The Bahco Laplander 7 ½” Folding saw is high-quality and made to last through the rigors of bushcraft. This company has a long history of producing great products, and this one is no different.
The Agawa Boreal 24” Bow Saw Tripper Kit is easily the best bow saw on the market. It’s lightweight, comes with a sheath, and can be used with multiple blades.
Since a saw is an essential bushcraft and survival tool, choosing the best bushcraft saw is critical. Especially when you are planning a long trip in the woods. There are different types of saws, and each has its advantages for certain tasks around camp.
I have lived in the woods for most of my life and have used many different types of saws. I used my experience along with our team and others in the bushcraft community to come up with a list of all the best bushcraft saws available. We then narrowed this list down to the best 11 saws out there.
Each saw has a different strength, with some being more multipurpose than others. Our full guide will help you decide what is best for you. In some cases, multiple saws could be the best choice depending on your bushcraft skills.
Let’s get to it and find out which is the best saw for you.
Quick Comparison of Our Favorite Bushcraft Saws
Silky Bigboy 14” Outback Edition Folding Saw
Best Bushcraft Folding Saws
Bahco Laplander 7 1/2″ Folding Saw – Best Overall Bushcraft Folding Saw
- Saw Type: Folding
- Blade Type: 7TPI Straight Multi-Purpose
- Blade Length: 7 ½”
- Weight: 7.1 Ounces
The Bahco Laplander 7 ½” Folding Saw has been the standard bushcraft folding saw for years. I have owned one for some time with no complaints. With so much history and success, it is our top pick.
Bahco has been making saws in Sweden since the late 1800s, and the quality of this saw is top-notch. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
The handle is a composite with serrations for better grip. It has a nice feel to it and does not feel too large in my hand. The ends of the handle are larger than the center, so it helps to keep my hand from sliding around as I use it.
While being a multipurpose saw, the blade is more of a dry wood-type blade. It has a special design that allows it to cut in both directions. I can make quick work of both wet and dry wood, and it doesn’t gum up in wet wood as most dry wood blades do. It cuts through bone easily also.
With 7 teeth per inch and a stiff blade, it works well for detail work. I can make various notches that come out straight. It doesn’t bite too much like other aggressive saws, so it is easier to control.
I like the locking mechanism. It is a push-button style on the side, and it locks the blade in both the open and closed positions.
I also like that it comes with a leather lanyard. It is a nice extra that other saws do not come with.
The overall size of this saw is not too big. It fits nicely in my pocket, bushcraft pack, and my bug-out bag. It weighs less than ½ a pound, so I can’t really notice it is there.
However, the size does limit the diameter of the wood you can cut. I find anything larger than about 2 or 3 inches is too big.
The Bahco Laplander 7 ½” Folding Saw is for anyone looking for a multipurpose bushcraft saw. It is also a great survival saw for your bug-out bag. I find many uses for it around my property also. Unless you are looking for something specific or a saw for large pieces of wood, this saw is for you.
Multi Use Blade Design
Blade Locks Open and Closed
Not for Large Cuts
Silky Pocketboy 7” Outback Edition Folding Saw
- Saw Type: Folding
- Blade Type: 8.5 TPI Straight Multi-Purpose
- Blade Length: 6.7” (170mm)
- Weight: 8.8 Ounces
The Silky Pocketboy 7” Outback Edition Folding Saw is very similar to our top pick and came in a close second.
Silky saws have been made in Japan since 1919. The quality of their saws is known worldwide, and they have been a favorite of bushcrafters and campers for years. They also include a lifetime warranty with every saw.
The blade on this saw is somewhat unique, with four cutting surfaces. This allows it to cut both dry and wet wood, yet it has a fine-tooth arrangement that doesn’t bite too hard. This allows you to cut quickly but still maintain good control of detail.
It does, however, only cut on the pull stroke. But, even with this, cutting speed is similar, if not quicker than the Laplander.
The handle is composite and feels good in my hand. However, I do not particularly like the locking mechanism. It is a lever on top of the handle that you can press inadvertently if not careful. I would rather it be a pushbutton style on the side. It also does not lock in the closed position.
This saw comes with a plastic case, but it is pretty much useless except for long-term storage.
The main difference between this saw and our top pick is it is considerably more expensive. Considering the price difference is significant, there really isn’t that much-added value here to recommend this one over the Laplander.
