5 Best Portable Band Saw 2021 (Reviews)

Best Portable Band Saw. Portable band saws are lightweight. You can carry the tool anywhere you want.

There are many models and few known brand names of portable band saws in the market. You can find out features, disadvantages, and advantages, so you will not get confused when purchasing the tool.

In this article, we have selected the top rated portable band saws. We discover the selection from the positive reviews about portable band saws from the verified purchasers. Read all the comparison, pros, cons, specifications, ratings, our favorites and reviews of these portable band saws and you can make a purchasing decision quickly and accurately.

Our Quick Overview

  1. Best Cordless Portable Band Saw: BOSCH Portable Band Saw GCB10-5 Deep-Cut Corded
  2. Best Overall Portable Band Saw: DEWALT Portable Band Saw, Deep Cut, 10 Amp, 5-Inch (DWM120K)
  3. Best Compact Band Saw: Milwaukee Portable Band Saw 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Battery-powered
  4. Best Budget Band Saw: Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless 2.5-inch Portable Band Saw
  5. Best Value for the Money: Anbull Portable Band Saw with Removable Alloy Steel Base

Our Top Picks

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Model  TypeCut CapacityRating
BOSCH Portable Band Saw GCB10-5 Deep-Cut CordedCorded4.8 inches9.0
DEWALT Portable Band Saw, Deep Cut, 10 Amp, 5-Inch (DWM120K)Corded5 inches9.0
Milwaukee Portable Band Saw 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Battery-poweredCordless1-5/8-inch8.9
Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless 2.5-inch Portable Band SawCordless2.5-inch9.0
Anbull Portable Band Saw with Removable Alloy Steel BaseCorded5 x 4-3/4-inch8.7

What is a portable band saw?

A portable band saw is a tool for cutting cut curves. The machine can cut thick lumber, including crosscut short pieces, rip lumber, and creating cabriole legs.

This tool is usually used to cut irregular shapes, rip, or resawing lumber into thinner slabs, producing the smoothest cuts and cutting metal with the correct blade.

It is a powerful tool with a sharp and long blade with metal teeth distributed between at least two or three wheels. The two or three wheels rotate in the same plane.

An electric motor runs these portable band saws. You will need an engine or motor, a table, and a thin rotating blade to run the band saw.

Band saws are available in various sizes, such as small bench-top to huge floor models.

What’s a portable band saw good for?

1. Metal cutting

Metal planks, metal sheets, and metal tubing are various metal materials that can be cut with a portable band saw. With the correct blades, it is accurate and highly effective for cutting these metal pieces.

The cutting process of metal material might be complicated, but it is still possible in many cases. If you do the blade change, you can use the same portable band saw for wood and metal. That is why a portable band saw is versatile.

2. Ripping materials

Ripping means cutting down huge pieces of lumber along the grain. It is a popular use for band saws.

You can do the systematic cutting and cut a substantial unworkable piece into many functional pieces for many purposes. You can cut considerable lumber to be used as the same size fence pieces.

If you have a big table size, you can easily line up multiple pieces with a miter guide or fence and produce particular smaller pieces by going through a band saw blade.

3. Woodworking

Portable band saws are a combination of saws for finishing woodworking projects. The fences, angles, and tables that come with portable band saws can provide you freehand cuts with a wood piece, miter cuts, form crosscuts, and straight cuts.

You can use the portable band saw in numerous ways for the same wood piece. Let’s say you have a big chunk of wood. You first make straight cuts to size down the wood. Feed them to the saw to get them down to the exact dimensions according to your preference.

After that, feed them again to the saw to curved cuts and make cuts you want. A portable band saw is versatile for woodworking. You can choose the ideal blade size for cutting smaller pieces.

4. Meat cutting or fish cutting

Today, people use these band saws for meat cutting or fish cutting. The band saw models designed to cut meat or fish from 100% stainless steel.

