Having a portable band saw in your workshop allows you to make a precise cut without tearing apart dense and hard pieces of wood. It can be hard to know which portable band saw is the best choice but fortunately, there is a variety of different models to pick from. Always consider what projects you plan to work on and what features you needs as far as power, comfort, and speed before you start shopping for your portable band saw. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best portable band saw and a few portable band saw reviews to help you start shopping.
Top Portable Band Saws In 2020
Buying Guide:Best Portable Band Saws
Band Saws Vs Scroll Saws
Even though these are two very different saws, they can both make curved cuts. While a scroll saw will move up and down, it is only cutting about half the time while a band saw features a consistent cutting motion. Also, a band saw leaves a rough surface behind while a scroll saw gives you a nice smooth cut.
If it uses a fine blade, scroll saws can pretty much turn on point while a band saw will make a wide turn. It will depend on the width limit of your blade to know how quickly it will turn while a scroll saw does really well with internal cutouts which makes them great for ornate work.
Portable Band Saw Vs Corded Band Saw
Everyone knows that the main benefit of a cordless tool is that you aren’t limited by cords. You have to balance that flexibility with the downtime you have when your battery runs out and needs to be charged. This can be prevented though if you carry several batteries with you.
You get constant power with a corded model. However, you are limited to where you can work since you always need to be near a plug. It will help if you have a really long cord or even extension cords on hand, but you still need to have a plug somewhere in the vicinity of where your work site is.
What To Look For When Buying A Portable Band Saw
Being comfortable is always an important consideration. Having an ergonomic design makes holding it feel more natural. Look for lightweight saws that have padded handles which will help reduce fatigue and make it easier to cut with.
Even though a lightweight saw might make it easier to handle and carry, sometimes durability is sacrificed when reducing the saw’s weight. Look for tools that have a durable outer coating as well as a steel shroud that protect the most fragile components on the saw. Some band saw’s even come equipped with a strong holder to keep the saw safe when it's not in use.
When considering durability, you to think about the blades. How long the blades last and whether they tend to break are important considerations. You need to then consider if the motor is too strong for the type of blades you are using or if the blades are not good quality.
Having the capability to take on different woods and metals is a big part of why you bought your band saw in the first place. You want to make sure you are always prepared for whatever project you have in front of you, and, if you pick the right band saw, it should be able to cut pretty much anything from wood to really strong metals.
Versatility also means that the band saw should be precise. Since cutting is only part of the job, you want to make sure the saw can cut precisely and give you a smooth edge. Cutting in odd places is also crucial as you may need a saw that is lightweight enough to be able to reach odd spaces or work in a wide range of positions.
Horizontal Or Vertical Standing Band Saws
When a band saw is designed as a portable saw, it usually was created to do horizontal cutting. There are also saws that come equipped with a clamp attachment that gives you more cutting convenience and better stability. With this attachment, you can use the saw in a vertical position. Some kits also come with a portable stand that can be convenient at the job site.
One of your biggest considerations as you choose a portable band saw, is how much power it has. Obviously, the more power the motor has the faster and easier you will be able to make cuts. Cutting can be effortless with a high-powered motor which is pretty helpful when cutting a dense and hard piece of wood. You will find yourself struggling if your motor isn’t powerful enough or have enough torque when it comes to this type of wood which can also affect how accurate your cut is as well.
How large a workpiece your band saw can handle is referred to as its cutting capacity. Many band saws are adjustable so you can lower and raise the blade to accommodate the size of the wood you are cutting. You will find that there are two types of cutting capacity:
A variable speed or multi-speed setting is a must in any good portable band saw. Helping to make the most of your cutting performance, variable speed can increase your versatility allowing you to cut different size and types of materials. Higher cutting speeds are necessary when cutting copper, brass, cast iron, and aluminum while a slower speed is best when cutting tough steel, stainless steel, and plastic pipes.
Band Saw Blades
Having a good blade is an important part of any band saw. Important for long-lasting, reliable, and efficient cutting, good saw blades are available in different lengths that provide different cutting capacities. You want a strong enough saw blade that can cut different materials like plastic, metal, and wood, and you want to make sure it is easy to adjust. Having a design that positions the blades so it doesn’t get in the way of your view of your work is beneficial.
Typically, a blade will be about 45 inches long. Make sure you choose the right type of blade for the project you are working on. When making quick cuts, you should choose a coarse blade that has fewer teeth per inch. If you need to make straight cuts on wide stock, you will need a wide blade. Narrow blades are perfect for sharp-angled or detailed cuts. Always make sure to consider the type of material you are cutting as well as the type of cut you are making when choosing a blade.
Dust ports are very convenient to keep a clean and safe work area. A large dust port makes it easy to connect a commercial vacuum cleaner allowing you to clean up dust and debris. Smaller dust ports will also work but in this case, a larger port is always a better choice.
