Makita DPB181Z Cordless Band Saw - Toolstop Review and Video Guide

Bandsaws go back to the 19th century when they represented huge pieces of engineering but with one key problem; they were completely impractical.

The blade flexed and became unusable really quickly.

As time progressed throughout the 1800s, the technology evolved to allow saw blades to bend around the wheels of the saw without breaking, while being strong enough to cut the materials required, typically wood.

Makita DPB181Z 18V Cordless li-ion Mini Band Saw
Fast forward to 2014, and bandsaws are a staple of woodworking shops across the world. And more and more of us are relying on portable, hand-held bandsaws to cut metal, particularly in awkward places where we can't take the metal to the saw; we have to cut it in-situ.

In this guide from Toolstop we're going to walk you through the features and benefits of a new bandsaw from Makita. It's the DPB181Z Cordless Mini Band Saw, and it's available as a body-only unit (click here to learn more about body-only cordless tools), so this is a great addition to the kit of anyone already using Makita's 18v li-ion power tools.

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Makita DPB181Z Cordless Mini Band Saw - What Are the Specs

We asked Makita to take us through what the DPB181Z is capable of, so we made this exclusive demo video with them in their UK training suite. Watch it on Toolstop TV.

From the official Makita spec sheet, here's what you need to know about it:

  • Blade speed: 3.2 m/s
  • Blade length: 835mm
  • Blade width: 13mm
  • Blade thickness: 0.5mm
  • Capacity- round pipe: 64mm
  • Capacity- box section: 64 x 64mm

Bear in mind, though, that this is all made possible via the key benefit of this bandsaw; it's cordless.

Makita DPB181Z 18V Cordless li-ion Mini Band Saw

As we all know, Makita has one of the biggest ranges of 18v li-ion powered professional tools in the UK market (click to see them), so if you're already packing Makita kit each day, it's likely you'll have a spare 18v battery lying around. In that case, charge it up, slot it in, and you're good to go. And as it's a "D" model it'll take 3Ah or 4Ah Makita 18v batteries.

Makita DPB181Z 18V Cordless li-ion Mini Band Saw

This way you're able to take the bandsaw to that piece of pipe or box section that needs to be cut, regardless of whether there's a power source nearby.

Changing the blade is really easy thanks to the quick blade tension/release lever. And there's two blades available for you, one with 18tpi (teeth per inch) and the other with 14tpi.

Makita DPB181Z 18V Cordless li-ion Mini Band Saw

While the capacity of the saw is 64mm, this can be adjusted when you're working close to walls or ceilings. Simply undo the nuts using the supplied, stored-on-board allen key, and move the stopper plate accordingly.

Makita DPB181Z 18V Cordless li-ion Mini Band Saw

And your workspace is illuminated by the inclusion of an LED light which makes working in poorly lit areas safe and easy.

Another key benefit of the DPB181Z is the ergonomics.

Makita DPB181Z 18V Cordless li-ion Mini Band Saw
As we've come to expect from Makita's pro power tools, the handles, both front and back, have that signature soft grip, non-slip elastomer surface, making it comfortable for you to hold. The rear grip hosts the on-off trigger with a lock-on switch, all easy to use when wearing gloves.

And the machine is very carefully balanced once you've slotted in the 18v battery.

This benefits you in two ways. Firstly, it's easy to control as it's not weighted towards the front or the rear of the saw. And secondly, the natural balance of the saw helps to keep it horizontal. All of this helps prevent your hands, wrists and arms becoming sore, even when you're working above shoulder height.

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Why Buy a Mini Cordless Band Saw?

Based on all of the above, owning a mini cordless bandsaw will bring more productivity to the workday of anyone who needs to quickly cut metal pipes and box sections, in-situ, up to 64mm in thickness. Owning a saw like this that isn't tiring to handle, even above shoulder height, and will illuminate the area you're working in, and all you need to do is slap in a battery and you're good to go, is a huge boon for ceiling fitters, AC installers, sprinkler installers, etc.

Quite simple, a bandsaw like this is the practical solution for cutting metal quickly, safely and conveniently.

Get yours here!
Makita DPB181Z 18V Cordless li-ion Mini Band Saw

We want to know what you think of the Makita DPB181Z, and if you've got any questions about it, talk to us in the comments section below.


postable_mark on Mon, 04 Aug 2014 08:09:49 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

We asked Makita for a response on this. They say, yes it'll handle Unistrut, however they recommend using saw wax while cutting as Unistrut is often galvanised.

Graham Yendall on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:11:54 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Hi, I'm in the good old trade of being a bright "spark", after reading the spec in respect to upto what depth of material, I wish to ask, does this saw have a good enough torque/ pressure to withstand the cutting of Unistrut (41x 41) support system, which is widely used in my trade. In the past I have used your coldsaw cutter.
Kind regards, Graham

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