What Is A Chop Saw

Do you need help with straightening your wood cutting? Perhaps you have never used a chop saw before. This can be resolved by reading my article on “What is a chop saw.”

I felt it would be an excellent idea to give you a detailed explanation about the chop saw. Although this saw is similar to the miter saw, it is not very clear to understand.

When you want to purchase a chop saw for yourself, you can be confused, especially when new to the DIY (Do It Yourself) world. All these power tools can be mind-blowing.

This article will serve as an informative guide to help you better understand what a chop saw means, the factors you need to consider, and the essential safety tips. So join me as I cover all you need to know concerning the chop saw.

Chop Saw Explained

Chop Saw Explained

A chop saw, also known as a cut-off saw, is a stationary saw designed to cut through hard materials such as metal.

It is essential equipment with two primary components; a metal base that serves as a workbench and a rotating blade on top.

The worktop has a gate to keep the working material in place, and the blade is mounted on a fixed head on a spring-loaded pivot arm.

Also, the flexibility of this tool is what has made it so popular. Many previously done jobs in workshops with other types of heavy, stable saws can now be completed on-site.

Furthermore, this tool can only make straight cuts because of the way it was designed. That is why they came up with the miter saw, which is simply an advancement of the chop saw.

In addition, a miter saw also includes a rotating head that enables angled cuts. These are very useful in woodworking.

Meanwhile, it won’t be a bad idea if you find out what the chop saw does. Continue reading.

What Does A Chop Saw Do?

What Does A Chop Saw Do_

The chop saw has a circular disc blade positioned on a flexible arm and a stationary base that holds the material being cut.

At the base of the lever arm, you’ll find the controls that rotate the blade. When you squeeze the trigger, then release the trigger, and it will stop.

However, some brands have foot pedal controls that power the saw, leaving your hands free to handle your material more efficiently or effectively.

Typically, a chop saw, which is used to cut large, hard materials like metal, often has a larger engine and blade than other saws such as a miter saw or skill saw.

Most saws are made to cut wood with a finer blade to reduce angles, cut small molding pieces, and make cleaner cuts for a final product.

Abrasive discs, which resemble narrow grinding wheels, are commonly found on the chop saw. The cutting action takes place on the disc blade.

The disc blade is used for most of the chop saw cuts. However, you can also cut wood using a regular saw blade with teeth.

That is that. Now, let’s focus on the purpose of a chop saw?

What Is The Purpose Of A Chop Saw?

What Is The Purpose Of A Chop Saw_

As stated previously, chop saws are primarily utilized in the building and carpentry industries for metal cutting.

Mostly, you can use it to cut materials like rebar, metal pipes, light gauge metal studs, tubing, and others. Also, concrete, asphalt, and tiles use calligraphic cut-off saws.

More so, all thanks to chop saws for their energy and accuracy in this area. Here flexibility is not an issue. They can do one task accurately and efficiently.

Furthermore, for industrial work, chop saws are perfect. For example, you’ll need a chop saw if you are cutting 1000 pieces of rebar in a day for a huge commercial project.

Also, for a variety of uses, cut-off saws are powerful tools. They can cut solid material all day perfectly.

However, your best option should be a miter saw if you are into interior trim work and you don’t need much energy.

In addition, cut-off saws are tools with a specific function. Use this tool if you are making a lot of straight cuts in large, strong substances immediately.

Plus, you can only make 90° angled cuts with a chop saw. So you draw the blade down, and you’re through when it gives you a crosscut.

Lastly, that is all the tool does. If your chop saw makes angle cuts, it’s a miter saw, not a chop.

And that is more reason you should know the kinds of a chop saw in the market.

Types Of Chop Saws

Types Of Chop Saws

There are different types of saws for a specific purpose you need to be aware of. This implies that there are three kinds of chop saws.

Furthermore, it comes with a blade that rotates when it swings down into the wood as you saw.

Plus, for you to cut at various angles horizontally, it has an attribute that comes with a flexible platform surface.