The Silky Pocketboy 7” Outback Edition Folding Saw is for anyone looking for a high-quality folding saw for bushcraft and camping. If the Laplander is not available, go with this one.
Durable, Coated Blade
Corona Tools 10” Razortooth Folding Saw
- Saw Type: Folding
- Blade Type: 6 TPI Curved Wet Wood Blade
- Blade Length: 10”
- Weight: 13 Ounces
The Corona 10” Razortooth folding saw is a curved blade folding saw that makes quick work of cutting wood up to 6” in diameter.
Corona started making clippers for the citrus industry in California in 1928. Ever since they have been making quality tools strictly for the gardening and landscaping industry.
The blade on this saw is fairly aggressive. It is a pruning-type blade meant to prune large tree limbs.
This saw cuts fast. The curved blade gives you better leverage on the pull stroke, and you can feel it.
I have experience with a few different pruning saws, and anytime I want to trim any limbs, I reach for them.
Even though it is great at cutting fast, the curved aggressive blade is not good for notches or detail work. It is harder to control, especially on the initial cuts that you make.
The locking mechanism is on the top (which I don’t like), but the handle is a nice shape that keeps your hand from sliding around while you use it.
The price of this saw is attractive. If you only need something for delimbing or firewood, this is a great choice.
The Corona 10” Razortooth folding saw is for someone that needs a saw strictly for cutting smaller pieces of firewood. This saw is not good for detail work, so if you think you may want to do any wood crafting, look elsewhere.
Not for Detail Work
Opinel 5” No12 Folding Saw
- Saw Type: Folding
- Blade Type: 8 TPI Straight Multipurpose
- Blade Length: 4.75”
- Weight: 5 Ounces
The Opinel 5” No12 folding saw is the smallest and lightest saw on our list.
Opinel has been making saws in France since 1890. They are known for their quality knives, and they put the same attention into their saws. This saw was designed in France and built in South Korea. This could put the quality into question; however, we have not found many reports of any issues.
This saw will fit in your pocket and is big enough to saw through limbs that are about 2” in diameter.
The handle is made from beechwood and is the only wood handle on our list. It looks great but is fairly straight and does not offer the ergonomic grip that some of the others do. My hand moved around on the handle some while using it.
I like the locking mechanism on this saw. The ring on the end rotates, so there is no risk of inadvertently hitting a lever or button while I am using it.
The Blade is not aggressive and can be used for detail work to make bushcraft tools, traps, and notches.
The Opinel 5” No12 folding saw is for anyone looking for a small, lightweight bushcraft saw that will fit in your pocket. Also great for a small survival kit or bug-out bag when weight is important.
Only for Light Work
Silky Gomboy 9.5” Curve Outback Edition Folding Saw
- Saw Type: Folding
- Blade Type: 8 TPI Curved Multipurpose
- Blade Length: 9.5” (240mm)
- Weight: 10 Ounces
The Silky Gomboy 9.5” Curve Outback Edition Folding Saw is a step up in length from the Silky Pocketboy.
With the longer, curved blade, this saw is for cutting through larger pieces of wood. Small trees that are up to 6” in diameter are no issue.
There are four Silky saws on our list. Even though we looked at over 25 different saws, the Silky brand kept coming up as a high-quality option.
All of the Outback Edition saws have a nice black coating on the blade. It not only looks good but protects the blade from rusting. One more thing you don’t have to worry about.
The handle on this model is just OK. I would like it to be a little larger near the blade. While using it, my hand tended to move around more.
The locking mechanism is also just OK. It does not lock the saw in the closed position, and I do not like it being positioned on top, as discussed on the Pocketboy.
This Saw definitely makes quick work of larger trees and firewood. Even though it is big, detailed work is not bad. The teeth are not too aggressive, so it is easier to control. It also works great on processing game animals and cuts through bone easily.
The Silky Gomboy 9.5” Curve Outback Edition Folding Saw is for someone looking for a bushcraft saw that is a little larger than the traditional 7” saw. If your primary focus is larger pieces of firewood, this is the saw for you. Also great for cutting bone on larger game animals.
