If you are a fan of outdoor activities, you know as well as we do how helpful a folding saw is in the bush, camping or backpacking.
That is why you need to get the best folding saw, as it is compact and requires no assembly.
However, there are just so many folding saw options available on the market right now. Someone with less experience will surely become confused.
To help you with this issue, we have prepared a thorough buying guide and some recommendations.
Table of Contents
- Why Should You Invest In A Folding Saw?
- 5 Best Folding Saws – Reviews
- How To Choose The Best Folding Saw
- Frequently Asked Questions About Folding Saw
Why Should You Invest In A Folding Saw?
People who have gone on a camping trip before knowing just how vital a lightweight and compact backpack are.
This case is especially true if you are camping in the backcountry. An experienced outdoor pioneer should always refrain from carrying any bulky equipment.
That is why we need things like folding saws, as they will minimize the pack size and lower the pack weight.
Some folding hand saws are so small that you can stuff them into a small backpack or clip them onto a utility belt.
You also do not need to worry about the saw blade damaging other contents of your backpack. After all, the nature of a folding saw means that the blade will always be safely tucked inside its handle.
There is also the fact that while folding saws all have their specific uses, they can adapt to a variety of jobs such as cutting wood, removing branches, clear brush, tree trimming and hunting, etc…
The reason for this adaptability lies in their versatile blade design. People with outdoor experience know how precious this adaptability is.
5 Best Folding Saws – Reviews
1. Silky BIGBOY 2000 Professional Folding Saw
The Silky BIGBOY 2000 folding saw has optimal features for your needs. It scores pretty high on all fronts, from versatility to heavy-duty construction to portability.
We are most impressed with this folding saw’s incredibly ergonomic design. It features a double-fist style of rubber handle, allowing you to have an easier time gripping.
The blade itself is curvy enough to increase the contact surface with the log as much as possible.
If you think that the curved blade sacrifices its strength, think again. Due to the SK4 high-quality high-carbon steel, the blade is even stronger than most straight blades, despite its curve.
This blade also has a reasonable 5.5 TPI rating, meaning it can do both rough and fine cutting.
Each tooth is made in accordance with the famous MIRAI-ME tech. It is a Japanese tooth building method ensuring longer service life for the blade.
Also, the unique teeth shape also ensures faster cutting action than most competitors.
The only problem we have with this saw lies in its need for maintenance. To be more specific, the blade itself will not bend or break, but its teeth get dulled a little too quickly.
2. Corona RazorTOOTH RS 7265D Folding Pruning Saw
With just one look at the Corona RazorTOOTH RS 7265D, you can easily gauge its exact nature. This saw is built to be a pure representation of compactness and aggressiveness.
With these 2 aspects, it attains a level of efficiency that is simply unbelievable.
Every single design choice of this saw is seemingly made, with efficiency being the main focus.
The handle is co-molded with an ergonomic curve. It practically envelopes your hand without you needing to grip, saving quite a lot of energy for a longer cutting process.
For the blade design, it can simply be described as super aggressive. The reason for this evaluation comes from the blade teeth. Each tooth has 3 razor-sharp sides, allowing them to quickly eat into the wood and rip it off.
We want to note that this blade teeth design is a two-edged sword. While it is undeniably fast while working on bigger logs, this design is too aggressive for small branches.
Also, its cutting motion edges a lot more on the pulling side, worsening this issue.
3. Bahco Laplander 396-LAP Folding Saw
The Bahco Laplander 396-LAP Folding Saw makes consumers entirely satisfied with the blade quality.
The blade has a 7 TPI rating, which should not be recommendable for folding saws due to it belonging to fine-working saws. However, Bahco did the impossible by choosing steel as the main material.
It also incorporated the special XT teeth design, allowing for more space between each tooth.
You can use this folding hand saw for purpose camping and hunting. It’s efficient with cutting dry wood and green, plastic, or bone.