These types include;

The Metal 

A metal cut-off saw is a special saw for cutting metal. This is the perfect tool for your task if you have a lot of metal to cut.

Take note that your cut must be straight angled cuts. Also, with this tool, you can cut accurately and quickly.

Furthermore, it is as easy as connecting the metal with the abrasive blade, squeezing the handle, and pulling the blade down. But don’t put too much pressure on the blade.

This tool can complete the task alone. Allow the saw to do the heavy lifting.

Also, remember to bring your protective gear along. Metal cutting causes a lot of sparks.

Chop saw blades come in various sizes and shapes, so be sure you get the proper blade for your work.

The Wood

The most common saw you’ll find is a wood cut-off saw. For doing fast and accurate 90-degree cuts, this tool is perfect.

However, you can only make straight cuts. Also, remember that this tool can only move up and down.

Furthermore, for farmers who need to increase thousands of boards, this is perfect for them. However, it is not ideal for trim contractors who cannot make angled cuts.

Buy a miter saw if you need to make angled cuts.

Woodchop saws are highly efficient and simple to use. Although, you must follow safety precautions and wear safety gear.

Finally, even with the most basic equipment, accidents can occur. For example, the saw can look simple, they are really powerful, and if you are not careful, they may easily kick a chunk of wood at you or twist your palm into the blade.

An Abrasive 

The blade of this tool is not like a regular saw but that of a grinder. You can use it to grind materials like asphalt, tile flooring, concrete, and other building materials.

However, it works the same way a regular chop saw operates, moving up and down. However, the blade is a major difference.

Finally, the blade can cut masonry products because it is efficient. Masonry is a branch of building structures that connect bricks or stones to form a block of concrete.

Adequately, I will take a step forward to discuss what you need to consider to choose the best chop saw.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Chop Saw

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Chop Saw

It can be hard for you to select the perfect chop saw. They don’t come cheap, and you’ll want to be sure you get the one you won’t regret buying.

You need to consider the following factors if you want to purchase a perfect chop saw.

Blade Size

Basically, various blades require different materials. The average size rate of a cut-off saw is 10-14.

Again, to cut thicker objects, a professional will use a chop saw with a blade size of a larger 14-inch.

Furthermore, a cut-off saw with a 10-12 inches blade for residential or DIY use will suit you.

More so, a cut-off saw comes with an abrasive diamond blade or a carbide-tipped blade.

Additionally, you’ll use carbide-tipped blades for solid materials like stainless steel, while abrasive diamond blades are for soft materials like alloy metal.

Also, check the blade for a smoother cut finish and an ideal cleaner for the number of teeth.

Cutting Parameters

A light tool with a cutting parameter of 40mm will be perfect if you want to use your chop saw for minor tasks in your home.

You can purchase the saw with a cutting parameter that ranges from 50mm to 65mm for your heavier projects.

Base Elevation

The elevation of your saw’s base can be affected if your cut-off saw isn’t comfortable and simple for you to use.

Furthermore, when you press down your blade to cut materials, it should not touch the ground because an ideal chop saw should have a tall base.

Motor Strength

If the motor of your chop saw is weak, the sharpest blade can be of no use. Therefore, this tool operates with an electric motor.

More so, to cut thicker materials easily, the blade has a powerful motor of a higher RPM (speed) and the capacity to cut.

Lastly, if you want your saw to go through hard metals, pick a cut-off saw with an operating power of 1100 watts and 15 amperages.

Motor Speed

For safe outcomes, metals should be cut at a low speed, unlike other materials.

Furthermore, for cutting harder materials like steel, the speed level you need is less than 3000 RPM, while the speed range of a cut-off saw’s blade will be 3000-3500 RPM.

Moving forward, I am still considering before acquiring a chop saw.

Storing and Carrying Convenience

Your chop saw’s storage and carrying convenience are the two essential factors to look out for.

The tool’s weight should come first. For you to carry your device easily, the design must be lightweight.

Furthermore, the lockdown mechanism is the second factor. Store your chop saw when the cutting head is locked in a down position.