Silky Bigboy 14” Outback Edition Folding Saw – Best Large Bushcraft Saw
- Saw Type: Folding
- Blade Type: 5.5 TPI Curved Multipurpose
- Blade Length: 14” (360mm)
- Weight: 1.05 Pounds
The Silky Bigboy 14” Outback Edition Folding Saw is the big brother of the Outback Edition Saws. The 14” curved blade is super long and can cut through large logs up to 10 inches in diameter.
The Outback edition looks great with the coated blade. Again, no worrying about the blade rusting over time.
The locking mechanism is similar to the other Silky saws. It only locks in the open position and is placed on top near where you hold it.
The handle is a little more ergonomic on this saw. It has a nice larger knob at the bottom, similar to an axe.
In general, for bushcraft, unless you are building a log cabin or need a bunch of firewood, this saw is just too big. It is too long to do any type of detailed work.
The blade on this saw is great, though. It will cut through a large log of firewood easily. Just make sure you have some wedges with you to keep the blade from getting pinched.
This saw comes with a carrying case which makes it easy to keep it handy outside of your pack. This saw can easily replace an axe on a bushcraft tramp if you need large pieces of firewood. It also weighs less than an axe and is safer to use than an axe.
The Silky Bigboy 14” Outback Edition Folding Saw is for someone that needs a high-quality folding saw for processing a lot of firewood. It is not good for doing any crafting projects, so you may want to also consider a smaller saw if you plan to make any tools or notches. You could take this saw into the woods instead of an axe.
Makes Large Cuts Quickly
Larger and Heavier than Others
Silky Katanaboy 20” Folding Saw
- Saw Type: Folding
- Blade Type: 4 TPI Curved Green Wood Blade
- Blade Length: 20” (500mm)
- Weight: 2 Pounds
The Silky Katanaboy 20” Folding Saw is a huge saw. Folded up, it is 26” long, so it is longer than my pack axe.
Since this saw is Silky, quality is certainly not in question. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
The aggressive blade makes quick work of green wood, and you can cut up a large 10” log into manageable pieces to split into firewood.
It does have a screw that you can lock down to keep the saw closed. I like this feature since the blade is very sharp, and the locking mechanism does not lock it in place when closed.
It also comes with a carrying case, which you really need since this saw is so big.
I have seen quite a few recommend this saw for bushcraft, but I must say I cannot. It is just ridiculously too big (and Silky makes larger ones). The price is also just as big.
Cutting through smaller dry wood is almost impossible with this saw since it is so big. It just skips over the surface and never really bites in. The handle does have a good gripping surface for two hands, but the aggressive blade makes it very hard to control.
That being said, if you plan on building an elaborate long term shelter or a log cabin, this is a great saw to have on hand. As we have seen on Alone, many contestants selected this saw as one of the 10 items from the gear list.
I can’t recommend the Silky Katanaboy 20” Folding Saw for bushcraft. It is just too big. It is really more for someone who needs to clear trails for horseback or ATV riding. It is way too big and heavy to consider hauling to a campsite and is only good for cutting large logs for firewood. It would be a good choice for someone that lives off-grid and doesn’t want a chainsaw, or for someone that is building a long term shelter.
Best Bushcraft Bow Saw
Agawa Boreal 24” Bow Saw Tripper Kit – Best Overall Bow Saw
- Saw Type: Folding Bow Saw
- Blade Type: Multipurpose blade and an aggressive green wood blade
- Blade Length: 24”
- Weight: 1.4 pounds (kit weight)
The Agawa Boreal 24” Bow Saw Tripper Kit is a folding bow saw that collapses down into a flat 2” x 1” package. This kit comes with a sheath and includes two blades. One is a multipurpose blade, and the second is an aggressive green wood blade.
Agawa saws are made by a small company of outdoor enthusiasts in Canada. They only focus on saws, so their attention is laser-focused on this product. They also include a lifetime warranty on the saw.
The Saw blades are made in Sweden, so you are getting the best Swedish bandsaw steel. A bone and meat blade is also available if you plan to hunt Moose or other big game.
This Saw has a unique folding design that allows you to quickly unfold the saw without touching the blade and with no loose parts. The tension is automatically set when you press the handle closed, so there is nothing to fiddle with in the woods.
This kit also comes with a sheath that is handy for storing spare blades. It is also handy for attaching it to the side of my pack for easy access.
My only complaint with this saw is the C-clips that hold the blades in place. To change the blade, you must pop off the C-clips. In the woods, you have to be very careful not to lose them.
