Going out for camping next week and still perplexed about which bow saw to bring on to the trip?
With a plethora of varieties and even a higher number of features to choose from, picking out the bow saw which is your best fit can be a bit of an ordeal.
However, fret not dear camper! Our list of the best folding bow saws has got you all covered on which are the veritable best and stand out from the rest.
This in-depth review of the very best picks will surely bail you out of the choice dilemma of the bow saws might have put you in.
Everybody yearns for the unbeatable euphoric thrill that camping kindles but it is not merely a sightseeing occasion. It will likely require you to work hard to procure sustenance.
Undoubtedly, camping is fun, but a shortage in some essentials such as firewood might turn it into a chilly experience.
You will need a cutting tool to cut branches for firewood, and this is where bow saws come into play. Don’t forget to check out best camping axe review.
Our Top Picks at a Glance
|#1||Agawa Canyon - BOREAL21|
|#2||Gerber Freescape Camp Saw|
|#3||REXBETI Folding Saw|
|#4||EKA Viking Combi Compact Saw|
|#5||Bahco Ergo Bow Saw|
|#6||Truper 30255 Steel Handle Saw|
|#7||BAHCO 332-21-51 Nose Bow Saw|
Why Do You Need One?
Bow saws are an exceptional variety of cross-cutting saws that get their name from the unique bow shape they are generally found. The generic structure comprises a durable metal frame with a long, slender blade taut between the sides of the frame.
The blade is tensioned particularly for deep cuts with each stroke, and this tension is adjustable in newer models.
A Useful Addition
Not only campers but also many other wood handlers require bow saws as a daily tool. Whether you are a backpacker, camper, survivalist, or merely looking for a tool to fix or create something in your house, cutting wood would be required to get you through. And hence, a bow saw is a handy tool to help you out.
Folding bow saws have a collapsible trapezoid shape that can be assembled and reassembled in accordance to use. This foldable feature provides the saws with easy portability for transportation.
Bow saws are very versatile in terms of blade quality. Their blades are easily detachable, and thus the blade size, quality, the type can be regulated for the kind of wood, bone, or any other material. Blades specialized for the job can be carried and replaced according to need (e.g., green vs. dry wood or dry wood vs. wet wood).
Since bowing saws provide more control, they are significantly better at handling more massive diameter wooden logs and are more valuable than other saws.
What Size Should My Folding Saw Be?
Certain factors determine the size of a folding saw. Not conforming to all-encompassing usual sizing techniques, every single part of a bow saw ascertains its size and functionality.
As camping demands you to be always on the move, entirely automatically the size of the bow saw is paramount to determining its actual functionality such as:
The sizing technique of bow saws is based on their blade length alongside their folding extent. The larger the blade size, the higher the diameter of wood it processes. Folding saws with a blade length ranging from 12 to 31-inches have made it to this list.
On the other hand, 15-inch blades serve best at processing wood sizes which are found usually in the wilderness, and subsequently, they are the most popular among backpackers and campers alike.
A blade length of between 15 to 17 inches can be presumed to suffice for most of your camping needs without requiring you to drag a cumbersome weight in your backpack.
This also holds critical importance in upholding a bow saw’s convenience to its user. Most saws are compact, but the minimum to which they can be bent to make for the easiest to store sizes. Thus, you should preferably look for one that has a comparatively less storage size and is understandably more user-friendly.
Top 7 Best Folding Bow Saw Reviews
We have come up with a list of the seven best saws that are the perfect fit to suit your needs. Read on and pick yours; whether it’s backpacking, camping or simply survivalist, this list has “the one” that is unique for everyone’s use.
#1. Agawa Canyon – BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw
The BOREAL21 tears through wood like it is cardboard! This saw comes with a simple unfolding mechanism to deliver high-performance cuts. Unfold, snap into position, and you are all set to start sawing.
However, the blade length is an optimum 21 inch that can perform strong sawing strokes at an easily packable size. The frame has been given a three-hinged trapezium shape. It smoothly folds into it when not in use, and thus protecting from accidental cuts and gear damage.
Accordingly, it is a magnificent take on its traditional counterpart, which displays a natural folding ability paired with an easy setup that places it on top of the list of best bow saws.
