If you are an aspiring home renovation contractor or a keen DIY gardener, at some point you need Chop Saws that can cut different materials. What can be a better option than having the best hacksaw at your disposal? It can handle a wide range of materials, from wood to metal, with ease and precision. With it, you get a fast cutting speed with higher precision. It is already a valuable tool for carpenters and metalworkers.
But there are so many different options when it comes to choosing the right cut-off saws that it often gets very confusing. To make your job easier, we will share 5 of the best chop saws below and the things to keep in mind when making a purchasing decision.
What Is A Circular Saw?
A chop saw is a power tool used to cut a variety of materials, such as wood and metals. It has a circular blade that rotates at high speed and has “drop-down” functionality to cut material from top to bottom.
The chop saw provides a clean, fast, and accurate cut and takes little time to complete the cutting job. Many new users often want to know the difference between chop saw and miter saw.
There are few fundamental differences between the two. The miter saw gives you more flexibility to make angle cuts, while the chop saws cut primarily at 90 degrees.
But that difference is fading, as various cut-off saw models also allow you a limited angle cut.
Additionally, professional-grade chop saws are often used with larger blades (14 inches and up) and have a powerful motor for cutting hard materials like metals.
If you don’t need advanced angle cutting or chamfering functionality then this is a great cheaper option. But if you need a more complex, angled and finer cut, then you should go for a slide miter saw.
1. Bosch 3814 – Best Chop Saws
The Bosch 3814 Cut-Off Saw is the abrasive cut-off saw that has a powerful 15 Amp motor to provide 3,900 RPM torque. With this abrasive saw, you can cut hard metals like steel.
It is a metal cutting saw with the ability to cut at an angle of 0 to 45 degrees. It has several safety and time-saving features such as the spindle lock capability that allows you to safely change the wheel and includes the wheel wrench.
The high-torque motor provides enough power to cut tough material with a clean cut. When cutting, you can set the adjustable depth stop for maximum control. Prevents accidental overcutting of metal. It is vital if you do not want to cut completely but need a partial cut.
It comes with 36-inch, 36-grip aluminum oxide wheels and a handy blade wrench. With it you can cut up to 6 inches deep with ease.
The built-in wheel wrench storage allows you to safely store the wrench. So you don’t have to search for hunting tools when you need to change the wheel. The build quality of the hacksaw is excellent.
High precision steel helical gears ensure that the cutting saw lasts longer while giving you a smooth, jerk-free cut. To hold the metal piece securely, it comes with a quick-release fastening locking vise. Keeps the object stable without you holding it manually for fast and efficient cutting.
Since it is an abrasive saw that grinds the material for a cut, it generates a lot of heat. Hands-free clamping makes cutting easy without worrying about burning your hands.
One caveat: this is not suitable for cutting wood. You should also not try to replace the blade with wood cutting tooth blades as it may cause loss of control during use.
If you need wood-cutting functionality in conjunction with metal, then you should consider choosing a multi-purpose hacksaw.
2. Evolution POWER Tools Rage2
Evolution POWER Tools Rage2 is a multipurpose cutting saw that can cut a wide range of materials. This hacksaw is capable of cutting hard and soft materials, such as nailed wood, plastics, steel, and aluminum.
It is a heavy duty corded cut-off saw and not as loud as an abrasive cut-off saw. But it is not completely silent, so you must wear hearing protection equipment.
The saw is capable of cutting ferrous metals, such as ¼-inch carbon steel, and non-ferrous materials such as aluminum, copper, reclaimed wood, plastics, and composites. It is a perfect universal cutting tool for professional and regular users.
With this hacksaw, you get clean, precise cold cuts that save you time and effort. The saw’s compact design makes it very portable. If you are a contractor, you can quickly load it onto your truck and head to work.
You get a 0-45 degree swivel clamp for angle cutting with a 3-3 / 4 “maximum cut width and a 2” round depth of cut. You also get ¼ ”thick mild steel cutting capacity. The powerful engine has a low consumption gearbox that generates high torque without placing additional load on the engine.
It has a 7-1 / 4 “tungsten carbide tipper multipurpose blade. Gives you cleaner, more versatile cutting performance. The high quality cutting edge means there is no heat build-up when cutting metals like steel.
3. Makita LC1230
Makita LC1230 is a 12 ”metal cutting saw that has a powerful 15 amp motor with a cutting performance of 1,700 RPM. This specially designed metal cutting saw can cut through most common iron rods, metal pipes, tubes and metal building materials.
