Makita Compact Portable Bandsaw Review
Before getting my hands on the Makita Compact Portable Bandsaw my best metal cutting option was my angle grinder. An angle grinder will get nearly anything done, but not very quickly, or accurately.
I tested the Makita Compact Portable Bandsaw building a outdoor wall mount for a friend’s new HVAC mini split unit. The mount was made out of 2” and 1.5” angle iron. Let’s just say I don’t plan on doing much cutting with my angle grinder anymore.
2-1/2 in. cutting capacity is ideal for cutting conduit, Unistrut, copper pipe, threaded rod, angle iron and channel
Makita-built motor delivers 630 ft./minimum blade speed for faster cutting
Wheel cover encloses the blade outside the cutting area making the saw suitable for 1-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
Compact design at 18-3/4 in. L weighs only 9 lbs. (with battery) for convenient operation
Built-in LED light illuminates the work area
Tool hook secures the tool when not in use
Tool-less blade change lever for fast installation and removal of blade
Adjustable material stopper plate provides improved support for accurate cutting
On-board hex wrench for convenience
Soft grip handle provides increased operator comfort
Accepts standard 32-7/8 in. x 1/2 in. blades
Equipped with star protection computer controls to protect against overloading, over-discharging and over-heating
The Makita Compact Portable Bandsaw comes with several features that make it really easy, and dare I say fun, to use. As the name implies, it’s cordless, so it runs off of Makita’s 18v LXT battery packs (they have to be the newer ones with the star, the batteries from my 2012 era drill/driver kit didn’t fit it). I used to think of cordless tools as a luxury, but the more I get the more I see them as an invaluable time and frustration saver.
In the last few years there’s been a trend to put LEDs on cordless tools, and the same is true of this bandsaw. It’s something you don’t think about, until you need it, then it’s a sweet gift.
Some other common trends it features is a rafter hook, so it’s easy to hang the tool for a moment while you’re working. This is especially useful when working on ladders and space to set tools is limited. The other is tool free blade changes! For the bits that do a hex key to adjust, there is onboard storage that keeps it close at hand.
The handles are comfortable and provide positive control over the tool. I could also get the blade right where I wanted it and never felt like I was fighting the tool or couldn’t get it to do exactly what I wanted.
The blade is fully enclosed except for the cutting area, so it’s safe for one handed use. And the bandsaw is certainly light enough to use one handed, another bonus.
Plus the 2.5” cutting capacity seems just right to handle most common metal work tasks. From mild steel, to copper pipe, threaded rod, or unistrut, this has it covered.
Before this my only metal cutting experience was hack saws, an angle grinder, and specialty blades in a circular. None of those are particularly fast or ideal, and if I’m being totally honest they’re a bit intimidating.
Using the Makita Compact Portable Bandsaw the opposite. I was blown away using it with how fast, clean, and straight it cut. It breezed right through 1/8” thick 2” angle iron like butter. And without sparks flying everywhere, it was really easy to follow the line.
I wish I’d bought one of these when I bought my welder. My metal projects would’ve been a lot less frustrating and a lot faster.