If you are camping, you need to be fully prepared. Whether you are renting a cabin in a state park or sleeping beside a camp fire while backpacking, there is no substitute for being ready for any challenge. That means the right clothing and gear, including the best camping saws. But a camping saw is a bit different as it needs to be durable, lightweight, and easy to store. There are three types we will be looking at: folding saw, pocket chainsaw, and buck or bow saw. This guide will walk you through the top choices on the market, and the most important features for each one.
The Best Camping Saw
An impressive folding camp saw that is lightweight and compact, the Bahco 396-LAP camping saw is revered by campers and outdoorsmen from all walks of life. A competent general-purpose saw, it nonetheless performs above its weight class whether you are pruning in your backyard, or felling small trees while camping. Its best features are its small size when folded, comfortable handle, locking mechanism, and special coating to keep the blade from rusting. Make sure you also check our guide to the best large camping tents.
Low-friction rust-inhibitor coating.
Safety lock when opened and closed.
Specially designed for outdoorsmen.
- Weight14.1 ounces
If you are an outdoor enthusiast or a property owner with a desire to tame Mother Nature, the Sporstman Pocket Camping Chainsaw with 36-inch chain may be what you are looking for. Highly durable thanks to its 65-millimeter thick carbon chain, this chainsaw can easily tear through a three-inch diameter tree limb in 10 seconds. It is the perfect pocket chainsaw for cutting branches and clearing debris, and is a valued tool for campers, outdoorsmen, and property owners. Our handy guide to the best camping toilets features more great products like this.
36-inch long chain, excluding handles.
Bi-directional cutting action.
Lightweight at just 5 ounces.
Includes carrying case.
- BrandSportsman Industries
- ModelPocket Chainsaw
- Weight5 ounces
Thanks to its long blade and dense teeth placement, the BigBoy 2000 camping saw gets the job done faster, with fewer cuts, compared to other smaller folding saws. This durable folding camp saw is manufactured in Japan by Silky, which utilized its legendary MIRAI-ME Tooth Technology to create a curved, sturdy blade for quick cuts, long life, and less maintenance. Love this product? Check out our review of the best camping showers for our top picks.
Blade is 14.2 inches long, 1.8 millimeter thick.
Weighs about 20 ounces.
Ideal tool for camping, construction, lawn and garden work.
5.5 teeth per inch means efficient cutting action with less effort.
- Weight14.2 ounces
All-purpose in design, the BOREAL21 camping saw has founds its home among campers, hikers, canoers, hunters, and homeowners for its ease of use, unique design, and easily replaceable blades. Thanks to its trapezium design, this folding saw’s blade eagerly rips through 6-inch logs without too much hardship on the user. Its grip handle is ergonomically designed, slip-free, and helps achieve saw balance with saw power. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best camping mugs.
Blade is designed for optimum saw strokes.
Unique 3-hinged trapezium-shaped frame for larger diameter cuts.
Blade folds into frame when not in use, for extra safety.
Simple and fast-blade replacement.
Lightweight, just over one pound.
- BrandAgawa Canyon
- Weight1.2 pounds
The Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw is a serious folding bow saw that can used for more than your average backyard tree pruning. Thanks to its blade with three-sided razor teeth, it will saw though branches up to six inches in diameter and be ready for its next job with little or no downtime. Compact and foldable, this camping saw also is useful for anyone spending time outdoors who needs to clear trees or brush from a sleeping or gathering area. Be sure to also check out our list of the best sleeping bags for more great items like this.
10-inch blade with three-sided razor teeth.
Curved and tapered blade.
Ergonomically designed handle.
Suited for pruning small to medium branches.
Impulse-hardened teeth contribute to long lifespan.
- ModelRS 7265D
- Weight12.8 ounces
As hand-powered pole saws go, the Hooyman Extendable saw is ready for bear. This is a folding tree saw you will not regret buying. Tough, lightweight, with blade teeth that will not quit, it is the outdoor tool of choice when you are cleaning or trimming home or away, or when you need to cut down large branches or small trees. Best of all, when you are done, each telescopic arm collapses and locks, allowing you to safely store the saw until it is needed again. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best camping cots.
Folded size of 12 inches.
Extends to more than 5 feet.
Lightweight at 1.55 pounds.
Telescopic arm extensions lock down separately.
4-edge tooth design.
- Weight2.3 pounds
An Outdoor Gold Winner, 2018, the Nordic Original Pocket Folding Chainsaw is known for is diminutive size but immense cutting power. Thanks to 33 links with cutter teeth, you will have no problem zipping down trees, sawing limbs, or otherwise clearing out debris or underbrush from your camp site or backyard. It is one of the best camping saws you could add to your tool set. Other awards it has received includes Scandinavian Outdoor Group 2018, National Geographic Adventure Gift Guide 2016, and Ich Liebe Berge 2018. You may also like to check our guide to the best camping chairs.
Chain is made of heat-treated carbon steel.
Lightweight – 4.7 ounces.
Chain length – 25.6 inches.
Handles are made of heavy-duty nylon.
