There are a few things that are nice to have as part of your kit whether you are prepping for a SHTF type of scenario, creating a bug-out camp or just going out for a weekend in the woods.
While having a survival knife may be the most important survival tool to have, followed by a hatchet, a saw might just make the list at the number three spot for the best types of survival tools to have with you in emergency situations.
Saws were used as far back as the Paleolithic Era up to 60,000 years ago with the first metal saws being used around 4,000 years ago. In some ways, not much has changed.
We have put together a list of some of the best survival saws that we have found out there on the market.
13 Best Survival Saw
1. Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw
Best Overall Saw
Dimensions: 1″ L x 2.68″ W x 12″ H
Weight: 12.8 ounces
Pros: Comfortable handle for easy and secure grip, Secure latch for safety, Fast and efficient cutting
Cons: Blade corrodes when exposed to moisture
Our top pick for the best survival saw out there is the Corona Razor TOOTH Saw. The blades comes with a RazorTOOTH design so you can be sure the cuts will be clean and deep. With 6 teeth for every inch, it claims to cut twice as fast as a conventional saw.
This is a pruning saw meaning it is smaller, more compact, and is good for cutting logs up to six-inch in diameter. The curved blade can be replaced if needed, but it’s likely you will never need to replace it as the blade is super durable, thick and generally outlasts any bow saw out there. What’s nice about this one, and folding saws in general is they are light, can be folded up, stored, and carried around easily.
This blade comes in three different sizes 7″, 8″, and 10″. As this is a survival review we would recommend the longer version, as it allows for more surface areas which allow for faster deeper cuts. Like other saws like this one, it cuts with a pull stroke. The blade made of steel should stay sharp for many years, which is a good thing, cause sharpening folding saws is not such an easy task…though definitely possible.
You might already know this, but if the saw is kept in a moist or damp place the blade can rust, yes stainless steel can actually rust, though we can safely say that in most cases it won’t, if you take care of your tools properly, and clean them after use your saw should be rust free.
Why we like it? This saw has a nice grip and ergonomic design with a curved blade that has an adjustable tension with a triple tooth design. Its just about everything you can ask for in a pruning saw.
2. Silky Professional BIGBOY 2000 Folding Saw
Best Quality Saw
Dimensions: 29.9″ L x 3.56″ W x 0.8″ H
Weight: 1 Pound
Pros: Lightweight for easy carrying, Versatile and can be used in a variety of capacities, Low angle curve for improving cutting
Cons: A little bit on the bigger side
This saw was designed to be comfortable to use, the handle is made of rubber which will allow an easy grip and like the Crona can be folded and taken with you on the go. This one is definitely bigger than the last prune saw, coming in a just over 14-inch blade allows for longer reach, an extended stroke allowing you to deal with bigger logs more easily and up to 10-inch logs pretty easily.
This type of saw can be taken with you on long packing trips, as it is collapsible and easy to carry. The high carbon steel that it was made from is super durable will not bend even when cutting through thick logs.
This bad boy has 5.5 teeth per inch that come in three different variations XL, L, M, and fine teeth coming in at 5.5 tpi (teeth per inch), 6 tpi, 8.5 tpi, and 11 tpi with just about all of them near impossible to break. Each variation will be for the type of cutting you plan on doing, whether it’s for smaller or bigger diameter logs.
3. Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw 36 Inch Long Chain Survival Saw
Best Budget Saw
Dimensions: 4.7″ L x 3.4″ W x 1.8″ H
Weight: 4.9 ounces
Material: Carbon steel
Pros: The blade can be resharpened, Can be used on large branches, The nylon handle is comfortable and durable, Not expensive
Cons: Requires two hands and more effort than typical saws
This pocket chainsaw blade is 36 inches and for those not familiar with handheld chainsaws they are portable chains that are used by pushing/pulling the blades with both hands and can be used instead of a regular saw when camping, hiking or thrown in your bug out bag for survival situations. Overall it gets great reviews though it may not replace an electric chainsaw it is a perfectly good substitute for survival purposes.