Moreover, its incredible, sturdy frame not only makes it worthy for your traveling bag but also fit for use in camping, backpacking, trail clearing, canoeing, or just random chores around the house.
The blade is tensioned to automatically fit the frame, which means you also don’t have to go for further setup after it comes to unfold about the littlest of time. In terms of constituent material, the frame is aluminum and supported by a nylon handle with high-quality stainless steel.
- It takes only mere seconds to open
- At just 480gms, it is amazingly lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Stainless steel blade with automatic tensioning
- Compact size (21”/53 cm)
- Sturdy aluminum frame and glass-reinforced nylon handle
- The blade doesn’t require direct handling when opening or closing gear
- Frame limits the extent of log diameter to a bit
#2. Gerber Freescape Camp Saw
The Gerber Freescape Camp Saw makes it to this list because of its outstanding features that have been designed with the view of catering to the needs in camping and survival tasks. It is a more lightweight and portable version of the BOREAL21.
If your lookout is to save the most space and load, this saw is highly recommended for you to check out. The blade is about a foot-long, and if you think most of your tasks can be adequately handled using this blade, you should want to choose this over heavier ones.
Likewise, this saw is innovatively designed to fold up flat without the threat of lost parts, and the remaining can completely be assembled all the while. The full length of the blade can be utilized via four pivot points to cut through more massive diameter wood effectively.
Consequently, it is not automatic but rather manually tensioned with a hook near its handle. When folded, it is contained within the handle, and safely protecting your gear kit besides preventing pack cuts.
Similarly, it is sharp and aggressive that cuts through sturdy logs with ease. It also uses any standard 12-inch bow saw which makes a hassle-free replacement.
At the same time, the rubber molded non-slip grip handle is sufficiently comfortable to work within poor weather conditions and stays firmly in your hand as you go. The rubber handle also offers high visibility.
Also, the feature of the Freescape which stands out best is its easy portability. It does sacrifice a bit of power, but it is an excellent choice for people who want to travel light.
- Remarkably lightweight at just 1 pound
- Sharp, aggressive blade
- Hassle-free replacement
- Rubber over-mold non-slip high visibility grip handle
- Safely folds and unfolds without needing any dissembling of parts
- The saw cannot handle logs having a diameter larger than 5-inch
#3. REXBETI Folding Saw
The REXBETI Folding Saw features an extra-long 11-inch staggered blade and is exclusively a folding hand saw. What sets it apart from the crowd is its vast versatility. Whether it is wood camping, dry wood pruning, bone cutting, or hunting, you can count on the REXBETI to meet all.
This saw is the epitome of excellent artistry, high-quality finish, and fit that all REXBETI products come in. The saw begins to unfold in mere seconds. The rugged, heavy-duty 11-inch blade sears and potentially glides through large-diameter branches.
It is specially designed for camping, survival, bushcraft landscaping, pruning, and general yard work. Likewise, this can provide an ultra-smooth cutting experience while sawing. The hardened SK-5 steel material of blade gives it durability and provides a rigid, long-lasting cutting power.
Besides, a long rubber coated polymer handle ensures comfort and firm grip in any weather condition. While open, the blade of this saw locks in two different positions. Thus, it gives maximum cutting control and power for making both overhand cuts and undercuts.
Moreover, the textured rubber handle fits just right and feels great for both right and left-handed users. On top of that, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Accordingly, this excellent all-purpose folding saw is bound to give you flexibility in terms of both usage and warranty.
- The rough and heavy-duty blade sears through large-diameter branches
- Steel material of blade provides a rigid, long-lasting cutting power
- Staggered blade teeth reduce strain on hands while sawing
- Long rubber-coated polymer handle ensures comfort and firm grip
- Saw handle fits both right and left-handed users
- The blade is a bit cumbersome to unfold; and hence, caution must be taken
#4. EKA Viking Combi Compact Saw
The EKA Viking Combi Saw has been one of the favorite saws for long and is an excellent pick for camping, hiking, survival tasks and also your tool kit. It is a folding bow saw, made in Sweden. It is deemed as an outstanding product having an excellent overall price because of its unique set of features.
However, the reason they call it the Combi saw is that it takes down very quickly. You need to detach the blade, swing it around and it fits right into the bar itself. There is also a flip of the clip that lets you seal the folded edge into place.
