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7 Best Backpacking Saws Of 2023 [Reviewed & Buyer’s Guide]

When you’re off to camp with friends, a backpacking saw is one of the key tools to carry with you.

A man cuts a dry branch with a hand saw in the woods.

After all, campfires are integral to camps, and in order to light a fire that burns long and slow, you’ll need to cut thick logs. So, including a saw is something that you must not forget by any chance. But choosing the right product becomes difficult since hundreds of options are available out there.

That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of the 7 best options for you to consider. We’ve also included a guide to help you make a wise decision.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the reviews.

Best Backpacking Saws

metal chainsaw chain with sharp teeth close-up with blurred background

Here is the list of the 7 best backpacking saws that you can use to quickly and precisely cut through branches, logs, and other materials.

1. Bahco 396-LAP - Best for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Cutting a variety of materials becomes effortless with this high-quality folding saw from Bahco. Notably, this product is designed keeping in mind the needs of campers, wildlife enthusiasts, and hunters. It is packed with lots of impressive features that work to deliver superb performance.

Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw, 7-1/2 -Inch Blade, 7...
  • General purpose folding saw with an 7-1/2 -inch blade, 7...
  • XT Toothing, 7 TPI. Blade is specially coated for rust...

Why Did We Like It?

First of all, this product comes with a powerful 7-tooth per inch (TPI) blade with XT toothing, which can cut plastic, bone, or dry wood flawlessly and quickly. Plus, it is coated with a protective layer of rust-proof material, which makes sure that there is minimum friction.

Besides, it comes with a two-component handle made from high-quality plastic. This provides a perfect grip and it also comes with a durable leather strap for ease of use. 

What’s more, you get spare blades with this product. As such, you can use it for a longer time by just changing the blades whenever required. Lastly, it is equipped with an efficient safety-lock feature that works when it is both open and folded. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Weighing 14 oz, this saw is among the heavier options on our list. Hence it might seem a bit difficult to handle for people who are less experienced. Also, this is a straight-edge saw, so campers need to learn how to use it correctly to get the best results. 


  • Quick and flawless cutting action
  • Blade-coated with rust-proof material
  • Handle provides perfect grip
  • Safety lock facilitates convenient locking


  • Heavier than other products

Weight: 0.4lbs | Blade Length: 7.5" | Blade Material: High-Speed Steel | Handle/s: Two-Component Plastic Handle

2. Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw - Best for Traveling

Our next pick for you is this handy pocket chainsaw from Sportsman which is an absolute necessity when you’re traveling. It is also quite easy to use and is built to provide powerful and long-lasting service. Note that this chainsaw has a 36-inch long chain and comes with an 8 mm circular fire starter. 

Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw 36 Inch Long Chain & FREE Fire...
  • UNLEASH YOUR INNER LUMBERJACK - Tired of wimpy tools? Our...
  • CONQUER NATURE - Our pocket chainsaw isn't just a tool, it's...

Why Did We Like It?

To begin with, the 36-inch long chain of this product consists of strong chainsaw cutting teeth. The teeth tear through the wood effectively, cutting it both ways. It can also cut a variety of materials including tree trunks, thin branches, and overhead branches.

Additionally, the 65 mn high heat-treated steel body of the chain makes the cutting time incredibly fast. Behind this magic is the set of razor-sharp blades which can cut through 3 sides of a structure at once. 

Furthermore, the product consists of heavy-duty handles with convenient metal brackets that can be re-sharpened easily. Plus, a tough and durable storage pouch made from nylon and a belt loop is included with the product to facilitate simple storage. 

That’s not all; the blade can be sharpened with a round-shaped chainsaw file of regular size.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

One drawback of using this product is that you might experience strain in the lower back. This is probably due to the upward sawing motion that is experienced while cutting a log in any forest. Also, the chain might get kinked easily while being used, and undoing the kinks is time-consuming. 


  • Tears through wood effectively
  • Handles can be re-sharpened easily
  • Nylon storage pouch is highly durable
  • Can be sharpened with a regular chainsaw file


  • Might cause strain in the lower back

Weight: 0.3lbs | Blade Length: 36" | Blade Material: High-Carbon Steel | Handle/s: Rugged Cross Stitched Handles

3. REXBETI PD-12191 - Best for Heavy-Duty Yard Work

REXBETI is known for producing a range of superior-grade products and this folding saw from the brand is no different. It is enhanced with efficient features and a high-quality finish that sets it apart from other ordinary products. This product is suitable for all purposes, be it yard work, camping, or cutting wood pieces for DIY projects.

