Home Gardening Tools 10 Best Hand Saws for Cutting Trees

10 Best Hand Saws for Cutting Trees

by ThatWoW Editorial Team
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Power saws and chain saws are quick and powerful but can be troublesome to handle at times. Whether you’re a gardener or a DIY enthusiast, you would know how challenging it is to use a power saw in cutting tiny branches or crafting intricate shapes after cutting wood from the trees. The hand saw though does all this and more pretty effectively.

The hand saw will be particularly useful to you if you have just started doing DIY or need to cut a metal pipe for a small house project. The hand saw is cheap and does exactly what the more expensive power tools can do. And one hand saw will last years if maintained properly.

The only real problem you would face is during the buying process—a bit of guidance is required while selecting the kind of hand saw you should buy. You would find a variety of hand saws like crosscut saws, pruning saws, coping saws,  and dovetail saws. Motor-powered hand saws are also quite prevalent these days.

We have curated a list of 10 best hand saws you can buy right now and you will find at least a couple suitable for your purpose. And to make the selection job easier for you, we have included a comprehensive buying guide that includes everything you need to know before making the right choice.

Ten Best Hand Saws in 2021

1. WilFiks 16” Pro Hand Saw, Perfect for Sawing, Trimming, Gardening, Pruning & Cutting Wood

WilfFiks hand saw is the one ideal for people who love DIYS because it can handle a variety of tasks. You can cut through tree limbs, boards, wood, plastic pipes, wallboards, and more with its deep gullet and 9TPI carbon steel blade. 

Farmers, contractors, and woodworkers should buy this because of its three cutting surfaces. It can make cutting 50% faster than regular handsaws with its pretty deep gullets.

The 16-inch blade also ensures you can make long strokes ensuring less effort and better results. This hand saw is easy to operate because it weighs just less than 1 pound. The ergonomic slip-resistant grip on its handle helps you use it for long without tiring your wrists.

The hand saw with its induction hardened teeth is quite durable which is one thing we are looking for in equipment like this.

Pros:

-Ergonomic design with anti-slip grip

-Three cutting surfaces for quick cuts

-16-inch blade with 9TPI blade for better control

-Lightweight

Cons:

-The hand saw isn’t as fast although it works pretty accurately

2. CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw

CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 15-Inch (CMHT20880)
  • FAST & CLEAN CUTS: The hand saw has an exclusive tooth geometry for a fast clean cut

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, the Craftsman hand saw is a handy option with a lifetime warranty. Its 15-inch blade makes sure that you don’t have to constantly go to and fro and make long cuts in both directions. It has an ergonomically designed handle and a regular zig-zag tooth geometry that ensures a clean cut.

It doesn’t come with a very complicated design. It’s a simple curved handle with a shape that would be ideal for medium to large-sized hands. The square miter design on the handle ensures your grip won’t slip away even as you work vigorously.

The induction-hardened teeth are similar to more expensive hand saws which is another reason behind its lifetime warranty. It is a suitable hand saw for professionals but isn’t ideal for first-timers. Professional woodworkers and DIYers would love to use the classic 90/45 aligned handles. 

Pros:

-Inexpensive budget-friendly hand saw

-Lightweight

-Lifetime warranty

-90/45 classic alignment in handle for a comfortable experience

Cons:

-The hand saw works slowly as compared to those with more pronounced blades

3. GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch 12 TPI Crosscut Saw, Hardwood Handle

The GreatNeck’s blade is extremely long at 26 inches and is the right tool for cutting trees. It might be a bit uncomfortable to use this kind of a hand saw at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love using it to chop off large parts of wood and thick trees.

It additionally has teeth of 10 TPI making it sharper and faster. You’ll also find some special teeth on this saw which ensure precise and clean-cut removals in the wood cutting process. You can make both rough and smooth cuts using this and is an excellent tool for carpenters and DIY-ers as it cuts both soft and hardwood smoothly.

