Whether you’re a doomsday prepper, a survivalist, or enjoy spending time in the woods living off-grid, a survival saw is one of the most important tools you can have in your arsenal. Survival saws are great for many things that can help prolong your survival in the woods and make your time more comfortable.
If you’re curious about what to look for in a survival saw and how to choose the right one, this article will contain helpful suggestions and a buying guide to help you along the way. Let’s get sawing!
Why You Need a Dependable Survival Saw
If you’re questioning the need to have a reliable survival saw, you haven’t put enough thought into living in the woods. An excellent saw that retains its sharpness and edge will be extremely valuable for many different things.
The primary purpose of a survival saw is to cut firewood to stay warm at night. Saws often take less energy to cut wood than hacking at them with an ax or hatchet, and conserving your energy is paramount if you’re rationing food.
Building a shelter or cabin that will last you for any amount of time in the wilderness is difficult and meticulous work. Saws allow you to make precise cuts that are the right length and angle for your cabin or shelter.
Saws aren’t ideal for self-defense, but they’re better than nothing. There are several different saw types, and ones with finer blades and sharper teeth are better for defending yourself than coarse blades and teeth.
Best Overall Survival Saw
1. Silky Gomboy Folding Saw
If you’re looking for the best overall survival saw on the market, look no further than the Silky Gomboy Folding Saw. This bad boy has the perfect amount of teeth per inch at 8.5, making it ideal for cutting hard or soft woods. It’s also a shade under 9.5″ long and weighs less than a pound, making it the perfect size to still be compact while cutting through large branches.
This saw also features a rubber handle that makes it very easy to grip and feels comfortable in your hand. The blade is made of high-quality steel designed to retain its sharpness for long periods of time. The Silky Gomboy takes the top spot on our list and many similar lists because of how smooth it cuts and how durable it is.
- Very sharp and durable blade
- Handle that’s easy to grip and slip-resistant
- Perfect for survivalists, gardeners, and landscapers
- Available in several sizes for your convenience
- Slightly pricy but not too bad for a long-lasting saw
- It has a straight blade which isn’t always the best for cutting through branches
Runner Up for Best Overall Survival Saw
2. Boreal 21 Folding Survival Saw
If you want to get away from the traditional folding saw and opt for something a bit bigger, the Boreal 21 Folding Survival Saw might be the one for you. This saw is one of the best and most unique survival saws available and features some of the best engineering on the market. The Boreal 21 is technically a folding saw, just not in the traditional sense.
This saw looks like a straight stick and measures roughly two feet in length and two inches thick in its compact form. However, it then unfolds and turns into what looks like a fixed-bow saw that you could operate using one or two hands. It features a 21-inch blade, a fiberglass and nylon handle, and a stainless steel blade that’s sharp and ready to saw.
All of the materials that go into this saw are lightweight, ergonomic, and waterproof, making it the perfect survival saw for wet conditions. It’s ideal for heavy-duty cutting and for repeatedly using when you can’t get the blade professionally sharpened. It would definitely take the top spot on our list if it weren’t for the hefty price and the larger size.
- Fairly lightweight and compact in its folded state
- The length of the blade makes it very versatile and suitable for cutting trees of most sizes
- Easy to unfold and set up for use
- From handle to blade, this saw is waterproof, rust-resistant, and durable
- Slightly pricy
- Bigger than most of the other survival saws on this list
Best Survival Saw on a Budget
3. Friendly Swede Folding Saw
The Friendly Swede Folding Saw doesn’t just have a great name. It’s also a great saw if you’re on a budget but still want an excellent product. The Friendly Swede features an eight-inch blade made of 65 mn steel and has seven teeth per inch, which is a happy medium capable of cutting both hard and soft woods.
It’s favored by survivalists, gardeners, and landscapers alike for its top-notch blade and the slip-resistant rubber handle. This saw will get the job done no matter what you’re doing. It even includes a state-of-the-art locking mechanism to ensure that the blade doesn’t open unless you want it to.
- This saw includes a limited lifetime warranty in case anything happens to it
- Perfect amount of TPI and a blade equivalent to carbon steel
- The rubber handle makes it nearly impossible to lose a grip of
- Very affordable price
- Not quite as durable as other more expensive saws
Runner Up for Best Survival Saw on a Budget
4. Rexbeti Folding Saw
If you’re even tighter on money and want to spend less than $20 on your survival saw, you should check out the Rexbeti Folding Saw. This product from Rexbeti rings in at right around $17 on Amazon and is big enough to cut through thicker branches. The blade is eleven inches long, made of stainless steel, and can cut through branches or trees less than eight inches round.
The saw is just under one foot long at its folded length, making it slightly difficult to carry in your pocket. The teeth are also slightly softer than similar saws making them less durable and more prone to losing their sharpness. All in all, however, it’s an excellent option if you’re tight on money and don’t want to spend much on your survival saw.
