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We picked the top 4 best portable band saws, how to choose a good portable band saw for your work?

As I mentioned earlier band saws come in two major categories. Portable and Floor Models. Portable models have smaller capacities. Their biggest advantage is that one can carry them around if necessary. Portable models come as either battery-powered or powered directly via the socket. Battery-powered versions bring in the benefit of increased mobility. Whereas socket ones allow one to work for long periods without the need to recharge batteries. We have discussed the best budget-friendly bandsaw here, now it is time for the best portable band saw in the market in 2019.

Here are the best portable band saws by old Jack with reviews


1. Bosch GCB10-5 Deep Cut Band Saw, Blue – Top Pick for best portable band saw

Bosch GCB10-5 Deep Cut Band Saw, Blue - The best bandsaw

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Description
This is a very good lightweight band saw. Bosch rarely disappoints when it comes to quality. Having used this band saw before. I have a lot of good things to say about this power tool. It is truly the best quality portable band saw right now.

Specifications

  • Cutting capacity: 4,8 Inch (DEEP Cut)
  • Voltage 120V
  • Variable speed setting
  • Spark free operation
  • 19.7 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • 14.5 pounds
  • Included (1) GCB10-5 Deep-Cut Band Saw (1) 18 TPI 44-7/8 In. Band Saw Blade (1) Hanging Hook
  • Warranty: Limited 1 Year
  • Corded Length: 156 inches
  • Made in China
  • Power voltage rating of 120V

What makes it exceptional.

It’s very handy and powerful. When using it you find that the deep-cut features make it possible to make cuts of 4 ¾ inches in a single pass. Another good feature is the adequately powered 10 Amp motor. Because the motor is powerful one is guaranteed to have very clean cuts. This reduces the need to do any rework on burrs or tempering colors. The band saw is light, it weighs just 14.5lbs.

As far as safety is concerned the GCB10-5 has a nearly spark-free operation. This is very important because sparks may affect one’s eyes. The covered blades are another safety feature.

For convenience three features stand out for me. The first one is the LED light which illuminates the cut line. The second is a hanging hook for easy storage. Lastly, we have variable speeds for adjusting cutting speed to material and style. These seemingly small features make a world of difference in a workshop.

Lastly, Blade change is easy it’s too less.

Overall, the Bosch GCB10-5 is the ideal jobsite band saw. It can be used by both professional and hobbyists alike.

Where is it found wanting?

There isn’t much to dislike about this tool. Some complained about it not being battery powered. Bosch bucked the trend on this band saw given that most recent contractor band saws are battery powered. Have heard some complain that its small. I think this criticism is unjustified because it’s a portable band saw.

More info: https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/boschtools-ocs/bandsaws-gcb10-5-146223-p/

Overall score 10/10

2. Milwaukee 6232-21 Deep Cut Band Saw W/Case

Milwaukee 6232-21 Deep Cut Band Saw W/Case

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Description

This is the second-best band saw in the market. The Milwaukee 6232-21 is a direct competitor to the Bosch GCB10-5. Milwaukee is a top brand as far as power tools are concerned. I have had the privilege to use this band saw.

Specifications

  • Cutting capacity: 5 inch (Deep cut)
  • Voltage 120V
  • Motor 11 Amp
  • Power source corded.
  • LED light
  • Debris Protection System.
  • 7.1 x 21.4 x 14.4 inches
  • Plastic made
  • The saw does not come with blades
  • Made in China

 What makes it exceptional?

Milwaukee, claims that this band saw is 2x more durable than its competitors. This could be true. Let us examine some key features that make the 6232-21 exceptional.

Firstly, the outside casing is made of impact absorbing crush zone barriers. This acts as some form of armor to protect the important interior parts.

The internal mechanisms are made of an all-metal drive system that has a longer life span than the chain drive setups common in band saws. More so, inside there is a clutch that absorbs high impact forces should the blade lockup. This protects the sealed direct drive gearing.

As far as convenience is concerned the Milwaukee has several features. Firstly there is an LED light for illuminating the workspace and increasing accuracy. Tool-Free Locking Adjustment shoe makes allows the user to quickly adjust from an extended shoe to no shoe in seconds. Thirdly there is my favorite feature DBS(Debris protection systems). It increases pulley life by removing debris during use.

Power wise the 11 AMP motor delivers more torque than the Bosch. The machine is adequately powered. Variable speed is also another cool feature.

During use, I found that the narrow motor housing allows unmatched visibility.

