Best Portable Band Saw of 2018

Band saws are devices used mostly in woodworking that have a long, sharp blade with continuous metal teeth. Although most people use them to cut or shape wooden pieces, they can also be used in metalworking or lumbering. These devices can be used to cut wood, metal or plastic in a residential environment, but also in a light industrial environment, depending on one’s needs.

Portable band saws work just like regular ones, but they are smaller, more compact and with more ergonomic shapes. They are designed to be transported easily, to occupy as little space as possible and to be able to cut pieces of material that are as large as possible, depending on the type and model of the band saw.

When choosing a portable band saw, it is important to look at a variety of factors. Portability, efficiency, size and the quality of the build are the most important elements that you should take into consideration. Brands such as Makita, Milwaukee and Dewalt are well known for their high-quality portable power tools, but you can also find good products of smaller manufacturers on the market.

Here are a few things that you should check before purchasing a portable band saw:

  • Its cutting capacity
  • Its speeds
  • Its power
  • Load speed or no load speed
  • Its weight
  • Corded or cordless
  • Purpose of use
  • Additional features (LED light, storage case, one-hand design etc.)

Are you looking to buy the best portable band saw right now? Then you should take a look at the five products below. We have selected and reviewed some of the most popular tools on the market, highlighting their pros and cons, so that you can make a decision faster and more efficiently.

  Comparison

Product Size Weight Rating Price
Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit 11.6 x 16.8 x 6.5 inches 12.4 pounds 4.9/5 $
Carmyra Portable Chainsaw mill 36 Carmyra Portable Chainsaw mill 36" Inch Planking Milling Bar Size 14" to 36" 38.8 x 11.7 x 2 inches 17 pounds 4.9/5 $
WEN 3975 5 WEN 3975 5" Metal-Cutting Benchtop Bandsaw 27 x 14 x 15.5 inches 45 pounds 4.8/5 $$
Makita XBP02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Portable Band Saw, Tool Only Makita XBP02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Portable Band Saw, Tool Only 14 x 23 x 11 inches 15 pounds 4.8/5 $$$
Milwaukee 2429-20 Cordless Sub Compact Band Saw Milwaukee 2429-20 Cordless Sub Compact Band Saw 6.9 x 11 x 7.1 inches 6.6 pounds 4.7/5 $

1 Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit

If you want a band saw that was manufactured by one of the most well-reputed power tool producers, then you will love this product. It has an affordable price and it offers a lot of great specifications for it. One of the most important features that woodworkers and industry workers love is its one-hand operation. This became possible thanks to its small-size and compact design, as well as its light weight. It has a good grip and an ergonomic shape that makes working with it easy and comfortable. It is 11 inches long, which makes it just the right tool for any handyman.

From a technical point of view, this is a powerful product for both beginners and experienced users. It is equipped with a strong motor, it cuts ¾ inches EMT in only 3 seconds, it is cordless and it can cut up to 150 times per charge, thanks to its XC battery. It has a blade length of 27 x ½ x 0.020 inches and 1- 5/8 inches cut capacity. This product can be used for a wide variety of projects that are thoroughly described in its user manual. Its blade tension can be easily adjusted, as well as its blade tracking. It is capable of highlighting the cut line, which is a feature that most woodworkers would appreciate. This tool has a 5-year warranty, which gives it a lot of credibility.

What’s to like?

  • It is fairly priced
  • It is suitable for one-handed use
  • It meets OSHA guarding requirements
  • It has a powerful motor
  • It can do up to 150 cuts per charge
  • It has an XC battery
  • It is cordless
  • It has 1 – 5/8 inches cut capacity
  • It is 11 inches long
  • It has an LED light
  • It has blade tension adjustment capabilities
  • It has adjustable blade tracking
  • It includes a carrying case
  • It is compact and lightweight
  • It is covered by a 5-year warranty

What’s not to like?

  • It does not accept 18V batteries (only 12V)
  • It doesn’t make cut pipes larger than 1 ½ inches

2 Carmyra Portable Chainsaw mill 36" Inch Planking Milling Bar Size 14" to 36"

In case you don’t know exactly what your needs are but you would like to own a cutting tool that is highly efficient, you should know that you also have the option of buying a chainsaw mill. Most woodworkers would say that chainsaw are better in terms of portability and cost. This product is actually a planking milling bar that is affordable and has technical specs that might drag your attention. It is a too that can cut lumber that is between 0.5 and 13 inches thick and up to 36 inches wide. It is made of high-quality steel and aluminum and it is capable of cutting cedar, walnut and oak. This model can be attached to any saw without a drilling bar.

This model fits chain saws with a bar length between 14 and 36 inches, it includes the mill, the assembling tool set and the user manual. It is the ideal option for you if you need lumber and to attach it to an already owned chainsaw. It weighs 16.6 pounds and measures 38.8 x 11.7 x 2 inches. This is not an electric product. In order to work with it, you must operate it manually. If you work in the wood industry or you have a hobby that implies cutting large pieces of wood, then this product is great for your needs.

What’s to like?

  • It is affordable
  • It has a basic design
  • It is easy to use
  • It is made of high-quality steel
  • It has an aluminum construction
  • It can cut cedar, walnut and oak
  • It can cut wood that is 0.5 – 13 inches thick
  • It cuts wood that is up to 36 inches wide
  • It can be attached to a saw without a drilling bar
  • It weighs 7.5 kg
  • It is easy to install
  • It is backed by a 30 days money back guarantee

What’s not to like?

