Breaking sticks over your knee is not a good strategy. For starters, it’s not precise. If you’re building a blind or lean-to, you need matching lengths. And if you’re hunting, you obviously can’t be cracking wood. What’s the solution?
Folding saws may seem like just another piece of gear to stuff in an already overflowing pack, but like everything else, they’re essential for solving common problems in the woods. A great saw keeps you prepared without weighing you down. We’ve put together a guide on the folding saws specifically for hunters and outdoorsmen and finished it off with our favorites.
Our Picks – The Best Folding Saw
- Eversaw All Purpose– “All-purpose saw for wood, bone and plastic”
- Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Saw– “Swedish quality makes this blade a great choice for bushcraft. Best folding saw for blind hunters.”
- Mossy Oak Folding Saw– “With three different blades, there’s not much you can’t do with this saw. Best for survivalists and extreme hunters.”
- Wicked Tree Gear Wicked Tough Handsaw – “This high-end saw gets the job done day in and day out. Great for professionals.”
- Tarvol Folding Handsaw– “An excellent option for thick woods”
- Coher Folding Saw– “Its versatility make it great for DIY projects”
- Corona RS 7255D Razor Tooth– “Stand hunters can benefit from its power in small spaces”
- Tabor Tools TTS25A– “The ergonomic design makes this saw a top choice”
Why do I need a folding saw?
Like most outdoor activities, hunting requires at least some wilderness survival skills and the tools that go along with them. The more tools you have to assist you, the easier your hunting trip will be. Chances are you’ll run into some tough obstacles, so a folding saw to cut through them is an essential accessory.
Saws are great for bushcraft like building your own ground blind or prepping a tree for your stand. If you’re camping on your hunting trip, then of course you’ll have to cut would to clear an area and make a fire. Folding saws are compact and much easier to pack with your gear than an axe or full-sized saw.
You can even use some folding saws to field dress animals.
Wouldn’t an axe be better?
Axes do have certain advantages. You can put a lot of power behind them. However, axes tend to be large and bulky to carry while saws are more compact. Saws have other upsides as well.
Using a saw is actually quicker than an axe as well, on average about one-third of the effort is required. You also don’t need a ton of room for a saw like you do an axe. For branches which may be hard to reach, you can even ‘pole mount’ the blade for that sawing action.
Bushcraft saws vs pruning saws
There are some important factors you should consider when specifically choosing a bushcraft saw. Pruning saws can be a vital part of a home gardener’s arsenal, but they may not be as useful in the wilderness.
When choosing a saw for camping, survival or bushcraft, you want something lightweight and portable, but still reliable. Build quality is more important since you’ll be packing it in with gear a lot.
Unlike in your yard, you may not know exactly the types of trees and wood you’re going to encounter while hunting. It’s best to choose a tool that is as versatile as possible. Many of the woods you come across will be softwoods, like willow, which need large teeth for cutting. However, areas with harder wood will need a small-toothed blade. It’s probably best to choose a medium blade if you’re going to be hunting a lot of unfamiliar areas.
Can you sharpen a folding saw?
The blade of a folding saw may become dull over time, which results in a rough cut. A dull blade can also slow down your work or be more dangerous to use.
Although many hardware or outdoor shops offer professional sharpening services, it’s easy to do at home. Tightly clamp the blade into a vise and use a small metal file or grindstone to sharpen the blade.
You will notice the teeth of the saw alternate between flat and beveled edges. You only have to sharpen the beveled edges.
Folding saw features
Most woodworkers recommend a medium thickness of teeth for high-quality cuts.
Fine teeth are precise but can often be overkill when hunting or practicing bushcraft. Coarse teeth will cause a rougher cut, which can have serious safety implications when trekking outdoors.
A heavy blade provides more pressure when sawing for a deep cut, but it’s less portable. Thin blades are less durable and may shatter or break under pressure. Always try to choose a blade that is rust-resistant. This helps keep it sharper for longer.
Teeth per inch (TPI) is also an important factor when choosing a saw.
Large, coarse teeth, about six per inch, are more suited to pruning or cutting green wood. Softer woods require 8-10 teeth for every inch. Hardwoods and bones need finer teeth, often as many as 12 per inch for a precise cut.
Straight vs curved blades
Straight or curved blade—which one do you go for? Different curvatures work better for different purposes.
Straight blades are better suited for large branchesand solid materials, like bone or PVC. When looking for something to prune smaller branches, a curved blade is easier to get into the area for the cut. When trimming foliage for a better viewpoint, curved blades will offer more flexibility and require less space for use.
Length – what size for what job?
