The Boreal 21 Folding Bow Saw is Perfect for the Backcountry

Serious outdoorsmen know that a saw — hand saw, pocket saw, etc — can be invaluable in the backcountry. A sturdy serrated edge is useful for cutting wood necessary for all sorts of things around the campsite or in a survival situation.

Saws have come a long way since the models first found in hardware stores, and outdoors companies have released pack-able, yet durable models for campsite use. One such model is the Boreal 21, a folding bow saw made by Agawa Canyon.

The Boreal 21 is a compact folding saw that can easily fit into any backpack you may be lugging. The saw unfolds and opens up in one motion, with the blade rotating around to lock into the handle, creating a 21-inch bow saw.

There are no parts to attach and nothing to tighten, simply swing the blade around, let the hinged components fold out, and ratchet a lever that hides in the handle to lock the blade into place. The blade is automatically set to the correct tension.

With the Boreal, there are no exposed blade edges to worry about; the blade safely folds into its frame, protecting both you and your gear. There’s an added bonus, too. The Boreal weighs just over one pound, making it a minimalist’s dream.

At 21 inches, the Boreal’s blade is the ideal size for powerful sawing strokes and the three-hinged frame allows large diameter cuts. The frame itself is made of sturdy, lightweight aluminum, while the saw’s grip is weather-resistant nylon, and the hardware is stainless steel. Assembled, it is sturdy and comfortable to use.

A buddy of mine and I tested out the Boreal recently, after a storm knocked a large branch from a tree in his backyard. The branch was roughly six inches in diameter, but the Boreal tackled it nicely. It took maybe three minutes to cut through and the saw’s frame was large enough to handle the job in a single pass.