Folding Hand Saw

Best Folding Hand Saws for Trimming Branches

A hand saw is a great tool for removing tree branches, “limbing” felled trees, pruning, and more. A folding hand saw is even better; they can be used for the same things but they’re safer to transport. Also, they’re not very expensive ($20 – $40). Whether you need it for bushcraft, camping, forestry, or pruning, a folding hand saw is perfect; stick it in your pocket or backpack and forget about it until you need it.

The focus of this page is not which tool is best for certain people; woodsmen, campers, survivalists, hikers, etc. That’s kind of pointless, in my opinion. The folding hand saws I’m going to discuss on this page are more than capable of fulling the task of trimming branches; whether you’re pruning at home or out camping makes no difference.

Having said that, the focus of this page is to go over three folding saws which are considered the best of the best. Should you decide to get one of them, you won’t be disappointed. They’re some of the highest rated tools in their category and not surprisingly, each one as its own group of cult-like followers claiming their favorite is the best. By now you’re probably wondering what they are so I’ve taken the liberty of listing them directly below this paragraph.

Image Length Weight Name
Silky Gomboy 11.5″ 15.2 oz Silky Gomboy
Corona Razor Tooth 12″ 12.8 oz Corona Razor Tooth
Bahco Laplander 9″ 14.1 oz Bahco Laplander

My Pick for the Best Folding Saw

Silky Gomboy

The Silky Gomboy is my #1 recommended folding hand saw. Click here to check the current price on Amazon →

It costs almost twice as much as the other saws on this list (around $40) but the Gomboy is worth every penny. The blade is incredibly well-made, allowing it to saw through branches effortlessly. The impulse hardened teeth stay sharp up to three times longer than an average blade, too. The rubber grip is both comfortable and sturdy. All Silky saws have exceptions reviews across the board and the Gomboy is no different.

How to Choose a Folding Hand Saw

When selecting a folding saw there are a few things to consider before making your decision. The TPI or “Teeth Per Inch” measures the number of teeth. This plays a factor in how well the saw blade cuts certain types of wood; soft, hardwood, wet or dry, etc. Length also playing an important role. The longer the blade the more cutting surface you have. With that, you’re able to cut a little more wood with each stroke. There is a downside, though, but I’ll cover that below. Finally, if the saw is impulse hardened it will affect whether or not you can sharpen it with a normal file. I’ll go over each of these in greater detail in the paragraphs below.

TPI is the number of teeth per inch. It’s a common term for all saws and it’s important because the TPI determines how easily the blade will cut through various types of wood. Below is a list of the common TPI blades and what they’re most effective at cutting.

  • 5 – 6 TPI (large/coarse) good for pruning and cutting green wood
  • 7 – 10 TPI (medium) good for softwood
  • 11 + TPI (fine) best for hardwood

The length of the blade makes one of the biggest differences. The longer the blade the more cutting surface there is to slice through tree branches. Sure, you can put a lot of effort into moving a small blade quickly and it will cut fast but a longer blade makes it easier to cut fast. That’s not the whole case, though.

This pertains to folding saws; having a longer blade means you’ll also have a longer handle because the blade folds into the handle. Those long handles make the saw awkward to control. You can use two hands and that works great so long as you don’t need one hand for something else. If you need to hold the saw with one hand while holding a tree limb with your other hand, a large handle will make the entire process more difficult. In this example, a bigger blade is not the better option. I mentioned this because it’s easy to see a large folding saw and think “bigger is better” only to realize they’re not as easy to use as the smaller versions.

An impulse hardened saw blade stays sharp for up to three times longer than one that is not. Having said that, they’re also more difficult to sharpen when they finally dull. Perhaps the reason these saws are impulse hardened is that their patterns are difficult to sharpen. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s great it stays sharp for so long but it sucks you can’t easily sharpen the saw when you need to.

This is a problem with the saw begins to dull. It’s basically worthless. Luckily the brands selling the saws offer replacement blades at a reasonable price. They usually cost around half the price of the entire saw but the price varies depending on the brand.

For those of you who are interested, impulse hardening is the process of heating and cooling the blade with impact energy. It’s heated and cooled within thousandths of seconds and the outcome results in a blade hardened above the standard Rockwell C hardness scale. The teeth become hard to sharpen but they hold an edge longer.

Top 3 Folding Hand Saws Reviewed

In this section, I’ll go into greater detail on each folding hand saw. I’ll discuss the pros and cons as well as give you some information and background on the companies selling them.

Silky Gomboy Hand Saw

Silky Gomboy

Silky has earned a reputation for being the best-made saws in the world. When discussing any hand saw and especially folding hand saws, silky take the gold (in my opinion). Their attention to detail and innovation have produced a device that cuts through wood effortlessly.

