Best Compact Band Saw in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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When it comes to the band saw, you have a variety of options available to you. Band saws comes in 3 basic options. You can get a standard band saw, a benchtop band saw, or there are portable bandsaws. Portable band saws are also known as compact band saw choices. These saws are designed to be used on the spot, wherever you happen to need it.

The compact band saw, or portable band saw, is typically a handheld model. It’s not your typical bandsaw that is sitting on the workbench, although some of those are small enough to also fit into the category. For the most part, most band saws in the portable tool category will be handheld and you won’t need a bench to accommodate them.

Best Compact Band Saw in 2021 - Reviews & Buyers Guide
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The best portable band saws are made with plenty of power and will have a cutting capacity that is worth your time. Many of them can cut metal and will make precise cuts anywhere on a worksite. You probably won’t find a miter gauge or a rip fence in most cases but the powerful motor gives you a lot of options.

In this guide, we will share with you the best portable bandsaw options on the market. Whether you’re looking for blade speed, an outrageous cutting depth, or even onboard blade tension, we’ve got you covered with a variety of options to choose from here.

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The Best Portable Band Saws Reviewed

The Best Portable Band Saws Reviewed
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In this part of our guide, we will share some of the best portable band saw options out there. We will review each of our top picks in detail and provide you with some feature ratings as well as pros and cons for each item. We compile these in an effort to help you get all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

Let’s take a look!

1. Best Overall: Milwaukee’s 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Portable Band saw Kit

Milwaukee's 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Portable Band saw KitCheck Latest Price

This first option is our best overall pick for a portable band saw.  Milwaukee's 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Portable  is a cordless band saw so you get all of the convenience you could possibly need in a portable tool. It’s set up great and easy to use and adjust for your needs. It has a powerful motor that really provides a good cutting depth and blade speed for any use. It can be used for cutting wood or metal cutting as well.

This band saw offers blade tracking adjustment and accuracy. It meets OSHA requirements for one-handed use so you truly get something easy to use and controllable as well. The lithium ion battery is said to make up to 150 cuts per charge on this Milwaukee Tools option. The great features and compact design paired with one handed operation really stand out here.

In terms of band saw reviews of other tools, you really can’t beat this. Accurate cuts from a powerful saw really make a difference here. While these best band saws don’t have variable speed but the good news is that it has greater control and plenty of power still. It can be hard to find variable speed options in these tools as well.

Feature Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best)

  • Power: 10
  • Speed: 9
  • Blade Design: 10
  • Control: 10
  • More control meeting one-handed use requirements
  • The best value for the money for the tool
  • Good cutting capacity for this type of band saw
  • Covered by a 5-year warranty
  • Cordless and holds a charge for up to 150 cuts
  • The LED work light sometimes creates a shadow that might throw you off so be careful there

Why We Like It

You can get this tool online or probably even at a local hardware store, which is always nice. It can handle most materials and the ability to make accurate cuts with one handed operation and no user fatigue is an awesome feature to have!


2. Budget Pick: Wen 94396 10 Amp Motor Variable Speed Saw

Wen 94396 10 Amp Motor Variable Speed SawCheck Latest Price

Many tools will charge you an arm and a leg for quality but this awesome option from Wen comes at an affordable price if you need a budget option. It’s got all of the best details and can handle wood and other materials just fine. Wen 94396 10 Amp Motor Variable Speed Saw lacks a work light but it’s a user friendly tool and may just need some help in dim environments. The 10 amp motor hosts plenty of power for your cut capacity.

This small band saw has two wheels and a comfortable handle that can be used with just one hand. The cutting area on the blade is plenty thick. You can most definitely appreciate the control that the variable speed dial adds here as well. With a beveling blade, you will be able to accomplish any task.

Whether you need to make a straight cut or perhaps even cut curves, we’ve got you covered. These do work best for straight cutting but they are not limited as such with the blade design. Where most tools are a rectangular stock that limits your blade depth, this has a unique design that lets you cut up to 5 inches, which is pretty awesome.

Feature Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best)

  • Power: 10
  • Speed: 10
  • Blade Design: 10
  • Control: 10
  • Can cut wood, metal, and other materials
  • 10 amp motor gives you lots of power
  • Variable speeds with a dial for controlc
  • Great for overhead work or other uses as well
  • Compact design that is comfortable even in one hand
  • Slightly heavier than some of the other comparable tools

Why We Like It

We really like this option from Wen for a saw not just for the price tag but also for the features. It can handle any material and it’s a well-designed tool that really holds up and even gives you a lot of versatility. It’s powerful and versatile, making it one of the best.