To make the band saw last a long time, you can easily maintain and clean them after fish cutting and meat cutting. The band has ultra-fine teeth with heat-treated tips.

6. Decorative cuts and create veneers

The most popular use of a portable band saw is to use it for decorative cuts. You can also produce Pergola ends, and corbels with the band saw.

You can utilize a portable band saw to slice the thick veneer boards according to your preference.

Benefits of the portable band saw

1. Faster work

Portable band saws are excellent tools to make sawing, ripping, and cutting, so much easier and faster. You can not work fast if you want to cut heavy pipes. Carrying a handheld band saw would cut the time in half as you work in the metal industry. When workers handle a wide metal, they can use a portable band saw to save the grinding and re-welding of the metal.

2. Producing less noise and fewer sparks

Sometimes you can not use an open flame that could cause fire hazards in one location. It would be best to use a portable band saw due to the fewer sparks it can produce. If you work in a location where you need less noise, it produces less noise compared to other tools used by woodworkers.

3. Changing direction

A portable band saw can help you cut curves perfectly. It is easy to handle and you can change direction with ease. There are switches and knobs that would allow you to adjust the direction and speed easily and safely.

4. Easy to control

Some band saw models can be heavy and you struggle controlling due to the extra weight that the battery gives. Today, some saws use power cords to increase portability and ease of control.

5. Use for stationary objects

When cutting wood, workers would have to carry the workpiece to where the band saw is to do the cut. However, by using the portable tool, you do not need to carry heavy workpieces to work on them. You can move the band saw itself, instead of transporting the workpiece elsewhere.

The main component of a portable band saw

1. The blade

The blade is a thin and long strip of metal with a serrated edge. It is used for cutting through wood or metal, or other materials.

The strength of the teeth and the blade determine the type of material being fed.

There are a few considerations before choosing a blade, such as the design and style of teeth, the number of teeth, and the blade thickness. If you do not know what to purchase, you can always select general cutting blades to deliver cuts in a broader array of materials.

A thick blade is much stronger than a thinner one. Blade thickness depends on the track and the diameter of bandsaw wheels.

If you want a smoother cutting result, you should consider purchasing the more the number of teeth per inch the edge has.

2. The motor

Before you purchase a portable band saw, the first thing you need to check is its motor power. The motor is the backbone of the cutting machine. The portable band saw will not work if the motor fails.

The motor is the component that runs the blades that provides power to the cutting blades. If you are going to cut wood, you can purchase a portable band saw that comes with a motor above 2.5 amps power.

For handling more rigid materials, you can purchase a portable bandsaw with a larger motor. The higher power motor would guarantee the saw can cut through wood, plastic, meat, or any other material.

3. Variable speed trigger switch

Some portable band saw models are equipped with a lock-off button. To lock the trigger switch, you can push the lock-off button. To eliminate unintentional starting, always lock the trigger switch when carrying or storing the tool.

You can push the lock-off button and pull the trigger switch to turn on the motor. To turn off the motor, release the trigger switch.

The variable speed trigger switch will give the saw versatility. If you depress the trigger higher, you will get a higher speed of the saw.

4. LED work light

No matter how good your workshop lights are, there are always areas that will benefit from the extra light. LED work light will help light those areas.

Some portable band saw models are equipped with a LED work light, usually located above the blade. You can activate the LED work light when the trigger switch is depressed.

When the trigger switch is released, it will automatically turn off in a few seconds. If the switch remains depressed, the LED work light will stay on.

The teeth pattern of portable bandsaw

Blades are available with numerous tooth patterns for various uses. The four types are hook tooth, skip tooth, raker-set, and wavy-set.

1. Blades without teeth

This type of teeth is used to cut fragile material, including ceramics, certain plastics, and very smooth cuts. The cutting edge on these blades contains a surface with tungsten carbide chips joined securely to the teeth.

2. Raker-set and wavy tooth blades

This type of teeth is a suitable one for cutting ferrous metal. A wavy-set blade is for horizontal band saws when cutting ferrous metal.

