Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Hand Saw

A folding, lockable saw chews through wood with power and precision.

A quality folding hand saw works like a charm for nearly any cutting task. It prunes a shrub or small tree with a clean cut and helps clear away branches and twigs. When it comes time to stack firewood for a cheery campfire, a strong folding hand saw is a handy camp companion. But you have to be wise about what you’re buying. Here are three things to consider when shopping for a hand saw.

Easy to Handle

This cutter has an ergonomic grip for safe use. Corona

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Match the folding saw to the job you’re tackling. A short, compact folding saw is convenient, but saws with blades in the 6- to 7-inch long-range limit you to cutting small branches no more than 4-inches in diameter. You won’t use a folding hand saw to fell a standing tree but think about the size of the limbs and branches you plan to cut and choose an appropriately sized blade.

For Any Cutting Job

This 14.5-inch long blade provides greater reach and cutting efficiency. Silky

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Properly engineered saw teeth cut wood while also cleaning the cut (called the “kerf”) of sawdust so the tool can work efficiently with each stroke. The better the sawtooth design cuts on both the pull and the push motion, the faster it works through the wood. Some sawblades have a friction-reducing coating and/or slightly curved blades that help the teeth stay in contact with the wood, reducing the time and effort required to finish a cut.

Easy to Carry

This tool packs down to 9.5 inches and extends to 17-inches long. Home Planet Gear

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Folding hand saws are convenient because of their packability, but a folding saw is only as good as the locking mechanism that keeps the blade from closing when it shouldn’t.