This Kit does include spare C-clips, so be sure to keep these in a safe place in your pack (not at home in a drawer).
The 24” saw is the largest that Agawa makes, with the 15” and 21” being the smaller siblings.
Typically, when I carry a bow saw, it is for cutting larger logs, and the 24” is not much heavier than the others. It will easily cut up to about an 8” tree easily.
I like that this saw works both vertically and horizontally without binding. You of course have to be careful of pinching when felling larger trees with it. I find that using wedges in combination with this saw makes a perfect combination.
The Agawa Boreal 24” Bow Saw is for anyone looking for a lightweight large bow saw for an extended trip into the woods that needs a lot of firewood. The unique folding design makes it easy to pack and is great not only for Bushcraft but for camping and keeping in your vehicle for emergencies.
C-clips Can Get Lost
Bob Dustrude 24” Quick Bow Saw
- Saw Type: Folding Bow Saw
- Blade Type: Green Wood Blade
- Blade Length: 24”
- Weight: 1 Pounds
The Bob Dustrude 24” Quick Bow Saw is a folding bow saw that folds down into a rectangular tube that is only 1.5” thick.
For such a large saw, it is lightweight at only 1 pound. This saw is easy to pack and is easy to take on a long-distance hike when you are weight conscious.
The handle is made from Oak and has folding instructions etched on it. It is fairly comfortable with gloves on but not so barehanded. I always wear gloves when I am using it anyway, so not a big deal.
This saw cuts easily through logs up to about 6” thick. The “D” shape of the frame is ideal and allows much deeper cuts over a triangular-shaped saw.
It comes with an aggressive green wood blade, but you can easily change the blade to whatever suits your needs. This is a huge advantage over a folding saw.
When the saw is folded up, the saw blade can rattle inside the Aluminum arms. This can get really annoying to me when I am walking a fair distance. I simply stuff a stick or paper in it when I am folding it up to keep the blade from moving.
It is nice that this saw folds for easy carry, but it can be a bit of a pain sometimes. I often just keep it assembled while at camp or in the shop so I don’t have to unfold it all the time. I keep it hung up somewhere so it is not a trip hazard.
The Bob Dustrude 24” Quick Bow Saw is for anyone needing a lightweight bushcraft bow saw that is easy to carry. The size and weight are ideal for long bushcraft trips where you need to process plenty of firewood.
Unfolding Can Be Tricky
Bahco 30” 10-30-23 Bow Saw – Best Budget Bow Saw
- Saw Type: Metal Tube Bow Saw
- Blade Type: Green Wood Blade
- Blade Length: 30”
- Weight: 1.9 Pounds
The Bahco 30” 10-30-23 Bow Saw is the biggest saw on our list and also the cheapest. Not something you usually see, so I thought I would include it.
This saw is made by the same company as our top folding saw pick and comes with a lifetime warranty.
This saw is a simple metal tube with a composite handle. It doesn’t fold or do anything fancy, which is a bonus for me. Simpler is usually better, especially when you are counting on it.
The metal tube makes it very strong and durable. You could run over this thing and still be able to use it.
Bahco also offers a 24” and a 21” model. Considering that the weight difference is negligible, go for the bigger one here. The only reason you may want a smaller one is if you are going to be bushwhacking through thick brush. In this case, a larger saw can get stuck on the brush as you try to pass through it.
This saw can cut through a log that is almost 8” in diameter. Any bigger, and there is not enough depth. Unless you are building a fort or a cabin, this is plenty.
An aggressive green wood blade comes with this saw, but you can also change it or get it with a dry wood blade. Since you should always carry spares, get a couple of both when you buy the saw.
Since this is not a folding saw, it needs a blade tension system. There is a thumbscrew at the base of the handle where you can set the tension. This has to be done by feel. Just be careful not to set it too tight, or you can damage it.
It is somewhat of a pain to change blades since you have to unscrew the thumbscrew and then re-tension the blade every time.
Since this saw does not fold, you will need something to protect the blade; see our guide below for how to make one easily yourself. You can easily strap this on the side or bottom of your back.
The Bahco 30” 10-30-23 Bow Saw is for anyone looking for a low-cost, durable, simple bow saw that can cut large logs quickly. This saw does not fold, but the price and simplicity certainly make up for it.
