A best portable band saw is one of the most versatile saws you can have, thanks to its ability to handle a wide range of cuts and materials, with the utmost ease. These power saws are now widely preferred by amateur and expert woodworkers alike mainly due to their portability and the many benefits that they offer. The primary applications of the best portable band saw include woodworking, metalworking, and lumbering.
One obvious benefit of using a portable band saw is that it eliminates the need for you to carry the workpiece to the saw in order to make a cut, Instead, thanks to its compact and portable design, the saw can be moved from one place to another to make cuts, which is especially useful in the case of stationary and heavy workpieces.
One of the most amazing features of these saws is their ability to make perfect curved cuts. Since the tool is designed to be very easy to handle and control, owing to its lightweight and portable nature, you can switch directions easily as many times as you want. In addition, these saws also produce less noise when compared to many other tools that you use for woodworking, thus making them ideal for those areas where noise can be a problem.
Top 5 Best Portable Band Saws 2020
1. DEWALT DWM120K Portable Band Saw
When it comes to power tools, you can almost never go wrong if you choose one from a well-established brand known for their quality and reliability. Dewalt has always been one such brand that has been producing some of the most powerful, high-performance power tools available on the market today. The DWM120K band saw from the brand is known to be an ideal choice for both hobbyists and professionals, and the fact that it is available at a decent price makes the product all the more attractive.
In terms of design and build, the saw is made from high-quality materials, which automatically makes the unit highly durable and reliable, giving you the confidence that you wouldn’t have to invest in another similar tool for years to come. On the other hand, the overall ergonomic design of the saw significantly reduces the level of fatigue you could experience from using it for a long period of time. The casing comes with rubber bumpers and steel shroud to protect the tool from getting damaged with Jobsite abuse; however, this happens to be just a basic level of protection, which means you cannot be sure about damage prevention when you use the saw on a daily basis.
The DWM120K features a 10 amp motor, which gives it sufficient power to deal with a wide range of materials other than wood. The saw comes with a variable speed dial, which allows you to use two different speeds for the task at hand; for light-duty jobs, you can choose the 100 SFM option, whereas, for heavy-duty jobs, you can go with 300 SFM. One of the amazing aspects of this saw is that it can make cuts up to 5 inches deep, which not many machines in the category are capable of. This DEWALT saw comes with a three-year limited warranty.
Also Read: Best Band Saws 2019 (Top Picks & Reviews)
2. Milwaukee 2429-21XC Portable Band Saw
If you are on the market for a compact and relatively lightweight compact band saw, Milwaukee 2429-21XC is one of the best portable band saw you should take into consideration. Known to be one of the easiest tools to use in the category, this band saw comes packed with some good features and delivers excellent performance as well. One of the highlighting factors in terms of this tool’s design is the ability to use it with just a single hand, thanks to its lightweight and compact size. When it comes to power saws, the handle and the grip are of extreme importance; in this product, it has to be mentioned that the design of the handle is not the best out there, because its thickness prevents it from sitting comfortably in smaller hands.
The cut capacity of this compact saw is 1-5/8 inches; while this makes the saw suitable for a variety of applications, it still doesn’t impress us. With its 12V XC battery, the saw is capable of making up to 150 cuts on a single charge; the number can vary depending on the material being cut. The LED light is a great addition to the tool, as it enables you to see clearly even in dim lighting conditions. On the downside, the blades included in the package seem a bit low in quality, which means you may have to invest in a few spare blades to keep the machine going. The tool comes with a 5-year warranty.
3. Makita XBP02Z Portable Band Saw
Makita is a largely respected brand in the power tools industry, and their products are known to be highly effective, preferred by both hobbyists and professionals. Since many of the brand’s products come with a reasonable price tag, they happen to be suitable even for those on a tight budget. The XBP02Z is one of the best portable band saw offerings from the company, and it is likely to impress you in more than just one way. What you get with the device is a Makita-built motor, which is designed to be able to deliver faster cutting at variable speeds, between 275 and 530 ft./min. Of course, there is no doubt that this is one powerful motor; however, since the machine is cordless and hence battery-powered, it lacks in terms of consistency, especially during times when the battery is about to drain.
There is absolutely nothing to nitpick about the ergonomics of this power tool; the grip handle is rubberized with soft rubber, which not only increases your comfort when handling the device but also prevents slipping. Blade replacement with this tool is also easy and extremely user-friendly. By providing you with the ability to use variable speeds, the saw allows you to cut different materials, including metal. It also has a built-in LED light, which will keep your work area illuminated even when you are required to work in low lighting conditions, providing you with proper visibility. Despite these amazing features, this portable band saw from Makita tends to be a bit noisy, which some may not prefer.
4. Bosch GCB10-5 Deep-Cut Portable Band Saw
Bosch is one of the few brands that doesn’t need any introduction when it comes to delivering high-quality products that come as a combination of power, performance, and user-friendliness. The GCB10-5 Band Saw from the brand is designed to help you cut a lot of different materials, including steel track, rebar, copper pipe, and a lot more. The saw features a 10 amp motor, which is capable of providing clean cuts, up to a depth of 4-3/4 inches in a single pass. This saw also comes with a variable speed setting, with which you can cut different materials at a speed that best suits them.
The GCB10-5 Band Saw enables nearly spark-free operation, which helps minimize potential hazards in the workplace. Weighing 14.5 pounds, this saw is relatively lightweight and compact, which makes it a great option to cut overhead materials. And of course, similar to most other band saw models on our list, this one also comes with an LED light, which illuminates your cut line to enable more accurate cuts even in dim lights. One of the drawbacks of this model is that the blades are a bit difficult to change, which can be real trouble at times.
