Best Portable Band Saw Reviews

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

A band saw is a large machine, which is normally located in a shop. Because it is impossible to move around, you must always come to the shop to cut something.

To avoid all the inconvenience, you should think of buying the best portable band saw. With a portable design, you get maximum maneuverability and efficiency.

There are quite many compact designs out there, but not all of them will provide you more than just portability.

My detailed research, mainly on product features and performance, enabled me to find nine reliable products. Below are our nine best portable band saw reviews.

Our Top Pick is the Makita XBP02Z Portable Bandsaw. This is one heck of a cutting tool. It comes with all of Makita’s flagship bandsaw features, including: variable speed, comfortable handle and trigger, and long battery life to mention a few.

 

The Best Porta Band Saw Reviews Are:

ProductDetails
1. Makita XBP02Z Portable Bandsaw

  • Weighs 14.3 pounds
  • Cordless and compact design
  • Six variable speed settings
  • Built-in LED light for increased visibility
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2. Dewalt DWM120K Portable Bandsaw

  • Corded electric design
  • Deep cutting capacity
  • Ergonomic and durable construction
  • Strong motor power that supports variable speed
  • Serviceable rubber bumpers and steel shroud
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3. Dewalt DCS374B Portable Bandsaw

  • Cordless electric design
  • 5-inch cutting capacity
  • Controlled power and variable speed
  • Integrated hang hook
  • Tool-free blade changing lever
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4. Dewalt DCS371B Portable Bandsaw

  • Cordless electric lightweight tool
  • Centered handle for proper balance
  • Great blade tracking adjustment
  • Integrated LED work light
  • Dual bearing blade guide rollers
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5. Dewalt DCS374P2 Portable Bandsaw

  • Large 5-inch cutting capacity
  • Cordless electric design
  • Tool-free blade changing lever
  • Variable speed trigger and dial
  • Integrated LED work light
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6. Makita XBP03Z Compact Bandsaw

  • 2-1/2-inch cutting capacity
  • Powerful motor that delivers up to 630 surface feet per minute
  • Exterior blade adjustment
  • Aluminum blade housing
  • Tool-less blade changing lever
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7. Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Compact Bandsaw

  • 1-5/8-inch cut capacity
  • Most compact and lightest weight
  • OSHA-approved one-handed cuts
  • Dual actuation trigger
  • Integrated LED light
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8. Milwaukee 2429-20 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw

  • 1-5/8-inch cutting capacity
  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • OSHA guarding requirements compliant
  • Features LED lighting
  • Tool-free blade tension adjustment
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9. Bosch GCB10-5 Deep Cut Bandsaw

  • Features a powerful 10-amp motor
  • Deep cut capacity of 4-3/4 inches
  • Variable speed settings (100 to 380 surface feet per minute)
  • Ergonomic and very comfortable handle
  • Built-in LED light for better visibility
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1. Makita XBP02Z Portable Bandsaw – Best Overall

Introducing the most innovative compact bandsaw for 2020, Makita XBP02Z. A cordless machine that is engineered to offer the best cutting experience.

Specs

  • Weighs 14.3 pounds
  • Cordless and compact design
  • Six variable speed settings
  • Built-in LED light for increased visibility

What I Liked About Makita XBP02Z

This machine has a cordless, compact design that weighs only 14.3 pounds, which means it is highly maneuverable and easy to transport from one point of your shop to another.

Its high torque motor is engineered to deliver powerful variable speed, ranging from 275 to 530 surface feet per minute, which allows you to customize your cuts.

This bandsaw has a very user-friendly design, which is great because you can easily locate the variable speed control dial for quick and easy operation.

Another great feature is the built-in LED light, which is quite resourceful when working in low-light conditions.

What I Didn’t Like About Makita XBP02Z

This is one of the greatest compact bandsaws I have ever used, but I didn’t like the fact that the battery is sold separately.

