Would you look at that? A buyer’s guide to the best bone saws for hunting deer, elk, and big game in 2023. We’re sure you can’t believe some internet nerd would spend the time helping you find the perfect bone cutter for butchering your harvest.
While it’s true we are hunting bloggers, we aren’t just any geeks off the street. We’re big game hunters, just like you.
So, we know how important a top-notch saw is in any field dressing kit, no matter how you choose to gut your animal. What you’re looking for is a sharp, rugged, and durable blade, from titanium bonded to steel.
Whether you choose a classic fixed blade saw or a folding hand saw, we included a number of heavy-duty options just for you. We even included a saw/machete hybrid for those adventurous guys and gals hunting in the bush.
Every saw we included in this list is well-reviewed by hunters and up to the challenge of the most brutal bone and cartilage you can throw at it. This includes selections from brands like Silky, Bahco, Havalon, Outdoor Edge, HME, Camillus, and other trusted names in the hunting industry.
So, sit back, relax, and let’s get you the right saw for your next hunt. We did countless hours of internet nerdery for you, so you don’t have a second to guess any of the selections on this list. Hell, grab a couple of blades from this guide. You never know which bone saw for deer, elk, and big game hunting you will end up preferring for your upcoming 2023 season.
Best Overall Bone Saw for Deer, Elk & Big Game
Silky Professional Series PocketBoy
Curved: [130mm | 170mm]
Straight: [130mm | 170mm]
We prefer the Silky PocketBoy saw above all else because it’s available in two different sizes, sports a straight or curved blade, and can rip through anything with minimal effort. It’s efficient, lightweight, and well-made.
In short, we feel this bone saw stands as the best bang-for-your-buck blade out there. It’s perfect for backpack hunting because it’s not very bulky and doesn’t take up a bunch of room in your pack. It also has a folding blade with a small carrying case which helps to keep that bad boy dry and its teeth sharp for when you need it most.
All of these reasons and more make this blade our pick for the best hunting bone saw that 2023 has to offer. It’s made from rust-resistant chrome-coated steel with super-efficient teeth that will slice through any bone.
The truth is this: The PocketBoy is marketed as a multi-tool saw, but it rips through bones exceptionally well. It is definitely cut out for the job.
Whether you’re a deer, elk, or any other big game hunter, the Silky PocketBoy is the way to go. We think the blade rivals the Bahco Laplander while costing less, making it a sharp, durable, and budget-friendly option for your field dressing kit.
- Pros: Rips through anything with ease, carrying case is a nice touch, small footprint in your bag, two-position lockable blade, versatile
- Cons: Not a hunting-specific saw
- Best for: Quick limb separation, applications that require a curved blade
Popular Deer, Elk & Big Game Saw
Bahco 396-LAP Laplander
The Bahco Laplander is another of the most popular deer, elk, and wild game bone saws available in 2023. It’s a versatile multi-tool saw suitable for chores around the house or cutting through a pelvic bone. (Wow, did I just type that sentence?)
I know you didn’t come here to trim tree limbs, though, and you’re probably looking to use it to cut another type of limb while processing your kill. Just know that it can do both. Plus, it’s always nice to have a tool to tackle multiple jobs in camp, whether cutting bone or wood.
If you’re looking for a durable tool that’s ergonomic, lightweight, and designed for hunting and outdoors enthusiasts, look no further.
- Pros: Lightweight, durable blade, safety lock keeps blade extended under pressure
- Cons: Some users report issues with the locking mechanism and have had to re-seat and re-tighten the screw on occasion
- Best for: Multi-tool in camp, firewood, bone
Versatile Folding Blade With Filet Knife
Anyone who’s been around wild game processing in the last few years is probably familiar with the Havalon brand. That’s because they make one of the most razor-sharp skinning knives on the market.
That’s not their only claim to fame. They also make one of the best bone saws on the market, the versatile and valuable two-blade Havalon Hydra.
This folding hand saw is more than just a bone saw; it also includes their patented replaceable blade filet knife. Why carry a saw and a skinner when you can have both in one tool? With its ergonomic design and multi-use capabilities, it’ll lighten the load in your pack.
We love to use the Hydra for all wild-game processing, and it lives in our packs on every hunt. Our favorite feature is that its blades are replaceable, which facilitate faster field dressing times without the need to stop and sharpen blades.