Also Read: Best 14-inch Band Saw 2020 (Top Picked)
5. Milwaukee 6232-21 Portable Band Saw
Among the top-rated portable band saws available in the market today, there is definitely a strong place for the Milwaukee 6232-21 Dep Cut Band Saw. This high-quality saw comes with quite a few useful features and could be just the choice for you if you have been looking for a power tool from a reputable brand. From small pieces of wood to plastics, this saw, with its 11 amp motor, is capable of delivering great cutting performance. The saw comes equipped with a feature called Constant Power Technology (CPT), which maintains cut speed even during the toughest jobs, thus delivering ace performance.
However, since the saw doesn’t offer a variable speed setting, it can be used to cut only a few standard materials, like wood and plastic as mentioned before, and not a whole lot of other materials, which is something that can be done using the other models reviewed above. It does come with an LED light to give you clear visibility in reduced lighting conditions, also increasing accuracy and productivity. The fact that this band saw is capable of cutting up to 5 inches in one pass is yet another positive aspect. There is also a debris protection system that removes debris when the saw is in use, thus extending pulley life. The 6232-21 Band Saw has quite a few proprietary technologies in place, which together make it one efficient saw.
Detailed Buying Guide
Band saws come in different types, which include vertical, horizontal and portable or handheld types. We are going to give you a specific guide on buying the best portable band saw for your cutting, pruning or trimming needs. Compact band saws are the norm of this century mainly because of the convenience that it brings. These saws are compact in dimensions and their weight is also kept between 6 and 15Kgs. The blade tensioning system incorporated in these saws allows the user to change blades instantly.
You can find this type of saw mainly being used in carpentry. They are used predominantly for performing 2 different styles of cuts, which are bevel and chamfer cuts. Portable band saws are compact and designed to store and maneuver easily. They are mainly used by professionals because they could carry them along easily and also finish the job quickly. In general, these compact saws have a limited cutting range of 4-5-inch depth, but the quality of the cut is precise and to the point. Let us look at some of the factors you need to consider when buying your band saw:
In terms of the source of power used by the saw, you can classify them all under two categories, namely corded and cordless. Both these types have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Battery-powered saws are more portable compared to a wired saw since you could carry them along with no fuss and there is no need for you to go in search of a power supply to run the motor. Cordless saws can also be used in a tighter space compared to the other.
On the negative side of things, a battery-powered saw will have a restricted power supply, which limits the number of hours you can use it to work on a cutting or trimming project. Similarly, once the battery starts to run out of juice, all the parts involved in the functioning of the system start to slow down, thus limiting optimum performance. Interchangeable batteries could be an option for those who will be working long hours on a cordless model, but none of these have an impact on a corded saw.
Corded portable saws are best suited for those who have no problem in having access to a power source. In situations where it is hard to find a power supply or a generator to power the motor, things get complicated. Even while performing certain precise cuts, the cord could come in the way, which is a drawback. One major benefit of using a corded saw is the fact that you need not worry about the long-duration running of the tool since you would have a consistent power supply.
Considering all these aspects, it is up to you to decide whether you need a corded or cordless one. Few models of the cordless saws do not come with a battery pack or charger and you might have to buy them separately. Check it twice before you buy them, and if you buy certain brands, the batteries can be interchanged across all the different cordless power tools of the same brand, provided you use multiple tools of the same brand.
The depth of cutting should also be considered. Most of the models can cut up to a thickness of 5 inches. Only a very few of them can get through a thickness of fewer than 2 inches. If you are mainly into minor cutting tasks, then a saw with a lower cutting capacity should be more than enough. If you are planning on using the device for multiple cutting purposes, then you need one with a higher capacity.
Blades used in a compact band saw should be rigid and efficient for handling all the complex and heavy-duty workloads you might throw at it. In most models, blades that have a length of around 45 inches would be used. The blade should be small so that it doesn’t obstruct your cutting view. Different kinds of blades provide different cutting options; for instance, a coarsest delivers faster cutting, wide blades are for making straight cuts in thick logs, and narrow ones for making special cuts. Finer blades should be used on thinner wood so that the cut gets to be precise and smooth and doesn’t damage the blade as well. The type of material you cut will have a major role to play in your choice of blade.
Speed settings are common in the case of a saw and this is mainly to achieve a perfect cut. Based on the type of wood, thickness, and size of it, the cutting speed varies. If you are planning on buying one with multiple speed settings, then you need to make sure that you set the correct speed every single time before starting work.
Portable band saws are one of the safest cutting tools you can purchase for your cutting requirements. In case of a band saw, make sure to clamp the saw on the workstation before you start the work. Remember to wear gloves and goggles during the procedure. You will have one hand on the handle and power switch, while the other will be on the top handle so safety is not compromised.
Band saws under the portable type come with many features. Few come with accessories and add-on features, which do come in handy. Check the list of all the features on offer when you buy the product. Few saws come with a built-in light that shows the cut area clearly. The ergonomic and grippy handle is also important for comfort and safety reasons.
When you are looking to buy a portable band saw, make sure to find the one that best fits your requirements and budget. The materials used in a band saw differ from one product to another. A more metal-based construction will be the better choice over plastic-based models.
So, these were the 5 best portable band saws that you can buy today. We hope you liked our post and in case you have any question don’t hesitate to ask us anytime. We’ll be happy to help you 🙂