• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Video and Review: Gerber Freescape™ folding saw – Add one to your survival kit or Bug-Out Bag

600 314 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

A wood saw can be an incredibly important and useful survival tool. Here is a good choice for inclusion in your survival gear.

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer: Gerber supplied the product for this review. I was not paid to review and/or publish this post. There is no advertising relationship between Gerber and Survivalcommonsense. This is strictly my opinion, and nobody had any input into this post.

So you’re setting up a Bug0ut/Get Home/survival cache etc. It is common sense to include some way to process firewood. To save space and weight, you have to choose between a saw or an ax.

I already weighed in on that topic in this post.

The Gerber Freescape Camp saw.


IMHO, the average person is best served with a saw. As a river guide with Big River Wild Adventures and Quapaw Canoe Company, I’m often on the river with beginners who are just learning survival skills. They can probably safely use a saw to process firewood, but they are not ready yet to use a hatchet or ax. These tools rely on velocity to cut and it takes practice to safely use either.

Another consideration for my river gear is weight and size. All my equipment needs to fit in a medium-sized dry bag, and there can’t be any wasted space. My Pocket Chain Saw has a permanent position in my gear bag.

There are several excellent folding saws on the market. A 15-inch Sven Saw  went along with me on a nine-day BSA canoe trip in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota. It worked very well. My Big River Wild Adventures instruction bag includes several different types of saws for students to try. These include a Silky Pocket Boy Folding Saw, the Freescape, and a Kobalt Folding Saw.

My ancient Outdoor Edge GrizSaw is sometimes included for nostalgia sake.

How the saw works out

Design: The Freescape folds up flat for transport and utilizes four pivot points upon release to create a secure handle grip and 12 inch cutting surface.

Compact: The saw measures 14 inches when folded up and weighs about 15 ounces.

Useful: My Freescape™ stays assembled and hangs in our backyard tool shed. My wife loves to putter with her medicinal plants, flowers and shrubs, and pruning things is among her joys in life. The Freescape is lightweight, efficient and easy to handle, and the size is just right for pruning work.

Efficient: This is not a saw for wannabe loggers and logging. But it is great for small jobs, quick pruning, building emergency shelters, breaking down firewood, and other smaller fire wood tasks. I usually rely on my Swiss Army Knife saw when backpacking. My deer and elk hunting daypack generally includes a smaller folding saw. This is used for splitting a ribcage, sawing off antlers and various butchering tasks.

Handle: Use any saw or tool for long and you will develop definite opinions about its handle! The Freescape has a generous handle diameter with bright green accents. This makes it easy to use, and to find again, when it gets laid down in the leaves.

The good stuff:

Blades: The Freescape accepts all standard 12″ blades, making replacement simple. I haven’t broken a blade yet, but the saw gets loaned to beginners. For extended wilderness trips, an extra blade would be good insurance.

Warranty: Gerber offers a limited lifetime warranty on all products.

Do you need a Gerber Freescape folding saw?

IMHO, every survival kit needs a tool(s) to efficiently process firewood. Check around, research and decide what aspects of that cutting tool will work best for you. Decide whether you need an ax or a saw, or both – whatever, they have to work for you. Then invest wisely, and practice. And use the tools safely!

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