How to Choose The Right Bow Saw

Are you trimming shrubs in the yard or looking for a saw that can handle larger wood-cutting chores? Do you need something small and backpackable or a saw that’s super rugged? Here are some key features to consider when choosing a great bow saw

foggy forest
A good bow saw is critical equipment for clearing shooting lanes and brush from where you hunt.Nicolai Durbaum via Unsplash

Bow saws have been in use since ancient times and they’re still popular today. Why? Because they work. These saws will handle everything from trimming mid-sized branches that might obscure the view from your deer stand to cutting larger logs for firewood. Because they’re hand tools, bow saws are very safe and because there is no noisy engine to worry about you can trim around deer stands or along trails without spooking deer. You’ll also get a little workout in while you’re sawing. Here are some key things to consider before you buy a bow saw.

Best for Pruning

Bond Bow Saw
This 21-inch model is perfect for pruning trees and blades can be replaced in seconds.Amazon

The pointed tip on a triangle-style bow saw makes it a perfect choice if you need to prune shrubs or limbs in a really tight space. Smaller, folding versions are a popular choice for backpackers or hunters headed into more remote areas that don't want to haul a full-size bow saw in with them.

Great for Firewood

Great Neck Bow Saw
This 24-inch saw features a chrome-alloy frame for strength yet it weighs just over a pound so it’s lightweight and easy to wield.Amazon

If you're looking for a good handsaw for cutting firewood or felling small trees, a traditional C- or bow-shaped saw will serve you well. Look for sturdy, alloy frames that are large enough to allow two-handed sawing.

For Big Jobs

Bahco Bow Saw
This model will protect your knuckles and it has a great blade-tension system to help ensure straight cuts.Amazon

You'll want to consider a 30-inch bow saw for larger jobs like tree felling or cutting larger logs up to 12 inches in diameter. Bashed knuckles are no fun. Models that include a knuckle guard will keep hands protected. Make sure you know whether the saw you select comes with a blade made for cutting green wood or one for dry wood, so you get the blade best suited for your needs.