A saw is a pretty handy piece of kit to have when you’re camping. You can use it to clear fallen logs on a trail or cut up wood for your campfire. But you don’t want to pack a heavy, bulky saw that will slow you down and get in the way.
Unfortunately, many ‘lightweight’ saws designed for camping will fall to pieces on you. If you’re looking for something solid and reliable, you’ll have to tread carefully.
This article will give you 11 suggestions for trustworthy camp saws made from quality materials. I hope you find it helpful!
In a Hurry? Here Are My Top 3 Picks
11 Best Camping Saws Review
REXBETI Heavy Duty Folding Saw
This Rexbeti camp saw is affordable and effective. The blade is 11 inches, and the staggered teeth make good, clean cuts. (So you’re less likely to go crazy getting your saw stuck in logs all day!)
The comfort grip handle will help protect you from sores and prevent the saw from slipping in your hand. After using it, you can fold it away and lock the blade for safety.
Make sure you do that because it has an impressive seven teeth per inch. You don’t want to leave that lying around where it could hurt someone!
The blade itself isn’t very thick, but users say it quickly chews through wood once you get it going. In general, the reviews are positive but a few people had problems locking the blade.
I strongly recommend that you check to ensure the locking mechanism screw is nice and tight before using it. It seems that tweaking this will make a huge difference to the overall cutting power.
Full disclosure: This is not the very best camping saw on the market. But you get a very good balance between cutting power and price, so you might want to give it a chance.
Roadfare Pocket Chainsaw
It might not look like a modern-day chainsaw, but this Roadfare Pocket Chainsaw is pretty impressive. I love that you can fit in a little pouch on your belt, so it won’t take up valuable space in your pack.
This 36-inch saw has 48 teeth, with one on every link. That means it will cut wood much faster than many saws, which have a tooth only on every second or third link.
It is bidirectional, which means you can pull it in both directions. This will let you cut your wood much faster than a typical saw that gets jammed if you pull it the wrong way.
The soft nylon handles will protect your hands from blisters, but it’s always a good idea to pop on a pair of gloves if you don’t have much experience using tools. Your body will need time to harden up and adjust!
This saw is effective, and it weighs less than 6 ounces. You can use it with a buddy if you need extra power, or you can grab both the handles yourself.
The only drawback is that a saw like this can get tangled up in the pouch if you aren’t careful, which means you’d have to waste time unknotting it. Be careful how you store it!
Corona RS 7265D
I think this folding saw is the best overall choice. The 10-inch blade has three-sided razor teeth, so you’ll power through small to medium logs in no time.
This isn’t the best choice for larger jobs, but you shouldn’t be felling trees or cutting up massive logs anyway. (Unless you’re in a survival situation, in which case, do whatever you have to do!)
Don’t forget that your campfire wood shouldn’t be thicker than your wrist, so this compact and powerful saw is more than powerful enough for the job.
To prevent accidents, you can latch the blade when it’s not in use. Plus, the blade is curved and has six teeth per inch, which will reduce the time and effort you put into cutting your wood.
The handle is comfortable, and the stainless steel is strong and rust-resistant. I wish the blade were fully covered when folded; instead, a few teeth are still exposed. This could damage some of your other kit if you plan on putting the saw in your backpack, so watch out for that.
Opinel Folding Saw
The Opinel Folding Saw is an excellent option for small branches, around three to four inches thick. Preparing wood for a campfire will be a lot easier and more precise with this tool than with an ax.
The beechwood handle is strong and looks great. I appreciate that both the saw and its packaging are plastic-free. The saw is nice and sharp, with an eight-inch blade and a double row of teeth.
You will need to wipe this blade dry if it gets wet, as carbon steel can rust. Don’t try to cut massive logs with this, or it will snap. This is designed for small branches and leave-no-trace campfires, not for cutting down trees.
If you want to do more intense sawing, you’d be better off with the chainsaw I mentioned earlier.
Nordic Pocket Saw Survival Chainsaw
This hand-powered chainsaw is a little smaller than my top choice, but it still packs a punch. I love that it weighs only 132 grams and is made from heat-treated, high-carbon steel, which is solid and durable.
