Milwaukee Portable Band Saws are the solution to your metal stock cutting needs. These enable you to cut pipe and tubing. You can also cut through several pieces of sheet metal turning out uniform pieces each time. You can cut intricate designs with them as well. As you consider buying a portable band saw, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. It’s best to have a good idea of the materials you want to cut, the total capacity you need and your primary power source.
Consider the materials you will be cutting most often. If you plan to cut a lot of pipe choose a band saw from the line of Milwaukee tools designed to work with metal. You might want to choose a piece with bi-metal blades, for instance, for their increased durability and their ability to stand up to cutting metal.
Band saw capacity refers to the diameter of stock that will fit into the throat of your band saw. Standard band saws can cut materials up to about 4 inches in diameter, while large capacity Milwaukee deep cut band saws can cut up to 6 inch diameter materials.
You also need to consider the power source for your portable band saw. While battery powered band saws allow greater range of use in the field, their cutting time is more limited than corded Milwaukee saws due to recharging needs. Corded Milwaukee portable band saws are part of the Milwaukee corded power tools line, and are designed for use by both home and professional craftsmen.
Types of Band Saws
There are two main types of band saws that you can choose: floor-standing band saws and benchtop models. Each style has its benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to take this next section into consideration when shopping for the best band saw.
If you have a full-fledged shop with plenty of floor space, you might be interested in a floor-standing band saw. As the name suggests, these saws sit on top of a set of legs or a stand, and you can set them anywhere in your shop where you have the space.
The benefit of a floor-standing band saw is you have plenty of flexibility for maneuvering longer pieces around the saw as you cut them to length. They also tend to accept larger boards or workpieces, but not always.
If space is a concern in a small garage or workshop, a benchtop band saw might be worth considering. These band saws sit on top of an existing work surface like a bench or assembly table when you’re using them, and can be stored away when not in use.
A benchtop model’s big advantage over a floor-standing unit is that it takes up less floor space. However, it takes up considerable space on your workbench. Considering that these aren’t small tools, you might not have the shelf space to store one when you’re not using it. If you use a band saw infrequently, you could be losing valuable workbench space for a part-time tool.
What to Consider When Choosing a Band Saw
Aside from choosing between floor-standing and benchtop models, there are other aspects to keep in mind when you’re shopping for the best band saw. The saw’s power, its dust collection system, and blade compatibility all matter. This following are a few important things to keep in mind while you’re looking for the milwaukee band saw.
This is a crucial component of the bandsaw. A bandsaw’s motor provides the essential power for the blade to cut through the required material. Motor power is measured in Watts or Horsepower. The speed of the motor is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) and the cutting speed in feet per minute (FPM) – the distance moved by the blade in a minute, through the material. The higher the speed value the more will be the motor’s capability to work.
The blade of a bandsaw is a large loop that is welded together with teeth at one side. The finish and the cut quality of the saw’s blade can be measured in the number of teeth per inch (TPI). The higher this value, the more quality cut you will get from your saw. Lower TPI will result in a faster cut but usually leave a rough finish. To make the best choice, you have to also consider the length and width of the blade along with its TPI.
Most of the bandsaw models will come with a feature that allows you to track blade wear and tear and also adjust the blade tension to the desired level. This assists you to monitor the lifespan of the blade as well as point out any inherent damages.
This refers to the angle at which the worktable can be tilted from either right or left. Tables with tilting options add some variation to the cutting and are perfect for angled cuts. Generally, the benchtops come with a bevel ability of 45-degree.
You will need to cut different materials with different levels of thickness and a universal speed set is just not going to cut it every time. Your bandsaw should come with variable speed triggers/dials option to get better control over the speed. This feature is helpful to those who work with a variety of materials and it promotes quality cuts.
Bandsaw frames usually come in two styles; cast iron and welded steel. The steel frame resists more vibration under heavy cutting load than cast iron frames. Also, the steel saw enables you to cut capacities without reducing the strength and deflection. The steel frames come in various sizes that range from 12 – 24 inches. The cast-iron frame is great for day-to-day bandsaw operations even if their cutting capacities have limited operations.
Our Top Picks: Best Milwaukee Band saws of 2021
Band saws are about as old-school as it gets. While they’ve been around for more than 200 years at sawmills, workshops, and furniture shops, it takes a lot of consideration to select your first band saw. This selection rounds up the best-in-class models to help cut out some of the guesswork.
Simply put, the M18 FUEL Band Saw is the most powerful 18V cordless band saw on the market, the first to truly deliver corded performance with cordless productivity. Utilizing a Powerstate Brushless motor and Constant Power Technology the M18 FUEL Deep Cut Band Saw cuts faster than corded. It also delivers the same legendary durability of a Milwaukee corded band saw by utilizing over 90% of the same parts, including an all metal direct drive. Equipped with Jobsite Armor Technology, the tool is also better protected from drops and debris.
