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Best Survival Saw

Last Updated: January 21, 2020
Terry Daine
Product Review by Terry Daine

A survival saw is a valuable addition to any survival kit.

Pocket chainsaws can be lifesavers, literally.

If you’re a hiker, prepper or survivalist, or if you spend a lot of time with nature, you’ll probably find yourself needing to add one of these to your survival kit.

If you’re on the hunt for firewood or want to clear your path, the best survival saw will have you sorted in seconds.

A good survival saw will be able to cut through large chunks of wood while being incredibly lightweight and compact.

If you’ve never used a pocket saw before, you simply wrap the chain around a branch, grab the handles and pull back and forth.

Our Reviews
1

Portable Hand Chainsaw

This 36” pocket chainsaw is resistant to water and extreme temperatures. The length of this allows you to keep a safe distance from the branch while you’re cutting it while using long strokes at the same time,

Perfect for garden use or use in the wilderness, this pocket saw won’t let you down.

This product comes equipped with a paracord bracelet, a carry bag and a pair of gloves. For under $20, this product is excellent value for money.

The gloves will help prevent splinters on your hands when handling your chopped wood and bark.

The magnesium fire starter contains everything you need to get a fire going, so if you’re camping and need to get a flame going, you’re all set with this in your survival kit.

Just hold the two super durable handles, pull the body of the chainsaw, and saw back and forth until the wood glides off.

Pros

  • Super sharp saw teeth
  • Gloves and paracord bracelet included
  • Budget friendly

Cons

  • Basic design
2

Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw

This survival saw features a 36” chain made from heat-treated steel. According to the brand, you can cut through a 3” tree branch in less than 10 seconds with this bi-directional saw.

It can take a lot of effort to use a chainsaw manually, and a lot of strength. The Sportsman brand have considered this when making this saw, as it offers a quicker and smoother cut that a lot of other survival saws on the market.

When the teeth inevitably need re-sharpening, you can sharpen the teeth using a regular 5/32 chainsaw file with ease.

The rugged handles are heavy-duty, which is great for durability.

The product also comes with a tough nylon front snap storage pouch and a belt loop.

You can purchase this great piece of equipment for under $20, which is a fantastic investment.

The brand, Sportsman, offers all customers a 100% iron-clad lifetime guarantee, so if you’re not happy with it, Sportsman have you covered.

Pros

  • Firestarter included
  • Comes with heavy duty case
  • Strong and durable
  • Handles have metal brackets

Cons

  • Grips can be slightly uncomfortable
3

Nordic Pocket Saw Original

Nordic Pocket Saw is a company dedicated to providing you with the best of the best pocket saws. The company started in Sweden in 2015, and now their products are sold in over 30 countries.

The 65cm chain is treated with high carbon steel and has 33 bidirectional teeth which ensure maximum performance when in use.

According to lab tests, the chain can withstand a force 20 times stronger than a human can achieve at normal use.

For best use, make sure the chain is cleaned and lubricated when needed with chainsaw oil.

If the teeth need sharpening, you can use a 4mm round file.

The tough nylon handles are extra large and give you a super-secure grip, even when wet.

This is perfect if you come across a fallen tree, or need to cut wood to create a bonfire.

Pros

  • Double cutting teeth on every major link
  • Can withstand a force 20x stronger than a human can achieve
  • Choice of three colors

Cons

  • Not budget friendly
4

Loggers Art Gens Survival Pocket Saw

The Loggers Art Gens Survival Pocket Saw boasts an impressive 48” chain, with 50% more blades than most market chains.

As this chainsaw doesn’t come with gloves, it’s recommended to bring some gloves with you when using this project to prevent injury.

The heavy-duty cross-stitched handle is super durable and has a rough exterior which will prevent slippage.

You can easily cut and prepare wood with this tool, and the wood can be easily ignited with the conveniently included 8mm magnesium fire starter.

The last thing you need as part of your survival kit is a heavy object weighing your bag down, and that won’t be an issue with the lightweight and flexible design.

At only 11.4 ounces, this is one of the more lightweight chainsaws out there.

Pros

  • 48" Chain
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 50% more blades than most market chains

Cons

  • No gloves included
5

SOS Gear Pocket Chainsaw and Fire Starter

SOS Gear Pocket Chainsaw and Fire Starter is worth your attention.

