Best Folding Saws – Buyer’s Guide 2021

Cody
| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

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Saws are the primary tools used to cut wood in today’s modern age. While an axe will definitely work in a pinch, the saw provides a much more sturdy, precise, and generally easy-to-use cutting tool. Usually safer than axes, saws come in many varieties. 

In this review we will be discussing and reviewing various folding saws as well as teaching you how to use them and how to find the best one for you.

Whether you are an outdoors man, a survivalist, a camper, or even just a backpacker, you will likely find yourself in a situation that warrants having a portable folding saw in your pack.

Comparison of the Best Folding Saws

Product

Our Rating

Price

Agawa Canyon BOREAL21

Corona RazorTOOTH RS 7265D

EverSaw Folding All-Purpose Saw

Sven Saw Folding 15-inch

Coghlan's Folding Saw

What is a Folding Saw Used For?

Folding saws are compact, usually lightweight saws designed to cut wood. They are generally designed for use by hikers, campers, and survivalists, although in a pinch they can be used by just about anyone who needs to cut wood.

A camper may use a folding saw to cut down larger wood for fires, to cut large diameter trees for safety or shelter, or even to cut long logs into smaller segments for use in a camping stove. 

For a survivalist, the saw is an ideal tool for gathering material to set up a perimeter, a shelter, or of course, a fire.  At home, a folding saw can be used in a pinch for pruning back unwieldy branches or even for safely removing debris such as fallen trees after a storm.

Whether you are a survivalist, a camper, or you just generally like to be prepared, you need a folding saw to round out your tool set.

What Are the Types of Folding Saws?

In addition to push vs pull saws, there are two other primary categories of folding saws. Bow saws are easy to spot due to their characteristic shape, while folding blade style saws are exactly as the name implies. It is hard to mix up these two types of saws, but they do provide different advantages and disadvantages for the user.

Bow-Style Folding Saw

The classic bow saw is going to be the better option for beginners. They are familiar to most people and easier to use. They tend to be less durable, as their blades are thinner and the frames often fold down, providing stress points or weak points that can fail after years of use.

Despite this, bow-style saws are lightweight and exceptionally portable, with their biggest weakness being mitigated by bringing an extra blade or two just in case. If you are unfamiliar with outdoor saws, or if comfort is a huge factor for you, then pick a bow saw.

Folding-Blade Style

A folding-blade style saw is even more portable than a bow saw and, in most cases, also safer to store. The blades tend to be thick and robust as well as unlikely to break. They are harder to use, but much simpler to set up.

If you plan on only using your saw at camp, you likely will want to pick up a decent folding saw and practice until you are good with it as it will save you time and effort cutting wood for your fire or shelter.

Why Use a Folding Saw Over an Axe? 

While an axe is more suited for splitting logs and preparing a camp fire, a saw will definitely do the trick if you need to cut down a thick tree, prepare short logs, or cut wood in just about any way you can think of. The biggest advantages of a saw, especially a folding saw, are that they are lightweight, portable, and compact while still being effective cutting tools.

An axe may give you more power but it will also weigh you down and be relatively difficult to pack. Additionally, folding saws are more versatile and require less space/clearance to be used. Most backpackers, hikers, and survivalists will therefore choose a saw over an axe simply for practical reasons, while more seasoned or hardcore campers may use both depending on the situation.

Quick Take: Best Folding Saw

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

  1. Agawa Canyon BOREAL21
  2. Corona RazorTOOTH RS 7265D
  3. EverSaw Folding All-Purpose Handsaw

Our Top Picks for the Best Folding Saws

Below are our picks for the best folding saws. Our reviewers combed the web and found the most useful and cost-effective tools we could find. These saws were selected due to many variables such as craftsmanship, warranties, ease of use, and durability. 

Whether you want a bow saw or a folding saw, whether you are a camper or a hiker, we have done most of the leg work for your decision-making by pulling together the best products the market has to offer and reviewing them below. Without further ado, here are the best folding saws.

Best Overall & Best Folding Bow Saw:
Agaway Canyon BOREAL21

PROS

  • Folding and unfolding is quick and painless
  • Blade tensioning is done automatically
  • Nylon handle is very comfortable
  • Very lightweight, yet durable
  • Folds down compactly

CONS

  • When unfolded, can be a little bulky

What Are People Saying?

