10 Best Bow Saws of 2021 Compared & Reviewed

Best Bow Saw
Photo: Fiskars

The modern bow saw is a metal-framed cross-cut tool, which assumes the shape of a bow, and holds in place a narrow blade used for making straight and curved cuts in wood.

Its metal frame holds a thin blade in high tension. You can use these saws to cut fallen branches, firewood, or even tree branches. The bow, or “D” shape, helps to make quick cuts through wood.

Also, bow saw bladed tend to vary in length depending on the intended cutting tasks.

Dive into our comprehensive top 10 bow saw reviews and buying guide to help you choose the model that best meets your woodworking demands.

What To Check Before Buying Best Bow Saws

How to Buy the Best Bow Saw
Photo: Fiskars

1. Blades

Your bow saw is only as good as the quality of the blade it uses. That is why choosing the right blade for your saw should be a top priority.

When choosing blades, the material used, and its length, are two of the most important considerations to make.

If you want to make cuts on large-diameter logs such as whole trees, then a long blade is the most practical. Long blades tend to be in the range of 18 inches to 30 inches.

There are shorter blades for simpler tasks such as pruning, and these need not belong. For such a task, you can depend on a 10 – 15-inch blade to get the job done.

2. Tensioner

A tensioner tightens or loosens the blade on your bow saw, depending on the cutting conditions prevailing over a given task.

Your bow saw should have a mechanism to help adjust its blade’s tension for optimal cutting performance.

When choosing your bow saw, you will encounter two kinds of tension systems; manual tensioners, and automatic tensioners. The manual one is in the form of a handle or lever, which you can turn to adjust the blade’s tension.

An automatic one adjusts itself as the saw cuts so that you don’t have to worry about the blade’s tension at all.

3. Handle and Hand Guard

A handle is usually attached at one end of the bow saw for you to grip as you operate the tool. An ideal bow saw should have either a metallic, plastic, or rubber handle to provide a functional and comfortable grip.

Naturally, rubber or soft plastic offers better handling than metal especially for a tool like a bow saw, which relies a lot on the movement of your hand.

Most of the bow saws we reviewed have a handguard, which surrounds your knuckles, protecting them, and the bigger part of your hand, from touching any blade surfaces that may pose a safety risk, such as the blade.

4. Sturdy Construction

You want a saw that is reliable and durable so that it can provide you with long-lasting service with low maintenance costs.

Many of the bow saws we reviewed have a sturdy construction made of steel curved into a tubular structure to minimize the tools’ weight.

Almost all the blades you will encounter are made of steel as well. Aluminum is another high-quality material used to make a sturdy bow saw.

To further enhance the sturdiness of bow saw, most models are painted or coated with materials that make them rust-resistant.

5. Portability

The portability of your bow saw will depend largely on its overall weight and design. As for weight, many of the bow saws in the market weigh less than 1.5 pounds, which makes them portable.

To achieve more portability, bow saws can also have a collapsible or fold-down design.

This design allows you to, essentially, fold your bow saw and reduce it into a slim, column, which is easier to store or transport.

10 Best Bow Saws of 2021 Reviewed




Agawa Canyon BOREAL21

1. Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 (Best High-performance)

  • High-performance fold-down design
  • 21-inch blade for versatile applications
  • Automatic blade tensioning
  • Durable aluminum and stainless-steel build
Fiskars 370290-1004

2. Fiskars 370290-1004 (Best Budget)

  • Affordable and feature-packed
  • Supports diverse cutting applications
  • 21-inch steel and rust-resistant blade
  • Lightweight and portable
Bahco 10-30-51

3. Bahco 10-30-51 (Best for Dry Wood)

  • 30-inch blade for dry wood
  • Great for professional projects
  • Straight cuts from the high-tension blade
  • Durable stainless-steel tubing
Bahco 332-21-51

4. Bahco 332-21-51 (Best for Pruning)

  • Pointed nose design is great for pruning
  • 21-inch-long blade for diverse applications
  • Lightweight and portable at 0.7 pounds
  • Plastic handle for comfort and safety
Pro-Grade 31913

5. Pro-Grade 31913 (Best for Multipurpose Use )

  • Multipurpose bow saw and hacksaw
  • Durable steel construction
  • Comes with 2 blades
  • Affordable and reasonably priced
Truper 30255

6. Truper 30255 (Easy-to-use)

  • A superior cam-lever tension system
  • Quick-release for easy blade changes
  • Corrosion-resistant and durable
  • 21-inch blade for cutting large branches
Filzer Buckster BBS-1

