Best Portable Bandsaw Options Guide – Our Top 5 (2021)

A portable bandsaw is an incredibly useful, versatile tool and a worthwhile investment if you want to get serious about woodworking. Portable bandsaws are particularly good as they’re versatile, and you can take them with you, rather than being confined to your workshop.

The question is, how can you find the best portable bandsaw? How do they work? And what should you be looking for if you want to buy one?

You can find answers to all these questions here, as well as our top 5 portable bandsaws at a range of prices and styles, so hopefully, you can find the best one for you.

At a Glance: Best Portable Bandsaws

Model Power Source Capacity Weight Price
Milwaukee’s 2729-20 Full Deep Cut bandsaw Cordless 5 x 5 inches 15 pounds $$$
DeWalt 20V Max Portable bandsaw Cordless 2.5 x 2 inches 8 pounds $$$$
APLMAN Deep Cut Portable bandsaw Corded 5 x 5 inches 22.5 pounds $
An bull Portable Bandsaw Corded 5 x 4 ¾ inches 33 pounds $$$$
MAKITA XBP02Z 18V Portable Bandsaw Cordless 4 ¾ inches 15 pounds $$$$$

What is a Portable Bandsaw?

A bandsaw is a versatile cutting tool that is well worth adding to your tools and gear collection. Regular bandsaws are housed within a table, making them ideal for your workshop, but not so great for carrying around with you. A portable bandsaw is smaller and contains just the actual saw itself. This means you can take it with you if you need to.

Bandsaws can be used to do a huge array of jobs, including cutting steel, creating tenon joints (like a tenon cutter), resawing timber, making truss circles, creating notches, making veneers, and making decorative cuts.

What to Look for in a Portable Bandsaw

There are a few things to look for in a portable bandsaw. Here are the basic features:

Corded or Cordless

You have two options when it comes to portable bandsaws – corded or cordless. Cordless bandsaws are powered by rechargeable batteries. The downside to those is that they may be more expensive, and you will have to remember to charge the batteries before you use them.

Corded bandsaws may be cheaper, and you won’t have to worry about carrying or charging batteries. They can be a bit more powerful than cordless models too. The downside is that they are less flexible as you’ll need to be near a power outlet to use them.

Opening Size

The opening size of a bandsaw ranges from 1.5 inches to 5.0 inches. If you have a larger opening, it will be able to accommodate thicker materials. Larger openings may mean a larger saw, which will be both heavier and more expensive. It’ll give you more options in the long run, though, so you may be tempted to go for it if you have a lot of plans for your bandsaw.

Weight

Bandsaws can vary in weight, from 6 pounds or so to 25 pounds or more. You’ll also have to factor in the weight of the case and the batteries, if applicable. This might not bother you, but it’s something to bear in mind if you need to carry it around a lot.

Blades

Not all portable bandsaws actually come with blades, so it’s a good idea to check before you buy.

Different bandsaw blades are used for particular tasks. There are a few types you can choose from with the measurement ‘TPI’ (‘Teeth Per Inch).

  • 3 TPI – this is used for deep cutting, which will give a rough sawn result
  • 4 TPI – this is a great blade for general use, with a smoother finish than 3 TPI
  • 6 TPI – this is a good blade for cross-cutting
  • 10 TPI – this is good for cutting MDF, non-ferrous metals, plywood, and plastics. It has a petty good finish, especially when cut slowly
  • 14, 18, 24, or 32 TPI – these are clean-cutting blades that give a smooth finish. These blades can’t be used for certain types of wood but work well on plywood, MDF, and plastics.

Accessories

Portable bandsaws may come with a protective carrying case, which will keep your bandsaw safe as you transport it. You may also find portable bandsaws with batteries and a charger included, although these will cost more.

Top 5 Best Portable bandsaws

Now let’s take a look at our top 5 portable bandsaws. We’ve covered corded and cordless models with a variety of price points, so you should be able to find one that suits you best.

Milwaukee’s 2729-20 Full Deep Cut bandsaw – Best Cordless Portable Bandsaw

Key Specs

  • Corded or Cordless: Cordless
  • Power: 18V
  • Blade Type: 1 blade included – type not stated
  • Capacity: 5 inches x 5 inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds

The Milwaukee’s 2729-20 Full Deep Cut bandsaw is a great choice if you want a cordless model with a large capacity. At 5 x 5 inches, it’s the largest you can get for a portable bandsaw, opening up plenty of options in terms of material thickness.

