View Full Version : portable bandsaws

Rusty Marlin
07-26-2006, 10:56 AM
I am looking at purchasing a port-a-band.
I have narrowed the selection down to Milwakee, or Dewalt.

Does any one here have a particular bais one way or the other? Be it because of service, materials, speed, power.... anything.

07-26-2006, 11:25 AM
I've got two Milwaukee band-saws, the short throat and the deep throat. With a bi-metal blade they cut through almost anything and the torque will have you holding on for life. I understand the newer ones may be less muscular to meet the demand of the market place prices and DIY phenomenon, but they were grossly overpowered to meet the professional's needs to start with.

Fine, I would still buy one if needed; repair parts are plentiful. The main reason I have two is because I bought one and (embarassing admission) dumpster dived after a major hotel project and scored a couple of broken ones. Had enough parts to make a good runner - looks like new. I believe that the new ones can be fitted to a table to act like a small horizontal.

De-walt is a good machine too. Black and Decker's industrial line but they are a johnny-come-lately to the portable band-saw market. Porter-Cable makes a good one too, but they were also bought by B&D IIRC.

John R
07-26-2006, 12:00 PM
I had a deep throat Milwaukee before the storm and was very happy with it. When my new shop is complete I will have another one

Mark Hockett
07-26-2006, 12:11 PM
I also have a deep throat Milwaukee and it has given me years of trouble free service. It is amazing how well it cuts. I use the Milwaukee brand blades in it. I would like to get the table mount for it but they are a little pricey.

Mark Hockett

07-26-2006, 08:30 PM
Milwaukee,the parts are interchangable back 15 years or better and it's just a good solid tool.

07-26-2006, 10:16 PM
I work for an industrial refridgeration company, pipefitting/welding and we use Milwaukee portabands daily. We have tried the other brands, but they just don't seem to hold up as well over time.

I also have one for home use and would buy another immediately if it wandered off.

I have found Lennox bi-metal blades to be the best on the market for our application and we have tried them all.


07-26-2006, 10:41 PM
Ditto on the lenox blades - i haven't been around for all that long but from what i've seen they seem to outlast most of the others i've tried.

Milwaukee for my vote as well. I've used a port-a-band at work by Milwaukee and it was slick as all get out. Besides which, i've never had a Milwaukee tool disapoint me but i've had several dewalts that haven't lasted much past thier warranty! My dad hardly even looks at dewalts anymore after the trouble he had with a little orbital sander. I do have to say that dewalt's 18v drill is quite nice though; near unbreakable as well. Anyway, i'd still go with a milwaukee if it were me! I've got a used milwaukee corded drill here that must be from the 70's if not before and it still runs great (needed a new cord was all).

07-26-2006, 10:58 PM
I have used both the Milwaukee and DeWalt potra bands at work, and both are good units. The DeWalts haven't been in service that long (about a year), but the Milwaukee saws hold up very well. Truthfully, there just about bullet proof. About the only thing we have issues with on the Milwaukee saws are the tires getting worn, but that is an easy fix. The DeWalts have a neat light that shines down on the blade, which makes it nice in low light levels. Longevity on the DeWalt hasn't been proven, but they seem to be holding their own.

Blades seem to make a big difference. We buy either Lenox blades, or Milwaukee blades (depnding on what the supplier has at the time) and both perform well. We have also bought some generic blades, and those don't hold up for very long. Another testimate of 'you get what you pay for'.

If it were me, I'd lean toward the Milwaukee unless you find a real good deal on the DeWalt. Spend the extra money for the good blades (Lenox), and you won't be sorry!

That's my $.02.

07-27-2006, 12:31 AM
I also have the Milwaukee deep throat. Plenty of torque, never stalled. Another thing, I have never slipped a blade and sometimes I really lean on it. Variable speed is a must. I think some are two speed. JRouche

07-27-2006, 05:26 AM
First Let's get something straight "Port a Band" is Porter Cable,but everyone says portaband like Bandaid,or Vise Grips.

Any way,I have a deep throught Millwalkie and am happy with it.the reason I bought it?A place i worked once used it to cut metal at the metal rack , slide the piece out and lop off the size you want,some times there was a waiting line for the thing, and it lasted for as long as I was there,Thats an average of 4 hours a day.

And I second the Lenox Blades, all Lenox blades, even Gyp knife blades.

Rusty Marlin
07-27-2006, 07:36 AM

First Let's get something straight "Port a Band" is Porter Cable,but everyone says portaband like Bandaid,or Vise Grips.

I know, but do a gooogle search and see what pops up.

Milwakee gets the nod. Thank you gentlemen.

07-27-2006, 10:12 AM
plus port-a-band is easier to type than "portable bandsaw" :D

07-27-2006, 02:02 PM

First Let's get something straight "Port a Band" is Porter Cable,but everyone says portaband like Bandaid,or Vise Grips.

I know, but do a gooogle search and see what pops up.

Milwakee gets the nod. Thank you gentlemen.
Ignorance is curable through education.

I guess you've been educated

07-27-2006, 03:44 PM
I like the Milwaukee. I have had one for years. Always works great. I use Lennox and Milwaukee blades.

My saw is the two speed.

I think Graingers sells this brand also. You might get a discount.

07-27-2006, 09:08 PM
Milwaukee here as well. Used and abused but still cutting.