Home / Blog / Makita 40V Max XGT Cordless Portable Band Saw Review

Makita 40V Max XGT Cordless Portable Band Saw Review

Nov 07, 2023Nov 07, 2023

Rebar, threaded rod, unistrut, hanging pipe, steel stock – we could go at it with a hacksaw or recip saw, but the handheld band saw is king in these applications. Makita is certainly no stranger to the band saw market its 40V max XGT Cordless Portable Band Saw has the capacity you need for bigger cuts.

This band saw combines the benefits of a variable speed trigger with the precision of a speed control dial. The dial allows you to adjust the max trigger speed between 0 and 630 feet per minute to match the material you’re cutting. Thanks to a brushless motor with electronic controls, Makita's band saw melts through tough cuts with as much confidence as a high-end corded model, but with far greater convenience.

Pro Tip: For the best performance, let the motor keep the speed up as you cut rather than pushing through and bogging the motor down. If the saw is having trouble cutting, it's probably time to change the blade.

The portable band saw is ideal for cutting a wide range of materials because of its large 5×5-inch cut capacity. This is the largest cut capacity of Makita's current band saw line up, including corded options.

Makita included a "soft start" feature to this portable band saw that helps increase cut accuracy as well as extend blade life. The blade ramps up to full speed in less than 2 seconds giving the teeth enough time to bite into the material and smoothly work into the cut.

If you notice your blade beginning to slip or it actually comes off the pulleys altogether, you’ll need to adjust the blade track tension, similar to a chainsaw. To adjust, insert the hex wrench into the adjustment hole and make a quarter turn clockwise. After that, check if the band saw blade does not slip out. If it still slips out, make another quarter turn and check until the band saw blade does not slip out.

Makita did a great job of making blade changes quick and easy with their tool-free tension release. Slide the lever clockwise to release the tension then open the blade housing to access the pulleys. From there, just work the new blade through the guides on either side of the cutting area and fit it around the pulleys.

Once your blade is properly seated, turn the tension lever counter-clockwise until it locks into place. Adjust the pulley tension as needed to ensure a secure fit. It only takes a minute or two to properly seat and ready the blade for work.

Pro Tip: Keep your work gloves on during blade changes to reduce the chances of accidentially cutting your hands. Even though it's a relative low risk, it's also good practice to remove the battery.

Ergonomically, well, this is a 15-pound handheld tool, not a 3-pound impact driver. Despite the weight (which by nature has to be there), the design lends itself to a comfortable grip. Makita's rubber overmold and oversize front D-handle help in that regard.

Like many power tools, there is a trigger lockout is in place, which comes in handy. The weight and balance of the tool lend themselves to having your finger on the trigger while carrying it around, so it's a must-have safety feature.

Similar to a reciprocating saw, band saws have a plate that you rest against the cutting surface to help reduce vibration and increase cut efficiency and accuracy.

To adjust the shoe, loosen the two bolts using the included hex key and slide it to the appropriate depth. Once it's at the optimal depth, tighten the bolts firmly and you’re ready to go.

This Makita 40V band saw retails for $499 as a bare tool and $699 as a kit that includes a 4.0Ah battery, a single-port charger, and a soft carrying case. Makita also offers a 3-year warranty for the battery, charger, and tool.

The Makita 40V max XGT cordless band saw is definitely a winner in our book. Its efficient cutting power exceeded our expectations and gives you plenty of good reasons to leave your old corded model in the past. The large cut capacity and premium ergonomics make this cordless band saw a great choice for metal cutting tasks across the trades.

Click here to check out the full Makita 40V XGT lineup!

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