It is a high performance cutting saw that cuts metal parts four times faster than the abrasive saw. The quick release press reduces the time required to lock the piece of metal to cut safely. You always get a smoother, even cut with the least vibration when cutting carbide objects.
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Integrated socket wrench storage makes it easy to access the wrench when you need to change the blade. It comes with a collection tray to store cutting debris for easier disposal.
It has an excellent build quality. The ergonomic D-shaped handle has a two-finger trigger and lock button. Improves safety by avoiding any accidental start.
You also get miter saw type angle cutting functionality as it has a quick-release support guide that allows you to adjust it from 0 to 45 degrees for angle cutting.
For any precise cut, the chop saw must remain stable. Use large cast aluminum for the base. It makes it light and portable with excellent stability.
The saw comes with a carbide-tipped blade that gives you a clean, precise cut while lasting 50 times longer than the abrasive wheel. This metal cutting saw gives you a 4-1 / 2 “cutting capacity at 90 degrees.
4. DeWALT DW713
Abrasive saws generate a lot of heat when cutting. It is mainly due to the grinding cutting mechanism. The Dewalt has taken several design steps to reduce heat when cutting. That makes it safe and comfortable for cutting hard metal objects.
The ergonomic D-shaped handle allows a comfortable hand position. The space on the handle is wide enough to fit even a large hand. This comfortable hand position reduces fatigue and improves safety, as you can hold the handle firmly during kickbacks.
The quick-lock vise allows you to clamp different-sized metal parts with ease. This frees your hand from holding the object as the abrasion cut saw generates enormous heat. You also get miter saw functionality as you can rotate the fence to get a 45-degree cutting angle.
The steel base allows you to weld jigs or stops directly onto the plate. Improves productivity and reduces cutting time. To save time when changing the wheel, you can use the axle lock function.
The heavy-duty locking pin in the saw head firmly locks the saw in a transport position without the use of a chain. It is a very convenient security feature that requires less time to implement.
Soft start extends gear and motor life while reducing starting shock. As an added safety feature, the spark arrestor is adjustable, allowing you to direct the spark to safer areas. You can also store the wheel change key in an onboard compartment for quicker access.
5. Jancy Slugger MCCS14
The Slugger Metal Cutting Saw is a low speed, high torque metal cutting saw that gives you a clean cut on steel, aluminum and a wide range of other metals.
It comes with a 2,200 watt motor that can easily cut material up to 5-1 / 8 “at a 90 degree angle and 4-1 / 8” material at a 45 degree angle.
These 1,300-rpm, high-torque motors cut these metals faster and safer than abrasive cut-off saws. The miter design allows you to make an angle cut of up to 45 degrees.
Improves cutting flexibility. How you can make a limited angle cut without buying a more expensive dedicated miter saw . To enhance safety, it has an automatic retractable bottom safety guard. Prevents any accidental injury or damage.
The base is made of sturdy material for durability and stability. Reduces vibration during cutting and improves cutting precision.
Compared to an abrasive cutting saw, this metal cutting saw generates less heat during the cutting process. The built-in collection tray inside the base captures cutting debris for easier removal and reduces cleaning required afterward.
The 14-inch steel blade can cut a wide range of metals. Has a cast aluminum body that can withstand tough cutting conditions
What Are The Types Of Cut Saw?
Chop saws are simple yet powerful cutting tools that come with a variety of motor and cutting abilities.
Here are three common types of the cut-off saw depending on the motor:
- Gasoline Cutting Saw : It uses a small two-cylinder or sometimes four-cylinder gasoline engine.
It has a lot of power and is used to cut a variety of materials such as wood, metal and steel. The gas engine transfers high torque and speed to the cutting blade.
But on the downside, these are loud, smoke extractor, and need more maintenance. These are also heavy and less portable than other types of hacksaw.
- Corded cut-off saw : uses an electric motor. To power it, you plug it into an electrical outlet. These are lightweight and easier to maneuver.
It has a great cutting capacity and does not generate smoke. It is also less noisy than a gas hacksaw.
However, these are less powerful than the gasoline hacksaw and must be continuously plugged into an outlet. You may find that most chop saws on the market are of the corded type.
3. Cordless cutting saw : it is a light and highly portable electric cutting tool. These use rechargeable batteries like Lithium-Ion or Nickel-Cadmium.
However, using the battery means that you should always keep the batteries charged. These are less powerful than gasoline, or corded saws. These are suitable for light cutting tasks such as cutting wood or aluminum.