Pros

  • Lightweight design that’s simple to pickup
  • Heavy-duty torque motor generates fast speeds
  • Cordless design allows for vertical maneuverability
  • More visibility with the built-in LED light
  • Brushes are easily accessible for effective serviceability

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with the battery

Conclusion

If you want a compact bandsaw that will not fail in any way, then Makita XBP02Z is what you should be looking for. Premium performance, maneuverability, and serviceability.

Overall Rating: 5

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2. Dewalt DWM120K Portable Bandsaw – Most Versatile Design

Do you want a portable bandsaw that you can easily transform into a bench saw by building a bench stand for it? Look no further than the Dewalt DWM120K.

Specs

  • Corded electric design
  • Deep cutting capacity
  • Ergonomic and durable construction
  • Strong motor power that supports variable speed
  • Serviceable rubber bumpers and steel shroud

What I Liked About Dewalt DWM120K

This machine has a powerful 10-amp motor, which is great because it delivers controlled power and variable speed for most of your cutting applications.

This bandsaw features an adjustable material guide, which is something you will love about this saw when working on a variety of materials.

I really appreciate the ergonomics of this saw, considering the large hand space the multi-position handle offers and its remarkable adjustability.

Another good feature Dewalt DWM120K offers you is precision blade tracking adjustment, which is what you need for reducing wear and improving blade alignment.

What I Didn’t Like About Dewalt DWM120K

I was disappointed by the inability of the blade to retain sharpness. The blade that came with it became dull faster than usual.

Pros

  • Dual bearing blade guide rollers
  • Reliable blade tracking adjustment
  • Easy handling with its multi position handle
  • Deep cutting capacity for demanding jobs
  • Not as noisy as conventional designs

Cons

  • Possible to receive a blade that can’t retain sharpness

Conclusion

Dewalt DWM120K is the ideal choice for hobbyist and professionals. With this product, you get versatility, easy handling, superior performance, and serviceability.

Overall Rating: 4.8

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3. Dewalt DCS374B Portable Bandsaw – Most Ergonomic Design

Introducing the best portable band saw with a variable speed trigger and a 5-inch cutting capacity, the Dewalt DCS374B.

Specs

  • Cordless electric design
  • 5-inch cutting capacity
  • Controlled power and variable speed
  • Integrated hang hook
  • Tool-free blade changing lever

What I Liked About Dewalt DCS374B

This machine comes with a high performing brushless motor, which draws less energy to extend battery life and produces less wear on parts.

I really like the variable speed dial and trigger, which improves versatility by allowing you to set the appropriate speed with respect to your application.

It has a tool-less blade changing lever, which is a great feature because it allows you to loosen the blade tension without using any tools.

You will also like the LED work light that comes with this machine, which does a great job of illuminating dark work spaces for precision cutting.

What I Didn’t Like About Dewalt DCS374B

I cannot complain about the performance of this tool, but I was very frustrated by the inability of the stock blade to maintain sharpness.

Pros

  • Cuts easily through a four-inch cast iron vise
  • Brushless motor is very power efficient
  • Cordless design is easy to maneuver upwards
  • Loosening blade tension is super easy
  • Easy storage after use with the integrated hang hook

Cons

  • Stock blade is incapable of maintain sharpness
  • A little bit heavy

Conclusion

This tool isn’t just for cutting plastic pipes, it can cut through metal as well. It is also one of the easiest bandsaws to operate.

Overall Rating: 4.8

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4. Dewalt DCS371B Portable Bandsaw – Most Versatile Tool

Dewalt DCS371B is a compact size and lightweight bandsaw, which is a perfect tool for all kinds of cutting.

Specs

  • Cordless electric lightweight tool
  • Centered handle for proper balance
  • Great blade tracking adjustment
  • Integrated LED work light
  • Dual bearing blade guide rollers

What I Liked About Dewalt DCS371B

It is a cordless electric bandsaw with superior maneuverability, which makes it the perfect tool for working on roof tops, ceiling roughs, and wall roughs.