This tool flat outperforms the field and is well-reviewed by hunters and outdoor enthusiasts online. One reviewer commented that the Hydra “rips through sternums like butter.” We, too, can attest to this, as we’ve made quick work of several elk with this saw.
- Pros: Versatile, fast, durable, ergonomic, lightweight
- Cons: None to report; we love this thing!
- Best for: Expert field dressing, meat processing, fast animal cleaning
Lightweight & Compact Pocket Saw
Outdoor Edge Flip ‘N’ Zip
If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking to clear up more room in your pack. Well, this knife from Outdoor Edge Cutlery will help with that as it’s one of the most compact and lightweight options on this list.
This limb saw folds up to fit in the palm of your hand yet is sharp and powerful enough to use on rib cages or pelvic bones. Its short, high-strength blade can quickly butcher deer, elk, or other big game.
If you’re looking for extras, it also comes with a mossy oak belt case, so you can attach it to your hip on your next hunt if you so choose. This super small yet efficient blade is user-friendly and will not let you down.
- Pros: Affordable, great reviews online, compact, lightweight
- Cons: Not incredibly durable, not the best option for elk and moose
- Best for: Smaller big game animals, ultralight hunters
Best Budget Pack Saw
We get it; hunting is an expensive hobby. That’s why we included this inexpensive budget option from HME. If you’re looking for a minimalist, lightweight, and simple t-handle bone saw, then consider this little fella.
It’s $10, so don’t think this thing will be the belle of the ball on this list, but it still does the job. Not bad, considering it gets heaps of good Amazon reviews for its price point.
It comes with a small sheath that holds the pack saw either snug to your hip or attached to your bag and features a 90 degree stop at the end of the blade. In our experience, this feature helps keep the knife in the bone until you’re done with the dirty work.
- Pros: Affordable, surprisingly sharp, small, minimalist
- Cons: Not big and strong enough for elk and moose
- Best for: Small big game, hunters on a budget
Heavy Duty Option for Large Deer & Elk Harvests
LEM Products 639
The LEM 639 is more of a butcher bone saw than something you would take with you out in the field. With that said, it’s perfect for the hunter that stays near their truck and can bring the carcass back to the rig.
It’s specifically designed to cut through meat, bone, cartilage, or even your nosy neighbor who won’t stay out of your business. (We don’t endorse using this saw for that purpose although, hypothetically, it could work great for such an endeavor.)
We like its vintage design and handgrip that allows deliberate sawing motions and safe animal dismemberment. This blade isn’t something your significant other will want you to bring in the kitchen, but it will cut through bone and tissue quickly and efficiently in the garage.
In all, we love the LEM Products 639 for giant deer and elk harvests, and it would be beneficial for those that process several animals a year.
Our advice is to grab one of the folding knives from this list, keep it in your pack, and grab one of these monsters to leave back in the truck.
- Pros: Great for large projects, heavy-duty, cuts through anything
- Cons: Heavy, bulky, not collapsible
- Best for: Deer, elk, and moose harvests, those that harvest and process multiple animals a year, those that hunt near their vehicle
Beefy Machete/Saw/Knife Hybrid
Camillus Carnivore Inject
What might be overkill for some can be a formidable and deadly tool for others. Life is all about perspective, after all. But, when you purchase this get-er-done pull-out machete from Camillus, you can rest assured that you’ll have the right tool for the job.
Whether chopping your way through dense vegetation, skinning a buck, or sawing through a breastplate, this all-in-one tool won’t quit on you. Plus, this knife/machete/saw is highly versatile and surprisingly practical.
Yes, it’s the most prominent option on this list at 18”, meaning it’s not lightweight or compact by any means. It is, however, an excellent tool for camp and for field-dressing animals. Heck, it’s big enough for you to take on a bear (not that we recommend that).
In terms of freebies, this knife comes with a nice belt-hung carrying case that makes it fit nicely on your hip. Further, it includes a small pull-out knife for little jobs like opening up a carcass with precision and avoiding puncturing the gut sack.
But don’t just take our word for it. This thing gets stellar reviews all around the internet and would make a sharp and durable addition to your hunting pack list. That’s because of its titanium-bonded steel, which keeps the blade sharp year after year.
- Pros: Great do-it-all knife, great for clearing vegetation, can be used to dig, with practice, will do quick work for any big game field dressing, extremely durable
- Cons: Big, bulky, heavy
- Best for: Any big game dressing, bone sawing, and camp chores
Best Deer, Elk & Big Game Field Dressing Kit
This is easily one of the best field dressing kits for the 2023 season. We saw it fly off the shelves in 2021, and expect it to do the same this year. It has everything you need to safely and effectively dress animals in the field.