REXBETI Folding Saw, Heavy Duty 11 Inch Extra Long Blade...
  • Durable SK-5 steel blade for efficient cutting during...
  • Heavy duty rugged 11" long blade helps you power through...

Why Did We Like It?

The most noteworthy feature of this folding saw was its amazing 11-inch long blade equipped for handling a variety of cutting work. Note that the extended length of this blade comes at 22 inches which lets you cut through plastic, bone, and wood consistently.

In addition to this, the saw has a 7 TPI design which makes it a very good camping saw. Additionally, the staggered teeth are built to last longer and provide ultra-sharp and smooth sawing. 

Furthermore, the saw is very lightweight even though it is suitable for heavy-duty work. So, carrying it along anywhere is very easy. Lastly, it has a comfortable rubber-coated handle made from polymer that gives you a firm grip no matter irrespective of the weather condition. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

If you order the product online, make sure you check the product as soon as it arrives. Often this saw is not packaged properly and there may be scratches on the blade. In our case, the package was torn in several places and a little portion of the metal was exposed past the rubber-coated handle.


  • Long blade can handle a variety of cutting work
  • Lightweight makes it easy to carry
  • Staggered teeth are durable and efficient
  • Comfortable handle provides a firm grip


  • Faulty packaging

Weight: 0.9lbs | Blade Length: 11" | Blade Material: Alloy Steel | Handle/s: Anti-Slip Long Rubbery Handle

4. Skyocean Pocket Chainsaw

Next, we’ve picked for you this convenient pocket chainsaw from Skyocean which is extremely versatile too. It serves as the perfect cutting tool during emergencies and is built to last for years. Note that this product weighing 5.6 ox comes with a 36-inch long chain.

Pocket Chainsaw with Paracord Handle 36 Inches 16 Teeth Long...

Why Did We Like It?

Firstly, we loved the cutting power of this chainsaw, thanks to its 11 sharp and high-quality saw blades. It can cut through small branches as well as large trunks within seconds and is also effective on overhead branches. 

This is made possible by the bi-directional motion created by the saw links, which ultimately saves a lot of effort and time. 

Further, you can fold the 36-inch long chain of this lightweight product to make it just 6 inches in length. Thus, it is as convenient to carry as a cell phone and occupies very little storage space. 

Plus, it comes with a cool handle made from paracord, which can be extended to 275 inches when you need to reach high branches. Hence, it is quite suitable for yard work, hiking, cutting large wood pieces, and camping.

 Lastly, the product is made from heat-treated steel of industrial standards, which enhances its durability and makes it very easy to clean.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only disadvantage of going for this product is that the teeth are on one side of the chain. So, when you are using it for an overhead branch and the teeth are not positioned against the branch, it is not possible to flip it. In comparison, saws which have teeth on both sides are more convenient to use. 


  • Cuts through all branches and trunks in seconds
  • Can be folded to 6 inches
  • Handle can be extended to 275 inches
  • High-quality steel enhances durability


  • Teeth are on one side of the chain

Weight: 0.35lbs | Blade Length: 36" | Blade Material: ‎Alloy Steel | Handle/s: Paracord Handles

5. AGAWA - BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw

This revolutionary BOREAL21 Bow Saw is designed to provide the ultimate performance for almost all purposes. It is safe to use and lets you enjoy your DIY interior or landscape design projects to the fullest. So, let’s look at all the amazing features that this product offers.

AGAWA - BOREAL21 -> 21 Inch Folding Bow Saw - Black Frame,...
  • VERSATILE: Take the BOREAL21 folding bow saw wherever you go...
  • EASY: Opens in seconds - just unfold, snap into position &...

Why Did We Like It?

The best thing about this product is its ease of use since it can be opened and closed in seconds. All you need to do is unfold it, snap it in position, and start your sawing work. Also, the blade tensioning feature ensures that there are no loose parts. Hence, you don’t need to touch the blade while closing or opening it. 

The other feature that we liked about this saw was its optimal length of 21 inches, which makes it suitable for powerful strokes. Plus, the teeth are aggressively angled on the blade to make each cut quicker and smoother. 

