Camp Saw: ‘Agawa’ Cuts Fast, Packs Small

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.

The Agawa Canyon Boreal 21
The Agawa Canyon Boreal 21

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.

The saw folded down
The saw folded down

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.

Agawa Canyon Camp Saw
The saw snaps together with a lever system that automatically tensions the blade

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.

camp saws
The Boreal 21, top, vs a cheap hardware store variety saw

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.

pack saw for camping
Boreal 21 blade, top

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.

Sean McCoy

Sean McCoy is the Editorial Director of GearJunkie, and 5+ other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about hunting, fishing, trail running, camping, skiing, and more for 15+ years.

Prior to GearJunkie, he was the chief photographer for the Virgin Islands Daily News and former Editor In Chief for GearJunkie. Based in Denver, Colorado, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.