They will always be an essential part of any camper or outdoorsman’s kit. There is always a need to cut branches or wood on a camping trip and a good survival saw is a necessity.
The thing is no one wants to carry a full sized wood saw with them on a camping trip, fortunately there are many awesome products made specifically for hikers, campers and bushcraft enthusiasts.
They come in all shapes and sizes ranging from pocket-sized to collapsible bow-type. The main thing you want to look for is a product that can perform well and at the same time pack down to compact size. Here are our absolute favorites…
Top Rated Folding and Survival Saws
Bahco 396-LAP Laplander
The Bahco Laplander is really a top class, lightweight folding design which is only 9 inches in length when folded closed.
The 7.5 inch long blade has a double action, cutting on the forward and back stroke, making it a very efficient workhorse. The handle area is a combination of steel which gives it some weight stability and a plastic outer covering that offers grip.
A really great safety feature is the locking button which needs to be depressed to open and close the blade, so no chance of the blade folding back down over your fingers while working.
The Bahco Laplanders performance is unquestionable and it will cut through green and dry wood, bone and plastic.
If you’ve been searching for a good quality, general purpose camping saw for your adventures then you won’t regret getting the Laplander. It also makes a great addition to a bushcraft gear collection or survival kit.
Gerber Freescape Folding Bow
Gerber’s Freescape really stands out as this collapsible bow saw folds down to a foot in length and completely encloses the blade when folded, making it easy to pack into a backpack.
The twelve inch long blade is quite capable of cutting through an 8 inch log without hassle, great for cutting a fallen tree into firewood sections.
A bow design is generally best suited to making straight cuts through logs or sturdy branches and won’t be very good to do specific cuts on small twigs or anything like that. But no serious camper or outdoors man should be without one of these, especially if you intend making fire out in the wild.
Gerber has become a household name for their stellar quality tools, so you can be assured of getting a product that you can trust to do the job with minimum hassles.
Gerber Myth Fixed Blade
The T-handled Gerber Myth Fixed blade is ideal for cutting through small to medium sized branches with speed.
The 6.5 inch carbon steel blade is set with a medium size tooth which works great for cutting bone and has become very popular with hunters for field dressing game.
It will be an awesome addition to a bushcraft kit for cutting smaller branches to build shelters and to make more technical, shaped cuts.
The sheath sadly does not have a very accommodating belt loop, making it troublesome to thread a men’s width belt through, but its performance as a small compact hand camping saw outweighs this one negative point. Once again a quality tool from Gerber.
Gerber Gator Machete
The dual function on the Gerber Gator Machete is brilliant and will become a permanent part of any bushwhackers’ kit.
This machete and saw combo is perfect for the bush craft enthusiast or the wilderness camper. The heavy and sturdy high carbon steel blade enables efficient chopping at brush and undergrowth and will lop off small branches with ease. The tooth set on the back edge of the 11.25 inch blade will cut through branches up to 4 inches in diameter with ease.
The Gator grip is made with a rubber compound that provides a good non slip grip, and it has a baffle in the front of the grip to prevent your hand from sliding towards the working area of the blade which is a great safety feature.
So if you are planning to explore uncharted territory and need to clear your own path and campsite, then the Gerber Gator Machete is your tool of choice.
Chainmate 36-Inch Hand Chain
At first the Chain-Mate seems a bit gadgetry, but this little hand operated chainsaw blitzes through wood like you won’t believe!
The design is basically a miniature version of a mechanical chainsaw’s chain, with two hand grips on either end. It is easily operated by pulling it around the back of a log or tree and exerting pressure with alternate pulling strokes from each arm.
There are three chain lengths available, 24 inch, 36 inch and 48 inch. This means that even fairly large trees can be felled with the 48 inch Chain-Mate.
You can be guaranteed that all bush craft and survival enthusiasts will be happy carrying an ultralight Chain-Mate Survival Pocket Saw on their belts.
Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool
Leatherman has been around for years and they have always been a trusted manufacturer of multi-tools for the outdoors man and hobbyist.
The Leatherman Sidekick Multi-tool has 14 tools ranging from screwdrivers to metal files. One of the tools happens to be an extremely sharp toothed saw blade of around 3 inches.
This sturdy little blade is quite capable of ripping through a 1 to 2 inch branch with its double edged tooth set. The Leatherman is by no means is the capable of doing the work done by the other products featured here, but it most certainly is a handy tool set for any camper to have.
Here’s a short breakdown of the products listed that will make choosing the right one a bit simpler.
Best All Rounders
The Bahco Laplander will lend itself well to any type of camping because of its versatile double action blade that rips through most wood, plastic or bone. It’s a really great tool to have.
The Gerber’s Myth Fixed Blade is very popular with hunters due to its precision ability. For wood cutting it is not quite as sturdy and rugged as the Bahco though.
Heavy Duty Bow Type
For camping purposes, Gerber’s Freescape is large enough to tackle a fairly large log which makes it ideal to have for firewood, which is naturally a necessity for any camp. It can also fold down to a small size for transport on wilderness hikes where a bow saw might be needed.
Great for Chopping and Sawing
Gerber’s Gator Machete will perform very well around the campsite for clearing twigs and branches as well as on wilderness hikes. It’s dual purpose function is great because you get two tools in one.
Super Compact and Light Weight
The Leatherman Sidekick and the Chainmate Pocket Saw are any Bushcrafter’s dream tools. Both of these tools are lightweight and compact and are equally at home in the campsite.