8 Best Hand Saws For Cutting Trees of 2020

Last update: Jul 4, 2020

Every avid gardener knows the benefits of a trimming chainsaw.

But it's not always a wise idea to shape your trees with one.

It's heavy-duty, noisy, and too messy.

A hand saw can also get the job done with less hassle.

That is why getting the best hand saw for cutting trees will make pruning branches a lot easier. I have a bunch of different options to review here. All of them are irreplaceable in my gardening kit.

Here are the best hand saws for cutting trees you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall (Rip-Cut Saws): WilFiks 16" Pro Hand Saw
  • Best for Mini Pine Trees (Rip-Cut Saws): CRAFTSMAN 15-Inch Hand Saw
  • Best for Seniors (Rip-Cut Saws): GreatNeck N2610 - 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw
  • Best Overall (Bow Saws): Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood
  • Best for Small Trees (Bow Saws): BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw
  • Best for Moderate Trees (Bow Saws): GreatNeck Saw BB24 24" Bow Saw
  • Best Hacksaw: CRAFTSMAN 12-Inch Hacksaw
  • Best Folding Hand Saw: Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw
8 Best Hand Saws For Cutting Trees
Best Overall
WilFiks 16" Pro Hand Saw
  • Rip-Cut Saws
Read Our Review
Best for Mini Pine Trees
CRAFTSMAN 15-Inch Hand Saw
  • Rip-Cut Saws
Read Our Review
Best for Seniors
GreatNeck N2610 - 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw
  • Rip-Cut Saws
Read Our Review
Best Overall
Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood
  • Bow Saws
Read Our Review
Best for Small Trees
BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw
  • Bow Saws
Read Our Review
Best for Moderate Trees
GreatNeck Saw BB24 24" Bow Saw
  • Bow Saws
Read Our Review
Best Hacksaw
CRAFTSMAN 12-Inch Hacksaw
    Read Our Review
    Best Folding Hand Saw
    Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw
      Read Our Review

      Best Overall (Rip-Cut Saws): WilFiks 16" Pro Hand Saw

      WilFiks 16
      WilFiks 16" Pro Hand Saw
      9.6Outstanding
      Pros
      • Super durable construction

      • Anti-slip handle

      • Thick and sturdy blade

      • Cut 50% faster than a traditional handsaw

      • Ideal for any work with wood, plastic, plywood, wallboard

      • Easy to reshape after bending

      Cons
      • Leave jagged and rough wood

      • A bit small for larger branches

      This WilFiks always brings pleasant outcomes to all of my cutting sections. It performs quite well in tenons, dovetails, and mitres.

      At first, I was doubtful about the saw's sharpness, but it cut through branches like a charm. I did saw off some palm tree stumps and felt happy with the result.

      Looking at its teeth, you can see that it can give precise cuts without putting much effort. More than that, it is induction-hardened for extra sharpness that lives 5-time longer than standard ones.

      I believe the blade is made of very strong and sturdy metal. It is 9 TPI high carbon steel as I read in the specs. And I would put it under the category of heavy-duty. I can even use it on PVC pipes, metal rebar, or even my wife's DIY projects.

      Cutting with this saw is pretty effortless. It features an anti-slip handle for your sweaty hand. In fact, my soaking hands felt the gripping on this unit is excellent. It didn't slide off my hand though yet lost any traction. The ergonomic design also makes it suitable for any hand size.

      WilFiks 16" Pro Hand Saw Specifications

      Weight

      13.6 ounces

      Length

      16 inches

      Material

      9 TPI high carbon steel blade

      Highlight Features

      Made of durable and sturdy carbon steel for extra sharpness. Ergonomic design, anti-slip handle

      Verdict

      This WilFiks handsaw is born to make me happy from the design, blade, construction, and performance.