Lastly, you’ll need to look for a lockdown pin that will hold the head tightly than the chain mechanism where the chain will hold the head down, and there will still be movement.

Safety

For starters, this tool is stronger than other saws. Therefore, it is not the safest saw you’ll find.

Furthermore, a safety hazard can be if you are not careful because a chop saw produces many sparks.

You need to be careful when using this saw, even though the sparks won’t burn your skin. Also, make sure the objects within your reach are not flammable.

Brand

Products with brand names are more expensive than common or nameless ones. But, when it comes to quality and durability, you’ll get the best value when buying from a good brand.

Furthermore, your money will not waste when you purchase products with brand names because they have warranties.

To be more specific, you will see the essential safety tips below.

Basic Safety Tips

When you are using power tools, you must keep yourself safe—knowing the laws of use and why will help you protect yourself when it comes to DIYing.

The blade on your tool is the area you’ll need to pay close attention to. As a result of the speed it is moving, anything that sticks in it will be harmful.

Roll up your sleeves if you’re wearing long sleeves before you begin to work. Put on clothes that fit so they won’t get stuck in the blade if it falls.

Also, remove your dangling necklace or loose bracelet. Finally, tie or pin your hair to avoid accidents if you’re keeping long hair.

Furthermore, when the blade is standing still or when it performs at a fast pace, you’re in control of it, but when it slows down or begins to work, that is the highest risk of this tool.

For safety, make sure you wear safety glasses because the blade is powerful to catch up with wood and throw it at you at half speed.

Additionally, shield your ears with earplugs because power tools are very loud and can damage your hearing.

However, move away from the wood and wait until it gets to full speed. That is when you’ll make contact to keep the saw in your control.

Plus, before you raise it out of the wood, allow the blade to come to a complete stop when you release power once you’re done cutting.

Finally, always turn off your chop saw when you are servicing or not using this tool. I believe with these tips; you can be more careful when using a chop saw.

However, it will also interest you to know the merit and demerit of the chop saw.

Pros And Cons

Pros And Cons of Chop Saw

Not minding that this device is actually a powerful tool that performs smoothly and doesn’t need a coolant to work perfectly, it also has its setback.

Pros

  • The chop saw can cut through anything virtually because it is very powerful.
  • A chop saw can cut a wide range of metals and do it perfectly since it is highly functional.
  • The more prominent brands come with a knee or footswitch that allows you to use your hands for feeding material into the equipment.

Cons

  • The large blade increases the risk of accidents because of its massive power. In addition, feeding material into the saw creates a huge risk.
  • This tool only makes 90 degrees crosscuts. If you want angled cuts, this saw is not an option.

On this ground, for a better choice of the chop saw, the recommended products on amazon can help make a quick decision.

What Is A Chop Saw; My Recommendations

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Amazon.com

If you want to purchase power tools such as a chop saw, I’ll recommend the Porter-Cable.

Also, it gives you an outstanding value for your money, that is why it comes first in my article. You get a 14-inch cutting blade in a Porter Cable since it is affordable.

Furthermore, it comes with a high rotation speed of 3800 RPM because this blade has a 15 amp motor that powers it.

In addition, one of its attributes is an inbuilt spark deflector that shields you from flying sparks while using this chop saw.

Plus, while cutting metal, the steel base keeps this power tool steady. To use it quickly, it gives you a quick-release material clamp.

Best Features

  • An inbuilt spark deflector
  • Rotation speed of 3800 RPM
  • It offers you a quick-release material clamp
  • 14-inch blade size
  • 15 amp motor
  • Heavy-duty steel base

Components

  • Manual
  • Chop Saw
  • Warranty card
  • Cutting Blade
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Image from Amazon

A brand of power tool that offers you all kinds of options is Dewalt. It designs great chop saws like I’m recommending in this article.

This brand gives you a 3-year warranty because of its popularity and reliability. Therefore, your power tool will last for a long duration.

Also, it comes with a 15 amp motor for cutting perfectly, and you also get a 14-inch cutting blade in it.

