Best Portable Band Saws Reviews & Ratings
There are manifold advantages to using a portable band saw. In addition to cutting materials accurately and intricately, it also features an intuitive, user-friendly design with a very gentle learning curve. Compared to other traditional alternatives, they also boast exceptional portability, high-end construction quality, and efficiency. The icing on the cake for most of our picks is affordability; your wallet won’t take a hit should you decide to reward yourself with one.
Our Top 3 Picks
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As for performance, they come with a high-performance motor for quickly ripping apart through dense pieces of wood. Our top 10 picks ooze quality and come with a slew of premium features to make your work quick and effortless. Continue reading to find out the criteria on which we evaluated them.
10 Best Portable Band Saws
1. Makita XBP02Z
This Makita XBP02Z brings together a high-capacity and long-lasting 18V Li-ion battery that pairs nicely with its high-performance and reliable built-in motor to deliver efficient, quick, and smooth variable cutting speeds of between 275 and 530 surface feet per minute. This level of performance means it cuts through various metal pieces easy and effortless.
The Makita XBP02Z qualifies as portable seeing as weighs a paltry 15 pounds and has dimensions of 14 by 22.4 by 10.7 inches. There is an easy-to-adjust stopper plate for protecting your workpiece and providing positive supports, ensuring that you cut accurately and smoothly. A factory-installed LED light ensures perfect vision for those who’ll be working in areas where the lighting conditions are less than ideal. For longevity, this Makita XBP02Z Cordless Portable Band Saw has a thick protective rubber bumper while the rubberized soft grip handle offers immense comfort and traction.
Overall, Makita XBP02Z is hands down one of the best portable band saws currently on the market. It’s a perfect choice for seasoned contractors, extreme DIYers, and greenhorns alike, this commercial-grade portable band saw will get the job done right every time.
Cordless and high portable
Long-lasting and powerful 18V battery
Has a hook for safe hanging
A tad noisy
Charger, battery, and blade sold separately
2. DEWALT DWM120K
With a slew of highlight features, it’s difficult deciding how to start reviewing this kit. That doesn’t mean we’re going to give up. As mentioned above, the tool has a powerful 10-amp motor with a variable speed dial that considerably enhances customizability. You are at liberty to choose a speed that best matches the application and material you intend to work with. Not one to easily bog down, the motor effortlessly reaches speeds of between 100 and 350 sfpm, which also explains why it comes with a 5-inch cutting capacity for round stock and 4-3/4 inches for rectangular stock.
Additional features include an integrated hand hook for easy storage in between uses, a serviceable steel shroud, and rubber bumpers for durability and rigidity. Also, considering that it comes with an accurate blade tracking adjustment, it's capable of weathering the toughest working conditions. All of these features together make this DEWALT DWM120K one of the best portable band saws money can buy.
Rugged construction for longevity
Has bright LED
Very adaptable with variable speed dial
Impressive 5-inch cutting depth
A little pricey
Flimsy storage case
3. Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12
As was the case with our first three picks, it comes with a powerful motor that effectively you enables you to cut any material you want. With ¾ EMT, for instance, it takes a paltry 3 seconds to shear through it. Patently, the powerful motor does the heavy-lifting, which leaves you with nothing more than holding and operating it. The likelihood of breaking a sweat while working is remote at best. The icing on the cake is the powerful XC battery that provides for a considerably long runtime; you can manage up to 150 cuts per charge, a fact that minimizes interruptions as you work.
The kit is not only a powerful and easy-to-use portable band saw, but it’s also a highly functional and versatile one. If you’re working on a budget and want a taste of premium features without sacrificing quality and performance, this portable band saw will suffice.
Highly portable cordless design
Lightweight and easy to use
Offers exceptional value for money
Offers one hand operation
Small cutting capacity
4. DEWALT DCS371B
Only a handful of portable band saws will have any luck cutting through tough materials such as SCH 40 pipe. However, because this portable band saw comes with a high power 20V motor and long-lasting battery, it is able to cut SCH 40 pipe up to 2 inches deep without bogging down or experiencing the slightest performance glitch, as is often the case with low-quality portable band saws currently flooding the market.
Other features you’ll be hard pressed to find in cheap, off-brand portable band saws are the integrated hang hook and the blade tracking adjustment. While the former enables you to safely hang it without risking damage to the front handle and base, the latter does an amazing job prolonging the tool’s shelf life by offering superior blade tracking.