Although it is smaller than other portable bandsaws, it still has a powerful motor, which allows you to cut a variety of materials.

There is an LED light installed underneath, which is a great addition because it improves visibility in poorly lit areas.

Another great feature of this tool is the center handle, which is strategically positioned for improved balancing and ergonomics.

What I Didn’t Like About Dewalt DCS371B

The performance is impressive. My only issue is finding an after-market blade once the provided one breaks or wears out. It took me quite a while using the factory direct ordering.

Pros

  • Powerful motor for cutting a variety of materials
  • Dual-bearing blade guide rollers improve performance
  • Strategically positioned and ergonomic handle
  • Cuts smoothly through conduit
  • Lightweight and suitable for above the head applications

Cons

  • Has a short cutting capacity
  • Finding a replacement blade may prove difficult

Conclusion

The cutting performance of this tool is exceptional; even though, it has a limited cutting capacity that will not be suitable for cutting flat bars.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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5. Dewalt DCS374P2 Portable Bandsaw – Best 5” Cutting Capacity

Dewalt DCS374P2 is the best portable bandsaw for cutting 4-inch pipes. This little monster comes with all the unique Dewalt features you have been looking for.

Specs

  • Large 5-inch cutting capacity
  • Cordless electric design
  • Tool-free blade changing lever
  • Variable speed trigger and dial
  • Integrated LED work light

What I Liked About Dewalt DCS374P2

This tool comes with a maximum blade speed of 490 surface feet per minute, which is easily adjustable on the side with the ergonomic dial lever for more control and versatility.

This machine has a significantly large throat of 5-inch x 4-3/14-inch bandsaw, which is a great feature because you can easily work on flat bars of up to four inches.

This is a battery-powered unit, which means you don’t need any permanent power source, such as a generator or power coming out of your wall.

Dewalt also included a very large storage hook on the back, which allows you to hang it upside down on a pipe or against the wall.

What I Didn’t Like About Dewalt DCS374P2

After my cut test that drained the 5-amp battery, I was surprised to see the blade running even though it wasn’t capable of cutting anything. I was worried this would put stress on the battery.

Pros

  • Wide throat allows you to cut larger workpieces
  • Easy to increase or decrease speed with variable speed dial and trigger
  • Battery powered unit can be used off-the-grid
  • Loosening blade tension is easy with tool-free lever
  • Large hanging hook allows for safe storage

Cons

  • Doesn’t cut-off when the battery runs out

Conclusion

Cutting through metal is absolutely no issue with the Dewalt DCS374P2. The blade is long-lasting, but the inability of the unit to shut-down when the battery runs out may reduce the battery’s durability.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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6. Makita XBP03Z Compact Bandsaw – Highest Cutting Speed

Introducing Makita XBP03Z, a compact band saw that brings lithium-ion cordless cutting power to your shop or off-the-grid jobsite.

Specs

  • 2-1/2-inch cutting capacity
  • Powerful motor that delivers up to 630 surface feet per minute
  • Exterior blade adjustment
  • Aluminum blade housing
  • Tool-less blade changing lever

What I Liked About Makita XBP03Z

It comes with Makita-built motor that generates speeds of up to 630 surface feet per minute, which allows you to cut effortlessly through conduit, threaded rod, copper pipe, and unistrut.

The flagship feature of this tool is the 18-volt lithium-ion batteries, which not only offer you cordless convenience, but they also have the fastest charge time.

This bandsaw has a tool-free exterior blade adjustment, which is great because it allows for more accurate blade tracking, increasing cutting performance.

Another amazing feature is the aluminum blade housing that does an exceptional job of protecting the blade from damage.

What I Didn’t Like About Makita XBP03Z

The blade housing is a good addition, but it gave me a headache on some applications. Also, the throat is too narrow for cutting 4-inch pipes.