Furthermore, you can quickly secure your clamp metal materials into this saw because it has a quick lock vise.

Additionally, You can cut metal materials easily at 45 degrees since it comes with a flexible fence.

Plus, you can easily change the blade whenever you need to.

Basic Features

  • For easy use, it comes with an ergonomic handle
  • A 45-degree flexible fence
  • 14-inch blade size
  • 15 amp motor
  • A rotation speed of 4000 RPM
  • Quick-release cutting blade

Components

  • Tool-free flange system
  • Manual
  • Abrasive cutting blade
  • Warranty
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IMG: Amazon

This brand produces a lot of power tools such as saws, sanders, drills, hammers, grinders, blowers, and trimmers.

Also, to give you a stable speed of 3,800 RPM to cut your metals, Makita performs on a powerful 15 amp motor.

Using this saw, you can cut up 5 inches round stock, 4-11/16 inches square tube, and 2-3/4 x 9-1/8 inches rectangular tubing.

Furthermore, you can change the fence up to 45 degrees to get accurate angle cuts.

Additionally, it comes with a flexible spark guard to shield them from falling on your skin.

Plus, it is easy to handle because the saw is lightweight, with only 37 lbs.

Best Features

  • Flexible spark guard
  • A power button that comes with a two-stage lock-off
  • A rotation speed of 3800 RPM
  • 14-inch blade size
  • A powerful motor of 15 amp

Components

  • Abrasive cut-off wheel
  • Cutting blade
  • Socket wrench
  • Manual
  • Warranty card
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www. Amazon

A metal cutting chop saw featuring the greatest cutting capacity. With the 15 amp motor, it can cut your metal sharply without traces.

This chop saw is very cool to touch, and it cuts metals squarely and smoothly.

Meanwhile, it comes in multiple sizes. With this model, you can switch to a bigger size by changing 14 inches for 15 inches to maximize the cutting capabilities.

Also, it can cut metals using a wide range of blades effortlessly.

Basic features

  • 14-inch carbide-tipped blade
  • A premium dry cut saw
  • 45-degree miter saw
  • Quick-release mechanism
  • Accurate and fast clamping.
  • Cast iron vise and fence
  • It is very robust and durable.

Components

  • Blade guard
  • Quick-release vice
  • Chip collection tray
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Pic: Amazon

This is an upgraded version of the steelsaw2 cut-off saw. It cuts metal with minimal heat or sparks using a 15 and 1800-watt amperage motor.

Apparently, this chop saw significantly outperforms abrasive saws and is faster in cutting metals. However, it is equipped with a 14-inch mild steel blade leaving an average long life of 1000 cuts while cutting 2×2 inches of mild steel.

Though this heavy cast aluminum base chop saw is made for industrial purposes. Hence, it is usually cold and doesn’t need coolant to start operating immediately.

However, it is ideal in steel plate, iron angle, square tube, and metal roofing cutting.

Basic Features

  • 0-45 degree miter cuts
  • Chip deflection shield
  • Quick-release vice
  • Chip collection tray

Components

  • 14-inch mild steel cutting blade
  • Clamping handle
  • Safety goggles
  • Earplugs and manual
  • Spare carbon brush
  • Hex wrench
  • V-block

My Conclusion On What Is A Chop Saw

My Conclusion On What Is A Chop Saw

A chop saw and a miter saw have similarities because they come with a circular blade that cuts in a circular motion.

As a result, you may want to use a miter saw as a chop saw. However, as I have shown you in this detailed guide, they are different.

A miter saw is a perfect option for projects on wood, while the chop saw can go through most metals and stone.

Therefore, your project at hand will determine the saw you’ll need.

Now I want to know if you found this PowerVersity guide helpful?

If it is helpful, kindly share your thoughts with the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page.

Finally, you may want to read other articles like this; visit our below pages.

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Akpan Iniobong
Akpan Iniobong
Akpan Iniobong is a Technical Writer for PowerVersity.com. She has a B.A in Religious Studies. She loves hiking, reading, and socializing. In PowerVersity.com, she writes buying guides and product best picks.

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