Top 5 Bow Saws for Cutting Firewood Logs
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Cutting logs is a strenuous task, regardless of the tool you use. Whether you’re the type that enjoys cutting logs or not, it’s a job made easier using the right tool.
A great tool for the task of cutting logs (and the topic of this guide) is a bow saw. Saws, as you already know, are made for cutting various materials; ideally wood. Bow saws are a wise choice due to their design.
The frame curves around the blade, leaving plenty of room between the blade and the frame. You need this space in order to cut through large logs.
I was surprised at the lack of information provided by similar buyer’s guides on the internet. Their recommendations are meaningful but misinformed. Most of them disregarded one of the most important aspects of a bow saw, especially for cutting firewood.
Anyway, that’s the purpose of this guide. I’ll show you what to look for in a bow saw and explain why it’s important. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what you need (and why you need it).
Listed directly below this paragraph are the four bows saw I recommend! All four are ideal for cutting logs. After you glance over the saws, continue reading to learn the main parts of a bow saw.
The Parts of a Bow Saw
- Frame / Bow – The sturdy metal or composite frame that holds either side of the blade.
- Handle – The soft, rubber grip is where you hold the bow saw.
- Blade – The blade stretches from one side of the bow saw to the other. It’s the part that cuts the wood.
- Teeth – The teeth are the sharp, cutting edge of the blade.
How to Choose A Bow Saw For Cutting Firewood
In this section, I will explain what to look for in a quality log cutting bow saw. There are only a few things you need to pay attention to. After all, bow saws are fairly simple tools that perform one task; cut wood.
One of the most important aspects of choosing the correct bow saw for cutting firewood logs is the size. The size listed on the bow saw refers to the length of the tool/blade. From the handle to the opposite side of the saw.
The length between the blade and the frame is just as important. Especially for cutting firewood. Firewood is often large, and you need enough distance between the blade and the frame in order to cut through the log!
If you take one thing away from this review, it’s this: make sure the distance between the blade and the frame is adequate for the size of logs you’re cutting.
Just as there are different types of saws, there are different types of blades. Some are meant for cutting hardwood while others are meant for cutting softwood.
A low TPI (Teeth Per Inch) cuts faster than a high TPI. However, the higher the TPI, the smoother the cut will be. High TPI blades are generally used for hardwood or for those who want a cleaner cut.
Lower TPI, between 5 – 7, are used for all types of wood, especially soft or green wood.
Also, there are bow saws that are used to cut other types of material. Things like metal or PVC. These saws will have blades that are completely different and won’t be effective at cutting wood. Be absolutely sure the bow saw you buy has a wood cutting blade!
Rest assured, all the blades and bow saws on this page are meant for cutting trees.
The price is a factor that should always go into your decision. Fortunately, most of the bow saws in this buyer’s guide are reasonably priced.
In this guide, most of the saws cost around $30 or less. They’re sufficient for most situations, provided you take care of the blade. For those of you who might use a bow saw in the woods, while camping or hiking, I’ve added one just for you. It’s a bit pricey, however.
Best Bow Saws for Cutting Logs
Alright, now that you know what to look for in a quality bow saw, I’ll start the review! Listed below are four of the best bow saws for cutting firewood.
Bahco 24″ Bow Saw
The Bahco Bow Saw was created using the scientific ERGO technology for demanding applications and harsh conditions. It is composed of high-quality steel and is rust and corrosion-resistant due to a covering of high-impact enamel paint.
High blade tension (up to 120 KP) and straighter cutting are ensured by the unique tensioning system. The Bahco Bow Saw also comes with a dry wood peg tooth blade and a green wood raker tooth blade, making it ideal for any DIY project.
Furthermore, the ERGO handle with a knuckle guard is designed to provide optimum comfort with minimal effort.
About Bahco: The story of Bahco begins in 1862 when a guy from Sweden built Gohbo Stal, a high-quality steel company; much of the steel was used to make dependable fish hooks. His name was Goran Fredrik Goransson.
Goran used some of his steel to make Bahco saw blades twenty-four years later. To correlate the quality of his saw blades with the already well-known quality of his fish hooks, the saw blades were given a fish and hook trademark.
Bahco was responsible for a number of award-winning designs for tools ranging from screwdrivers to adjustable spanners during the following century.
Nowadays, the Bahco company manufactures a wide range of equipment for the home and garden, the outdoors, and the automobile industry.
This is my #1 recommended budget bow saw. Bahco has an outstanding name in the community for producing some of the finest saws.
Agawa Boreal 24
The Agawa Boreal 24 Bow Saw is a lightweight and portable saw that is ideal for camping, trekking, and hunting. It opens swiftly and simply, has no loose parts, and the blade tensioning system keeps the blade tight at all times.
