Bandsaws trace their history back to 1809, as an early idea through a patent, which was not perfected until the late 1800s, a victim to the lack of technology at the time.
If you’re strapped for time and aren’t able to read about the best compact band saws – don’t worry, I’ve put together a quick overview of the bandsaws we’ve looked at today:
- DeWalt DCS371B bandsaw
- DeWalt DWM120K bandsaw
- Milwaukee 2429-21XC bandsaw kit
- WEN 3975 benchtop bandsaw
- DeWalt DCS374B bandsaw
- Makita XBP01Z bandsaw
Fast forward to today, and the antique behemoths a bandsaw once was, can now be found in a trimmed, portable version that can be used today. That’s what we’ll be looking at – the six best compact band saws that you can find.
What exactly is a bandsaw? A bandsaw is similar to a scroll saw, with its ability to carve interesting patterns and a focus on its precision. However, the similarities stop here – a bandsaw is more powerful than its scroll saw cousin, and can be used to cut a vast array of materials.
Bandsaws are identified by their design – a blade which is powered by a motor, which travels through wheels, exposing the blade which is used to make cuts.
Now that we’ve covered this, let’s get into it.
I’ve done my best to list the six of the best compact bandsaws that are available when browsing through the aisles of your local hardware store.
This list will cover six bandsaws through different price points – so if you’re unsure of your budget, we’ve made the hard work easy for you with a comprehensive article so you can find what suits you best.
If you don’t agree, or have some other thoughts or comments – let us know in the comments at the bottom of this article.
With that done, let’s get started with our first bandsaw from DeWalt.
It wouldn’t be a proper review without a mention of at least one of their power tools, would it?
Since their inception, DeWalt have designed many tools across all varieties, and their bandsaw list is no different.
Firstly, we’ll have a look into a quick list of the DCS371 bandsaw in the section below:
- 2-½” cutting capacity
- Centered handle position which reduced user fatigue, increasing comfort through balance weighted throughout tool
- Tool-free lever which loosens the blade tension to allow for blade changes
- LED light with 20-second delay, illuminating the darkest of workspaces
- Dual-bearing blade guide rollers which provide both flexibility and comfort for users
- 1 x DCS371 bandsaw
- 1 x 14/18 TPI blade
- 1 x blade tracking wrench
My Favorite Feature: Blade Tracking Adjustment
- Blade tracking adjustment feature promotes longevity of blades by reducing wear and tear
A very useful feature, the blade tracking adjustment allows for increased blade tracking – which allows you to monitor the wear and tear of your blade.
This increases the lifespan of the blade, and as can become quite a burden to replace blades through negligence, it’s a great thought that DeWalt have added this.
It’s also incredibly accurate – which is something that many cheaper bandsaws cannot proclaim with their blade adjustment trackers.
The second of the DeWalt bandsaws we’re looking into today, this model boasts an impressive 10 amp motor, which is incredibly powerful when considering the size of this cordless design.
Not only featuring an impressive motor – the DWM120K is built with a jobsite in mind through its’ durability, and even features an integrated hook which you can use to hang up the bandsaw when not in use.
- 10 amp motor is an industry best, allowing for cuts on jobsites to be made without interruption
- Boasts a 5” cut capacity, with a max capacity of 5 x 4-¾”
- Externally replaceable brushes which give users to ability to make repairs quickly and efficiently
- LED sight light illuminates any work environment in a convenient placement
- Accurate blade checking adjustment for blade monitoring, increasing longevity of blade and reduces general wear and tear
- 1 x DeWalt DWM120K bandsaw
- 1 x Hex wrench
- 1 x Standard Blade
- 1 x Kit
My Favorite Feature: Durable & Ergonomic Design
- Oversized, multi-position handle and soft grip on back handle reduces user fatigue and increases comfort
It was a tricky decision to choose this as my favorite feature, especially over the powerful motor.
Yet, for a design such as the one in which DeWalt have created with the DWM120K model, it’s too difficult to ignore.
It’s a necessity to have a comfortable grip on a bandsaw, otherwise you won’t achieve the quality of work you’d aim for.
An oversized, multiposition front handle gives users plenty of space to move their hands, which gives you more accuracy when cutting. The back handle is built with ergonomics in mind, providing a soft comfort for those long and sometimes fatigue-inducing sessions.
Anything that assists in reducing fatigue is a tick in my books, do you agree?
The 2429-21XC bandsaw by Milwaukee states to be the most lightest and compact saw within the cordless class.
Weighing in at 13lbs, it’s not difficult to say that they’re on the money with this, too.
Don’t let the compact design fool you – this is quite a powerful bandsaw which can be used with one hand, which you’ll see for yourself as we look into the specs below.
- 1-⅝” cutting capacity
- The most lightweight and compact bandsaw on the market currently available
- Can be used with one-hand through its’ design
- Adjustable blade tension, as well as blade tracking to monitor blade performance and durability
- LED Light highlights your line of cut, increasing visibility in any setting when you’re working
- 1 x Milwaukee 2429-21 M12 Sub-compact bandsaw
- 1 x 18 TPI Sub-compact bandsaw blade
- 1 x M12 XC High Capacity Redlithium Battery
- 1 x M12 Lithium-ion Battery Charger
- 1 x Carrying Case
My Favorite Feature: XC Battery
- XC Battery gives you more use out of your battery, with up 150 cuts on a single charge
With such a compact design on their cordless model, it’s easy to think that the 2429-21 compromises on power in place of design.
