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A good, durable camp saw

Sven Saw

Q. Hey Gear Guy,

I want to buy a camp saw that will really last. Something that can take a beating. It doesn’t need to be lightweight for packing since we usually drive to our campsites.

Any suggestions?

– Lumberjack Tyler, Mundelein, Illinois

A. I have just the thing for you, Tyler: the Sven-Saw. It’s a foldable saw that’s well-made, durable and capable of cutting a log 6 inches in diameter. I know you said you don’t care about it being lightweight, but it is totally packable and weighs less than 1 pound. It comes in 15-inch and 21-inch versions ($35–$37, For a solid, budget-friendly solution, check out the BSA Folding Saw in your local Scout shop ($15,

Now that you know which camp saw to get, don’t forget the principles of LEAVE NO TRACE and minimizing campfire impacts:

  • Standing trees, dead or alive, are home to birds and insects, so leave them intact. Fallen trees also provide bird and animal shelter, increase water-holding capacity of the soil and recycle nutrients back into the environment through decomposition.
  • Stripping branches from standing or fallen trees also detracts from an area’s natural appearance.
  • Avoid using hatchets and saws or breaking branches off standing or downed trees. Use dead and downed wood, which burns easily and is easy to collect.
  • Use small pieces of wood, no larger than the diameter of an adult wrist, that can be broken with your hands.
  • Gather wood over a wide area away from camp to avoid depleting the wood supply and to let nutrients return to the soil. Along rivers and seashores, use dry driftwood.

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3 Comments on A good, durable camp saw

  1. I always use a wire saw. Efficient, lightweight, and useful.

  2. I use a folding pruning saw that I got in the garden tool section at Lowe’s. It looks like a gigantic pocket knife with a saw blade that locks in place. Mine has an 18″ blade; though I’ve seen longer and shorter. I have seen the exact same thing in the camping section but they’re more expensive; go figure. Every hardware and camping store I’ve been in carries them. I like that It folds and that the wider blade doesn’t twist.

  3. Chas the bear // October 30, 2014 at 12:19 pm // Reply

    One of the best saws I have ever used, have had mine for 20 years.

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