Pack saws are a great option if you need a serious wood-processing device in a small package. A new model, the Boreal 21, raises the bar for simplicity and bomber construction.
I’ve tested this saw, made by Agawa Canyon, for a few weeks, including using it side by side with cheap hardware store saws. Its construction and engineering impressed me.
Editor’s Note Oct. 2017: After using this saw for more than two years, it’s still going strong. It’s become one of my favorite folding saws and stands up to lots of use.
Top Folding Saw: Agawa Canyon
The saw folds into itself, hiding all sharp edges and resulting in a slender stick that can slide into a pack or stow in the trunk of a car without a worry. It weighs 18.2 ounces on my postal scale.
To put it together, you unfold the saw and use a clever snapping system to tension the blade. It takes just seconds and results in the proper tension every time. Assembly is very easy, but do be careful not to pinch your fingers in the leveraging system.
Used head to head with a steel hardware store saw (above), the Agawa Canyon was at least as good, if not better, at cutting. It wins hands down in portability.
I tested a model with the company’s “all purpose” blade, and I found it very effective and fast cutting with little downward pressure needed.
The blade comes pre-drilled with four attachment holes, so you should be able to adjust for blade stretch easily by re-attaching the blade to the saw at a narrower hole.
Best Folding Saw: Agawa Canyon Is A Top Choice
Compared with the perennial favorite Sven Saw, the Agawa Canyon is similarly easy to assemble and has a larger opening inside the handle frame, allowing for larger cuts with a full stroke of the blade.
Tensioning is automatic, unlike the Sven Saw, which relies on a wing-nut to tighten the blade.
The only downfall of the Agawa Canyon Boreal 21 is cost — it rings in at a hefty $65-$70, depending on blade. It costs several times a cheap hardware store saw and twice the price of a Sven Saw.
But for portability and ease of use in a tool that should serve you for years, many campers will find the Agawa worth the investment.