While spending time in your garden and your yard, there are numerous times you want to either saw or cut a tree. You might find a branch blocking the sunlight of your tomatoes, or some branches on your peach tree may have died during a late, hard freeze.
Whatever the reason is, it is nearly impractical to use a chainsaw for such small projects. Selecting the best bow saw for your lifestyle is a great investment.
This is why many gardeners and woodworkers prefer a bow saw for small to medium projects. Bow saws are quite comfortable for shorter projects and rather effective.
You will be able to cut through your overgrown bushes in no time.
Features to Look for in the Best Bow Saw
As with any of your gardening tools, it is important to know what features you desire. Before you make your selection, think about what common tasks you are going to perform.
Are you likely just to use it on your fruit trees? Or, are you going to use it to trim up all the trees on your property? Some campers like to take saws with them.
If you are a camper, you might want to consider something that can serve a dual purpose for you.
Will You Be Cutting Dry or Green Wood?
First, most bow saws are noted for either green or dry wood. The dry wood is designed for wood that was already pre-cut.
For example, you may want to cut a few inches off of a 2x4 while designing your raised beds, it works perfectly. If you have some long, dead branches, a dry wood bow saw would work great as well.
A green wood bow saw is for out in the woods or for trimming a living plant. These are beneficial for trimming overgrown trees or bushes.
Having a green wood bow saw around your orchard would trim up the branches growing too far. Some people prefer to keep their bush growth in a certain area, which is another function of this device.
Bows designed for green wood will have a different style teeth. They have rake-like teeth designed to help clear out the waste from the fresh green wood.
Dry wood bow saw has a style of blade called peg tooth. A peg tooth saw spreads the work out and makes it less likely to get clogged.
Length of Cutting Blade
There are a variety of lengths for bow saws. Some are as small as 14 or 18 inches. These are typically made for woodworkers or those who are not fond of processing wood outdoors.
While looking for a suitable bow saw for gardening, you will find a range of saws from 21 to 36 inches.
The main differences between the variants are the tasks performed and how much work needs to be applied to accomplish the job.
A 21-inch blade will have trouble processing a 12 inch log because you will need to make more cuts to finish the job. A 30 inch blade will be much more efficient with these types of cuts.
You will also find saws 24 and 28 inches long. The initial can easily cut through 10 inches of wood. It is important to think about what types of jobs you can carry out with each tool.
You don’t want to purchase a small saw only to realize it performs your common tasks with difficulties.
A majority of bow saws come with a knuckle guard and an added grip. The knuckle guard, as one can imagine, is designed to protect your hand from injury.
The added grip prevents your hand from accidental slipping. This may not be a concern if you use the saw sporadically, but with frequent usage, it makes the process easier and safer.
Also, if you work during wet weather, the added grip prevents every possibility of the saw slipping out of your hand.
Shape of the Bow Saw Frame
There are a few shapes of frames you will notice while browsing the store. One of the most common shapes is an oval tube. This shape helps absorb the stress applied during the cutting process.
You will also find some shapes including a pointed nose. These are perfect for working in smaller spaces and jobs that require more precision.
Some bow saws are foldable; the compact feature is desirable by many. However, having a compact bow saw shows no indication of how well it can cut through strong logs.
Tips on Buying the Best Bow Saw
The tasks being accomplished with a bow saw aren’t exactly risk-free, so it’s important to get a model that performs well while also keeps you safe. Thus, we’ve compiled several tips on buying a bow saw.
1. Check the Tension Adjuster
Whatever model you pick, make sure that the bow saw has a tension adjuster. Whether it looks complicated or is simply a lock handle with a thumb screw, what matters most is the inclusion of a tension adjuster. This feature will significantly hasten the work output without sacrificing precision.
You see, the blade tension will inevitably become weaker due to several factors such as your area’s humidity, temperature, and the age of the blade itself.
Once the blade loses sufficient tension, you will be spending more time doing the same sawing like before.
On the other hand, it is also undesirable for a bow saw blade to be too tight. While some cuts require incredible blade tension, this shouldn’t be the case every time. This level of tension could bend the bar and significantly affect the performance of your bow saw.
With a tension adjuster, you won’t ever have to worry about either having a loose blade or a ridiculously tight blade.
2. Evaluate the Protective Sheath
We all know that the blades of a bow saw can be incredibly sharp, especially if they are new or are well-maintained. Due to this sharpness, you need to have a protective sheath.
Nobody wants to get a minor or even major cut just because the blades were not covered with a sheath while in storage.
Make sure that your bow saw protective sheath can completely cover the blades. In addition, they should be tough enough to keep the sharp blades away from accidentally slashing skin.
3. Choose Your Bow Saw Color Wisely
This might seem unimportant, but buying a brightly colored bow saw will help you a lot. If you work in areas filled with trees and foliage, your equipment should be distinguishable from everything else.
This will save you time looking for your bow saw whether indoors or outdoors.
