A great camping saw will never fail you when you’re out there roughing it on your own. A camping saw needs to be consistent above all else. However, power, comfort, and portability are also important features when shopping for the best camping saw.
Here’s my cutting analysis on what it takes to be the best saw for camping.
A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Camping Saws
What makes a great camping saw? The answer depends on the how, where, and why of your outdoor adventures.
Why Would You Need a Camping Saw?
There are several reasons why you might need a camping saw. Are you going to be driving in some remote wooded areas? Downed trees could block your route. A good camping saw allows you to remove logs from your path.
Of course, the most common reason for a camping saw is to cut firewood. This can be important if you’re camping off the grid in places where wood might not be for sale. Even people who camp at established campsites might find that the front desk doesn’t sell wood.
What Makes a Good Camping Saw?
Power is really the biggest asset with a camping saw. You need to be able to cut through a decent enough diameter to at least get basic firewood. There are also other factors to consider. Let’s run through the big ones!
While bigger isn’t always better with camping saw blades, you’ll generally want a larger blade if you’ll be going after tougher logs. Anything from 7 in to 21 in should put you in a good range to be able to get your wood.
People tend to be loyalists to one blade material. There are truly pros and cons to every blade material. I personally like a steel blade with a rust-resistant coating.
Another great option is carbon steel. While carbon steel is technically superior to steel because it’s an alloy of iron and carbon, anyone shopping for a blade should know that carbon steel is more susceptible to corrosion.
Don’t just look at the blade! The handle of a camping saw can ultimately determine the feasibility of collecting large batches of wood. A poorly designed handle without proper padding can cause your hand to wear out quickly. It can also cause an injury or sprain. I generally like plastic handles with built-in grips.
If you’re shopping from a high-quality brand, a wooden handle can actually be just as ergonomic as plastic with the added benefit of increased durability.
I think most people generally picture a folding camp saw when they think about camping saws. A folding camping saw is essentially like an oversized pocket knife that’s capable of cutting branch-level diameters instead of just shredding kindling.
I’m personally a fan of folding camping saws. However, I fully recognize that they aren’t always the best option.
A portable electric saw is definitely an option to consider if you want to speed through logs. These saws use portable batteries to run. While I think they’re great, I will say that I think having a backup non-battery camping saw handy is always wise because you never want to be fully reliant on batteries for survival out there.
I’m also a fan of manual chainsaws. This style gives you a chain fitted with teeth that is operated fully by hand without the use of a motor. While some people swear by these, I personally like them as supplemental emergency saws that are kept tucked away in bags or cars.
Finally, be sure to check out multipurpose chainsaws that combine your saw, mallet, and axe in one. This can be a great way to lighten your load. However, my caveat with these is that they are not usually durable enough to be survival tools because you’re not getting the dedicated craftsmanship on each component that you’re getting when you purchase each one separately.
Curved Versus Flat Blade
Curved blades really represent the norm with camping saws. The reason why is that the curve allows the teeth to get a good grip. You’re also able to “dig into” a wood log easier because you can throw your full force into every stroke without worrying about the blade floundering.
Generally, someone shopping for camping saws with flat blades is planning to use the saw as an all-purpose saw that will be used in hunting.
Finally, you have to consider what it will be like to tote a camping saw around. Foldable saws are often the easiest to carry because they can slip in a belt loop or bag. You also have to do your research on individual portability levels within the highly portable category based on saw dimensions.
Manual chainsaws are also pretty portable because they don’t have a rigid shape. You’ll need to dedicate space in your pack if you’re committing to a motorized saw.
Can a camping saw cut through logs?
Yes, camping saws are designed to cut through small to medium logs that are appropriate for firewood.
Is it okay if a camping saw is made of plastic?
You generally want to avoid manual camping saws with bodies made of plastic components because the force of sawing motions can make these parts easier to break. However, many durable folding camping saws use plastic for handles and sheathing.
Can you replace blades in a camping saw?
Many manufacturers allow you to replace blades. Some even build blade storage into the casing to allow you to keep a spare blade with you. However, you need to read the manufacturer guidelines before assuming that a blade can be replaced.
How long does it take a portable motorized camping saw to recharge?
Expect a recharge to take at least two hours if you’re using a newer, more efficient saw. Some low-quality models can take several hours to recharge.
10 Best Camping Saws Reviewed
The claim to fame with this saw is its 14.2-in curved blade that’s capable of cutting through both green and dry wood. That means you’re never left in the lurch if your location doesn’t leave you with a choice. The two-handed rubber-cushioned handle is beautiful for your ergonomic enjoyment! The whole thing weighs just over 14 oz.
The 14.2-in blade on this saw has a 2,000-mm radius that makes cutting your branches smooth and quick. You’re getting five teeth per inch for a system that cuts on your pull strokes. There’s also a taper-ground design to the blade to cut off friction to prevent the all-too-familiar problem of putting all of your energy into battling friction instead of cutting cleanly.
Something that I really appreciate about this saw is that its Japanese steel blade is actually designed to be replaced fairly easily. That makes this a true lifetime saw. I personally appreciate the canary-yellow blade handle on this design that makes it so much easier to spot your saw if you’re cutting during twilight or evening.
My one warning with this saw is that you have to make sure the screw locking the blade in pace is kept right to avoid the risk of breaking your blade.
- Very sharp
- Cuts through branches like butter.
- Ergonomic handle.
- Built-in friction reduction.
- Folds smoothly.
- Easy to pack.
- Blade is on the thinner side.
The 10-in impulse-hardened steel blade on this saw is what sold me right away because I know that means that this saw is going to stay sharper longer. It features three-sided razor teeth to produce very efficient results when cutting small to medium branches.
As far as comfort, this 12-oz saw features an ergo-friendly co-molded handle that provides an impressive grip that stays comfortable when you’re holding the saw for a long time. I also appreciate how easy to latch the blade is because I’m very conscious of injury prevention when the saw isn’t being used. Chrome is also used on the blade to reduce friction.
Your curved, taper-ground folding blade on this saw can be replaced easily. Again, this is something that I really appreciate because I tend to purchase my gear for life. My impression of this saw is that cuts are smoother and quicker than anything you’d get with a traditional saw.
The only flaw I can really spot with this design is the way that a gap is left when the saw is closed. This gap leaves the teeth slightly exposed in a way that could allow them to catch on things in your bag.
- Very sharp.
- Cuts are beyond smooth.
- Designed to last.
- Good safety features.
- Teeth protrude slightly when closed.
- Handle can feel flimsy compared to the blade.
This all-metal saw is made using high-quality materials in the United States. I love the high-visibility red paired with the Swenson name engraved on the handle. This is my top choice if you’re looking for a camping saw to give as a gift because it really has keepsake-level value even though it’s fully usable. At just 11 oz, this saw could not be easier to tuck away.
I think you’ll find that the Sven is better at collapsing into a slender form than just about any other saw in its class. Something I love about this saw is that it’s free of plastic parts. If you’ve done your fair share of chopping, you probably already know how easily stressed plastic parts can get. Plastic also does horribly in frozen temperatures.
Major points are awarded due to the fact that this saw’s blade tension is adjustable. The only complaint I can come up with about this saw is that getting into position with it can be a little complex. That’s because you need to remove the wingnut responsible for keeping your blade taught in order to collapse your saw. While this doesn’t really bother me, I can see how you might eventually lose the wingnut when you’re doing this every single time.
I think the performance of this blade is incredible. My only complaint might be that the aluminum handle can feel a little cold and slippery compared to some of the padded options out there. The handle can also be a little slippery if your hands are wet. It never hurts to put a little tape on the handle if this is an issue.
This 7-in blade with seven teeth per inch can cut green wood, dry wood, plastic, and bone. The blade is coated for rust protection and low friction to reduce the odds of damaging your blade while you’re having incredible adventures off the grid. The plastic handle has what I’d call a decent grip.
I’m especially impressed with the safety lock that locks for both in-lock usage and out-lock usage. With a 9-in length in total, this saw is hard to beat if compactness is your objective. Unlike some of the other picks on my list, this one slides into a back pocket easily
Another distinctive feature with this saw is that it features a straight blade instead of a curved blade. I’m mixed on this. Curved blades are definitely preferred when cutting branches. However, straight blades can be beautiful when you’re doing any activities that require a straight cut.
This isn’t the fastest cutter out there. However, that’s not enough to get it ruled out because I think you’ll find that it handles larger diameters more easily than some competitors.
- Great for versatile uses.
- Blade is coated against rust and friction.
- Decently ergonomic.
- Straight blade is a mixed blessing.
- Not the fastest cutter.
I’m pivoting to something completely different with this one because it’s a battery-powered cordless electric chainsaw. The design features four chains for some serious power when busting through logs. The quick charger that comes with this model is highly appreciated.
The 4-in blade here can do a lot with help from the accompanying motor that can cut 6 in of wood in just 10 seconds! The 24V 2.0Ah Li-on rechargeable battery gives you about two hours of running time. If you know anything about cordless camping saws, you know that’s at least double compared to most standard models.
The carrying case that comes with this saw packs up nicely. I also want to make note of the safety baffle that prevents your wood from splashing. There’s also a built-in LED light for night cutting. It’s really surprising that so much power is packed into a saw that weighs just over 2 lb.
I think you’re going to find that this saw lets you power through branches and logs without overheating or stopping. It feels really safe and sturdy when you’re using it.
If I had to nitpick, I would say that my only true concern with this saw is that the position of the safety button isn’t perfect. It’s a little awkward to access that button and the run button at the same time.
- Full kit comes with about 15 pieces.
- Has its own carrying case.
- Two hours of power per charge.
- Not nearly as compact as traditional portable saws.
If you’re keeping track, you’ll notice that this is the second SILKY to make my list. This saw with a 5-in blade with seven teeth per inch puts the best of SILKY ingenuity on display in a more compact option than my previous pick.
This saw’s rust-resistant curved blade has teeth that dig into wood fibers beautifully on the pull stroke without friction or hesitation. You’ll find that this taper-ground blade does a really beautiful job of reducing friction to ensure that you’re actually putting energy into cutting instead of battling friction.
It just gets better with this Japanese saw after you realize that it uses four cutting edges per impulse-hardened tooth for added durability. In addition, blades can be replaced to ensure that this is a lifetime saw. One nice touch with this particular SILKY model is that it comes with a plastic flip-lock carrying case with a belt clip. This feature combined with the fact that the saw weighs just 5.9 oz makes this a top pick for portability!
- Compact and easy to carry.
- Rust-resistant blade.
- Comes with its own carrying case.
- Ergonomic handle grip.
- Doesn’t handle larger diameters like non-compact SILKY models.
At 2.5 lb, this is one of my bulkier picks. However, I realize that not everyone is looking for a compact camping saw. You’re getting a gorgeous 420 stainless-steel axe head with a durable polymer handle that stores the saw. However, the big surprise here is that this saw isn’t just a saw.
Let’s briefly talk tension with this design. It has a self-adjusting tension compensator to keep your blade as tight as ever while you’re sawing wood. Finally, I want to highlight the safety sheath that protects the axe while also doubling as your over-mold grip with slip resistance. I love the way this feature is integrated into the design to reduce bulkiness.
There’s actually just too much included within this “saw system” to cover everything in a quick review. The big takeaway when considering this saw is that it allows you to get away with purchasing a single all-in-one unit instead of lugging along individual pieces while camping.
You’ll definitely need to spend some time learning how to use all of the different features built into this saw before you take it out in the wild for the first time.
- Saw, mallet, axe, and shaver in one.
- Secure blade sheath.
- Uses quality stainless steel.
- The plastic components can feel flimsy in places.
- More of a camping saw than a “survival” tool.
- Grip/slip resistance on handle could be better.
