Makita has recently come out with a new 18V cordless band saw, model XBP03. As far as we are aware, it’s very similar to their other compact band saw, XBP01, but with a different blade housing.
The guard on the Makita XBP03 is made from aluminum, which they say increases its durability. Compared to the previous model, the XBP03 is also a little heavier, and 1/4″ longer. In kit format, it is bundled with 5.0Ah Li-ion batteries.
- 32-7/8″ blade size
- 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ max cutting capacity (rectangular)
- 2-1/2″ max cutting capacity (round)
- 630 ft/min no-load speed
- Built-in LED light
- 18-3/4″ overall length
- Weighs 9 lbs with battery
- Tool hook
- Tool-less blade changes
- Adjustable material stopper plate
The Makita XBP03 is compact and ergonomically designed for one-handed operation, which makes it a better choice for overhead applications. In order to be suitable for one-handed operation, as per ANSI Standard 60745-2-20, the wheel cover fully encloses the blade outside of the cutting area.
It also has exterior blade adjustment, for more accurate blade tracking and increased cutting performance.
The new 2-1/2″ compact cordless band saw is designed for cutting conduit, Unistrut, threaded rod, channels, pipe, square tubing, and other such materials.
It’s available as a bare tool, XBP03Z, or in a kit, XBP03 . The kit comes with a carrying bag, rapid charger, and (2) 5.0Ah batteries.
Buy Now(Kit via Amazon)
Buy Now(Bare Tool via Amazon)
See Also(Other Style via Amazon)
See Also(Other Style via Tool Nut)
The XBP03 can be considered an update to Makita’s other model, XBP01, which has a plastic wheel guard. According to the sales flyers, the XBP01 weighs 7.5 lbs with battery, while the XBP03 weighs 9 lbs. If the two models are to be sold alongside each other, rather than the XBP03 replacing the XBP01, the weight difference could be a reason to choose the previous/other version of this new one. Most likely, the XBP01 will continue to be sold until inventory runs out.
How many of you use compact 2-1/2″ cordless band saws one-handed? There’s an auxiliary handle that could and probably should be used if you can, but I’ve been told that the one-handed capability comes in handy for overhead use in the field.
The Makita XBP03 doesn’t have as great a cutting capacity as Milwaukee’s M18 (2629), which can cut up to 3-1/2″. But the Makita is lighter and has a faster cutting speed (630 vs. 480 ft/min). Additionally, the Makita features housing on both sides of the wheels.
In speaking with Makita, I learned that the aluminum housing should provide greater durability in jobsite conditions, where tools are inevitably dropped. From the images above you might notice that the aluminum housing covers much of the front of the tool and also wraps around the wheels. The rear enclosure is plastic, presumably to save on weight and costs where added protection or durability is not required.
Do you have any thoughts about tables/stands that are available for portaband saws?
I have a small bandsaw in my shop that I rarely use. Still keep it around though for the odd job. I would love a cordless bandsaw and might actually use that more if it could be used both around the farm by hand and then put in a stand again for use in the shop.
I have looked into it before, but my searches have always been unresolved. There are some bases that fit deep-cutting models, or at least corded deep-cutting band saws. Some cordless models *might* fit, but I don’t recall seeing it, if it’s even advisable.
Update – the SWAG V4 Portaband table is said to be compatible with M18 Fuel saws.
Interesting. I’m in Dewalt, Bosch and Porter Cable batteries – but it looks like the 3.0 version from that same company is compatible with the Dewalt DCS371B (http://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-V30-Portaband-Table_p_55.html)
Not terribly expensive either.
I wonder what it’s like to use. I.e. with a battery saw are you meant to hold the trigger with one hand and your work piece with the other? They sell a foot switch for corded saws, but that’s not going to work with a battery. I realize you could cable tie the trigger, but that seems like a recipe for an accident.
None of the tables mention the Bosch cordless bandsaw. Too small I presume.
I have my Milwaukee corded saw hanging on a wall with a Velcro strap around the trigger to keep it on and a round table I made out of an old concrete saw blade as a table.
I have an older Milwaukee (48-08-0260) stand for my corded portable band saw (Portaband – btw is a trademark of Porter Cable) – but If I were looking for a new stand it would be a SWAG model. The old Milwaukee makes the saw look like a small Doall – while the SWAG make it work more like a stationary band saw.
I like those covers and that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t like any guards usually.
