Best Bow Saws – 2021 Top Picks Reviewed

Cody
| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

Tool Tango is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Whether you’re hunting, backpacking, or just working in the yard, a bow saw can come in handy on multiple occasions. But, choosing the right one can be confusing if you’re inexperienced or looking for your first saw.

Luckily, we’ll be shining light on some of the best bow saws around and explain why they made our list. For each product, we’ll be covering its main features, then taking a closer look at some pros and cons according to recent buyers.

We know what it’s like to shop for something new. More often than not, it requires some research and a little hope. However, this time around, we’re going to change that. We did our homework so you don’t have to.

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best bow saws:

  1. Bahco 10-24-23 Bow Saw
  2. Truper 30255 Steel Handle Bow Saw
  3. Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw

Comparison Chart of the Best Bow Saws

Product

Feature

Price

Bahco 10-24-23 Bow Saw

  • Best Overall Bow Saw

Truper 30255 Steel Handle Bow Saw

  • Best Bow Saw for Bushcraft

Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw

  • Best Folding Bow Saw

Bahco Bow Saw #9

  • Best Heavy Duty Bow Saw

What is a Bow Saw?

A bow saw is a saw that’s shaped similar to the what the name presents: a bow.

Modern bow saws are equipped with a metal frame and feature a coarse, wide blade to tackle items such as brush, tree limbs, or firewood. The design of a bow saw features a peg tooth blade, which is optimal for cutting through green wood.

Due to its construction, the bow saw is perfect for slicing through limbs with great speed and efficiency.

While the overall finish of the cut may be a little more rough compared to other saws, this model is perfect for those who spend most of their time outdoors, or are looking for a saw to work with in their yard.

What is a Bow Saw Used For?

Similar to other saws, a bow saw can be used to cut through a variety of material, both outdoors and indoors.

Because of their unique design, this type of saw is ideal for cutting tree branches up to 10” in diameter and can adapt to cut green or dry wood.

Since bow saws features a peg or raker blade design as previously mentioned, this makes it a top pick for cutting through materials in a fluid motion.

Some owners prefer taking their bow saw camping or simply storing it in their RV. They can come in handy when gathering firewood or clearing out a campsite.

Historically, bow saws were used as wood working tools, yet modern day has found that they’re better suited for the outdoors as power tools have become more efficient for woodworking.

How to Choose a Bow Saw

Choosing the right bow saw is a combination of understanding what you need from the saw, and information on selecting the right tool for the job or jobs you have in mind. There are certain features in the saw that deserve a second look before settling on what to buy these include:

Blade

These should be made from durable material and allow for different adjustments. The size of the teeth should also be relatively uniform. Replacement blades should be reasonably priced and readily available.

The Frame

Make sure the frame is stable enough to accommodate the moving motion of the saw. It should be made from strong durable material to withstand the force of cutting green wood and hardwoods.

It is also important to note the type of frame since each of the two types excels at a different task. Triangle saws are good against woody undergrowth, while standard curve saws excel against firewood for instance.

Safety

Look for a saw that comes with a grip on one side and a D-ring above the inside of the blade. The grip helps you hold the saw securely while in use. The D-ring, on the other hand, keeps your hand secure and prevents it from sliding off the surface of the grip.

Reviews of the Best Bow Saws

Now we’re going to switch gears and take a look at some of the top models that made our list. With this, we’re going to dive into each saw and explain why it stands apart as compared to competing models.

Best Bow Saw:
Bahco 10-24-23 Bow Saw with Ergo Handle

Green Wood

Dry Wood

PROS

  • Very light and easy to work with
  • Great value for such an affordable price
  • Blade arrives tight and sharp - ready to use
  • Handle is very comfortable and designed to reduce fatigue
  • Tension tightening mechanism is well liked by many for on-the-go tightening

CONS

  • Blade guard is not very user friendly when taking it on/off

Our Review

The first model on our list, and our top pick, is the Bahco 10-24-23 bow saw with ergo handle. This Amazon’s Choice product is available in two different styles: one suited for dry wood and the other for green wood.