- Very affordable price
- The extra-long blade is a nice touch
- The teeth are softer but razor-sharp and can cut aggressively
- Features a slip-resistant handle made of rubber
- Not quite as durable as other survival saws, but it’s the best saw in its price range
Best Heavy Duty Survival Saw
5. Sven Saw
If the only thing you’re worried about is cutting down big trees and slicing through big logs, then you should opt for a fixed-bow saw. One of the best survival saws of the fixed bow variety on the market is the Sven Saw. This product from Sweden is at the top of our list for heavy-duty use because of its 15-inch steel blade packed with teeth that are hungry to cut.
Despite having a long blade and a fixed bow, meaning that it can’t fold down, it’s very lightweight and fairly easy to carry around. Weighing in at just 12 ounces, you can easily carry this saw on your back or sheath the blade and put it in your backpack. It’s ideal for camping or survivalist activities in the woods, but you must protect the blade and yourself while you’re carrying it.
- The blade is long and sharp enough to cut through small and medium trees and logs
- The handle is easy to use with one or two hands
- Ideal for heavy-duty cutting and prolonged use
- It doesn’t fold down, which makes it slightly bulky and dangerous.
Best Pocket Survival Saw
6. Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw
One of the more unique options when it comes to choosing the right survival saw for your needs is the Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw. No, this isn’t a miniature motorized chainsaw that fits into your pocket. Rather, it’s a handheld saw with two handles and a long chain in the middle packed with razor-sharp teeth.
To cut using this saw, you wrap the chain around the tree or log in question and move it back and forth by pulling on either handle. It takes slightly more effort than traditional survival saws, but you can cut bigger and thicker trees down using this method. The Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw in question features dual handles and a chain that’s three feet long.
It even comes with its own sheath and fire-starting kit. The teeth are made of carbon steel, making them sharp and durable, but they also lack density, which means the saw relies heavily on the person’s strength. Ideally, you should have a pocket chainsaw and use it in conjunction with one of the folding or fixed-bow saws listed above.
- Small, compact, and easy to carry from place to place
- The teeth are self-cleaning and can cut in both directions
- The fire starter is a nice addition
- Very durable and sharp teeth
- Relies heavily on the strength of the person using it
- Takes a great deal of energy to operate
How to Choose the Best Survival Saw
Size of the Saw
One of the first things you should look at when you’re considering survival saws is the overall size of the saw. If you’re backpacking through the woods and need to carry all your items with you, it’s important to have a compact and lightweight saw. However, you also want one that’s big enough to fulfill your sawing needs and purposes.
The last thing you want to do is replace your saw with a new one every year. Durability is determined by the blade’s quality and the handle’s material, and you should find something that can withstand heavy abuse.
Material of the Blade and Handle
Not only does the material of the blade and handle have an impact on the durability of the saw, but it affects many other components as well. You should look for a saw made of waterproof components with a blade of quality steel that can withstand rust and retain a sharp edge for long periods of time.
Number of Teeth and Sharpness
The number of teeth commonly referred to as the teeth per inch or TPI, refers to how many teeth your saw has for every inch of blade. A low number of TPI is usually better for cutting softer woods, and the teeth will be slightly coarse. A high TPI is better for harder woods, but they cut slower, and the teeth are smaller and finer. You should shoot for a medium TPI with between seven and eight teeth per inch.
Different Types of Saws
There are three basic types of survival saws worthy of mention.
Folding saws are the most common type of survival saw on the market. Folding saws are similar to folding pocket knives in that they consist of a blade that you can open or close by folding it into the handle, like the green one pictured above. Folding survival saws are popular because of how compact they are and the wide variety of sizes they’re available in.
Fixed-bow saws are bigger than folding saws and feature a fixed blade with a long handle. These saws are better for heavy-duty cutting, but they also take up more space than folding saws and can’t be carried in your pocket. If you’re planning to settle down in one spot and not do a ton of moving around, a fixed-bow saw might be perfect for you.
One of the lesser well-known survival saw options is the pocket saw. Pochet saws consist of two handles and a long chain covered in tiny, sharp, serrated teeth. These saws are compact, fold into a tiny package, and are extremely effective. However, they tend to take longer to use and cut through things, which means that they’re not ideal if you’re in a hurry.
Wrapping Up the Best Survival Saw
The most important thing to remember when purchasing your survival saw and any other survival gear is to pick what makes sense for your needs. The best saw for your friend might not be the best one for you, so it’s important to make your choice based on your needs and preferences. By picking one of the options on this list, you’re sure to have one of the best survival saws on the market.
If you’re on the hunt for an axe to add to your survival gear collection, take a look at The Best Bushcraft Axe for You.