3. Skip tooth blades

This type of teeth can provide optimal chip clearance when cutting softer metals and aluminum.

4. Hook tooth blades

This type of teeth are closely spaced and have wide-set teeth, are ideal for cutting plastics, hardwoods, and harder non-ferrous metals.

Types of the portable band saw

1. Corded portable band saw

This is the type where the motor is connected to an electrical outlet by cable. You will need an extension cable if the length of the included cable not long enough to reach the job site.

2. Battery-powered or cordless portable band saw

If you are looking for a portable band saw that emphasizes portability, then a cordless or battery-powered unit allows for maximum portability. All you need to do is to charge the battery to operate the tool. You might want to have a spare battery if you are going to work longer.

FAQ portable band saw

Why does the portable band saw blade keeps coming off?

These are common factors why the blade keeps coming off.

  • Insufficient blade tension. You have to check the blade itself. If your blade is slipping off, it may not have enough tension to keep it on. Blades can become loose after many uses over the years. To fix this, you will need to replace or tighten them. If you have a budget, you can purchase a tension meter to check the tension. Or you can hear the sound of the blade. The other way is to press against the side of the blade. You must turn off the machine before doing this. It is time to tighten the blade tension when the blade pushes more than ¼ inch.
  • A dull saw blade. You need to check the sharpness of the blade teeth is. You will be having trouble cutting through a material with a dull saw blade. This matter will force the machine to deliver more power to cut it. The much force to the blade can push off the wheels. If you scrutinize the blade and find any damages or dullness, then the blade needs replacement. Another way is to check the blade with your fingernail. If the blade is a dull one, it will slip across the nail. Another way to determine if your band saw blade is dull is by using the bandsaw and observe how smoothly the blade cuts.
  • Worn out or damaged rubber tires. If your blade slips off, it may be falling off of the rubber tires. You need to check the wear and tear on the component. A damaged rubber tire could be enough to slip the blade. You need to maintain the rubber tires in good condition. All you have to do is to clean it with a wheel brush. You can also take tension off of the blade when the band saw is not in use.
  • Damaged wheel bearings. When the bearings can not support the wheel, the blade can come off. When the wheel shifts back and force, it can knock the blade loose. Check this problem by manually spinning the wheel. The bearings need replacement if there is any wobble while you spin it.

Portable Band Saw Reviews

We researched online to put together the top 50 portable band saws available on the market today. Combining mostly on consumer reviews and product information, we recommend our favorite products.

Best Cordless Portable Band Saw

BOSCH Portable Band Saw GCB10-5 Deep-Cut Corded

Portable Band Saw
Buy At Amazon
Buy At Home Depot

Average Ratings: 9.0

  • Durability: 9.0
  • Easy to use: 9.0
  • Price: 9.1

Our tips

  • This Bosch portable band saw GCB10-5 is ergonomically designed, that can deliver a ripping depth of 4-¾-inch. It features a bright LED work light for better and precise cuts.
  • For uncomplicated storage, you can hook the band saw with its saw hook. This Bosch band saw has versatility with the variable-speed settings.
  • The variable-speed settings start from 100 feet/minute and up to 380 feet/minute. With this setting, you can sync the cut-rate to the material for improved precision.
  • The portable corded band saw is easy to use to deliver smooth cuts through conduits, (almost) spark-free, rebar, and other materials, including threaded rods, pipes, and steel tracks. These precise cuts do not need a rework.
  • This Bosch band saw comes with a 10-amp corded motor that is powerful enough to finish professional jobs on a wide variety of materials. The lightweight (weighs only 14.5 pounds) and compact design make it an excellent option for extended usage or tough spots.
  • Its main handle provides a comfy and firm grip for cutting action in numerous positions. There is also the auxiliary side handle for a safe two-handed saw operation.
  • The portable corded band saw comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