This specific model we’re highlighting has a 24” blade, but buyers have the option to choose from a 21” and 30” blade size as well. Perfect for job sites, backyard use, or while camping, Bahco delivers a top of the line bow saw that’s ideal for all experience levels.

One of the greatest features of this model is its built in tensioning mechanism. This innovative aspect ensures that the blade keeps tension high and on track for straight, accurate cuts. With this, users have the ability to easily exchange their blades for a peg or raker tooth replacement.

Peg is designed for mature dry wood, while raker is constructed for green wood; both are also extremely affordable.

Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, the bottom line with the Bahco 10-24-23 bow saw is that this is a crowd favorite and for good reason. This easy to operate, comfortable bow saw arrives sharp and ready to use in seconds.

One of the most loved features reported by recent buyers is it’s tension tightening dial, which is perfect for keeping the blade secure and aligned.

On the other hand, the only drawback we seemed to find is that the blade guard can be somewhat tricky to take off or put back on; extra patience may be required for some.  

Best Bow Saw for Bushcraft:
Truper 30255 Steel Handle Bow Saw with 21-inch Blade

PROS

  • Blade arrives sharp
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Tensioner is user-friendly and works well

CONS

  • Blade is meant for hardwood - not a con, but some users have been discouraged by this not being a greenwood saw

Our Review

It was a close match up between the first two and our runner-up is the Truper 30255 steel handle bow saw. This particular model we’re reviewing features a 21” blade, but buyers also have the option to choose a 24” and 30” blade.

This model comes with a built in Cam-lever quick change blade release, making repairs and replacements a walk in the park. With this, the Truper 30255 features a tension system to keep the blade tight and secure while performing on the job.

Perfect for working in the garden or clearing trees and branches, this bow saw is very affordable and built to last. Truper has been manufacturing tools for over 40-years and delivers top of the line products worldwide. 

Its lightweight design makes it very easy to travel with, making it a top option for those who are on the hunt for a bow saw to carry in a bushcraft pack. While it doesn’t collapse, be sure to protect yourself from the sharp blade when traveling through the woods.  

Bottom Line

The bottom line with the Truper 30255 steel handle bow saw is that this is an extremely versatile bow saw, perfect for bushcrafting, camping, or working in the garden.

After seeing what buyers have to report regarding their experience when using this model, many exclaim that it arrives sharp and the tension mechanism is ideal for tightening the blade at any time.

However, be sure to keep in mind that this blade is intended for hardwood. The description on Amazon does not explain what its design is focused toward, so some buyers have been caught off guard.

Best Folding Bow Saw:
Agawa Canyon - Boreal 21 Folding Bow Saw

PROS

  • Lightweight yet still sturdy when used
  • Very compact and perfect for backpacking, bushcraft, or bug out bags
  • User friendly when unfolding and can be done without touching the blade
  • Extremely versatile and can cut everything from small branches to limbs 10” in diameter

CONS

  • None

Our Review

The next model on our list is a supreme product from Agawa Canyon and our top pick for the best folding bow saw. The Boreal 21 folding bow saw is a great option for those who are constantly hiking, backpacking, or hunting.

Due to its unique design, this bow saw can collapse and lock into place in a matter of seconds. Simply unfold, lock, and saw. As the name presents, the blade of this model is 21”.

Moreover, in addition to its folding mechanics, the frame of this saw is constructed of aluminum and features a glass filled nylon handle. This combination makes for an ultra lightweight model that is strong and reliable.   

Unlike competing models, one of the best features of this bow saw is that it comes with an automatic blade tensioning system. With this, users can expect to open their saw with ease and have it ready to go at all times.

Bottom Line

Taking everything into consideration, the Boreal 21 folding bow saw is a high quality product, ready to be put to the test. We didn’t find any drawbacks with this model and every buyer seems to love it.

Due to its collapsible design, this is ideal for those looking for a bow saw that can be easily tucked away and traveled with.

Even if not in your backpack, this is perfect for your truck’s glove box or RV storage bin. Hands down the best folding bow saw on the market.