3. Best Value: DeWalt 20V Max Portable Band Saw Tool

DeWalt 20V Max Portable Band Saw ToolCheck Latest Price

When it comes to getting the most out your blades and your tools, this portaband table saw from DeWalt really stands out. This particular listing comes only with the tool but you can also adjust your package to get blades or batteries as well so you are fully ready to go when the tool is in hand. Your DeWalt can handle all of the other metals and material out there as well.

The cutting capacity is not quite as hefty as some choices but it’s reliable and steady for the task. DeWalt 20V Max Portable Band Saw Tool is a comfortable saw with some really great features. It features an LED light that even has a delay feature on it. From there, you get blade tracking adjustments, blade tension, and a durable saw that is built to last.

When it comes to holding this tool in your hand, you have comfort in a soft grip that is built to be ergonomic as well. You can change the blades tool free on this saw. You just need a carrying case to make it one of the most convenient saws out there. Make a straight cut with ease thanks to the blade design.

Feature Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best)

  • Power: 9
  • Speed: 8
  • Blade Design: 8
  • Control: 10
  • Blade design is versatile with blade tracking adjustment
  • Can handle metal and other items
  • Handle design is meant to reduce user fatigue
  • Lithium ion battery holds a charge well
  • LED work light offers a delay for convenience
  • This portable bandsaw only comes with the saw so the battery and blades are an added cost or separate purchase

Why We Like It

DeWalt is known for its great quality and its affordable prices for the quality. This portable bandsaw is no exception. It’s excellently made and it offers all of the best features you could possibly need from comfort to adjustments and everything in between.


4. Makita XBP03Z 18Volt LXT Compact Portable Bandsaw

Makita XBP03Z 18Volt LXT Compact Portable BandsawCheck Latest Price

If you’re a fan of brands like Grizzly Tools, you might like this tool as an alternative option. Makita XBP03Z 18Volt LXT Compact Portable Bandsaw is a highly-rated portable band saw that is well-made and highly-rated across the board. It’s a reasonable price point for a portable band saw and the cutting capacity is average as well. It’s solidly built with durable materials, which really makes it stand out in the market.

The blade housing on this portable band saw is made with aluminum, making it sturdy and more durable. You have a 2.5 inch cutting depth that gives you a lot of functionality. These are created to adhere to standards for one-handed uses and it’s only about 10 pounds in your hands.

The only thing missing is an angle iron and beveling blade but you will find this is a versatile tool that won’t let you down. The blade is fast and accurate so you can cut quickly and know your blade is doing what it should on the saw. This saw can handle metal and other material just fine as well.

Feature Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best)

  • Power: 9
  • Speed: 10
  • Blade Design: 9
  • Control: 10
  • Built to be incredibly durable in the world of tools
  • Quality blade design that is versatile
  • Comfortable, light, and controlled in a single hand
  • LED light is very useful
  • Blade tracking and adjustments
  • This also comes as a tool only so the blade is a separate purchase
  • Some users mention that over time, it’s hard to keep your blade in place as you work

Why We Like It

This best portable band saw made our list for the stability and durability it offers. It’s built to last with steady materials and it can handle just about anything you throw at it. It’s a quality option with high speeds and comfortable use details.


How to Choose a Portable Compact Band Saw

How to Choose a Portable Compact Band Saw
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There are a few things that should be considered when it comes to choosing a compact band saw. While you may find that some benchtop models are grouped into these categories, the purpose of the compact model is something that is easily portable and can be used anywhere you may need it.

In this buyer’s guide, we share some intuitive tips to give you some food for thought before you buy a new tool for your workshop.

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How Heavy is It?

One of the things to consider for a compact band saw is just how much it weighs. These are meant to be lightweight and usually are also designed so you can operate them with just one hand. The weight will vary slightly but you want to be sure that it is not overly heavy or that you are willing to use a second hand if necessary when you are working with the tools.

A lot of people forget to watch this, assuming that it will already be designed to just be comfortable in your hands but that is not always the case. Most of them weigh somewhere between 10-15 pounds but 15 can get pretty heavy when you are working so keep that in mind as you check out the options. You might even be able to find some that weigh less as well, which could be a great idea.