Features that we like

  • Sturdy 10 amp motor
  • Low spark operation
  • Maximum Blade Length: 44.875 In.
  • 380-feet of maximum feet per minute

Why we like it (Pros)

  • Can deliver accurate cutting without any burr edge rework
  • The design is sleek and compact
  • It is lightweight to reduce fatigue
  • Maximum deep cuts of up to 4 3/4-inches
  • The builtin LED help increase visibility and accuracy

Why we do not like it (Cons)

  • Harder to replace the blades
  • Must detach the handle to store the tool
GTIN or UPC000346487947
Weight14.5 Pounds
Cutting Capacity4.8 inches
Warranty1 year
Voltage120 volts

Best Overall Portable Band Saw

DEWALT Portable Band Saw, Deep Cut, 10 Amp, 5-Inch (DWM120K)

Portable Band Saw

Average Ratings: 9.0

  • Durability: 9.0
  • Easy to use: 9.0
  • Price: 9.1

Our tips

  • This DeWalt portable band saw DWM120K has a 5 x 4 3/4-inch ripping capacity for the rectangular stock. The band saw product can offer a blade tracking adjustment to adjust the blade.
  • There is a front handle to make you handle the saw with ease. Because of the easy-to-use handle, you can minimize user fatigue and abrasions.
  • There are also features like an inbuilt hanging hook for easy storage, LED work light, and ergonomic grip selections. This portable band saw is powered by a 10-amp motor to deep cut up to 5-inch.
  • You can adjust the speed with the speed dial at speeds from 100 to 350 square feet across one minute. Anyone can cut precisely and quickly and place it within your reach while working with the machine.

Features that we like

  • serviceable steel shroud
  • rubber bumpers
  • LED sight light
  • built-in hang hook
  • Variable speed dial
  • 100 to 350 feet per minute
  • multi-position adjustable large front handle
  • blade tracking adjustment
  • dual bearing blade guide rollers
  • ergonomic soft grip back handle
  • blade changing lever to loosens blade tension
  • replaceable brushes

Why we like it (Pros)

  • The band saw can tear through 5-inch thick materials
  • It comes with a powerful 10 amp motor to finish the job easier
  • Rubber bumpers (to limit the shifting of the blades) and a steel shroud for safety
  • Has strong plastic case with storage space
  • LED light to help iluminate the cutting process

Why we do not like it (Cons)

  • A little bit expensive
  • A little bit hard to start and shut off the tool without on/off button
GTIN or UPC885911048507
Weight15 Pounds
Cutting Capacity5 inches
Warranty3 year
Voltage120 volts

Best Compact Band Saw

Milwaukee Portable Band Saw 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Battery-powered

Portable Band Saw

Average Ratings: 8.9

  • Durability: 8.8
  • Easy to use: 9.0
  • Price: 8.9

Our tips

  • This Milwaukee portable band saw is suitable for homeowner’s everyday use. Its appearance is attractive with performance to match.
  • It is equipped with a powerful motor that rips 3/4″ EMT in three seconds, offering 150-cuts per charge with an XC battery. The blade measures 27-inch x 1/2-inch x .020-inch with a cutting capacity of 1-5/8- inch.
  • There is a built-in LED work light to light around the cut. The lightweight and compact size can offer single-hand operation for convenient carry around.
  • It comes with adjustable blade tracking, a 5-year warranty, and strict compliance with the OSHA guarding parameters.