Weighing little over a pound, this saw is incredibly light and folds very compactly. Many people have raved about this saw use for outdoors, particularly for cutting firewood for a campfire, or even building a shelter. There are no screws that need to be fussed with, the saw just unfolds, snaps into form, and is ready to use.

Agawa Canyon even offers additional accessories and replacement parts if needed. There are alternative blade designs for those who need a specialized tool for cutting thicker, denser woods. They also offer fantastic looking saw sheaths to hold both the saw and extra blades.

What We Love About It

While other saws tend to sacrifice blade quality or build durability for size and cost, Agawa Canyon blew us out of the water with this high-quality, yet lightweight powerhouse of a saw. Our first impression of this saw had us enamored with the build quality. The locking arm is crisp and snaps into place firmly; we simply couldn’t imagine this thing falling apart or losing strength over time.

The blade has been described as potent; it is designed perfectly for ripping through dry or wet wood of most thicknesses. With a 21-inch blade, it is suited best for wood pieces between 2 and 12 inches in diameter, but will have no trouble felling larger pieces with a little bit of elbow grease if that is what you need.

Who’s This Perfect for?

Honestly, it is tough to say what camper, hiker, outdoorsman, or survivalist wouldn’t be able to find a use for this rugged yet lightweight saw. It seems like an absolute favorite among both professional and amateur campers, whether it be for cutting firewood or even for bush clearing or building a shelter.

The only downside to this saw is that when unfolded, it is a little bulker than other saws. Therefore, the only people we could imagine this saw not being ideal for are older folks or smaller people who need a less sizeable cutting instrument.

Final Thoughts

The BOREAL21 has found fairly universal acclaim from reviewers with widely varying levels of experience. It looks fantastic, feels fantastic, and performs fantastic. Unlike some other bow-style saws, this product is very difficult to break; it is sturdily designed and made from quality materials. Additionally, it tears through most wood you will find outdoors with absolute ease. All-in-all, this is our favorite saw that we found for this review.

Best Folding-Blade Style Saw:
Corona RazorTOOTH RS-7265D

PROS

  • Offers blades up to 6 teeth per inch, allowing most materials to be cut easily
  • Reinforced, pistol-style grip ensures minimal hand slippage when cutting
  • The blade is made out of high carbon, exceptionally hard SK5 steel
  • Comes in several sizes including 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch
  • Handle features excellent molding for maximum comfort

CONS

  • Customers have complained about excessive packing materials
  • Smallest size is less suited for outdoor use

What Are People Saying?

The Corona RazorTOOTH RS 7265D is a fantastic blade that comes in three different sizes: 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch. Each size comes with an appropriately sized handle, and all the blades are subject to Corona’s well-known and rigorous testing process.

It is a professional style saw that folds down easily for easy packing and safe transportation. The RS 7265D is designed particularly for smaller scale camping or outdoor pruning projects. Depending on what blade size you choose, this bad boy has no problems cutting through branches up to 6 to 8 inches in diameter.

The blade features a triple tooth design that allows it to cut on both the push and pull strokes while also being impulse-hardened for extra strength. The blade is crafted with self-cleaning chrome, as well as having a corrosion-resistant coating.

Ultimately, regardless the size you choose, customers have found this to be an absolutely fantastic saw.

What We Love About It

Our favorite thing about this saw is that it comes in a variety of sizes yet there is no disparity in quality between them. The triple-razor tooth design is an excellent, clever, and honestly, elegant method for making such a small saw be incredibly potent. The biggest downside is that which any folding saw shares: they are simply tougher to use than bow saws and take a little more practice to use properly.  

Who’s This Perfect for?

This saw is incredibly lightweight. It is a fantastic pick for backpackers and short, few-day camping trips. Where this saw shines above most other folding saws, however, is its surprisingly effective use as a home pruning saw. Many customers have raved about using it instead of pruning shears for tackling their jungle of a backyard or even simply maintaining their beautiful outdoor spaces and gardens.

