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.
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.