Ideally, a hand saw is not the best tool to cut down a tree with - a chainsaw is, but a hand saw is the perfect tool for pruning and cutting small stems and branches. Nonetheless, there are scenarios in which a hand saw becomes the ideal tool to cut with. In addition to the noise they produce, chainsaws are loud, heavy, and difficult to operate. So, a hand saw seems like the more reasonable option when you have small to medium-sized trunks and branches. Really, how do you select a good hand saw when there are so many available? We have made the selection process easier for you by curating a list of the best hand saws for cutting trees, after a careful selection and reviewing process.
Comparison Table of Hand Saw for Cutting Trees
|Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw||10 inch||Check Price|
|EverSaw Folding Hand Saw||8 inch||Check Price|
|BLACK+DECKER Electric Hand Saw||3.4 amp, 4600 SPM||Check Price|
|REXBETI Heavy Duty Folding Hand Saw||11 inch||Check Price|
|Bahco Bow Saw for Green Wood||30"||Check Price|
|Tarvol Heavy Duty Pruning Saw||14 inch||Check Price|
Top 6 Best Hand Saw for Cutting Trees
1. Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw
It may not look like much, but the Corona RS7265D is indeed a versatile hand saw perfect for tree pruning, stem and branch cutting, and many more garden tasks. The blade comes with a slightly curved design that presents good aesthetics and ensures faster cuts at the same time. With 3-sided razor teeth, the 10" blade is perfect for pruning small to medium-size branches.
As you might have expected, it features an ergonomically designed handle that makes for a strong and comfortable grip. The blade is foldable, so you wouldn't require a separate sheath to cover the blade after use. Furthermore, the blade is chrome-coated and comes with impulse-hardened teeth for improved strength and durability. Interestingly, the blade can be easily replaced if ever there is a need to do so.
2. EverSaw Folding Hand Saw
Made from SK5 carbon steel, the blade on this EverSaw hand saw is very strong. The 8" length is just right and reduces the risk of ending up with a bent or broken blade. In particular, the gear lock mechanism is very efficient in securing the blade in place when it is open. Likewise, the blade locks perfectly into the handle, unlike some hand saws that feature blades that don't fold completely.
The blade's sharpness level is also commendable, with the triple-cut razor teeth that deliver amazing pull cut sawing. This tool is perfect for people who need a versatile tool for several activities that could include tree pruning. The ergonomic thermoplastic ribbed rubber handle assures a comfortable and slipless grip. Also, it is one of the lightest weight hand saws you can get.
3. BLACK+DECKER Electric Hand Saw
The Black+Decker PHS550B is an electric hand saw that comes with a 3.4 AMP motor. While it is an electric hand saw, it is still compact and portable enough for precision cutting. In addition to tree pruning, the saw can cut reasonably thick trunks and branches. The 6 ft cord would be long enough in a workshop. However, it falls on the short side when used for tree pruning.
Additionally, it comes with a unique tool-free blade change feature that makes for easy blade swapping. It is a lightweight machine and combined with the fact that it is motor-driven, you would not experience much hand stress when operating the saw. A 2-year limited warranty is included in the package.
4. REXBETI Heavy Duty Folding Hand Saw
This REXBETI hand saw is another tool you should take a look at when picking out a hand saw for tree pruning. It comes with an 11" long SK-5 steel blade that is strong enough for a variety of cutting tasks. Also, it has a relatively long rubber coated polymer handle that ensures a firm and comfortable grip.
We like the folding design that lets you get the blade out of the way without using a separate sheath. Furthermore, the blade teeth have an aggressive staggered design that makes for smooth and sharp sawing. With its 7 teeth per inch design, it is just the perfect tool for a variety of garden, camping, and woodworking tasks.
5. Bahco Bow Saw for Green Wood
This hand saw model is specifically designed to cut greenwood. Thus, it is a perfect tool for tree pruning and cutting wood that is yet to dry up regardless of the design; it is a lightweight saw that weighs a mere 1.9 pounds. It features a strong heavy-duty steel tubing that makes up the bow frame and helps with the precise tensioning and quick release changes.
6. Tarvol Heavy Duty Pruning Saw
This Japanese style hand saw comes with a slightly curved design that makes cutting and trimming easier. What we like the most about this Tarvol saw is that it cuts well on the push and pull stroke, for people who don't like one-way blades. Furthermore, the thickness of the blade is such that it won't bend or snap easily; it is just the right thickness for tree pruning.
Overall Best - BLACK+DECKER Electric Hand Saw
It is really hard to pick the overall best, as all the hand saws are functional in their own rights. However, the Black+Decker stands out as the only electric hand saw. It takes considerably lesser effort to use and can cut through much thicker trunks and stems than the other saws. However, the 6ft cord may be quite insufficient to prune out in your garden and still connect to the power source.