Blade Changes are Slow
Fiskars 24” SW 31 Bow Saw
- Saw Type: Metal Tube Bow Saw
- Blade Type: Green Wood Blade
- Blade Length: 24”
- Weight: 1.6 Pounds
The Fiskars 24” SW31 Bow Saw is a metal tube bow saw, similar to our budget pick.
Fiskars is one of the oldest companies in the world. They started business in Finland in 1649. Most of their products are still made in Finland. Everyone knows their iconic orange-handled scissors that were very popular in the 1970s.
I like the simplicity of this saw. The metal frame is lightweight and durable.
You can cut up to about a 7” log with this saw, and the included blade cuts quickly.
What I really like about this saw over our budget pick is the blade tension system. It is a cam lever that is easy to set and forget. Blade changes are easy. Simply pull the lever, swap the blade, and push the lever closed.
The handle, to me, is not the best. The blade tension lever forms the back of the handle, and it just feels awkward.
What I don’t like about this saw is the blade holder. It has some slack in it and tends to angle the blade over when you put force on it. You must really pay attention when you use it. Otherwise, you will cut at about a 15-degree angle.
This saw does come with a plastic blade cover which is nice. It is nothing amazing, though, and would still recommend that you make your own blade cover before taking it out in the woods.
The Fiskars 24” SW31 Bow Saw is for anyone looking for a full-frame bow saw that is simple and needs to change blades quickly and easily. The quality of this saw is decent but not the best. However, if blade changes are important to you, you should certainly consider this saw.
Quick Blade Changes
Strong Tubular Frame
Bushcraft Saw Buying Guide
While it may seem that buying a saw would be easy, there are many things to consider. They are one of the most important bushcraft tools along with a knife and an axe, so it is important to understand how to pick the correct one.
With all the different types and sizes of saws, which one is the best for you? How about a survival situation or a bug-out scenario, will the same saw work?
Before you choose a saw, it is important to consider what you will use it for. Even for just bushcraft, the length of your trip could change which saw you need. We will detail each type of saw and what to look for to help you pick the best bushcraft saw in the buying guide below.
Types of Bushcraft Saws
First, it is important to understand the different types of saws. For processing wood during a bushcraft trip or a survival scenario, we mainly focus on two types. Folding Saws and Bow Saws (sometimes called Frame or Buck Saws).
Folding Bushcraft Saw
A Folding Saw is just that, a saw with a blade and a handle that folds up much like a pocketknife.
Folding Saw features to look for:
- Blade Type
- Locking Mechanism
Folding Saws are compact, protect the blade when not in use, and are convenient to keep in your pocket or pack.
Typical blade lengths for folding saws are between 7 to 10 inches. However, some manufacturers have taken folding saws to the extreme, and offer some that are more than 24 inches long. These huge saws are not for much other than saying you have the biggest saw. They are just not practical tools to carry unless you are in a vehicle or use them at home instead of a chainsaw.
In general, folding saws will have a thicker and wider blade than a bow saw. This is because the blade must support itself since it is only connected to the handle on one end. Wider and thicker blades take more force to move over a shorter and thinner blades. Considering this, folding saws are better for smaller cuts in smaller pieces of wood.
A good rule of thumb is the maximum diameter of the wood you want to cut with a folding saw should be about 2/3 the length of your saw blade. This will give you enough room to work the saw efficiently.
One disadvantage of a folding saw is that you can’t change the blade. It is what it is until you buy another one.
Whatever folding saw you select, make sure it has a locking mechanism. Ideally, it will lock the blade both in the open and closed position. Also, study where the release is, and if it is in an optimal place for you.
Bow Bushcraft Saw
Bow Saws are shaped much like an archery bow. They have a single blade that is held on each end by a “D” shaped tubular frame.
Bow Saw features to look for:
- Blade Length
- Folding vs. Full Frame
- Blade Cover
- Shape of the Frame
Bow Saws will typically have a blade between 10 to 30 inches. Any bigger than this, and they become too large for one person to handle.
Since the blade on a bow saw is relatively short and thin, it is good for processing large pieces of wood. Cutting up a downed tree or deadfall into more manageable pieces to split with an axe is the most common use.
Some bow saws fold up into one flat package. While these may seem like a good idea (they do protect the blade when folded), in general, they are not as reliable in the woods as a full-frame bow saw. Linkages and hinges can easily fail and are the weak point in a folding bow saw.
