Now you may be thinking, ‘I have a saw in my toolkit in the outhouse’ or, ‘I have a pocket knife, so surely I don’t need a survival saw’. However, survival saws are quite different from the every day saw you might use around the house for some DIY and they’re actually pretty different from a survival knife. Most of those types of toolbox saws are designed to be used for such DIY instances and it would not be safe nor effective to chuck it in your rucksack for your camping trip.
There are a few different types of survival saw you can get, such as a folding saw, wire saws, pocket chainsaw, bushcraft saws, bow saws, but which one is the best? In this review, we are going to be exploring different types of saws and the ones that we rate the best in all departments to get the job done and to do it well.
Whilst you are reading this review and trying to figure out which would be the best saw for you, it is useful to keep in mind what use you would have for your saw. The best survival saw for you will depend on what you want the saw to do and where you want to take it. However, hopefully, this review will help you determine that, as we will be noting our top 12 survival saws, being totally honest by giving you the pros and cons of each.
After the review of our top 12 survival saws, you can find a buyer’s guide and FAQs near the bottom. This is where we will discuss some features to look out for when looking for the best saw for you.
Top 12 Best Survival Saws
1) Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw, 10 Inch Curved Blade
Item Dimensions: 1 x 2.68 x 12 inches | Blade Length: 10 inches | Manual
This 10 inch Corona Razortooth pruning saw is a great pick for those who want a long blade that is extremely portable to get the job done. If you need a saw that has a rounded blade, this is a great saw for you. It is also extremely durable, with teeth that are hardened and the folding mechanism allows for the blade to be protected when not in use.
The TPI of this saw is about 6, which is a decent amount for a 10 inch. In our expert opinion, this would be a really good saw for cutting and collecting branches for a small campfire or to cut hardwood.
An important feature that this folding saw comes with is a gripping handle. It’s ergonomically designed to fit your hand which is essential when in a survival situation. You really want to have a tool where you have the utmost control. This co-molded handle will absolutely do the trick.
Overall, we really like this Corona Razortooth saw and it is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Its ratio of size and TPI are sure to get you a precise and easy cut with whatever you need it for.
2) Esthesia Pocket Chainsaw with accessories
Length: 36 inches | Number of Teeth: 11
This pocket chainsaw from Esthesia comes with handy accessories: some gloves, a carabiner, a fire starter, and a pocket pouch for the chainsaw. Already, this would be a great pick as the pocket chainsaw comes with other survival tools to use. However, let’s focus on the actual chainsaw.
The chain is 36 inches long and unlike some saws that are better for specific types of wood, this pocket chainsaw is extremely versatile and should cut through all kinds of substances. The paracord handles are a really good feature on this survival saw, as they ensure strength and comfort when actually using it.
The tough carry bag that comes with it will make sure that this pocket chainsaw won’t cause any damage when it’s not being used and it’s easy to clip onto your trousers through your belt loop or tuck away into your toolkit. Weighing in quite small and portable, this pocket chainsaw is definitely something you want when looking for survival tools, so they are super easy and unnoticeable to carry around. We really love how this pocket chainsaw can clip onto your pocket or can easily be tucked away.
However, we are not the biggest fan of pocket chainsaws in general. This is because they are a little slow to use, and can be tricky to get going if you’re not familiar with how to use them. A pocket chainsaw can also break quite easily because they are a long chain. Although this Esthesia pocket chainsaw is a good pick if you do like these types of survival saws, they wouldn’t be our best pick overall.
3) Silky Professional BIGBOY 2000 Folding Saw
Item Dimensions: 29.9 x 3.5 x 0.8 inches | Blade Length: 14.2 inches
This folding saw is a lot bigger than most saws on this list, coming in at 14.2 inches. Again, the folding nature of this survival saw makes it all the safer. This blade is 1.4mm thick, using high carbon steel. This means that is top of the range using high-quality material.
This saw comes with 5.5 teeth per inch, which is pretty versatile for this sort of folding saw. And versatile is exactly what this is! It doesn’t have a specific commanding purpose, such as the Corona with pruning, this big boy can do everything. The versatility of this folding saw makes it really unique and one of the best survival saws out there.
The handle is made with high-quality rubber, meaning that it has a great amount of grip for whatever you’re using it for. Silky also claims to have used technology from the Japanese on this saw, meaning that the blade is super-hardened and will last you a long time. This combined with the rubber handle will ensure durability and makes it one of the greatest types of best folding saw out there.
