4 Best Survival Folding Saws: Buying Guide

There are a lot of instances in the bush that having a saw would make things so much easier.  The problem with carrying a saw around is that they are usually quite large or, in the case of buck saws, require some assembly. Being able to slip a decent-sized saw that folds up like a pocket knife into a haversack, bug out bag, or day pack means that your ability to process wood has been increased and made far more efficient.

best Survival Folding Saws

There is a lot of survival folding saws on the market today in a variety of different sizes. So which one should you consider adding to your kit?

SAWS DETAILS
  • The blade can lock open and closed
  • The blade can be replaced
  • Weighs 7 ounces
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  • Curved removable blade
  • Ergonomic handle
  • The 10-inch model is 12 inches when closed
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  • Two-handed operation
  • Also available in a 25.6-inch blade
  • Weighs 2 pounds
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Best Survival Folding Saws – My Picks

Best Survival Folding Saw: Bahco Laplander Folding Saw Review

Top Pick Bahco Laplander Folding Saw Review

The Bahco Laplander is a staple of the bushcraft community. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone serious about bushcraft who has not had experience with this particular brand of saw.  The 7.5″ saw blade will cut through both green and dry woods as well as plastic and bone, making it a good do-it-all blade for the outdoors man or woman. When folded, it is 9 inches long and has a low enough profile that can easily slip into any pack.

Features

  • 9” folded length
  • 7.5” blade length
  • Weighs 7 ounces
  • 7 TPI
  • The blade can lock open and closed
  • The blade can be replaced

Pros

  • Blade locks both open and closed for safety
  • Replaceable Blades
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The thin blade is prone to bending if jammed

Customer Sentiment

The majority of reviews are positive with customers being impressed by how well these saws cut. The ability to replace the blade is also a major bonus for a lot of people but there are some complaints that the thin blades can easily bend while jammed during a cut. A lot of the negative reviews that I read seemed to be due to one-off manufacturer defects or end-user error.

Personal Experience

While I do not own a Bahco Laplander I do own a Bahco Expert which is a very similar folding saw. Whether I’m processing firewood, bushcrafting, or pruning trees in the backyard my Bahco has never let me down and has stayed very sharp. My only complaint is that the tip of the blade got jammed in a log and bent slightly. My best efforts to straighten it only partially succeeded and the end of the blade has never quite been the same.

Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw, 7-1/2 -Inch Blade, 7 TPI
  • General purpose folding saw with an 7-1/2 -inch blade, 7 teeth per inch, for cutting both green and...
  • XT Toothing, 7 TPI. Blade is specially coated for rust protection and low friction.

Last update on 2020-09-25 at 07:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Runner Up: Corona RazorTooth Folding Pruning Saw Review

Corona RazorTooth Folding Pruning Saw

The Corona RazorTooth is available in three sizes, 10 inches, 8 inches, and 7 inches. It also has a blade that is slightly curved for faster smoother cuts. The blade locks in place when closed to prevent any accidental openings inside of your kit and locks when open to prevent accidental closing on your knuckles. This saw would have been my number one pick but when closed the curved blade has some exposed teeth which are a big deal-breaker for me. The last thing I want is anything in my kit getting caught on those exposed teeth and tearing rain gear, sleeping bags, water bladders, etc.

Features

  • Available in 10”, 8”, and 7” blade lengths
  • The 10-inch model is 12 inches when closed
  • Weights 12 ounces
  • 6 TPI
  • Curved removable blade
  • Ergonomic handle

Pros

  • Multiple blade size options
  • Handle is ergonomic
  • The curved blade allows for faster cutting

Cons

  • The thin blade may be prone to bending or snapping
  • The curved blade leaves a gap when closed where teeth are exposed

Customer Sentiment

Customers are for the most part very happy with their saws but the exposed teeth from the gap the blade leaves while closed is a concern brought up by a lot of customers. Other concerns were that the blade snapped during use and that the blade was too thin and flimsy.

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Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw, 10 Inch Curved Blade, RS 7265D
  • 3 SIDED RAZOR TEETH FOR EFFICIENT CUTTING: 10" blade is ideal for cutting 5" - 6" diameter, small to...
  • ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED, COMFORTABLE, CO-MOLDED HANDLE: Provides a comfortable grip for extended use.

Last update on 2020-09-25 at 07:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Folding Saw for Heavy Use: Silky KatanaBoy Review

Silky KatanaBoy

The Silky KatanaBoy is designed for heavy use. The largest saw on this list it is also been well designed enough to have utility out in the bush. While you are not going to carry this in your haversack, daypack, or bug out bag this saw and its almost 20-inch blade are perfect for a base camp. The long handle also allows for two-handed operations for increased control and power. This is a hand saw that would replace a chainsaw in a pinch.

Features

  • 19.7″ blade length
  • 26” folded length
  • Weighs 2 pounds
  • 4.2 TPI
  • Includes a carrying case
  • Two-handed operation
  • Also available in a 25.6-inch blade

Pros

  • Scary sharp
  • Long blade
  • The blade can be sharpened
  • Made in Japan
  • Blade locks open and closed

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not very portable

Customer Sentiment

People who have bought a Silky KatanaBoy love their saws and comment on how sharp they are right out of the box. There are also many comments on how much and how fast wood can be processed with this saw. The only negativity was around price and interestingly enough the large size which I found a bit odd.

Silky KATANABOY Professional 500mm Folding Saw XL Teeth
  • PORTABLE FOLDING HANDSAW: This professional handsaw combines superior performance and ergonomics...
  • A VARIETY OF USES: You can use this versatile blade for a number of jobs, including pruning,...

