Let me take a wild guess.
You think that the sawtooth in your knife will do the job in case of a life-threatening emergency.
Well, it’s time to think again. It might not be enough when it comes to saving your life.
The reality is, a survival saw is an extremely handy tool in your bug-out bag, that can make a big difference. But then, you need to pick a reliable product that can get the job done.
So we have sifted through the best products on the market, tested them out, and spoken to some of the experts to pick the best survival saw.
Top Picks for the Best Survival Saw
What We Like
This folding saw from Corona is our top choice. To start with, it has impulse-hardened teeth that are highly durable. Beyond that, there are 3-sided razor teeth that result in smooth cutting. What we liked is the curvature of the blade. That allows you to have more control over the cut.
Now, the saw comes in three sizes depending on the blade size. These are 7, 8, and 10 inches.
Corona mentions that the cutting time is 2x times faster. Thanks to the dense teeth design that ensures less friction.
Note, the taper-ground teeth are also chrome-plated. The result? The overall life and efficiency get prolonged. Also, even with higher cutting pressure, the blade doesn’t wobble.
In addition, it has a hinged design that allows you to fold that blade safely. The cutting action is good enough for logs and branches that are up to 6 inches in thickness. There’s a switch to lock the blade in the open or closed position.
When it comes to handling, the saw does pretty well. You’ll find the handle is comfortable to grip. The compact shape allows you to stash it easily with the other emergency gear.
What Needs Improvement
The first thing is, the quality of the handle could have been better. We wouldn’t say that it’s a long-lasting option.
Next, a few of the teeth remain exposed even after it’s closed. With the high sharpness of the teeth, that’s a safety risk. It doesn’t come with a sheath or a bag either.
Last but not the least, it’s not the best tool for cutting hardwood or thicker branches. The overall stiffness of the blade isn’t sufficient for such cutting action.
We feel at this price point, the RazorTOOTH offers great value as a folding survival saw. The blade quality and the sharpness are top-notch and the cutting action is very smooth.
Agreed, that it’s not designed for very thick branches. But the lightweight design makes it a good choice for your bug-out kit. On the whole, the quality and performance are good enough to make it a dependable choice during any emergency.
What We Like
If you want a survival saw that’s tough and versatile, take a look at this one. Be it shrubs, greens, or dry wood, it offers a fast cutting speed. What’s more, it has proprietary MIRAI-ME cutting technology that ensures a smooth cutting action.
We felt that the density of 8.5 teeth per inch is good enough for fast cutting. The chrome-plated and taper ground blades are durable enough to last long. Even when you’re cutting branches bigger that are 6 or 7 inches in diameter, the cutting force required is minimum.
Likewise, we found the 9.5-inch blade length good enough for most cutting action. There was hardly any wobble in the blade while handling wood chunks.
While we prefer curved blades for smooth cutting, the straight blade of the Gomboy delivers butter smooth cuts. It works well for greenwood as well as lumber.
When it comes to safety, the saw has got you covered. The blade locks in the rubber-padded handle and the spring-loaded lock keeps it secure. The handle has a textured surface that feels good to grip.
A microfiber cloth is included for cleaning. As a bonus, you also get a plastic hinged carrying case for storage.
What Needs Improvement
Honestly, this is a survival hand saw that’s hard to find fault with. However, some users did find the blade to be thin. That might damage the blade if it gets caught at an awkward angle.
Apart from that, the Gomboy is a pricey option. In case you want something on a budget, look elsewhere. Keep in mind that the blade is made in Japan and it’s probably as sharp as a katana. So make sure you use it with the right precautions.
Even though this is a pricey option, it’s one of the best survival saws that can help you in a wide range of life-threatening scenarios. The blade is razor-sharp and the cutting action is good enough. The overall ergonomics is excellent and the carrying case makes storage easy.
Quite simply, if you have the budget, go for it.
What We Like
Looking for something unique that will allow you to cut your way out when the shit hits the fan? Check this one out.
The 36-inch long chain is crafted from high carbon heat-treated steel and delivers a bi-directional cutting action. That allows you to tackle the big chunks of wood with ease by reducing the drag.
Keep in mind, the 36-inch length excludes the handles. The rugged handles come with metal brackets and offer an excellent grip. Without a doubt, it’s one tough pocket saw.
But that’s not all…
Most importantly, this survival saw offers great ease of use. With a long chain, you get a better posture and less hand fatigue. The best part is, the blade is self-cleaning in nature. So debris won’t stick on it while cutting.
With a weight of just 5 ounces, this survival saw comes with a portable nylon bag. To top it off, it also includes an 8mm magnesium fire starter. All in all, a complete package for your bug-out bag.
The best part is the affordable price tag. It’s an all-in-one model that budget buyers will like.
What Needs Improvement
To be honest, even with the long blade length, the cutting action requires some effort. At the end of the day, if you don’t have the necessary muscle power, it wouldn’t be effective enough.
Note, it’s best to wear a pair of gloves while using it. That’ll prevent the formation of blisters.
The next thing is, the number of blades is on the lesser side. Higher blade density would have made the cutting efficiency even better.
Then again, this isn’t a survival hand saw that can be used comfortably when you need to cut a high branch. It’s best used for objects set on the ground.
On the whole, this is a survival saw that offers great value in terms of price to performance ratio. The lightweight design lends it excellent portability and the nylon pouch can be easily carried in a backpack. In short, a convenient tool to carry if you need to hike through a doomsday landscape.
What We Like
To be honest, in terms of durability, this is one of the best collapsible bow saws on the market.
Hardened steel blades, an anodized 6063 aluminum frame, and stainless steel hardware. Beyond that, it has a nylon handle that’s fiberglass reinforced. A smooth assembly of all these parts results in the automatic tensioning of the blade every time you open it up.
The assembly is perfectly engineered to be completely hassle-free. You just need to unfold it and snap the edges together. The slim profile also makes it easy to pack.
The 21-inch blade makes it easy to deliver long cuts. The impulse hardened blades come with a raker tooth pattern. That delivers smooth cuts and the cutting action is pretty fast. Not to forget, the blades come with a special coating for rust prevention.
In addition to that, the Boreal 21 offers good clearance above the saw blade. This is one area where many folding bow saws fall short.
That allows you to cut through larger logs without having to change the angle. The slightly longer blades are designed for delivering aggressive cuts. So cutting through dry or frozen wood isn’t an issue.
What Needs Improvement
While the Boreal 21 is an effective saw, it lacks the finesse needed for delivering intricate cuts. That means, it’s more suited to cut through logs quickly for building a fire on a freezing night.
Also, it’s a costly saw. We wouldn’t mark it as the right choice for budget buyers.
At 21.5 inches, it’s not a compact survival saw. Make sure you have enough space in the bag for it. Other than that, you’ll also find it as one of the heavier models.
If you want a no-compromise folding bow saw, you can’t go wrong with the Boreal 21. It’s designed for quick action- just what you need when it’s time to act fast. The overall durability is the best in class making it a dependable tool in the long run.
What We Like
Looks can be deceptive. Take the 396-LAP Laplander survival saw for example.
It looks simple with a compact and lightweight design. But it’s a real champ when it comes to cutting through hardwood. The 7-inches of blade length makes it a great pick for cutting through small branches, trees, and even through bone.
The 7 teeth per inch density are good enough for delivering a fast cut. Besides, the teeth are hardened and will hold on to the sharpness for long. They’re specially coated to prevent rusting. In addition, the XT teeth can cut in both directions.
In our tests, it delivered a razor-sharp cut through dry wood. The plastic handle feels sturdy and comes with a rubber coating that ensures a steady grip. That also reduces the overall force that you need to generate. Coming to safety, there’s a safety lock for locking it out in both open and closed positions.
With a weight of just over 7 ounces and a length of 7 inches, it’s a compact saw. There’s also a leather handle for easy handling. Most of all, the compact size allows you to use it at odd angles and very close to the ground.
What Needs Improvement
Strictly speaking, this isn’t the right choice for cutting through chunks of firewood of thick hardwood. Stick to medium-grade jobs or as a bushcraft folding saw for the best results.
While the XT toothing cuts like a beast, it can’t be re-sharpened. So you’ll need to replace the blade once it wears out.
Next, the epoxy coating on the blade and the rubber handle wears out with heavy use. Even with the coating, we find the blade sticking at times to the wood. This can happen when you try cutting through resinous wood like pine.
Overall, the Laplander comes with a great cutting blade that offers a smooth cut. The light and compact design make it ideal for a bug-out bag. Lastly, it has one of the most comfortable handles in any survival hand saw. It got a thumbs up from our end.
Why You Need the Best Survival Saw
Imagine what it would be like in a survival situation when you need to act fast for your safety. The thing is, swinging an ax may not be an option in a confined space. You may also want something portable enough to fit in an emergency survival kit.
This is where a survival saw can play such an important role. It’s light and compact but no less efficient when it comes to cutting action. In many cases, it’s faster and safer than most other cutting tools.
When it comes to safety, the two prior objectives are building a fire and building a shelter. The right survival saw can help you do both, in a fast and efficient manner. They can also be used to cut through zip ties, ropes, rubber tires, leather, and PVC tubing.
Moreover, there can be situations where you need a clean cut rather than applying the full force of a blade. Not to forget, the right saw can even cut through hard items like metal if needed.
In fact, with the right level of imagination, a saw can be used in various other ways in a survival situation. No wonder, plenty of experienced bushcrafters are packing a survival saw as a part of their gear.
Now, when it comes to survival, we don’t believe in taking any chances. So you need to pick a saw that offers top-grade reliability as well as performance. That’s why we recommend the top survival hand saws that we have tested and tried from all aspects.
Features to Look for
With a wide variety of products in the market picking the right one can be challenging. So, here are a few points that you need to keep in mind while choosing one.
The Intended Use
In general, a survival saw is mostly used for cutting firewood or branches and shelter construction. Saws with blades between the 7 to 12-inch range are good enough for both purposes. The size also depends on the dimensions of the log or branch you’ll be cutting.
Obviously, an 8-inch saw won’t cut through a log of 8-inch diameter. You need to pick a longer blade length for making the sawing motion effective. However, too long blades can be difficult to carry when you need to move fast and light during an emergency.
Number of Teeth Per Inch (TPI)
In general, the higher the TPI, the smoother is the cutting action. A survival saw with a high TPI will be good for cutting through softwood. This can be anywhere between 4 to 6 teeth per inch. However, in most cases, the cut turns out to be rough.
Higher TPI can range anywhere between 8 to 15 teeth per inch. These blades are good for cutting through hardwood material. Usually, higher TPI also results in a slower cutting speed. For the best results with a folding survival saw, choose a saw with 7 to 8 teeth per inch. We feel that’s the range offering the right balance between cutting speed and cut quality.
The Cutting Mechanism
A saw can cut through a push or pull mechanism that depends on the design. The push action places the blade under a lot of compressive force. So the blades need to be thicker to prevent. By contrast, the blades that cut through the pull stroke come under tension. So the blades are much thinner.
The point is…
A thicker blade cuts more precisely and offers better performance. A thinner blade is best for precise cuts and for work that needs more flexibility. While picking a collapsible bow saw, make sure you strike the right balance.
The Comfort Factor
In truth, the efficiency of a survival gear depends on how user-friendly it is. Sawing can be stressful for your hands. So the best survival saw needs to come with an ergonomic design that can reduce the overall stress. Most importantly, it’s also important in terms of safety.
One thing is, a saw needs to have a handle that offers a comfortable and secure grip. Handles with rubber coatings are very effective in that aspect. That also prevents accidents in case you need to use it in wet conditions. Surely you don’t want the blade to slip out from your hands!
At the same time, the saw should be portable enough to fit in your survival backpack. When every bit of extra weight can be a strain on your efficiency levels, you can’t afford to carry a heavy unit.
From that aspect, a survival wire saw with durable handles can be a good choice. They are also more portable and lightweight. Still, you’ll need to put a considerable effort to make the blades cut through.
When you don’t have a time period for a rescue to happen, you need a survival saw that’s durable. For that, the most vital aspect is the material. High-quality carbon or alloy steel that’s specially hardened delivers good durability.
The advantage of high carbon steel is it’s lightweight but still offers excellent hardness. Also, check for special coatings or treatments on the blade to prevent rusting and other forms of corrosion. The added advantage is minimum maintenance.
Beyond that, you need to check the material of the handle and the hardware to ensure reliability. If you’re storing the saw in your bug out vehicle for later you want to make sure it holds up over time.
Also, check for the warranties on each product. A saw that comes with a better warranty will surely be more durable.
There you have it.
The top picks and the comprehensive set of guidelines to help you pick the best survival saw.
We have listed the top products based on our experience and feedback. All of them are excellent products that check most of the right boxes. Keep in mind that preparation is everything and having a survival shovel to go along with this is a nice addition.
Having read through it, you can easily choose the product that can make the difference between perishing and surviving.
We highly recommend packing a survival saw in your emergency pack. If you still haven’t, it’s time to make the right choice.