The nylon handles are comfortable to grip, and there’s a double-cutting tooth on every major link. Some professors tested this chainsaw at a university in Sweden and found that it’ll withstand a force 20 times higher than a human can achieve.
So unless you have superhuman strength, you won’t break this thing.
The user reviews are incredibly positive, and you can tell this kit is built to last. It’s a little pricier than some of the other options I’m suggesting, but if you take good care of it, it will last you for years.
Blue Straw Survival Wire Saws
If you’re looking for a lightweight saw to use as part of your survival kit, I’d go for something simple like the Blue Straw model.
They weigh only 25 grams each, so you won’t notice them in your pack. I’d probably slip mine into a pouch in my first aid kit, so it would always be on hand if I get into a tricky situation.
These are lightweight because they’re very thin, and they don’t have comfortable nylon handles. Instead, they have small metal rings that you can slide your fingers through. This won’t be very comfortable.
Remember, this is for your survival kit rather than day-to-day use. Don’t hesitate to wear gloves to protect your hands.
UTOOL Folding Hand Saw
The UTOOL Saw is much more comfortable for everyday use. The non-slip ergonomic handle makes it safe to use in all weather conditions, and you’ll be able to cut wood for much longer without getting blisters or hand cramps.
You can fold away the blade when you’re not using it, and the sheath will fully cover all the teeth. Those sharp teeth are staggered to prevent sawdust from clogging them and slowing you down.
The seven-inch blade is made from rust-resistant steel, but it is also replaceable. That means you won’t waste money on an entirely new saw when the blade eventually dulls.
Later, I’ll give you some tips on maintaining your saw so that you can keep it sharp for as long as possible.
To be honest, this is considerably heavier than some of the other saws I’ve recommended. It’s 11 ounces, so it’s not huge, but you might not want to bring this backpacking.
HME Mini Folding Saw
The HME Mini Folding Saw is small enough to fit inside your pocket. It won’t do any major log cutting, but it’s helpful to have on a back-country camping trip.
This is a good step up from the kind of saw you’d find on a multi-tool, but it’s not as effective as some of the chainsaws or larger folding saws I’ve already suggested.
If you’re looking for something particularly compact and affordable, this is a good choice. It has a comfortable handle, and the five-inch blade is sturdy and rust-resistant.
It isn’t bidirectional, cutting only on the pull. That means it’ll take longer to work with than two-way saws, but it’ll be fine for small jobs like cutting down kindling for a campfire.
Plus, it won’t weigh you down or get in your way, so it’s definitely a good choice for the right person.
These survival chainsaws are similar to the Blue Straw ones I already recommended, but you’ll notice that the handles are slightly different. Instead of having a single metal ring, they have two plastic rings on each end so you can get a better grip with your fingers.
The plastic handles should be a little less harsh on your hands (especially in icy weather!).
The downside is that they aren’t as durable as the less comfortable metal ones. It’s up to you whether you’d rather have durability or comfort.
These steel wire saws are 21 inches long and will have your back in an emergency. But survival saws aren’t fun or practical to use every day, so don’t expect them to perform like a more expensive chainsaw.
Samurai Curved Blade Saw
The Samurai Curved Blade Saw comes from Japan, a country well known for its blades. The reviews of this folding saw are overwhelmingly positive, and most users agree that it is practical and easy to use.
You should know that this is a pull saw, so it doesn’t work in both directions. This will slow you down compared to a chainsaw like the one I recommended as my top choice, but some people much prefer folding saws to chainsaws.
The 9.5-inch gently curved blade makes for easier cutting, and it folds away when you’re done. Not all the teeth are fully covered when it is folded, though, so you might need to think about how you pack it.
This saw is decent quality for the price, but I wouldn’t take it on a backpacking trip. If you have a vehicle with you, it could be a great choice.
To prevent rusting, give it a quick dry down after using it in wet weather.
Mini Chainsaw Cordless
You won’t need a motorized chainsaw in 99% of situations. But for someone planning a long-term camp on private land, a chainsaw like this could be great for sorting out firewood and clearing fallen logs.
The two powerful batteries will give you 2.5 hours of cutting time. Considering that it’ll take you only 10 seconds to get through six inches of wood, you’ll be well covered!
It comes with three different chains, so you can keep using it before you get a chance to resharpen any dull teeth.
