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best folding saw for backpacking
Primos Folding Saw

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best folding saw for backpacking
SILKY F180

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SILKY Gomboy
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Best Saws For Backpacking Reviewed & Compared

I love getting out into the backcountry for a fantastic camping trip, and a cozy campfire simply tops off the experience. However, it can be incredibly frustrating to get to camp and find that there’s no firewood within easy reach.

All the fallen branches on the ground are either rotted or green, and there’s simply nothing to get your fire going. That’s where the best backpacking saws come in! 

Easily procure exactly what you need for an epic campfire, without huffing and puffing by trying to break logs and branches with your bare hands.

Or alternatively, use your backpacking saw to put a backcountry shelter together for the night, or clear fallen debris from a campsite, or assist in creating a new trail from scratch! The possibilities are limitless, and here’s our list of the top backpacking saws on the market.

Best Backpacking Saws

SILKY F180 Folding Hand Saw

best backpacking saw
  • Blade length: 7.1 in. 
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified 
  • Cut capacity: 3.6 in. diameter wood
  • Weight: 5.3 oz. 
  • Price: $$

 As one of the lighter options on our list, the Silky F180 is one of the best folding saws for backpacking. The minimal 5.3 oz design will barely weigh you down, but the effective 7-inch blade packs plenty of punch. 

The rubber grip and tapered blade both work together to make sawing as effortless as possible. Additionally, the blade can be locked into two different sawing positions to get the best angle possible when tackling those branches. 

While the recommended 3.6-inch diameter cutting capacity won’t let you fell any trees, this saw is undoubtedly effective at cutting bulky branches. What’s more, the price is very reasonable and falls right in the middle of the range presented in this list.

PROS

CONS

Silky GomBoy Professional Folding Saw

  • Blade length: 8.3 in. 
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified 
  • Cut capacity: 4.2 in. diameter wood 
  • Weight: 8.2 oz. 
  • Price: $$$

While slightly heavier than other options, the GomBoy Professional packs plenty of handy features that earns its place in a hiking pack. Chief among these is the chrome-plated steel blade, which is incredibly durable and wear-resistant to easily cut into wood pieces over 4-inches in diameter. 

This saw’s price is amongst the highest on our list of options. However, the excellent build quality coupled with a lifetime warranty to protect against any defects or construction errors makes it worth a slightly higher investment. 

All things considered, this is an excellent folding saw for backpackers looking for a slightly longer blade to tackle larger projects. But if you’re more interested in lowering weight and cost, then there are other options on our list better suited to your needs. 

All in all, the silky Gomboy is one of the best backpacking tools out there, perfect for any trip through the backcountry.

PROS

CONS

Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw

  • Blade length: 7.0 in. 
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified
  • Cut capacity: Not Specified
  • Weight: 7.1 oz. 
  • Price: $$

 I love the ergonomically curved design of this folding saw. It allows you to get just the right amount of power at the perfect angle to make sawing through branches a breeze. What’s more, this is a very reasonably priced saw that won’t break the bank! 

The Bahco Laplander also includes safety locks in both the opened and closed positions, adding to its easy use and storage. While Bahco doesn’t list a specific cut capacity, I’d hazard that this saw can easily handle 3” – 4” diameter branches or even more if you change the blade position as you saw. 

Overall, the Bahco Laplander performs well across the board, has a sleek and ergonomic design, and is well-priced to make it one of the best saws for backpacking.

PROS

CONS

Corona RS 7041 Razor Tooth Folding Saw

best folding saw for backpacking
  • Blade length: 7.0 in. 
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified
  • Cut capacity: 3.0 in. diameter 
  • Weight: 7.52 oz. 
  • Price: $$

Corona Clipper provides yet another folding saw for our list with the RS 7041 Razer Tooth. The 7-inch blade is plenty durable thanks to the high-carbon SK5 steel and is easily replaceable with different lengths and teeth types to tackle various projects. 

I’m a little disappointed that such a robust-looking saw only has a 3-inch diameter cutting capacity – other similarly sized saws can handle larger projects – but I can’t argue with the grippy handle and decent price point. Additionally, the triple-ground and hardened teeth reportedly remove much more material per stroke, easily racking up plenty of firewood in no time. 