It comes with a lifetime guarantee and has gotten good traction within the survival community, though there is a lot of hate when it comes to handheld chainsaws in general. It is able to cut through any diameter of wood, both soft and hardwood alike. You are likely able to cut an 8-10 inch diameter log in under 5 minutes with a decent amount of effort.
This handheld chainsaw is great for cutting and trimming overhead branches and because of its slim teeth allows you to cut at angles with ease. The Sportsman Pocket chainsaw also comes with a fire starter and a carry case.
4. Skyocean Pocket Chainsaw Survival Saw
Best Saw to Carry
Dimensions: 8.46″ L x 6.46″ W x 1.97″ H
Weight: 0.22 Kg
Material: Carbon steel
Pros: Easy to take on the go, High-quality chain, Easy to sharpen, Superlight
Cons: Less power than similar a traditional saw
This handheld chainsaw is lightweight, can be folded up and taken on the go. It has teeth that are bidirectional allowing for an easier cut and comes in two different sizes both 24in and 36in with 11 teeth and 16 teeth respectively.
The handles are made from paracord so you will be able to get a good grip. As was mentioned above, hand chainsaws are effective depending upon the strength of the individual though are not quite a perfect alternative for a traditional handheld bow saw they are great for throwing in your bag for survival, emergency or backpacking and also for any home DIY projects if you need to do some overhead trimming.
The advantage of a pocket chain saw is that it’s easy to carry around on any trip and can be thrown into a bag without really worrying about it weighing a ton. The chain can be sharpened quite easily as opposed to pruning saws. The downside is that the teeth do have a tendency to get stuck especially if you are holding the ends close together or if you are sawing through a big trunk. The fact that these types of saws cost a fraction of traditional saw makes it a steal.
5.Friendly Swede Folding Hand Saw
Best Compact Saw
Dimensions: 17.32 x 0.98 x 1.97 inches
Weight: 9.1 ounces
Pros: Has a safety lock to prevent items from getting caught in the blade, Compact, light and well designed, Easy to use, Great reviews everywhere on the internet.
Cons: The blade is small so cannot handle thick wood, Cant be extra blades seperately.
As one of the smallest saws on our list, it is a great addition to your survival gear as well as for just everyday needs. It is super versatile as this blade due to the compact 8-inch blade that makes it easy to wield and comes ready-sharp.
This thing cuts through twigs lighting fast and we found that it is much sharper than similar models on the market. The saw comes with two pieces of paracord, a safety lock, has 7 teeth per inch and is able to cut both dry and green wood quite easily.
It has a coated blade which helps to prevent the blade from getting stuck and from rusting. Because this thing is so light, not much pressure is needed to cut through wood. What is also great is that there is a lifetime warranty so if the blade does get damaged they will replace it for you.
6. Rexbeti 11 Inch Blade Hand Folding Saw
Best Heavy Duty Saw
Dimensions: 12.9″ L x 4.1″ W x 1.3″ H
Weight: 14.8 Ounces
Pros: Rubber handle for extra grip, A sturdy blade can cut wood up to 8 inches thick, Triple cut teeth.
Cons: Heavier than others.
Here we have a hand saw made by Rexbeti that comes with high-quality SK-5 Steel that can handle variable weather conditions whether your bushcrafting landscaping or for general yard work as it has a rubber-coated handle that will help you keep your grip if its raining.
The blade is heavy-duty coming in at 11-inches making it great for up to 8″ diameter logs. Foldable saws and this one in particular, give you the feeling that you could take it anywhere which is what we are looking for!
It has heavy-duty teeth with a triple-cut blade design with 7 teeth per inch that shreds through logs and branches as well as plastic and bone if needed.
7. Gerber Exchange-a-Blade Saw
Best Reliable Saw
Dimensions: 13″ L x 5.5″ W x 2.7″ H
Weight: 10.4 ounces
Pros: Sharp and light blade, Durable, Great Name brand company, Comes with two blades.
Cons: Handle is not super high quality.