The flexible teeth of the GreatNeck saw provide a great degree of control even when you make cross cuts. It’s a piece of pretty durable equipment too which is testified by the lifetime warranty by the reliable brand.

Pros:

-Weather-resistant dark wood handle ensures a sturdy grip

-It’s made of high carbon steel for enhanced durability

-The long 26-inch blade can cut thick trees easily

-The 12 TPI blade is ideal for smooth as well as rough cuts

Cons:

-The cross-cuts aren’t well finished and a bit rough with it

4. CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw Metal Frame

CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 12-Inch Hacksaw (CMHT20138)
  • BLADE SECURITY: Solid metal frame of the hand saw is designed for tension up to 225 lbs.

Craftsman’s products are still as reliable as they were decades ago and this one is a prime example of that. It blends innovation with a classic design. The solid metal frame can handle the tension of a massive 225 lbs—this makes it suitable for stronger pieces of wood.

You can easily make flush cuts with this hand saw because of the metal frame and 90/180 adjustable angles. The full grip handle is pretty versatile and the tension knob enables a comfortable experience making it easier to work for several hours with this.

Cutting metal pipes and other softwood surfaces is a breeze with this one. You can also cut laminates with a fine finish using this hack saw. The handle looks a bit cheap but it’s understandable because this one is the cheapest hack saw of this shape and style.

Pros:

-Lightweight

-Easy-to-grip design

-90/180 adjustable blade for precise cuts and finish

-Lifetime warranty

Cons:

-Its blade may not last long if you repeatedly use it to cut through thick materials

5. BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw

BAHCO 332-21-51 21 Inch Pointed Nose Bow Saw
  • Small and handy bow saw for all around use

The unique and out-of-the-box design of this saw will surely catch your attention but it’s its performance that will truly amaze you. This bow-shaped saw is pretty handy and small making it perfect for DIY-ers. It makes tasks like roof working easier by laying into various materials at an angle. You can operate it at different angles which are required when carrying out DIY tasks. 

The handle is ergonomically designed—you can start, stop, and withdraw cutting at any time because of this comfortable handle. The pointed nose of this saw ensures you can use it in narrow spaces pretty smoothly.

The 21-inch length blade is packed in a small saw because of its angled design. That means you can cut wider and thicker logs, pipes, and more with this saw despite its short length. It’s extremely lightweight at just 0.3kg preventing you from getting exhausted easily.

Pros:

-Lightweight

-Angled design easier to use in narrow spaces

-Long 21″ blade can cut thicker materials effortlessly

-Ergonomically designed handle ensures better control

Cons:

-Some users complained of getting a different model instead of the pointed one. You may need to contact the seller to enquire about it.

6. Corona Razor Tooth Folding Pruning Saw

Instead of using large and inconvenient hand saws, check out the Corona Razor made particularly for pruning. Its 3 sided razor makes pruning a breeze as it just lays into all the branches you cut. You won’t have to go to and fro a lot while pruning as it just gets the job done in a few strokes.

The 10″ blade isn’t the longest but does a good job at what it specializes in. The co-molded handle makes it easier to reach undesirable branches in between others. You can handle it from a distance and still get a good grip and control to minimize the pressure on your wrists.

It is also pretty easy to store this equipment—just fold and latch the blades to minimize the risk of injuries due to handling mistakes. The 6TPI blade also ensures that each cut goes deeper and is better finished than traditional saws. You can also replace the blade and make this lightweight pruning saw last forever.

Pros:

-Impulse hardened blades to last long

-3-sided teeth for sharp and efficient cutting

-Foldable blades to prevent injury and easier storage

-Curved handle for easier handling and sturdy grip

Cons:

-You have to keep it indoors as it might rust due to moisture and mist over time

-The foldable blade protrudes out a bit even when folded

7. Folding Hand Saw Wood Saw Multi-Purpose 8″ Triple Cut Carbon Steel Blade

The versatile design of this folding hand saw from Home planet gear makes it a multipurpose option that’s budget-friendly. This 8-inch triple-sided cutter can be used as a branch cutter, tree saw, pruning saw, limb saw, and more. It can be the perfect camping gift for backpackers who would constantly need a handy folding saw like this.