It’s a cordless model, and it comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Despite being a cordless bandsaw, it’s still just as powerful as a corded model, which again makes it a versatile choice as you can work with a wide range of materials with no problems. It has a dual-actuation trigger, giving you more control (this means you can start slowly and increase the speed as you go). It has an LED light, illuminating your work surfaces for improved visibility.

It has a built-in overload protection system. This means if it can tell the saw is getting overloaded, it will automatically shut it off, which helps to protect you and the tool itself. It’s also durable and tough, ideal for working on job sites as well as at home.

The downside is that it doesn’t come with any extras – just one blade. It doesn’t come with a hard case, either.

Pros

  • Powerful cordless model
  • LED light improves visibility
  • Automatic overload protection system
  • Durable and tough

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with any extras, like a hard case

DeWalt 20V Max Portable bandsaw – Most Powerful

Key Specs

  • Corded or Cordless: Cordless
  • Power: 20V
  • Blade Type: 3 x 18 TPI blades
  • Capacity: 2.5 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 8 pounds

The DeWalt 20V Max Portable bandsaw is a powerful tool that can handle all kinds of materials. It’s cordless, but with a power of 20 volts, it’s more than enough to deal with different kinds of jobs. It has a capacity of 2.5 x 2 inches, meaning larger materials will be off-limits, but it should still be enough to complete a lot of tasks with ease.

It doesn’t come with a battery or a charger. It’s compatible with DeWalt 20V Max Lithium-Ion batteries. It has an ergonomic soft grip back handle for comfortable use and a tool-free blade changing lever (this makes it much easier to switch the blades out). It also has an LED work light, which has a 20-second delay which will help to illuminate dark work surfaces.

It’s a durable tool with a high-speed steel edge, which improves wear and tear from repeated use. DeWalt’s 3-year warranty against manufacturing defects is great, and they also offer 1-year servicing if something goes wrong.

It doesn’t come with a case, but it does have an integrated hang-up hook, so you can hang it up safely without damaging it. It also comes with 3 blades with a TPI of 18, which is ideal for smooth cuts in MDF, plywood, and plastics.

Pros

  • Powerful and durable
  • LED light included
  • Has a hang-up hook
  • It comes with 3 blades

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with a case, battery, or charger, making it a more expensive choice.

APLMAN Deep Cut Portable bandsaw – Best Budget Option

Key Specs

  • Corded or Cordless: Corded
  • Power: 10 Amp
  • Blade Type: 1 x 10/14 TPI saw blade
  • Capacity: 5 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 22.5 pounds

The APLMAN Deep Cut Portable bandsaw is a great value portable bandsaw. It’s a corded bandsaw, so you won’t have to worry about charging batteries. It’s powerful and has a large capacity at 5 x 5 inches, so you can handle large materials with no problems.

It has an easy blade tensioning system and a comfortable trigger with variable speeds. It doesn’t come with a LED light to illuminate dark surfaces, which is a shame. It’s a tough, durable bandsaw that can be used on job sites and for home DIY purposes – it has a rugged bumper and is made from strong materials.

It comes with 1 blade, a hang-up hook, a wrench for changing the blades, and a storage case. That, combined with the low price and lack of batteries, makes it a great value tool.

Pros

  • Durable and strong
  • Easy blade tensioning system
  • It comes with 1 blade and storage case
  • Good value

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with an LED light

An bull Portable Bandsaw with Removable Steel Base – Most Versatile

Key Specs

  • Corded or Cordless: Corded
  • Power: 10 Amp
  • Blade Type: 1 x 14 TPI blade
  • Capacity: 5 x 4 ¾ inches
  • Weight: 33 pounds

The Anbull Portable Bandsaw is a good all-rounder. It’s a powerful corded model, so you won’t have to deal with batteries, and it has a pretty big capacity – up to 5 x 4 ¾ inches. The downside is it’s heavy to carry if you want to bring the base along, and the bandsaw itself weighs about 14 pounds.

It comes with a removable alloy steel base. It’s a strong, heavy base, but you don’t have to take it with you, making it versatile. The base allows you to make strong, precise cuts. It’s easy to remove too.

It has an ergonomic softback grip, making it comfortable to use. It’s pretty powerful, with a variable speed dial, so you can saw through different types of material with ease. It has a saw blade guard, which will stop the saw blade from jamming whilst keeping your hands safe, and it’s made from strong, durable materials, so it can withstand a lot of use.