Pros

  • Incredibly fast blade speed
  • Accurate blade tracking with exterior adjustments
  • Loosening blade tension is easy with tool-less lever
  • Long-lasting battery life and faster charge time
  • Features LED lighting for increased visibility

Cons

  • Limited cutting capacity of 2-1/2-inch

Conclusion

This is a powerful tool for cutting through metal components, but your cutting capacity is limited to 2-1/2-inch.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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7. Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Compact Bandsaw – Best One-Hand Operation

Do you want an OSHA-approved compact unit for cutting with one hand? Settle for the Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12.

Specs

  • 1-5/8-inch cut capacity
  • Most compact and lightest weight
  • OSHA-approved one-handed cuts
  • Dual actuation trigger
  • Integrated LED light

What I Liked About Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12

This compact cordless unit features one of the most powerful motors in the Milwaukee lineup, which can cut through 3/4-inch EMT in a matter of seconds.

I really appreciate the fact that this tool meets all of OSHA Guarding Requirements, considering how effective its one-handed operation is when working on smaller workpieces.

It has dual actuation trigger, which is a great feature for maintenance professionals and electricians, providing increased control as well as productivity.

What I Didn’t Like About Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12

It was one of the most impressive little cutting monsters I have ever had in my shop, but mine came with a poor quality battery that couldn’t hold charge long enough.

Pros

  • Extremely compact design
  • One-handed operation improves maneuverability
  • Dual actuation trigger offers more control
  • Quiet-running motor and low-noise blade movements
  • Easy blade tension adjustments

Cons

  • Possible to receive a bad battery

Conclusion

With Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12, you get extreme portability, controlled power, and remarkable cutting speed for your applications.

Overall Rating: 4.6

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8. Milwaukee 2429-20 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw – Most Maneuverable Design

Here is another of Milwaukee sub-compact bandsaw, the Milwaukee 2429-20. A unit that brings portability, maneuverability, and precision cutting to your shop.

Specs

  • 1-5/8-inch cutting capacity
  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • OSHA guarding requirements compliant
  • Features LED lighting
  • Tool-free blade tension adjustment

What I Liked About Milwaukee 2429-20

The batteries of this model have a keyed stock type connector, which you can simply plug into the charger and it’s also easy to observe the recharge cycle with the lights on the charger.

This little cutting powerhouse generates impressively fast speed that can dig deep into 3/4-inch EMT in three seconds and a good quality battery that produces 150 cuts.

This uniquely engineered sub-compact tool is OSHA guarding requirements compliant, which means it is completely safe for one-handed operation enthusiasts.

Another good feature is the tool-less blade changing, you just need to install the blade a couple of times to master the technique. Not to mention how easy it is to adjust blade tension.

What I Didn’t Like About Milwaukee 2429-20

During unboxing, I was shocked to see that my package didn’t have any battery or charger, while the online images show that it comes with everything.

Pros

  • Very compact and maneuverable
  • Easy to operate with one hand
  • Very powerful for cutting through metal pipes
  • Blade tension adjustment is simple
  • Integrated LED lights improve visibility

Cons

  • Possible to receive a unit with no battery and no charger

Conclusion

If you want a tool that offers more portability and one-handed operation, look no further than the Milwaukee 2429-20.

Overall Rating: 4.4

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9. Bosch GCB10-5 Deep Cut Bandsaw – Best Value for Money

Introducing Bosch GCB10-5, a heavy-duty deep cut bandsaw for all your cutting needs. It offers good performance and versatility.

Specs

  • Features a powerful 10-amp motor
  • Deep cut capacity of 4-3/4 inches
  • Variable speed settings (100 to 380 surface feet per minute)
  • Ergonomic and very comfortable handle
  • Built-in LED light for better visibility

What I Liked About Bosch GCB10-5

This tool features a corded electric design, which is great when you want constant supply of power, especially if you are working on time-consuming applications.

Bosch used a 10-amp motor to power this machine with a variable speed dial, allowing you to conveniently vary the speed from 100 to 380 surface feet per minute.

I really appreciate the considerably large throat this bandsaw comes with, considering how easy it is to cut pipes of up to 4-3/4-inch on a single pass.

