I have a Milaukee model, and there’s always Porter Cable’s oft-mistaken-as-the-tool’s-real-name Porta-Band. Now Makita’s offering an 18V cordless model: the BPB180. Seriously, if you don’t yet own a portable band saw of one model or another, you should. Read on for more about this one.
It features a 4-3/4″ space behind the blade, so you can cut some pretty big stuff with it. It moves the blade with a trigger-controlled variable speed of 275-530 feet per minute and weighs around 14 pounds. Other features: a built-in fluorescent light illuminates the cut line, and it’s got big rubber bumpers around its edges to protect your work (and the saw).
Of course, the big feature here is the fact that it’s cordless. It accepts Makita’s LXT li-ion batteries — two 3.0Ah batteries are included in the kit — and comes with a charger that can refresh one in 45 minutes.
The bad news: it’s not cheap. Street pricing starts around $550. (We found it at Amazon for $530.) If you’re already bought into the Makita LXT line, there’s a tool-only option for around $320, but I have to admit that I’m just going to have to admire this from a distance for now and enjoy my old clunker.
Note: The database behind Makita’s website has been up and down this morning, so the link below may not work. We included it because it should be fine later in the day and in the future. If it’s down, just check out any of the vendors from the street pricing link for more information.