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There are many good reasons to own a camping saw. You may need to clear a campsite, get firewood, or just prune that one pesky tree in your yard. If you’ve never owned one of these great tools before and you’re trying to shop online, you may have noticed that there are many different types of camping saws out there.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the selection just yet. We’ve chosen eight of our favorites and created reviews for them so you can narrow your list to the best tools on the market. We cover the best and worst things about each model. With that information in mind, you’ll be able to find the saw that works best for you, without any of the flaws that would drive you nuts.
|Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw|
|Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw||1 lb||4.6/5|
|FLORA GUARD Folding Pruning & Camping Saw|
(Best for the Money)
|Gerber Freescape Camp Saw||1 lb||4.2/5|
|Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw||1 lb||4.1/5|
If you need a saw that won’t let you down when you need it the most, the Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw is for you. It has seven teeth per inch (TPI), which is more than many comparable camping saws. That leads to more material being removed per pull, which ultimately means faster sawing jobs, at the cost of having to expend a bit more energy. It’s coated for rust protection, which is a big deal given that it always seems to rain when you go camping. This saw locks both when the blade is extended and when it’s retracted. That makes it very safe relative to many saws out there, and this feature greatly reduces the chances of injury.
This tool weighs just seven ounces, which is pretty incredible for a nine-inch blade with an accompanying handle. The one thing that could be improved is the handle, which is made from cheap plastic. However, it’s hard to complain about that given the overall low price. Overall, this saw has a lot going for it, and it’s easy to see why this is the best folding saw for camping.
The Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw puts a huge emphasis on its teeth, and it’s a decision that pays off. This tool comes with three-sided teeth, so despite its relatively low TPI, it maintains the feel of a razor-sharp saw with more teeth. The teeth are impulse-hardened, which makes them far more durable, and means you’ll accidentally chip them off far less often than you might with inferior saws. It also has an ergonomic handle, which is something that you may not value until you hold it yourself and realize how comfortable it is.
This is also a pull saw. Pull saws have a reputation for being easier to use and requiring less force per stroke than many comparable types of saws. Unfortunately, this saw is prone to rusting, especially if it’s left outdoors or stored in an area with high levels of humidity. For the price, we’d like to see a more effective coating to resist rust and help the blade last longer than a few years. Still, this saw cuts so well that most users will be happy with the value they get for their purchase.
The FLORA GUARD Folding Pruning & Camping Saw is another tool that would complement most camping trips well. The three-sided teeth increase the amount of material removed with each pull of the saw, increasing the speed at which you can saw without increasing the work required. The handle is very comfortable, and if you’re pruning plants around the yard, this one won’t wear out your hands quickly like some will. Plus, it weighs less than ten ounces, which makes throwing it in a backpack no big deal at all.
However, what we like most is its low price. You can get it for less than half of what you’d spend on the top two models on our list, but it comes with many of the same great features. That makes for an incredible deal and makes this model the best for the money. However, it does have a thinner blade, which can make it hard to cut through branches more than an inch thick. For lighter work, it will cut quickly and will make the vast majority of users very happy campers.
The Gerber Freescape Camp Saw is very different in design than many of the others on our list. Instead of having a curved blade that folds down into a handle, it more resembles a hacksaw. The good news is that it folds down flat, so you won’t have any trouble fitting it into a backpack. This saw has a standard 12-inch saw blade, so you’ll be able to use whatever kind of blade best suits the conditions in which you’ll be working. The comfortable rubber grip means using it won’t be hard on your hands.
It’s good that it uses a standard saw blade, as it ships with a truly low-quality blade. It tends to flex and bind, and few users end up liking it. However, after replacing it with a better blade, most people end up liking the frame quite a lot. Unfortunately, it has a few weak points that can lead to it breaking. This is a good model to choose if you know you need a portable saw with a full-sized blade. Otherwise, you’ll probably be happier with something else.
The Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw is a pocket saw, or a chainsaw blade that’s mounted on handles so you can operate it without dragging a bulky chainsaw body around. This model is 36 inches long, so you can get a lot of cutting done on each stroke. It’s resharpenable, which is something you’re not going to be able to do with all saws on our list. This is also one of the few tools on the market that still comes with a lifetime warranty. That’s a great sign that the manufacturer really believes in its product.