Lastly, changing bladesm is a snap, thanks to the incorporation of a tool-free blade changing lever.
Small profile ideal for overhead projects
Comes with LED light
Lacks variable speed control
5. Milwaukee 6238-20
Touting a high-performance 11-amp motor, Milwaukee 6238-20 clears packs a punch. It attains very impressive speeds, cutting several materials and metal pieces with remarkable speed and ease. Various materials including conduit don’t present the slightest challenge to its cutting prowess.
Cutting various abrasive and dense metals and metals is obviously a tedious and energy-sapping endeavour. Which makes it all the more imperative that you invest in a portable band saw with convenience features to ease the process. This portable band saw comes with a bunch of those. The construction quality is top-notch, thanks to the exclusive Job Site Armor technology and all-metal drive system.
With all its performance and convenience flair, Milwaukee 6238-20 is clearly a top echelon portable band saw. If its superior performance, portability, and durability you’re looking for in a portable band saw, don’t look any further.
Cuts smoothly and precisely
Shock-absorbing design minimizes fatigue
Easy to use
A little on the heavy side
6. DEWALT DCS371B
If you’re anything like us, the smooth, seamless performance of this DEWALT DCS371B will leave you wanting more. It boasts a 5-inch cutting capacity that pairs perfectly with its 20V lithium-ion battery and 14TPI blade. These features, together with the fact that it has variable speed dial, makes it a perfect choice for working on a wide range of materials including but not limited to angle iron, strut, pipes, and even square tubing. You can vary speed to match the application you're undertaking or the material you're handling. Faced with a high-density material such as 1- to 5/8-inch strut, the portable band saw demonstrates its mettle by cutting it up to 149 times.
Expectedly, it also incorporates a hang hook designed to prevent any damage to the front handle or base. And the specially-designed blade tracking adjustment prolongs the lifespan of the blade as it offers superior blade tracking. One last feature to bring to your attention is the LED light.
The practicality, ease of use, effortless and quick performance of DEWALT DCS371B puts it on whole different level. Compared to this portable band saw, the vast majority of portable band saws painfully pale into insignificance in every respect. And for that, we love it.
Powerful battery for continuous runtime
Gentle learning curve
Packs exceptional power
A little bulky
Battery and charger sold separately
7. Bosch GCB10-5
The Bosch GCB10-5 is the epitome of clean, precise cutting. With its 10-amp motor, it precisely cuts a wide range of materials, including rebar, conduit, and copper pipe. Because it cuts cleanly, the final result is perfect in every way and doesn’t require to be reworked because it’ll be invariably free of burrs. It also comes with a variable speed feature for matching the speed of cutting to the type of material and application. Speeds range between 100 and 380 surface feet per minute.
The Bosch GCB10-5 features an ingenious design. Reaching tight and confined spaces should be a breeze as it weighs just 14.5 pounds and is comfortable to use, thanks to the ergonomically designed handle with a perfect and firm grip. An auxiliary side handle enhances security by necessitating two-handed saw operation and makes it incredibly easy to move the portable band saw from one place to another. Other features include a useful saw hook for safely hanging it and a bright LED light.
A lightweight, easy-to-use, affordable, and powerful option, this Bosch GCB10-5 is all you need to cut through your collection of metals. It cuts with ease, accurately, cleanly, and spark-free. Definitely a worthy consideration.
High-performance 10-amp motor
Compact and lightweight design
Outstanding 4-3/4-inch cutting depth
Built-in LED light enhances accuracy
Changing blades takes effort
8. JET JWBS-14DXPRO
Equipped with an exceptionally powerful motor and a massive, ultra-strong cast iron frame, this heavy-duty portable band saw easily reaches variable speeds of between 1500 and 3000 sfpm. This unique combination of durability and heart-stopping speeds enable it to cut quickly and effortlessly through a broad range of materials.
Whether you’ll be working with regular or irregular objects, it should be easy and fun as its heavy-duty table is tiltable to 10 degrees left and 45 degrees right, making it a highly versatile and flexible option.
In all, this professional-grade JET JWBS-14DXPRO is capable of handling the toughest cutting applications. While it’s expensive, you’ll be getting your full money’s worth over its long useful life.