A simple design is more robust, and you can’t beat a basic metal tube. You have to weigh the pros and cons of how you will carry a full-frame bow saw versus a compact folding one. If you have spare parts and are comfortable working mechanically, then a folding bow saw is likely the best for you.
One disadvantage of a bow saw is the blade is exposed. When you are storing or carrying a bow saw, make sure to keep a cover on the blade. You can make one from leather. Simply wrap a piece of leather around the blade and tie it in two or three places to keep it secure.
Another way is to cut a piece of PVC pipe that will fit over the blade. Disconnect the blade on one end of the frame and slide the pipe over the blade. PVC pipe is also a great option for storing spare blades. Get two PVC caps, glue one end on but leave the glue off of the other for a nice lid.
The shape of the bow saw frame is also important. You will find some that are more of a triangle shape and others that are more of a “D” shape. The triangle shaped bow saws are almost useless since they limit the diameter of wood that you can cut. In general, stay away from triangle-shaped frames and go with a “D” shape, as shown below.
One big advantage of a bow saw is you can easily change the blade at camp. If you break a blade, have a dull blade, or need another type of blade you can change it easily.
Types of Bushcraft Saw Blades
All saw blades are made for specific purposes. When you go to the hardware store, you can see saws with big teeth, small teeth, symmetrical teeth, and jagged, almost random-looking teeth. What is the difference?
Saw Blade Kerf
The “kerf” of the saw blade is the width of the cut that the blade makes as it cuts through an object. A saw blade has a back “spine” that carries the teeth or cutting edges of the blade. The cutting edges are typically triangular in shape and are bent slightly outward.
This outward bend of the teeth sets the “kerf” or width of the cut the blade makes. The teeth cut through the wood and make room for the spine of the blade to follow into the wood.
Teeth per Inch (TPI)
The TPI of a blade refers to how many teeth there are per inch. A higher TPI blade will have more teeth, while a lower TPI blade will have fewer teeth over the same distance.
High TPI blades are better suited for finer, more accurate cuts in dry wood. If you are making tools or notches for traps or other items, go for a higher TPI blade. These are also good for cutting the bones of game animals.
Low TPI blades are better for cutting green or wet wood and will have bigger, more jagged teeth. These are also sometimes called pruning saws. They will remove more wood in a single pass than a high TPI blade but take more effort to move. They will also result in a less accurate cut that is harder to control.
Green Wood Saw Blades
As I mentioned, green wood saw blades will have a lower TPI. They will also have a wider kerf and overall are more “aggressive.”
Green Wood Saw blades will also have sections of the blade between teeth where instead of teeth, they will have “Rakers” and “Gullets.” These sections of the blade help to remove the wood that is cut from the teeth.
These blades are for rough cutting wet wood fibers. Some are designed to only cut in one direction, meaning they only cut when you pull the saw back towards you each pass.
Dry Wood Saw Blades
Dry Wood saw blades are for more detailed and precise cuts. They do not have rakers and gullets, rather just a consistent, symmetrical pattern of teeth.
If you try to use a dry saw blade to delimb a freshly downed tree, it will take quite a bit longer to get through compared to a green wood saw blade. Inversely, if you try to cut a straight notch with a green wood blade, it will not turn out very straight.
Bushcraft Saw Handles
The handle of a bushcraft saw should be both durable and functional. Not only will an inferior handle fail in the field, but it could also cause injury.
Most folding saws have either a wood or polymer handle. Most name brands come with a durable handle. If a saw is a lot cheaper than most of the others, it is likely made with cheap plastic material and inferior fasteners.
Look for a thick handle with hinges and fasteners that are large in diameter. You will be putting considerable force on the saw, and the blade should not separate from the handle under normal use.
Some folding saws will have a curved handle and/or blade. This is typical on more aggressive pruning-type saws, and it allows you to get more leverage on the cut stroke.
Bow saws should have a tubular metal frame. Metal tubes are both strong and lightweight. Do not consider a bow saw with a plastic or polymer frame.
Some Bow saws have a wood or polymer handle on one side of the frame. These are great for ergonomics but are mostly a personal preference. If you plan to use the saw a lot, a good handle section is nice to have.
Bushcraft Saw Weight
The overall weight of the bushcraft saw added to your pack mostly depends on how far you plan to hike. In general, folding saws will weigh less than bow saws. The weight of the saw balanced with the length of the trip and the amount of wood you need to process for firewood is a personal decision.