The size of the blade will vary depending on what you need to cut and how many teeth you want. Long blades are generally better for hardwoods. Additionally, the number of teeth on a long blade will determine what it will cut through.
For chopping firewood or larger branches for a blind, longer blades allow you to cut substantial pieces. For pruning away obstacles like small branches in the way of your tree branch, small blades are far more convenient. DIY (do it yourself) jobs at home or in the garden can also benefit from a compact blade with less mess left over.
If you’re clearing a trail, chances are you’ll be holding the saw in your hands for a long time. You should choose a comfortable handle. You might also want to go for a slip-resistant handle if it rains a lot in your area.
Does the handle encase the entire blade?If you’re carrying the blade in your pocket, you definitely don’t want exposed teeth.
The locking mechanism is important to your safety. Some budget-friendly folding saws may feature blades that can come loose and expose the sharp teeth. To avoid this, go with a sturdier blade.
Many saw designs now feature handles which fully enclose the blade and teeth for safety. You also need some sort of latch system to prevent it from opening in your bag or pocket. The only meat you want to be sawing is the deer’s, not your own leg.
Our Top Picks In Detail
Eversaw All-Purpose Folding
There’s a reason this saw made number one. It’s an ideal saw for pruning, fetching wood for the fire and as well as plenty of other uses. The rugged eight-inch blade easily cuts through most wood, plastic and even bone up to four inches in diameter.
You can use this saw straight out of the box. Its triple-cut teeth (nine teeth for every inch) come off the line razor sharp, and they’re hardened to stay sharper for longer. The carbon steel blade still offers flexibility and is uncoated. This prevents friction and allows for a smooth sawing action.
The blade locks in for safety and doesn’t collapse or break. That makes it great for camping or extended hunting trips. You can also adjust the blade handle if you find it too rigid or if the blade wobbles.
The Eversaw has an ergonomic handle that’s slip resistant and comfortable to hold. The safety-lock feature makes sure all teeth are fully covered as you carry the saw in your pocket or pack. It even has a lifetime warranty.
- Adjustable blade size
- No exposed teeth
- Carbon steel blade
- Safety lock
- Lifetime warranty
Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Saw
If you don’t know much about Lapland, it’s the harsh wilderness in the north of Scandinavia and Finland. A semi-nomadic people called Sami make their homes there in collapsible wooden tents they live in while following herds of reindeer. As you can imagine, bushcraft and the necessary tools are important parts of their lives. Swedish manufacturer Bahco brings that tradition of resilience to to their Laplander saw model.
First off, the blade gets the job done. It comes sharp with teeth that cut backwards and forwards. It has a TPI of seven, which is about where you’d expect a saw to start working on larger, dry sticks. Although not fine enough for bone, it should cover most of your pruning or blind constructing needs.
The blade also comes with a non-stick black finish that prevents rust and minimizes friction. Unfortunately, this tends to wear down on the teeth after repeated use.
The lightweight plastic casing further makes this a good choice for any pruning you might need to do while on the hunt. It easily slips in a pocket without weighing you down but it’s still sturdy enough to hold up to frequent sawing. A leather strap will keep it from falling out of your hand if you’re pruning in your tree stand.
What we liked:
- 7 TPI
- Non-stick low-friction finish
- Lightweight casing
- Leather strap
What we didn’t:
- Teeth lose finish
Mossy Oak Folding Saw
This is actually three saws in one. With that in mind, its low price is even more impressive.
The three replacement blades are multi-purpose and easy to change. The first is a pruning saw with 5 TPI. It has a black surface and is great for pruning around your tree stand, blind or primitive shelter. The second blade has 11 TPI, plenty for cutting through hard wood and plastic. This is for all your serious bushcraft construction needs on long hunting or survival trips. Last is the 18 TPI polished blade good for thick wood, bone and even metal.
Needless to say, if you’re into survivalism or taking your hunting trips to the extreme, this is a way to get all your boxes checked by just one saw. Plus, measuring around eight inches when closed and weighing less than a pound, it’ll hardly even take up any room in your pockets or pack. It even comes with a nylon pouch to hold the saw and whichever two blades you aren’t using.
Of course, this model comes with the usual safety features, including a bright green safety lock button that you can’t miss. The handle is comfortable for even long periods of sawing, and it works great with all three blades.
What we liked:
- Three blades in one
- Low price range
- Up to 18 TPI
- Nylon sheath
- Green safety button
- Comfortable handle
Wicked Tree Gear Wicked Tough Handsaw
This saw is in a slightly higher price range, but that’s because it’s a high-end product built to last. Specifically, it’s constructed with a cast aluminum handle that won’t bend or break like many of the cheaper plastic models on the market.