Moreover, the trapezium-shaped frame with 3 hinges allows you to make cuts of large diameter as well. Lastly, it can be folded to a very small size for convenient storage. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Although we have no complaints regarding the efficiency of this product, we noticed that it makes a slightly disturbing noise while being used. Also, when you are walking with the saw in hand, you might hear the noise. You can deal with this issue by using rubber washers to secure the blade. 


  • Can be opened and closed in seconds
  • Doesn’t have any loose parts
  • Optimal length facilitates powerful strokes
  • Makes The cut quicker and smoother


  • Is a bit noisy while being used

Weight: ‎1.2lbs | Blade Length: ‎21" | Blade Material: Steel | Handle/s: Fibre Glass-Reinforced Nylon Handle

6. Sven Saw Folding Saw

The next saw that we have for you is this classic product from the 60-year-old well-known brand Sven Saw. It is made with industrial-grade material and is sure to provide very durable performance. You can use it for various purposes, such as yard work, camping, backpacking, canoeing, and hiking.

Sven-Saw 60th Anniversary Engraved 21" Folding Saw
  • Special 60th Anniversary Edition Sven-Saw features the...
  • All metal - Crafted from the highest quality materials....

Why Did We Like It?

First and foremost, we were highly impressed by the Swedish steel blade of this product. It gives you perfect results each time, thanks to its powerful and accurate cutting action. Thus, you can easily clear snowmobile trails, cut down invasive plants, and cut firewood with it at home. 

The triangular shape of this saw is another beneficial aspect as it is very rigid and makes sure that the cut is uniform and smooth. So, you don’t have to worry about imperfectly cut wood pieces, as in the case of rectangular saws.

What’s more, this product comes with a handle made of anodized aluminum and a back bar which is sure to render long-lasting service. Plus, the external frame of this product is resistant to rust and changing weather conditions. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only disappointing aspect of this product is that its blade needs to be tensioned with the washer and wing nut after it is unfolded. This becomes a hassle each time you use it. It also takes at least 30 minutes to do this.


  • Accurate and powerful cutting action
  • Triangular shape ensures a uniform and smooth cut
  • Strong and durable handle
  • Rust and weather-resistant


  • The blade must be tensioned with a washer and wingnut

Weight: ‎1lb | Blade Length: 21" | Blade Material: Hardened Swedish Steel | Handle/s: Hardened & Anodized Aluminum Handle

7. SUMPRI Pocket Chainsaw

We also found this chainsaw from SUMPRI to be very effective for almost all cutting purposes. It features a new and superior-grade design which makes each cut more efficient. Note that this saw comes with a 36-inch long chain and weighs 8.4 ounces.

Pocket Chainsaw Survival Gear - 36 Inch Heavy Duty Steel -...
  • 🔥 WON'T QUIT IN TOUGH TIMES - SUMPRI Pocket Chainsaw...
  • 🔥 WON'T WEAR YOU DOWN - Designed to give you optimum...

Why Did We Like It?

This product is capable of cutting down large branches or wood pieces with the same precision. And its 36-inch long chain makes the cutting action more efficient and reduces the cutting time to just a few seconds. Aided with blades that are razor-sharp, it saws all 3 sides of a large branch at once. 

You can even clear ATVs or mountain bike trails while traveling, and its lightweight design makes it very easy to carry along anywhere. 

Plus, this product is made from very strong, heat-treated steel, which makes it extremely sturdy. As such, it can render a long service without showing any major fault. Lastly, you get a convenient belt loop pouch that is very compact in size and can store the saw comfortably. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

We felt that the wrist straps on the chainsaw could’ve been bigger so that they could be convenient for larger hands too. To deal with this problem, you can fix a stick as a handle on either side of the saw. Otherwise, it would be best to go for any other product. 


  • Enables efficient cutting action
  • Easy to carry
  • Strong and durable
  • Easy to store


  • Wrist straps are smaller

Weight: 0.5lbs | Blade Length: 36" | Blade Material: Carbon Steel | Handle/s: Strap Handles

Best Backpacking Saw Comparison Table

ProductWeightBlade LengthBlade MaterialHandle/s
Bahco 396-LAP0.4lbs7.5"High-Speed SteelTwo-Component Plastic Handle
Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw0.3lbs36"High-Carbon SteelRugged Cross Stitched Handles
REXBETI PD-121910.9lbs11"Alloy SteelAnti-Slip Long Rubbery Handle
Skyocean Pocket Chainsaw0.35lbs36"‎Alloy SteelParacord Handles
AGAWA – BOREAL21‎1.2lbs‎21"SteelFibre Glass-Reinforced Nylon Handle
Sven Saw Folding Saw‎1lb21"Hardened Swedish SteelHardened & Anodized Aluminum Handle
SUMPRI Pocket Chainsaw0.5lbs36"Carbon SteelStrap Handles

A man cuts a dry branch with a hand saw on a tree in the forest.

