You’ve got EMT and PVC pipe to cut, and no place to plug in a tool. You need a cordless bandsaw that will help you get the job done. But which brand is better? Let’s look at one from Milwaukee and one from DEWALT to help you decide.
Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit
Milwaukee advertises the 2429-21XC as a sub-compact bandsaw that you can use one-handed. It weighs around 12 pounds and measures less than a foot long. But it can slice through 3/4-inch EMT in 3 seconds, and handle up to 1-5/8-inch stock overall.
The 2429-21XC comes with a REDLITHIUM M12 battery pack that lasts up to 150 cuts at up to 280 SFPM. It’s compatible with other Milwaukee M12 tools, too. In fact, you’ll notice that the place where the battery mounts looks a lot like a handle of a drill. Because of this design, the saw meets OSHA guarding requirements for safety. It also makes it less awkward for left-handed users.
On the body of the saw, you’ll also see a lever that adjusts the blade tension. The blade size is 27 by 1/2-inch with a 0.20-inch pitch. This isn’t a typical size, so it’s smart to stock up on a few extras ahead of time.
Finally, while you work, the built-in LED light will help you track the cut line with its shadow. It turns on automatically when you press the trigger. And the variable-speed trigger lets you start slow and under control.
More features of the Milwaukee 2429-21XC Cordless Bandsaw:
- 5-year warranty on the saw and 3-year warranty on the battery
- Comes with a carrying case, battery, and saw blade
DEWALT DCS371B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Band Saw, Bare-Tool
If you need to cut larger stock, try the DEWALT DCS371 band instead of the Milwaukee. It can handle up to 2-1/2-inches of SCH 40 pipe. In fact, the list of recommended applications includes Unistrut up to 1-5/8”, threaded rod, angle iron, rectangular tubing, and conduit up to 2” thick.
Even with this amount of power, the saw is a little lighter than the Milwaukee 2429-21XC. This is enhanced by the fact that the handle on the DCS371B is like a pistol grip, but the weight is balanced. There is a place to slide on a DEWALT 20V MAX lithium-ion battery pack at the top.
The same battery pack (not included with the bare tool) powers the built-in LED light. The light illuminates where you’re cutting, but doesn’t cast a cut line shadow. It has a 20-second afterglow before it shuts off.
While the saw has dual bearing blade guide rollers, it also has a place to adjust the blade tracking. It comes with a wrench for this purpose. Meanwhile, swapping blades is fast and easy with the tool-less blade change lever. And when you’re not using the band saw, it has a hang hook so you can place it out of the way.
One last note about the DEWALT DCS371: it doesn’t have a variable speed trigger like the Milwaukee. When you pull the trigger, you’ll get 570fmp blade velocity right from the start.
More features of the DEWALT DCS371B cordless bandsaw:
- Covered by 90-day money-back guarantee, 1-year free service contract, and 3-year limited warranty
- Bare tool only, but compatible with DEWALT 20V MAX lithium-ion battery packs
- Weighs 9.4 pounds
- Comes with 14/18 TPI blade and blade tracking wrench
When you compare these two band saws, they each have pluses and minuses. The Milwaukee 2429-21XC is very compact, but has a smaller cutting capacity as a result. The blades are also an unusual size that isn’t easy to find at a hardware store. On the other hand, if you only want a cordless band saw for occasional jobs, this is a handy little tool.
If your band saw is one of your regular tools, the DEWALT DCS371B is a better choice, especially if you already have other cordless DEWALT power tools. First, it runs off any 20V MAX battery pack. Second, it has a larger cutting capacity and faster speed than the Milwaukee. And third, it’s may be larger, but it’s lightweight.