PROS

CONS

Silky Professional Series PocketBoy

  • Blade length: 6.7 in. 
  • Blade thickness: 1.2 mm. (0.047 in.) 
  • Cut capacity: 3.4 in.
  • Weight: 7.4 oz. 
  • Price: $$$

With a slightly smaller blade length – and a smaller footprint in your pack – the PocketBoy saw from Silky is an ideal choice for backpackers. But don’t let the smaller size fool you, this saw can still hold its own. 

The 8.5 teeth per inch blade design packs plenty of cutting power into this saw, making it ideal for everything from clearing brush from a trail to cutting thicker branches for roasting s’mores. Like other options, this saw can also lock into two different open positions, optimizing your cutting angle for optimal performance. 

The only downside to this particular saw is that it comes at a slightly higher price than the competition, even though it’s a smaller saw. But price aside, this is an excellent backpacking saw that won’t let you down!

PROS

CONS

Outdoor Edge PackSaw

best backpacking saw
  • Blade length: 12 in.
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified
  • Cut capacity: Not Specified
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs. 
  • Price: $$

We’re stepping away from the classic folding saw for a moment to bring you this bow saw from Outdoor Edge. With smooth cutting ability, three blades for different materials, and a very reasonable price, you have a great saw to take into the backcountry! 

This saw comes with individual blades optimized for wood, metal, and bone – making it incredibly versatile for a wide range of uses. What’s more, the blades are a breeze to replace, and the whole process only takes a few seconds. When not in use, the saw collapses down to a packable size. 

Our main drawback to this bow saw is the weight. At 1.2 pounds, this is the heaviest option on our list by far, and will certainly add noticeable heft to your pack. However, if you know that serious sawing is in your future, the extra weight may be worth it for exceptional cutting power.

PROS

CONS

Kershaw Taskmaster Folding Saw

  • Blade length: 7.0 in. 
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified
  • Cut capacity: Not Specified
  • Weight: ~8.9 oz. 
  • Price: $

While perhaps a tad heavier than other folding saws, the Kershaw Taskmaster is still a worthwhile addition to your backpacking gear. This saw includes many of the useful features that we covered so far but comes in at a very reasonable price. 

First off, we have the standard 7-inch blade fashioned from high-carbon steel. It’s robust, long-lasting, and held in place by a spring-activated locking mechanism. As far as the handle goes, we have a durable, textured nylon design that’s easy to hold on to and stands up to hard use. 

I only wish that Kershaw could have squeezed these features into a lighter design, but I’m happy with this folding saw nonetheless!

PROS

CONS

Primos Folding Saw

  • Blade length: 6.0 in. 
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified
  • Cut capacity: 4-5 in. diameter 
  • Weight: 7.2 oz. 
  • Price: $$

The most compact folding saw on our list is this addition from Primos. With a small 6-inch blade that folds down into a compact 8-inch handle, this saw easily fits into your pack or even pant pocket. 

I’m also a fan of the rubber-coated handle: excellent sticky grip, easy to use, and stable handling while sawing. Primos also offers blade replacements in the unlikely event that the original one gets damaged. 

Overall, this is a fantastic folding saw for backpacking that offers excellent cutting power packed into a very compact design.

PROS

CONS

Ultimate Survival Technologies SaberCut Saw

best backpacking saw
  • Blade length: 24.0 in. 
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified
  • Cut capacity: Not Specified
  • Weight: 6.0 oz 
  • Price: $$

Perhaps the most unusual saw on our list is the SaberCut Saw from Ultimate Survival Technologies. This particular saw utilizes the same chain blade that chainsaws use but features hand grips on either end of the chain. All you need to do is loop the chain blade around the tree or branch, and alternate pulling on each end of the blade to make it saw into the wood. 

First off, this type of saw seriously cuts down on weight as there is no solid frame or handle. Weighing in at only 6-ounces, this is definitely the best lightweight saw for backpacking. The flexible and longer chain design is also very effective at cutting through thicker diameter wood targets. 

However, for all these benefits, I’ve found that this type of saw is less effective at small-scale pruning and branches as you no longer have a hand free to brace wobbling limbs. Therefore, I’d only recommend this option if you’re certain you’ll only be sawing thick and sturdy trees and branches.

PROS

CONS

Edward Tools 7” Folding Saw

  • Blade length: 6.0 in. 
  • Blade thickness: Not Specified
  • Cut capacity: 4-5 in. diameter 
  • Weight: 7.2 oz. 
  • Price: $$

The most compact folding saw on our list is this addition from Primos. With a small 6-inch blade that folds down into a compact 8-inch handle, this saw easily fits into your pack or even pant pocket. 

