serve almost every function a camper or survivalist would need. And unlike other general purpose saws, the Laplander is up for most tasks. It’s not only very durable, but also unlikely to ever let you down, making it an excellent all-rounder.
The Laplander is neither too big nor too small, and while it could struggle with some of the more heavy-duty tasks that some survivalists and hunters might encounter, it’s perfect for the average camper, and won’t take up much space.
The manufacturer describes it as a “general purpose” saw, and it’s really a versatile handsaw. It’s suitable for cutting wood, bone, or plastic if needed, with plenty of cutting power. There are seven teeth per inch, and the blade is coated to protect it against excessive friction and rust.
The handsaw is great for beginners as it poses a low risk with its safety lock to lock out or lock in. The XT toothing cuts on the push and pull, and the blade itself is extremely hard-wearing. While the blade is thin and very flexible (it can bend), it’s easy to bend it back into shape. Plus, you can purchase spare blades from the manufacturer if necessary.
- Features a leather strap
- Coated to prevent rust and excessive friction
- Compact and easy to carry around without the need for a case or bag
- Not ideal for large cutting needs
- The plastic handle isn’t pleasing for some users
2. Best for Bushcraft: Silky New Professional Series KatanaBoy
Silky is one of the major brands for camping saws in the market today. The manufacturer is known to make professional, high quality folding saws that can withstand even the harshest of conditions in the wilderness. These heavy-duty folding saws can sometimes even compete with a chainsaw. The 25.6” blade option for the KatanaBoy is virtually the larges folding saw on the market today.
The good thing about this saw is that it’s well balanced and comes with a taper-ground blade. The blade is constructed from premium grade Japanese steel, which offers an ideal amount of blade hardness and flexibility. The style and design of the saw makes it easy for the users to work on large trunks and limbs when clearing a path, cutting up firewood, and more. The non-slip handle is comfortable and large enough such that you could use the saw with two hands if needed.
The saw comes with a nylon shoulder bag that is easy to carry around and has ample room for extra saw blades. You can resharpen the blades, making sure that they can last a long time, so long as you take proper care of them. Plus, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty on the saw, which is impressive.
- Can be used with two hands
- The long blade is suitable for larger cutting
- Comes with a carry case
- Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
- Bulkier to carry around compared to other options
3. Best Budget Folding Saw: Primos Folding Saw
The Primos Folding Saw is a great option for people who don’t want to splurge on a folding saw. A good example is the average backpacker or camper who needs a saw to be used occasionally. In such a case, you need to strike a balance between a saw that delivers in terms of durability and quality, all at an affordable price.
This saw made it to the list not only because it’s cheap, but also its features that back it up as an excellent choice. The saw is easy to fold in and out, and easily locks in position when folded. The push button lock is located within the handle and is easy to use. The rubber coating on the handle makes it easy to grip the saw.
Perhaps more importantly, the blade is pretty good. The simple offset design makes the blade good for use on different kinds of wood. However, the saw has its limits. It struggles with some sawing needs, such as sowing through thick animal bones, meaning it’s not the best option for hunting.
However, for the price, this is a good choice, especially if you’re just looking for a smaller blade with some basic features.
- The rubber handle makes it easy to grip properly
- Easy to fold and lock into position
- Great value for money
- Not suitable for hunting
- Not as durable as other more expensive blades
4. Best Ultralightweight Folding Saw: Sven Saw Blade
This is a lightweight option from Sven Saw that is ideal for those looking for something that’s easy to tuck away into the rest of their camping gear without taking much space. The saw features a red aluminum, high strength, hollow triangular frame. This construction is quite sturdy for general purposes, and the blade itself is made from strong Swedish steel.
The saw folds away easily and quickly. The blade goes right into the handle, helping keep it safe. Since the frame of the saw is made from aluminum, the weight stays nice and low. You should be able to pack the saw into and out of any area you choose. Plus, the saw is made to be durable, and will work well in almost any kind of wilderness environments.