Moreover, there’s even more than one blades fitted into one saw. One EKA combi saw comes with three full blades fixed together with a screw. The blades are each of a kind such as an aggressive wood saw blade with large teeth, with fine teeth and a classic metal one.
The versatility of these three blades makes it an excellent option for bush crafters and campers alike. It folds down neatly into a convenient rod-like shape, and so you can slip it inside your bag, or even strap it onto the outside of your backpack. The blades and the frame both are durable to fit your camping needs.
Besides, the orange-colored handle offers high visibility in the wilderness, and you won’t be losing the saw as often.
Overall, this saw offers the most excellent versatility with its three blades and folds down into a very convenient shape to make it the right fit for your camping, bush crafting, or even urban sawing needs.
- Lightweight, compact saw with a sturdy aluminum frame
- Three different saw blades are integrated into saw handle
- Plastic polymer handle provides a firm grip
- Folding and unfolding the saw requires a bit of caution
- Blades are not as easily replaceable
#5. Bahco Ergo Bow Saw
The Bahco Ergo Bow Saw is undoubtedly one of the best bow saws in this list. It is explicitly designed to be ideal for cutting greenwood. However, it can also be used for cutting lumber and dry wood as well.
This product is available in two different styles: one suited for dry wood and the other for greenwood. The design is made to be fit for demanding jobs and harsh construction site environments.
There are three blade lengths that these saws come in, such as 21, 24, and 30-inch blades according to the specific size of the saw that you purchase. The blade is extremely durable because of its quality material and will stay sharp for long. Also, the blade is automatically tensioned to provide straight and deep cuts on each stroke.
On the other hand, the peg and raker tooth variants are suitable for cutting dry wood and greenwood, respectively. The pointed nose offers better access to tight areas like gardening.
The Ergo handle is paired with a knuckle protector that provides you with real comfort alongside safety while sawing. The top-notch steel frames are not only lightweight but also heavy duty. These saws are super easy to carry around for camping, hiking, backyard jobs, or turning storm damage into usable firewood.
Accordingly, whether heavy cutting or some bush crafting in the woods or camping and hiking, you can count on the Bahco saw to get it done with perfection.
- Ergo handle with a knuckle protector provides comfort and safety
- Lightweight but heavy-duty bow saw frames
- Blades have precise tensioning
- Blades come in 2 variants: peg tooth for mature, dry wood and raker tooth for greenwood
- High impact enamel paint coating prevents corrosion and rusting
- Taking the blade guard on/off is not as easy
#6. Truper 30255 Steel Handle Bow Saw
At a super affordable price, the Truper 30255 Steel Handle Bow Saw has a laudable quality that you can count on. This bow saw has a traditional frame which is, otherwise, not more than just as competent as the newer variants.
The Truper 30255 bow saw comes in three sizes; there is the 21″ blade, the 24″ blade, and the 30″ blade. The three options in blade sizes offer versatility to the saw, and the blade arrives sharp. So, the high-pitched aggressive blade ensures a faster cutting experience.
Likewise, the built-in Cam-lever tensioning technique keeps the blade adequately tightened during each sawing session and also rendered the blade position secure. This tensioning system is unique to Truper saws.
However, it accounts for a low key maintenance job for making blade repair and replacement. The unique Cam-lever tensioning provides the blade with precise tension and makes the blade position secure. The blade tension is also eligible to be adjusted at any time using the Cam-lever.
On the other hand, Truper has been persisting in the hand tool manufacturing business for over 40 years and guarantees optimum quality and value of its products to worldwide customers.
The top of the line bow saw is exceptionally suitable for cutting firewood while out camping, hiking, trail clearing or simple gardening jobs as well. The handle also has a finger guard which makes sawing real comfortable besides providing a firm grip on the saw itself.
Accordingly, the Truper bow saw is amazingly lightweight to be worthy of carrying on your backpack. It weighs just 1.33 to 2.3 pounds depending on its blade length.
- Sharp, aggressive blades
- Blades come in three sizes
- Significantly lightweight
- Unique Cam-lever tensioning
- The blade is mainly intended for hardwood, not greenwood and some customers find this discouraging
#7. BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw
The BAHCO 332-21-51 21 bow saw not only comes at a staggeringly affordable price but also maintains peak quality. This saw is lightweight and sharp enough to take with you on camping, hiking or for clearing bushes, pruning, and other tasks around the house.