We really think that this is one of the best folding saws out there. However, of course, generally, with a higher quality product, comes at a higher price. This is definitely on the more expensive price point for a survival saw, and is it worth it? Well, only you can answer that. We really love this saw, and Silky is one of the best brands for survival saws out there but we also think you can get more reasonably priced, high-quality folding saws.
4) Skyocean Pocket Chainsaw with Paracord Handle
Item Dimensions: 31 x 0.39 x 0.16 inches | Number of Teeth: 11
This lightweight pocket chainsaw is a really good addition to your survival backpack. With usable paracord handles, this means that it adds an extra element of survival. The 275 inches paracord has multiple uses for survival situations. It can be used for replacing shoelaces, fishing line, rope, and much more. This is a great addition to the pocket chainsaw and makes it a great piece of gear.
Like the previous pocket chainsaw, it comes with a carry case that can easily be clipped on a pocket or the side of a rucksack, making it super portable. One particular thing about this pocket chainsaw that stands out is that it is extremely light in weight, weighing only 0.39lbs.
This pocket chainsaw is really flexible, with 11 teeth meaning that it’s designed to cut through most substances. Although, as mentioned earlier, we are not the biggest fan of a pocket chainsaw. This is because we have found them quite breakable and not the strongest, due to their flimsy chain-like nature. These are really good as camping saws, but we prefer other kinds of survival scenarios.
5) Friendly Swede Folding Hand Saw
Item Dimensions: 17.32 x 0.98 x 1.97 inches
The Friendly Swede is definitely a trusted brand making high-quality goods. This folding saw is perfect for any survival situation, as well as for use around the garden. It has an 8-inch blade with 7 teeth per inch. This is a really good tooth and saw blade length ratio and will provide you with a really clean and easy cut. Made of strong steel this survival saw is sure to see you through the roughest of situations.
On the end of the folding saw, there are two bits of 550 paracord. We think this is a really good addition to the saw, as it provides that extra security. As mentioned previously, paracord is super good in a survival situation, as is extremely versatile and can be used as lots of resources. This shows that the brand has really thought about what would make this saw the best and most efficient it could be.
There is a sturdy safety lock on the handle, meaning that it is super secure and will be safe to chuck in your bug out bag. It is super light in weight, weighing in at 0.57 pounds, meaning that you will hardly know it’s there but will be all the happier that it is.
We consider this one of the best folding saws out there, due to the quality of Friendly Swede and all of the other components. If you’re looking for a good camp saw, this is your answer. This saw is covered by a lifetime warranty from Friendly Swede, which means that if it ever did go wrong, then you’d be able to get your money back or a replacement. This is a great consideration for the best survival saws and is a good bushcraft saw for any hunting trip.
6) Bahco 10-24-23 Bow Saw
Item Dimensions: 28.86 x 9.45 x 1.14 inches
This bow saw is a really good option for those that might have more space in their rucksack. The obvious downside to this saw is that it does not fold. This can be a real negative to bow saws, as they’re not the most portable. However, they are known to work very effectively, as they can glide quickly through any substance, namely wood.
Some elements that we really like about this bow saw, is that the handle is ergonomically designed and has been ergonomically designed to protect your knuckles. This is super good for a survival scenario. Due to the nature of the smaller blade, it is a lot lighter in weight.
In terms of this bow saw as a survival saw, if you have the space, then this is one we would recommend. However, the fact that this bow saw is not easily transportable is a big issue for a camping saw.
7) REXBETI Dry Wood Pruning Folding Saw
Package Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.1 x 1.3 inches | Blade Length: 11 inches
This good sized pruning saw is a really good choice of camp saw. These survival saws have an 11-inch blade, which is a really good size for a pruning saw. This allows for flexibility in the cut and to have more movement. This folding saw has 7 teeth per inch, which again is a really good ratio. This pruning saw is slightly on the bigger side, coming in at 22 inches when unfolded, but if you’re looking for something that will really pack a punch, this might be the right choice for you.
The polymer handle which is coated in rubber is a really great feature on this, as it will provide the best grip whilst using the actual saw. This makes the folding saw easy to work with, yielding more effective results. The handle is definitely a really important feature, as it can really change the ease of use of the survival saw. It seems that REXBETI has really tried to make the survival saw as comfortable as possible. We really rate this handle design, as the better the handle, the easier the saw will be to use.
The size of this saw is definitely a standout feature. However, it might not be the best choice for a survival saw, as there are smaller folding saws out there that are easier to put away into your bug out bag or fit onto a belt loop.