What Makes the Best Bushcraft Saw?
The Best bushcraft saw can be different depending on the length of your trip, how far you must hike to camp and the tasks you need it for. It may be that you need both a folding saw and bow saw, or neither. Here are some tasks and considerations.
- Processing large amounts of firewood – Bow Saw
- Clearing Camp – Folding Saw and Bow Saw with Green Wood Blade
- Delimbing – Folding Saw with Green Wood Blade
- Building Shelter – Folding Saw or Bow Saw with Green or Dry Wood Blade
- Woodcraft – Folding Saw with Dry Wood Blade
- Trapping – Folding Saw with Dry Wood Blade
Overall, a Folding Saw is almost always needed at a minimum. If you plan to make any wooden tools, traps, or structures, a medium TPI dry wood blade that is not too aggressive is best. Around 7” in length is a good length in this case.
If you don’t plan to do any type of woodcraft task and just need to cut smaller pieces of green wood or saplings for tent stakes, carry one with an aggressive green wood blade. A longer length of up to around 10” -14″ could be considered for this. Any longer doesn’t offer any advantages, and you might as well pack a bow saw. A larger folding saw can also replace an axe if weight is a concern.
If you plan to be out in the woods for a week and need a considerable amount of firewood, and good bow saw is a must-have. You really can’t compromise here. It is the best for cutting up logs into manageable pieces. Without one, it will be a struggle.
You can also take multiple blades with you for your bow saw. Two dry wood blades and two green wood blades are ideal. This is a huge advantage of the bow saw. A broken or dull blade can be easily replaced.
What Makes the Best Survival Saw?
The best survival saw is not the same as the best bushcraft saw necessarily. In a survival situation, your main priorities are shelter and fire until you get to a safe place. Weight is usually a priority simply because you can’t put everything into your hiking bag, bug-out bag, or get-home bag. You just need to cut some wood and cut it fast.
A folding saw around 7 to 10 inches in length is the best choice. Since you won’t be worried about making a stool for camp, go for a more aggressive blade that will cut faster but not as accurately.
In this case, the best survival saw and best bushcraft saw are one in the same, the Bahco Laplander 7 ½” Folding Saw.
Bushcraft Saw Maintenance
Just like any tool with a hard metal cutting surface, you must protect it from rust. Keep a light coat of oil on your saw blades when not in use between trips.
Over time, your bow saw blade will feel like it is dragging and binding in the wood. This is likely because the teeth are starting to bend inwards, reducing the kerf we discussed above. You can bend the teeth back outwards with a plier based multitool. Just make sure you are alternating and going in the same direction that the tooth originally was bent.
For most folding saws, this is not very easy to do. If your folding saw is getting dull, it is time to buy a new one. For a Bow saw blade, you can do this to help make your blade last longer. Often, it is easier to just keep a spare blade with you and change it. They are relatively inexpensive anyway.
If you have no other choice, you can also use a 16-penny nail to bend alternating teeth back on a bow saw blade. Use the pole of your axe to lightly strike the nail. Do one side and flip it over to do the other.
Run a sharpening stone back over the teeth when you are done to clean up the kerf. Be sure to go in the same direction that the teeth are sharpened in.
Bushcraft Saw Video Demonstration
A bushcraft saw has more uses than you think. Check out this video how you can split firewood wood with a saw. This will work with either a folding saw or bow saw for smaller diameter pieces of wood.
Which Bushcraft Saw is the Best for You?
Now that you have the complete rundown of the best bushcraft saws, which is the best for you? Everyone, at a minimum, should have a small folding saw like our top pick, the Bahco Laplander 7 ½” Folding Saw. It is compact, lightweight, and is large enough for making a decent shelter and cutting up smaller pieces of firewood.
If your Bushcraft trip is going to be more than a few days, a good Bow Saw like the Agawa Boreal 24” Bow Saw Tripper Kit is a must in addition to a folding saw. It will make processing a large amount of firewood a lot easier. It is lightweight and compact, and since it folds, it won’t add much bulk to your backpack.
Now that you have decided on a saw, check out our other Bushcraft guides and gear reviews. Don’t forget to also check out our Stoic Principles Guide to be prepared when something goes wrong on your next trek into the woods.