The extended full length of the saw is 17 inches which helps you reach faraway places and carry out pruning tasks from a distance. The hand saw is pretty safe to use because of the dependable gear lock. It’s like a foldable knife in which the blade gets fully hidden when you fold it to ensure safety.

You can change the length of the adjustable carbon steel blade to suit each of your purposes from pruning to cutting a pipe and more. You can cut materials that are 4″ in diameter with this small and handy blade. 

It’s also quite easy to operate with its ribbed rubber handle that ensures a comfortable grip. The size and weight of this saw are overall perfect to take with you while traveling. 

Pros:

-Ribbed rubber handle for a comfortable grip and better control

-Folding blade with nothing exposed for maximum safety

-Three-sided razor cut blades for sharp cuts

-Ideal for backpacking

Cons:

-It can’t cut very thick trees and logs, unlike the traditional hand saws. It works better as portable equipment for lighter uses.

The carbon steel blade might rust if you keep it outdoors for too long.

8. BLACK+DECKER Electric Hand Saw with Storage Bag, 3.4-Amp

Sale
BLACK+DECKER Electric Hand Saw with Storage Bag, 3.4-Amp (PHS550B)
  • HIGH POWER ELECTRIC HAND SAW - 3.4 Amp electric hand saw for enhanced cutting power and fatigue-free...

The Black+Decker hand saw is the only corded electric saw in this list because of its lightweight and compact size. It comes with a 3.4 amp motor with 4600SPM to cut a variety of materials like wood, plastic, and metal rapidly. 

The hand saw allows for easy blade change and hence you can use it for a variety of purposes. You can add a small pruning blade to cut branches or along the straight blade for cutting logs. It is more suited for straight cuttings on large materials because of the circular motion of its blades.

It also comes with a storage bag for safe storage of the blade and saw. It comes with a 2-year warranty although it is built to last much longer.

Pros:

3.4A powerful motor

-Straight blade ideal for cutting large materials

-Fast motor helps cut metals and plastic

-Compact and lightweight design

Cons:

-The tool is a bit shaky and you will need to be careful while working with it

-Cord is a bit short

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

The 30-inch long blade of this bow saw from the reliable house of Bahco is excellent for pruning, woodwork at home, and making precise cuts for DIY crafts. 

It has an ergonomic grip on the inside for superior control as well as effortless work that prevents injuries to knuckles even after working for long. The 23-raker replacement blade is ideal for cutting through the greenwood. You can also buy a peg toothing replacement blade if you want to cut through dry and mature wood in your yard.

It comes with an innovative tension mechanism that gives you a lot of control over the blade and assists in straight cutting. The bow saw features a lightweight steel frame coated in shiny enamel paint that doesn’t get corroded easily.

The equipment’s pointed nose helps to reach narrow areas and work for long while roofing and gardening. The black blade cover accompanying this bowsaw slips in effortlessly and keeps the blade sharper for longer.

Pros:

-30 inches length for making thicker cuts with ease

-Lightweight and easy to handle

-Safe storage with a strong blade fitting

-Pointed nose for better operation during roofing

Cons:

-You will have to install the blade yourself

10. Bahco Bow Saw #9 All Purpose – 3/4″ x 36″ blade

Another ergonomically designed bow saw from Bahco, this one is the longest of the lot. Featuring a 36-inch blade, the hand saw still has a thin frame. Apart from that, the thin frame is 10 inches tall giving it a sleek look. It is ideal for cutting thicker pieces of laminate, wood, and plastic with a fair bit of ease.

