7 Best Portable Band Saws of 2020

Best Portable Band Saw

The portable band saw is one of the most useful cutting tools to have on the worksite. It will allow you to cut tough materials like metal pipes quite easily.

Furthermore, most models are relatively lightweight and highly maneuverable. This will allow you to use the portable band saw in awkward positions without suffering from hand fatigue.

If you are fresh on the market for such a powerful cutting tool, then we have you covered.

Our portable band saw review below contains a handpicked selection of quality models used by professionals every day.

Without any further ado, let’s check them out!

You can also read other product reviews of budget bandsaw, 14-inch bandsaw, hacksaw.

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Milwaukee 2429-21XC

1. Milwaukee 2429-21XC (Superior Portability)

  • Small and compact. Highly portable
  • Ergonomic and comfortable
  • Easy to operate with one hand
  • Excellent maneuverability
DeWalt DWM120K

2. DeWalt DWM120K (Excellent Price to Performance Ratio)

  • Great price for the performance
  • The powerful motor of 10 A
  • Variable speed is easy to use
  • Durable and long-lasting build construction
Makita XBP02Z

3. Makita XBP02Z (Superior Variable Speed Control)

  • Versatile variable speeds
  • Rubber bumpers to protect the sides
  • Safety switch on the power button
DeWalt DCS374B

4. DeWalt DCS374B (Heavy-duty Battery-powered Band saw)

  • Heavy-duty despite being battery operated
  • The handle is soft and anti-slip
  • Bright LED light
Milwaukee 6238-20

5. Milwaukee 6238-20 (Designed for Deep Cuts)

  • High cutting capacity of 5 inches
  • The powerful motor of 11 A
  • Pulleys do not get clogged
Bosch GCB10-5

6. Bosch GCB10-5 (High Performance and Great Value)

  • Excellent performance for the price
  • It can perform deep cuts of 4-3/4 inches
  • Safe. It does not produce sparks
Bosch BSH180B

7. Bosch BSH180B (Lightweight and Highly Maneuverable)

  • Lightweight at 8.8 lbs
  • 40% more compact
  • Bright LED work light

PRODUCT

1. Milwaukee 2429-21XC

(Superior Portability)

Milwaukee 2429-21XC
  • Small and compact. Highly portable
  • Ergonomic and comfortable
  • Easy to operate with one hand
  • Excellent maneuverability

2. DeWalt DWM120K

(Excellent Price to Performance Ratio)

DeWalt DWM120K
  • Great price for the performance
  • The powerful motor of 10 A
  • Variable speed is easy to use
  • Durable and long-lasting build construction

3. Makita XBP02Z

(Superior Variable Speed Control)

Makita XBP02Z
  • Versatile variable speeds
  • Rubber bumpers to protect the sides
  • Safety switch on the power button

4. DeWalt DCS374B

(Heavy-duty Battery-powered Band saw)

DeWalt DCS374B
  • Heavy-duty despite being battery operated
  • The handle is soft and anti-slip
  • Bright LED light

5. Milwaukee 6238-20

(Designed for Deep Cuts)

Milwaukee 6238-20
  • High cutting capacity of 5 inches
  • The powerful motor of 11 A
  • Pulleys do not get clogged

6. Bosch GCB10-5

(High Performance and Great Value)

Bosch GCB10-5
  • Excellent performance for the price
  • It can perform deep cuts of 4-3/4 inches
  • Safe. It does not produce sparks

7. Bosch BSH180B

(Lightweight and Highly Maneuverable)

Bosch BSH180B
  • Lightweight at 8.8 lbs
  • 40% more compact
  • Bright LED work light

1. Milwaukee 2429-21XC – Superior Portability

Milwaukee 2429-21XC

Photo: Milwaukee

  • Power Source: 12V XC Battery
  • Cutting Capacity: 1-5/8 inches
  • Speed: 0 - 280 SFPM
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs

What demarks the Milwaukee 2429-21XC from the rest of the models is its superior portability. Indeed, with a length of only 18.8 inches and a width of 13.6 inches, this band saw is very small and compact. Which makes it extremely portable.

Furthermore, the handle is ergonomic and promotes comfort. You can use this band saw for an extended period without suffering from hand fatigue.

And since this model is battery operated, there is no wire to get in the way. It has excellent maneuverability.

