Best Folding Saw for Backpacking (2022 Guide)
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Many campers, backpackers, and hikers think an axe is the only way to cut useful firewood from dead or alive tree branches while on their trip, without considering bringing a folding saw. Camping saws are an underrated option for an alternative to hacking away at thick trees for good campfire logs or shelter branches.
In this guide, we’ve compiled the best folding saws for backing that we identified in our in-depth research and testing. To help you choose the best one, we discuss who each saw is right for, and we provide a detailed guide to buying your folding saw.
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We spent hours analyzing dozens of camping saws based on their specs, brand’s reputation, usability, practicality, and a few other factors. We also read more than 100 customer reviews for each one to establish an understanding of common positive and negative experiences campers and hikers have with each product.
Top 7 Folding Saws for Backpacking
#1. Corona RazorTooth
This saw is our top pick for backpackers, hikers, and campers alike since it comes with a high teeth per inch (TPI) of six, a flexible, curved blade, and a large handle that can be used for two-hand sawing jobs.
- Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Blade length: 10 inches
- TPI: 6
✔ Cut through tree branches considerably faster than other comparable saws during our research
✔ Has a durable blade flex that can be pushed with heavy sawing and pruning on thick trees or logs
✔ Comes at affordable prices, typically around $20 each
✘ Teeth can break fairly easily after heavy use, according to some customers
✘ Can snag on things in your hiking pack when folded up, due to a slight gap between the blade and the plastic handle
Takeaway: If you’re looking for a camping saw that has a long blade and handle, can saw through thick trees and limbs with ease, and has an affordable price, the Corona RazorTooth is tough to beat, which is why we think it’s your best bet overall. However, other options may be better if you’re looking for compact option that’s easier to carry around in your bag.
#2. Home Planet Gear Eversaw 8.0
If you’re shopping on a budget, this folding saw may be your best choice. It has a straight saw blade that folds out and locks into place, and a comfortable rubber handle that provides solid grip when sawing or pruning wood.
- Weight: 10 ounces
- Blade length: 8 inches
- TPI: 9
✔ Features a Japanese-style pull-cut design with carbon steel material
✔ Completely covers the teeth when it’s folded up
✔ Has a higher TPI than many competitors, giving it a fast cut through wood
✘ Has a shorter blade, which means you’ll have to make smaller strokes while sawing
✘ Occasionally has issues with the locking mechanism, according to some reviews
Takeaway: The Home Planet Geat Eversaw 8.0 is our pick for budget shoppers, since it’s often priced around $15–$20, and it offers a quality product that gives you excellent overall value for your money. It’s also a lighter and smaller option, making it a good pick for your everyday-carry bag. Although, it may not be the best choice for those looking for a top brand.
#3. Gerber Freescape Camp Saw
This camping saw has a unique design with four pivot points that can be unfolded upon release. Its ergonomic plastic handle and limited lifetime warranty (more information on Gerber’s website) are only a few reasons this saw is worth the money.
- Weight: 1 pound
- Blade length: 12 inches
- TPI: 5
✔ Doesn’t bend or flex when over-worked like other folding saws, due to its design
✔ Offers the ability to change the blade a standard saw blade
✔ Has a space to carry a spare blade, making it a great pick for longer backpacking trips where you may need a backup saw blade
✘ Struggles to cut through some thicker types of wood, such as Ash
✘ Comes a bit heavier than many competitors, so it’s not best for those who don’t want the extra weight on their trip
Takeaway: After researching dozens of folding saws for backpacking on the market, we found the Gerber Freescape Camp Saw to be the best high-end option. Although it’s pricier than many competitors, Gerber is a well known, reputable camping tools brand, and its camping saw has an impressive design that’s unique compared with the other options in this review.
#4. Silky PocketBoy 130mm
This folding saw comes with a rust-resistant, high-quality steel blade. It’s an ideal option for those who just need a small camping saw to keep in their everyday carry bag or taking on short hiking trips.
- Weight: 5.9 ounces
- Blade length: 5.1 inches
- TPI: 8.5
✔ Comes with a plastic carrying case to keep the saw safe in your bag
✔ Has an easily adjustable hinge, in case you want a tiger or looser open and close
✔ Feature two open locking positions to help you get different angles while cutting
✘ Can be more expensive than many other comparable saws—usually around $35–$40
✘ Has a thin blade design that some customers don’t like
Takeaway: As the smallest option in this review by both weight and length, we recommend the Silky PocketBoy 130mm for anyone looking for a pocket saw to take on their camping trip. If you don’t mind a smaller size and want something that doesn’t take up much space in your pack, this might be your best bet.
#5. Mossy Oak Folding Saw
This saw comes from a well known brand in the camping tools industry—Mossy Oak. It features three blades that can help you with multiple uses, such as wood sawing, pipe sawing, and more. It’s also a compact option, with a fairly short blade length.
- Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Blade length: 7.5 inch
- TPI: 5, 11, and 18
✔ Comes with a nylon sheath that carries the saw and the two additional blades
✔ Has a pull and push tooth design for efficient sawing
✔ Can cut smoothly with its different high-TPI blade options
✘ Some reviews mention that the plastic cover on the locking button can come off easily
✘ Has a rubber handle that can wear down easily, due to its soft texture
Takeaway: If you want a folding saw that’s versatile for various needs around your hours in addition to your camping or backpacking trip, we recommend the Mossy Oak Folding Saw since it includes three easily changeable blades for various cutting jobs. However, it may not be best for those looking for a sturdier rubberized handle.
