best survival saw for emergencies

Best Survival Saw (Folding & Hand Saws)

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There are a few things that are nice to have as part of your kit whether you are prepping for a SHTF type of scenario, creating a bug-out camp or just going out for a weekend in the woods.

While having a survival knife may be the most important survival tool to have, followed by a hatchet, a saw might just make the list at the number three spot for the best types of survival tools to have with you in emergency situations.

Saws were used as far back as the Paleolithic Era up to 60,000 years ago with the first metal saws being used around 4,000 years ago. In some ways, not much has changed.

We have put together a list of some of the best survival saws that we have found out there on the market.

Best Survival Saw


  1. Best Overall Saw – Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw
  2. Best Quality Saw – Silky Professional BIGBOY 2000 Folding Saw
  3. Best Budget Saw – Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw Chain Survival Saw
  4. Best Saw to Carry – Skyocean Pocket Chainsaw Survival Saw
  5. Best Compact Saw – Friendly Swede Folding Hand Saw
  6. Best Heavy Duty Saw – Rexbeti 11 Inch Blade Hand Folding Saw
  7. Best Reliable Saw – Gerber Exchange-a-Blade Saw

1. Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw

Best Overall Saw

Price: $

Dimensions: 1″ L x 2.68″ W x 12″ H

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Material: Steel

Pros: Comfortable handle for easy and secure grip, Secure latch for safety, Fast and efficient cutting

Cons: Blade corrodes when exposed to moisture

Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw, 10 Inch Curved Blade

Our top pick for the best survival saw out there is the Corona Razor TOOTH Saw. The blades comes with a RazorTOOTH design so you can be sure the cuts will be clean and deep. With 6 teeth for every inch, it claims to cut twice as fast as a conventional saw.

This is a pruning saw meaning it is smaller, more compact, and is good for cutting logs up to six-inch in diameter. The curved blade can be replaced if needed, but it’s likely you will never need to replace it as the blade is super durable, thick and generally outlasts any bow saw out there. What’s nice about this one, and folding saws in general is they are light, can be folded up, stored, and carried around easily.

This blade comes in three different sizes 7″, 8″, and 10″. As this is a survival review we would recommend the longer version, as it allows for more surface areas which allow for faster deeper cuts. Like other saws like this one, it cuts with a pull stroke. The blade made of steel should stay sharp for many years, which is a good thing, cause sharpening folding saws is not such an easy task…though definitely possible.

You might already know this, but if the saw is kept in a moist or damp place the blade can rust, yes stainless steel can actually rust, though we can safely say that in most cases it won’t, if you take care of your tools properly, and clean them after use your saw should be rust free.

Why we like it? This saw has a nice grip and ergonomic design with a curved blade that has an adjustable tension with a triple tooth design. Its just about everything you can ask for in a pruning saw.


2. Silky Professional BIGBOY 2000 Folding Saw

Best Quality Saw

Price: $$

Dimensions: 29.9″ L x 3.56″ W x 0.8″ H

Weight: 1 Pound

Material: Steel

Pros: Lightweight for easy carrying, Versatile and can be used in a variety of capacities, Low angle curve for improving cutting

Cons: A little bit on the bigger side

Silky Professional BIGBOY 2000 Folding Saw XL Teeth

This saw was designed to be comfortable to use, the handle is made of rubber which will allow an easy grip and like the Crona can be folded and taken with you on the go. This one is definitely bigger than the last prune saw, coming in a just over 14-inch blade allows for longer reach, an extended stroke allowing you to deal with bigger logs more easily and up to 10-inch logs pretty easily.

This type of saw can be taken with you on long packing trips, as it is collapsible and easy to carry. The high carbon steel that it was made from is super durable will not bend even when cutting through thick logs.

This bad boy has 5.5 teeth per inch that come in three different variations XL, L, M, and fine teeth coming in at 5.5 tpi (teeth per inch), 6 tpi, 8.5 tpi, and 11 tpi with just about all of them near impossible to break. Each variation will be for the type of cutting you plan on doing, whether it’s for smaller or bigger diameter logs.


3. Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw 36 Inch Long Chain Survival Saw

Best Budget Saw

Price: $

Dimensions: 4.7″ L x 3.4″ W x 1.8″ H

Weight: 4.9 ounces

Material: Carbon steel

Pros: The blade can be resharpened, Can be used on large branches, The nylon handle is comfortable and durable, Not expensive

Cons: Requires two hands and more effort than typical saws

This pocket chainsaw blade is 36 inches and for those not familiar with handheld chainsaws they are portable chains that are used by pushing/pulling the blades with both hands and can be used instead of a regular saw when camping, hiking or thrown in your bug out bag for survival situations. Overall it gets great reviews though it may not replace an electric chainsaw it is a perfectly good substitute for survival purposes.   

It comes with a lifetime guarantee and has gotten good traction within the survival community, though there is a lot of hate when it comes to handheld chainsaws in general. It is able to cut through any diameter of wood, both soft and hardwood alike. You are likely able to cut an 8-10 inch diameter log in under 5 minutes with a decent amount of effort.

This handheld chainsaw is great for cutting and trimming overhead branches and because of its slim teeth allows you to cut at angles with ease. The Sportsman Pocket chainsaw also comes with a fire starter and a carry case.


4. Skyocean Pocket Chainsaw Survival Saw

Best Saw to Carry

Price: $

Dimensions: 8.46″ L x 6.46″ W x 1.97″ H

Weight: 0.22 Kg

Material: Carbon steel

Pros: Easy to take on the go, High-quality chain, Easy to sharpen, Superlight

Cons: Less power than similar a traditional saw

Pocket Chainsaw with Paracord Handle (24inch-11teeth) / (36inch-16teeth) Emergency Outdoor Survival Gear Folding Chain Hand Saw Fast Wood & Tree Cutting Best for Camping Backpacking Hiking Hunting

This handheld chainsaw is lightweight, can be folded up and taken on the go. It has teeth that are bidirectional allowing for an easier cut and comes in two different sizes both 24in and 36in with 11 teeth and 16 teeth respectively.

The handles are made from paracord so you will be able to get a good grip. As was mentioned above, hand chainsaws are effective depending upon the strength of the individual though are not quite a perfect alternative for a traditional handheld bow saw they are great for throwing in your bag for survival, emergency or backpacking and also for any home DIY projects if you need to do some overhead trimming.

The advantage of a pocket chain saw is that it’s easy to carry around on any trip and can be thrown into a bag without really worrying about it weighing a ton. The chain can be sharpened quite easily as opposed to pruning saws. The downside is that the teeth do have a tendency to get stuck especially if you are holding the ends close together or if you are sawing through a big trunk. The fact that these types of saws cost a fraction of traditional saw makes it a steal.


5. Friendly Swede Folding Hand Saw

Best Compact Saw

Price: $

Dimensions: 17.32 x 0.98 x 1.97 inches

Weight: 9.1 ounces

Material: Steel

Pros: Has a safety lock to prevent items from getting caught in the blade, Compact, light and well designed, Easy to use, Great reviews everywhere on the internet.

Cons: The blade is small so cannot handle thick wood, Cant be extra blades seperately.

Folding Hand Saw with Ergonomic TPR Handle

As one of the smallest saws on our list, it is a great addition to your survival gear as well as for just everyday needs. It is super versatile as this blade due to the compact 8-inch blade that makes it easy to wield and comes ready-sharp.

This thing cuts through twigs lighting fast and we found that it is much sharper than similar models on the market. The saw comes with two pieces of paracord, a safety lock, has 7 teeth per inch and is able to cut both dry and green wood quite easily.

It has a coated blade which helps to prevent the blade from getting stuck and from rusting. Because this thing is so light, not much pressure is needed to cut through wood. What is also great is that there is a lifetime warranty so if the blade does get damaged they will replace it for you.


6. Rexbeti 11 Inch Blade Hand Folding Saw

Best Heavy Duty Saw

Price: $

Dimensions: 12.9″ L x 4.1″ W x 1.3″ H

Weight: 14.8 Ounces

Material: Steel

Pros: Rubber handle for extra grip, A sturdy blade can cut wood up to 8 inches thick, Triple cut teeth.

Cons: Heavier than others.

Folding Saw Heavy Duty Extra Long 11 Inch Blade Hand Saw

Here we have a hand saw made by Rexbeti that comes with high-quality SK-5 Steel that can handle variable weather conditions whether your bushcrafting landscaping or for general yard work as it has a rubber-coated handle that will help you keep your grip if its raining.

The blade is heavy-duty coming in at 11-inches making it great for up to 8″ diameter logs. Foldable saws and this one in particular, give you the feeling that you could take it anywhere which is what we are looking for!

It has heavy-duty teeth with a triple-cut blade design with 7 teeth per inch that shreds through logs and branches as well as plastic and bone if needed.


7. Gerber Exchange-a-Blade Saw

Best Reliable Saw

Price: $

Dimensions: 13″ L x 5.5″ W x 2.7″ H

Weight: 10.4 ounces

Material: Steel

Pros: Sharp and light blade, Durable, Great Name brand company, Comes with two blades.

Cons: Handle is not super high quality.

Gerber Exchange-a-Blade Saw

The Gerber Exchange Blad Saw comes in at a total of 14.2 inches with a 7.1-inch blade length that is interchangeable and comes ready sharp.

This saw is made of stainless steel is lightweight and great for just about any outdoor gaming. As the name suggests it allows for interchangeable blades and comes with two blades, one coarse blade for wood and the finer blade for things like bone.

The blade is made from high carbon, which means it is tough, weather-ready and will retain its sharp edge well.


How to Find the Best Survival Saw?: Buyers Guide

hand saw

What is a Survival Saw?

A survival saw isn’t actually a type of saw like a hack saw or table saw. A survival saw is usually just a pruning saw. Though it can include other types of saws as well. A pruning saw is usually small and collapsable making it ideal for survivalists.

A survival saw makes it on our list as the 3rd most important tool you can have in your survival or bushcraft gear kit especially if you are going to be going out into the wilderness for extended trips. We say it comes third, after a survival knife and survival axe in order of importance because while it may not have the same versatility as the other two tools, it does allow you to collect wood or build some great structures that may be harder to do if you just had a knife on hand.

A saw can be used in many types of survival or outdoor environments whether you are going out to camp, do some bushcraft or if you are going out on an extended backpacking trip.

While there are many variations of a saw whether it’s a bow saw, hack saw, table saw, pruning saw, rip cut saw, chainsaw…etc. In fact there are dozens of different types of saws. However, what we are looking for is a survival saw.

If you are looking for a survival saw you should keep an eye out for something that is:

  1. Versatile
  2. Durable
  3. Portable 

Versatile

A survival saw should be small and compact giving you dexterity and the ability to be used in any number of situations and environments. If you are going to be carrying it around on trips, in your bag, or camping it is best if it’s light and doesn’t take up to much space.

As you might be in any number of environments other than your backyard, you are going to want something that is versatile as you might be using it for not only cutting some logs for your fire, but you may want it to be able to tackle bigger logs if you wanted to make a little cabin or survival shelter.

You may also want something that is thick enough so that you can not only cut through wood, but also plastics, rope, and bone should you need it too.

Durable

A survival saw should be well built, with a grip or handle that is made out of material that will not break or wear out easily.

Even though a blade may still rust if you are in moist conditions over time, stainless steel is the most reliable, but tempered carbon or high carbon may be preferable as they are treated and more flexible over other types of steel.

Portable

A survival saw should be small enough to be able to be put in a backpack and to take with you on the go. You are going to want something that is easily foldable and for carrying and storage as well as light enough to be able to bring it with you over long distances without it feeling cumbersome or heavy.


What to Look For When Buying a Saw

saw teeth

Saw Teeth

The more teeth per inch on the blade the finer the cut will be. Blades that have very few teeth per inch will have a coarser cut. Smaller teeth also provide a smoother cut which usually come with more teeth per inch.

Teeth Per Inch (TPI) Blades

  • Coarse Tooth Blades (1 – 7 TPI) – These blades will usually be larger, have bigger teeth, deeper gullets, can cut bigger logs, cut quicker and produce more sawdust. (ex. bow saws)
  • Medium Tooth Blades (7 – 10 TPI) – Blades are for general use, usually most hand saws (ex. hand saw)
  • Fine Tooth Blades (10+ TPI) – These blades will produce the finest finish, are the easiest to control, though will be slower and take longer to cut. (ex. coping saw)
“bush

Blade

You are going to want to look at getting tempered, high-grade steel, something that is alloyed or made with a combination of other metals. Many of the blades are usually 6-12 inches and will also come with a durable rust-resistant coating which is also something that will really prolong the life of your blade.

Another thing to look out for is the thickness of the blade, most survival saws are usually thicker than others, and we like blades that range from 0.90-1.80mm which makes them more durable and able to handle tougher materials. Thinner blades will mean more precision, less sawdust, and “easier” to use.

Grip

The idea here is simple just to find something that is comfortable enough to use without is slipping out of your hands when your sweaty or if it’s raining. Most grips don’t use wood anymore and instead use plastic which is the standard.


Conclusion

There are many saws out there on the market to choose from. We put together this list of the best survival saws that we have found based on our experience and research in the market. Hopefully, you have now found what you are looking for and are good and ready to go!

Resources

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Bram Johnson
Hi, My Name is Bram, the Editor of Survival Artist. Here you will find all things Wilderness, Survival, & Primitive Living. I grew up in the backcountry and got hooked on the simple chop wood carry water lifestyle. If you know anything about me then you know you can find me either running up mountain trails or sipping coffee over a book of philosophy.