8) Bahco Bow Saw #9 All Purpose
Item Dimensions: 39 x 1 x 10 inches
We’ve included this All Purpose bow saw on our list because it is a really versatile saw that might be a good choice for some survivalists. Obviously, not as compact as some of the others on this list, bow saws are still a really good consideration for the best survival saw. Offering a bit of a sturdier nature, this is a bow saw that could see you through some tough times head.
This bow saw is also a bit heavier than others on the list, so is only really an option for someone that has a bit more space in their rucksack and perhaps wants to prioritize a survival saw. However, Bahco is a trusted brand of survival tool so you might want to explore that.
9) Gerber Exchange-a-Blade Saw
Item Dimensions: 13 x 5.5 x 2.7 inches | Blade Length: 7.1 inches
Another brand that is really well trusted is Gerber. We think this saw idea is pretty genius, as it allows you to change the blades depending on what you need it for. You can choose the blade that best suits your survival situation. This is a really good idea, as you can get better precision to execute your task in survival situations. However, this does have some downsides too, including that it’s not very beginner-friendly. With one blade on one survival saw, you can get to know it and how to use it pretty quickly. However, if you’re new to using saws and you constantly have to get used to new blades, this can be fairly tricky. There is also the safeness element to it, that if you’re having to change new blades in survival situations, this could potentially be a bit dangerous.
This survival saw is extremely lightweight, coming in at 0.54 pounds. It is also pretty compact, meaning that you can easily put it in your backpack, but also you have to take into account the add-on blades.
Overall, we do like this survival saw, but we would recommend that you go for it if you are familiar with how to work with saws already, or are confident that you could take the time to learn before you’re in a scenario where you need to use it.
10) Agawa Canyon – BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw
Item Dimensions: 21 x 5.5 x 9 inches (Assembled)
This Agawa Canyon folding bow saw is super easy to use and is ideal for camping. This survival bow saw has all the components we really like, such as being a folding saw, lightweight, compact, and still effective. However, these kinds of saws tend to take a little while longer to use but you can achieve more of a precise cut.
This folding bow saw is really easy to set up and is made of super-strong material such as stainless steel. A really good safety feature on this tool is that the folding mechanism makes it so you don’t have to touch the steel blade when you are setting it up and closing it down. This feature makes the bow saw really easy to use and safe so you know you’re not going to injure yourself.
We think this is a great survival bow saw and would make a perfect add on to any kit.
11) Sven Folding Saw
Item Dimensions: 23 x 1.5 x 0.6 inches
This super lightweight folding saw is another great option for a camp saw. This particular one is made from strong steel crafted in Sweden and folds down to a small size, perfect for putting in your rucksack ready for an adventure. The bright red means that it won’t go missing easily and it’s great for any type of survival scenario.
12) Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw
Item Dimensions: 7.87 x 7.87 x 11.81 inches | Stainless steel
This Bahco Laplander folding saw is a great one to end this list with, as we must say, its features are pretty impressive! This definitely has to be one of the best survival saws going. Already, the folding nature is a big thumbs up from us, providing it with being compact and easy to store in your rucksack. Secondly, it has an easy to use lock mechanism which ensures the utmost safety when not using it.
This folding saw comes with a 7-inch blade, with the TPI averaging 7. This is a really good ratio for a folding saw and will ensure a clean cut on any material. The handle is made of plastic, meaning that it will have a really good grip ensuring precision and safety during use.
You can also replace the blades with this saw, meaning that if anything were to go wrong with the blade, you can easily buy another one to fit into the handle. One of the special features of this saw is that it has a coating on it to prevent rust. This is a great add-on and will make sure this tool is super durable. We consider this to be one of the best survival saws and a great bushcraft saw for emergency situations.
So what is the best survival saw for you? As previously mentioned, this will heavily depend on what you need your tool for. However, there are some vital things to take into account. These will be discussed below and are important to look out for.
There are different kinds of materials and metals that saws could be made from, such as carbon steel. Stainless steel is a great material for survival saws to be made from because it is super durable. Also, it cleans really easily which is a major plus. If you clean your saw after every usage, it will keep in really good condition. You have to make sure you take care of your saw so it will last the longest possible.
Safety is obviously a really important factor when using a saw. Due to the nature of them being a really sharp blade, they can easily be a danger if not used sensibly and safely. It is worthwhile noting that these saws should only be used by an adult who is familiar with these kinds of tools.
