Best Ultralight Backpacking Saws: Cut Out the Weight


Camping is all about cutting out what you don’t need and getting back to basics, just like a good ultralight saw. Time out in nature is good for us, plus it helps train people for survival even when they don’t realize it. Sadly, a huge, unwieldy pack will bog you down and get hung up on trees. Ultralight backpacking isn’t for everyone. Regardless, there’s always an excellent way to minimize the weight. Carrying an ultralight saw is ideal for getting firewood, and plenty of other survival uses. Hopefully, you’ll only ever need yours for enjoyment, but learning how to use an ultralight saw before you need it is essential. I’ll explain why you need to ditch your heavy saws and how to get the most out of your ultralight.


Go Ultralight, More Than Saws

Since saws are made from mostly metal, they’re one of the heavier items you might need, but ultralight saws help reduce the drag on your back muscles when you’re backpacking. Naturally, when you start by swapping out that saw, trading an extra pound of heavy metal for a ten to sixteen-ounce blade cuts half the weight. While you’re at it, reduce the excess pounds anywhere else that you can.

Simply trade your heavy frame for a smaller pack and a lighter sleeping bag. Then, consider swapping your classic tent for a light hammock or a tarp and some paracord. If it’s not winter, you can trade pounds and blisters for a lightfooted stride and more chances to enjoy the scenery.

Overpacking might not seem like such a big deal when you first get into emergency preparedness. Sadly, feeling like you don’t have enough is folly. Meanwhile, learning to work with what you’ve got and be happy with less is a great bonus skill.


Styles of Ultralight Saw

There are three main types of ultralight saw for backpacking, and they all have their advantages. First, the pocket-knife folding style is a more heavy-duty version of the ultralight. Secondly, you can choose a minimal frame and a skinny blade that typically folds out to form a triangle. Finally, there’s the blade and sheath option.

Folding-knife style ultralight saws are a more accessible style. The blades range in size, but seven to ten inches is relatively standard. Resultantly, a longer blade is going to be more substantial. However, the foldable style shields the blade edges just like your folding pocket knife, but larger.

For less weight, you can opt for the genuinely minimal frame style. A series of interlocking bars and a blade about as thick as your thumb will also saw through a branch. When you trade the weight of a thicker blade, you get a much thinner blade. Hence you should cut carefully, so you don’t break the saw blade.

The option of carrying a fixed blade in a sheath can also help you cut the excess weight. A light sheath won’t add as much to your load as more metal. Moreover, cutouts along the blade mean less metal to lug around. Any one of the three styles can be incredibly useful so long as you choose high-quality materials.


Top Five Best Ultralight Backpacking Saws

Choosing your ultralight saw style for backpacking should depend on two things. First, how thick do you want the blade? If you’re prone to going hard on your equipment and breaking parts, a more substantial, wide saw is best for you. However, the thin-bladed triangle frame style is better if you have a more gentle touch.

The second consideration is comfort. Some people do well with the thin triangle framed blades. Otherwise, a firmer, thicker handle suits those with larger hands. Always choose survival gear that you will feel right using.

1. Silky Professional Series PocketBoy

What makes the Silky Professional Series PocketBoy stand out above similar options is the locking positions. Most similar folding pocket-knife style saws open and lock. That’s fine, but also incredibly basic. However, the PocketBoy has two secure open locked positions.

Versatility is as important as weight and portability in an ultralight saw. With a six and three-quarter-inch blade, the PocketBoy is the most compact and most comfortable to carry ultralight saw on our list. Additionally, the taper-ground, hard chrome-plated, taper-ground impulse-hardened blade will saw through obstacles in a way that gives up to the Silky name.

The saw teeth are unique and highly functional. A non-set tooth design helps get through the most robust wood. Moreover, the seven-per-inch large teeth make this saw small but mighty. Better yet, the Silky Professional Series PocketBoy comes with a clear carrying case that has a belt clip. So you don’t need to waste any space in your pockets or pack to carry this incredible ultralight backpacking saw.

