The Ultimate Guide In Buying A Portable Band Saw

The Ultimate Guide In Buying A Portable Band Saw

Portable band saws are used for a myriad of tasks. While they are smaller than other band saws, they make up for it in mobility. These saws are easy to carry and are great if you need something versatile in your shop.

The biggest problem woodworkers face is finding a quality portable band saw blade. Fortunately, we have compiled information on portable band saws that will give you the most utility. Our main goal is to inform you on portable saws that are designed to work for you.

First, we'll discuss the certain mechanics in regards to portable band saws. Next, we'll move onto our review section where we discuss the top portable band saws in the market.

We'll use consumer opinions to provide an extra layer of information. By the end of this article, you'll have the confidence to buy a portable band saw that suits to your needs.

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

What Is A Portable Band Saw?

This is a question that's commonly asked amongst novice woodworkers. A portable band saw is a small, mobile type of band saw that's used for a myriad of applications. It can be used to make clean cuts to wood, metal, and pipes.

Portable band saws should be used for simple projects. While there are more expensive portable saws, they won't offer the same effectiveness as a metal cutting band saw. Still, they are great for making irregular shapes and precise cuts.

What To Use It For

Portable Band Saws are versatile. This means that you can use it for almost any project. For instance, you can use them to cut ferrous and non-ferrous metals, woods, and other raw materials. You'll want to use a portable band saw when you have to make straight cuts and complex shapes.

Man using a portable band saw

Sometimes, regular sized band saws lack the mobility that portable band saws have. Large blades are usually stiff, and harder to move around your shop. Portable saws are usually lightweight, making it easier to transport around your work space with minimal issues.

Use portable band saws when you have to cut through simple metals such as angle iron and channel. For other materials, we'll use different blades to cut through them.

Projects that require a powerful blade will require more than just a small portable saw. Because of this, these portable saws are best for simple projects with small materials.

Things To Avoid

There are some things that need to be considered when using a portable band saw.

Improper Usage

Negligent band saw use is the first sign of a bad wood worker. Leaving the motor on after completing a project is dangerous, and you might cause an injury to yourself or your coworker. Treat safety as a priority, so you should turn off the motor after you have completed your project.

Make sure to read the instruction manual to learn how to use your portable band saw correctly. It gives your saw specific details on how it operates, safety precautions, and tips on how to cut your pieces effectively. Research your desired product, so you'll know how to use it the right way.

Weld Spatter

Weld Spatter occurs when molten sparks fly appear out of the blade. While it seems harmless, weld spatter ruins the effectiveness of your blade.

Place your band saw at the correct setting to prevent this disturbance from occurring. Increase or decrease your voltage and amp settings until you are unable to see sparks coming from the saw blade.

Man using a portable band saw

Also, you'll want to look out for the angle positioning of the saw blade. Steep angles cause weld spatter, making it harder for your blade to work as efficiently as usual.

Here's a good rule of thumb: Don't let your cutting angle exceed over 15 degrees. Doing this ensures that your blade won't cause weld spatter when in use.

What To Look For Before You Buy A Blade

Here are a few questions you'll want to ask before buying a blade.

  • Do I want a wood or a metal band saw?
  • Do I want a wood or a metal band saw?

Find out the complexity of your project to answer the first question. You'll want to use a portable metal band saw for heavy duty projects. They are sturdy enough to cut through tough metals such as steel, aluminum, and iron.

But, there are some projects where wood needs to be cut quickly. That is where portable wood band saws step in. Hardwood and softwood are easily cut by these blades and are a great buy for artisans and carpenters.

Man using a portable band saw

To answer the second question, measure the scope of the project. Most woodworking projects are simple and don't require a table in order for it to work correctly.

But, we suggest getting a portable band saw table to make your life easier. They offer a stable foundation for your piece to be chopped with the highest level of accuracy.

Ask yourselves these questions before you plan on buying a blade. It will help you understand what blade will work the best for you. Also, you'll become a more informed buyer when it comes to purchasing band saws. After asking and answering those questions, you're ready to go to our review section.

Best Portable Band Saws

Below are the top three portable band saws. We'll review each of their pros and cons so that you get a better understanding of how each product can provide you a benefit.

The consumer reviews add onto our analysis, providing in-depth information about the saws. Mainly, use this section to understand each of the saws before making a conscious purchase decision.

Milwaukee Band Saw

Technical Specs

  • 120 Vaults of Power
  • Case Included
  • ​Gear Protective Clutch
  • ​Strong 11 Amp Motor
  • Lightweight & Durable
Milwaukee 6232-21 Deep Cut Band Saw W/Case front view.

Our Rating


First on our list is the Milwaukee 6232-31 Band Saw. It's a portable band saw designed with the highest level of durability. Also, it's simple to use, making it a good choice for those wanting to learn the basics of woodworking. In general, it's a good band saw that's strong enough to handle most projects.