33 links with cutter teeth
- BrandNordic Pocket Saw
- ModelNordic Pocket Saw
- Weight3.84 ounces
Thanks to its steel, rust-resistant blade and compact size, the Felco F-600 folding saw is the ideal cutting and pruning tool for the backyard gardener. The unique tooth design of the blade prevents clogging and is easy to clean and maintain. Despite its diminutive size, this is one of the best folding saws for backpacking. Its pull-stroke action is up to the challenge, able to cut through tree limbs up to 4 inches in diameter. If you love camping, check out our guide to the best camping tables.
Folding blade, 6.3 inches long.
Teeth are impulse heat treated.
Conical blade shape prevents sap build up.
Designed by Switzerland-based Felco.
Ergonomic handle with non-slip design.
- Weight1.32 pounds
Sure, you can chuckle at the name and maybe throw in a Swedish accent when saying it, but this is one tough folding saw. Known as the “Famous Campfire Folding Saw,” the Sven Saw revels in its rich Swedish heritage. Utilitarian in design, it provides more than adequate cutting power in all manner of outdoor activities – home gardening, camping, hiking, and many others. Its triangular frame contributes to the saw’s overall strength, allowing you to cut a six-inch log in around one minute. For a good nights sleep while camping, check out our guide to the best camping mattresses.
Saw is 24 inches long when folded.
Weighs 17 ounces.
Handle has a distinct, red anodized finish to provide solid grip.
Handle also serves as protective sheath.
- BrandSven Saw
- Weight1 pound
If you did not know the company that makes the uber popular disposable lighters makes outdoor tools, then you do now. Yes, this is a survival saw for the next zombie apocalypse. Talk about a multi-tool wonder. The Zippo Z-Hunter AxeSaw is three tools-in-one, giving you the flexibility for tough outdoor jobs that other saw and axes can only dream of. Its hardened stainless-steel saw blade will cut through sticks or tree limbs up to 4 inches in diameter, while the AxeSaw is tough enough to pound in tent stakes or handle other hammer-intensive tasks. It has been treated with rust and corrosion inhibitors, resulting in long-lasting performance even in damp, wet settings. Our guide to the best camping blankets offers more great items like this.
Multiple tools-in-one: Ax, saw, mallet.
Saw blade is 15-inches long.
Handle provides storage for the saw blade.
Drives tent stakes easily with full tang head.
- Weight2.64 pounds
Compact and well built, the EverSaw Folding Hand Saw is a great addition to your tool kit. Whether you fancy yourself as a gardener or outdoorsman, it is ideal for pruning, backpacking, camping, or trail cleaning. The EverSaw also doubles as a handy survival or household emergency tool. Its triple-cut design teeth stay razor sharp and provide accurate, fast sawing of wood, plastic, or bone. The tool is guaranteed to not slip out of your hand, as the handle is made of smooth rubber for maximum comfort, allowing for continued cutting or sawing action without stress. It is one of the best camping saws available.
Blade – 8-inches long.
Blade teeth – nine per inch.
Sturdy and compact.
No exposed teeth when closed.
Strong gear-lock mechanism.
- BrandHome Planet Gear
- Weight11.2 ounces
Now that you have taken ownership of the heavily treed lot where you will build your dream home, it is time to get to work. You have some serious green wood to remove. The top-rated and consumer favorite Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw was designed using the scientific ERGO™ process, ensuring maximum comfort when gripping the handle. If you are roofing and gardening, you will appreciate the frame’s pointed nose, resulting in easier access in the tightest of sawing environments. The frame is made from steel and protected from rust thanks to high-impact enamel paint. A well-thought out tensioning mechanism in the handle keeps the blade rigid for straight cuts every time, and makes swapping out the blade a simple task.
Frame is made from lightweight steel.
All-steel blade is designed to saw green wood.
Easy grip handle includes knuckle protector.
Frame has a pointed nose for easy access in tight situations.
- Weight2.88 ounces
Camping Saw Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Choose Our Selection Of Camping Saws
If you have camped outdoors for any length of time, it should be obvious by now that when it comes to collecting wood for a campfire or when you need to work on larger pieces of lumber, a traditional axe will not always get the job done. In fact, when we looked at the best camping saws, we were interested in products that are collapsible, compact, and easily stored in a backpack or other hiking gear. We also looked at:
- Customer Reviews
Features To Look For In Camping Saws
When choosing the right camping saw, it is important to understand what it is going to be used for, how often, and whether you need to carry it from one location to the next. Beyond those most basic criteria, there are other features to consider.
Use – If you are a mechanic working on a car, you undoubtedly know what certain tools are used for. The same applies when camping. Buying the right camping saw depends on what you need to use it for. Some saws are use-specific, for sawing logs to the proper dimensions, trimming tree branches or heavy shrubs, or even carving notches to assemble makeshift furniture. There are even multi-tool combination saws to consider, with the Zippo AxeSaw a worthy contender as an ideal survival saw.
