Pocket Chainsaw vs. Folding Saw

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So, you need to cut some wood, but don’t know what to use. You are considering a folding saw or a pocket saw as your main means of attack. However, when it comes to pocket saw vs. folding saw, what are the differences? Is one of them better? Let’s find out.

Pocket Chainsaw vs. Folding Saw

Ease of Use

The first thing to consider between these two tools is which one is easier to use. First off, a folding saw only requires you to use a single hand with an easy back and forth motion. Moreover, the stroke, a simple back and forth motion, is also very easy.

Now, on the other hand, pocket chainsaws are also very easy to use. However, they do have a small downfall, which is that you need both hands and arms to operate them, which means that if you have an injury to one hand or arm, it’s going to make it harder. Also, with a pocket chainsaw, the stroke is a bit more difficult, as you have to move in opposite directions with both hands. In other words, you need a high level of hand-eye coordination to use them.


Pocket chainsaws are ideal for-long term use, at least if you get a high-quality option. Most modern pocket chainsaws have self-sharpening and self-cleaning blades, which means that they can be used for a long time without requiring maintenance. The same cannot be said for a folding saw, which does not have self-sharpening or cleaning blades, and therefore has a shorter lifespan in this sense, at least if you do not maintain it.

With all of that being said, short-term durability is a bit different. When it comes to folding saws, they tend to be quite durable in the sense that they have fairly thick blades with tough teeth. Breaking a tooth or the whole blade is almost impossible with a folding saw. However, on the other hand, a pocket chainsaw has a chain, and that chain can break along any of the links, and the teeth can chip off too. So in terms of short-term durability, a folding saw is probably the go-to option.

Weight and Size

When it comes to weight and size, a pocket chainsaw is probably going to be the winner in most cases. Folding saws and pocket chainsaws can come in various sizes, and the larger they are, the heavier they will be. Yet, if we take the average size of both, a pocket chainsaw will usually be a bit lighter in weight than a folding saw.

Therefore, because a pocket chainsaw is lighter, it takes less energy and effort to use and to transport than a folding saw. In terms of transportation and weight, it’s the folding chainsaw that is most likely going to be the better option for you. Pocket chainsaws can also be compacted into small packages, and they usually always come with a small pouch ideal for transportation.

Size of Log That Can Be Cut

In terms of the size of a log or piece of wood that can be cut, if you are looking to complete large jobs, one of these tools is much better than the other. A folding saw has a certain blade length, sometimes 1 foot long, sometimes 2 feet, but remember that when you have to stroke back and forth, a few inches are needed just for the motion itself. You cannot cut a log of 1 foot in diameter with a blade that is 1-foot long. Simply put, with a folding saw, you can really only perform smaller jobs. Even a 2-foot long blade can only handle so much wood.

On the other hand, a pocket chainsaw can come with a chain that is up to 4-feet long, and therefore you can perform much larger jobs with it. A pocket chainsaw, a large one, can be used to cut full size logs with ease, whereas a folding saw is really only ideal for smaller branches and tasks of that nature. If you need something to cut large logs, it’s a pocket chainsaw you need to go with.

Variety of Jobs That Can Be Performed

A pocket chainsaw can handle larger jobs than a folding saw, but how does it stack up in terms of variety? Simply put, a pocket chainsaw is really only good for a single thing, and that is sawing large logs, and maybe for cutting down some small to medium-size trees.

However, although a folding saw cannot handle as big of logs or trees, they can handle smaller ones, plus many other tasks. Really anything that a normal saw can do, a folding saw can do. The fact of the matter is that a folding saw can be used for a much wider variety of tasks than a pocket chainsaw.


The final point of comparison has to do with speed. A folding saw is a bit slower and more cumbersome than a pocket chainsaw. With a folding saw, you are only attacking one side of the wood with a back and forth stroke. A pocket chainsaw attacks the wood from both sides, and you can get some good speed and technique going too. If you want to saw logs with speed, a pocket chainsaw is the way to go.

Pocket Chainsaw vs. Folding Saw — Final Verdict

As can be seen, both pocket chainsaws and folding saws have their merits. A folding saw might be a bit more user-friendly, and it can handle a wider variety of tasks, not to mention increase short-term durability; however, over the long run, the pocket chainsaw has better durability, plus it’s much faster at cutting larger pieces.

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