It comes with 1 blade, a 14 TPI blade, which is ideal for cutting MDF, plywood, and plastics. It’s easy to swap the blades in and out too. It lacks any extras, including a hang-up hook or case, which is a shame.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • It comes with a removable base
  • Comfortable and safe to use
  • It comes with 1 blade

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with an LED light, case, or hang-up hook
  • Heavy to carry if you want to bring the base

Makita XBP02Z 18V Portable Bandsaw – Most Durable

Key Specs

  • Corded or Cordless: Cordless
  • Power: 18V
  • Blade Type: None included
  • Capacity: 4 ¾ inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds

The MAKITA XBP02Z 18V Portable Bandsaw is a durable, tough tool. It has a pretty big capacity at 4 ¾ inches, making it suitable for thicker materials. It’s not too heavy to carry at 15 pounds, although that doesn’t include the weight of the battery.

It’s a cordless model, but it doesn’t come with a battery, which bumps the cost up a bit. The great thing about this bandsaw is that it is durable and tough – it has a thick protective rubber bumper, and it can withstand some knocks and scrapes with no problems. It’s comfortable to use, with a rubberized soft grip handle, and it has a built-in LED light too.

It comes with a hang-up hook so you can hang it safely out of the way, and it has onboard wrench storage, so you can easily swap out blades on the go. The downside is that it doesn’t come with any extras – you’ll have to buy the battery, blades, and case separately, which does increase the cost.

Pros

  • Tough and durable
  • Powerful
  • Comfortable to use
  • LED light included

Cons

  • Blades, battery, and case are not included

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you go, here are some commonly asked questions about portable bandsaws:

Question: How can I use a portable bandsaw safely?

Answer: Like pole saws, beam saws, and other powerful tools, portable bandsaws can be dangerous if used incorrectly. There are a few things to remember:
Protect your eyes – it’s important to wear safety glasses, as this can protect your eyes from dust and flying wood or debris.
• Cover your ears – bandsaws can get loud, and over time, you may find that it damages your hearing if you don’t cover your ears properly. It’s a good idea to buy ear defenders to protect your hearing.
• Keep your feet covered – make sure you wear work boots or other protective shoes.
Keep loose items away from the bandsaw – don’t wear loose clothing, and make sure you tie your hair back if needed. Watch out for jewelry, too, as necklaces can easily get caught in the machinery.
Check your bandsaw regularly – before each use, make sure it’s all running smoothly. This includes checking the power cord (if applicable) for fraying or wear and tear and making sure the blades are properly positioned.
Make sure the lighting is good – not all bandsaws come with LED lighting, so make sure you can see clearly.

Question: What surfaces work for a portable bandsaw?

Answer: You can use a portable bandsaw on different surfaces – the main thing is to make sure the surface you use is stable and secure. You can attach the materials you want to cut onto the surface using clamps – this is important because you need to make sure it won’t wobble or move during the cutting process.

Question: What jobs can I do with a portable bandsaw?

Answer: There are so many jobs that you can achieve with a bandsaw, including:
• Creating precision cuts in pipes
• Cut billets of metal down to a small size
• Cutting and sizing rebar
• Making decorative cuts, including bevels and notches
• Resawing dry firewood
• Creating wood joints
• Creating truss circles

Question: Are portable bandsaws better than regular table bandsaws?

Answer: There are advantages to both. Portable bandsaws are a lot easier to use, as you can take them anywhere. They’re versatile, and they take up less space than a table bandsaw. A table bandsaw, however, has a stable base that makes safe, accurate cuts much easier.

You can make a more permanent table for your bandsaw using your portable bandsaw! There are a lot of video tutorials on YouTube that can walk you through this process. It’s a good first project to test out your new tool.

Our Final Thoughts: Which Portable Bandsaw is Best?

If we had to pick one best portable bandsaws, we’d probably go for Milwaukee’s 2729-20 Full Deep Cut bandsaws. It’s cordless but powerful, and the capacity is big enough to deal with any project you had in mind. The dual-action trigger and LED light are nice extras, too. It comes with one blade, which may be enough to get going, but it’s really easy to swap out the blade when you need to.

Closely following this is the APLMAN Deep Cut Portable bandsaw. It’s a great value tool, with a blade and storage case included. If you want a cordless model, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with batteries, we’d recommend it.

We hope this has helped you to find the best portable bandsaw for you!

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