Of course, you won’t need this kind of bow saw for lighter and more precise activities like pruning and roofing. This one instead is for heavy-duty tasks like some kind of construction work or cutting logs. 

Bahco has added the obligatory tension lever for quick blade change which is required when carrying out heavy-duty tasks constantly. The steel tube frame of this bow saw gives it additional strength.

The hardened steel blades hardly need any sharpening but having a backup blade is ideal when you’re dealing with thick logs. Your knuckles will remain protected and injury-free with the plastic handguard on the fairly sleek handle. 

You can store the saw easily in your bag without worrying about ruining it as it comes with a plastic blade guard. Despite the wide length and long height of the bow saw, it weighs just 2.1 pounds with the cover and hence is pretty easy to use for long durations.

Pros:

-You can tackle big sawing jobs like logging and construction work using this 36-inch beast

-The durable steel framework ensures it will last long

-The hardened steel blades rarely require any sharpening

-The knuckle guard around the handle makes it comfortable for you to work without tiring your hands

Cons:

-It is fairly large equipment and is not ideal for smaller and tighter spaces

-The handguard may come off with excessive usage as reported by a few users

What is a Hand Saw and Why Do You Need One?

A hand saw is a very versatile object used for pruning, cutting trees, building houses, floorboards, carrying out detailed joining work, and cutting PVC pipes. The hand saw can do most kinds of mechanical cutting, especially in carpentry and architecture.

It doesn’t require any external power and is operated manually. You need to hold it by the handle and cut through the materials using the blade. The equipment is inexpensive and lasts for years although the blade does need sharpening at times.

The blade of the hand saw is usually made of high carbon steel while the handle is made of plastic. A rubber grip is also added in some products to improve the control while cutting. The jagged teeth of the hand saw are what helps it cut precisely and quickly. The number of teeth per inch tells how sharp the hand saw would be and how quickly it cuts.

Now in the world of technology and gadgets, you might think you’d need a power tool like a saw powered by electricity. But in some instances, the good old hand saw actually works better than the power tools. Here are a few scenarios where the hand saw would prove more effective than the power tool:

Rigid Foam Insulation

You can use the hot knife to cut rigid pieces of foam but you don’t want to be wasting three hundred dollars on a weekend hobby. Power saws often make a mess and cut the foam poorly. A hand saw is the simplest and the most effective tool to cut foam. You can even precisely make the curved cuts with a quick push of a lightweight hand saw.

6×6 timbers

Finishing the cut can be a challenge when you are using a power saw on 6×6 timber. Your 7-¼” circular saw would cut quite deep but won’t be able to cut the last bit up to the center. If you have a hand saw, you can make a few quicks strokes and finish the job with clean cuts.

Trimming Trees

Pruning or cutting shrubs and trees is a common task if you have a backyard or a garden. Chain saws can be overkill and even dangerous to operate in a few cases. They don’t cut the limbs properly and can be challenging to use while cutting branches.

Pruning saws can quickly help you cut low-hanging branches as well as saplings. It is easy to operate in trees that have multiple branches. 

Stairs and Rafters

The saw cut you make with a circular saw on a stair stringer and roof rafter’s bird may go beyond the actual corner and can ruin the whole thing. You may not be able to remove the complete section. You would need a hand saw to cut the ends properly. That helps avoid any over cuts.

Different Types of Saw: What Type of Saw You Should Get?

Hand Saw

These are general-purpose tools that are used to cut straight as well as curved shapes out of wood. You can use it for a variety of purposes like cutting pipes, laminates, and more. These aren’t suitable to cut through narrow spaces though. You should have one of the classic hand saws if you do woodwork or DIY crafts regularly. 

Backsaws

These are shorter saws with pretty narrow blades. The major purpose of having a backsaw (or tenon saw) is to make fine cuts. These are ideal to perform the finishing tasks. 