7. Filzer Buckster BBS-1 (Good Fold-down Design)

  • Compact and portable fold-down design
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • A high-performance tension system
  • Rubber handle for insulation and comfort
Gilmour 805216-1001

8. Gilmour 805216-1001 (With Self-Adjusting Tension)

  • Efficient self-adjusting tension
  • 21-inch edge-hardened and nonstick blade
  • Handgrip to enhance comfort
  • Strong tubular steel frame
Task Tools T22301

9. Task Tools T22301 (Good for Wet Wood)

  • High-quality and ideal for wet wood
  • Enhanced grip from rubber handle
  • Knuckle-protection handguard
  • Reasonably priced
Gerber Freescape 31-002820

10. Gerber Freescape 31-002820 (Good for Light-duty Cutting)

  • 12-inch blade for light-duty cutting
  • Compact and portable fold-down design
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Comfortable rubber grip

1. Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 – Best High-performance

Agawa Canyon BOREAL21
Photo: Agawa Canyon

  • Blade length: 21 inches
  • Materials: Aluminum, Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds

Agawa Canyon BOREAL21 bags many accolades by being not only the best high-performance but also one of the most uniquely designed bow saws in the market.

This bow saw has a fold-down design like that of the Filzer Buckster BBS-1. However, this saw has a unique 3-hinge, trapezium-shaped frame, which allows cutting of large-diameter wood.

You get a 21-inch blade with this saw, which excels in multiple wood-cutting applications.

A unique feature that sets this saw apart from the rest is its automatic blade tensioning, which has no lose parts. You will not need to touch the blade when opening or closing it.

It also boasts of a high-clearance aluminum frame, which has a glass-filled handle for ease of handling. The rest of the components are made of stainless steel for durability.

Filzer Buckster BBS-1 is virtually flawless, but you will have to pay a premium for it, which makes the bow saw the most expensive on our list.


  • High-performance fold-down design
  • 21-inch blade for diverse applications
  • Automatic blade tensioning
  • High-quality aluminum frame and stainless steel construction


  • Expensive

2. Fiskars 370290-1004 – Best Budget Bow Saw

Fiskars 370290-1004
Photo: Fiskars

  • Blade length: 21 inches
  • Materials: Steel
  • Weight: 1 pound

Fiskars 370290-1004 is the best budget bow saw on our list. This affordable tool is also feature-rich.

It performs well in applications such as bush-clearing and cutting thick branches. This is made possible by a 21-inch fully-hardened, precision-ground steel blade, which retains its sharpness across many projects.

The blade has a rust-resistant coating, which makes it durable and minimizes maintenance costs. This model also comes with a tension lever, which enhances both safety and cutting control.

At only 1 pound, this bow saw’s tubular steel frame is very lightweight, easy to grip, and carry for those offsite jobs. You will also get a lifetime warranty with your purchase of this bow saw.

A key challenge we noted with the Fiskars 370290-1004 bow saw is that the rivets holding the blade in place are weak and prone to failure especially with intensive usage.


  • Affordable and feature-rich bow saw
  • Suitable for diverse cutting applications
  • 21-inch high-quality and rust-resistant blade
  • Lightweight, easy to grip, and portable


  • Blade attachment rivets can prove flimsy

3. Bahco 10-30-51 – Best Bow Saw for Dry Wood

Bahco 10-30-51
Photo: Bahco

  • Blade length: 30 inches (21-inch and 24-inch-blade options available)
  • Materials: Steel, Plastic
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds

Starting us off is Bahco 10-30-51, which is the best bow saw for cutting dry wood.

This saw is specifically designed to cut dry wood and lumber with its high-performance 30-inch steel blade, which retains its rigidity and sharpness across multiple projects.

When you need to change the blade, you can do this easily using the saw’s quick-release system.

You can use this saw for demanding woodcutting projects such as those on construction sites. It has an ergo handle with a knuckle protector for operational comfort and safety.

Because of its innovative high blade tension, this saw will deliver consistent straight cuts. For superior durability and easy handling, this bow is built using high-quality steel tubing.

The only potential drawback of the Bahco 10-30-51 bow saw is that it is the heaviest of the pack, at 1.9 pounds, although you will barely notice its weight.