I’m also a fan of the rubber-coated handle: excellent sticky grip, easy to use, and stable handling while sawing. Primos also offers blade replacements in the unlikely event that the original one gets damaged. 

Overall, this is a fantastic folding saw for backpacking that offers excellent cutting power packed into a very compact design.

PROS

CONS

How to Choose a Saw for Backpacking

Now that we’ve introduced the best backpacking saws, it’s time to discuss the features and characteristics that you should consider when buying your next saw. Remember, everyone’s needs are different, so it’s important to use this information to help zero in on the perfect saw for you. 

Type of Saw

The first step to picking out a backpacking saw is to figure out which type is best for you. Generally speaking, there are three primary types of saws that you’ll find on the market; these are bow, folding, and pocket chain. Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each one below: 

Bow

This design features a blade supported by a metal or plastic frame in the shape of a bow. The blade for a bow saw is typically thinner than other options, and, therefore, slides through the wood much more smoothly without binding up. 

However, bow saws have a much larger footprint than other options, and you’ll need plenty of space to use it effectively. Additionally, the backside of the frame/bow limits how deep you can saw before it starts rubbing against the tree. 

Folding

The folding saw is the standard backpacking saw, and with good reason. A 6- to 7-inch blade – made from high-strength steel – folds down into the sturdy handle for transportation, and locks into the deployed position for sawing. These saws provide decent cutting power and control but have a thicker blade, which may bind when cutting bigger branches or logs. 

Pocket Chain

This saw is the lightest and most compact option out there, making it a very attractive saw for backpacking. In essence, this is a chainsaw blade minus the motorized chainsaw. Instead, each end of the chain has sturdy hand straps. 

All you have to do is loop the chain blade around a tree or branch, grab the hand straps, and pull the chain to and fro around the part you want to cut.

While the pocket chain is very lightweight and effective against sturdy trees and branches, I’ve found it to be a hassle for smaller branches that tend to move as you try to saw them. Remember, both of your hands are engaged in operating the saw, so you don’t have a free hand to brace a wiggling branch. 

Blade Thickness & Size

Naturally, size it utmost in the minds of most backpackers! Consider the space you have available, if you want your saw to fit in your pocket, and what blade thickness you want. 

In terms of blade thickness, thinner blades – often found on bow saws – will cut through wood without binding up. However, thicker blades – like those found in folding saws – are stronger and more robust. 

Speaking strictly in terms of overall size, you’ll find bow saws to be the largest, folding saws in the middle, and pocket chain saws to be the smallest. 

Cutting Capacity

This term refers to how much cutting your saw could handle – usually gauged as the largest diameter wood branch/tree that you could cut. For example, a 3-inch cutting capacity means your saw should cut straight through a 3-inch diameter wood branch without needing to reposition. 

Therefore, when you’re picking out your backpacking saw, think about what size wood you’ll likely be cutting. If you anticipate simply pruning and clearing smaller branches, then a 3-inch cutting capacity will suit your needs. 

If you’re looking to cut beefier branches for firewood or creating new trails, than 4-inch+ cutting capacity is for you. 

Teeth Type

The most common measurement you’ll see for saw teeth is the number of teeth per inch (TPI). As you probably deduced, this value measures how many cutting teeth are present along each inch of the saw blade. We typically see 6-7 TPI for most backcountry saws. 

The main points to take away on this subject are that the more teeth the saw has, the smoother the cut, but fewer teeth will remove your target material faster.

Overall Weight

Like overall size, the weight of your saw plays a considerable role in any backpacking trip. Therefore, keep an eye on the saw’s total weight, and consider how much extra bulk you’re willing to add to your pack. 

Bow saws tend to be the heaviest – as they include more framing – and pocket chains will be the lightest – as they have no solid handles at all. 

Safety

Whenever using your new backpacking saw, please always keep safety foremost in your mind. This means starting slowly, checking to make sure there are no nails or other foreign objects in the wood, never sawing towards any part of your body, keeping your saw clean, and perhaps wearing gloves and eye protection. 

Final Thoughts

There you go hikers! We’ve covered the best saws for backpacking from bow saws, to foldable saws, to the unique pocket chains. Take a look at our buying guide, consider what your saw priorities are, and then simply pick out the right saw for you! 

Additionally, please be aware of the rules in your region concerning cutting down trees and branches. Along these same lines, be mindful that most National Parks in the United States forbid cutting live branches. 

Be safe out there!

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