The Gerber Exchange Blad Saw comes in at a total of 14.2 inches with a 7.1-inch blade length that is interchangeable and comes ready sharp.
This saw is made of stainless steel is lightweight and great for just about any outdoor gaming. As the name suggests it allows for interchangeable blades and comes with two blades, one coarse blade for wood and the finer blade for things like bone.
The blade is made from high carbon, which means it is tough, weather-ready and will retain its sharp edge well.
8. Silky New Professional Series KatanaBoy
Silky is one of the top brands on the market for camping saws today and with good reason. The company makes high-quality, professional folding saws that are able to stand up to even harsh use out in the wilderness. The heavy-duty saws are even able to compete with a chainsaw. With the KatanaBoy’s 25.6” blade option, you will find the largest folding camp saw on the market today, but it’s not just the size that makes this a standout.
The saw is well-balanced and has a taper-ground blade. The blade is made from premium proprietary Japanese steel, which provides an ideal amount of blade flexibility and hardness. The design and style of the camping saw make it easy for users to make quick work of large limbs and trunks to cut up firewood, clear a path, and more. The saw has a non-slip handle that is comfortable to use and is large enough that the saw could be used with two hands if needed.
The KatanaBoy from Silky is easy to use, and it comes with a nylon shoulder bag that is easy to carry and even has some room for extra saw blades. The blades can be re-sharpened, which ensures that they can last for a long time, as long as they have the proper care.
9. Sven Saw Folding Saw
This camping saw from Sven Saw is a lightweight option that could be a good choice for those who want something that they can tuck away into their other camping gear without it taking up a lot of space. The saw features a high-strength, red aluminum hollow triangular frame when it is set up and ready to go. It is a sturdy saw that is easy to use and is made from strong Swedish steel.
The saw will also fold away quickly and easily. The blade will go right into the handle, which helps to keep it safe. Because the frame of the saw is made from aluminum, it means that the weight is kept nice and low. It should be easy to pack the saw into and out of just about any area you can imagine. The saw is built to be durable and to work well in many types of wilderness environments.
10. Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw
This folding saw is a great choice for any sort of outdoor use. It is possible to take it camping, canoeing, or just to have around the house when you need to clear away some brush or prune trees. It will unfold and be ready for action in a matter of seconds. It features automatic blade tensioning, and there is never a need to touch the blade when opening or closing. This helps to increase safety and reduce the risk of injury.
The saw features a high clearance aluminum frame, a glass-filled nylon handle, and stainless steel hardware. Thanks to the three-hinged trapezium-shaped frame, it will allow for larger diameter cuts, meaning you can cut up large pieces if needed. The blade will fold away quickly, folding right into the frame when it is not in use. This helps to ensure that it will not damage your gear or cause an injury to you or someone else.
11. Silky PocketBoy Folding Saw
Here is another offering from Silky. This is a small and compact folding saw that still has the quality cutting capacity that is expected from the brand. It has a rust-resistant, hard chrome-plated taper-ground blade with impulse-hardened, non-set teeth. The blade features two different locking positions. There is one position for flush cutting and one for in-line cutting. Because it is compact, it is possible to take along with you nearly anywhere. You could also have an extra one in a toolbox, glove compartment, or elsewhere.
As with other offerings from Silky, the folding saw has a comfortable handle that is durable and will not slip in your grip during use. It can be used for camping, as part of your survival gear, or around the house when getting rid of tree limbs and thick brush. The PocketBoy also comes with a flip-lock carrying case.
12. Silky 270-33 Zubat Professional Series Curved Blade Hand Saw
Once again, Silky has made the list with this intriguing saw. However, unlike other saws on the list, this one does not actually fold. Still, it is worth keeping on the list, as it is lightweight, easy to use, and highly durable. It is one of the top folding saws to consider for those who want a saw for their survival kit that is going to last for a long time. Although it has a strong and thick blade, it is still considered lightweight, making it easy to pack into and out of the deep woods when camping, hunting, and practicing bushcraft.