  • Long blade for cutting dry wood
  • Ideal for demanding professional projects
  • High blade tension for straight cuts
  • High-quality steel tubing for durability


  • Not the lightest

4. Bahco 332-21-51 – Best for Pruning

Bahco 332-21-51
Photo: Bahco

  • Blade length: 21 inches
  • Materials: Steel, Plastic
  • Weight: 0.7 pounds

The Bahco 332-21-51 excels where many other bow saws can’t; in pruning and roofing projects.

This bow saw is the best for pruning because of its pointed nose design, which makes it ideal for tight-space environments and applications.

To help with such projects, the bow saw has a 21-inch blade, whose length will handle many of the woodcutting projects you are likely to undertake.

Overall, this bow saw is small and lightweight, at only 0.7 pounds. It can be a great all-around tool, which is also easy to carry around. This model comes with a plastic handle, which offers a comfortable and secure grip.

The only downside of the Bahco 332-21-51 is that due to its pointed nose design, it will jot cut large-diameter wood as other bow saws can. However, no other saw comes close to beating its pruning excellence.


  • A pointed nose design ideal for pruning
  • 21-inch-long blade for many woodcutting applications
  • Lightweight and portable at 0.7 pounds
  • Plastic handle for comfortable and safe operation


  • Will not cut large-diameter wood

5. Pro-Grade 31913 – Best Multipurpose Bow Saw

Pro-Grade 31913
Photo: Pro-Grade

  • Blade length: 12 inches
  • Materials: Steel
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds

Pro-Grade 31913 is the best and only multi-purpose bow saw on our list. It can be a bow saw for cutting wood, or a hacksaw for cutting metal and plastic.

It boasts tubular steel construction, which makes the tool sturdy and durable. As part of your purchase, you get 2 12-inch blades; 1 for the hacksaw and 1 bow saw blade. These blades are also easy to change.

A key drawback of the Pro-Grade 31913 bow saw is that it has limited blade options especially if you’re looking to replace the existing blade.

Also, given that it is a 12-inch-blade saw, the tool will cut small diameters only.


  • Multipurpose bow saw and hacksaw
  • Heavy-duty steel construction for durability
  • Comes with 2 blades
  • Reasonably priced and affordable


  • Limited blade replacement options
  • Cuts small diameters only

6. Truper 30255 – Easy-to-use

Truper 30255
Photo: Truper

  • Blade length:  21 inches
  • Materials: Steel, Plastic
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds

Bow saw may appear as straightforward tools, but some additional features and enhancements can make them easier to use, which is what the Truper 30255 offers.

This saw comes with a cam-lever tension system, which maintains the blade’s tightness for consistent cutting performance.

When you need to change your blade, this saw’s quick-release system helps simplify this process.

Durability is a key priority for many saw owners. That is why this bow’s heavy-duty tubular steel frame comes painted to achieve corrosion resistance.

You can count on the saw to excel in cutting large branches with its 21-inch blade. It is also one of the most affordable bow saws on our list.

We did note, however, that the Truper 30255’s rivets, which hold the blade in place, can be flimsy and prone to failure.


  • A superior blade tension system
  • Quick-release system for easy blade changes
  • Durable and corrosion-resistant
  • Long blade for cutting large branches


  • Blade anchor points can be flimsy

7. Filzer Buckster BBS-1 – Good Fold-down Bow Saw

Filzer Buckster BBS-1
Photo: Filzer

  • Blade length: 18 inches
  • Materials: Aluminum, Stainless steel, Rubber
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds

Filzer Buckster BBS-1 is a great fold-down bow saw, which makes it compact, portable, and easy to store when not in use.

This saw collapses into a narrow cylindrical tube, which makes it easier to store and transport compared to other models with the standard bow design.

The collapsible design also makes this blade rather classy for those who value aesthetics.

It boasts of having an all-aluminum frame design, which makes the bow saw lightweight and easy to handle. Its stainless-steel tension system delivers exceptional blade performance.

For comfort and ease of handling, this bow saw comes with an insulating rubber handle, which also provides a firm grip.

We did note, however, that the Filzer Buckster BBS-1’s price is rather high compared to that of other rival bow saws.


  • The fold-down design makes saw compact and portable
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Quality tensions system for exceptional blade performance
  • Insulting handle tube for comfort


  • Rather pricey

8. Gilmour 805216-1001 – Best with Self-Adjusting Tension

Gilmour 805216-1001
Photo: Gilmour

  • Blade length: 21 inches
  • Materials: Steel
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds

Gilmour 805216-1001 is a superb bow saw because it comes with a self-adjusting tension for its blade.