      Best for Mini Pine Trees (Rip-Cut Saws): CRAFTSMAN 15-Inch Hand Saw

      CRAFTSMAN 15-Inch Hand Saw
      CRAFTSMAN 15-Inch Hand Saw
      9.2Outstanding
      Pros
      • Excellent sharpness

      • Ergonomic handle

      • Great price

      • Give nice and clean cut

      Cons
      • Thin blade

      For dwarf pine trees, the saw doesn't have to be too oversized. A 15-inch handsaw would be sufficient. Come less than 10 bucks, this Craftsman fits the purpose of fast clean cut.

      The tooth geometry of this model is exclusive. Not only with pine trees, it was also decent when I was cutting plywood.

      The density of teeth per inch is 8. With those teeth, it cuts like a hot knife through butter. Of course, it requires a bit of effort on hardwood, but you can still get the job done.

      Besides sharpness, the induction hardened teeth are made to last. The bi-material handle is also quite unique as it provides such comfort and good control. It offers a mitre feature with 45 and 90 degree that is easy on the holding hand.

      The most handsome part should be the price. Of course, you can't ask much from $10, but I suppose it should cost more for this quality.

      This saw is pretty much an all-purpose saw, not only for pine trees. You can make use of it for plastic and laminate. Feel free to purchase this handsaw if you are a DIYer.

      CRAFTSMAN 15-Inch Hand Saw Specifications

      Weight

      5.8 ounces

      Length

      15 inches

      Material

      N/A

      Highlight Features

      Sharp blade. Easy and comfortable handle. Good size for small projects

      Verdict

      The handsaw is nice to have for small jobs. It cuts with minimal effort, leaving neat cuts on the material.

      Best for Seniors (Rip-Cut Saws): GreatNeck N2610 - 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw

      GreatNeck N2610 - 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw
      GreatNeck N2610 - 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw
      9.4Outstanding
      Pros
      • Cut fast

      • Comfortable handle

      • Aggressive tooth pattern

      • Affordable

      • Track well

      • Easy to re-sharpen the teeth

      Cons
      • The set on the teeth is a bit too much

      This GreatNeck is a piece of quality hand saw made to please senior users.

      Don't look too far. My granddad is an example. He loves this gear the first time he unboxed it.

      It's a cross-cut hand saw with a blade made of high-carbon steel. This 26 Inch 12 TPI blade is a perfect length for trimming branches. And that's quite nice for the price too.

      The handle is a hefty one with a sturdy grip crafted from weather-resistant dark stained hardwood. It's easy to be reshaped to suit your hand if you like. I've used this saw for a while, and it feels comfortable for me.

      In fact, I needed to correct the set a bit to gain a better saw track. Also, it makes the cross-cut not too rough. If you have the skill, it shouldn't be a problem to hack through any wood.

      GreatNeck N2610 - 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw Specifications

      Weight

      1.65 pounds

      Length

      26 inches

      Material

      High carbon steel 12 TPI blade

      Highlight Features

      Weather-resistant dark stained hardwood handle. High carbon steel 12 TPI blade

      Verdict

      The make, the style, the quality, and the price of this saw all come to make a senior user happy.

      Best Overall (Bow Saws): Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood

      Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood
      Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood
      9.8Outstanding
      Pros
      • Lightweight frame

      • Innovative tensioning mechanism

      • Ergonomic handle

      • Aggressive bite

      • Heavy-duty

      Cons
      • Too aggressive teeth

      • A bit hard to grip

      You know! Wood chopping is a part of my routine because I have a burning stove in the house. This Bahco has been aiding me in that chore for quite a time.

      It's a basic frame saw with a nice handle that comes with a lot of grips.

      So, you'll have a 30-inch thick-cut blade with aggressive teeth. I did measure it and reckoned there are four to five teeth per inch. When I perform on green wood, this length really renders significant movements to cut fast and easy. The wood surface looks neat.

      And I don't see why you can't use it on other materials.

      You can notice that this bow saw features a tensioning mechanism at the handle. It's a well-thought-out design that makes it easy to apply tension when the bite is slack

      The frame is nice, solid, and lightweight. It comes with a little bite guard which is a plus. Because many saw I have arrived wrapped in bubbles and would cut my fingers if I'm not careful.

      Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood Specifications

      Weight

      2.88 ounces

      Length

      30 inches

      Material

      N/A

      Highlight Features

      Frame made to be solid and heavy-duty but lightweight. Innovative tensioning mechanism

      Verdict

      Cutting greenwood with this saw requires minimal effort, but I want to address safety as the teeth are too aggressive.

      Best for Small Trees (Bow Saws): BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw

      BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw
      BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw
      9Outstanding
      Pros
      • Well-balanced

      • Handily pointed nose

      • Competitive price

      • Comfortable handle

      Cons
      • Found nothing to complaint

      Pruning small trees doesn't need a beast saw. When I need to cut little limbs, I use this compact Bahco bow saw.

      It's super light for better control in one hand. The pointed nose is quite handy for reaching tight spaces.

      I pretty much like the handle of this saw as it provides a great grip for easy movement. It allows me to control and cut fast with less effort.

      More than that, while many shallow-teeth saws leave rough cuts, this Bahco creates much cleaner cuts, which is better for the trees.

      I even tried to fall a 6-inch tree and got the section through in 20 minutes. Unbelievable!

      Bahco could have charged more than this price tag, I suppose. But they already made a very sharp and effective saw for a super handsome price.

      BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw Specifications

      Weight

      10.6 ounces

      Length

      21 inches

      Material

      N/A

      Highlight Features

      Designed with a pointed nose to reach tight space. Ergo handle

      Verdict

      When a chainsaw is overkill for light-duty pruning, you will find this Bahco a savior.

      Best for Moderate Trees (Bow Saws): GreatNeck Saw BB24 24" Bow Saw

      GreatNeck Saw BB24 24
      GreatNeck Saw BB24 24" Bow Saw
      8.6Great
      Pros
      • Super strong S2 steel frame

      • Long-lasting

      • Fast blade changing

      • Clean cuts

      Cons
      • Blade dulls fast

      You have to handle medium trees sometimes? This GreatNeck 24-inch saw will be the right one.

      First, the frame is built from tubular steel, featuring a chrome alloy hard steel blade for rigid construction. You don't have to worry about it getting broken midway cutting moderate trees.

      More than that, the material is what makes the saw to last. Coming with the excellent craftsmanship of GreatNeck, you can expect the saw to trim with you in years. I actually still have it in my kit after 2 years.

      Second is the chamfered drive end that allows quick blade changing. This great advantage lets you replace blades instantly and safely.

      And anything you buy from GreatNeck, you are backed with a Lifetime Limited Guarantee. Contact them to get your saw covered if there is any problem.

      GreatNeck Saw BB24 24" Bow Saw Specifications

      Weight

      1.13 pounds

      Length

      24 inches

      Material

      Tubular steel and chrome alloy extra hard steel blades

      Highlight Features

      Super strong frame and long-lasting blade. Convenient chamfered drive end for quick blade changing and retention

      Verdict

      This saw cuts fast and clean through moderate trees. It's also sturdy and super pretty easy to use.

      Best Hacksaw: CRAFTSMAN 12-Inch Hacksaw

      CRAFTSMAN 12-Inch Hacksaw
      CRAFTSMAN 12-Inch Hacksaw
      9Outstanding
      Pros
      • Remarkably durable

      • Razor-sharp

      • Budget

      • Adjustable blade angles

      • Large tension knob

      Cons
      • A bit short in length

      I really like the design of this Craftsman. The finish of the frame feels amazingly solid. It can tension up to 225 pounds to cut through hard material with ease. For trees, you need less effort.

      I also appreciate the design on the tension knob. It's large with a footprint of a propeller making it easy to twist.

      The full handle is a nice upgrade on this hand saw because I assume it offers better grip than most Craftsman saws I have. In particular, it has a solid and stable build. When some models have a very wobble handle, on this saw, you will have a more efficient control when cutting.

      Not only that, the blade can be adjusted to different angles for flush cuts from 90 to 180 degrees. With the 4.375-inch cutting depth, you can hack small limbs without sweating your back.

