How to Use a Portable Band Saw? 9 Steps

How to Use a Portable Band Saw

The popularity of using a portable band saw is increasing day by day. D.I.Y. enthusiasts, carpenters, woodworkers, and other professionals use this saw when they have any cutting job.

A portable band saw can cut metal and other related materials proficiently. When using a portable band saw, a person can perform a task where electricity is unavailable or when they need to cut the job away from their workplace.

A portable band saw is efficient in cutting pipe from 4” – 6” in diameter. But if you don’t know “how to use a portable band saw,” you can’t perform the task efficiently.

So, before using a portable band saw, it is advisable to learn to operate it. Find the basic steps below to learn the operating procedure of this versatile tool.

How to Use a Portable Band Saw? Step-by-Step

Step 1: Purchase or rent a portable band saw

How to Use a Portable Band Saw Step-by-Step

To purchase a commercial tool, you need to afford an expensive cost. And they are a bit heavyweight, too. The majority of the portable band saw uses falls in both categories.

However, read out the options below with a portable band saw.

  • Capacity: You should not purchase a portable band saw that can’t take the material or stock due to less throat diameter. So, learning about the band saw capacity is significantly essential. The best portable band saws can cut up to 6” width diameter material. On the other hand, a regular portable band saw can cut up to 4” width diameter material.
  • Source of power: If you are working where electricity is unavailable, you have no choice but to select a battery-powered band saw. However, the battery-powered band saw is more expensive than an electrical band saw. Also, you must keep your eyes on the battery life because if the battery finishes during an operation, you will be out of work.
  • Choice of a brand: You will not find any difference between the top-level brands in terms of the features of a portable band saw. The leading brands are DeWalt, Ridgid, and Porter-Cable, and to name a few, they offer a wide range of portable band saws. Besides, if you want to purchase or rent a portable group saw from a discount retailer, be sure that they will not offer you a high-quality product at a reasonable price. Be aware while purchasing a power tool because you may lose yourself in the oceans of the portable band saw.

Step 2: Practice with the tool and become familiarized

Once you finish purchasing or renting, give some trial to get yourself familiarized with the tool. Portable band saws come with a trigger switch and an adjustable speed selector to move the saw blade as per your required speed.

Step 3: While operating, use both hands to operate the tool

This will permit you to guide the tool through control maintenance. You should be familiar with the other remarkable components.

  • Adjustment of the track: This option will let you fine-tune the track of the bandwidth blade as it rotates around the rear-drive pulley and the forward idler pulley. Because the position needs to be adjusted as it is floating with a spring tension hub, the alignment will confirm the travel of the blade will be correct on these 2 pulleys.
  • Tension release handles: You will find the handle placed at the band saw’s front end. It gets released and permits the user to alter the band saw blade without concern if it gets dull.
  • Cutting shoe: The flat guide is made of metal that will assist the blade saw user in pulling bladed teeth along with the cutting stock. It helps to ensure that the metal corners will not be pulled into the rear-drive pulley when cut.

Step 4: Read out the instruction manual intently

A portable band saw is powerful enough to cut any material, from soft copper to cast iron. So, there is no doubt if you give less care while cutting metal, you may lose your finger.

That is why it has been said to use both hands while operating a band saw. You will find handles at the backside of the saw to operate it with both hands. The good news is the handles are much away from the blade.

Step 5: Wear proper dress while using a portable bandsaw

PPE like safety goggles and gloves are mandatory during an operation with a portable band saw. Avoid wearing loose jewelry or clothes. These can be caught easily by the moving blade.

Step 6: Hold the pipe using a piece of cloth

During a cutting performance, the pipe or bar may spin when it comes in contact with the blade due to excessive friction. Thus, you may lose control, and to prevent this problem, take a piece of cloth or any other material to hold the pipe or bar comfortably.

Step 7: Mark the material with the correct angle

The pipe must be marked around the diameter to confirm a smooth finish.

Step 8: Execute the cut

Position the saw blade opposite the pipe. Don’t apply excessive pressure to the saw blade to cut the pipe. During the operation, ensure the saw blade cuts following the angle mark.
 When the cut is about to finish, hold the pipe tightly. Because that time the pipe may give a jerk. Also, confirm that the cut pieces are falling into the right place.

 Step 9: Finish the cut

Once the cutting is finished, release the trigger and wait until the blade stops moving. Then, put the saw down on a clean surface. Store it nicely so that no damage can happen.

Here’s how to use a portable band saw video:

How to use the Dewalt DWM120 Deep Cut Portable Band Saw


What are the benefits of a portable band saw?

Portable band saws are lightweight and compact for easy transport to job sites. They can cut through wood, metal, and plastic and make curved or irregular cuts. Portable models are also less expensive than full-size stationary band saws.

  • Cutting metal, wood, plastic, and other materials for construction, manufacturing, DIY projects, etc.
  • Making curved cuts and shapes that would be difficult with a circular saw.
  • Cutting irregular shapes or openings in the middle of a workpiece.
  • Trimming and reworking existing pieces to size.
  • Cutting precise shapes and angles thanks to the narrow blade kerf.

What features should I look for when buying a portable band saw?

Important features to consider are the cutting capacity, motor power, blade length, and speed options, sturdy wheels if you need mobility, table size, and blade tracking adjustments. Look for smooth blade guides, a blade tensioning system, and variable speed control.

What cutting capabilities do portable band saws have?

Most portable band saws can cut material from 3-1/2 to 9 inches thick. The throat size ranges from 5 to 16 inches wide for straight cuts. Light-duty saws cut wood and plastic, while heavier-duty models cut metal, including steel, aluminium, and stainless steel.

Are portable band saws safe to use?

Portable band saws have important safety features when used properly. These include blade guards, non-slip surfaces, an emergency stop button, and a belt drive for smooth operation. Proper blade selection, supporting material, and paying attention are key for safety.

Can a portable band saw cut metal?

Portable band saws can cut various metal materials, including steel, aluminum, and more. You’ll need a metal-cutting blade with the appropriate teeth per inch (TPI) for the thickness and hardness of the metal you’re cutting.

Proper blade speed is also important when cutting metal with a portable band saw. This makes them a versatile metal-cutting tool for fabrication, auto repair, HVAC work, and more.

What are the top brands of portable band saws?

Some of the top portable band saw brands are Milwaukee, Dewalt, Makita, Bosch, and Ridgid. Popular choices for light-duty cutting are the Wen and Rockwell models. Baileigh, Jet, and Dayton make sturdier metal cutting saws.

Can you cut wood with portable band saw?

Yes, a portable band saw is well-suited for cutting wood thanks to its ability to make precise, curved cuts. With the proper blade installed, you can cut soft and hard woods smoothly and accurately.

Portable band saws are ideal for cabinetry work, trim carpentry, furniture making, and other woodworking applications.

Final Thoughts

With the help of the best portable band saw, you can accomplish any task following the above steps. The best result will not come if you follow the wrong procedure. So, to get a correct cutting operation using a portable band saw, learning the right procedure is mandatory.

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