One of the safest saws are folding saws. This is because they fold into themselves making sure the blade is protected by the handle. In our opinion, these are the best type of saws to place in your rucksack for an expedition or camping trip. A safety feature that is necessary for all folding saws is a lock to make sure they don’t slide out and cause an accident. A lock is a feature that you should check the folding saw has before you buy it. It is also essential that you become familiar with how the locking system works to ensure the utmost safeness.
Teeth coarseness will affect the smoothness of the cut. TPI, commonly known as teeth per inch, is the number of teeth the blade has. Basically, the higher the teeth per inch, the more steady and smooth the slice will be. This is wise to take into account when deciding what the best saw is for you and is a good idea to pick something quite different from your survival knife. In our experience, generally, the higher the TPI, the easier to worth with it is, as it is a lot quicker and smoother to cut the actual wood. With the lower TPI, the saw is more jagged and perhaps will take longer to cut.
What TPI is the best for me? Well, again, it depends on factors like what you will be using your saw for. Generally, the smaller the TPI, the best it is for harder wood. Given that, the higher the TPI, the best it is for softwood.
This would not be ideal in an emergency situation where you really need to cut wood fast. For instance, this could be in a situation where you quickly need to chop wood for a fire before nightfall or you are trying to build yourself an emergency shelter to protect from the elements.
TPI is definitely one particular thing to take into account when deciding on what survival saw to buy. We recommend saws with a higher TPI, but also the higher the TPI, the more expensive the saw can be. Also, the saws with higher TPI, tend to be on the bigger scale, meaning that they’ll be less portable.
Thinking about the handle of the saw might seem a bit inconsequential but it’s actually a really important part. Going hand in hand about what was previously said about being safe, it’s vital you find a saw with handles that fit comfortably in your hand so there is no danger of the blade going awry or you dropping it. The last thing you want is a tool or hand saws in your kit that you’re too scared to use for fear of it causing injury.
Having a grip on the handle is a great feature for a saw, as this will increase the safeness and ease of use. Not only do you want good handles for the safeness aspect, but also for comfort. If you have to chop a lot of wood, you want a tool that is not going to give you blisters at the finish.
This is important because the handle will differ between saw. For example, folding pruning saws will generally have a longer handle than a bow saw. The same goes for a pocket chainsaw.
A tip from us is to note the dimensions of the handle and then measure your hand to see how they line up. You want a handle that is going to sit comfortably in your hand to ensure safeness and comfort.
Folding Saw vs Pocket Chainsaw
What is the best survival saw out of a folding saw or pocket chainsaws? This really depends on what sort of saw you’re after. There are many kinds of saws out there, such as bushcraft saw, bow saws, folding saws, and pocket chainsaws. However, for survival situations, we really do think that folding saws are the best ones to choose from. This is because they are easy to carry around, usually do not weigh much, and have big versatility. As mentioned earlier, we are not the biggest fans of pocket chainsaws.
In our expert opinion, a pocket chainsaw is not the most reliable, as due to their nature, can be brittle and break easily. This is why folding saws are, from our perspective, the best survival saws. A pocket chainsaw does have its benefits and can sometimes be easy to use, but we don’t think that a pocket chainsaw is necessarily the best option to have in a survival scenario.
Survival Saw FAQs
In addition to our top 7 survival saws, here are a couple of FAQs that we crop up…
What is the best folding saw?
This is really a matter of opinion and personal preference. What you think the best folding saw is will also depend on what you’re looking for. However, we have a couple on that list that we think are cream of the crop! The number 3 Silky Bigboy 2000 Folding Saw is one of the best out there in our opinion. In terms of a survival saw, Silky is one of the best and most reliable brands on the market.
We really adore this folding saw for all reasons mentioned above, but mainly for the versatility. That is extremely important in survival saws because you never know what sort of situation you will find yourself in. This Silky Saw will be sure to cover all bases and cut through any sort of substance you can think of.
Secondly, we also really like the Friendly Swede hand saw, as these folding saws are really top of the range. The strong metal used on this saw and again the versatility, make it a great survival saw.
What is the best pruning saw?
Again, this can be a matter of personal opinion. There are a couple of pruning saws on the list we mentioned above, but the thing to look at with these kinds of saws is that they have a good TPI. Other saws like a pocket chainsaw, bushcraft saws, or wire saws, might not be the best for this sort of thing. That’s why we would recommend any type of folding hand saw.