The best portable band saw review and the buying guide. Best small and mobile band saws for wood, plastic and metal cutting, including Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee... Check the most important features, advantages and benefits.
Portable band saw is the small hand tool that every handyman should have for professional work or hobby. The difference between this portable tool and the stationary saw is with a portable saw you take it to the job site instead of the other way around.
These are designed mainly for cutting metal and wood. They are versatile hand tools that are cutting curves, cross cutting, beveling, ripping or slicing through the thick material such as 4" thick lumber or metal tube.
If you need a tool to cut materials other than wood, such as metal tube or bar with different thickness, you should consider an electric band saw with strong motor.
Portable band saws are most often used horizontally for cutting while you can also find band saws, still portable, with the stands that are using clamp attachments for better stability and convenient workpiece cutting. Stand holds the band saw in the vertical position; it comes with the table, and is used as a work surface.
Band saw blades are very important components for efficient, reliable and long lasting cutting.
Most of the models are using the same length blade, which is close to 45", and similar cutting capacities, which is usually 4-1/2".
The blade should be strong enough for cutting different materials, easy to adjust and small enough not to obstruct the view of the cutline, therefore, allowing the precise cutting.
When choosing a portable band saw or simply the blade, rule of thumb is to select the coarsest (less TPI; teeth per inch) for faster cutting and widest blade for straight cut in thick stock; narrow blades can cut detailed designs and tight curves, but it depends on the material you are cutting.
For thin materials and cleaner cut, you should use fine-tooth blades. It is important to know not to use too much force as the band saw will cut slower and eventually the blade will snap.
Based on the material you are cutting, wood, metal channel... you should choose the appropriate blade to get a clean and quiet cut, spark free and long lasting.
The best portable band saw has a variable-speed blade or multi speed setting to optimize cutting for different types of materials, size and hardness.
If the saw has more than one speed settings or is a variable unit, always select the proper speed before making the cut. For example: use higher speeds for materials such as aluminum, cast iron, brass, copper; and lower speed for plastic pipes, stainless steel, tough steels, and materials that are hard to cut.
Some portable band saws are battery operated, they use batteries up to 28 volts; there are also electrically powered saws with 6 or 6.5 amp motors, plugged into the standard electrical outlet with the power cords. There is no setup,they are ready to use right from the box, can be moved and used anywhere.
Using a portable band saw, when comparing to the stationary saw, is very safe. Both of your hands are on the band saw; one is on the handle and power switch while the other on the top handle or knob; workpiece should be securely clamped to the bench while introducing the saw to the workpiece.
Additional features are also important, such as built-in work light to light the cut area, light weight so you can easily move it around, or ergonomic handle for comfortable cutting.
Portable band saw is not capable of cutting larger pieces, but is handy for tighter spots and mainly designed for smaller projects. They are also compact and lightweight, cordless models are around 14 lb while band saws with both options (battery and power cord) are around 24 lb.