Best, you can fully operate this band saw using only one hand. This makes it very practical to use. The only problem we have with it is that it is not very heavy-duty.

It is powered by a 12V XC lithium-ion battery, which doesn’t deliver a lot of power. It also has a small cutting capacity of 1-5/8 inches, so this band saw is for small-time cutting only.

However, it wasn’t built for power. If you need a highly portable band saw for cutting small diameter materials, then the Milwaukee 2429-21XC is one of the best portable band saws on the market.

Pros:

  • Small and compact. Highly portable
  • Ergonomic form factor
  • It can easily be operated with one hand
  • Excellent maneuverability

Cons:

  • Small cutting capacity of 1-5/8 inches
  • Small 12V battery. Not very heavy-duty

2. DeWalt DWM120K – Excellent Price to Performance Ratio

DeWalt DWM120K

Photo: DeWalt

  • Power Source: 120V Corded Electric
  • Cutting Capacity: 5 inches
  • Speed: 100 - 350 SFPM
  • Weight: 15 lbs

The problem with most portable band saws is that they tend to be quite expensive. And you must spend a lot to get a model with more performance.

This is not a problem with the DeWalt DWM120K because it has an excellent price to performance ratio.

As a matter of fact, this model is corded, so the power source is not limited. This allows it to deliver excellent performance when cutting tough materials like metal pipes. It's 10 A motor that will not stall in any way.

Furthermore, there is a variable speed control that allows you to adjust the speed anywhere from 100 SFPM to 350 SFPM on the fly. This allows it to adapt to a wide range of materials that each need a different cutting speed.

We also like the fact that the handles of this band saw are large and comfortable. In addition to that, the LED work light is bright and will allow you to cut materials in dim conditions.

Also, this band saw has a rugged build construction with steel and rubber shrouds that protects the tool against impacts. This will make the band saw last longer, especially for those who use their band saw daily for professional use.

All in all, this top-rated portable band saw has a lot to offer in terms of price and performance.

The only issue we take with it is that its weight of 15 lbs could have been a little bit better. You also do not get a carrying box with this purchase.

Pros:

  • Excellent price to performance ratio
  • The powerful motor of 10 A that will not stall
  • Variable speed control is easy to use
  • A rugged build construction. Durable and long-lasting

Cons:

  • A little heavy at 15 lbs
  • It does not come with a carry bag

3. Makita XBP02Z – Superior Variable Speed Control

Makita XBP02Z

Photo: Makita

  • Power Source: 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Cutting Capacity: 4-3/4 inches
  • Speed: 275 - 530 SFPM
  • Weight: 15 lbs

The Makita XBP02Z is all about speed. Indeed, this model has a superior variable speed control that allows you to adjust the blade anywhere from 275 SFPM to 530 SFPM.

Moreover, it has the highest maximum speed of 530 SFPM that you will find in this review. With such fine control over the speed, this model is incredibly versatile in cutting a wide range of materials easily.

There is a convenient dial close to the power button that allows you to change the speed on the fly. Your hands can stay on the handle while changing the speed. Neat!

Another thing that we really like about this band saw is that it is cordless. There are no wires to get in the way, and you can use this band saw to cut in any direction with greater ease.

Furthermore, there is a neat safety mechanism on the power button. You will need to double press on the power button for the band saw to start.

Also, the sides of this band saw are equipped with thick rubber bumpers that will protect the tool against impacts during usage.

All in all, this model remains one of the best cordless portable band saws on the market. The only problem we have with it is its weight of 15 lbs, which makes it a little heavy.

Pros:

  • Excellent variable speed of 275 - 530 SFPM
  • Easy to adjust the speed without leaving the handle
  • Equipped with rubber bumpers to protect the sides
  • The power button has a safety switch

Cons:

  • A little heavy at 15 lbs

4. DeWalt DCS374B – Heavy-duty Battery-powered Band Saw

DeWalt DCS374B

Photo: DeWalt

  • Power Source: 20V Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Cutting Capacity: 5 inches
  • Speed: 0 - 490 SFPM
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs

The DeWalt DCS374B is a heavy-duty band saw that is powered by a 20 V lithium-ion battery. Since there are no wires, this model remains highly maneuverable. It is an excellent choice for those who need some serious cutting power in tight areas.