Buying Guide For The Best Backpacking Saw

Buying the right backpacking saw won’t be a problem if you follow the right approach. Keeping in mind your needs and preferences is important, and so is considering some vital features characteristic of the product. So let’s look at the points that you must keep in mind before proceeding to buy a backpacking saw. 

  1. Material

This is a crucial factor when it comes to choosing an ideal backpacking saw. That’s because the material of a product determines its strength and durability. Note that while steel blades are very durable, they are also prone to rust.

 So, you must make sure that the steel used to make the product is of good quality and is heat-treated. Also, you must check the material of the handle and the external frame. 

  1. Length

The length of the chain or the blade of a saw determines its cutting power to a certain extent. An important tip for selecting an ideal backpacking saw is to ensure that the sawing blade is 50 percent longer than the diameter of the tree to be cut. Or else, the blade might not cut the plank efficiently. Also, note that a longer chainsaw will make the cutting action much faster. 

  1. Comfort And Safety

It is also important to ensure that the saw is safe and comfortable to use. Remember that more is the more control over the tool, the safer it will be for use. So, do check whether the design is ergonomic or not before you decide to buy it. Plus, the handle must fit comfortably in the hand and hence needs to be long enough.

Backpacking Saws FAQs

  • Why should one choose a backpacking saw over a regular saw?

    Backpacking saws are designed for portability and lightweight carrying, which makes them ideal for hiking or camping trips. Regular saws are typically larger and heavier, making them less practical for outdoor adventures.

  • How safe are backpacking saws?

    Backpacking saws are designed with safety in mind, particularly folding saws that hide the blade when not in use. Nevertheless, they are sharp tools and need to be handled with care to prevent accidents.

  • Is it legal to take a backpacking saw on hiking trails?

    The legality of carrying a backpacking saw depends on the specific regulations of the trail or park. Some parks may have restrictions on carrying cutting tools, so it’s always advisable to check the rules before your trip.

  • Can backpacking saws be taken on planes?
  • How long does a backpacking saw typically last?

    With regular maintenance, a good quality backpacking saw can last several years. The lifespan of a backpacking saw largely depends on how it’s used and cared for.

  • What can potentially damage a backpacking saw?

    Misuse or abuse, including improper cutting techniques, using the saw to cut materials it is not intended for, and lack of regular maintenance, can potentially damage a backpacking saw.

  • How to maintain and care for a backpacking saw?

    To care for a backpacking saw, always clean it after use, especially if it has been utilized to cut softwoods that leave resin behind, which can prevent the saw from cutting properly. Additionally, periodically sharpen the saw’s teeth to keep it functioning optimally.

  • Folding multifunctional survival knife in a opened fabric storage case isolated on white background close-up


    Having analyzed a variety of backpacking saws, each with its unique features, advantages, and minor limitations, it is evident that the right tool can considerably enhance your outdoor experience. The type of saw you choose largely boils down to your specific requirements, be it outdoor adventures, traveling, or heavy-duty yard work.

    From the above seven best backpacking saws, here are the top three expert recommendations:

    If you're an outdoor enthusiast, the Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw is an ideal option. It's a versatile, high-quality saw that delivers impressive performance and features a 7-tooth per inch blade with XT toothing, coated for resistance to corrosion.

    For frequent travelers, consider the Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw. It presents itself as a good option. It’s lightweight, convenient and comes with a 36-inch long chain, and is capable of tearing through wood effectively. It's sure to be a significant addition to your packing list.

    Lastly, for heavy-duty yard work, the REXBETI PD-12191 Folding Saw would be the right choice. It comes with an 11-inch blade equipped for heavy-duty tasks. The saw is lightweight and features a comfortable rubber-coated handle for a firm grip.

    Remember, there is a wide selection of high-quality backpacking saws tailored for various outdoor activities. The important factor is to choose one that aligns with your needs and guarantees the longevity and performance you are seeking. After all, the value of a great backpacking saw is beyond dispute when it comes to the great outdoors, whether it’s cutting firewood, clearing trails, or building shelters. So, make sure your next outdoor adventure is well-equipped with the perfect backpacking saw!

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