Check the Amazon reviews for the PocketBoy here.

2. Sven Folding Saw

The first triangle style ultralight folding saw on our list is the Sven Folding Saw. At less than fourteen ounces, this saw adds less than a pound to your overall pack. More importantly, it’s slender, which might mean easy to lose, but the Sven is safety red. You won’t leave this slim saw behind when you can find it so quickly.

With the unique design of this saw, you can adjust and lock down the blade at almost any angle. However, once folded, you can hang this sleek saw off a belt or pack easily with its convenient carrying loop.

Don’t let the name fool you. The Sven Folding Saw from Amazon has been made in the USA for over sixty years now. So you get a superb, adjustable, easy to locate and carry saw, plus you can feel good about helping keep local people employed.

Select your Sven right here.

3. Samurai 13” Heavy Duty Saw

The Samurai 13″ Heavy Duty Saw is the only non-folding saw to make our list. Surprisingly, the Samurai weighs in at a mere thirteen point eight ounces. Hence it’s easily as light as many saws that are called ultralight. However, this durable saw is designed for arborists.

Instead of a more breakable thin saw blade or a short knife-folding style, you can carry a full-sized professional tree cutter’s blade. The Samurai brings the best of lightweight, wickedly sharp teeth, and standard blade size together in a surprisingly light package.

You’ll love the ergonomic handle. A pistol grip style means less pain in your hands if you need to do a lot of cutting to clear your campsite. Additionally, the curved blade and four-millimeter tooth pitch make easy work out of branches.

Although the Samurai 13″ Heavy Duty Saw isn’t the smallest ultralight saw, you’ll find that it makes up for size with a superb carrying case. You can keep the rigid case on your belt or easily attach it to the outside of your pack. However, at just over nineteen inches long, including handle, you can also slip the Samurai inside most bags with no trouble.

Learn more about the superb Samurai here.

4. Coghlans Folding Saw

For a sixteen-ounce saw, the Coghlans Folding Saw from Amazon is surprisingly large. A twenty-one-inch long blade will take on larger branches than most ultralight options. A longer blade means more uses, which is a vital bonus in some circumstances.

If you need to get past a fallen tree, this long-bladed ultralight saw is more useful than most. Better yet, it can hold extra blades. Although that will add a few ounces, backup saws could make all the difference in a survival situation.

Hopefully, you’ll never be trapped under a tree. However, if you’re alone in the woods, and help isn’t coming, a long, light saw like the Coghlans Folding Saw might be the piece of gear that saves your life.

To choose Coghlans, click here.

5. Kershaw Taskmaster Folding Saw (2555X)

Sturdy and durable, yet light is precisely what you need in an ultralight backpacking saw. At a mere three-point-five-two ounce, the Kershaw Taskmaster Folding Saw will surprise you. Its high carbon steel blade is seven inches long, which is more than enough to get through most obstacles.

Clear out a campsite, or cut wood for a fire faster. The glass-filled nylon handle is textured for a better grip. Plus, it’s reinforced for strength where you need it most. Kershaw is known for its durable products, and this is no exception.

Whether you’re fighting for your life and you grabbed your pack to bug-out, or merely pruning some hedges, the Kershaw Taskmaster Folding Saw is a solid choice. You’ll get plenty of everyday use out of this ingenious small saw. However, it also makes an outstanding option for crucial SHTF situations.

Have your Kershaw shipped from Amazon by clicking here.


Final Thoughts

A high-quality ultralight saw is more than merely a blade for hacking at trees. You can use it to split wood, and slice through paracord or belts in an emergency. You don’t need weight and bulk as much as you need a keen, flexible blade.

Sturdiness, durability is also essential. You need a solid, reliable handle for a good grip. Additionally, you should be able to unfold your tool easily, but once it’s open, you want to make sure it locks firmly in place. Pinching your fingers or fighting your blade isn’t useful.

Choose the saw that fits your hand best. Working with tools you’re comfortable handling will help you, whether it’s an ultralight saw, or anything else.

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