For many, the area around a campfire is one of the most sacred in the world. Being able to get down and make your own campfire is a hallmark of the camping experience, and often is essential to keeping warm, cooking food, and even creating a smokescreen to keep mosquitoes away. The catch to campfires, though, is that it is not always so easy to build them. Obviously, to build a fire, one needs wood. The reality of the situation when it comes to getting firewood is that it is not always as simple as picking up sticks off of the ground. Sometimes, one must cut up larger pieces of wood, or turn a great fallen tree into hardy logs of firewood. This is where a camping saw becomes the star of the show.
Camping saws, though not owned by all of the camping community, are extremely useful on any sort of trip and often can be considered a must-have for any trip. Ideal for cutting up firewood and clearing any campsite (without harming any plant life in the area), camping saws are wonderful to have. However, before we get too far in, we must first look at some key points on how to find your perfect saw.
What to Look for in a Camping Saw
When going on any sort of hiking or camping trip, being able to efficiently pack all of your equipment is of utmost importance. Such is why it is crucial that you pick out a camping saw that does excel in portability! Though the majority of camping saws do deliver in this category, there are some out there that are much more heavy-duty and are much too large and bulky to be brought with on a normal trip. If you are getting to your campsite on foot, having a lightweight and on-bulky saw is just as important as having sleeping gear and a cooking stove that won’t be cumbersome and heavy.
Generally, a good way to figure out if a camping saw is portable enough for you before purchasing it is checking if it is foldable and light. Camping saws made with tool-grade plastic, rubber, or lightweight aluminum are going to be your best bet in most cases, and any general-use saw you look at shouldn’t exceed over 1.25-1.5 feet in length while folded.
Though this one is pretty obvious, it is important to make sure the camping saws you look at are well-made and of a high-quality design that has safety in mind. Safety presents itself in a few key ways when it comes to camping saws. The first is safe transportation features. When looking at how safe a saw is to transport, its best to make sure that it has some sort of lock mechanism to keep the blade from swinging out while en route to your destination, and checking that the blade guard (or handle, it comes in multiple forms) covers the entire length of the blade and leaves no parts sticking out. Sometimes, camping saws can have utility bits at the end that can be utilized for quick use cutting a rope or something of the sort, but I recommend staying away from saws like this to avoid any sort of accidental injury. The second way that one can tell their camping saw is a safe one is by making sure that it has a lock mechanism for when the blade is actually in use, and that there is some type of handle guard to keep the operator’s hand from slipping up onto the blade while cutting.
If you have ever packed a saw in your backpack or daypack, you can quickly understand the need for the saw to have many safety features. When it is not in use, you should hardly know it is there.
t is essential that your camping saw be an all-purpose, one-stop-shop for all of your hacking, clearing, and cutting needs. If you think that the majority of your camping will be done by yourself, consider buying a single-handle camping saw that is light and perfect for the solo camper. If you happen to be more of a group-type camper, maybe consider instead buying a bow-type saw that can be utilized with a partner. You could also always go with a manual chainsaw, which packs extremely easily and is very efficient to whip out and cut timber with. It is also smart (and I know this is obvious, but still) to make sure that the saw you are buying is of high quality and has sufficiently sharp teeth on the blade.
Best Camping Saws
Now that we have gone in depth on how to select your ideal camping saw, it is time to take a look at some! Though there are many good ones out there, here are three of our personal top picks:
Agawa BOREAL21 saw
The Agawa BOREAL21 camping saw is truly top-of-the-line when it comes to compact two-handled camping saws. Equipped with a 21-inch blade and made of lightweight aluminum, this camping saw is perfect for anybody who goes camping with a partner or more. It’s extreme versatility really makes it great for the solo camper as well, though, and is still worth checking out.
The handle on the BOREAL21 is ergonomically formed with reinforced nylon, guaranteeing a powerful and efficient cut any time it is called to action, and you can get some good torque on the blade when needed. It also comes in a 15 and 24 inch blade, but we tend to like the 21-inch for all-purpose usage.
You can find the Agawa here on Amazon.
Corona RS 7265D Razor Tooth Saw
Corona’s RS 7265D RazorTOOTH camping saw is an excellent saw for anybody looking to take a casual or hardcore solo trip into the BWCA (or anywhere camping, for that matter). Sporting a 10-inch blade and weighing only 0.8 pounds in total, this is the perfect saw to tuck away in a side pocket of your pack.
The RazorTOOTH features a comfortable handle and slightly curved blade, making it ideal for making quick work of fallen logs or branches. The saw is also fitted with state-of-the-art locking mechanisms, guaranteeing safe use any time it is put to work in the campsite. We really like this overall design because it tends to give the person using it excellent leverage, so it is good for even those tough logs or limbs.
Homyall Pocket Chainsaw
The 24-inch pocket chainsaw by Homyall is a prime example of how amazing and underappreciated manual chainsaws can be. This is a “rope saw” style. Perfect for quick-access while camping, this chainsaw fits easily in its pouch and can be safely carried anywhere.
Homyall’s pocket chainsaw also has recently been modified to utilize 3x more teeth on the chain, speeding up cutting speed incredibly and improving ease of use. Though the lack of a physical attached handle can be somewhat off putting for many campers, the pocket chainsaw is actually very comfortable to use as the traditional hard grip has been replaced with two soft and sturdy loop-type handles. While this style of saw takes a little getting used-to, it is effective and should not be overlooked for a camper who needs a high-degree of portability in their saw.