The sharper they are, the more maintenance they need. Different from most saws’ blades require lots of maintenance. The Bahco has coated this blade in a special substance. It is impressively resistant to rust and friction damages.
Maybe Bahco paid too much attention to the blade, but this saw’s handle left a lot to be desired.
The plastic material is simply too flimsy, so you may notice it breaking after a short while. Also, there is no fabric to cover the exposed part of the blade, so it can be dangerous.
4. REXBETI SK-5 Steel Heavy Duty Folding Saw
The very first thing that you will notice about the REXBETI Folding Saw is its affordability. It is not at all an overestimation to call this blade the cheapest.
When we also take into consideration its features, this saw offers the most value for the money.
Despite its low price, this saw’s blade is made from SK-5 steel. If you don’t know, this steel is currently the most suitable material for saw blades.
It is strong enough to rip through any stubborn material yet flexible enough to prevent any permanent damage. Also, you can cut with both directions push and pull stroke.
The handle is long with an ergonomic design, making it easier for you to grip without using too much force. Plus, it has a rubber polymer coating, ensuring that your grip is firm even when you are sweating.
However, we are not that impressed with the long blade, as it means there is less rigidity.
For those who don’t know, rigidity plays a major part in sawing efficiency, so it can be hard to make good cuts. The only way to fix this issue is to start your cut plumb and straight.
5. Felco F 600 Pruning Folding Saw
We do not undersell it when we say that the Felco F 600 Pull-Stroke Folding Saw does not use any high-quality material.
Nevertheless, it is still comparable with all the options on this list. The reason for this phenomenon lies with the way Felco designed this folding saw.
Your first impression of the Felco F 600 should be, “what a weird blade!” This trimming saw blade has quite a unique shape that becomes thicker the closer it gets to the bottom. Due to this design, sap buildup and clogging are no longer concerning issues.
This blade design also means that it is much easier to start a cut and keep it going, as there is no binding.
The saw can easily slice off branches with ease, as long as they don’t exceed 4 inches in diameter. Its pull-stroke operation style is also much friendlier to newer users.
Another point that is great for newer users is this saw’s easy to disassemble nature.
All you need to do is unfasten a screw on the handle and the blade will slide off quickly. This feature makes the maintenance process much easier.
Its only weakness is its durability, as its materials are not high-quality. When compared to other saws on this list, it is weaker.
How To Choose The Best Folding Saw
Quality And Durability
Some people like to say that “it’s the rider, not the bike.” However, this notion is no longer true for cycling, as equipment difference means everything these days.
The same can be said for sawing. No matter how experienced a woodcutter you are, a weaker saw will severely limit your capability. If a saw has a bad hinge, low-quality saw blade, or uncomfortable handle, your efficiency will suffer greatly.
That is why we believe that quality is the single most important factor to consider when buying saws. However, it is not the be-all and end-all though, as you must also consider durability.
We believe that these two factors should never be separated, as they complement each other greatly. After all, you cannot call an item with low durability high quality and vice versa.
To earn a high ranking in our review, a saw needs to score high in both aspects. For example, the Silky BIGBOY 2000 Folding Saw sports both heavy-duty construction and high-quality ingredients.
The easiest way to improve both the durability and quality of a saw is, of course, to put in high-quality materials.
Even if a manufacturer uses an old blade design but high-quality materials for a saw, its quality will not suffer too much.
These days, the best possible material that you can use for a saw blade is high-carbon steel. Steel is among the best materials for anything related to cutting and carbon will improve steel’s hardness.
For this reason, high-carbon steel saws cut the fastest and stay sharp the longest.
The next thing that you should focus on is the handle of the folding saw. From our tests, we found that the handle’s friction and shape affect your level of fatigue significantly when cutting wood.
Saws with the correct handle curve and size mean a huge difference in the level of fun you will be experiencing. You must always keep in mind that comfort is key for this aspect.