The Zubat is a professional quality saw that is rust-resistant and resistant to the effects of tree resin, which can gum up lesser blades. It is easy to clean, has a comfortable handle, and it comes with a quality sheath. The scabbard will ensure that the blade is protected. The camping saw can fit into a pack or onto the belt.
13. Hooyman Extendable Tree Saw with Wrist Lanyard and Sling
As the last entry on the list of folding saws is another interesting entry that’s not quite like the others on the list. You will find that this affordable folding saw is made from high-quality materials, but it is also extendable. This means that the users will be able to cut branches and limbs that are up in trees beyond their normal reach. There is a 5’ option, a 10’ option, and a 16’ option available. Naturally, the weight will vary based on size.
These are premium tree saws that fold down into small and easy to carry sizes. They feature high carbon tapered blades, solid construction, and a lock back blade. The saw can make a good choice for those who want to remove widow makers from trees before they set up camp, for those who are working on trees in their own backyard, and for hunters who might need to make some space for their tree stand. It is easy to use, folds away quickly, and could be a nice addition to anyone’s set of tools.
This one is not exactly what you would call a survival saw yet we added it on the list as we found it unique in its design which might just be what you are looking for.
How to Find the Best Survival Saw?
What is a Survival Saw?
A survival saw isn’t actually a type of saw like a hack saw or table saw. A survival saw is usually just a pruning saw. Though it can include other types of saws as well. A pruning saw is usually small and collapsable making it ideal for survivalists.
A survival saw makes it on our list as the 3rd most important tool you can have in your survival or bushcraft gear kit especially if you are going to be going out into the wilderness for extended trips. We say it comes third, after a survival knife and survival axe in order of importance because while it may not have the same versatility as the other two tools, it does allow you to collect wood or build some great structures that may be harder to do if you just had a knife on hand.
A saw can be used in many types of survival or outdoor environments whether you are going out to camp, do some bushcraft or if you are going out on an extended backpacking trip.
While there are many variations of a saw whether it’s a bow saw, hack saw, table saw, pruning saw, rip cut saw, chainsaw…etc. In fact there are dozens of different types of saws. However, what we are looking for is a survival saw.
If you are looking for a survival saw you should keep an eye out for something that is:
A survival saw should be small and compact giving you dexterity and the ability to be used in any number of situations and environments. If you are going to be carrying it around on trips, in your bag, or camping it is best if it’s light and doesn’t take up to much space.
As you might be in any number of environments other than your backyard, you are going to want something that is versatile as you might be using it for not only cutting some logs for your fire, but you may want it to be able to tackle bigger logs if you wanted to make a little cabin or survival shelter.
You may also want something that is thick enough so that you can not only cut through wood, but also plastics, rope, and bone should you need it too.
A survival saw should be well built, with a grip or handle that is made out of material that will not break or wear out easily.
Even though a blade may still rust if you are in moist conditions over time, stainless steel is the most reliable, but tempered carbon or high carbon may be preferable as they are treated and more flexible over other types of steel.
A survival saw should be small enough to be able to be put in a backpack and to take with you on the go. You are going to want something that is easily foldable and for carrying and storage as well as light enough to be able to bring it with you over long distances without it feeling cumbersome or heavy.
What to Look For When Buying a Saw
The more teeth per inch on the blade the finer the cut will be. Blades that have very few teeth per inch will have a coarser cut. Smaller teeth also provide a smoother cut which usually come with more teeth per inch.
Teeth Per Inch (TPI) Blades
- Coarse Tooth Blades (1 – 7 TPI) – These blades will usually be larger, have bigger teeth, deeper gullets, can cut bigger logs, cut quicker and produce more sawdust. (ex. bow saws)
- Medium Tooth Blades (7 – 10 TPI) – Blades are for general use, usually most hand saws (ex. hand saw)
- Fine Tooth Blades (10+ TPI) – These blades will produce the finest finish, are the easiest to control, though will be slower and take longer to cut. (ex. coping saw)
You are going to want to look at getting tempered, high-grade steel, something that is alloyed or made with a combination of other metals. Many of the blades are usually 6-12 inches and will also come with a durable rust-resistant coating which is also something that will really prolong the life of your blade.