This feature allows you to operate the saw without constantly worrying about the tension of its 21-inch-long blade.

Speaking of the blade, it is edge-hardened and nonstick, to provide it with the sturdiness and rigidity required for efficient cutting and long-lasting reliability.

For your comfort, the bow saw has a handgrip. Still, on comfort and ease of handling, the blade does rotate at 45 degrees and 90 degrees.

Its strong tubular steel frame is designed to utilize the blade’s total cutting length so that you can achieve faster cutting with fewer strokes.

The only challenge with the Gilmour 805216-1001 is that its nose doesn’t taper down enough to fit in very tight places. Thus, it may struggle with pruning.


  • Self-adjusting tension for ease of use and efficiency
  • High-quality and durable blade
  • Comfortable handgrip
  • The strong frame utilizes the total cutting length


  • It may struggle to fit in tight spaces

9. Task Tools T22301 – Best for Wet Wood

Task Tools T22301
Photo: Task Tools

  • Blade length: 21 inches (also available in a 24-inch version)
  • Materials: Steel, Rubber
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds

You’ll not always be cutting dry wood. That’s why you need a bow saw like Task Tools T22301, which is great for cutting wet wood.

To help you with the quick cutting of green and wet wood, this bow saw has a hardened and tempered steel construction, which is high-quality and durable.

Another feature that helps to simplify the operation of this tool is its soft-touch rubber handle, which provides a firm grip and easy saw turning while cutting.

Safety is also a key focus of this tool. It comes with a knuckle-protecting handguard, which shields your hand from any possible contact with the blade.

This bow saw is one of the most affordable in the market, hence its accessibility to many potential buyers.

An issue we noted with the Task Tools T22301 is that its uniform bow design from back to front prevents it from accommodating large-diameter wood or logs.


  • Hardened and tempered steel saw ideal for wet wood
  • Soft-touch rubber handle for a firm grip
  • Handguard protects your knuckles
  • Reasonably priced


  • Not ideal for large-diameter wood/logs

10. Gerber Freescape 31-002820 – Good Light-duty Bow Saw

Gerber Freescape 31-002820
Photo: Gerber

  • Blade length: 12 inches
  • Materials: Steel, Rubber
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds

Gerber Freescape 31-002820 is a good bow saw for light-duty cutting jobs especially because it has a modest 12-inch blade.

This blade works best with small-diameter wood such as small branches that require trimming or pruning.

It also boasts of a fold-down design, which makes the tool very compact and highly portable. It is a great camping companion because it won’t occupy a lot of storage space during transportation.

At 0.9 pounds, it is also one of the lightest bow saws you will find, thus supporting its claim as being the ultimate outdoor companion.

For your comfort and ease of handling, this tool comes with a rubber overmold grip.

We did note, however, that the Gerber Freescape 31-002820 bow saw’s pricing is in the higher range and may not favor many prospective buyers on a budget.


  • 12-inch blade support small-diameter cutting
  • Fold-down design for compactness and portability
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Rubber overmold handle for a comfortable grip


  • Rather pricey

How to Use a Bow Saw

How to Use a Bow Saw
Photo: Gardena

Although using a bow saw may seem like a straightforward process, here are some steps you can always follow to ensure you get the best out of it.

Check to ensure that your blade is clean and that there is enough tension between it and the frame. You can use a tensioner to adjust this feature accordingly.

Establish what kind of wood you want to cut, and the intensity of the project.

Grab the frame (handle) with one hand and place the bow saw’s rear on the piece of wood (or log).

Place the other hand on the saw’s side to stabilize it, and to provide additional cutting force.

If you’ll be cutting wood from a tree, begin by making an undercut. There are some useful online videos to explain this technique.

You can then start cutting the log by gently moving the bow saw back and forth. Cut with a comfortable pace while ensuring the saw doesn’t wobble in the wood.

After the cut is complete, you can repeat this process or store away your tool and wood.


Having gone over the features of a bow saw and the top models you can buy today, it’s time to hit the store and get one.

While shopping, check your bow saw’s blade length to ensure it satisfies the cutting applications you will be using it for.

Ensure a tension adjustment mechanism is present in your saw. If it has a comfortable grip and handguard, the better. Also, a steel or aluminum bow saw with rust resistance will have superior durability.

Finally, remember you can always jump back into our top 10 bow saw reviews and buying guides to help you choose the model that works best for your wood cutting projects.