From our experience, a good saw handle needs to be a little burly with grip indentations.
These indentations should also be able to fit with your fingers, allowing your grip to loosen during the cutting process. Everyone with woodcutting experience knows just how much pain your fingers will feel after curling for a while.
As a result, these indentations will make it much easier for you to cut wood constantly. You should never underestimate the amount of energy saved by not having to overgrip.
To explain this phenomenon, we will be using a term that ice and rock climbers are familiar with, “barely holding on.” This term means just using enough strength to mound your body and converse the rest to fling yourself up.
Many kinds of research have shown that using the barely holding on method can help you go twice as far. Can you imagine how much more wood you can cut with this method?
- Curved Base Handle
There is a special type of handle design we call the curved base handle. As its name suggests, this handle type features a sharp curve right at the base.
With this curve, there is close to no chance for your hand to slip while working. This curve design seems to take inspiration from ice climbing tools with its hook. Thanks to it, you can slightly open your grip, achieving the “barely holding on” state.
Now, you don’t need to pump your forearm as much whenever you see, saving a lot of time and effort.
Teeth Per Inch (TPI)
Before we can delve into the TPI recommendation, you should first familiarize yourself with saw teeth.
Each of the saw blade’s teeth is a sharp but tiny chisel. When you move the saw, these teeth, or chisels, will gouge the wood fibers out.
For this reason, the smoothness of your cut is often dependent on the number of teeth available on each inch of your blade. You do need to keep in mind that the more teeth there are, the slower you will cut.
For saw blades with few teeth, the gullets or spaces between each tooth are deep. That is why their chiseling action will be a lot more aggressive, chomping out larger quantities of wood.
There will always be a trade-off. The deeper gullets, while good for chopping wood, are also notorious for roughing the wood’s surface.
However, most of us use folding hand saws for outdoor purposes, so this issue is not that much of a problem. Our recommendation is to find a saw with a moderately low TPI rating.
The reason we do not suggest using saws with higher TPI is the fact that they carry a huge wood-burning risk. The slower speed they work at means there will be a lot of friction, which directly leads to burning.
There are quite a lot of tooth shapes for saw blades, from hook tooth to skip tooth to trapezoid tooth.
Nonetheless, this time we will be paying attention to only two kinds of teeth, standard and skip. Folding saw manufacturers currently only produce these teeth.
Standard teeth have a rake angle of 0, making them good at going through short-chipping and steel materials. They can also take care of thin-walled profiles easily.
Skip teeth also have 0 for rake angle, but their shape is more suitable for cutting flexible materials. They are especially good for wood and aluminum.
This aspect is completely dependent on what you intend to use the saw for. For example, if you want to cut 10-inch logs, you must get blades longer than 10 inches.
That is why we regularly recommend getting folding saws with reasonably long blades. The long blades are better for cut hardwood.
At the end of the day, you can fold them into the handle, so a longer blade will not be as much of an issue while moving.
However, you must keep in mind that a blade too long will surely lose its rigidity. Rigidity is the deciding factor, aside the teeth, of your saw’s capability to cut. As such, the longer the blade, the weaker its cut will be.
We believe that the perfect length for a folding hand saw blade is somewhere between 9 and 12 inches. This length is not so short to struggle with most branches and not too long that it loses rigidity.
A lot of woodcutters overlook the geometry of a saw blade, but we believe that it is vital for a good cutting experience.
This case is especially true if you plan to cut logs outdoors because of their round shape.
Due to this shape, a curved blade will always hold a huge advantage over straight blades. The core concept of sawing is the more contact surface you have, the faster you can saw, after all.
Cut Push vs Pull
For the most part, pull saws have teeth pointing back into the handle. You cut by pulling the saw into your body, giving you a lot of control over each cut.
The blades of pull saws are also thinner, so they are the best if you want to make precise and delicate cuts.