Another impressive and convenient feature is the integrated LED light, which illuminates the cutline for more accurate cuts.

What I Didn’t Like About Bosch GCB10-5

It is a reliable tool with a decent construction, but I didn’t like the fact that it did not come with a storage case.

Pros

  • Has a long 13-1/2-foot cord for more maneuverability
  • Cuts deep up to 4-3/4-inch thick
  • Being able to vary speed improves versatility
  • LED lighting improves visibility and accuracy
  • Comes with a hanging hook for safe storage

Cons

  • Does not come with a storage case
  • Possible for it to malfunction

Conclusion

This is a powerful saw that cuts deep and works great with copper pipes, conduit, and rebar. But Bosch should provide a storage case.

Overall Rating: 4.4

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Buying Guide

There are not many tools that can cut metallic tubing and other types of conduit more easily than a compact bandsaw. Here are the tips for selecting the best model.

Corded or Cordless

With portable bandsaws, you have the option of choosing between corded and cordless designs. I believe there are some conflicting views regarding these two designs.

What I have realized is that most hobbyists and professionals prefer cordless electric bandsaws due to their extreme maneuverability.

Which one has more power? The corded design is normally the more powerful one of the two because it runs on a higher voltage compared to the cordless one.

A corded compact bandsaw draws its power directly from a 120V power supply, but a cordless model depends on the rated power of the unit (15 to 20 volts).

This comparison clearly shows that a corded model draws more power and generates more output as a result.

Which one is lighter? Corded models are usually lighter in weight. On the other hand cordless compact bandsaws tend to be heavier because of the extra weight of the battery.

What is the usability of each design? Corded portable saws can be used for power-demanding jobs, but they cannot be used in places with no electricity.

On the other hand, the maneuverability of cordless saws allows you to use them on roof tops, ceiling roughs, and wall roughs. They are also the best for off-the-grid applications.

Surface Feet Per Minute (SFPM) or Cutting Speed 

What is SFPM? Basically, it is the length of material that flows through the cutting edge over a period of time. Surface feet per minute is based on the carbide grade used to make the tool.

Every manufacturer spends many hours of testing each grade to determine the best performance range in relation to the material that you are cutting.

A higher surface feet per minute is always convenient, which is great because the faster the blade moves, the deeper and more effective it cuts.

There are two types of speeds you can choose to work with: variable speed and fixed speed. I always recommend variable speed over fixed speed.

A variable speed unit allows you to vary the speed from a lower to a higher setting with respect to your application. This makes your cutting experience highly customized and versatile.

Cutting Capacity

This refers to the maximum width of cut you can make on a given compact bandsaw, which usually ranges from 2 inches to 5 inches.

It does not matter how powerful the portable unit is, if the cutting capacity is low, your use of the tool will be limited to smaller workpieces.

For example, a tool with a cutting capacity of 2-1/2-inch would be ideal for cutting threaded rod and conduit of smaller diameter.

But a tool with a larger cutting capacity of 5-inch by 4-3/4-inch would be ideal for cutting most materials that have a diameter of a 17-inch bandsaw.

Ergonomics

A good tool should always be high-performing and easy and comfortable to handle. This means you need a compact bandsaw with a user-friendly handle for consistent hand-placement and maneuverability.

You also need a portable bandsaw that doesn’t require tools for you to be able to change blades and make the necessary blade tension adjustments.

Final Thoughts

The battle for the highest performing portable bandsaw was fierce, but we have a winner, the Makita XBP02Z Portable Bandsaw.

It has all the features you want. First, its cutting capacity of 4-3/4-inch is large for those deep cuts you want to make. Second, it has variable speed; so, you can customize your work.

Third, it has a soft grip handle that allows you easy access to the variable speed control dial, and the lock-off switch is just a finger-push away.

Overall, you need to decide between a corded and cordless model. Then, choose the cutting capacity, speed, and ergonomic features. Finally, confirm if the price point matches your budget.

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