In the kit, you’ll receive an excellent bone saw for deer, elk, and any other wild game that you could imagine. We also find the caping and gut hook skinning knives extremely sharp and efficient.
Aside from these inclusions, this kit includes something unique — a brisket spreader knife. Use it when you need to get every bit of meat off the ribs and find easy access to the organs.
And we’re not the only ones who love this kit; reviewers do too.
If it’s an all-in-one kit you are after, then this is a no-brainer. We’ve used this kit in the field and can attest to its quality and usefulness. If you want to sleep well at night knowing your field dressing kit won’t fail you, get your hands on this affordable option from Mossy Oak.
- Pros: All-in-one kit, multiple tools allows for effortless field dressing, budget-friendly
- Cons: Not the most durable, it may need to be replaced every couple of years depending on usage, some complaints of rust when stored wet (typical of most steel)
- Best for: Those who leave nothing to chance and want to have all the right tools available, those on a budget, those who don’t wish to track down each piece individually
Best Electric Saw for At-Home Harvesting
BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Kit
*Insert Tim the Tool Man Taylor’s Home Improvement noise here*
Well, here’s the saw we prefer to use at home when chopping up a carcass. If you’re doing any at home deer, elk, and big game processing, then we suggest you check this option from BLACK+DECKER out.
This cordless electric saw may not have been created for tearing through a deer breast with speed, but it sure is good at it. It effortlessly slices, dices, and saws through any organic material with ease.
Plus, this multi-purpose saw won’t break the bank and won’t get your expensive Sawzall gummed up with bits of blood, bone, or hide. At this price point, feel free to use and abuse this thing.
What’s there to lose?
- Pros: Fast, easy, efficient, affordable
- Cons: Not exactly meant for field use
- Best for: At home processors and those dressing animals back at their truck/camp
We pored through countless forums, Facebook groups, blog posts, and online reviews while compiling this list of hunting bone saws. Why? Because it’s what we do. Our mission at EatElkMeat.com is to help you, the hunter, be more successful in the field.
We know more than anything you just need a reliable blade when quartering your kill. So, while compiling this list for you, we’ve considered the following five factors.
We included a little bit of variety on blade size here, from the minimalist to the machete hunter. With that said, we think the sweet spot is a blade between four and six inches.
Steel. Need we say more? Well, probably.
High-grade steel forged into a single blade works best for sawing through dense materials like bone and wood. To help keep rust at bay, a couple of the options here feature titanium-coated steel which provides sharp, durable cutting power.
Meat processing saws get beat up, whether in the field or at home. While processing your 2023 harvest, we only chose the toughest, most burly, and durable selections, and left the weak knock-offs in the dust.
It’s essential to have a workable and dexterous blade while dressing your kill. For this reason, we highly recommend the curved edge of the Silky PocketBoy on this list. A close runner-up for precision mastery is the dual-blade Havalon Hydra.
We love the small and versatile Hydra from Havalon for its size and weight. That’s because we’re backcountry hunters, and every ounce matters when we’re putting in 30,000+ steps a day through rugged terrain
Some prefer a beefy and durable solution, but with that comes a more cumbersome size and weight. Though we don’t necessarily recommend it, pack a larger blade if that’s what your style of hunting calls for.
You came here to peruse the best hunting bones saws for deer, elk, and big game in 2023, and I hope you found exactly what you were looking for. As I mentioned earlier, grab a couple of blades from this list and see what works best for you. The time to second guess your gear is now, not when the time comes to process your kill.
So, every recommendation we have for you here is simple: they’re reliable blades from trusted brands like Silky, Bahco, Outdoor Edge, HME, Callimus, and other respected names. We feel you should be field-dressing with a cutting-edge product and not with some cheap Chinese knockoff.
If it’s a classic, folding, hybrid, or multi-tool you are after, we hope to have provided you with a high-quality option for your next hunt. No matter what you pick and its intended purpose, we’ve only recommended hunter-reviewed and high-quality options.
That’s because we strive to provide our readers with accurate and helpful information by cutting out all the fluff. Why? Because we are hunters too, and we know how notoriously stash others can be with data. From high-quality gear reviews about hunting bone saws for deer, elk, and big game, to in-depth write-ups about the benefits of eating elk, know that we have you covered.
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Last Updated on July 24, 2023