This saw is an ideal choice for cutting thick branches and clearing bushes. That is made of ground steel (hardened carbon steel) which provides fully hardened precision in cuts.
The rust-resistant coating on the blade also keeps it sharp for long, even after heavy-duty use. This blade also has a safety tension lever, which lets you adjust cutting power according to need and reduce strain on your hands.
Besides, the lever also gives the saw a comfortable grip. A rust-inhibiting coating on the blade makes it suitable for use in damp, wet conditions.
Similarly, this bow saw features a unique design in a tubular steel frame which is sturdy enough to chew through logs with ease. A tubular steel frame also keeps the bow saw from bending out of the pull and push strokes while sawing.
Although not foldable, the BAHCO nose bow saw is very much portable to carry in your bug out bag for camping or bush crafting. Given the price and innovative features it comes in, a Fiskars bow saw is a worthy pick for all occasions.
- Easily fits your budget
- Pointed nose
- The blade is heavy duty and stays sharp after prolonged use
- Safety tension lever
- Rust inhibiting coating on the blade
- The blade is very easy to replace
- Not a high-visibility saw and safety lever can malfunction if tampered with
How to Choose the Best One
We have reviewed 7 bow saws here, and each certainly makes for the best folding bow saws in the market. Nevertheless, if you still want to contemplate further about which best suits your needs. Then you must narrow down your choice, here are the few factors that you should bear in mind before making your purchase.
All these factors, including your budget considerations, should go into the selection of the products that is best for you.
Frame Build and Design
The frame build and design is the critical feature to consider in buying a bow saw. A bow saw is supposedly used to chew through heavy logs, and hence, it goes without saying that the saw must be sturdy enough to execute the job you intend to use it for.
Likewise, the lighter and sturdier the frame is, the better its portability and functionality. More often than not, there is a trade-off between a bow saw’s weight and functionality. The frame can be constructed of any metal from Aluminum to Modified Steel.
Besides, if the additional hardware in a saw-like pivot point, adjusting clips, and other ones are made of steel, they make the frame sturdier than plastic or polymer. But make sure to watch its weight because a heavy saw, no matter how sturdy it might be, will be worth the extra load it adds to your backpack.
In addition to the frame, you must check out how the handle is built. The saws which provide a handle to grip onto should be comfortable enough to saw with. The non-slip handles offer a firmer grip and greater control in all types of weather conditions.
Moreover, one cardinal and closely related feature to the frame’s build is how it is designed to fold. The saw should fold easily and assemble swiftly for the bow saw to be easily portable. So, before buying out your bow saw, make sure the frame is sturdy but also lightweight, has less tedious folding and assembling techniques.
Size and Weight of the Saw
The size and weight of a saw also largely depends on the blade size, material, and length. A folding saw’s size and weight is a significant factor to consider while choosing which one to buy.
Our pick of the 7 best bow saws has a blade length ranging from 12 inches to 30 inches. The larger the blade size, the bigger the log diameter it manages to process.
However, the most popular sizes among campers fall within 15 to 20 inches. The blades within this length are versatile enough to cut through a variety of small to large diameter branches and logs that are commonplace in the wilderness and trail clearing.
The smaller the blade size, the more compact and store manageable size the blade folds into. Thus, reducing the extra load or you to drag along.
At the same time, the blade quality plays a vital role in determining a blade’s function. For example, peg tooth blades are for cutting dry wood, and raker tooth ones are for slicing greenwood.
Blade Tensioning Mechanism
Given that a saw blade is tensioned tight between two ends of its frame, how well a blade will cut depends on its tension alongside the other many factors.
In the case of most saws, the tensioning system is through a wingnut screw that can be tightened accordingly without the use of any tool. The risk of losing the loose part however remains, and hence the latest saws are made to have automatic tensioning systems.
The automatic tensioning technique ensures that the blade is firmly positioned in the saw to give straight deeper cuts with each stroke. Be careful to check the blade tensioning mechanism while purchasing your saw so that the blade is impeccably aligned in the saw.