      Besides cutting trees, I find this saw versatile for cutting PVC, metal, and plastic. Since it's a hacksaw, don't worry if you need to saw some pesky screws for your projects.

      CRAFTSMAN 12-Inch Hacksaw Specifications

      Weight

      1.2 pounds

      Length

      12 inches

      Material

      N/A

      Highlight Features

      Frame can tension up to 225 lbs. Large tension knob. Full grip handle

      Verdict

      Craftsman has never failed me, hence this saw. It's a flexible and solid saw that will get your job done well.

      Best Folding Hand Saw: Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw

      Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw
      Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw
      9.2Outstanding
      Pros
      • Impulse hardened teeth

      • Faster cutting speed

      • Comfortable and ergonomic handle

      • Safer with the foldable blade

      Cons
      • Thin metal blade

      • The blade doesn't fit entirely into the handle

      I'm going to show you my new favorite saw. The Corona Razor tooth is a real monster in the wild. It goes through wood like chopping with a chainsaw.

      On top of the roof, this saw is a budget champion that costs you less than 20 bucks for a premium quality. It cuts a lot of larger pieces of wood that what you normally try.

      I mostly bring this saw with me to camp trips and use it to hack down small trees, cutting them into chunks for the fire.

      If you look at the teeth, you probably get frightened because of its smart integration. It features the Maxforge technology, crafting the triple-ground teeth to double the cutting speed, cutting on the pull stroke.

      Yet, the whole blade is impulse hardened to last longer than I expected.

      For overhead branches, this thing drills wet wood like meat.

      Now the handle. I had a feeling that it's similar to injection-moulded plastic polymers. It's a very tough material rendering excellent grip and toughness. Better than most, there is a lot of space for you to hold and cut.

      Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw Specifications

      Weight

      12.8 ounces

      Length

      10 inches

      Material

      N/A

      Highlight Features

      3 sided razor teeth. 6 teeth per inch. Co-molded handle

      Verdict

      This folding saw is a gem for outdoor activists, arborists, and anyone who seeks a compact and versatile hand saw on the go

      How To Choose The Best Hand Saw For Cutting Trees?

      Buying a hand saw sounds simple.

      But to dive deeper into what you should look for when purchasing one, I would like to walk you through a number of factors.

      Believe me. They are essential to know.

      Kind of Steel

      To be honest, the steel doesn't really matter that much.

      But if you are a very picky person about the steel, and you care about good quality steel, here is what to know.

      Basically, we have really hard steel and soft steel.

      Soft steel is good for sharpening; hard steel lasts longer.

      So, where do you want to be in the conundrum?

      Some people want to go to the hard side; some prefer the soft side.

      In fact, some saws are hard but easy to sharpen. And you will find out the range you want once you use a hand saw long enough.

      Length

      The length of the saw matters in the purpose of using it. The fact is people don't tend to use the full length of the blade. So, I would say the size of the job affects more.

      In the case of cutting branches and logs, you should opt for blades longer than 20 inches. For trimming thin outgrowth, a 16-inch would be sufficient.

      Remember that short blades always cost less.

      Teeth

      There are two different types of saw. Normally, they are first-fixed saws and second-fixed saws.

      The differences are in the number of teeth per inch.

      A heavy saw of the first-fixed saw traditionally has a roundabout seven teeth per inch of the saw blade.

      And because of that, it gives you a very fast cut, ripping through material quickly, particularly softwood. But it will leave you quite a heavy rough cut.

      A fine finished saw or a second-fixed saw has up to 11, 12, or 13 teeth per inch. Of course they are smaller teeth and not as aggressive and fast as on a heavy cut saw.

      However, these saws give you a pretty smooth finish. That's the reason for this type of saw to be more suitable for decorative work or DIY projects.

      Handle

      A biomaterial handle is better than most, I suppose. It gives you more grip, control, and comfort.

      Also, a handle with space for finger rest will make cutting a lot easier. It's nice to be able to hold your finger along the saw blade to keep it in control.

      Blade

      Look for something called hard point or an induction hardened blade. That means that the saw has been put through an extra induction hardening process. Then, the teeth are hardened to last longer.

