Makita Portable Band Saw Vs. Dewalt Vs. Milwaukee

Dou you need a light portable band saw that can make those complicated cuts without costing a fortune. You need to invest in the best motor and blades the market can offer then put your saw to the test. The hardest part is getting a high-speed motor fitted with a matching durable, heavy-duty blade. That is why we recommend going for an established brand like the ones reviewed here to get the best portable band saw for cutting both metal and wood.

It is hard to work on any site today without a portable band saw, which is why both woodworkers and metalworkers are looking for the best portable band saws. Typically, people will recommend a Dewalt, but your options are not that limited. There are lots of powerful modern band saws from the best manufacturers to choose from. We reviewed the three most versatile 20V portable band saws any worksite would need.

The best band saw blade will help you cut almost any piece of lumber, metal, or plastic on site, which is why a versatile saw with variable speed is always a top priority. We reviewed the most popular portable band saws from Makita, Dewalt, and Milwaukee recommended by customers and DIYers for any workshop.

Whether you are looking for a DIYer`s gift or a portable band saw for a busy workshop, any of these three will definitely fit your budget and performance requirements.

Here is a detailed review of each band saw.

1. Makita XBP02Z 20V LXT Lithium-Ion Portable Band Saw

Makita XBP02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Portable Band Saw, Tool Only

Overview

Makita portable band saws are famous for their compactness and versatility. XBP02Z is a tool only package featuring a light band saw primarily meant to cut metal. It has a sturdy frame and six variable speed settings that allow you to cut anything from plastic to steel. It can cut a depth of 4-3/4 Inches through both metal and lumber, allowing you to use it as your first band saw for cutting thick lumber.

Construction

It is also user-friendly, featuring two handles and simple controls that make it easy to handle on-site even by first-time users. A heavy protective rubber band covers it for the durability of the frame and blades. Its most significant feature is its tough LXT body that allows it to withstand harsh conditions and heavy-duty applications. The entire tool is just 20 Inches weighing 14.1lbs with the battery. It is also compatible with universal 44-7/8-inch blades so you can fit it with a durable cut blade.

Performance

It has a powerful high-speed motor designed to keep up with the heavy torque projects this band saw handles. Its speeds range from 275 to 530 feet per minute for cutting a variety of material on site. It also features six different speed settings allowing you to match the speed to the workpiece for a smooth cut. Speed can be set easily using the speed button conveniently located above the handle. It also has an auxiliary handle for a better grip and control.

Power

XBP02Z is compatible with all 18V Makita batteries with its optimized motor allowing it to complete more projects with 3-Amp batteries. It is also fitted with overload protection on the motor for durability. It has a thick adjustable stopper plate that protects both the blade and the material when making cuts. It weighs only 14.1lbs with the battery, which reduces user fatigue. It is also fitted with an ergonomic handle that maintains a firm grip for control and comfort.

Pros

  • The battery fits directly into the frame reducing bulkiness
  • It has a fence to protect the blade and the body
  • Six different speed settings for customizing
  • Speed setting button and trigger are easily accessible
  • Two-step triggering with lock-off switch for safety

Cons

  • The brushes require replacement from time to time
  • You have to buy blade wax and batteries separately.

Top FAQs 

Q: Does it come with a blade?

A: Yes

Q: Is it compatible with all Makita 18V batteries?

A: Yes

Q: Is the motor brushless?

A: No. It has a brushed motor.

2. Dewalt DCS371B 20V MAX Portable Band Saw

Overview

If you don’t plan to cut lots of thick lumber and logs, the Dewalt DCS371B is the best 20V Max band saw to invest in. It has the same strong punch of any Dewalt tool coupled up with a compact, sturdy frame that can withstand harsh working conditions. It is suitable for cutting metal pipes, wood, plastic, and fiber. It is also fitted with a heavy-duty cut blade for handling prolonged projects.

Construction

It is more compact, weighing just 8-lbs but still powerful enough because of its 20V motor. It also has a centered handle, which is more balanced plus an auxiliary handle for better control. Its capacity is 2-1/2 Inches, which allows you to cut 2-Inch thick steel or wood with ease. It is a single-speed band saw running at 570fpm, which cuts through 2-Inch steel pipes in less than 1 minute.

Blade

It is a small band saw which uses a 32-7/8 Inch blade. Its Blade system is designed to increase blade life, which significantly reduces the cost of maintenance. It is fitted with a blade tracking system supported by a dual bearing blade support system designed to increase the life of the blade. It allows for a tool-less blade change by simply loosening the blade and pulling it out.

Handling

It has an extended bumper to protect the blade when cutting too close to the wall. It is a tool only package, so you have to buy batteries and the charger separately. It is also compatible with regular Dewalt 20V Max batteries, which are easy to find. Its LED work light illuminates dark workspaces. It also has a hook, allowing you to hang it on the wall for storage.

Pros

  • It is light and compact
  • The blade tracking system extends blade life
  • Universal Dewalt Battery compatibility
  • It allows tool-less blade replacement
  • Centered handle for balance

Cons

  • It doesn’t have variable speeds.

Top FAQs

Q: Does it come with a storage case?