In our pick of the bow saws, we have mentioned clearly as to the kind of tensioning mechanism each saw employs. Choose the one which appeals best to you.
Different kinds of replacement blades are available out there such as dry wood blade, greenwood blade, bone cutting blades, and the list goes on. Now, too many options can leave you confused. Therefore, some bow saws only take model specific blades while some receive just any standard blade having the same size.
Do pay great attention to what sort of replacement blade your saw permits. If the saw only works with model-specific replacement blades, you can buy extra ones as a preemptive approach in case you run out of blades. As your neighborhood hardware store doesn’t stock the blade for your model as well.
Warranty and Additional Considerations
The manufacturer’s reputation, customer service, and warranty on the folding saw are the most important considerations to bear in mind. All the options we have listed offer the top-notch qualities and are established names in the market.
All those listed saws are backed by 10 to 20 years or lifetime warranty, making your purchase worry-free. Moreover, you should take notice of what color your saw frame comes in because a vibrant color combination is natural to site and reduces the chances of losing your saw at the campsite.
Also, gauge all these and some other additional factors such as sheath and replacement blades to decide which saw is the best fit for your job.
How to Use the Saw Safely
Safety should always be placed as the priority of the user. A bow saw is a cutting tool and hence, can prove to be quite dangerous to the person using it if not handled properly. Follow these steps below to use it properly:
Clean and Sharpen Blade
Make sure the blade is sharp and clean, and there is correct tension between the blade and frame. Adjust the blade tension if required.
Determine the nature of the job
Taking a Position and Stabilizing Wood
At first, with the frame handle in one hand, place the sharp edge of the blade on the piece of wood while placing the other hand to the side of the saw. Before you start sawing, use the hand that you placed beside the saw to stabilize the wood (preferably the less dominant hand). Because you are going to use the other to draw the blade in strokes.
If Branches are from Trees
Undercuts are to be made beneath the branches if you are cutting wood from a tree.
By applying little pressure initially, try moving the saw forward and backward in gentle strokes and also try keeping the blade from wobbling inside the wood as much as possible.
Once you have cut through the whole diameter of the wood and are completely done using the saw, store it away in a safe place away from excess moisture.
However, here are some bonus safety tips you should follow while using a bow saw:
- In the process of cutting, make sure the wood stabilizing hand is 6 to 12 inches away from the cutting edge of the blade to the least.
- Precarious handling of the bow saw without any intent to use it is a big no.
- Personal protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, and close-toed shoes ought to be used.
- Never stand right beneath the branch when cutting a branch from a tree.
- At least a 10 to 15 feet distance is to be maintained between a person using the bow sow and any other person who happens to be nearby.
- Never touch the bow saw’s blade while handling it and always carry it in a way that the pointed end directs way from the body.
- Keep bow saws away from children and untrained people.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the bow saw hold the tension for long, and how far it is adjustable?
Yes, each saw we have reviewed possesses its own unique tensioning mechanism and is expected to hold the tension for years to come. However, any tension loss or other issues regarding it are covered up by the warranty your saw comes with.
What and how is the blade replacement supposed to be like?
This largely depends on the bow saw manufacturer you will be buying it from. Some saws only support model-specific blades, and in these cases, you must buy it from the manufacturing company of your saw.
But many other saws take just any standard blade having the same size and so you do not have to worry as much about finding the exact model-specific one.
What is the biggest diameter wood a saw can cut?
The larger the blade size, the bigger diameter wood it processes.
How many types of bow saw blades are available?
There are peg tooth blades and raker tooth blades. Peg tooth blades are designed to cut dry and hardwood as opposed to the greenwood while the peg and raker tooth blades are for cutting through wet wood.
Which bow saw is best for camping?
All the saws we listed above stand out of the crowd and are the best for camping. But if you still must narrow down your choice, you should always look for lighter ones to take with you on your trip.
Finished rummaging in your mind and all set to order the bow saw that had thrilled you most with its features?
Well then, if you have followed us through to the end of this review, this purchase of your life should no more linger in confusion.
Our pick of the 7 best folding bow saws will instruct you with the most authentic information required to rule out the worst from the best. And make your bow saw purchase a doubt free event.
Whether camping, survival, bush crafting, or random chores around the house, these 7 got you covered. Pick the one that suits your needs best, and you are good to go.