Redlithium XC 4.0 Ah Battery Technology provides up to twice the run-time through superior pack construction, electronics, and more work per charge over the life of the battery than any competitive Lithium-Ion battery on the market. Redlink Plus Intelligence has the most advanced system of cordless power tool electronics, providing optimized performance, electronic clutch, and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery and charger.
The M18 FUEL Deep Cut Band Saw features a tool-free locking adjustable shoe that can adjust from an extended shoe to no shoe in seconds. Other innovative features include a hang hook for easy storage in-between cuts, LED light to illuminate the cutting area, superior cut visibility, and a balanced body design that allows the tool to rest naturally and comfortably in the user’s hands.
The MILWAUKEE M12 FUEL Compact Band Saw utilizes a POWERSTATE Brushless Motor and Constant Power Technology, making it the fastest cutting compact band saw in Unistrut with a cut capacity of 2-1/2 in. X 2-1/2 in. The M12 FUEL Compact Band Saw offers a compact design and weighs only six pounds, making it the lightest compact band saw on the market.
The M12 FUEL Compact Band Saw offers integrated blade covers, making it suitable for one-handed use while offering a larger capacity than the existing M12 Sub-Compact Band Saw. The improved performance, lightweight design, one-handed capability, and increased capacity enhance productivity while lowering fatigue. The compact, portable band saw is equipped with Jobsite Armor Technology, a proprietary composite material to better protect it from drops and debris and crush zone barriers that absorb impacts.
A variable speed trigger and an LED work light provide maximum control. An integrated rafter hook allows for easy storage in-between cuts. The M12 FUEL Compact Band Saw is also compatible with the band saw reamer attachment (49-90-2029, sold separately), which easily attaches to the back of the tool, providing the ability to cut and ream with the same tool. (1) 12/14 TPI Extreme Metal Blade is included.
Milwaukee’s new 6232-20 Deep Cut Variable 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 6232-20 Deep Cut Variable 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 lb. build provides more control over the tool with less fatigue.
The Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Sub-Compact Band Saw is the most compact and lightest weight cordless band saw on the market. At less than half the weight and size compared to a traditional deep cut band saw, the M12 Band Saw provides one-handed power and portability to electricians, maintenance professionals, and other users cutting small diameter materials. The M12 Band Saw weighs only 6.75 lbs and 12 in. in length, making it ideal for overhead or one-handed cutting applications.
This powerful saw can cut through 3/4 in. EMT in only 3 seconds, and will deliver over 150 cuts per charge with the included M12 REDLITHIUM XC High Capacity battery. With a 1-5/8 in. x 1-5/8 in. cut capacity and low vibration, the M12 Band Saw performs clean cuts on the most common small diameter metal cutting applications. The M12 Band Saw also features a dual-latching lower guard that covers the blade outside the active cutting area, addressing OSHA guarding requirements and making the tool suitable for one-handed use. The tool also includes a variable speed trigger, and LED light. The M12 Sub-Compact Cordless band saw should be used only with Milwaukee 48-39-0572 Sub-Compact Portable Band Saw Blades.
Milwaukee Bi-Metal Super-Tough Band Saw blades outlast conventional blades up to 3 times, requiring fewer blade changes. An extremely hard and uniform tooth point is electron beam welded to a tough durable backing with high flex life for faster cutting and longer blade life. Recommended for cutting aluminum, angle iron, bronze, brass, copper, galvanized pipe, mild steel and tougher steels including stainless, chrome, tungsten steel plus other problem material at slow speed. Includes three blades.
What is a band saw used for?
Like other power saws, band saws are very useful for cutting straight across the grain of a board—crosscutting—as well as cutting down the length of a board with the grain—rip cutting. However, where a band saw really shines is in making curved or more complicated cuts. A band saw’s thin blade gives you a lot of control while working around edges and curves.This makes the tool very useful if you make wooden toys, home decor, furniture, or pieces used as trim.
What size band saw do I need?
Band saws come in a variety of sizes and configurations, but the largest are generally best suited for professional use in a carpentry or machine shop. Few DIYers or hobbyists require the size and power of a freestanding band saw. Unless you are using your saw very frequently to cut large materials, a benchtop tool is the best choice.
As for size, most hobbyists and DIYers find that a band saw with a 12- to 14-inch throat is sufficient for just about anything they might want to cut. When it comes to power, a saw with 1- to 1.5-horsepower is enough oomph for any but the most demanding materials.
What is a horizontal band saw used for?
The typical band saw is a vertical saw. The blade assembly is stationary, and the user pushes the board or other material along the saw table while the blades move up and down vertically to make the cut. A horizontal band saw, by contrast, holds the material being cut stationary while the user swings the blade assembly horizontally to make the cut.
As a general rule, horizontal band saws are far more common in commercial shops or for industrial use, and are often used to cut metal. While vertical band saws are also used commercially, smaller benchtop models are the most common type purchased by DIYers or hobbyists for use at home.