Corded or Cordless?

Some options will be corded while others will be cordless. Be sure to watch for this, particularly if you have a preference. If the item is cordless, pay attention to the details of the battery. Does it have a good battery life, how long will it take to charge? Will the battery be heavy on the tool, making it even heavier to handle?

These are all good questions to consider. If you have a corded option, this won’t be an issue but you definitely want to know, just in case you specifically need one or the other so you can accommodate using your saw in the end.

If a saw says it can handle a lot of cuts in a single charge, that is ideal for a battery-operated option. This means better performance overall and more life out of the tool. You may also want to look to see if a battery comes with it or whether you will need to purchase a battery or even a backup battery to have on hand.

Budget

We all have different budget limitations and allowances. The good news is that you can get a quality saw that might be just as good or even better than some of the premium models. Pay attention to the overall value for the price and what you are able to spend.

Look for an option that falls within your specific budget needs. We guarantee you can find good options on a budget and you can find great options that cost more as well. Here, you will find prices that fall within $100-$300 but the market can vary even beyond that. That’s just the range for our top picks!

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 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Small Bandsaw?

We recommend the Milwaukee model or perhaps even the Wen model for your top choices. Both are great with reliable features and an overall quality design that you can depend on.

Which Portable Band Saw is Best?

If you want good quality for less, check out the Wen model. It’s blade offers superior cutting depth and even angle compared to other choices here. On that note, you really can’t go wrong with any saw that we mentioned here so feel free to browse to find the best for you.

What is the Best Bandsaw for the Money?

In terms of value for the money, we really like the DeWalt option. Their brand is reliable and long-lasting and even though you need to purchase the blade and battery separate, you’ve got a quality saw that is designed to last.

What is the Best Band Saw?

This really may depend on your needs and preferences but in our experience, you can’t go wrong with sticking to the quality brands in the market. Brands like Rikon, Wen, DeWalt and some others are reliably consistent to provide you with a great tools that you can depend on.

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Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide to choosing a compact band saw to be a reliable and valuable resource. There is a lot to consider when you browse through all of the options out there and tried our very best to narrow it down to the top choices that you can depend on.

We’re curious what you are planning to use your compact band saw on and which one you have your eyes on now! Let us know!

Expert Tip

Pay attention to the weight of the saw you look at. Remember that these are meant for quick work and usually designed to be held in one hand. Heavier saws can quickly become cumbersome so watch those details to avoid fatigue while you work.

Did You Know?

Did you know that a compact band saw doesn’t require a stand or a worktop space? You simple use it in your hands to get the job done. They are incredibly unique and give you the ability to have the functions of a bandsaw right at your fingertips no matter where you are.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
Dewalt DCS377B 20V MAX ATOMIC Brushless Lithium-Ion 1-3/4 in. Cordless Compact Bandsaw (Tool Only)
  • One-handed and overhead cutting with the integrated guard
  • Blade release lever with wrench and single point tracking adjustment
  • Metal latch secures the pivoting guard when opened for easy blade changes
  • LANYARD READY Compatible
SaleBestseller No. 2
MILWAUKEE'S 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit
  • One-Handed Cuts: Most compact size and lightest weight of any cordless band saw; SFPM: 280
  • Powerful Motor: Cuts 3/4" EMT in 3 seconds, up to 150 cuts per charge with the XC battery; Blade Length: 27” x ½” x .020"
  • 1-5/8" Cut Capacity: For a wide range of applications; LED Light: Highlights the cut line
  • Meets OSHA Guarding Requirements: Suitable for One-Handed use; Length: 11 "
  • Blade Tension Adjustment: Adjustable blade tracking; Voltage: 12V, Tool Warranty 5 Years
Bestseller No. 3
Makita XBP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Compact Band Saw, Tool Only
  • 2-1/2" Cutting capacity is ideal for cutting Conduit, unistrut, copper pipe, threaded rod, angle iron and channel
  • Makita-built motor delivers 630 ft. /min. Blade speed for faster cutting
  • Wheel cover encloses the blade outside the cutting area making the saw suitable for one-handed operation per ANSI standard 60745-2-20
  • Aluminum blade housing for increased durability
  • Exterior blade adjustment provides more accurate blade tracking for increased cutting performance