8 of the Best Bushcraft Bow Saws – Picking the Right Saw

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Best Bushcraft Bowsaw

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In a Hurry? Here’s What We Recommend

This Bowsaw won’t break the bank price-wise, and it’s well built by a trusted brand. It is the most common size of bowsaw at 24 inches, making it easy to get replacement blades, and having minimal moving parts, there is very little to go wrong with it. All in all, a great buy!

Sale
Bahco 10-24-51 Bowsaw 24In
  • Value for money
  • Good product with good quality
  • Durable

Last update on 2024-04-17 at 06:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Picking a Bushcraft Bow Saw

If you have been around bushcraft for any length of time, I’m pretty sure you will have seen people using larger bow saws when processing large logs and building structures around camp.

A bow saw is an excellent addition to any bushcraft kit and in the correct situation can be a considerable time and work saver.

Let’s say you are trying to process wood to build a firewall and a log bed and you have your trusty Bahco Laplander at hand, will it get the job done? Yes, of course, it will but not nearly as efficiently as a larger bow saw.

With a bow saw you also have options with blade choice to better suit the work you will be doing with it.

You also have a much better grip on a bow saw and can also use two hands if needs be again aiding in making the job at hand that little bit easier and more pleasurable.

Looking for a Bushcraft axe? – Check out our Guide Here

Why Do I Need a Bow Saw?

I suppose the truth is that not everyone needs a bow saw. If when you go out to camp, you rarely tackle any branch much more than 2 inches then chances are you will be okay with a small folding saw (link to our article on small saws).

Tho if you have any plans of doing some more substantial work such as mentioned above then a bow saw may be just what you need to take your bushcraft to the next level and allow you to take on larger tasks around camp with ease.

Uses for a Bow Saw 

  • Felling trees – bow saws are an excellent tool for felling small trees, tho as bushcrafters we do try our best not to fell any healthy trees. 
  • Structure building around camp
  • Processing larger logs for firewood – with a bow saw you can chop up 4 to 8-inch logs with ease to then later split down with your axe (depending on the size of saw you have)
  • Pruning around the garden – just as useful as a bow saw is out in the field it can also be a valuable tool around the home.

Blade Choice for a Bow Saw – What Blade Do I Need?

This is quite a simple one to answer really, It boils down to what you will be cutting with your saw most of the time, this will fall into two categories.

Greenwood

If most of what you saw is going to be fresh greenwood, then you should get a saw with a greenwood blade or Raker Tooth Blade.

Greenwood blades have large teeth with large gaps to aid in removing the damp swarf from the cut helping with cutting performance.

Bahco 23-21 Raker Tooth Hp Bowsaw Blade 21In
  • Size. 530mm (21 in).
  • Bahco bowsaw blades
  • Raker Tooth Blade which is designed for use in green wood.
  • Length: 530mm
  • Bahco bowsaw blades

Last update on 2024-04-17 at 06:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Seasoned Dry Wood

If you are mostly cutting dry seasoned wood, you should use a peg tooth saw blade that has more uniform teeth similar to a carpenters saw.

Sale
Bahco 51-21 Peg Tooth Hp Bowsaw Blade 21In
  • For cutting dry, seasoned wood, as well as for cross-cutting…
  • Peg tooth.
  • Hardened and tempered high-quality steel.
  • Easier cutting in dry seasoned wood from the Peg toothing
  • Longer lasting performance with the high frequency, induction…

Last update on 2024-04-17 at 06:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bow saw blades are not expensive so ideally, you would be best to get one of each blade that way you can swap it out to best suit the task at hand. A pair of quality blades can be had for under £15, Just be sure to buy the correct length to fit your saw.

How to Maintain a Bow Saw

maintaining your saw should be quite a simple task as they are so simple in design; the only thing really to worry about would be the blade.

Also, check out our article on cleaning a bushcraft saw

Caring for the Blade

To keep your blade in tip-top condition after each use give it a light wipe down with methylated spirits, this will remove any tree sap that has stuck to your blade during use and ensure it cuts with minimal effort.

An extensive build-up of sap on a blade acts like glue and causes the blade to bind up in the log during use.

Oiling your saw

For the most part, oiling does not have to be done all too often with a bow saw. For all of my tool maintenance I like to use ballistol oil (check it out here on Amazon), it’s a great all-round oil and is non-toxic and rubber, plastic, and leather safe. 

Some of the key points to oil on your saw will be:

  • Any pivot points on a folding bow saw
  • Any screw threads or wingnuts (around blade attachment points)
  • After cleaning the blade, apply a very light film of oil to protect it from rusting, preferably rubbed on with a cloth not sprayed directly to the blade. If your saw comes with one, fit the blade guard to prevent the teeth from getting bent or chipped.

How Much Do Bow Saws Weigh?

I found that the average weight of a bowsaw is around 400g give or take 50-100g.

Weight is an issue that often concerns people when thinking of buying a bow saw, i suppose the obvious factor here is the size of saw you choose. Here we will go off an average size of saw of around 24 inches. Having looked at lots of different saws.

Will a Bow Saw Fit in My Backpack?

For the most part, the answer to that will be no due to the size, tho there are a few folding bow saws on the market that will fit into a pack with no problem.

I have included some of the more popular folding bow saw designs below.

Most saws are a solid one-piece design so would need to be strapped to your pack ideally.

What bow saws lack in transport practicality they more than makeup for in cutting performance. So for me, it’s not a problem.

Sale
Bahco 10-24-51 Bowsaw 24In
  • Value for money
  • Good product with good quality
  • Durable
Gerber Freescape Camp Outdoor Folding Bow Saw…
  • Folds down flat without removal of parts
  • Accepts standard 12″ saw blade
  • Rubber overmould Grip
  • four pivot points to maximize useable cutting area
  • Innovative design
Sale
Bahco 332-21-51 Bowsaw 21In
  • 332-21-51 ERGO Bowsaw 530mm (21in)
  • Length: 21 inch
  • Pointed nose
  • Small and handy bow saw for all around use
Coghlans Folding Saw-388901 Folding Saw Black One…
  • The saw blade is stored safely and space-savingly in the aluminum…
  • Suitable for use with commercially available saw blades of this…
  • High quality
  • Easily mounted
Sven Saw 15in
  • Special 60th Anniversary Edition Sven-Saw features the signature…
  • All metal – Crafted from the highest quality materials. Built to…
  • Made in the United States for 60 years!
  • High-visibility red, so you won’t leave it behind
  • Only 11.1 ounces!
Fiskars 21” Bow Saw SW30, Fixed blade, Length:…
  • Log saw for soft wood, Ideal for logs and large branches, For…
  • Firm and comfortable grip thanks to ergonomic handle with finger…
  • Efficient sawing and clean cutting thanks to special teeth, Pull…
  • Long life product thanks to high quality steel blade and durable…
  • Contents: 1x Fiskars 21” Bow Saw SW30, Plastic blade guard…
Black + Decker 21″ Bow Saw + 7.5″ Folding Saw
  • 21” Bow Saw + 7. 5” folding saw
  • Heavy duty tubular steel frame
  • Tempered double cut steel blade
  • Knuckle guard
  • Soft Comfort grip
Bellota 4539-24 – Bow Saw
  • Tubular steel bow frame with special Bellota anchoring system…

Last update on 2024-04-17 at 06:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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