Bowsaws

The bow has a long blade because of the angle it’s put in. The longer blades are ideal if you want to make sharp and deep cuts across trees. These have cross-cut teeth that help remove the additional material and finish the jobs.

These are excellent tools for pruning, roofing, cutting thick logs, timber, and so on. 

Coping Saw

If your major purpose is trimming, precision cutting, and scrolling, a coping saw is a great option for you. It’s pretty cheap and lightweight. This kind of saw isn’t ideal for cutting thick material quickly.

Crosscut Saw

A crosscut saw has thick blades along with a plastic handle. The beveled teeth are ideal for cutting through wood effortlessly. The crosscut saw is suitable for backpackers as it helps cutting timber and wood quickly. 

Fret Saws

Fret saws can perform very intricate cuts because of their long and sharp blades. These are excellent for crafting work. The large frame ensures that the outer frame doesn’t become a hindrance resulting in effortless cutting.

Keyhole Saw

Keyhole saws are excellent tools for DIY craft because of their ability to cut neat circles and crafts. These saws have a round handle and a blade protruding from the handle’s tip. You can replace a small section or carve a new one easily with such a saw.

Pruning Saws

As the name suggests, these saws specialize in pruning tasks. They have a curved blade design and are foldable too at times. These saws have coarse teeth that can remove branches and limbs in a quick time. If you maintain your lawn or have a gardening hobby, a pruning saw is a must-have tool for you.

You may have multiple of these saws depending upon usage. You should not try doing all tasks with one saw because it might hurt you. Determine your purpose and decide the saw you want to purchase accordingly.

Things to Look for in a Good Hand Saw: Buyers’ Guide

When purchasing a hand saw or a replacement, you should consider a few factors to make a valuable and cost-effective purchase. Here’s all you need to have in mind while shopping:

Type

As discussed earlier, hand saws come in a variety of styles. Each style can carry out one or multiple tasks. But having a specialized hand saw for different tasks can help you do the job neatly and quickly. 

For instance, compact pruning saws or folding saws can enter and cut through narrow areas while larger hand saws are better to cut thicker pieces of logs and so.

Teeth

The teeth of a hand saw are a decisive factor in determining the speed of cutting. The teeth also determine the neatness of your cut. Tooth count is commonly measured by tooth per inch. The more the TPI, the sharper your saw will be. 

Coarse hand saws will have a TPI of 1 to 7. These hand saws cut thick pieces of wood in-depth pretty quickly. It can make large wood cutting tasks easier. But the cuts won’t be very smooth because the hand saws tear through the fibers leaving a rough finish.

Hand saws with a blade of 9 TPI or higher will have smaller teeth and hence sharper blades. The cuts will be smoother and these hand saws are ideal for finishing jobs as well as cutting wood to craft DIY furniture. You’ll need to work harder to cut using this because you’re pulling more teeth through the wood.

Blade

The shape and thickness of the blade are other important things to consider. You would require blades of different designs and thickness for different purposes. The material of the blade is mostly high carbon steel or a hardened steel alloy but here are a few factors to consider when choosing the blade:

-The classic hack saw has broad and long blades to cut through large and thick pieces of wood.

-Hack saws are the best tools to cut metals and pipes because of their high TPI and lower gullets.

-Choose saws with thin blades for precise and quick woodwork. You can make curved and crafty cuts with such saws and these won’t get stuck in the wood. You can also cut on the pull stroke making these excellent saws for carpentry.

-Use a jab saw to cut through drywall material. It has large teeth on its long and narrow blades for quick cutting.

Tension

A good saw blade should have a consistent curve on each spot. It shouldn’t have a sharp bend at any point although a slight bend is essential. Your saw should also snap back to straight as soon as you release it. Some saws also come with a tension adjustment knob helping cut materials of varied hardness.