Where is it found wanting?

Like the Bosch, there isn’t much to dislike about this tool. However, I have a few concerns.  This particular band saw is a bit loud. One might need earplugs to operate it. Secondly, there is no hook to hang it in the workshop. These are the things that make it second best.

Score 9/10

3. Dewalt DCS374B – Battery Powered Band saw

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Description

This is the 3rd  best portable band saw and the best cordless portable bandsaw in the market. I encountered it while looking to buy a variable speed portable band saw for my daughter. The DCS374B has a durable and adjustable material guide. It also has a convenient LED sight light for operating even in poorly lit areas. The 10 Amp motor has a variable speed control for material and application-specific cuts. What sets it apart from the DW715 is that it doesn’t come with a storage case. For storage, the DCS374B has a hanging hook. That could be the reason it is cheaper than the Number 1 portable band saw. This is a battery powered tool.

Specifications 

  • TIP: 14tip blade is included from the factory.
  • Tool-less blade change
  • Cutting capacity: 5inch
  • Battery powered
  • Blade: 44-7/8 inch by ½ inch by 0.020inch inches.
  • Carry case
  • Hex wrench
  • 24.4 x 13 x 8.3 inches
  • 13.8 pounds
  • Metal Made
  • Included DCS374 20V MAX* Band Saw
  • 3 year limited manufacturers warranty
  • Great for cutting metal. Good for cutting wood.
  • DCS374B is assembled in China with Global materials.

Why it stands out?

The DCS 374B is battery powered making it very versatile. I bet you also know that DeWalt is an established power-tools brand, therefore, quality and support in the US are assured.  The DCS 374B band saw is no exception. Its design is robust due to the high-quality materials used (metal and rubberized shrouds on the sides.). These shrouds make it possible for one to operate the band saw without worrying about suddenly damaging it.

A robust and reliable portable band saw, which make it an excellent choice when it comes to working in a remote site without mains electricity. E.g.: pipework.

During use, the integrated LED provides extra lighting. I have learned to appreciate this feature when working in poorly lit conditions.

Variable speed makes this band saw more effective (up to 5 different speed levels). Depending on what you are planning to cut, each level has a slightly different result. Blades are included and also are easy to change out making it ideal for novices. The 3-year warranty is also a standout factor.

Where is it found wanting?

I don’t like the fact that one is required to buy a battery separately. The charger is also sold separately. This may be a deal breaker for some. However, if one is willing to invest in a battery and charger then they are home and dry.

More info: https://www.dewalt.com/products/power-tools/saws/band-saws/20v-max-xr-brushless-deep-cut-band-saw-bare/dcs374b

Overall score 8/10 (Because of the extra costs)

4. Makita XBP02Z Cordless Portable Band saw – The best budget portable band saw

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Makita is relatively a less-popular brand but its products are remarkable. Just like this model that I found extremely useful. Whether its the construction or feature of this little band saw, everything is just great.

Specifications

  • Cutting speed: 530 FPM (Maximum)
  • 18V Lithium-Ion Battery
  • 6 Setting Variable speed setting
  • Spark free operation
  • 14 x 22.4 x 10.7 inches
  • Included 44-7/8″ 18TPI Band Saw Blade (792556-A), Tool only (battery and charger not included)

What makes it exceptional

So, this brand is known for its affordable price while being able to deliver great results. This model is an excellent choice for the starters and professionals that don’t avidly use the band saw in their work. You can select the speed range from various settings. The minimum speed is 275 FPM and it goes up to 530 FPM.

The design is a conventional one. The material used in the making is quite durable and can withstand outdoor abuse. Also, there is a rubber shroud at the bottom which makes sure that the unit is not damaged.

Since this is a battery-powered model, you can simply charge it and take along anywhere you want. For its price, the XBP02Z offers great value, making it one of the best cordless portable bandsaw for beginners. You can easily lend it to a friend in need because this is among the least demanding band saws that I have come across.

This is a super simple model with limited features. So, if you are looking for something to start with which is also affordable then this is it.

Where is it found wanting

So, the things that can prevent you from buying the band saw is the number of cuts it produces on a single shot. The manufacturers failed to mention the exact number so this will be doubtful. Secondly, you should know that the charger is not included with the unit. You will have to buy it separately.

More info: https://www.makitatools.com/products/details/XBP02Z

Score 8/10

Conclusion

We choose the Bosch GCB10-5 as our top choice for portable band saws due to its powerful capacities and versatility.

Check out my other band saw guides: