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Best Backpacking Saws for 2018

It’s camping season! And with camping season comes the many opportunities to go backpacking.

No matter where in the world you want to go, you need to be sure to have the basic supplies, such as a good backpacking handsaw.

Quick Comparison:  5 Best Backpacking Saws

SawWeight (Ounces)Saw Type
#1. Silky Professional Series BIGBOY 2000
Our Best Pick

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14.2Folding Saw
#2. Bahco 396-LAP Laplander
Great Budget Option

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7Folding Saw
#3. Bahco Ergo Bow Saw

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2.9Bow Saw
#4. EverSaw

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10.1Folding Saw
#5. Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw

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4.8Chain Saw

#1. Silky Professional Series BIGBOY 2000 (Our Best Pick)

Another folding saw option is the Silky BIGBOY. This saw is larger and more heavy-duty. It has a 14.2 inch blade and 5.5 teeth per inch.

It still only weighs a pound, so you can toss it in your pack and forget about it while hiking!

This model is more expensive, but it does have nice features like a sharp, curved blade.

Ideal Uses

This handsaw is ideal for a variety of uses. You can use it to prune or trim in your yard, for construction projects, or to chop up firewood while camping.

Pros
  • Effortless cutting
  • Large enough handle to use two hands, but cuts well enough that you’ll only need to use one hand.
  • Light enough for easy backpacking
  • High-quality
Cons
  • Need a protective sheath
  • Comparatively pricey
  • It is difficult to find a replacement blade
  • Blade can be uncomfortably flexible

Verdict

This isn’t your safest folding saw, but it is one of the highest-quality. If you are careful to keep it in a sheath and use it properly, you’ll be able to make it work for almost any light or medium sawing project.


#2. Bahco 398-LAP Laplander (Great Budget Option)

This folding saw is an excellent general purpose backpacking handsaw. It features a 7.5 inch blade and seven teeth per inch.

The stainless steel blade is coated for rust protection, and the plastic handle is ergonomically designed.

The saw has lock-in and lock-out safety features, and it has a push-pull sawing design.

It weighs just seven ounces and it nine inches long, so you can stash it in your backpack with no problem.

Ideal Uses

The Bahco Laplander Folding Saw is great for small sawing projects and pruning.

It can cut branches and even small trees, and its large teeth can cut through both green and dry wood as well as plastic and bone.

Pros
  • You can replace the blade
  • Great for quick pruning
  • Large teeth give it power
  • Doesn’t rust
Cons
  • It’s hard to find the replacement blades
  • Not particularly heavy-duty
  • Doesn’t cut down large trees
  • The lock can break too easily

Verdict

This is a great folding saw for light use. If you don’t have to do any major sawing while camping, opt for this to cut firewood or get rid of annoying branches! Just be careful not to overuse the lock.


#3. Bahco Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood

The best bow saw for backpacking is the Bahco Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood.

This saw is ideal for sawing green wood, but it is also good for dry wood.

This saw has an advanced tensioning mechanism that helps you cut straight and keeps the blade tension high.

This saw weighs just 2.9 ounces, making it perfect for backpacking long distances.

It’s 30 inches long, so it will fit into most standard backpacking packs.It features medium teeth.

Ideal Uses

This saw cuts best through green wood. It is tough and can slice through branches easily, even thick braches of eight inches. Although it is designed to tackle green wood, you can also use it on dry wood.

Pros
  • Cuts through thick branches with no problem
  • Very sharp
  • Inexpensive
  • Better than a chain saw for most uses
  • Light enough to cut for a long period of time
Cons
  • It’s easy to over-tighten the blade
  • Doesn’t come with tensioning instructions
  • Doesn’t last forever
  • No way to repair it

Verdict:

This is a good option if you have the space for a bow saw. You will need to practice using the tension factor so you don’t risk breaking it during your trip, but once you have that down, you should be good to go!


#4. EverSaw Folding Hand Saw All Purpose

This eight-inch, ten-ounce folding hand saw is fairly small and easy to hike with. It’s safe, since it folds with no exposed teeth and features an ergonomic non-slip handle.

It has hard, triple-cut razor teeth for fast and smooth sawing. Unlike some other hand saws, it has Japanese-style pull sawing.

Ideal Uses

This saw is great for tree pruning, camping, or hunting. It can fit in your toolbox, pocket, or backpack, so you can use it virtually anywhere. It is best for small jobs.

Pros
  • Strong and well-made
  • Gear-style safety lock—no button
  • Can be tightened
  • No exposed teeth when closed
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Blade can easily rust if not carefully stored
  • Plastic parts have been known to break
  • Locking mechanism often has trouble
  • Slow cutting
  • Blade is not very sharp

Verdict

Of all the folding hand saws on this list, I find this to be the best. It has a great balance of affordable price and usability. It’s safe and easy to use, making it the ideal light-duty folding backpacking handsaw.


#5. Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw

Forget the heavy powered chainsaws—this pocket chainsaw is manual and folds into tight spaces!

This is just about the only way you’ll get a chainsaw to make it on a backpacking trip. It can cut almost any size of branch, is bi-directional, and saws at three sides of a limb at once.

This particular model is has an unusually long 36 inch chain, but it only weighs about five ounces. It can slip into your pocket, and it features heavy-duty handles for a reliable grip.

Ideal Uses

Great for both medium and thick branches, and for use in tight spaces. Perfect for emergency kits, backpacks, pockets, and any situation requiring a saw.

Pros
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Extremely light
  • Fits into small spaces
  • Very sharp
  • Perfect for survival kits
Cons
  • Is easiest to use with two people
  • Not very good for thin, green trees
  • Low tooth count
  • Requires a lot of muscle power
  • Hard to get at higher branches with this saw
  • Not as good for hard wood

Verdict

While this may not be the best option for every kind of sawing need, it is certainly the best for large branches and sawing through thick trees.

You do need to be prepared for the workout it gives you, but if you can handle it, it’s an excellent tool to use at home and on the trail.


Criteria for Choosing a Good Backpacking Saw

Well, there are several things you need to think about when choosing a saw. Here are some factors to think about as well as highly recommended backpacking handsaw models.

Choosing a good handsaw for backpacking isn’t just a matter of grabbing the first saw within your budget. In fact, there are many different types of saws that you must choose from.

Not only are there three common types of backpacking handsaws, but each saw has variants!

Here are the things you should think about when picking a saw for camping or backpacking.

Criteria#1: Saw type options

Folding saw

A folding saw is a saw that folds into the handle and locks when closed. Folding saws have toothed blades, and they usually lock when closed. It is most useful for cutting smaller branches and for trimming twigs.

Many backpackers and campers prefer folding saws for firewood cutting. They are safe, easy to carry, and extremely useful in the wilderness.

Bow saw

A bow saw is shaped somewhat like a hunting bow. It has a handle on one side, is arched on the top for blade tension, and has a  sharp, slender blade for cutting, usually with small to medium teeth. It is a great alternative to an axe, since it is safer and easier to carry.

It can perform some of the same types of cutting that an axe is traditionally used for, although the method is obviously different. These saws can cut very thick longs and branches. For camping, many people like to use folding bucksaws, a variation on bow saws.

Chainsaw

A chainsaw is a portable, powered saw that takes the hard work out of cutting. Chainsaws have rotating chains with sharp teeth that can fell a tree in minutes. There are many different types of chain saws. For example, there are a variety of sizes.

If you are backpacking, you will likely need to opt for a small pocket chainsaw. These are basically just the chain, plus a handle on each side. To use it, you wrap the chain around the tree and then alternate pulling on the handles.

Criteria#2: Teeth per inch

In general, handsaws have around five to twelve teeth per inch. The larger the tooth, the fewer teeth per inch. The number of teeth per inch determines the speed of cutting and the type of cut made.

If you’re just hacking up some firewood, opt for something with fewer teeth per inch. This will give you a quick, albeit messy, cut. If you are cutting something that needs to look nice, more teeth per inch will give you a cleaner cut.

Criteria#3: Length

Since you are trying to select a handsaw for backpacking purposes, the size and weight of the blade matters. Be sure your saw can fit inside your pack when closed. Once you know the maximum dimensions of the saw you need, choose a saw that will also serve its purpose well.

If you’re planning to cut through thick branches, you’ll need to make sure the saw is at least 50% longer than the diameter of the branches you’ll be cutting and has a thick enough blade to go through the wood.

Criteria#4: Ergonomics

The ergonomics of the handsaw you choose will be important not only for comfort, but also for safety. If you are going to be far out into the wilderness using a saw, you need to be sure it’s one that is easy to use with minimal injury risk. First of all, you should be able to comfortably use the saw with one hand.

A good rule of thumb, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety , is to limit your saw’s weight to five pounds. Hand saws should also be comfortable and allow you to have a good view of your cutting line, according to Inside Wood Working.

Criteria#5: Material

Most handsaws feature steel blades. Steel is strong and can cut through a variety of materials, but it does have one drawback: rust.

Steel blades are susceptible to rusting, so be sure to select a handsaw that you can store and maintain easily. Choose a saw with blades that are easily accessible for cleaning and perhaps even coasted to reduce rusting.

Criteria#6: Cut direction

The main difference between push/pull saws and one-way saws is the blade type. One-way saws have teeth that point outward (Western-style saws) or inward (Japanese-style saws). Push-pull saws have straight teeth.

Push-pull saws are better for cutting up trees, since they work faster, while one-way saws make cleaner cuts for aesthetic purposes, such as furniture-making. Either can work for backpacking, however.

Criteria#7: Performance

Finally, you want to choose a saw based on how well it can cut! You can grab a super cheap saw because the price is attractive, but it might not cut well. This is bad on several levels. First, it’s frustrating. Second, it will give you hand fatigue, and third, it is a safety hazard.

Opt for a saw that cuts cleanly with minimal effort. You can find out how well a saw cuts by reading reviews, such as this one!