Another thing to look out for is the thickness of the blade, most survival saws are usually thicker than others, and we like blades that range from 0.90-1.80mm which makes them more durable and able to handle tougher materials. Thinner blades will mean more precision, less sawdust, and “easier” to use.
The idea here is simple just to find something that is comfortable enough to use without is slipping out of your hands when your sweaty or if it’s raining. Most grips don’t use wood anymore and instead use plastic which is the standard.
First, you will want to make sure that you are buying a camping saw that is made using quality materials. The quality needs to encompass the handle, as well as the blade. Look for the type of steel that is used, and make sure that the materials used are not prone to breaking.
One of the other factors that you will want to look at when you are choosing a folding saw will be the overall weight. After all, if you are going to be taking the folding saw with you into the woods for survival purposes, fishing, hunting, etc., you want to be sure you are packing as light as possible. As you can see from the survival saws that are mentioned on the list above, it is possible to find some high-quality options that are under two pounds. Even the small saw options on the list are able to do impressive amounts of work.
Why Do You Need a Saw in Your Survival Gear?
When you are out camping, or you are practicing your survival skills, you want to make sure that you have the right gear with you. A quality saw is one of the items that you never want to be without. It can be used to help cut down trees needed to make a shelter, to cut firewood, to cut branches from a tree for a hunting stand, to help make a hunting blind, to remove logs from the trail, and so much more. While an ax can be helpful, a folding saw can make faster work of most jobs with smaller sized trees.
Of course, you will find that these saws are helpful for more than just survivalists and those who love camping. They are helpful to have around the home for pruning trees and clearing up the backyard. They can also be a good option to have in the trunk of the car or the glovebox, just in case a fallen tree happens to be blocking the road you are on.
Why Is a Folding Saw Better than Other Saws?
Now that you know why having a saw around can be so helpful, you might be wondering why you would want to have a saw like one of the ones on the list above. Wouldn’t any saw work? Actually, not all saws are made equal, and we’re not only talking in terms of quality. Some saws, such as buck saws, are often going to be too large and unwieldy to make for a good camping saw. They are too much of a hassle to carry along with you, they do not pack well, and they are often not able to cut through logs the size you need.
When you compare those bulky saws or low-quality saws with the folding saws on the list, you can quickly see a difference. The folding saws can fit on your belt, in a pocket, or into a pack. They are easy to take along with you, but they can do an extraordinary amount of work.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Saw
Having a quality survival saw will make it much easier to get the wood you need while out in the bush. Of course, as with any type of tool that you own, it is very important that you make sure you take care of it properly. You want to make sure to keep your folding saw in the best possible condition. There are a few tips that help with this.
If you are not using the saw, make sure it is folded or put away into its sheath or a carrying case. You do not want to run the risk of damaging the blade, or any other part of the saw for that matter. In addition, you want to make sure that you do not lose it, so always keep it close. Do not set it down in the woods while you are hauling a log back to camp. That’s a surefire way to lose it sooner or later.
It is also very important to make sure that the saw is cleaned properly. Being exposed to the elements and having dirt, grime, and resin on the blade and handle can cause damage if it is not cleaned properly. Try to clean it after each use. To ensure that the blade stays usable and in good shape for as long as possible, you will want to make sure that you sharpen it regularly.
What Else Do You Need?
In addition to choosing a saw, what else might you need? Even though the blades have the potential to last for quite a long time, and you can often sharpen them to make sure that they are in good shape, consider having some extras. Buying extra blades for the folding saws and having them available will ensure that you are never without a way to cut through trees, just in case something were to happen to your current blade. Essentially, they can help to provide you with a little bit more peace of mind.
In addition to having some extra blades on hand for the folding saw, it might be a good idea to have a carrying case. Some of the options on the list above have a carrying case or sheath included, but that is not the situation with all of them.
There are many saws out there on the market to choose from. We put together this list of the best survival saws that we have found based on our experience and research in the market. Hopefully, you have now found what you are looking for and are good and ready to go!