The story of the Silky company begins in Kishi, Japan in 1919. Mr. Katsuji Miyawaki developed the original brand  “Tamakitsune.” Through his hard work and innovation, he developed his company into what it is today. The “Gomtaro” and “Gomboy” were introduced in 1985 with rubber handles for which the company was awarded the Japanese Good-Design prize. They set the industry standard and to this day, they continue to lead the way.

As for this particular folding hand saw, the Gomboy, it’s nothing short of amazing. It’s designed to cut wood on the pull as opposed to the push, which helps slice through branches with little effort. It comes with either small, medium, or large tooth options. Like I mentioned earlier, that has to do with the TPI or teeth per inch. Large or medium will do well in pruning and cutting tree limbs while the small or “fine” blade is best for hardwood. As for the rubber handle, well, it’s made for comfort.

The blade is made from SK4 high carbon steel and it is impulse hardened. Again, this means you cannot sharpen the saw with an ordinary file but it also means the blades will last nearly three times as long before dulling. Silky offer replacement blades so you don’t have to buy a whole new saw each time the blade dulls.

  • Weight: 15.2 oz
  • Length: 11.5 inches
  • TPI: (3 sizes) large 5 – 6, medium 8.5, fine 12
  • Impulse hardened: Yes
  • Can you purchase replacement blades: Yes
  • Safety Lock: Yes

With hundreds of positive reviews, the Silky Gomboy is a tool you can trust. Whether you’re taking it camping or pruning some trees around the house; it’s more than capable and it’s my #1 recommended folding hand saw. The medium TPI blade option is a great place to start.

Corona Razor Tooth Folding Saw

Corona Razor Tooth

The Corona Razor Tooth is another popular folding saw with a cult-like following. Its ergonomic handle makes it easy to use and a four-step manufacturing process ensures friction reduction and durability.

Corona is a manufacturer in the lawn and garden, landscape, construction, and agriculture industries. They were founded in 1920 and have been producing quality tools for professionals and consumers ever since.

As for why this folding saw has so many fans? Well, it’s curved blade allows you to cut from the tip to the base with little effort; the Razor Tooth only cuts during the pull. This allows for less effort and more cutting force. It has a nice polymer plastic grip handle and the contour is designed in a way which is easy to hold. Some folding saws are cumbersome and awkward to grip; not this one.

  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Length: 12 inches
  • TPI: 6
  • Impulse hardened: Yes
  • Can you purchase replacement blades: Yes
  • Safety Lock: Yes

The blade is made from SK5 high carbon steel and the teeth are impulse hardened, so it will stay sharp for a long time. When the blade finally wears out, Corona offers replacement blades; either get the replacement blades or simply buy a whole new saw. Also, you can choose from an 8 or 10-inch blade.

Finally, the Corona Razor Tooth has hundreds of positive reviews, leaving the average rating right around 9 out of 10. Don’t just take my word for it; nearly every review you read about this folding saw is positive. The price is right around $25 at nearly half the cost of the Silky Gomboy.

Bahco Laplander Folding Saw

Bahco Laplander

The Bahco Laplander is a pruning saw popular among survivalists and bushcraft fans. It, like the Silky and Corona, is a tool well worth the money you’ll spend on it. You can get them or around $25 which makes it slightly more expensive than the Corona but less than the Silky.

As for Bahco, their story begins in 1862 with a man by the name of Goran Fredrik Goransson. He founded Gohbo Stal, a high-quality steel company in Sweden; much of the steel was used to craft reliable fish hooks. Twenty-four years later, Goran used some of his steel to produce Bahco saw blades. The saw blades were given a fish and hook trademark to associate the quality of his saw blades with the already well-known quality of his fish hooks.

Over the course of the next one hundred years, Bahco was responsible for a number of award-winning designs for tools ranging from screwdrivers to adjustable spanners. Nowadays the Bahco company makes a vast assortment of tools in the home and garden, outdoors, and automotive industry.

As for this say, the Laplander; there is a reason so many people love it. It has a comfortable design with a rubber grip and a 7.5-inch blade with 7 TPI. Some added features of the Laplander are the specially coated blade, meant for reducing friction while adding protection against rust. Also, it has a safety lock feature and comes with a leather strap. Here are the specs for the Laplander.

  • Weight: 7 oz
  • Length: 11.8 inches
  • TPI: 7
  • Can you purchase replacement blades: Yes
  • Safety Lock: Yes

This is a general purpose saw, meant for cutting a variety of wood. From pruning to sawing green or dry wood. The Bahco Laplander costs about $25 online.

Conclusion

A folding hand saw can accomplish many tasks. Whether you’re going camping or need it for general yard work around the house. All three of the saws listed above excel in these areas. I’ve chosen the Silky Gomboy as my personal favorite but the truth is, the Bahco and Corona just as capable and they cost less. The point I want to get across is that these three are the best in the business. They stand head and shoulder above the competition.

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