What we like about this model are its ergonomic design and comfortable handles. The handles have a soft rubber coating with grooves to prevent slipping. You can use this band saw with wet hands in all safety.

Furthermore, the sides are protected by a thick plastic shroud that guards the blade against impacts. For convenience, this model is equipped with a handing cook so that you can easily store it when not in use.

With its integrated LED light, you will also have no problem working in lowlight conditions. Clearly, this model is one of the best cordless portable band saws for the money.

The only issue we take with it is that the speed of the blade is a little bit more difficult to adjust when compared to competing models. Also, the rafter hook is made from a fragile plastic and can easily break over time.

Pros:

  • Powered by a powerful lithium-ion 20 V battery
  • The protective shroud around the band saw
  • Soft and anti-slip handle
  • Bright LED light

Cons:

  • A bit difficult to adjust the speed
  • Rafter hook is made from a fragile plastic

Notes

You get only the band saw with this purchase. You will need to buy the charger and battery separately.


5. Milwaukee 6238-20 – Designed for Deep Cuts

Milwaukee 6238-20

Photo: Milwaukee

  • Power Source: 120V Corded Electric
  • Cutting Capacity: 5 inches
  • Speed: 300 - 380 SFPM
  • Weight: 14.5 lbs

When it comes to cutting large metal pipes, the Milwaukee 6238-20 is a portable band saw that stands out. With its large cutting capacity of 5 inches, you can cut any type of metal pipes without worrying about their diameter.

Moreover, the powerful 11 A motor provides a lot of performance. It will not stall and can cut through any type of material by providing a clean finish cut.

In order to make this band saw last longer, Milwaukee used a special technology called Job Site Armor. Basically, the manufacturer used composite materials that are resistant to regular wear and tear so that you get a longer-lasting band saw.

Also, this Milwaukee portable band saw has been designed in a way so that it automatically removes dust and debris from the pulleys during operation. This directly translates to a band saw that would not lock up or vibrate excessively during operation.

This unit is clearly a powerful and dependable band saw that you could use for both casual and heavy-duty cutting. The only issue we have with it is that it contains only 2 speeds of 300 and 380 SFPM. Not the most versatile portable band saw out there.

However, considering its powerful motor of 11 A and its ability to perform deep cuts, we still highly recommend it.

Pros:

  • Large cutting capacity of 5 inches
  • The powerful motor of 11 A
  • Made from composite materials for durability
  • Automatically remove dust and debris from the pulleys

Cons:

  • Only 2 speeds of 300 and 380 SFPM

6. Bosch GCB10-5 – High Performance and Great Value

Bosch GCB10-5

Photo: Bosch

  • Power Source: 120V Corded Electric
  • Cutting Capacity: 4-3/4 inches
  • Speed: 0 - 380 SFPM
  • Weight: 14.5 lbs

The Bosch GCB10-5 is a powerful corded portable band saw equipped with a 10 A motor. This model is very reasonably priced considering its performance, and it will offer great value to the user.

Moreover, it provides clean cuts when cutting metal pipes. There is no after polishing to do on your cut, so it saves you time. Additionally, it has a decent cutting capacity of 4-3/4 inches, so it will have no problem cutting bigger metal pipes.

Best, this band saw does not produce sparks in operation. This makes it suitable to use in environments where there are flammable substances.

You will also appreciate the fact that this band saw comes with variable speed control to adjust the speed anywhere from 0 to 380 SFPM. In terms of power and the value, this model is one of the best handheld band saws that you can purchase.

The only caveats with this model are that the blade changing system is a bit fragile. Additionally, it does not come with a carry case.

Pros:

  • Excellent performance and great value
  • It can perform a deep cut of 4-3/4 inches
  • This model does not produce sparks

Cons:

  • Does not come with a carry case
  • Blade changing design could have been better

7. Bosch BSH180B – Lightweight and Highly Maneuverable

Bosch BSH180B

Photo: Bosch

  • Power Source:18V LXT Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Cutting Capacity: 2-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 530 SFPM
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs

If you’re looking for a lightweight band saw that is also highly maneuverable, then you should seriously consider the Bosch BSH180B. Indeed, with its weight of 8.8 lbs, this model is the best portable band saw that you could purchase.