      Which Brands Make The Best Hand Saw For Cutting Trees?

      Craftsman

      Built with pride, Craftsman is the brand that any avid homeowner, home builder, auto enthusiasts, and master mechanics can trust. Hand saws from Craftsman come with long-established pride in superior quality. They promise only high-performance products to get your tree cutting mission a breeze.

      Bahco

      Premium hand tools from Bahco are privileged in both history and performance. For over 130 years, the only thing Bahco focuses on is maintaining their legacy by delivering top-notch products. Hand saws from Bahco own the premium standard to serve cutting in its primitive yet innovative way.

      Corona

      The American tools brand is born of a need for reliability. They have tools for shearing, trimming, cutting, and everything that can cut sharp and shape precisely.

      Being a long-formed manufacturer, Corona perceives the best quality a hand saw should have to deliver into their products. Using hand tools from Corona, it's easy to reckon the highest standards in utility, quality and craftsmanship.

      FAQs

      Do I get a curved blade saw or straight blade saw?

      This question kinda bugged me around for a while since it's been a big topic amongst the outdoors. Whether you are in survival, prepping, cutting trees, or bushcraft, it is the saw that involves.

      Many people don't prefer curved blades because it doesn't cut on a pull stroke. But have you ever wondered why the particular saw is designed that way?

      So, bow saws are traditional saws that can come with different blades for different wood. Essentially, these saws are bidirectional and technically work pull stroke.

      With a bow saw, you have to bow up that actually tensions the blade. With that tension on the blade and your handle only on one side, the pressure applied will actually pull the saw instead of being pushed by your force. That is a pull stroke in which the teeth cut deep after a pull and push cycle.

      You see, that gives you an even cut regardless of the direction. The thin blade gives you a very narrow kerf which also provides less resistance. That's how the teeth can be much bigger as well as being able to cut quickly.

      Conversely, curved saws can hook into the wood in an instance, giving your body a more relief stage to pull than using a straight blade.

      Getting a curved or straight saw really depends on where you mostly cut. It relies on your arm position and torso. A straight bladed hand saw is more versatile while the curved style gives you a slight power stroke advantage.

      Can the blade be sharpened?

      When the saw is out of shape, yes you can sharpen the blade to gain the intact sharpness. On many worn saws, you'll need to sharpen every tooth on each individual side.

      You need a hand saw vise and file tools to tackle. Now, it's important to hold the file so that it's cutting the face of the tooth. At the same time, it's hitting the tooth on the top.

      You also want to make sure that you're not cutting one tooth any lower than the other.

      Flip to the other side and and practice the same process until you finish the whole saw.

      Do I need a sheath?

      I do have scabbards for most of my saws and I know many saws sold with sheath. So, I guess it's a benefit to have a sheath for your saw as it keeps the gear safe from damage and you safe from its sharpness.

      How do I maintain the saw?

      Here are some tips to keep the saw sharp and in shape for the longest time:

      • Keep the saw dry

      • Oil the blade and handle

      • Remove blade rust

      • Sharpen the saw

      How do you cut a tree branch with a hand saw?

      If you just start cutting branches, you probably cut from the cut.

      But no. That's the wrong way.

      Cutting a branch from the top may split it halfway. Sometimes, it tears to the back of the remaining wood causing a big wound, taking the bark off. That exposure will let disease in and kill your tree.

      What I like to do is I start about an inch from the main trunk, and cut underneath, upside down, to about one centimetre into the branch. Then, I reverse the saw to the top of where I'm cutting, and start cutting like normal.

      Try and you will see it doesn't cut down to the wood. That's the best way to cut off a branch.

      Conclusion

      I can say every day of my life has the saw involved. So, these are choices of the best hand saw for cutting trees in my arsenal. Please let me know if you opt for anything I recommend.

      Also, keep in mind that hand saws are dangerous tools that should be kept away from kids. When trimming trees with a saw, you should always have gloves and safety glasses on.

      I know that's not everything.

      Leave me comments to ask. Thank you and see you soon.

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