A: No. It is a tool only package.

Q: Is the motor brushless?

A: Yes.

Q: Can it cut a 4×4?

A: Yes, but you have to flip the piece because its capacity is 2.5-Inches.

3. Milwaukee 6232-21 Deep Cut Portable Band Saw

Milwaukee 6232-21 Deep Cut Band Saw W/Case (5619-20)

Overview

If you intend to cut thick lumber, steel pipes, plastic, or fiber tubes, then Milwaukee 6232-21 is the band saw for you. It is a big band saw built for heavy-duty cutting with a 5-Inch capacity that enables you to cut the largest stock. It has premium features with a metallic construction designed to withstand harsh working conditions. It also comes with an attractive 5-year warranty cover, which gives you free repairs and replacement long after purchasing the tool.

Construction

It is a 14-lb bundle of power and constant speed suitable for cutting metal. It has a tough metallic exterior that improves the life of the gears and the blade guiding system. It can also withstand the abuse of construction sites and other harsh outdoor working conditions. Its gear protection clutch extends blade life by absorbing the shock developed by the blade while in high-speed operation.

Power

It has an 11-Amp 20V brushless motor that delivers a stable power thanks to Milwaukee`s constant Power Technology that allows it to maintain a constant speed. It has variable speed settings of 0-380FPM for customizing cuts to the actual material being cut. The other advantage of its low-speed settings is extended blade life.

It doesn’t come with a blade, but it is compatible with a universal 44-7/8 inches. We recommend getting a heavy-duty cut blade instead of a folded blade for more extended service.

Handling

It has an ergonomic, easy-grip handle with an improved balance that reduces user fatigue in extended use. Its blade speed adjustment and replacement are easy and tool-less. It is also fitted with a blade guiding system that enables you to make accurate cuts. The motor housing is slim to give you a better view angle of the blade while cutting to improve accuracy. Moreover, it has a bright LED work light for brightening up your workspace.

Pros

  • Metallic external casing improves durability
  • Increased cutting capacity of 5×5 inches
  • Balanced ergonomic handle reduces user fatigue
  • It comes with a hard carrying case
  • Tool-free shoe and blade speed adjustment
  • It has a quick and effective debris removal system

Cons

  • It is rather heavy weighing 14lbs
  • It doesn`t have a hook handle.

Top FAQs

Q: Does it come with blade oil?

A: No

Q: What blade does it use?

A: Universal 44-7/8-inch 0.5-inch width blade

Q: How many speed settings points?

A: It has six different speed settings from 0 to 380 fpm

Direct Comparison

Power

The Amperage is the best pointer to the amount of power your band saw can deliver on-site. A powerful motor provides a stable speed without getting strained and overheating, making it suitable for day-long projects. Milwaukee 6232-21 is the most powerful band saw in this review with an 11-Amp motor. It is the most ideal for elongated metal cutting.

Dewalt DCS371B, on the other hand, is the smallest saw in the review but still powerful thanks to its 10-Amp Motor. Makita XBP02Z has impressive high speed, although the motor is only a 6.5 Amp. The 6.5Amp motor is not suitable for long term continuous cutting as the 10V and 11V amps. It, however, works better on short projects.

Blade

The blade is the most critical aspect of your portable band saw because it bears the bulk of the work. The blades that come from the manufacturers are mostly folded. They are not as efficient and long-lasting as cut blades.

Dewalt has the best blade in this category, a 32-7/8-inch cut blade with smooth cuts and more extended service. Makita comes with a 44-7/8-inch fold blade, which is suitable for cutting metal but not as durable as cut blades.

Speed

High speed is excellent for cutting through light stock, especially wood and light steel. It is, however, easy to work efficiently if your band saw has a variable aped as it allows you to adjust the speed depending on the material you are working on. Makita XBP02Z is the most versatile in this category, with variable speeds ranging from 275 to 580 fpm. It is suitable for cutting both thick and light steel quickly and efficiently.

Milwaukee 6232-21 is the best metal cutting band saw in the review featuring variable speeds of 0-380 FPM. It cuts quickly and easily through-hardened steel a well as lumber. It also features the toughest construction plus a clutch to blade life. Dewalt DCS371B is a single-speed band saw cutting at 570fpm.

cutting capacity

High cutting capacity allows you to cut through thick stock improving your productivity on-site. Milwaukee 6232-21 has the largest cut depth in this review, allowing you to cut through 5 inches of stock. It cuts through heavy stock with a single pass making your work easier.

Makita XBP02Z also has a high capacity of 4-3.4 inches, which is also suitable for cutting thick workpieces. Dewalt has the smallest cutting depth in this category of 2.5 inches, which is all you need for 2-Inch metal pipes and 4×2 lumber. It is, however, not suitable for 4x4s or higher.

Final Note

The best portable band saw makes accurate cutting easy, which is essential in every workshop. Being able to customize your own band saw for any cuts you need to make in your workshop is also essential, which is why getting a tool-only package is cheap and convenient.

In this review, we have detailed the features and performance of the three most famous tool-only purchases from Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee. You can select any of the three for any range of cuts you nee at your workshop.