It is also more compact than other models, so you will have no problem carrying it to the job site. In fact, the manufacturer says that it is 40% more compact than competing models with similar power.

Furthermore, you can use this unit in lowlight conditions because it has an included LED work light. The light is quite bright.

And when it comes to usability, no problem. The handle is coated with comfortable and anti-slip materials. You can use this band saw for an extended period without suffering from hand fatigue.

The only issue we take is that it has a smaller cutting capacity of 2-1/2 inches. You cannot use this model to cut large metal pipes. Also, the blade is a little difficult to mount. The design could have been better.

Pros:

  • Lightweight at 8.8 lbs. Highly maneuverable
  • Small and compact. It can easily be carried to the worksite
  • Comfortable and anti-slip handle
  • LED work light

Cons:

  • Smaller cutting capacity of 2-1/2 inches
  • Difficult to install the blades

Notes

You get only the band saw with this purchase. You will need to buy the charger and battery separately as it is not included in the price.

How to Buy the Best Portable Band Saw

How to Buy the Best Portable Band Saw

1. Power Source

There are basically 2 main types of portable band saws on the market. The battery-powered portable band saw in the corded electric model.

The battery-powered usually contains a lithium-ion battery and offers you a high level of maneuverability. Indeed, there are no wires to get in the way with the battery-powered band saw so you can use it to cut materials in awkward positions.

On the other hand, the corded portable band saw needs a power socket to operate. Since it does not have the constraints of a battery, the corded type usually has a more powerful motor of at least 10 A.

If you are willing to sacrifice maneuverability for performance, then the corded portable band saw is an excellent choice.

2. Cutting Capacity

The cutting capacity in a portable band saw is the distance between the front of the blade and the column. Most top-rated portable band saws on the market have a cutting capacity of at least 2-1/2 inches.

With this type of cutting capacity, you will have no problem cutting standard size metal pipes.

However, if you need to cut bigger pipes or materials on the job site, then it is best to go with a model with a larger cutting capacity.

You can easily find a portable band saw with a cutting capacity of 4-3/4 inches or more at a reasonable price.

3. Speed

The speed at which the blade of the portable band saw moves will dictate how fast it is able to cut through the material.

This speed is measured in surface feet per minute or SFPM. The bigger the number, the faster the blade moves at, the faster it can cut.

When looking to buy a portable band saw online, ensure that your chosen model comes with variable speed control.

By being able to adjust the speed of the blade, you get more versatility because now your portable band saw can cut through a wider range of materials.

In addition, adjusting the speed should not be difficult, and most of the time, you should be able to change the speed without lifting your hand from the handle or power button.

4. Comfortable

Comfort is important when buying a portable band saw. Especially if you are planning to use this powerful tool for an extended period.

Therefore, check if the handle is coated with a soft material. Most of the time, manufacturers use a soft rubber coating on the handle that provides comfort.

5. Versatility

Most people use the portable band saw for cutting metal pipes. However, there are multiple uses for the portable band saw.

By simply changing the blade of this tool, you can use it to cut a wide range of materials.

For example, you can change the blade to cut wood for woodworking purposes.

6. Extra Features

LED work light: If you plan to use the portable band saw in lowlight conditions, then it is best to choose a model that is equipped with an LED light.

Safety button: Many reputable models are equipped with a safety power button. You will need to double-click on the power button for it to start. 

This prevents you from accidentally starting the band saw that might eventually cause a safety hazard.

Overheat protection: In case you are planning to use your portable band saw for heavy-duty purposes, then you should check if your model comes with an overheat protection.

What this system does is automatically switch off the portable band saw in case it overheats. This feature will protect your tool from damage.

7. Weight

A lightweight, portable band saw is more maneuverable and easier to use. Especially if you plan to use it throughout the day.

Luckily, most models are usually below 15 lbs, which can easily be maneuvered by a person of average build.

However, there are many quality models that way below 10 lbs and does not sacrifice performance in case you need an even lighter model.

Conclusion

Models like the Bosch GCB10-5 are excellent for those looking for a powerful portable band saw at a great price.

And in case you don’t need absolute cutting performance but prefer maneuverability instead, you cannot go wrong with models like the Milwaukee 2429-21XC.

But just in case you have not made up your mind yet, then we recommend you go through our portable band saw review above one more time.


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