You can use a cordless saw to cut wood and metal. However, if your primary use is to cut metal, choose an abrasive cut-off saw or chop saw.
Why Should You Choose A Cutting Saw?
The hacksaw is a fast and efficient way to cut hard metals and softwoods. Due to its wide variety of applications, it comes in various power ratings and blade types.
You also get a lot of flexibility in choosing the blade and changing it interchangeably for your cutting needs.
You can use it for the following purposes:
- Cutting metal steel tubes and reinforced steel bars.
- For cutting hard and softwoods
- Cutting chain link fences and iron rods
- Use in construction and demolition.
- Remodeling and metalworking projects
- It is a convenient tool when making moldings or frames. When you need quick straight or square cuts, it is a fast and efficient tool to use.
You don’t have to waste time changing cutting angles or other complicated settings that come with the miter saw. Just move the blade up and down and make a cut. This saves time and gives you a much cleaner cut even if you are a beginner.
When choosing the hacksaw, look for the following features. You may not need to have a saw that has all the features, but consider some of the options.
You must choose the blade according to the type of material to be cut. Not all cutting saw blades are the same, and you need to know a few key facts about the blades.
The essential requirement of the saw blade is to give you a precise and cleaner cut in the shortest possible time. The saw blades are made of high speed steel (HSS) material or tungsten carbide tipped blades.
HSS blades are used to cut hard and thick objects and can be used at cutting speeds in excess of 3500 RPM. It reduces the time required for cutting, but generally a very thick cut is obtained with HSS blades.
The tungsten carbide tipped blade cuts hard objects at a slower speed. It gives you a precise and smooth cut. You can use it to cut ferrous and non-ferrous materials such as steel and aluminum, including tile, ceramic, and wood.
When your main purpose is cutting metal, you can choose an abrasive or cold saw blade. We recommend buying a high quality blade as these blades last longer and do not wear out quickly.
Abrasive Cutting Saw Blade
Abrasive blades are a grinder-type blade that cuts friction. Fast-moving blades have a coarse surface that grinds the piece of metal. This process generates many sparks due to friction and increases the temperature of the cutting object.
You make a cut by placing the object under the blade and then holding it or holding it firmly with your hand. Be sure to wear protective gloves if you are going to hold on, so you don’t burn your hands.
Cold saw blade
The cold saw blade cuts through metal like other regular saws. It has sharp teeth on the blade it cuts. It does not generate much spark when cutting and keeps the material fresh after cutting.
The cold saw blade does not need a higher blade speed as it cuts with its sharp teeth. You also get a cleaner, smoother cut finish.
There are different sizes of blades available on the market. In most cases, if you are using the chop saw to cut thicker metal parts, you should choose blades that are 10 to 14 inches in size.
Many professional grade cut-off saws come with a larger 14-inch blade that gives you precise cuts on a thicker object. But we found that a blade size of 10 to 12 inches is more suitable for residential and semi-professional use.
The number of teeth on the blade determines the finish of the cut. The higher the number of teeth on the edge, the smoother, cleaner cut finish is obtained. But as a disadvantage, it decreases the cutting speed.
The cutting saw blades are powered by an electric motor unless you are using a gasoline-powered cutting saw that has a two-stroke engine. The powerful motor gives you a higher cutting capacity and a higher revolution per minute (RPM) to the blade.
It reduces cutting time and can cut thicker and harder materials. As a general guideline, when cutting harder things you should cut at a lower RPM blade speed, while for soft objects you can use a higher RPM blade.
For example, when cutting soft material, choose a motor that produces around 3,000 to 3,500 RPM of speed. And when cutting hard objects, select a motor that allows you to adjust the speed below 3,000 RPM.
You can also look for gear reduction functionality on the hacksaw that allows you to select variable RPM with the ability to reduce the rotational speed of the blade to a higher torque.
When cutting metals, use lower RPMs for improved safety and a cleaner cut. You should also choose a motor that has at least 15 amps and 1,100 watts of operating range.
That’s enough power to handle most types of cutting material. The low power cut-off saw may not be able to cut or worse, give you a very inaccurate rough cut.
The clamping mechanism on the cutting saw allows you to secure the cutting object to the saw. Reduce the chance of cutting in the wrong place and free up your hand for other tasks.
It is vital when cutting metal parts with an abrasive saw blade that generates a lot of heat. The clamping mechanism holds the object firmly on the base. Reduce movement during cutting and you get the precise length.
A suitable clamping mechanism should be able to hold various thicknesses and shapes of material firmly.