- Great for chopping dry wood
- Can fold into a tiny size
- Ultralightweight design
- The wingnut might get loose over time (a spare is included in case you want to replace it)
5. Best For Camping: Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw
This folding saw is ideal for any kind of outdoor use, including camping, backpacking, hunting, canoeing, or just to have it around the house when you need to prune trees or clear away some bush. It can unfold easily and be ready for action in seconds. It comes with automatic blade tensioning, and there’s never a need to touch the blade when closing or opening. This helps to reduce the risk of injury.
The saw comes with a high-clearance aluminum frame, stainless steel hardware, and a glass-filled nylon handle. Thanks to the trapezium-shaped, 3-hinged frame, it allows for large diameter cuts, which lets you cut large pieces when necessary. The blade folds away quickly, and will fold right into the frame when not in use. This ensures that the blade doesn’t damage your gear or cause injury.
- Doesn’t require you to tense the blade manually
- Simply and safely snaps into position in a matter of seconds
- Very lightweight, yet reliable and durable to use
- Not the most comfortable to use for prolonged periods
Why You Need a Folding Saw in your Camping and Survival gear
When you go camping, backpacking, or similar activities where you’re essentially practicing your survival skills, you want to ensure you have the right gear with you. A quality saw is one of the essential things that you want to have in your arsenal. You can use it to help cut down the trees needed to make shelter, for firewood, or a hunting stand. While an axe might be helpful, a folding saw will make your work much easier when working with smaller trees.
You will obviously find that these saws are helpful to have around the house for clearing up the backyard or pruning trees. They are also great to have in your car, just in case a fallen tree happens to block the road you’re on.
Choosing the Right Folding Saw
Now that you know why having a folding saw around can be helpful, you could be wondering what about them makes them a good choice. No matter the brand of saw you choose, you’ll see that they all tend to have some different qualities that help them stand out from the rest. Lets look at some of the things you should consider when choosing a folding saw.
The most important thing to consider is how you will use the saw. For instance, it’s rather pointless to get a 10” folding saw if you want something you can bring with you on a backpacking or hiking trip. Similarly, you don’t want to get a folding saw that’s too small and lightweight if you need to cut dry wood or large branches.
Weight and Size
If you want to bring a folding saw into the bush, you want something that’s portable. Way back, it used to be that only the heavy and big saws could be used for cutting large branches. But now, there is a huge variety of high-quality saws that are compact and lightweight that can also cut through large branches. You should expect to pay more for these folding saws, as they offer great cutting powers without being heavy.
The best folding saws are typically made from high carbon steel. This material allows them to be lightweight and have ample cutting power. However, carbon steel will require special maintenance. Ensure that your saw is always clean dry before you fold it away. If you intend to use your folding saw in a humid environment, you should look for a rust-proof, stainless blade material.
Cut on the Push or Pull
Saws can either be pull or push stroke. Most folding saws usually cut on the pull, which allows the blade to be thinner. It also gives you more control over the cut, and will generally produce more precise cuts. In case you need to cut exact straight lines, a pull only saw will be better. Saws that can cut on both pull and push are generally more efficient. However, they tend to be aggressive and harder to control while cutting, meaning you won’t get a clean finish with these saws.
Keep in mind that most beginners prefer saws that cut on both the pull and push. It’s hard to remember and master only applying pressure on pull-only saws, which can cause the saw to jam in the wood.
Replacement Saw Blades
Before purchasing a folding saw, you should check how much it costs to replace the blades of the saw in question. It might seem like you’re getting a good deal on a folding saw at first, until you account for the cost of a new blade. You should obviously learn to sharpen and reshape your saw blade, but it’s often easier said than done. If you keep struggling to sharpen your saw blade, you can expect to buy replacement blades more often.
It may seem like a trivial factor, but you should pay attention to the locking mechanism of a folding saw. It’s much safer to buy a saw with a lock in its closed position. But some people hate having to unlock every time they want to use the saw. However, this annoyance is preferable over the risk of cutting your hand while reaching for the saw.
With the information above in mind, it should be easier for you to find the right folding saw to cater for your needs. Remember that a good saw could be the difference between having the wood you need for setting up shelter and a fire, or being out in the dark and cold overnight.