Final Thoughts

The Corona RS 7265D is one of our favorite saws. It is an ideal folding saw for camping, as well as for backpacking, but where it really shines is as an all-purpose, home pruning tool as well. We like this saw mostly for its versatility and build quality. It is easy to use and for the price, one of the best folding saws you can buy.

Best Folding Saw for Camping:
EverSaw Folding All-Purpose Saw

PROS

  • EverSaw offers sheath and multi-unit discounts
  • Slip-resistant coating on a comfortable handle
  • Friction-resistant coating on the blade
  • Easily cuts wood, bone, and plastic
  • Lifetime warranty on the saw

CONS

  • If the wood is too wet, it can be come a little difficult to cut
  • Should be sharpened after a few months of use

What Are People Saying?

This is a high-quality, powerful saw that is built for rugged individuals who need a compact cutting tool to pack in their camping bag or hiking backpack. The blade is made of quality high carbon steel and is built to cut through any materials provided they are around 5 inches or under.

The biggest downside to this saw that we have found are that some customers have complained about build quality issues. In the cases we saw (a malfunctioning blade lock in one, a loose hanging hole in another), EverSaw was quick to contact the customer back and resolve the issue. With high quality customer service like that, you can’t go wrong with an EverSaw product, particularly this one.

While other saws are built just for wood, many outdoorsmen and hunters have found this to be a fantastic saw for cutting through bone while dressing game. Likewise, campers and backpackers have found this to be an excellent saw for cutting through tough branches as well as dressing dry wood.

What We Love About It

We’ve reviewed EverSaw products before and we absolutely love both their build quality and their product support. They offer an extensive lifetime warranty, as well as multi-product discounts.

They also offer accessories such as high-quality sheaths to protect your saw and ensure it can last for years. Extra replacement blades are also available, although at a cost that might warrant simply buying a new saw if you are in a hurry.

Who’s This Perfect for?

Campers, backpackers, hikers, hunters, outdoorsmen: this saw is built for versatility and easy use by amateurs and professionals alike. While not quite as effective for home use as some of the other saws on our list, homeowners will definitely find this to be a worthy investment.

Final Thoughts

We have reviewed many saws, and this is definitely an excellent choice for the price. Whether you need a new saw for amateur use, or if you’re a professional looking to dress and break down a hunt, this saw covers practically all the bases.

Best Amateur Folding Saw:
SVEN Saw 15" Folding Blade

PROS

  • Strong blade made from Swedish steel
  • Handle serves as a protective sheath
  • Made and assembled in the US
  • Weighs less than one pound
  • Folds down to 17 inches

CONS

  • Must be sheathed correctly for proper storage
  • Assembly is a little fiddly

What Are People Saying?

The reviews for this product constitute a chorus of positive praise. Many customers rave about how easy it is to use as well as how easy it is to pack and store. The handle acts as a built-in sheath, however many customers also mention using a cloth bag or secondary sheath in order to keep it stored safely. While the tubing and structural pieces aren’t sharp, they can scuff and wear on other things in your pack if they are not made of quality material.

Additionally, some people have added washers to tighten the saw and make it more rigid. Although we didn’t find many complaints of it being loose, there were several remarks of increasing the tightness. Therefore, it seems like this is simply a personal preference over an issue of product quality.

What We Love About It

What can we say? This saw is really a decent product. While some people may have had some qualms with storage (see the comment about sheathing above, also some customers say it is too long for smaller packs), we found it to be a reasonably sized and straightforward to store tool.

What drew us most to this saw was the numerous reviews claiming minimal issues with the saw, as well as the raving reviews about how easy it is to cut logs for a fire. One customer even claimed it is so easy to cut wood that he cuts too much in order to leave some for the next hiker! We love this sort of paying-it-forward attitude, and any product that encourages that deserves an honorable mention in our books.

Who’s This Perfect for?

Most commonly, this saw has been used by outdoorsmen, hikers, and campers who love it for what it is: a reasonably priced, reasonably built portable saw. This isn’t the saw for a hardcore survivalist, while they may get solid use out of it, our heavier duty saws would be a better choice for them. Instead it is meant for amateurs, hobbyists, and enthusiasts who enjoy spending time in the outdoors but don’t have the resources to invest in high priced, name-brand products.