Conclusion

Choosing the right backpacking saw really comes down to two things: type and quality. If you can identify the right handsaw to fit your needs, then all you have to do it pick a high-quality saw in your price range!

Overall, the Silky BIGBOY is the best saw, but the Bahco Laplander Folding Saw is a great budget option, as well.

Maxsa Vs Maxtrax

During offroading and overloading expeditions, getting stuck in the sand, mud or bushes will often be an inevitable circumstance. While a great 4WD is a must for outdoor expeditions, it is equally important to have reliable gear as well.

Traction mats are a must for any outdoor expedition as they are the key to getting your 4WD unstuck. When being back on the road in as less time as possible becomes important, traction mats like MAXSA Escaper Buddy and MAXTRAX are among the best options to pick from.

We will now take a closer look at both the traction mats and compare them in the end for a better understanding of which mat stands out in what category.

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Weeride Co Pilot Vs Pro Pilot Review: Which Is Right For You?

If you’re like me, you’re dreading the day when your child finally decides they want to learn how to ride a bike but they’re still not capable of controlling their very own bike just yet.

When we were younger, your parents probably threw you onto your own little bike and coached you from the driveway of your childhood home. While some may still be able to do that, there may be advantages to using a bike trailer to teach your kids how to ride their first bike.

  • They can learn how to balance themselves with your help without crouching over them the whole time.
  • They can go for bike rides with you and enjoy them without the stress or worry of them suddenly veering off into traffic.
  • And if they happen to get tired and don’t feel like pedaling anymore, there’s no more worrying about how to get a child plus their bike and your own bike home all at once.

It’s a win-win situation.

Not all bike trailers are built the same, but we decided to focus on the Weeride Co Pilot and Pro Pilot for this review because they both come highly rated on Amazon.

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Yakima Megawarrior Vs Loadwarrior Review

Yakima is one of the most popular brands you’ll hear biking enthusiasts mention when anyone suggests who to go to for bike racks or roof racks.

Their reputation to produce quality products that anyone can rely on has positioned them as one of the top brands for biking or outdoors enthusiasts; so today we’ll look into two popular rooftop baskets produced from Yakima themselves: The Yakima Megawarrior and the Loadwarrior.

But first, why would anyone want a rooftop basket?

If you need to carry additional equipment or gear that you don’t have room in your vehicle for, then a cargo basket can make it easy to tote extras.

Now let’s jump into why we think the Yakima Megawarrior or Loadwarrior should be at the top of your list…

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Thule Square Bar Vs Aeroblade Review

If you want to install any kind of rooftop accessory on your vehicle, you’ll need a roof rack system to do so. Once installed, you can mount nearly any kind of cargo boxes, bike racks, etc.

These roof racks in combination with foot packs (sold separately) will give you that capability.

But you can’t just run out and pick whichever one. Some require more consideration with others as we found out with one of the products below.

Keep reading to find out whether the Thule Aeroblade is better than the Thule Square.

The results might surprise you…

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Thule Sidearm Vs Yakima Frontloader Review

With all the bike racks available, it can be difficult picking the right one.
And with your bikes possibly being one of your biggest investments the pressure is on.

The wrong or cheap bike rack comes at a high cost when you travel a lot or when you’re driving at high speeds. There’s a possibility that they won’t hold up and your bike may go flying off the back of your car while on the highway.

You don’t want that and neither do we. So that’s why we’re comparing two popular bike racks that will help you get on the road faster without having to wade through all the different choices.

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Yakima Highroller Vs Frontloader Mount Review

Both the Yakima Highroller and the Yakima Frontloader are attractive options when considering instlaling a bike rack to your car’s roofting system, but the differences between the two may make one option more attractive than the other.

Namely, the installation and ease of mounting your bikes.

In this review we put the Highroller and the Frontloader head to head so that you can determine which one is best for you. So if you’re short on time and want a simple solution, keep reading to see which bike rack system we recommend for you.

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Yakima Jetstream Vs Whispbar Review

A roof rack system opens up the possibilities of being able to use your car to haul everything from bikes, cargo boxes, to kayaks.

The Jetstream and Whispbar is not a complete roof rack system, but rather the cross rails that will allow you to attach those extra accessories securely.

In this review lineup, we’ll compare both products side by side so you can determine which one will work best for you and your lifestyle.

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Thule Force Vs Yakima Skybox Rooftop Car Boxes Review

Traveling is already stressful without having to worry about how to strategically pack all of your family’s belongings into one cramped vehicle.

Aside from upgrading to a larger vehicle or renting a small tow trailer, there’s a much cheaper alternative that won’t affect your wallet in the long run and can save you the frustration and hassle of playing Tetris with suitcases and bags.

Today we’ll be looking at the Thule Force and Yakima Skybox rooftop car boxes.

We won’t go into the specifics of the sizes since the only key differences between all the models is, well, size.

That said, we’ve always suggested going for the next size up whenever you’re in doubt. So if you’re not sure if the medium will hold all those sleeping bags (and a few extras), maybe you should consider the next size up. We’ll make it easier by listing the sizes and dimensions in a table below as well.

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