  • It does not include the chain saw and guide bar

3 WEN 3975 5" Metal-Cutting Benchtop Bandsaw

WEN is another power tool manufacturer that promotes the use of highly efficient tools. This model is more expensive than what you have seen so far in our list, yet it is worth the investment if you need a compact, lightweight and highly performant band saw. It has a practical design that makes it easy to use even by beginners and it is easy to store and transport, as it measures 27 x 14 x 15.5 inches and weighs 45 pounds. This product has adjustable blade speed from 125 to 260 feet per minute and it is compatible with a variety of metal materials. It has a beveling blade that helps cut materials in angles between 0 to 60 degrees.

The 3975 model can cut pipes that are up to 5 inches in diameter. However, it is also capable of cutting rectangular materials that are up to 5 x4 x 7/8 inches. The great thing about it is that it has a pre-installed 56-1/2 inch x 1/2 inch blade (11 TPI / 22 Gauge). Its 4.5 amp motor is strong enough for almost any application. Most consumers use this product to cut brass, aluminum, copper and steel. As for the warranty, it is backed by the manufacturer for 2 years.

What’s to like?

  • It has a practical design
  • It has a 4.5 amp motor
  • It can cut 5-inch metal pipes
  • It can be used for brass, aluminum, copper and steel cutting
  • Its blade can rotate between 125 to 260 feet per minute
  • It does angled cuts
  • It has a compact shape
  • It is easy to operate
  • It has a pre-installed blade
  • It is suitable for professional use
  • It is covered by a 2-year warranty

What’s not to like?

  • It is pricier than other similar band saws
  • It is corded

4 Makita XBP02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Portable Band Saw, Tool Only

Makita has a great reputation among power tool manufacturers, being known for its high-quality products. This band saw was designed for users who need freedom of movement and a lot of flexibility. It is a portable product that is small-sized and lightweight, yet it costs a bit more than the average portable band saw. By comparison with basic models, this product has variable speed that can be adjusted using the tool’s six settings. It has an easy-to-use dial that allows users to change it whenever needed. Its motor helps make cuts with a speed of 275 – 530 feet per minute.

The XBP02Z model is suitable for metal cutting, especially thread, channel, corrugated, conduit, pipe and sheet metal. This is a cordless product that requires a Lithium-Ion battery, which is included in the box. It is one of the best in its category, yet it isn’t included in the box, so you will have to buy it separately. Giving the fact that only the tool is included, you also have to buy the charger separately. Once you have them, you will be completely satisfied with the charging time. This product is powerful and performant, so it is worth the investment.

What’s to like?

  • It is nicely designed
  • It has a practical, compact shape
  • It is cordless
  • It has 6 speed settings
  • It cuts at 275- 530 feet per minute
  • It is suitable for all metal cutting applications
  • It is small-sized and lightweight
  • It is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery
  • It has an LED light
  • It is suitable for professional use
  • It has rubber bumpers
  • It has a removable hook
  • It is comfortable to work with

What’s not to like?

  • It is more expensive than other band saws in its category
  • It doesn’t include a battery and a charger

5 Milwaukee 2429-20 Cordless Sub Compact Band Saw

This product is similar to Milwaukee’s model 2429 21XC, with a few important differences. It is a sub-compact band saw that is probably the most lightweight tool in its category. It is cordless, which means that you will have all the freedom that you need and as long as its battery is charged, you can use it anywhere. It is designed for one-handed operation, so you can use the other hand to hold and control the materials that you are cutting, without additional help. It has a powerful motor that makes ¾ -in EMT cuts possible in no more than 3 seconds. It can cut up to 150 times per charge, which is great.

Just like the other Milwaukee model, it meets OSHA guarding requirements. It measures 6.9 x 11 x 7.1 inches and weighs 6.6 pounds, so it is easy to carry around and fits anywhere in your workshop, garage or car. It comes in a hard case and it includes only the tool, not the charger and the battery. By comparison with the 2429-21XC, this product does not have an extended capacity battery, but a standard one. Although this is a small band saw that can be taken anywhere and it is designed for home use, it can also be used in an industrial environment for smaller tasks.

What’s to like?

  • It is fairly priced
  • It has a great design
  • It has a good grip
  • It has a powerful motor
  • It is ideal for small pipe cutting
  • It can be used in almost any metal cutting application
  • It is great for beginners
  • It is a good option for home use
  • It is small-sized
  • It is lightweight
  • It has a compact shape
  • It is easy to operate
  • It does 150 cuts per charge
  • It is designed for one-handed use
  • It has an LED light
  • It has a 1- 5/8 cut capacity

What’s not to like?

  • It does not have an extended capacity battery

Are you one of those DIYers who enjoy taking on any task that involves cutting and shaping? In this case, a band saw should not be missing from your garage. Portable band saws are better for home use than fixed ones, as they offer more freedom of movement and more flexibility. Also, they have smaller sizes and can be maneuvered more easily. If you are already sure that you need one and you want to choose the best that you can get for your budget, then you should choose one of the products in our list, as they are the most popular choices of professional wood and metal workers.

You aren’t sure which band saw is the most suitable for your needs? Start by analyzing a few things. What is the available work surface that you have? What do you want to cut? Are you a beginner or an experienced user? What is your budget? How advanced do you want your band saw to be? These are some of the most basic questions that everyone should ask before making a purchase, in order to make sure that the chosen product will be the right one.  


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