#6. Bearhard Folding Saw
This is another great standard folding saw option to take on your trip. It comes in an attractive hunter green and fits well into hiking packs when folded up. Its blade also features an anti-rust coating to improve its durability and make it last as long as you need it.
- Weight: 8.1 ounces
- Blade length: 7 inches
- TPI: 7
✔ Features an SK5 high-carbon steel blade, which is better than many competing camping saws
✔ Comes with a pair of protective gloves you can wear while sawing during your backcountry trip
✔ Made with environmentally friendly materials
✘ Can come with a loose blade, according to some reviews, but you can tighten at the hinge as needed
✘ Can feel a bit cheaper than some more-expensive folding knives
Takeaway: For a folding saw with an impressive steel blade at an affordable cost, many campers and hikers turn to the Bearhard Folding Saw, due to its SK5 high-carbon steel and ergonomic design. However, it might not be best for those looking for a more premium option or a better known brand.
#7. Hooyman Extendable Tree Saw
This saw can help prune branches or gather firewood from higher up in the trees, as it can come with five, ten, or 16 feet of extension pieces to help you saw high up with a long reach. It also has a longer blade than many competitors, giving it extra cutting power.
- Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Blade length: 12 inches
- TPI: 6
✔ Has a sturdy and easy-to-use blade, even when using the extenders
✔ Can include a carrying case and a wrist lanyard with each saw
✔ Comes in five-, ten-, or 16-foot models, depending on your needs
✘ Is considerably heavier and longer than competing folding saw, so may not be the best for those who don’t have as much space in their hiking pack
✘ Flexes rather than cuts on some longer extended sawing jobs
Takeaway: Purchasing an extendable saw can be ideal for longer camping or backpacking trips where you might need to get to some high-quality branches higher up off the ground. If you’re looking for a folding saw to handle those cuts, we recommend the Hooyman Extendable Tree Saw since it features a five foot extension.
Reasons To Bring a Folding Saw
If you’re going on a backpacking trip, you may not have considered bringing a folding saw, since it’s often an overlooked tool for campers and hikers. However, they can add a ton of value to your arsenal of tools in your hiking pack. Here are a few reasons:
- Cutting firewood. While it can’t replace your necessary camping knife that you should bring on your trip, a folding saw could be an alternative to an axe. It can be just as good at gathering firewood by providing an easy way for you to saw through dead or living tree wood to the exact size you need. It can also help you cut kindling for easy fire starting.
- Campsite furniture. You can use a saw to make clean, even cuts for building camp furniture like chairs and tables. It’s especially useful for bushcraft and survival trips in the wilderness. Even if you brought a backpacking multitool on your trip, its saw is likely too small for cutting through thick wood, so a folding saw could make a great addition for regular uses around the campsite.
- Clearing brush. If there’s thick brush blocking your trail, you’ll need something that can cut through easily to clear your path. You can pull out your folding saw for backpacking when you come up on any rough blockage to make a way for yourself.
- Cutting shelter beams. If you’re roughing it in the woods, and you’re sleeping in a self-build shelter, rather than a tent, your axe and folding saw are critical tools for preparing the walls, floors, and roof of the structure. Your folding saw can cut clean edges to help make your beams even, fitting best into your shelter’s design.
What To Look for in a Folding Saw
When choosing a folding saw, you’ll want to consider its TPI, blade length, overall size, and design before purchasing it. Comparing your options on these factors can help you narrow down to the best one that fits your needs.
Teeth Per Inch (TPI)
This is the frequency of teeth in your folding saw, and the number determines how the saw works. In most cases, the lower the TPI, the faster the cut; but the higher the TPI, the smoother the cut.
This means, if you’re looking for fine, smooth edges from you folding saw cuts, you’ll want a saw with a high TPI, such as the Home Planet Geat Eversaw 8.0, but if you just want to be able to whip through cuts quickly, you might pick a saw with a lower TPI, such as the Gerber Freescape Camp Saw.
Additionally, harder woods and metal piping typically require higher TPIs between 10–30, but most other woods can be cut with 5–15 TPI.
Size is an important factor for comparing the best folding saw for backpacking that’s going to fill your needs. Longer blades can take up more space in your pack, but they’re generally better at performing quick saw jobs with minimal expended energy.
If you’re not worried about space and are looking for a longer blade, you should consider the Hooyman Extendable Tree Saw or the Gerber Freescape Camp Saw. However, shorter saws like the Silky PocketBoy 130mm are easy to carry around in your pocket and may be better for your backpacking trip.
Each saw has a unique design, making that an important factor of your decision. Some saws have a pull design, such as the Home Planet Geat Eversaw 8.0, meaning they saw only on the pull, rather than the push. This can often help preserve energy with long strides of cutting when you pull the saw back toward you.
On the other hand, some saws are designed to cut on both the pull and the push, such as the Mossy Oak Folding Saw, making them faster for cutting, although the cuts may be less smooth than other designs. If you’re looking for smooth cuts, you should consider the pull-cut saws, rather than this option.
Before You Leave: Summary
With so many folding saws for backpacking on the market, it can be difficult to make your decision on which one to purchase. We spent hours researching dozens of options and narrowed down to these seven for the unique qualities they bring to the table.
Although our overall top pick is the Corona RazorTooth, we like each other saw for its features that may stick out more to you, such as the Gerber Freescape Camp Saw’s unique design, the Hooyman Extendable Tree Saw’s extendability for reaching branches up high, or the versatility.
Additional note: Since folding saws have extremely sharp edges, they can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Always be careful when using a camping saw to ensure you don’t harm yourself or others.