Blade Material – Most saws today are made from high-quality steel. Steel is abundant and inexpensive, simple to shape – even as a chainsaw blade – and strong compared to other materials. For camping and other outdoor uses, most blade material has been coated to be weather resistant. It is important to make sure any folding saw you choose has a blade made of the right material, so do not be afraid to ask your retailer questions.
Blade Type – Virtually any camping saw has a blade with serrated teeth, some spaced out further than others. A folding saw has perhaps the most recognizable blade, featuring large, serrated teeth. A bow saw has the longest and thinnest blade, but the teeth are still serrated. The blade of a pocket chainsaw resembles a normal chainsaw blade, or a bicycle chain, because it is made of riveted steel sections that feature many small, sharp teeth. A pocket chainsaw blade has small teeth ideal for cutting thick wood.
Handle Design – The design of the saw handle depends on the type of saw itself. For instance, a folding saw is more contoured in shape to fit the hand naturally; most pocket chainsaws do not have a handle, but instead loops for each hand; a bow saw has a large handle shaped like a bow or a crescent moon, with the blade stretched beneath it.
Locking Mechanism – If you are looking for one of the best folding saws for backpacking, this feature is a must-have. For safety, most folding saws include a locking mechanism, usually a button or toggle switch of some sort, which allows the blade to stay rigid while fully extended. This prevents the blade from collapsing on itself while being used and is a must-have feature.
Size & Weight – Camping saws come in different sizes and weight, based on the type of saw and the intended use. Saws that feature all-steel construction, including the blade and handle, are the heaviest, while a bow saw may be the largest depending on the size and thickness of the raw lumber it will be used to cut.
Portability – If you are backpacking and regularly on the move between camping sites, then one of your first considerations should be portability. Some folding saws feature blades that are several inches long but fold neatly and fit into a sheath or carrying case that can be easily stored in a backpack or attached with a carabiner loop. This is an important feature to look for when choosing a camping saw.
Types Of Camping Saws
Folding Saw – If you are looking for an indispensable tool for the great outdoors, something durable and portable, then you are probably in the market for a folding saw. These handy tools are best known for a double row of teeth for sawing wood in both directions. Even with a wooden handle and large blade, the best folding saws are not too heavy to become burdensome. Folding saws are often considered the ideal saw for camping because they can handle tasks large or small, such as carving joints into material, cutting tree limbs, and cutting down boxes.
Pocket Chainsaw – Unlike their gas-powered cousins, these kinds of camping saws are powered by a person as you actually pull the chain backward and forward. As you may notice, this is the most minimalist of the three types. It is true they save on space, but you need to think equally of how often you expect to need such a tool. Regular use during more than a few camping trips may bring this saw’s durability into question.
Bow Saw or Buck Saw – It is true. You may know this saw by different names. Depending on where and with whom you may camp, it would not be unusual for someone to refer to this saw as a “buck saw,” “swede saw,” or even “finn saw.” Durability in frame design, longer blades, and efficiency of cutting green or wet wood leads many experienced campers to think if this saw as the “top of the mountain.” Other nice features include quick disassembly and storage for convenient transport – even though they are large and heavy. Of the three kinds of camping saws, the buck saw is the most expensive.
Camping Saw FAQ
Q: Why do I need a camping saw?
A: A saw is one of the most essential tools you can use while camping. With the right saw, you can easily cut through full size tree limbs, wild brush, bushes, or any other impediment that needs to be removed with a blade. A smaller folding saw also can be used to cut ropes, plastic tarps, fishing line, and many other items needed while camping.
Q: Which type of camping saws should I get?
A: The type of saw depends on what you will use it for, and how often. For casual camping of the weekend variety at a state park, for instance, you can probably get by with a compact folding saw. Durable and lightweight, these can fulfill a variety of cutting or sawing needs.
Q: How do you clean resin from a saw blade?
A: To clean resin from a saw blade, it is recommended that you follow instructions and safety precautions from the manufacturer. Ideally, you will use a pre-bought saw blade cleaning kit which consists of a liquid solution that is sprayed or brushed on the blade, a wire brush, cloth, and pan. But if you are camping and can get by with minimal effort till returning to civilization, then a wire brush should do the trick.
Q: Should I oil my saw?
A: In an ideal world, yes – oil your saw blade, especially after heavy usage. Paste wax is the preferred lubricant, but a spray can of WD-40 also works nicely. A small bottle of WD-40 is probably the best oil solution when you are camping, as it can be tossed in a backpack and comes with a small plastic straw, allowing the oil to be dispensed in a folding blade locking mechanism or the teeth of a pocket chainsaw.
Q: How do I sharpen my camping saw?
A: You should only sharpen a camping saw by following the manufacturer instructions, and if you have the proper tools and safety equipment. Tools that you need to sharpen your camping saw include a saw vise, saw jointer and mill file, a properly sized triangular file, and saw set. It also is a good idea to use safety gloves and goggles.
Q: Can I get replacement blades for folding saws?
A: Yes, replacement blades for folding saws can be purchased from the retailer where you bought the saw. They also can be bought directly from the manufacturer or online.