Folding saws for camping and trail clearing. Essential gear or one of those things that will simply sit on your rig forever and never get used?
Folding saws for camping and overlanding are essential if you come up against obstacles on the trail such as fallen trees or branches. A folding saw is also an important tool to have when you are wild camping and need to process wood for the fire.
A folding saw is part of our own EDC kit in the 4×4, it takes up little space and has become vitally important since we began prepping for the winter. In fact the original saw we purchased back in 2021 has been joined by another folding saw as it has had so much abuse its time is nearly up.
Why you need a camping saw
Trail clearing: We have been in the position where we’ve had to clear the trail on several occasions, usually following a storm. Having a saw in the vehicle makes is easy to clear the trail ahead in order to continue on your route and perhaps gain some firewood at the same time.
Overhead branches: Another situation we’ve come across as we do a lot of woodland driving is low branches that need to be cut, usually they are already dead and can potentially cause expensive damage. Adding roof bars, the Rhino Rack awning and gun case has raised the height of the vehicle and while the recovery boards and rifle case are tough the awning case could rip if it became snagged.
Firewood: Okay so maybe not crucial as a fire can be managed without cutting wood but if you want to keep minimal and have a small fire then your saw is going to come in very handy for cutting smaller sized logs and kindling.
What size saw do I need?
There is no answer to this as it depends on what size wood you will be cutting. For smaller branches then a smaller saw will suffice, but if you want to play it safe then a bigger saw will never come in wrong. We also carry a bow saw in the Shogun which does the heavy work and the small folding saw for lopping off branches.
A 21 – 24cm blade is your typical ‘average’ blade length which is a good solution in most situations
Folding saws for camping come in a range of sizes, the bigger they are the more money you need to spend but there are some good budget options out there too. A 21 – 24cm blade is your typical ‘average’ blade length which is a good solution in most situations unless your route is blocked by a fallen 200 year old spruce of course.
Cheap saw vs brand name [Silky]
Our budget ‘Ezengear’ folding saw came in at a shade under €20,00 and it has been a top performer. Really, this saw is brilliant at what it does and it has suffered a whole load of abuse so it’s been €20,00 euros well spent and we highly recommend it as a budget alternative.
Later on we invested in a Silky saw, a name that needs no introduction – if you’ve been researching folding saws, saws for bushcraft, overlanding etc then you will have come across the Silky brand and there is one reason for this and that is that Silky saws are very, very good.
You get what you pay for with a Silky. The model we settled on was the pocketboy in the shorter 130mm length, a small folding saw that does the job we need it to and easliy stowable in the Shogun, in a back pack or in the pocket, this thing is brilliant.
You can tell immediately that the Silky is superior in quality, the grip is better, the weight is reassuring, the blade mechanism solid and the cut is like a dream. Larger Silky saws like the ‘Gomboy’ are the nearest comparison to our budget model when it comes to size, each have a 21cm blade [Gomboy’s come in several sizes] and the Silky is twice the price. Yeah, €40,00 for a folding saw is getting right up there but you will know where your money has gone as soon as you start using it.
Our experience is this: If you are looking for something so keep in the 4×4 as part of your tools list or EDC gear then we’d go for a Silky or similar premium brand, you have the peace of mind of good reliable gear that is less likely to fail compared to cheaper off brand saws.
If you are doing a lot of cutting like we do then then you have two approaches – buy a couple of cheaper brand saws for ‘throw away’ purposes, saws like the Ezengear mentioned above perform very well for their price point and you don’t have to worry about them. Alternatively get yourself a premim Silky and you have a saw which is sharper, quicker and providing it’s looked after well, will stand the test of time – the key is being mindful that you need to take more care of it compared to a cheaper ‘throw away’ job, it all depends on the tasks you will be using it for and the frequency of those tasks.
It is also worth noting that replacement blades are available for Silky saws. The perfect solution, and one that we have ended up with is to have one of each. The old budget saw still lops off branches like a beast, it’s covered in resin and the blade stuck in one position but it still works.
The Silky is for more refined, cleaner work, a joy to use and a saw we have with us all the time both overlanding and camping/hiking.