Last update on 2020-09-25 at 07:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pocket Survival Folding Saw – Runner Up: Coghlan's Sierra Saw Review

Coghlan's Sierra Saw

Not only is the Coghlan’s Sierra Saw my runner up for pocket saw but could also be the best budget saw as well. This saw has a 4-inch blade and weighs in at only 2.6 ounces so it is easy to slip into a pocket. It’s price is low enough too, that if it were to get lost or broken it would not break the bank to replace. One downside is that it does not lock closed so it may inadvertently open up in your pack or pocket.

Features

  • Blade length is 4 inches
  • Weighs 2.6 ounces
  • Rubberized plastic handle

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Small enough for pocket carry

Cons

  • Does not lock closed
  • The thin saw blade is very flexible and could snap

Customer Sentiment

Customer sentiment is mixed. A lot of people really like this saw but there is a not-insignificant segment of the customers that noted their saws had blades that bent or snapped during use. There was also negativity about the product being cheaply made.

Sale
Coghlan's Pocket Sierra Saw
  • Folding knife with 4-inch serrated saw blade with safe one-touch lock system
  • Comfortable, ergonomic handle with a slip-resistant grip; never needs sharpening

Last update on 2020-09-25 at 07:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Survival Folding Saw Buying Guide

There are several factors that one must consider when selecting a folding saw. The intended use, the diameter of the objects you want to cut, the number of teeth per inch, and the comfort and grip are all considerations that you should make before clicking ‘add to cart’. There is no one size fits all option for any piece of kit and folding saws are no exception.

1. Intended Use of a Survival Folding Saw

Having a saw in your pocket or pack increases the number of things you can cut or process but you need to narrow it down further from just wanting a saw to cut some wood. Smaller pocket-sized saws are awesome for trimming branches to clear shooting lanes while hunting out of a tree stand, or processing smaller diameter branches. Medium size saws in the 6 to 12-inch range are great for shelter construction or processing larger amounts of firewood. The largest saws like the KatanaBoy are best for instances that you need to process a lot of wood quickly and efficiently.

2. The Diameter of What You Are Cutting

This will determine more than anything what size of saw you will need to get. A ten-inch blade will not cut through a ten-inch diameter log. You need to have some extra blade length to accomplish an efficient sawing motion. The longer your blade the more extra blade you are going to need. For example a 10″ blade will be good for 5″ or 6″ diameter but the 19″ blade on the KatanaBoy is good for cutting up to about 10″ diameter. Some saws will include the diameter that can be cut in the product descriptions.

3. Number of Teeth Per Inch (TPI)

The number of teeth per inch (TPI) is important because as a general rule the higher the TPI, the smoother but also slower the cut. A saw blade with a low TPI will cut a lot faster but the cuts will be very rough due to the aggressive tooth pattern. I find that low TPI blades can sometimes be more difficult to get the cut started. It can take some work to get enough of a kerf to be able to start sawing without the blade wandering. I like a saw with a TPI around 7 or so, because I find it to be the best compromise between speed and quality of cutting.

4. Comfort and Grip

Sawing through anything can be hard on not only the arms but the hands as well. Most of these saws have plastic handles but other things to look for are rubberized sections to increase grip and a lanyard hole so you can loop some paracord through it to help secure the saw to your wrist. Remember that sometimes you will be using this saw in wet conditions and the last thing you need is to have a slip and run the blade over the back of your other hand. Ergonomics is also important because a saw that is not comfortable can become dangerous.


Questions About Survival Saws

1. Can a Survival Folding Saw Blade be Sharpened

Some blades can be sharpened but for the most part, it is easier to replace a dull blade rather than spend the time sharpening them. Blades that are of high-quality steel and not designed to be replaced will have to be sharpened, but this takes some skill and practice to perfect the technique.

2. How Should a Folding Saw be Cleaned and Maintained?

If you cut through trees you are going to get resins and sap on your saw blade. To clean a saw blade it is best to only use soap and water and avoid the use of solvents. However, stubborn buildups of sap and resins can be carefully removed with rubbing alcohol or oven cleaner. Always wear cut-proof gloves when cleaning a blade and afterwards spray the blade with WD-40 to protect it from corrosion.

3. What are the Applications that Different TPI’s are Suited for?

As I have said before the higher the TPI the smoother but slower the cut. Different TPI’s are also better suited for different material types. Below is a very basic breakdown:

  • 6-8 TPI – Rough Cut – Good for both hard and softwoods
  • 10-14 TPI – Fine Cut – Good for wood and plastics
  • 16-20 TPI – Very Fine Cut – Good for particleboard and plywood

When it comes to a saw for cutting trees and logs 6-8 TPI is about perfect but there are cases where you may want to have a smoother nicer cut such as when making notches or working on projects where you’ll want a smoother finish. In these cases the higher the TPI the better and some manufacturers such as Silky offer a variety of TPI’s for some of their saws.


Verdict

It is hard to beat the classic Bahco Laplander for a good all-around choice for a survival folding saw. It will process firewood, aid in shelter building, and be useful for smaller tasks as well. It is also small enough to fit inside of any pack and the blade length fits in that Goldilocks zone of just the right length for most cutting tasks that you would reasonably come across in the bush.

There are times when having a pocket-sized saw is the best option and the No products found. is the saw that rises to that task. The PocketBoy is ideal for bowhunters who need to clear shooting lanes or trim away a few branches while setting a tree stand. It is also ideal for the survival kit inside your day pack or hunting bag. The Silky KatanaBoy fits in a pretty narrow niche, but is very useful as an alternative to a chainsaw. It’s not practical to carry one on an extended backcountry trek but in a base camp or around the cabin or homestead it is an option that is worth a look.



Michael Major
Written by Michael Major

Michael is a survivalist, traditional bowhunter, student of traditional and primitive skills, as well as a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces. He is also a husband and father and makes his home in British Columbia, Canada. Read his full interview here. Read more of Michael's articles.

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