Factors and Features to Consider When Buying Hand Saw for Cutting Trees
There are different types of hand saws, made for various purposes. While some saws are general-purpose tools, you should consider specific features and factors in a hand saw that would be used for tree cutting.
This is very important when it comes to tree cutting. While a lot of people believe that long blades are the best, that is not the truth. In truth, tree cutting requires quite a bit of length in hand saw blades, but the longer the blade gets, the more susceptible to snapping and bending it becomes. Go for a blade length that is close to the diameter of the material to be cut.
All hand saws are sharp, but some are made to be ultra-sharp. In tree cutting, average sharpness may serve you well, if the trunk/stems are not too tough. Nonetheless, you should go for the sharpest option you can get, even though there is always a corresponding price implication. Also, the ultra-sharp saws are the best for precision cutting.
This is another factor that determines blade quality. The thicker the blade is, the less likely it is to snap. This is not to say that a blade has to be very thick to serve you well. A blade with an average thickness is sufficient for regular tree pruning. You should also know that blade thickness has a direct effect on the weight of any saw.
This is where different manufacturers strive to make their blades better than competing models. Although many of the design features can be for aesthetic purposes, some are for functional purposes. Ergonomic grips, curved blades, foldable blades, and sheath covers are some design peculiarities you want to look out for.
How to Sharpen a Hand Saw
Regardless of how carefully you use a hand saw or how well it is maintained, the blade will get dull eventually and require sharpening. Sharpening a hand saw is not so hard, as long as you have the right tools. The first step to take is to establish the number of teeth per inch on the saw, and then get a corresponding saw set and taper files.
Check the Saw Blade and Correct the Tooth Height
You cannot just go ahead with the sharpening process without first inspecting the blade, or rather, you shouldn't. More often than not, you will notice a difference in height when you examine the teeth. A jointing process is required to correct teeth height before you move ahead with the sharpening. Clamp the saw on a vise, with wood blocks as a backboard, and file the teeth with a metal file until they are of uniform height.
Set the Teeth
This is another step you have to take to make the blade teeth aligned before you sharpen. With an appropriate saw set and starting at the heel, bend each tooth with the saw set from the midpoint, making sure that all the teeth are bent evenly and that each bend is not more than half the depth of the tooth.
File the Teeth
Hand saws for cutting trees have relatively small teeth, so you should use a relatively small file. There are four types of taper files: Regular, Slim, Extra Slim, and Double Extra Slim. The PPI (points per inch) of your saw will determine the taper file to use. For tree cutting hand saws, you will most likely have to use an extra slim or double extra slim taper, or in some cases, a slim one.
How to Keep Your Pruning Saw in Good Condition?
Adequate maintenance is a significant part of using hand saws, whether for pruning or other purposes. Follow the following instructions to keep your saw in good condition for as long as possible.
With tools like hand saws, it is quite easy to neglect regular cleaning. Nevertheless, you should wipe the saw clean with soft fabric after each use; this will prevent the quick rusting of the saw blade. Occasionally, use vegetable shortening/ water to clean the blade properly.
After each cleaning your saw blade, lubricate with paste wax before putting the saw away. This will prevent rusting.
Store in Moisture-Free Conditions
Hand saws can rust easily, more so when they are stored in damp conditions. So, when putting your saw away, make sure to store it in a cool and dry space.
Remove Accumulated Rust
It would be almost impossible to keep your saw perpetually rust-free. With regular oiling, you can achieve it, but it is not so easy. Nevertheless, you should scrape the rust off with a razor whenever you notice it. Accumulated rust may have to be removed with sandpaper.
Hand Saw or Electric Saw?
Hand saws can either be electric or manually operated, but then again, we have the broader hand saw and power saw classification. Both have respective scenarios where they will be the best option. When you need precision cutting, a hand saw is typically the better option. However, more serious work like cutting down a tree or dividing logs is better done with a power saw. However, for tree pruning, a handsaw like one of those we have included on our list is the best.
Frequently Asked Question
Curved or straight blade?
They can both be functional, but the curved blade typically cuts faster when used for tree pruning, as trunks and branches are generally cylindrical. However, when the blade length is insufficient or when the tree is of an irregular shape, a curved blade will cut slower than a straight blade.
Do I need a sheath?
For safety reasons, the blade should always be covered after use. These days it is not so common to get a hand saw without a blade sheath. Foldable hand saws do not need sheaths as the blades are designed to fold into the handle.
Getting the right hand saw for tree pruning is not so hard, given that you know the things to look out for in a good hand saw. These tools we have reviewed are some of the best you will get on the market. They come with different design styles, and you get to choose based on personal preference. Nonetheless, they are all functional and versatile, perfect for tree pruning and several other cutting tasks.