This is not the case with this Milwaukee bandsaw.
With a red-lithium battery that Milwaukee have introduced across a variety of their tools (which you can also transfer across Milwaukee tools which use a M12 XC Battery, too), you’ll only need a single charge to unlock the potential of the 2429-21
This charging will only take a few hours, and once it’s done – you’ll be able to make up to 150 cuts for its use.
Of course, this number may vary pending on the size and thickness of your material – yet it’s a guide for a tool which you’ll definitely be getting a lot of use of.
When you first lay eyes upon the WEN 3975 bandsaw, you’ll first notice its’ unusual design when compared to alternative designs.
WEN are a company that like to focus upon multiple uses for their tools rather than a rigid design, and this is reflected within their bandsaw model, which can be used as both a portable tool, and also a benchtop option via its’ clamping feature.
Adjustable is the key term for WEN’s 3975 bandsaw, with the ability to bevel the blade, and also make use of a variable speed option for greater control over the speed of the blade.
- 5 x 4-⅞” cutting capacity (based on rectangular materials)
- 4.5 amp motor with inclusive pre-installed 56-½” x ½” blade
- Adjustable speed, ranging from 125 to 260 FPM which gives you more control over blade speed and material cuts
- Compact design with onboard vise to provide a comfortable and firm grasp on your workpiece
- Ball bearing blade guide increases lifespan of bandsaw & also includes onboard blade tension for easy and quick adjustments
This is a model only kit, so out of the box you’ll only be receiving the following:
- 1 x WEN 3975 bandsaw
My Favorite Feature: Beveling Blade
- Beveling blade helps create cuts anywhere from 0 to 60 degrees
The WEN 3975 bandsaw gives you an extra dimension in regards to cutting, with a beveling blade which allows for cuts between 0 to 60. 45 cuts can also be made, with 3-⅛” for circular, and 3-⅛” x 1-15/16” for square materials.
Users who have purchased this model have praised the beveling blade, especially for its’ use within a home workshop – which is good news if you’re a DIYer.
WEN provides a well-rounded bandsaw that is extremely affordable for a majority of budgets.
The third and last of the DeWalt bandsaws to be reviewed today, the DCS347B is a durable saw which includes a list of features that DeWalt are renown for within their power tools.
Like the bandsaws by DeWalt we have looked at – premium cutting depth is the main attraction, with an impressive depth cut of 5” to be made with the correct blades.
This isn’t the only premier feature, which you’ll come to realize as we look into the specs below.
- Variable speed trigger for complete control over the saw
- LED Work light for dim environments which includes a 20-second delay
- Integrated hang hook so you’re able to safely store your bandsaw when not in use
- Tool-less blade changing lever reduces tension of blade for swift blade changes
- Brushless motor which is increasingly standard across DeWalt tools, which increases longevity of the saw
- 1 x DeWalt DCS374B bandsaw
My Favorite Feature: 5” Cutting Capacity
- Large 5” cutting capacity allows for strut, pipe, angle iron, pipe and various other materials to be cut
With a portable tool such as this bandsaw, there’s a high chance you’ll be coming across a variety of sizes and thickness levels in your work. For these circumstances, you need a cut depth that covers all bases – and this is exactly what the DCS374B does.
A 5” cutting capacity is the highest you can find amongst cordless bandsaws – and is common across the majority of DeWalt’s bandsaw range, also.
This gives you complete control over all materials thrown your way – and it’s incredibly reassuring to know your saw won’t be struggling and is able to rip through most materials at a solid depth.
Lastly, we have the Makita XBP01Z bandsaw
The XBP01Z can be used either in two-handed form, or one-handed if that’s more your go, and weighing only 7.5 lbs, you’ll be feeling how compact this model is once it fits perfectly within your hands.
A lithium-ion battery powers the bandsaw – and if you’re well acquainted with Makita tools – you’ll notice that this is one of the many power tools which sport a similar battery. This allows you to share between your growing Makita collection.
What else does this bandsaw include? Let’s get into it.
- Custom built motor with a minimum speed of 630 FPM
- Weighs only 7.5lbs and a length of 18-½” – this allows you to make overhead cuts you were previously unable to do
- 2-½” cutting depth for all materials
- Built-in LED light designed for increased visibility in the darkest of environments and settings
- With Makita’s 18V battery sharing system, you can transfer the 18V between tools – which is a bonus financially for you
This is a bare tool only model.
- 1 x Makita XBP01Z bandsaw
My Favorite Feature: Blade Wheel Cover
- Blade wheel cover allows for one-handed use
Cordless bandsaws are quite useful, however can pose a danger with its exposed blades.
Luckily, Makita have also thought of this, and have one-handed use in mind with the blade wheel cover.
Essentially, it’s exactly how it sounds – the wheel cover protects the blade outside of the cutting area, making it suitable for one-handed operation.
This means no nasty surprise injuries which can occur – promoting both safety and comfortability into the one.
So there we have it – a complete guide to the 6 best compact bandsaws you can find available today.
So, do we have a clear winner? Yes, we do.
The DeWalt DCS371B is the victor here, with a mix of performance, power and durability into the one.
It’s the best value for money – at an affordable price for the features it contains, boasting an impressive cut depth with a design built for all environments in mind.
This is my clear favorite – however I’m sure you’d have your own in mind – do you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts though, what’s your favorite bandsaw currently available?
Leave your comments below.