Features that we like

  • The design is decent, ergonomic and lightweight
  • The hand grip is thick and ideal for big hands, you can cut with one hand
  • Its 1-5/8-inch cutting capacity is enough to finish a light job
  • The overall dimension is compact, that is why we rate this tool the best compact band saw
  • The LED light is handy for accurate cuts

Why we like it (Pros)

  • Easy to operate
  • Compact design
  • Lightweight

Why we do not like it (Cons)

  • Quality issues
  • Some complaints about the blades
GTIN or UPC045242262274
Weight12.4 pounds
Cutting Capacity1-5/8-inch
Warranty5 year
Voltage12 volts

Best Budget Band Saw

Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless 2.5-inch Portable Band Saw

Portable Band Saw

Average Ratings: 9.0

  • Durability: 8.5
  • Easy to use: 9.0
  • Price: 9.5

Our tips

  • The RYOBI portable band saw an 18-Volt saw designed to cut plastic, wood, and metal. It is a lightweight and portable tool that can provide cutting power to your job site or around the house.
  • This tool has a 2.5-inch cut capacity with 560-surface feet per minute. It is equipped with adjustable blade tracking that is suitable for 32-7/8-inch blades.
  • For easy storage after use, there is a hanging hook. The RYOBI 3-year manufacturer’s warranty backs you, so you do not have to worry about any damage to the tool. Every unit has a 4.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery, an 18-Volt Charger, and two 32-7/8-inch 18 TPI blades.

Features that we like

  • 4.0 Ah battery and charger
  • weighs 9.3 pounds
  • suitable to cut wood, metal, or plastic
  • a 2.5-inch cut capacity
  • clears 575-surface feet per minute
  • RYOBI 3-year warranty
  • 32-7/8 in. 18 TPI blades

Why we like it (Pros)

  • Excellent cutting speed
  • Best budget cordless portable band saw
  • Tool-free blade changes
  • Can cut through hard metal, metal, wood, plastic

Why we do not like it (Cons)

  • We think that it may need to adjust the hex wrench
  • Only good to cut thin materials
GTIN or UPC033287176892
Weight9.3 pounds
Cutting Capacity2.5-inch
Warranty3 year
Voltage18 volts

Best Value for the Money

Anbull Portable Band Saw with Removable Alloy Steel Base

Portable Band Saw

Average Ratings: 8.7

  • Durability: 8.8
  • Easy to use: 9.0
  • Price: 8.5

Our tips

  • The Anbull portable band saw is equipped with a 1,100 watt, 10-amp copper motor. This powerful motor can cut steel that will not create sparks, smooth cut incision, and no burrs.
  • Its power can also cut aluminum, PVC pipes, composite cables, angle iron, and steel. This machine can provide accurate cuts with an ergonomic soft grip back handle.
  • The grip can give you comfort while working. There is a rubber bumper and a serviceable steel shroud to withstand the hardiness on the job site.
  • It comes with an adjustable saw blade guard to protect it from injuring the hand and jamming. This tool has a cutting capacity of 5 x 4-3/4-inch (without base), deep-cut capacity for the rectangular stock, 5-inch capacity for the round stock, and 4 x 3-1/5-inch (with base).
  • Its variable-speed dial is 100 to 350 feet per minute with a .020 x 44-7/8-inch 14 TPI blade.

Features that we like

  • 6.6 kilograms alloy steel workbench base
  • 0 to 45° angel adjustable base
  • 10-amp motor
  • 5 x 4-3/4-inch deep-cut capacity for rectangular stock
  • 5-inch capacity for round stock
  • serviceable steel shroud
  • rubber bumpers for extra safety
  • LED work light to increase accuracy
  • variable-speed dial: 100 to 350 feet per minute
  • soft grip

Why we like it (Pros)

  • It The 10-amp powerful motor and a sharp blade can deliver a smooth cut
  • Deep cut capacity for better result
  • We think the variable speed dial can control the tool better
  • The tool has a durable removable steel alloy workbench adjustable to up to 45 degrees.

Why we do not like it (Cons)

  • There is no needle bearings
  • Uncomfortable handle
GTIN or UPC741802666215
Weight14.6 pounds
Cutting Capacity5 x 4-3/4-inch
Voltage110 volts / 10 amp

Maintenance and proper care

Maintenance and proper care are vital for keeping a band saw operating at its best for a long time. You have to not only cleaning but also many maintaining practices.