One advantage consumers liked is the blade's smooth feeding procedure. This means that woodworkers are able to cut most material without the blade getting stuck in the feeding line.

Which leads to a better cut because your blade can run properly. Get this product if you want a smooth portable blade that doesn't interfere with your workflow.

Another advantage lies in the blade's variable speed setting. This allows the user to adjust the blade to their desired speed. Simply press the button on the right side of the saw in order to change the speed to your liking. Based off its variable speed settings, it's a versatile portable band saw that can be used at the user's disposal.

But there is one flaw with this band saw. Most deep cut portable band saws are quiet, but not the Milwaukee 6232-31 Band Saw. It gives off a loud sound in use, which can be a problem for wood workers with sensitive ears. We suggest getting a quieter portable band saw if this proves to be a serious problem.

Overall, we find the Milwaukee Portable Band Saw a reputable and reliable portable band saw. It's durable enough to cut through simple metals while still having a smooth feeding system.

While it's a loud saw, it still gives the user complete control; leading into accurate cuts by the end of the project. Get this product if you want a strong band saw for general usage.

DEWALT DWM120 Portable Band Saw Kit

Technical Specs

  • Adjustable Speed Dial
  • LED Light
  • ​Rubber bumpers for added durability
  • ​Powerful 10 amp motor
  • 5-inch deep cut capacity
DEWALT DWM120K portable band saw

Our Rating


Second on our list is the DEWALT DWM120K Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit. This kit contains a motor that has a power of 10 amps. Because of this, the blade is strong enough to leave a 5-inch deep cut on most raw materials. Get this product if you want a useful portable band saw for all of your woodworking needs.

Consumers liked the Dewalt portable band saw's easy maintenance. The blade loses tension when switching out blades, resulting in an easier and convenient blade change. This portable band saw provides quick and simple blade transfers; which helps woodworkers of all levels complete their projects.

In addition, the saw has a comfortable grip. Having an ergonomic grip makes it easier for the user to operate the saw with more efficiency. The Dewalt portable band saw comes with a multi-position front blade that's easy to adjust and provides a lot of hand space. Thus, leading into a precise grip and more accurate cuts in the long-run.

However, this blade is not as durable as advertised. Consumers reported the blade becoming dull after deep cutting 5-inches of steel. This means that the blade doesn't have the power needed to cut through tough objects. Get a replacement if this problem still exists.

Overall, we think that the Dewalt DWM120K Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit is a powerful tool. It's easy to hold and maneuver and is great at switching blades. What it lacks in durability, it makes up for by remaining mobile and easy to transport around the shop. It's a great entry-level portable saw that should be used by any beginning woodworker.

Makita XBP02Z Portable Band Saw​

Technical Specs

  • Lightweight Design
  • 6-Speed Adjustable Setting
  • Long Lasting Battery
  • ​Durable Protective Bumper
  • Cutting Speed: 275-530ft./min
Makita XBP02Z 18V Portable Band Saw

Our Rating


Last on our list is the Makita XBP02Z 18V Portable Band Saw. This is a cordless portable band saw that allows the user to effective cut through most wooden material (plywood, redwood, lumber, Etc.).

Also, it's 6 speed control dial makes it easier for users to adjust the blade to their desired speed. It's a useful band saw that can be used in almost any location in your shop.

Woodworkers praised the product because of its lightweight design. The saw weighs only 14.3 pounds, making it easier for woodworkers of all skill levels to use. The ergonomic grip handles make it easier to grasp onto the saw without it vibrating and losing control. Thus, it's a great saw for those wanting a light blade that gives the user a strong grip.

Additionally, this portable blade saw has a strong battery life. Consumers liked this feature because it allowed them to work on their projects for an extended period. It has a 4.0Ah battery that has the lifespan of over 12 hours. Basically, the battery power adds to the saw's durability and makes it a great product to use for long-term projects.

Consumers across the board complained about the saw's trigger setting. They suggested that the product had a button to keep it running without a trigger. For advanced woodworkers who need a tool for complex projects, this might not be the product for you.

Despite its small flaw, you can't go wrong with the Makita Portable Band Saw. It's lightweight enough to be carried anywhere and has an extended battery life. This is a powerful saw that gives the user control and provides accurate cuts on smaller pieces. Get this saw if you are a beginner trying to improve their skills in woodworking.


We believe that the DEWALT Portable Band Saw Kit is the winner. It features an ergonomic grip; making it easier to hold and carry safely.

Also, the band saw has a powerful 5-inch deep cut capacity which is great for cutting through ferrous and nonferrous metals. It's a reliable portable band saw that serves as a great addition to your shop.

There is a good future for the portable band saw market. As time progresses, we see more additions, making band saws easier and safer to use.

In the future, portable saws will have enough strength to cut through harder materials. No matter what band saw you get from this list, they will maximize your utility and improve your working speed on projects.

Do you have any experience using a portable band saw?

Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

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