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Are Cordless Bandsaws Finally Good Enough to Replace Corded Models? Our Review

Product Reviews

Are Cordless Bandsaws Finally Good Enough to Replace Corded Models? Our Review

The Bandsaw Conundrum: Corded vs. Cordless

As a lifelong woodworker, I’ve seen plenty of power tool advancements over the years. But one category that’s always felt a bit behind the times, in my opinion, is the humble bandsaw. Sure, I’ve tried out my fair share of corded models, but they’ve always felt a bit clunky and limited by that pesky power cord. And let’s be honest, who really enjoys tripping over cords or constantly searching for the nearest outlet?

So when cordless bandsaws started hitting the market, I have to admit, I was intrigued. Could these new battery-powered beasts finally provide the freedom and flexibility I’d been craving? Or would they just end up being underpowered, short-lived disappointments? There was only one way to find out – I had to get my hands on some and put them to the test.

Putting Cordless Bandsaws to the Ultimate Challenge

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to try out a variety of cordless bandsaws from all the major power tool brands. From small, compact models to beefy 18V behemoths, I’ve run them through their paces on everything from softwoods to dense hardwoods. And let me tell you, the results have been…well, a bit mixed, to be honest.

The first thing I noticed was the sheer convenience of not being tethered to a power cord. Being able to move around my shop freely, without constantly repositioning an unwieldy cord, was a game-changer. I could tackle projects in tight spaces, work outdoors, or even take the saw with me to job sites without any hassle. That kind of mobility is a huge advantage, especially for professionals or anyone with a cramped workshop.

However, the tradeoff is that cordless bandsaws just don’t seem to pack the same raw power as their corded counterparts – at least not yet. When tackling thick, gnarly hardwoods, I definitely felt the battery-powered saws struggling a bit more. The blades would often bog down, and I had to take it slower and easier to avoid bogging them down completely.

The Battery Life Balancing Act

Of course, battery life is another key consideration. The more powerful the cordless bandsaw, the quicker it tends to drain the battery. And let’s be honest, nothing kills the momentum of a project faster than having to stop and recharge. I found myself constantly keeping an eye on the charge level, worried about running out of juice in the middle of a cut.

The solution, it seems, is to find the right balance between power and battery life. The more modest, compact cordless bandsaws I tried, like the 12V models, generally offered respectable runtime on a single charge – sometimes up to an hour or more of continuous use. But they lacked the sheer grunt needed to power through tougher materials.

On the other end of the spectrum, the beefy 18V saws had no problem slicing through hardwoods, but their batteries would be drained in 20-30 minutes, tops. That’s fine if you’re just doing quick, light-duty tasks, but it’s not going to cut it (pun intended) for more demanding, marathon-style projects.

The Blades Make All the Difference

Another factor that plays a huge role in the performance of cordless bandsaws is the quality and type of blade you’re using. I found that some of the stock blades included with these saws were, frankly, a bit underwhelming. They’d struggle to maintain consistent tension and tracking, resulting in ragged, uneven cuts.

Swapping out those original blades for some high-quality, sharp replacements made a world of difference. Suddenly, the saws were ripping through wood with authority, making clean, precise cuts every time. It’s a simple upgrade, but one that’s absolutely essential to get the most out of your cordless bandsaw.

Cordless Bandsaws: The Future is (Almost) Here

So, are cordless bandsaws finally ready to fully replace their corded counterparts? In my opinion, the answer is a cautious “yes, but…” While the latest cordless models have come a long way and offer some game-changing advantages, they still have a few limitations that keep them from being a perfect one-to-one replacement – at least not yet.

The convenience and freedom of movement is unbeatable, and for many woodworkers, that alone might be worth the trade-off in raw power. But for those tackling truly heavy-duty, high-demand jobs on a regular basis, a good corded bandsaw is still likely the better choice.

That said, the gap is closing quickly. Battery technology continues to improve, motors are getting more powerful, and the overall quality and performance of cordless bandsaws is steadily on the rise. I have a feeling that in the not-too-distant future, we’ll reach a point where the cordless models can truly match or even surpass their corded counterparts in every way.

Until then, my recommendation would be to carefully consider your specific needs and workflow. If you value mobility and convenience above all else, a quality cordless bandsaw could be a game-changer. But if you regularly need to rip through thick hardwoods or run your saw for hours on end, you might still want to stick with a corded model – at least for now.

Personally, I’m excited to see how this technology continues to evolve. The freedom and flexibility of cordless power tools is hard to beat, and I can’t wait to see what the next generation of bandsaws has in store. Who knows, maybe someday soon I’ll be able to ditch the cord for good!

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