If your job requires you to cut different types of materials fairly frequently, then you may have to constantly change the blade.
The blade change process can be time consuming and you want a saw that allows you to change the blade quickly.
Most cutters have a single screw to hold the blade, and you need an Allen key or wrench to change the module. Check out the ability to quickly change modules as it can save a lot of time.
Safety is vital when operating the cut-off saw. Inadequate protection can cause serious injury or property damage.
Safety features built into the saw reduce the chances of an accident and protect you from injury. Some standard safety features to look for are the inclusion of blade guard, spark deflector, accidental start, and emergency stop.
Lightweight And Portable
If you are a general contractor, then it is more likely that you will have to move your circular saw quite frequently. The lightweight and portable hacksaw allow you to quickly load it onto your work truck and take it to the job site.
The cordless cut-off saw is a highly portable and flexible option, but it may not be suitable for heavy-duty work.
But if you have a dedicated shop and don’t need to move the saw, look for the most power and cutting capacity over portability.
The chop saw should be made of good quality material that can withstand any type of cutting task.
Most cutters use aluminum for their outer casing. Improves portability of the saw while keeping the weight low.
Can A Wood Cutting Saw Cut Metal Objects?
The wood cutting saw is specifically designed to cut woods that are generally smoother than any metal object. But you can use it to cut thinner and softer metals.
The wood cutting saw generally has higher RPM to make quicker and faster cuts, while metal objects need lower RPM to get a clear and smoother cut.
If your hacksaw is equipped with the ability to set different blade speeds, lower the RPM when cutting metals. Reduces the possibility of damaging the wood saw blade when cutting metal objects.
However, you must use it for limited purposes, and if you find yourself cutting a lot of metals, then you must change the blade and use the saw blade that is specifically designed for cutting metals.
How To Avoid Bribery When Operating The Cut Saw
Kickback is the most common cause of injury when operating a hacksaw. Kickback occurs when the blade stops moving suddenly due to a pinched, tied, or misaligned saw blade. Causes uncontrolled saw to lift off workpiece toward operator.
Here are ways to reduce recoil to avoid injury or property damage:
- Check that the blade does not bend or lose teeth. This causes the module to suddenly get stuck in the material during cutting. The sudden lock on the blade keeps the motor moving and drives the unit quickly towards you.
- Always hold the saw firmly with both hands and position your arm securely to stop a kickback. Keep your body aligned on both sides of the blade, but not in line with the module.
- Do not try to remove the saw from the cutting action or pull it while the blade is in motion. Let the Chop saw blade come to a complete stop before making any movement to the saw.
- Always center the saw blade in the groove and make sure the saw teeth are not embedded in the material before starting the engine. If the saw blade is tied to the object, it can lift or kick back from the workpiece when it is restarted.
- Do not use a dull or damaged blade. Damaged or dull blades produce excessive friction and increase the possibility of kickback.
- Check that the lower guard is properly closed: do not start the saw if the lower guard does not move freely or does not close instantly. You must not hold or tie the bottom guard in the open position.
Always lift the bottom guard with the retractable handle and make sure it moves freely and does not touch the blade or other parts.
Precautions When Using A Cutting Saw
Proper caution is vital when operating the cut-off saw. Always read the owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with the tool and understand the safety instructions.
Here are some precautions and safety steps you can take when using a hacksaw.
Stay Alert – Always pay attention when using the power tool. Don’t settle or lose your guard when operating the cut-off saw. A moment of inattention while operating the cut-off saw can cause serious injury.
Wear PPE – Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a dust mask, hard hat, hearing protection, or non-slip safety shoes, reduces injuries.
Avoid inadvertent starts – you need to be aware of your trigger finger. Check if the switch is in the off position before connecting the saw to the power source or battery pack. Never press the start switch when you do not intend to start the tool.
Keep Mower Deck Clear – Do not leave an adjusting key or wrench on the mower deck before starting the machine. Do not leave a spanner or spanner that remains attached to a moving part of the saw, as it can cause injury.
Don’t overdo it – always maintain proper footing and balance when operating the saw. This gives you better control of the saw if an unexpected situation arises.
Do not wear loose clothing – Do not wear loose clothing or dangling jewelry when operating the tool. Keep your hair, gloves, and cloth away from the moving part, so that they do not accidentally catch on the blade.
Sharp and Clean Blade – You should always maintain blades with proper care. Make sure the edges are sharp and not torn. Replace the blade or sharpen it when the blades become dull.