The new Dewalt 20v Brushless 5″ Deep Cut Band Saw is one of those tools that you’ll never realized how useful it is….until you use it.
Portable band saws (or Portabands) are extremely quick and effective at cleanly cutting through metal of all shapes and sizes. Unlike an angle grinder that creates a lot of sparks & uses small cutting discs to slice through metal (creating a huge fire hazard, especially indoors), the Portaband is able to achieve a faster cut without the same drawbacks. Along with that is the fact that when used properly, band saw blades last an extremely long time & for many people, one blade can last weeks or months of continual use.
The main enemies of any blade (band saw, reciprocating saw, etc) are vibration & forced cuts. It will cause the teeth to prematurely break and/or wear quickly, ruining the cut quality — sometimes in just one pass. You always need to ensure that the metal you are cutting is tight against the shoe, and hold the tool firmly to eliminate potential vibrations. This does take some trial and error, as well as a lot of practice to get extremely comfortable with — however once you get the hang of it, the blades will last much longer & your cut quality will go way up. You also never want to press it through a cut, and should use a slow speed setting & let the weight of the tool push it through for maximum efficiency. At 14+ lbs, it doesn’t need any outside help to get through a cut….even with thick material.
For electricians installing conduit, this is an ideal tool to have around. EMT conduit (thin) is no issue, and for our run-time test we went with the much thicker & much heavier 2″ Rigid Conduit. That is what would be used for service entrance cables & was the largest sized pipe that could be sourced locally. On one 5.0 ah charge, along with a brand new MK Morse 811 Band Saw Blade, we got 44 cuts before the battery died. Compare that to using a hacksaw —- or even a recip saw & you can already see the massive time savings, and also blade savings (no need to change blades due to dulling).
Here are the specs on the Dewalt DCS374 :
- 20v MAX
- Brushless Motor
- 5″ x 4-3/4″ Capacity
- Variable Speed Trigger
- 14 lbs
- LED Light (with 20-second delay)
- Tool-free Blade Change
- Adjustable Front Handle
- Integrated Hanging Hook
The main negatives with any Portaband will be size & weight. There are many places that this just will not fit, and holding it for extended periods of time can be tiring. However, having the ability to quickly cut metal without having the deal with cords or doing it by hand are not something that you will want to go without once you use this!
As with all Dewalt cordless tools, it does carry a 3 yr warranty against manufacturer defects. And, since it is part of the 20v MAX lineup, it will work with any 20v MAX batteries — from compact to full size!