Anyone who camps or backpacks and might find themselves in a situation where they need to cut logs for a fire would love to have this saw in their pack. In fact, many customers have even touted a preference for this saw over a small hatchet or axe, as it is incredibly lightweight and easy to use.

Final Thoughts

We will be brief with this one. This saw does what it was made to do and that is cut wood effectively at a great price point. Hardcore outdoorsmen or survivalists likely will want to invest in a more premium product, but for amateurs, family campers, or day hikers, this is an excellent saw. The build quality is superb, the safety mechanisms are simple and well-functioning, and it is lightweight and easy to store.

Best Budget Folding Saw:
Coghlan's 8901 Folding Saw

PROS

  • Serrated blade makes for easy cutting
  • Solid quality for the price point
  • Weighs in at only 16 ounces
  • Can fold down completely
  • Can hold extra blades

CONS

  • 21-inch blade makes it longer than some other saws, particular when folded down and stored
  • Contains some weaker plastic pieces

What Are People Saying?

Let’s get the bad, or what little there is of it, out of the way first: some customers have complained of the plastic pieces breaking after prolonged use. While this may mean this saw is for lighter duty use, all the pieces are incredibly easy to replace, including the blade. Therefore, if you ever have problems with it, Coghlan’s customer support will likely take care of you and render any negatives to this problem a null.

The majority of customers love this saw. It is light weight, fairly portable, and rather straightforward to use. Being made in Canada, you know quality control is adequate, and built quality is fantastic. It is easy to modify and tighten if need be. Since the saw is mostly one large piece, it is also very simple to maintain and pack.

What We Love About It

We have to give credit where credit is due; this product does not have very many complaints. It will except almost any 21” replacement blade available at local hardware stores and is incredibly easy to maintain and modify if need be.

While some consumers may be skeptical about buying online versus in-store, especially for a product such as a saw, the customer service from Coghlan will leave you with a worry-free buying experience as they offer fantastic warranty and support on their products.

Who’s This Perfect for?

Do you love hiking and camping in the outdoors? Do you not want to spend an arm and a leg for an expensive, unwieldy saw? Then this saw is for you. Don’t get us wrong, this is definitely a budget product for the more light-duty campers and backpackers, but for the price we couldn’t find many complaints.

Hardcore survivalists may want to look at the BOREAL21, or one of the EverSaw products mentioned in some of our other reviews. All other customers, however, will likely be impressed with this saw and glad to have purchased it.

Final Thoughts

This saw is exactly what it needs to be. It is a functional, decently built, economic bow saw.  Ideal for light backpacking and camping activities, it can saw through most wood in a pinch. Maintenance is easy; folding and unfolding are both quick; and packing this thing is no problem due to its lightweight.

How to Use a Folding Saw

In general, folding saws are incredibly simple to use; although you may want to practice at home before testing your skills in the wild. Most saws fall into two categories: pull saws or push-pull saws.

As the name suggests, a pull saw does the majority of its cutting by dragging or pulling the saw across the wood. If you are newer to using saws, or if you need a neat finish, the pull saw will be your best bet. These saws generally are safe and simple to use, although they take more strokes than push-pull saws do to cut through the same thickness material.

A push-pull saw, however, offers more power at the cost of precision and control. They also provide a less neat finish than pull saws do, due to the jerky motion of the cut, but will cut through thicker materials more easily than a pull saw.

To tell the difference between a push saw and a pull saw all you have to do is look at the blade. Push saws generally have thicker blades and are more durable. They also have teeth that are pointed away from the handle, while pull saws have teeth that are pointed towards the handle.

Conclusion

Picking the best folding saws was a difficult task. Even harder was deciding which one is best overall. Ultimately, however, the Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 took the cake. Being a bow saw, it is absolutely easy to use with minimal setup or training required. Additionally, it is extremely well-built, although so are many of the other saws in this review.

If you are looking for something that will help ease the pains of hiking or camping - particularly if you need to build a fire – any of the saws in this review will do, however it cannot be overstated how impressed we were with the BOREAL21.

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.