4. Check for Extra Blades
It’s great if the bow saw blades are durable and sharp. Still, there’s nothing wrong if the package will include extra blades.
Sure, you can just get them online or at the store, but having a spare blade or two still saves you some money in the long run.
5. Knowing the Blade Types
There are two blades types to do your cutting operations efficiently: peg tooth blade and raker tooth blade. The initial is specifically made for sawing dry and hard wood.
On the other hand, the later should be used for cutting through wet wood.
As you can see, most of the things which should be considered are related to the quality and maintenance of its blades. With these tips, you should get a bow saw that’s right for you.
Read also: Best Hand Saw For Cutting Trees
Top 5 The Best Bow Saws
The Truper is a Mexican company, producing top quality tools. You can trust this brand. They have been in production for over 40 years. Everyone loves to purchase tools from a trusted company.
- The Truper 30255 is a very lightweight model; it weighs only 1.3 pounds
- This model was specifically designed for cutting green wood.
- One of the popular features of this bow saw is the cam and lever tension system, which allows you to keep the blade tight. This gives you straight cuts, at a faster rate.
- The 30255 has an added hand and knuckle protector. It provides additional comfort, while cutting tough logs and branches.
- The blades come sharpened and ready to go to work.
- The price is on the lower side, making it perfect for the novice gardener or just random jobs
- You can easily cut branches 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
- The bright orange color makes finding it easy. It is easy to lose bow saws when placed down on the ground.
- The 30255 is a shorter saw, only 21 inches. This can make larger jobs a bit more difficult and time consuming.
- A number of customers have complained that the rivets break easily due to lack of quality. They are easily replaced, but it is an inconvenience for many users.
Fiskars made a lightweight and strong bow saw, ideal for many tasks. It is a popular option for gardeners. Here are some great features to consider.
- The blade is a hardened carbon steel blade with a rust inhibitor. Carbon steel is one of the strongest options available and is commonly used for survival knives. However, it does rust easier than stainless steel; this is why the rust inhibitor is a necessary part of the design.
- They added a safety tension lever, located along the side, for more control.
- Fiskars offers a lifetime warranty! This is a great show of confidence in their quality.
- The frame is a steel, tubular design, which is strong enough to endure added stress while working on long jobs.
- The lower price tag makes it a very appealing option to those on a budget.
- Having a 21 inch blade can create additional work for you. It may cause some projects to be more time consuming.
- There is no added knuckle guard nor an added grip. This can make working for long periods hard.
The Bahco 10-21-51 is a strong, durable, nicely designed bow saw, perfect for cutting through dry wood and lumber.
- The Bahco 332 is a lightweight bow saw, weighing 1.3 pounds.
- Bahco used high quality steel; it won’t bend or bow even when heavy pressure is applied during usage.
- The blade cuts through dry wood very easily. You will be able to cut straight through with no problems.
- You can adjust the tension and blade easily. The mechanism is located on the handle which makes sawing simpler.
- This particular model has an added hand guard, so there is no need worrying about damaging your hand during the job.
- The frame has a pointed nose, which allows you to work better in smaller spaces. Because of this, many people use this saw for roofing and pruning.
- The length of this bow saw is 21 inches, which means you may have to work harder at certain jobs.
- A few customers have experienced trouble with the blade securely setting.
The Buckster is a different frame from other bow saws listed on this review. It is a fold down bow saw that has some great features you will want to check out!
- When this bow saw is not in use, it easily folds down into a cylindrical tube. This makes it easy to store and transport. Also, if you camp, a folding bow saw is easy to pack into a backpack.
- You can cut a log that is up to 13 inches in diameter! There won’t be many tasks you cannot accomplish with this tool.
- The Buckster is lightweight only 1.3lbs.
- Filzer added insulated rubber handles to both sides of the saw. This makes long jobs more comfortable. Additionally, it provides a solid grip for your hands; no one wants to have an accident while sawing a log.
- This style of bow saw fell out of popularity decades ago. However, this saw is strong, and it is going to blow you away with its power. It can saw through logs quickly and cleanly.
- While the frame is strong, it is made from aluminum. This won’t be as strong as an all steel bow saw.
- The weakness of the design is the folding mechanism side. It could potentially come apart during usage.
- This particular bow saw is only 19 inches wide. It is much smaller than usual. While it can cut logs of a decent size, it will take some time to finish these tasks. However, the size doesn’t indicate what it can cut through.
How To Use a Bow Saw Video
Which Bow Saw Makes The Cut?
All of these bow saws will perform well for you. They are all made from solid companies, dedicated to ensuring top quality.
The question is, which one is the best out of the 5. If you want a bow saw that can finish nearly any task you set out to perform, then you want to purchase the Bahco 30 inch bow saw.
With the long, 30 inch blade and the ability to cut through logs nearly 12 inches in diameter, you will find this saw can do plenty.
It is the heaviest among three bow saws, by just a few ounces. However, this only adds to the strength and power behind the blade.
Have your favorite bow saw been mentioned? Let us know in the comment below.