When cutting various materials, you may find it necessary to make curved cuts instead of cutting in a straight line. A band saw is the ideal type of saw to use for such cuts. It utilizes a single metal band as a blade which has a cutting edge on one side. In order to cut a piece of wood, metal or pipe using a band saw, you need to mount the blade vertically and place the piece you want to cut on a horizontal surface to steady it. The band saw is able to make precise cuts and it is very useful for cutting irregular angles and shapes. However, a band saw can also be used to make straight cuts.
Types of band saws
The two main types of band saws are the floor standing and the mounting saws. The mounting band saw can sit on a stand or bench. This type of band saw is smaller than the floor standing type and is suitable for home woodworking purposes. The floor mounted type of band saw is also known as a cabinet band saw and it comes with a larger motor and more deluxe features than a bench mounted band saw.
How A Portable Band Saw Works And Its Features
A portable bandsaw is easy to use and it works in a similar manner to floor standing and mounting band saws. However, it can be used in a wide variety of cutting situations and tight spots. It is smaller in size and it is therefore not able to cut large pieces like those cut by stationary band saws. It weighs about 13 to 50 pounds and is therefore easy to carry. It is ideal for use in smaller projects that require a user to cut in tight spots or from a number of different angles.
A portable bandsaw produces a fine, clean cut and is therefore ideal for cutting pipes. It is also ideal for use in woodworking projects. Professionals such as;
- Pipefitters and
- Motorsports fabricators
All find portable bandsaws to be very convenient. They use these saws to cut round stock, all thread and square tubing among others. These saws are able to cut several pieces in the same pattern.
Most of them operate on battery power but some come with an AC power cord that you can plug into an outlet. Typically, corded models come with a 6 or 6.5 amp motor whereas cordless models use batteries of up to 28 volts. The corded models are consistently powerful. However, a portable bandsaw that is battery operated can be used anywhere.
Choosing A Portable Band Saw
There are a number of factors that you should consider when selecting a portable bandsaw. One of them is whether the saw comes with a variable speed option which can help you make more accurate cuts. Some models also feature built-lights which are designed to illuminate the cutting area. These lights allow for better visibility in low light conditions.
Another thing to consider is the blade of the portable bandsaw. Blades are divided into three groups; skip tooth, hook tooth and regular tooth. The regular tooth cutting blades are ideal for making smoother cuts in all types of wood but they are not ideal for sawing. The hook tooth on the other hand has a ten degree rake angle between the kogs and it cuts hard wood easily.
Generally, the cutting blades that have more teeth per inch produce a smoother cut. Wide blades are more stable and produce straighter cuts. Getting a portable bandsaw is a good idea. It will help you cut:
- Tennons and
- Saw thin strips from large pieces of wood.
A portable bandsaw in a lightweight, well-balanced design makes lifting and cutting that much easier, with greater overall control with a large, soft grip handle – resulting in a more accurate cut.
4 Best Portable Band Saws 2017
1. DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit
Durable and versatile, the DEWALT DWM120K features a powerful 10 amp motor with variable speed control for material-specific and application-specific cutting performance. Also offering an LED sight that indicates the cut line, ergonomic grip options, and an integrated hanging hook, this work-horse saw is packed with little details that make your life easier.
- Powerful 10 amp motor handles tough applications
- Variable speed control from 100 to 350 sfm for versatility
- 5-inch deep-cut round-stock capacity; 5 by 4-3/4-inch rectangular-stock capacity
- LED sight light makes cut line easy to see
- Ergonomic handle design for improved control
- Includes hex wrench, standard blade, and kit box
2. Milwaukee 6238-20 AC/DC Deep Cut Portable Two-Speed Band Saw
Milwaukee’s new 6238-20 Deep Cut 2-Speed Band Saw delivers unprecedented durability and performance without sacrificing portability. Providing best-in-class power at 11 Amps, revolutionary cut visibility, and the industry’s largest cutting capacity, these band saws still deliver on the heritage of long-term reliability and performance that make Milwaukee band saws the standard in industrial metalworking.
- Featuring new and exclusive Job Site Armor technology made of proprietary composite materials and crush zone barriers that provide long lasting protection, the new line of Deep Cut band saws are designed and built to last.
- An all metal direct drive system provides game-changing durability, delivering the maximum tool life possible while requiring less servicing than a chain drive.
- In addition, the gear protecting clutch extends gear and motor life by absorbing high impact forces caused by blade lock-ups, and a new debris protection system delivers longer pulley life by removing dust and debris during tool use.
- The 6238-20 Deep Cut 2-Speed Band Saw comes designed with a slimmer motor housing to increase the user’s line of sight, delivering superior cutting accuracy and revolutionary cutting visibility.
- Its balanced body design allows the tool to rest naturally and comfortably in the user’s hands, and a lighter 14.5-Pound build provides more control over the tool with less fatigue.
3. Makita XBP02Z 18V Portable Band Saw
The Makita XBP02Z delivers cordless metal cutting power to the jobsite. The XBP02Z has a Makita-built high torque motor and a compact design with less weight for a range of cutting applications in a variety of metal materials. It’s part of Makita’s expanding 18V Lithium-Ion series, the world’s largest cordless tool line-up powered by an 18V Lithium-Ion slide-style battery. The Makita 18V LXT battery has the fastest charge time in its category, so the battery spends more time working and less time sitting on the charger.
- The XBP02Z features a Makita-built high torque motor and a 6-setting variable speed control dial that delivers a no load speed of 275-530 ft./min. for faster metal cutting through Unistrut, all thread, channel, corrugated, conduit, pipe, sheet metal, square tubing, and more.
- The adjustable foot protects material and provides positive support for more accurate cuts.
- The XBP02Z weighs just 14.3 lbs. (with battery, sold separately) with a more compact design at 20-5/8″ long and an ergonomic shape that fits like a glove for reduced operator fatigue.
- The XBP02Z is also equipped with a built in L.E.D. light that illuminates the work area for more efficient work, as well as rubber bumpers and a removable hook.
- The XBP02Z is engineered for a range of metal cutting tasks, and it’s perfect for electrical, HVAC, installation, metal building, metal fabrication, plumbing, and any pro contractor who requires a best-in-class engineered cordless portable band saw.
4. DEWALT DCS371B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Band Saw, Bare-Tool
The DEWALT DCS371M1 20V MAX lithium-ion band saw (bare tool) features a 2-1/2″ cut capacity, and the ability to cut up to 2″ SCH 40 pipe. The centered handle position provides superior balance and ergonomics and allows for more accurate cuts and less user fatigue.
- A LED Work Light with 20 second delay illuminates dark work surfaces for accurate cutting.
- This unit has an integrated hang hook which allows users to hang the saw without damaging the front handle or base.
- The special blade tracking adjustment increases blade life by providing better blade tracking, and the tool less blade changing lever loosens blade tension to allow for easy blade changes.
- The dual bearing blade guide rollers provide increased durability in the blade support system.
- This band saw also has an ergonomic soft grip back handle which provides the user with comfort and flexibility.