I love the refined-meet-rugged aesthetic that makes this camping saw look like an heirloom. It features an 8-in blade with knife-like teeth that cut cleanly and effortlessly. You’ll notice a row of razor-sharp teeth that activate simply through pulling.
The blade on this saw deserves some special attention. It’s a carbon-steel blade with an anti-corrosion coating on the handle. At just 0.08 kg in weight, this is a portable beauty that you’ll be passing on to your heirs!
The handle also deserves some attention because it’s a far cry from the plastic handles I’ve covered so far. This is actually a beech handle sourced from wood from the French Alps. You’ll find that it’s hard, durable, and so easy to work with. The exquisite hues in the handle that range from pink to yellow make this saw a real keepsake.
The only downside to the blade with this saw is that carbon blades are sensitive to corrosion. That means you’ll need to dry off your blade thoroughly if it gets wet. You also shouldn’t store the saw if it’s wet.
- Made in France.
- Impeccable quality.
- Top-tier beech handle.
- Contains no plastic.
- Carbon blade requires extra care to avoid corrosion.
- Not the strongest cutter.
This one really switchers gears on you! This is a foldable, ultra-portable handheld chainsaw. That means that your arms are the motors. I think you’ll love this option if you’re looking for a saw with high “packability.” You also aren’t reliant on batteries.
This 65-cm chainsaw weighs just 4.7 oz. Unlike other saws, it doesn’t have a rigid shape that takes up space in a pack. The handles are made of a soft, agreeable nylon material.
This saw features double cutting teeth on every single major link. What that means for you is that you’re getting effective and effortless cutting in both directions. The chain is made from heat-treated carbon steel that’s been engineered to be resilient in harsh conditions.
There are so many ways to carry this manual chainsaw around. It comes with a case that can be worn on your belt, tucked away in a backpack, or fastened under a snowmobile.
My only word of caution with this saw is that you need to keep tabs on it at all times because the teeth are very sharp. Unlike other options that “fold into themselves” when you’re done, this one leaves you with a naked chain of teeth to put away.
- Highly portable.
- Strong cutting power.
- Nylon grips are very comfortable.
- No reliance on batteries.
- Requires manpower to work.
- Requires extra safety care because you have a “naked” link with very sharp teeth.
This saw with a 21-in serrated blade takes you back to the basics. Its rugged
21-inch serrated saw blade is a thing of beauty. The blade sits in an equally rugged anodized aluminum frame.
This unit folds down into a compact form weighing just 16 oz. Overall, the benefit with this no-frills saw is that you’re getting very decent cutting capabilities for less than half of the price of comparable saws. Cutting is generally very smooth with this saw.
Something that people like about this saw is that the frame is designed to hold extra blades. That means you can pack along an extra blade to swap out.
The only aspect of this saw where I think the manufacturer missed out on a good opportunity is the piece that forms the pivot. They decided to go with a plastic material that ultimately makes the design flimsier than it needs to be. Aluminum would have been a much better option for the pivot.
- Dependable saw with no frills.
- Durable serrated.
- Rugged anodized aluminum frame.
- Smooth cutting.
- Area that forms the pivot is flimsy.
- Not the most ergonomic choice.
Cutting Through the Hype on the Best Camping Saw
It’s a great day if you’re looking for a good camping wood saw because today’s brands are really at the top of their game. While I covered a few different saw styles, I have to say that focusing on the best folding saw for camping is my advice if you’re looking for ease and versatility. That’s why the SILKY Bigboy 2000 Folding Saw is my overall winner among all camping saws.
It doesn’t get better than this saw’s 14.2-in curved blade that cuts through both dry and green wood like magic. The cushioned handle offers smart ergonomics that can prevent pain and strain. What’s more, this saw is more than portable enough for the average camper.
I hope this rundown helped you cut through the noise of camping saw reviews to find an option that fits your needs. My final piece of advice is to shop for the camper you are instead of the camper you think you’re supposed to be. What I mean is that it’s fine to shop for a simple saw that’s just going to help you get some kindling if that’s all you really need.