DIY Network

Portable Band Saw Basics

A portable band saw is a smaller, more convenient version of the stationary band saw. This saw is one of the most versatile tools, and it's perfect for any workshop.

More in Home Improvement

portable band saw is a versatile tool

For making intricate cuts or cutting the same design into several pieces of wood at one time, a band saw is the tool of choice. It's one of the most versatile power tools, especially if it's portable. A portable band saw works just like a stationary model, but it's smaller and lighter.

Because the portable band saw is smaller, it can't handle the large work pieces a stationary model can. To determine the maximum-size work piece a portable band saw can cut, measure the distance from the blade to the throat. That distance is a little greater than the maximum size piece the band saw can handle.

To help maintain a portable band saw, turn it on and apply wax to the rotating belt.

Portable band saws can cut through pipe with ease. Secure the pipe in a vise, and lower the saw's blade at an angle to make the cut.

A band-saw vise can be attached to a portable band saw to permit it to be mounted on a work piece, converting the portable saw into a stationary model. To do so, remove the handle from the saw by loosening its screws. Screw on the vise attachment, and replace the handle on top of the attachment. Clamp one end of the pipe into a bench vise, and attach a bar clamp to the other end of the pipe. The pin on the end of the band-saw vise fits into a corresponding hole on the bar clamp. Lock the pin in place to mount the band saw. Lower the band-saw blade onto the surface of the pipe, and turn on the machine. Don't push the saw through the pipe: it will work its way down to cut through the pipe on its own.