The blade is equally tough. It’s 0.050-inch-thick high-carbon steel that has no problem with tough, thick branches. It’ll easily clear a tree for your stand.
If you’re a professional landscaper or need a saw for your job for whatever reason, this is our recommendation. That’s because along with the durable construction, Wicked Tree Gear built this with safety in mind. The grip is non-slip rubber to avoid accidents, and the blade features the unique Fail Safe Blade Lock Design.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that this saw comes with a Wicked Lifetime Guarantee. The manufacturer stands behind their product because it’s a top-quality model that can withstand daily use.
What we liked:
- Tough construction
- Cast aluminum handle
- High-carbon steel blade
- Non-slip rubber handle
- Fail Safe Blade Lock Design
- Lifetime guarantee
What we didn’t:
- Price range
Tarvol Folding Hand Saw
This folding saw features a blade made from 65Mn steel, a Chinese steel formulated for hardness and durability. With seven teeth for every inch of the blade, it provides a concentrated cutting action that works for thicker branches or bones. The 7-inch blade is just under 0.05 inches thick. This makes it more sturdy.
Even though it packs a lot of cutting power, the Tarvol folds down to a compact 8.5 inches for easier carrying, and it’s only two inches wide when closed. It’s incredibly lightweight and ideal for taking on your cross-country adventures or using at home.
A pistol-style grip makes the handle comfortable to hold. It’s also textured for a better grip and has a convenient storage hook at the end of the handle.
A really useful feature is the bright green trim between the blade and the handle. This makes it easy to find if you drop it, even in thick brush.
Last but not least, the saw comes with a money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty. If you hunt thick woods and usually travel deep, this saw could be a beneficial part of your gear.
- Durable 65 Mn steel
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Compact size
- Pistol-style grip
- Bright green trim
- Lifetime warranty
- Requires a lot of maintenance
Coher Folding Hand Saw
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Coher saw is the low price tag, but it has more to offer. It’s a versatile tool for all sorts of outdoor work. The compact blade size of just 6.7 inches makes it ideal for carrying around. It folds out to 13.7 inches when opened. For this reason we suggest it for anyone with their own property who does a lot of maintenance or makes their own blinds or other DIY items.
The blade is made from high-carbon steel for long-term durability and features eight teeth per inch. Each tooth is triple cut for smooth performance. You can use it to cut through any plastic, wood or bone. It’s a thick, sturdy saw that won’t bend too easily or break if you maintain it.
The handle is made from a heavy-duty, anti-slip plastic, and it’s comfortable to hold, although not a very generous size. The blade can be locked at different angles which makes it versatile and useful in many different jobs.If safety is your top priority, this model fits the bill. The locking mechanism ensures the blade stays firmly fixed when open or closed, and a gear lock stops the saw from opening accidentally.
- Low price range
- Durable high-carbon steel
- Anti-slip handle
- Comfortable to hold
- Locking mechanism
- Small size
Corona RS 7255D Razor Tooth
This folding saw comes with an eight-inch curved blade, so it’s great for cutting in more confined spaces. Although it may be marketed as a pruning saw for gardeners, hunters will also benefit from its razor-sharp blade. It’s especially useful if you hunt public land and regularly have to clear branches for your climbing tree stand.
It’s also good for stand hunters because the blade features teeth that have each been ground with three different angles of cutting. In practice, this makes it very efficient when cutting through wood and limbs.
The contoured handle is comfortable to hold. It’s made of a combination of hard plastic and a polymer plastic hand grip. The handle is larger than most, so you can even use it with gloves.
This saw is safe, too. The handle totally sheaths the blade, and it has a convenient quick-release button on the side.
- Great for tree stands
- Efficient cutting
- Comfortable contoured handle
- Quick-release button
- Loose construction
Tabor Tools TTS25A
The Tabor saw comes with a blade that easily cuts through large branches up to four inches in diameter. The backward-draw stroke is especially powerful, so you can cut large limbs for ground blinds.
This saw is suitable for most outdoor activities from hunting to camping. The extra sawing power will come in handy when cutting wood for your campfire or making supports for a survivalist lean-to. The aggressive blade uses angled razor teeth to give a three-dimensional sawing edge, resulting in deeper cuts.
The ergonomic design of the handle is comfortable to hold and prevents injuries while using the saw. When folded into the handle, the blade is completely enclosed, with no teeth exposed to accidentally cut you or your gear.
- Easy to use
- Cuts through large limbs
- Powerful backward-draw
- Ergonomic handle