Generous 60-month warranty
Blade retracts with ease
Comes with variable speed control
Heavy-duty belt drive
9. Milwaukee 6232-21
Constructed with first-rate materials, this saw is capable of withstanding loads of wear and tear even when you frequently subject it to extreme abuse. Users even opine that it can withstand a few inadvertent droppings. On the flipside, the Milwaukee 6232-21 is considerably heavy at about 21.9 pounds, which makes it a little difficult to utilize or transport, which negates the portability criteria.
The tool is robustly and sturdily put together. Its construction with industry-best materials, for instance, means it can withstand attrition for several years on end, which then spares you lots of headache and stress. And to crown it all, it comes with a generous 60-month warranty that conveniently covers you against deficiencies in material and workmanship. Additional features include a bright, built-in LED light, a handy carrying bag, and a metal direct drive system for durability.
Overall, this Milwaukee 6232-21 is a solid choice for handymen, contractors, and even extreme DIYers in search of time and effort saving features, accuracy, trouble-free performance, and ease of use.
Powerful and seamless performance
Durable, ingenious construction
Easy to use and comfortable
LED light for dimly lit areas
Not as portable as its cordless cousins
A tad heavy
10. SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band Saw
An easy-to-use and handle option, it is a perfect choice for cutting a wide range of materials of various shapes and sizes, including regular and irregular ones. A powerful and high-performance 2.5-amp motor capable of 2,800 sfpm and a 6-TPI blade team up to cut effortlessly, quickly, and accurately through several materials. The cutting capacity stands at 3-1/2 inches which means materials such as conduit won't be able to resist its cutting prowess.
One last feature is the rip fence and miter gauge. The former augments accuracy while the latter ensures helps with crosscuts.
High-performance 2.5-amp motor
Heavy-duty 6-TPI blade
Comes with a rack and pinion adjustable table
Bright LED work light
Not as powerful as top brands
Criteria for Choosing the Best Portable Band Saws
Of all the vital criteria to consider while shopping around for a portable band saw, ensure it has the features and specs to deliver the required performance. Two aspects to pay attention to are the cutting capacity and the cutting speed. The option you’re enamoured with needs to cut to your desired depth and do so at a speed that best matches your workpiece.
On the same vein, if it packs enough amount of power, the likelihood of it bogging down or struggling to through a dense piece of a workpiece is minimal or remote at best. A powerful portable band saw works quickly, effortlessly, and powerfully rips through a wide range of material including metals. The higher the horsepower and cutting the more powerful will be the performance.
You can choose between a battery-powered and an electric one, each coming with its fair share of upsides and downsides. As you would expect, an electric portable band saw is considerably more powerful than a battery-powered one and spares you unnecessary worries about the battery running out in the middle of an operation. However, unlike a cordless option, portability and movement are considerably limited which as you can’t work away from a power source.
Cutting through dense metal and highly knotted pieces of wood necessitate the use of a heavy-duty, high-end, and rugged portable band saw. If you need the best performance, go for one with commensurate construction quality. Materials such as welded steel, die-cast steel, and cast iron provide the much-needed rigidity, robustness, and durability required to withstand lots of attribution and extreme abuse that most portable band saws are exposed to. Seasoned professionals have a preference for cast iron in light of its substantiality and structural integrity, a combination that delivers superior control and exceptionality.
A small and lightweight portable band saw is both easy to move around and takes up minimal space on the workhouse or garage floor. Adjusting and replacing the blades should similarly be a cinch to achieve the depth of cut you want. And for accuracy, you’ll appreciate a portable band saw with a fence while the working table needs to provide a flat, polished surface with minimal friction for undertaking your craft, further enhancing manoeuvrability, accuracy, and ease of use.
Also, a combination of a blade guide with a rack and pinion system helps you achieve accurate and precise results. Minimal vibrations, a quiet motor, a dust port collection system, and a tiltable table all contribute immensely to the performance of a portable band saw.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I maintain the optimal performance of my portable band saw?
A: It’s a straightforward procedure, really. Rid the band saw of dust and debris and replace worn out or defective parts and components. Waxing the table and the blade and cleaning both using a wire brush should do the trick.
Q: Are portable band saws compatible with all blades?
A: No. Because of differences in construction and design, some portable band saws accept specific blade sizes while others can accommodate several. Check before committing your money.
The market offers thousands of portable band saws with significant variations in features and benefits, which makes it difficult to choose the right one. Irrespective of your needs and budget, our list features something for everyone, right from the weathered professional to budding greenhorn. Irrespective of the portable band saw you decide to pick, you’re sure of its versatility, durability, precision, ease of use, power, and dependability.