Flex

The flex of a saw can make it difficult to make straight and precise cuts. Hacksaws help counter the bend as they have a frame on both sides. Woodworking saws balance the flex by cutting on the pull. Saws bend on pushing and straighten on pulling due to tension. Thicker blades have lesser flex but take longer to cut through.

Handle

The handle provides control to the hand saw and is as important as the blade. Wood handles are uncomfortable and can be challenging to work with for long. Saws with rubberized grips offer better control and comfort.

Length

A longer blade makes cutting thicker materials faster and easier. Saws with long blades also offer a straighter and neater cut. You may be able to control a shorter saw better if you have a short reach.

5 Benefits of Using a Hand Saw

Portable

Hand saws are easy to carry and hence suitable for backpacking and camping. They are lighter and more compact than power saws. You don’t need to take batteries or cables with you either.

Lightweight

Manual saws are easier to operate because of their lightweight. You will find it more comfortable to use a hand saw to cut above your head among the branches and so.

Doesn’t Require Power

You can operate these in places where electricity isn’t available as they require manual power.

Safer 

Power saws cut rapidly and hence can be challenging to handle. You are in much better control of a hand saw leading to safer operation.

Inexpensive

Hand saws are inexpensive tools and are ideal for your weekend hobbies. You won’t have to think twice before buying one of these for your DIY projects.

Curved Blade Saw or Straight Blade Saw: Which is Better?

A Curved Blade saw is ideal to operate when cutting something above your shoulder and below your waist. It gets easier to pull a curved blade above your height for cutting. If you have to cut between your shoulder and waist, a straight blade is better. Typically you would want a straight saw for DIY projects but it all depends on your comfort.

How Do You Cut a Tree Branch with a Hand Saw?

A pole saw is the best tool to cut a tree branch. The pole would help you increase your reach while the curved pruning saw at the end of the pole cuts the branches well. If you have shorter trees, you can use a compact pruning saw too.

Can the Blade Be Sharpened?

Yes, you can sharpen a saw’s blade when its teeth become dull and it slows your cutting. Remove the rust with sandpaper and then use a saw set to sharpen the blade. A saw set has a pair of long handles on one end and a pair of jaws on the other. You can make your old hand saw last longer by sharpening the blade.

How to Sharpen a Hand Saw?

-Take a saw set, a good quality file, and a vice. Check the height of the blade and the alignment. 

-Set the tooth right because your saw won’t cut evenly when the teeth aren’t evenly sized. Confirm the TPI of the saw first. Adjust the saw set accordingly and then squeeze the handle on the tooth that comes first. 

-Skip the next tooth and repeat down the saw’s length. Try to apply similar pressure on each tooth that bends away from the tool handle. Repeat the process on the opposite side.

-File the teeth of the saw by clamping it on a piece of hardwood. Place tooth covers over the blade and keeps it indoors for longer durability.

How to Maintain a Hand Saw?

-Keep it dry

Protect your hand saw from moisture and store it in a dry place. Moisture can lead to rusting of the saw. The best way to protect is by keeping it in a toolbox with the teeth covered.

-Lubricate regularly

Use paste wax and gun oil to lubricate your hand saw after each use. You can use a rag to apply gun oil. Wipe the paste away after some time and your saw would cut more smoothly.

-Apply oil to the handle

Wooden handles tend to become rough over time. Apply some boiled linseed oil to remove dust and moisture from it. You can also remove the handle and clean the slots separately in case of rust. 

-Use a razor blade to remove rust

If your hand saw has already caught rust, you can scrape the rust carefully with a regular razor. Use steel wool to scrub stubborn spots.

-Sharpen the saw

It’s a tricky activity and you need help from a professional. It won’t cost much to get your saw sharpened although you can try and do it yourself as discussed earlier.

Conclusion

Buying a hand saw shouldn’t be a difficult decision if you know what exactly you need it for. It will be an indispensable asset if you’re a DIY enthusiast or a gardener or into carpentry. This inexpensive tool can last for years and is a valuable investment.

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