Chances are, you haven’t heard of Agawa Canyon folding saws — but you should! After years of testing and loving the brand’s original Boreal 21, it just launched two new models.
There are just a handful of folding saw distributors in North America. Most people will choose between the iconic Sven Saw, which works well as a bow saw, and the equally functional Silky brand of folding saws. But among the lesser-known saw manufacturers, my absolute favorite is the rarely seen Agawa Canyon.
This is our first look review of the Agawa Canyon Boreal 24 and Boreal 15.
The Agawa Canyon uses an entirely unique folding method that requires no tools to assemble or screws to tighten. It’s all one piece, and you just fold it open and snap it together to get cutting. It gives you a huge cutting surface to work with and is rock solid during cutting. The GIF below shows the opening and closing method.
I’ve been using the original Boreal 21 since 2015, and it still works as well as the day it was new, prepping firewood for countless fires. I’ve also sawed through a lot of elk bones while hunting, a secondary use for which I’ve been eternally grateful on long packs out of the woods.
And all in all, it has functioned flawlessly. The one gripe I have is that you can pinch your skin on the handle when assembling the saw. I did it once, and it hurt, but I have not done it again.
In short: Agawa Canyon’s Boreal series of saws now includes 15-inch and 24-inch models. The Boreal line folds up into a slim profile for easy packing. But it’s a very fast, effective bow saw capable of cutting thick logs — up to about 10 inches in diameter.
All models have optional accessories and multiple blades for different types of cutting. It’s the best folding saw I’ve personally used.
Agawa Canyon Saws: New for 2020
Needless to say, I love this design. It works, it’s light and easy to transport, and it sets up in seconds. So when the brand reached out to say it was expanding the lineup, I was stoked. The representatives sent over a couple of the new models to check out, and they certainly meet my expectations.
Boreal 24: The largest saw in the Agawa lineup, the Boreal 24 is a beast. I used it briefly to test it out and think this one will be a good choice for trail maintenance or those who need to cut a lot of firewood. But having used the longstanding Boreal 21 for years, it may be overkill for some campers.
But if you don’t mind a little extra weight (21 ounces) and packed weight (24 inches long), as well as cost ($80, $115 including a sheath and extra blade), this is one saw that will tackle any chore.
Boreal 15: At $70 retail, this smaller version of my beloved Agawa 21 has the potential to win my heart for hunting. I very often carry the Agawa 21 into elk camp. The hike means big miles, and weight matters.
At just 15 ounces, the Boreal 15 saves 3 ounces and some space compared to the 21. I need to do some more cutting to see how it performs next to its larger siblings, but initially, it looks plenty effective for collecting camp firewood and processing big game with the optional bone-saw blade.
I’d be remiss not to once again mention the Boreal 21 ($75). This middle size has proven effective and reliable over 5 years of testing, so I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Same Construction, New Sizes
Beyond a size difference, the new models are the same Agawa Canyon Boreal that I’m familiar with. The construction is robust. Setup is simple once you’ve done it a couple of times and takes literal seconds. And cutting logs is fast, easy, and efficient, especially for such a packable tool.
And even more exciting for us hunters, Agawa Canyon offers bone blades, which you can easily interchange in the field. The extra blade rides inside the sheath, so you’ll have it back in camp when you need it.
Changing the blades requires a little care, especially in the field. You have to remove a small C-clip, which would be easy to lose. But it’s easy to accomplish with a Leatherman multitool or even a pocket knife to pry it loose.
Ultimately, in the limited marketplace for folding saws, the Agawa Canyon Boreal series stands out. It’s a no-compromise tool that still manages to easily slip into a backpack. If you’re looking for one folding saw that can do all your camp chores, this is a strong contender.