Best Backpacking Saw: Our Top Picks Reviewed and Recommended

Have you ever considered purchasing a saw for when you are camping or hiking? Let’s be honest, it is not the first item on most people’s hiking checklist. However, the best backpacking saw could save you time and make your trip more enjoyable. 

If, when camping and hiking, you enjoy building a campfire then a backpacking saw is a great piece of kit for you. It will allow you to make kindling, cut up logs and shape would perfect for your campfire. Furthermore, a camping saw will allow you to clear debris and fallen trees which may blocking your path.

At Cool Wilderness, we are environmentally conscious and, as avid outdoors people, we must stress that any wood or trees you do cut should be done in an eco-friendly manner. At all costs you should avoid cutting or shaping live trees. Instead focus on wood which has already fallen. Remember, the trees you cut is a habitat and home to birds, insects and other mammals.

Finally, keep in mind the golden rule that you should leave no-trace. Just because there is forest doesn’t mean it is yours for the taking. 

Table of Contents

Best Backpacking Saw - At A Glance

Best Backpacking Saw - The Details

Do You Need a Best Backpacking Saw in Your Kit?

This really is the question.

A backpacking saw adds weight and takes up room in your backpack – but – they have a ton to offer. However, it is important to note, even the best backpacking saw is not an essential piece of kit. The reality is that you are never going to be so far off the beaten track that you are relying on this piece of kit to survive (unless you have made some really big mistakes).

Despite not being essential, we are not saying that you shouldn’t invest in a backpacking saw. For beginners and experts alike, a backpacking saw can be a really useful piece of kit which enhances your hiking/camping experience. For example, if you are camping overnight a backpacking saw is excellent for helping to cut up kindling and firewood so you can stay warm on an evening. If you are out on the trail a backpacking saw is ideal for removing debris or fallen trees from the path so you can continue on your journey.

So, in short. They are not essential but offer great functionality which can make you experience more efficient and enjoyable.

What to Look for In The Best Backpacking Saw

Weight

The perfect weight for your saw depends on how you are expecting to use it. If you are taking a saw just for emergencies and to cut firewood, then the lighter the saw the better. This will allow you to carry it in your backpack without weighing you down. If you expect to be spending a decent amount of time on survival skills or bushcraft then it would be fine to carry a heavier saw because you will be getting a lot of use out of it.

Compact

The best backpacking saw for you will be compact enough to take up a little room as possible in your bag. If you are camping/hiking for longer periods of time you will likely have a larger backpack which allows you to carry a larger saw. However, even with a larger backpack we would still recommend looking for a hiking saw which is small enough to fit in a side compartment. That way, you can be assured that you are not using up space which would be better filled with essential items such as clothes, camping equipment and food.

Safety Features

We cannot stress this point enough: backpacking saws can be dangerous and will do serious harm if not used properly and sensibly. You should ensure that that the blade has a cover or can be locked into a safety position so it only cuts when you want it to.

Durability

The best backpacking saw will have, either, long lasting blades or the ability to swap out worn blades when it is needed. This is because serrated blades are notoriously difficult to sharpen. Furthermore, given this is not an essential piece of kit you do not want to be investing in a new backpacking saw each year. Make sure you pick up a sturdy saw with a rust-resistant blade.

Versatility

We would not recommend looking for a backpacking saw which is a ‘jack-of-all’ trades. Instead you should look for the best backpacking saw for chopping wood. This will give you the best quality saw. If you are needing, or would prefer, a backpacking tool which is offers greater versality you should be looking for a multi-tool device.

Type of Backpacking Saws

Bow Saw

This is the traditional type of saw. It has a thin blade which is held in tension by a frame. The best backpacking bow saw will have a fold down design for easy storage and transportation. This type of saw is typically heavier than folding or pocket (chain) saws but are faster cutters and work more efficiently. If you are camping for a prolonged period or are expecting to undertake a significant amount of sawing, we would certainly recommend a bow saw.

Folding Saw

A folding saw has a number of great uses. Typically, they are used for cutting ‘smaller’ pieces of wood are more lightweight than the bow saw. The huge benefit to the folding saw is that they combine great cutting power with a lightweight and flexible  

Pocket Chainsaws

Pocket Chainsaws are exceptional at doing what they do well – cutting stationary trees. However, they are almost exclusively limited to this. They will not offer you the versatility of other saws.  You may be thinking that a pocket chainsaw is not for you but would still argue that this is the smallest, lightest in weight and most compact of the backpacking saws on the market. If you are thinking about purchasing a wood-chopping axe – this may be a more space and cost-efficient option for you.

Conclusion: Best Backpacking Saw

The best backpacking saw will offer great functionality and ease of use. In this article we have reviewed a variety of styles and brands which range in price. 

Our best value pick is the Corona RS. This choice is ideal for hikers and campers who are looking for a ‘casual’ saw which the can use on occasion for light sawing. This choice is lightweight and compact, whilst offering an abundance of versatility. Most importantly, it has impressive safety features which will keep you safe at all times. 

The Nordic Pocket Saw is world renowned and has won awards around the world. If you are after a more ‘heavy-duty’ chainsaw this is the pick for you. Not only will it last you an age, it is also ultra-lightweight and comes with a safety carry case. 

Whichever, saw you choose we are sure you will be delighted with your pick. 

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