The high clearance frame makes cutting through large diameter branches simple, and the ergonomic design makes it simple to use. With an anodized aluminum frame and a fiberglass reinforced nylon handle, the saw is also tough.
Perhaps the most notable feature is that it folds up. This, of course, makes it preferable for camping or hiking through the woods. Moreover, storing it in less space is beneficial at home, too.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, one of the most important aspects of using a bow saw for cutting firewood is the distance between the blade and the frame. Too small of a distance and you won’t be able to cut through large logs. This bow saw has plenty of distance.
The Boreal 24 will easily cut through logs 7 to 8 inches in diameter. There are smaller versions but, as they get smaller, so does the size of the logs they’re capable of cutting through.
This is my #1 recommended bow saw overall. However, it is a bit more expensive than the others. The price is well worth it, in my opinion. Especially if you plan to use it for many years to come.
Fiskars 21″ Bow Saw
About Fiskars: In 1649, Fiskars was founded in Finland. They believe that around 63% of all US people possess at least one item manufactured by their firm. Their orange scissors are possibly their most well-known product. To summarize, Fiskars is a forward-thinking corporation with a long history of making high-quality products.
As for their 21″ bow saw, it’s the smaller of the two bow saws in the Fiskars series and is ideal for cutting thicker branches and limbs on trees. It, like the other saws in this line, has a curved snout that allows it to cut in hard-to-reach or challenging places, such as heavily foliaged trees and hedges.
It makes use of ‘planar toothing,’ which allows the saw to cut while both pushing and pulling. Finally, it comes with a plastic shield to protect the blade while carrying.
You can find these in many department stores or online for a reasonable bargain. They’re well equipped for cutting firewood or trimming branches around the yard.
Truper 30″ Bow Saw
The Truper 30″ Bow Saw is the longest one in this review. It has a steel tube frame with a moderately comfortable grip.
The price is comparable to its competitors. Its best selling point is the cam-level tension system. A common issue for bow saws is that the tensioning system doesn’t keep the blade tight. This is arguably the only job a bow saw has – holding the blade tight. Truper’s bow saw does it well.
My opinion is that the blade isn’t fantastic. The reason is that it’s not very effective for hardwood, which is what most people burn in their stoves. Since this post is all about the best bow saw for cutting logs (ie, firewood), the blade should be fitting for cutting hardwood.
As for the Truper brand, you’ve likely seen their tools in department stores. They’re priced competitively and usually good enough to get the job done. The value you get is worth the price you pay. If you’re looking for something with a bit higher quality, you’ll have to pay more.
All around, it’s a decent choice but I recommend the Bahco bow saw if you’re looking for a budget option.
Tips For Making Your Bow Saw Blades Last Longer
Saw blades can become dull when left uncleaned. Dirt from the tree and sawdust coat the blade and when you let it sit in the garage all year, the blade quickly wears out, especially if it is wet.
This is why most saws work great the first time you use them but a year later, when you dust it off, it doesn’t work very well. So, what’s the solution?
Perhaps the best way to store your bow saw is to first wipe off the blade and then spray it with some WD40, which helps prevent rust. Store it in a dry location and you should be good to go. Featured photo by Roman_23203 @ Adobe Stock.
TLDR; Which Bow Saw is Best For Cutting Logs?
Selecting the best bow saw for cutting logs isn’t difficult once you know what you need. I recommend a long bow saw with plenty of distance between the blade and the frame. Having distance between the blade and frame is important for cutting through logs with a large diameter.
Another important aspect is the blade and how many teeth it has per inch (TPI/Teeth Per Inch). Lower TPI blades are best for free wood and cut faster while higher TPI blades cut slower and smoother, and are preferable for hardwood.
Out of all the bow saws reviewed in this guide, I recommend the Bahco 24″ Bow Saw or the Boreal Agawa 24″. Bahco’s saw is certainly cheaper but well suited for cutting logs. The Boreal Agawa 24 is the best of the best. It’s the most expensive for a reason. It’s made from high-quality materials and has a nice folding design.
Your article was quite good. Some of the newer Electric Chainsaws come with amazingly strong batteries and will work significantly better than older ones. I like a smaller electric chainsaw when working on limbs up in a tree.
As to splitting mauls… I have had a “Monster Maul” for about 50 years. Until about two years ago I used it to split up hundreds of trees for firewood. I have cut down many trees for neighbors and their friends. That Monster Maul weighs 16 pounds. Yes, it is a heavy… but I seldom need more the one strike to split wood. Although recently I had to split some elm and some hickory that was kicking my butt. I bought a 27 Ton gas-powered hydraulic log splitter and am now a big believer. Just a couple days ago I helped a neighbor/friend split a truckload of elm logs he had been given. Can’t imagine being able to do that with any axe or maul. I am 74 years old and do this for fun. Thanks again for your great posting.