This kit weighs only 2.4 pounds, which is remarkably light for a motorized chainsaw. It’s easy to adjust and assemble, and it comes in a carry case.
I wouldn’t use this saw without goggles because a big splinter could kick back into your eyeball.
Honestly, this chainsaw will be overkill for most campers. But if you need a motorized saw, this is one of your best choices.
Camping Saws Buying Guide
To be honest, I think you’ll have already found the perfect camping saw in this article. But if you still can’t decide which one to choose, this buying guide gives you a few pointers.
There are a few types of saw that you could use for camping.
- Folding saw
- Pocket chainsaw
- Survival wire saw
- Collapsible bow saw
- Motorized chainsaw
The Best Types
I think folding saws and pocket chainsaws are your best bet because they offer the best balance between weight and strength. If you go for a folding saw, try to get a bidirectional one to save time.
All pocket chainsaws should be bidirectional, but not all have teeth on both sides of the chain.
The extra teeth are helpful if you want to cut high branches by throwing your saw over the tree, but you shouldn’t be cutting branches like this when you’re camping anyway. (You don’t collect standing wood for bonfires, dead or alive!)
Pocket chainsaws are effective, but make sure you have soft nylon handles to protect your hands.
Survival wire saws work in the same way, but they are less comfortable to use and more likely to snap.
They are also incredibly lightweight and take up hardly any room in your pack, so they are suitable for emergencies.
The Not-So-Good Types
You can also get collapsible bow saws. They look exactly like the type you would find in most people’s garages, but you can collapse them down for portability.
Many of these can be put down and fully assembled without tools. That means you don’t have to worry about losing any parts, which is a positive.
But the quality of collapsible bow saws is typically pretty poor. I haven’t been able to find one with good enough reviews to recommend in good faith.
The other not-so-good type is a motorized chainsaw. It’ll be way over the top for most campers, and you’ll end up with a truckload of expensive tools that you don’t use.
I did recommend a good cordless chainsaw for those who want one, but think carefully before going ahead with one of those.
Most camping saws are made of carbon steel. This is a reasonably solid and lightweight material, but you should dry it between uses so that it doesn’t get rusty.
When possible, go for a non-slip handle. A silicone grip is particularly comfortable, and a wood or plastic handle can also be a good choice.
I would avoid metal handles, which tend to be uncomfortable and slip around in your hand.
Blade and Teeth
The blade length doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but I would go for a folding saw with a six-inch blade as a minimum. I would also go for a bidirectional blade because I’m not very good with pull saws.
However, someone who has more experience with tools might find a pull saw to be just fine.
Staggered teeth help prevent sawdust from building up and slowing you down. Typically, the more teeth per inch, the faster your blade will cut. But you also need to consider quality and materials.
Chainsaws will be a lot longer than folding saws, but they are lightweight and easy to store in a small pouch. Ideally, you want a tooth per link on a chainsaw.
Even the best blade will struggle with greenwood. You want dry wood for a fire that will burn better and be easier to cut into pieces. (And you’ll need only small branches, no thicker than your wrist, for a responsible campfire.)
The best way to estimate the durability of a saw is to check the user reviews. I always skim past the 5-star reviews and read some of the 3-star reviews.
This helps me get a balanced view of the product. (1-star reviews are typically pretty unhelpful and over the top, but if a product has loads of them, you should obviously steer clear!)
You can easily sharpen your pocket chainsaw, and you should do so frequently.
Honestly, it’s not realistic to expect saws to stay sharp if you don’t take care of them. That comes from the 21st-century throw-away culture. We do need to take good care of our kit if we want it to last.
This video will show you how to sharpen a chainsaw:
If you have a small folding saw, you’ll want to sharpen it more like you would a pruning saw! If you’re unsure how to sharpen a folding saw, a quick Google search will sort you out.
A saw can be super helpful when you’re out on the trail, especially if you love starting the day with a cup of campfire coffee.
If you’re working on a tight budget, you might want to consider the REXBETI Heavy Duty Folding Saw. It doesn’t have the sturdiest of blades, but it does cut wood effectively once you get into a good rhythm.
I hope you found this article on the best camping saws helpful, and I wish you many happy camping adventures with your new saw!
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Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.