It will take you around 30 seconds to cut a 5-inch wide tree using this tool – and it conveniently fits in a pocket or any survival kit.

The product is constructed of high strength steel treated alloy, which resists rust and corrosion.

Even if you’re not too strong, keep at it and these razor-sharp teeth will cut through the wood in no time.

The 24” chain is superior to cable, wire and rope saws – and all you need is manpower.

After every use, make sure you clean any leaves, twigs or debris from the teeth, and wipe it clean.
To ensure a long lifetime, it’s best to periodically give the teeth a good oiling.

Don’t worry about the handles slipping from your grasp – the super-strong ballistic nylon straps are extremely secure.

Also included with this product is a whistle, compass, and firestarter – perfect for any survival situation you may find yourself in.

Pros

  • Included whistle and compass
  • Durable
  • Ballistic nylon handles

Cons

  • Not as many teeth on the chain as others available on the market

How to Pick the Best Survival Saw

There’s plenty to take into account when deciding which saw is best for you, and this guide should help you make an informed decision.

Size

For any survival situation, compact designs and smaller sizes are essential. The last thing you need while trekking through the wilderness is a huge saw weighing you down.

You want a compact, lightweight saw that can easily fit in any survival kit.

The length of a chainsaw can determine how thick a log it can cut through.

For example, it’s a lot easier to cut through smaller branches with a smaller saw, and a bigger saw will comfortably cut through large logs.

You can get a smaller design that’s around 26 inches. The smaller saws are more useful for everyday situations, as they require a bit more manpower to cut through thick chunks of wood.

For more heavy-duty usage, you may want to consider choosing a larger saw. Some of the larger designs can be around 50 inches, and as it’s essentially just a chain, it won’t take up much room in your survival kit.

Blade

A chainsaw with dull, weak blades is just a useless piece of metal. You should opt for super-sharp teeth made of quality metal.

A lot of blades are made using heat-treated steel, which is perfect for survival situations. Heating the steel ensures that it’s super durable, and won’t snap on you while you’re halfway through a trunk.

For a faster cut, you may want to go for a chainsaw with bi-directional cutting teeth.

The number of teeth on a saw can affect the speed of the cut too – and the more teeth the saw has, the longer it’s going to be.

You want your saw to last a lifetime, so you may want to consider how you’re going to keep the teeth sharp. Most survival saws on the market can be sharpened easily with a file, but make sure you check how easy they sharpen. Heavier duty metals may have to be sharpened by a professional.

Comfort

Nylon is the material that most survival saw handles are made from. The handles are the only part of the product you’ll actually come into contact with while using it.You just grip the handles and pull from side to side.

Although rough handles are ideal so you don’t slip and cause injury, they aren’t the most comfortable. You want to find a good balance between comfort and practicality.

A super rough material could potentially cause blisters or burns when using it, so you have to consider the material that the handles are made of before you decide.

Extras

Most survival saws have free add ons included.

Your purchase will most likely come with a case. You want the case to be made of a strong material that won’t wear down with time.

The case should also be pocket-size – but obviously big enough to contain the saw and protect you from the sharp teeth when you’re rummaging through your bag.

Firestarters are extremely useful in any survival situation. If you’re using the saw to chop some wood for a fire, and your product comes with a firestarter, that’s perfect – you’re all set.

Another thing that may be included in your purchase is an emergency whistle. This is great if you’re in a forest and need to quickly draw attention to yourself or to find a friend.

Compasses can sometimes be included in your pocket saw case too. This is one of the necessities if you’re wandering through the wilderness with no GPS.

Recap

There are plenty of options to choose from when searching for the best survival saw. To prepare for any survival situation, you need a good quality, lightweight pocket saw that can cut through wood like butter.

The Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw comes out on top for us as the best survival saw. This high rated saw brings a lot to the table and gets the job done.

Ideal for cutting larger chunks of wood, this saw is longer than most on the market with a 36-inch blade. The longer blade ensures more leverage, reach and versatility.

The handles are also super durable, so you can cut easy knowing that the handles won’t snap on you.

The bi-directional teeth cut in both directions for a faster and easier cut and is also self-cleaning, so you don’t need to keep brushing off the sawdust.

This is the best survival saw for many reasons, and it gets the job done for an affordable price.

You’ll certainly be surviving in the wilderness with this pocket saw.

Do you have a favorite survival saw? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to give us a share.

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