On the other hand, push saws have teeth pointing away from the handle. You cut by pushing them away from your body. This cutting motion means that you can apply pressure onto the saw easier.
But they are quite hard to control the precise cuts. For this reason, push saws are more suitable for cutting tough materials.
No matter how durable a saw blade is, there will come a point where it simply cannot serve you anymore. That is why you should make sure that you can easily get a blade replacement if you want to get a saw.
It’s best if your saw package does come attached with a blade replacement.
Of course, we need to assess portability while choosing folding saws, as it’s the core concept. No matter what your goal for the saw is, you will need to carry it around continuously.
That is why you need to pay special attention to your saw’s size, weight, and even carrying method.
We believe that the optimal weight for a folding saw should be somewhere between 7 oz. Lighter weights mean that the manufacturer has sacrificed its cutting efficiency.
On the other hand, heavy saws are not at all suitable for you to carry around.
You should also see if the manufacturer offers a method for you to carry the saw.
For instance, some saws have small round holes on their handles. You can easily thread some lanyards through these holes and attach them to your backpack.
Folding saws are, at the end of the day, inherently dangerous tools, due to the blade’s sharp teeth. To limit the risk, you should ensure that the saw you’re going to get has some safety functions.
A prime example of such safety functions is the locking mechanism. None of us want our saw to suddenly open up after we fold them properly, after all.
A sticky handle is also a good safety feature, as it reduces the chance of the saw slipping from your hand mid-work.
Frequently Asked Questions About Folding Saw
What Can You Do With A Folding Saw?
The folding saw is among the most multipurpose tools to bring along on an outdoor trip. You can practically do anything with it.
For instance, you can use it to cut wood, saw through bones, build shelters, clear bushes, and prune trees.
Curved Vs Straight Blades – Which One Is Better?
If it’s purely about sawing outdoors, then our recommendation would be a curved saw.
This saw type will create a certain slicing action because of the curved design of the blade when pushing it straight into the cutting surfaces.
The blade’s curved edges contacting the cut objects will move deeper than the straight one.
How Do You Maintain A Folding Saw?
Cutting through branches and wood means that there will be sap and resins on your saw’s blade. Your main maintenance mission is to get rid of them.
Use water and soap to gently wipe the sap/resins off and refrain from using any solvent. If there is still some stubborn buildup, you can try using rubbing alcohol. Nonetheless, you need to be extra careful while using it.
Can You Sharpen A Folding Saw?
The short answer is yes, but not the way you are thinking of. You can only sharpen some teeth, as the distance between them makes it practically impossible to sharpen them all.
We still believe that it is much more efficient to just replace the dulled blade.
How Do I Know If My Saw Blade Is Dull?
The first sign is the blade cutting slower than its usual speed. It can also blind completely while you are cutting.
If it creates more chipping or tears than the normal rate, there is a high chance that it is dull. Finally, once you see burn marks on your material, then your blade has completely dulled.
Which Kind Of Branch Can Folding Saw Cut?
In general, folding saws are used to cut branches that are, at the minimum, 1.5 inch thick. Any lower and it’s faster if you use a pruning shear.
As for the upper limit, a rule of thumb is to cut branches that are less thick than the blade’s length. A 6-inch folding saw will surely struggle with a 7-inch branch.
All in all, we believe that the clear best folding saw is the Silky BIGBOY 2000 Professional Folding Saw.
When compared to the other competitors, its lead is simply too big. While some options can lead it in one or two aspects.
It is almost portable due to its foldable and lightweight nature. It also has high-quality material and a smart blade design, process various cutting from small to large jobs.
On the other hand, the Corona RazorTOOTH RS 7265D Folding Pruning Saw has one huge weakness. Its aggressive blade is simply too much for most branches. Nonetheless, its incredible efficiency ensures its placement as runner-up.
With this article, we have explained to you the importance of folding saws. We also prepared a concise buying guide as well as some recommendations.
We hope that you can now know enough to pick the most suitable option.