However, this saw has a few issues that make it a poor choice in some camping situations. It can struggle with dry wood, though if you’re mostly clearing green brush, you shouldn’t have an issue with it. It also struggles to get a grip on thick bark. That means it isn’t as useful in all situations as other models on our list. While it’s very portable, it would need to be a better general purpose tool to rise on our list.
The SVEN SAW 15-inch Blade Folding Saw most resembles a hacksaw when it’s fully extended, though it’s worth pointing out that it resembles an A-frame building when it’s in it’s working configuration. It comes with a 15-inch blade, so if you’re going to be cutting down trees while you’re out in the wild, you’ll really appreciate the speed at which you can do so with this saw. It also folds down quickly and expands quickly, which can sometimes be an issue with hacksaw-style portable saws.
The frame is made entirely from metal. While that sounds like a plus, that means that the entire thing will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter, which necessitates the use of gloves with this saw. It’s also not the sturdiest saw on our list. The frame doesn’t resist the stresses of sawing super well, and it’s not a tool you can expect to last forever. While it’s certainly a portable tool with a very large blade, it’s not going to last a long time, and many people will ultimately end up disappointed with their purchase.
The Zippo AxeSaw is an extremely innovative tool that combines a hatchet and a saw into a single device. With the blade cover on and the blade in place, it functions as a hacksaw. Loosen the blade and store it in the handle, and remove the blade cover, and you can use it as an axe. That two-in-one functionality can be a huge boon. It comes with a 15-inch saw blade, which provides a superior cutting experience relative to smaller models. The handle can store two sawblades, so you can carry different types for different situations.
However, the idea is roughly as convoluted as it sounds. It can be awkward to use as a hacksaw, as holding the blade of an axe, albeit covered, isn’t very comfortable as a handle. Worse, it weighs about 2.6 pounds. That’s not terrible for an axe, but that’s a lot of weight for a camping saw. Ultimately, this is only a good choice for users who need both kinds of tools and have serious weight restrictions. Otherwise, there are better saws and axes to buy.
The Lanier Hand Folding Pruning Saw is rather forgettable. It comes with an ergonomic handle, which is not the most comfortable out there, but not the worst, either. The teeth on the blade are heat-treated, which means they shouldn’t chip off easily during use, and they should be okay to use on bark and harder woods. The folding, seven-inch blade does save some space, but the design is overall very odd. The handle loops around the part that stores the blade, which means it takes up more space than your typical folding knife. That’s not something you want if you’re planning to go camping.
The handle is made from cheap plastic. As you might guess, that means it’s prone to breaking when you need it most. The blade is also very flexible, even when working with tiny branches. That makes it hard to cut through just about anything and can pose a potential danger to those using the saw. Ultimately, this saw just doesn’t do all that much well. While it is very inexpensive, most users will be more satisfied if they get a tool that can get the job done and will last.
The Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw is our favorite camping saw due to its relatively high TPI, rust-resistant coating, and lock-in and lock-out modes. The Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw comes in second with its three-sided teeth, ergonomic handle, and impulse-hardened teeth, though its vulnerability to rust hurts its value. In third, the FLORA GUARD Folding Pruning & Camping Saw also has three-sided teeth and an ergonomic handle. Its extremely low price makes it the best overall value for the money here. The Gerber Freescape Camp Saw folds down flat and uses a standard 12-inch saw blade, but the crummy included blade and weak points put it in fourth place.
Fifth place belongs to the Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw, which comes with a 36-inch chain, resharpenable teeth, and a lifetime guarantee. What keeps it out of the top half of the list are its struggles with dry bark and harder wood. The SVEN SAW 15-inch Blade Folding Saw has a 15-inch blade and folds down quickly, but its sensitivity to temperature and lack of sturdiness cost it a few positions. The Zippo AxeSaw comes in seventh. It’s a weird combination of axe and hacksaw that doesn’t deliver the full experience promised by either category of tool. The Lanier Hand Folding Pruning Saw has an ergonomic handle and heat-tempered teeth, but its bulk, weak plastic handle, and very flexible frame drop it to last place.
Hopefully, these reviews have shown you what makes for a great camping saw, and has led you to the model that will make your next trip in the great outdoors terrific.
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