In regards to a stand I was given a stout tools x-band portable bandsaw. Similar size as this Makita. The stout came with contacts on the handle that would engage some contacts in a benchtop stand . On the side of the stand was an on and off switch. No need to fiddle with clamps/zip ties to squeeze the trigger. Great feature. There seems to be a decent market for stands for these bandsaws. I see swag gets $270 for their top-of-the-line stand. You would think Dewalt or Milwaukee would be able to make a profit with a similar product custom molded to fit their saw. You can even sell the on/off switch on the side of the stand as a safety feature. Easier to shut off than ziptied trigger.
Fun fact: Allegedly stout tools used to build the same saw in yellow for the 18V DeWalt platform. Dewalt blades fit the stout saw but I think its also an industry standard blade length.
I liked the saw so much when the crummy NiCad batteries it came with were all used up I modified it to take 20v dewalt batteries. I can fit up to a 5ah in it.
It is industry standard for everyone’s compact I’ve ever used, with the exception of Milwaukee, surprisingly. Can’t count the number of times I’ve had to point other owners of the DeWalt compact one handed portaband to Makita compact blades at home Depot, after they come had scratching why the Milwaukee compact blades are so big. I have no idea why Milwaukee of all manufacturers has skipped the smaller standard. Sub compact of theirs is unique, but leads to a lot of mispurchases as well lol
It looks like it was released in 1995, is this a retro model of some type? Ha
What do you want a cordless band saw to look like?
I’ve got the yellow deepcut, and the older brushed compact, and I’ve got to say that the single hand use of their compact has me loyal to the end for that form factor. I think DeWalt nailed it on that one. Their deepcut is considerably lighter than others, too, I’ve noticed. New double switch is a curiosity, though.
Its almost 600 dollars though! For that much, you can use just a plasma cutter.
Oh boy, a metal cutting saw we can use overhead, and with just one hand! I guess the other’s to hold onto the ladder? Or the soon-to-be loose bit?
I recently passed on my BMF Milwaukee corded bandsaw and would get something like this to replace it – but I’m pretty sure that using it overhead would be on a top-five list of shit to avoid. Yuk.
This does not look like it’s comfortable to use in one hand in my opinion. To me the Dewalt compact 20 volt and Milwaukee 12 volt bandsaw are easy to use one handed though. I’ll have to try a band saw with this style handle.
Welcome to the real world Wayne R. There is often a need to use tools in a less than ideal (for safety) manner, most often related to positioning/clearance problems. It’s a fact of life unless you only work in very, very limited situations. Even most home gamers often have to “improvise” to get the job done. Old work makes you inventive! Pay attention, take your time, make it as safe as possible, pay attention, try to prepare yourself for any possible mishaps (bind up, kick back, recoil, hitting a nail, etc), and pay attention. Simple rules, but they take time and concentration. If working there is an acceptable level of danger that you accept, even when simply tightening a screw. A nail gun is exceedingly dangerous in that even when used ideally unintended actions can occur ( and do – given enough time), yet you are likely safer using a nail gun than driving your car to your local grocery store. A little sense goes a long way, 20+ years in construction from a family of construction workers. No major injuries, lost fingers etc.
I get it, really. My introduction to “the real world” occurred a long time ago and I know what you mean.
However, creating metal bits over anyone’s head (and presuming someone’s looking up at it) seems to me to be asking for it. One of those, “Hold my beer for a sec” moments that a normal person would predict will end badly.
My career is in data centers & telecom COs. Any overhead work there means lots of electronics below, also equipped with lots of fans. So, in my environment using this overhead will never, ever happen. If it needs to be cut, disassemble it & take it to the dock.
Part of being safe is knowing when you’re on the losing side, right?
Makes sense in your field Wayne
R., but virtually every type of metal work in other fields involves overhead work quite frequently. It’s extremely common – Abrasive Grinding, o/a cutting, drilling, welding, die grinding, bandsawing, just about anything save for carbon arcing is not rare to see done overhead out of necessity.
As always the right PPE is needed and is often just a face shield and a pair of safety glasses underneath, but accidents and incidents can and do occur. To be frank overhead work usually just plain sucks in most instances (construction, working on vehicles, painting a chapel in Italy) and is definitely one of the least desirable parts of metal work!
I have the M12 bandsaw and have used it quite a bit and nearly always one handed. The most use its had was for cutting rebar for formwork for concrete swimming pools for a guy I used to work for.
Much quicker and easier dragging a guillotine around. And unlike a grinder, no mess, no sparks, less noise and a lot safer. Particularly when you are making hundreds of cuts per pool.