  • Before doing any maintenance, make sure the saw is turned off. Lock the knob in the off position. If it is corded, unplug the machine from the electric outlet. If it is battery-powered, take out the battery from its position.
  • You can use an air compressor to remove debris, and fine dust from the band saw.
  • You need to remove carbon rust, rust, and dirt. Use a liquid rust remover to remove rust.
  • Use a clean cloth to wipe dirt and carbon dust.
  • Do not use any solvents on the saw. Use a car wax onto the surface when the surface is dry.
  • Wear protective gloves. Take out the blade from the saw. Use the liquid rust remover, clean the blade with a wire brush.
  • Clean areas that hold the blade while the blade is out of its position. Clean the wheels and the pitch.
  • When you are done, spray resin remover on these areas and clean with a wire brush.

1. Blade breakage

Blade breakage can not be avoided, as a result of the peculiar stresses placed on bandsaw blades. This breakage is the result of poor care when adjusting or mounting the blade or support guides.

2. Cleaning

Cleaning the tool will extend its life and create better results. Keep clean the motor area, the blade, and the stand. These areas should be free from oil and debris.

3. Storage

When storing the tool for long periods of time, it is crucial to release tension on the blade. Make sure to store the tool in a safe dry place.

4. Lubrication

Some models do not need lubrication. All of the bearings in these tools usually have been lubricated with a proper amount of high-grade lubricant. This lubricant can help make the tool last a lifetime under normal operating conditions

Common problems with a portable band saw

ProblemsPossible causeSolution
The tool will not start (1)Loose connection or there is an open circuit in the motorInspect carefully connections on motor for loose or open connections
The tool will not start (2)Low voltageCheck if the power provide the right voltage
Fuses broken or circuit breaker blown The circuit is overloaded
Loose connection or short circuit
Short circuit in plug or in line cord
Try to reduce the load on the circuit
Repair or replace them
Replace or repair the plug
The motor can not develop its full powerCircuit is too long or undersized wires
Power lines is overloaded
Replace the wires or circuit
Reduce the load
The motor overheatsLimited air circulation
The motor is overloaded
Clean the motor
Reduce the load
Making ticking soundWeld support bearingSmooth the blade weld
Not an even cutUneven sharpness of teeth
Uneven tooth set
Wheels are not coplanar
The blade is not tensioned properly
Replace the blade
Replace the blade
Call a certified technician
Adjust the tension of the blade
Slow blade movementV-belt was worn out
V-belt loose
Replace the V-belt
Adjust and tighten the V-belt
Blade does not run evenlyWheels are not coplanar
Blade support bearings set incorrectly
Call a certified technician
Adjust the support bearings
Slow machineToo much pressure when cutting the workpiece
Slowly cut the workpiece

Blade selection

Before using the tool, proper blade selection should be made. The proper blade can be selected, using a tooth per inch (tpi) rating system. You have to consider the material being cut and its diameter when choosing the right blade.

Some models come with an 18 tpi blade.

Blade choice based on material:

  • 14 tpi blade for soft material such as rubber, lead and aluminum
  • 24 tpi blade for hard material such as cast iron and steel
  • 18 tpi blade for hard and soft material

Blade choice based on diameter:

  • 14 tpi blade for thick material
  • 24 tpi blade for thin material
  • 18 tpi blade for thick or thin material

Safety rules of a band saw

  • Hold the power tool by insulated gripping surfaces. The cutting accessory can contact hidden wiring.
  • Keep hands away from the blade and cutting. Place the second hand on handle. Do not use both hand.
  • Keep work area well lit and clean..
  • Do not operate near dust, gases, or flammable liquids. Since this tool create sparks, it can create ignition the fumes or dust.
  • Keep children away while operating the band saw.
  • Use the power tool for doing the job better and safer.
  • Do not use the power tool if the switch does not turn it on and off.
  • Disconnect the plug from the power source when not being use.