Best Portable Band Saw Reviews In 2020
Versatile and durable, the DEWALT Portable Band Saw Kit includes a 10-amp motor and a variable speed control to give you versatility and performance. This saw can withstand difficult jobs allowing you to make fast cuts without worrying about getting bogged down. You also get additional features like an included hanging hook, an ergonomic grip, and a handy LED light outlines the cut line.
Performing at a speed that varies from 100 sfm and 350 sfm, the variable-speed dial lets you easily and quickly choose the best speed for each project. Offering a 5-inch cutting capacity for round stock, the deep cut DeWalt saw also gives you a 5 by 4 ¾ inch cutting capacity when cutting rectangular stock. And a comfortable grip makes it easy to handle for long periods of time.
With precise blade tracking adjustment, you get better blade alignment that will reduce wear giving you longer blade life. The dual bearing blade guide rollers help to improve durability in for overall reliability. The easy to use blade changing lever loosens the tension in your blade to make changing the blade more convenient. Plus, you also get external brushes that are replaceable that lets you make fast repairs when you need to.
The over sized front handle gives you a lot of hand space and has a multi-position feature making adjustments easy. The integrated hanging hook lets you conveniently hang the saw without having to put it down. You also get rubber bumpers and a steel shroud to protect the guards on the saw from damage out at the job site.
Powerful and lightweight, the compact Milwaukee M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Band Saw allows you to cut through materials with small diameters easily and is perfect for overhead cutting projects. You get over 150 cuts per battery change with the included battery, and the powerful motor can cut ¾ inch in just three seconds. Low vibrations and a dual-latching lower guard makes this tool suitable for one-handed use.
Measuring only twelve inches, this compact saw weight just under seven pounds making it easy to use in tight spaces and reduces user fatigue. The included LED light outlines the cut line to give you precise and quick cuts while the blade tension adjustment allows for adjustable blade tracking. Compatible with all M12 batteries, this saw comes with two saw blades, a battery, and a carrying case.
Featuring a 2 ½ inch cutting capacity, the DEWALT DCS371B Band Saw has the ability to cut up to a two-inch pipe. With the centered handle position, you get great ergonomics and balance as well as reduced user fatigue and more precise cuts. The included LED light has a twenty-second delay that lights up a dark work surface to give you precise cutting.
An integrated hanging hook let you hang the saw without worrying about damage to the base or front handle. You also have a special blade tracking adjustment that improves blade life by giving you better blade tracking. Plus, the tool-less blade changing lever will loosen the blade tension to let you made quick blade changes, and the ergonomic soft grip back handle gives you more flexibility and comfort.
Read our complete DEWALT DCS371B 20V MAX Bandsaw reviews.
Giving you impressive cutting power out at the job site, the Makita Cordless Portable Band Saw includes a motor with high torque in its compact design. It is capable of cutting a wide range of projects including a wide range of metals. Plus, this 18-volt battery features the quickest charge time of its type.
Featuring a six-setting variable, you get a no-load speed between 275 and 530 feet per minute for fast metal cuts. The foot is adjustable which will help protect the materials you are working on and give you support to make precise cuts. The ergonomic shape fits your hand perfectly and reduces user fatigue.
The included LED light will light up your work area to improve your efficiency while you work. The Makita is a great tool for plumbing, metal fabrication, metal building, installation, HVAC, and electrical. It also includes a removable tool hook and rubber bumpers for durability.
Perfect for cutting pipe, the DCS374B Cordless Band Saw is great for the job site. You get more control and versatility with the variable speed control while the tool-less blade changing lever will loosen blade tension to make quick blade changes. A handy LED light comes with a twenty-second delay that will light up a dark work area to give you precise cutting.
The DeWalt includes a brushless motor to give you more durability and better performance. The integrated hanging hook lets you hang the saw without worrying about damaging the base or handle. This is part of the 20-volt max system, but keep in mind that the charger and battery are sold separately.
The winner of the best portable band saw roundup is the DEWALT DWM120K Portable Band Saw Kit. Featuring a 10 amp motor and variable speed control you get both versatility, durability, and performance. Able to withstand difficult jobs, it allows you to make fast cuts without getting bogged down, plus you get additional features like an included hanging hook, an ergonomic grip, and a handy LED light outlines the cut line.
The DeWalt can perform at a speed that varies from 100 sfm and 350 sfm with the variable-speed dial letting you easily and quickly choose the best speed for each project. A 5-inch cutting capacity is perfect for round stock while the deep cut DEWalt saw also gives you a 5 by 4 ¾ inch cutting capacity for cutting rectangular stock. Plus, a comfortable grip makes it easy to use the saw for long periods of time.
You get better blade alignment with precise blade tracking adjustment, reducing wear and giving you longer blade life. You also get easy to use blade changes with a lever that loosens the tension in your blade to make changing the blade more convenient. There are also replaceable external brushes that let you make fast repairs when you need to.
An over sized front handle gives you a lot of hand space, plus it has a multi-position feature that makes adjustments easy. You also get rubber bumpers and a steel shroud to protect the guards on the saw from damage out at the job site. The definite winner of the best portable band saw roundup is the DEWALT DWM120K Portable Band Saw Kit hands down.