Heavy Duty Bow Saw:
Bahco Bow Saw #9 All Purpose Bow Saw

PROS

  • Blade is easy to tighten and exchange
  • Affordably priced for a heavy duty model
  • Tough and rugged - designed to be put to work instantly
  • Blade does not require sharpening according to manufacturer

CONS

  • Plastic hand guard is not as secure as some would have hoped for

Our Review

The last model on our list is certainly not least by any means, and made our list for being the heavy duty bow saw out of the bunch. The Bahco Bow Saw #9 all purpose bow saw is a strong, accountable saw you can turn to every time.

To ensure it holds up against any job, this model features a heavy duty steel tube frame and tension lever, similar to other models, for tightening and changing out the blade. Its handle is comfortable during extended use and designed to help you hold up against fatigue. Bahco understands you need a bow saw that can withstand hours of work, so they made the #9 all purpose model.

Included with your purchase is also a blade guard. This guard is intended to keep your blade’s teeth sharp and slicing through material like butter.

Moreover, there’s even a knuckle guard to protect you from unexpected run-in with wood or brush.   

Bottom Line

On the whole, the Bahco Bow Saw #9 all purpose bow saw is the heavy duty model you’ve been longing for. While some may say they have some trouble controlling its massive size, those who utilize what it has to offer will not be disappointed. Some recent buyers even report cutting logs up to 18” - it seems that this saw can take on just about anything.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying A Bow Saw?

After your research on what features are essential in a good bow saw, there are some things you need to consider before making your purchase. These include:

The Blade

Other than the durability of the material, you should also know what sort of blade you need. There are two types of bow saw blades, and each excels at a different task. The raker saw is great when cutting through green wood and is good when dealing with yard undergrowth. The peg blade, on the other hand, is good at cutting through dry wood. It is this quality that makes bow saws stand out when cutting firewood.

Some blade manufacturers offer reversible blades. These have peg blades on one side, and a peg and raker blade on the reverse. These are best suited for people who carry out different types of saw jobs. This is because you only need to remove the blade and flip it when necessary.  

The Frame

There are two frame types to choose from; he triangle saw and the standard curve type. The standard curve bow looks like an archery bow and is curved like the letter C. The triangle saw has an arch near the grip area while the rest of the frame slants down towards the front. This makes it ideal for dealing with thick shrubs and working on tight joints in trees. The standard curve saw is better working in areas with better space such as tasks around the workshop, dealing with sparse thickets, and cutting firewood.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, choosing the perfect bow saw for your lifestyle doesn’t have to be a headache or a chore. We hope this review has been helpful in your decision making process and helped you narrow your sights on the perfect model.

If you end up moving forward with a bow saw from our list above, be sure to visit us again after you’ve put it to the test. We’d love to hear how it held up so you can help the next person who comes along and was once in your shoes. Best of luck to you!

People Also Ask

Going through other people’s FAQs is helpful. Not only does it tell you more about a particular product and its deficiencies, but it also covers some of the questions you had not thought of asking. Some of the frequently asked bow saw queries are:

How Do You Change The Blade On A Bow Saw?

Whether your blade is worn out and needs to be replaced or you need a different type of blade for the job, it is important to know how to change the blade on your bow saw. With most blades, you need to loosen the tension latch and turn the screw counterclockwise to remove the blade. Slide in a new blade then return the screw and turn it clockwise to tighten. Hook the tension latch back in place and you are good to go.

How Do You Sharpen A Bow Saw?

Sharpening your typical bow saw is easy and only requires five easy steps:

  1. Attach the saw to the saw vice and make sure it is secure
  2. Use a flat file to blunt the surface of the point on every tooth
  3. Using a three-sided file, reshape the teeth. This should take 3 or 4 strokes per tooth. Take time to make sure the teeth are the same shape
  4. Bend the teeth outwards pushing on either side alternating between sides on each tooth.
  5. Use a three-square saw file through the gaps between the teeth. This should be done with care and the file just clearing the blade’s jaws.
Cody

My name is Cody and I've been a writer for Tool Tango for quite some time now. I've always had a knack for building things with my hands and creative writing, so being able to combine the two has been great. I love being able to give back to the DIY-community, while also learning a thing or two along the way. When I'm not writing, I enjoy watching Netflix with my girlfriend, fishing, and working in the shop.