When most people think of chop saws, the first thing that springs to their mind are compound miter saws and it’s an understandable because these two tools are extremely similar in design and function. However, these are two different tools and are used for different things. Miter saws are designed to deliver angled cuts, but they have less power than powerful chop saws which can power through just about anything with the right blade.
To further highlight the differences between these two tools, we’ve decided to list some of the best chop saws currently available. The following tools have the power and performance a person should expect from one of these tools and will make an excellent addition to any shop. This is especially true if the shop where it’s used does a lot of metal work.
Best Chop Saws – Top List
10Evolution Power Tool RAGE4 7.25-Inch
Some workshops need a saw which can be a jack-of-all-trades; Meaning a saw that’s capable of cutting through just about anything that needs to be cut through. Fortunately, this tool is such a product. It’s capable of cutting through all kinds of different materials including all types of different metal. It’s designed to provide more cuts than abrasive saws and is made to hold up to heavy use. It can be used to cut steel, without the further application of heat and it’s a lot easier to use than a hacksaw. And probably best of all, this saw is capable of doing cuts without producing a whole lot of sparks.
9Porter Cable PC14CTSD 14-Inch
This saw features a 15-Amp motor that’s not only designed with a high-quality ball bearing design but is also designed with replaceable motor brushes. This design allows this saw to hold up to even the toughest of workshop conditions. Its motor produces 3,800 RPM, and its blade has a 14-inch capacity, so it can handle bigger jobs easy than smaller sized saws. And although it’s not specifically a miter saw, it is capable of cutting 45-degree angles thanks to it cutting fence with miter adjustment. The last two features found on this saw include its easy-to-use handle design and its quick-release material clamp; both of which make the saw very easy to use.
8Dewalt D28715 14-Inch
The power of this Dewalt saw really begins and ends with its construction, particularly its extra-wide steel base. This saw’s base is not only designed using high-quality solid steel but is pre-drilled with holes so the operator can bold it down to virtually any workbench for stability and performance. The next thing that makes this tool a great one for just about any job is this tool’s powerful 15-Amp motor that can push the blade to high-performance cuts and do it without overheating. And since it has a quick-change blade, the operator can change blades without having to run for a wrench.
7Proxxon KGS 80 Micro
Although chop saws with 14-inch or 15-inch blades are wonderful for tough or high-capacity jobs, the truth of the matter is that not everyone needs that kind of raw power. And fortunately, there’s an option for those people who need a saw for smaller projects. This saw only has a 3-1/8-inch 24-tooth carbide tipped blade that can be used to cut through PVC, plastic, and non-ferrous metals thanks to its 4,000 RPM motor. It also delivers to the operator 45-degree miter cuts in both directions and positive stops at 15-degree intervals. All of which makes it a pretty powerful little saw for small jobs.
6Dewalt DW872 14-Inch
Sometimes when it comes to these types of saws, versatility trumps power but this tool is capable of delivering both. It’s a multi-cutter saw that’s capable of cutting through all different types of metals, including both ferrous and non-ferrous ones. It’s designed to cut up to four times faster than conventional chop saws and up to eight times faster than portable band saws on certain materials. Its 15-Amp motor delivers 4 horses of power, and it also comes equipped with a 45-degree adjustable fence for accurate angle cuts. And since it also has a quick-lock vise, the operator can move from one project to the next.
5MK Morse 14-Inch CSM14MB
Regardless of whether the operator wants to cut angled iron, metal tubing, conduits or pipe, this saw is ready to deliver a stable performance for each cut. It’s powered by a 1,300 RPM motor that drives the 14-inch blade that produces a low-speed but high torque cut that’s good for multiple applications. Its blade has 72-teeth on it and is carbide tipped so that it doesn’t grind the metal but cleanly slices through it. This tool also has a safety guard and an onboard change wrench that allows the blade to be quickly changed when needed and prevents the wrench from becoming lost.
4Evolution Power Tools 15-Inch EVOSAW380
Equipped with a 14-inch mild-steel cutting blade and a 1,800-Watt motor, this chop saw is capable of performing cold cuts while producing very little heat and without all of the burrs created by other saws. This tool has a heavy-duty aluminum base for stability and outperforms many comparable abrasive saws currently available. This makes this a great saw for industrial metal cutting or for even use around the DIY metal shop. And unlike similar saws, this one doesn’t require coolant while it’s cutting through mild steel or other metal materials. It’s just a dependable saw that’s capable of proving its value in any metal shop.
3Dewalt D28710 14-Inch
This abrasive chop saw has a 15-Amp 4-HP motor that not only provides power but also provides great performance. This motor is also equipped with overload protection, so it can go toe-to-toe with some of the bigger saws available today and provide the operator with the power they need. And for added convenience, this tool has an onboard wheel change wrench, so its always ready for wheel changes. What really makes this tool easy to use, however, is its D-handle design that helps to reduce the operator’s hand fatigue and improves tool control. It’s a saw that’s powerful, easy-to-use and provides repeated performance.
2Porter Cable 14-Inch PCE700
A number of different features come together in this saw to ensure that it’s not just another middle-of-the-road chop saw. It has a 15-Amp motor that delivers 3,800 RPM of power and has replaceable brushes for added durability. This saw features a 14-inch blade that can cut through a variety of materials and it’s equipped with a spark deflector to protect the operator from stray sparks. Since it’s mounted on a heavy-duty base, it’s also extremely stable, which makes for more worry-free cuts. And finally, this saw is equipped with a convenient spindle lock that makes blade changes fast and easy.
1Makita 12-Inch LC1230
Cutting through angle iron, conduit, tubing and through light piping is quite easy thanks to this powerful saw. It features a 15-Amp motor and a 12-inch metal cutting blade that can make short work of tough projects. It’s also equipped with a few other features which make it handy to use. Some of the additional features found on this tool include a large cast aluminum base, a D-shaped handle for easy gripping, a lock-off button that prevents the chop saw from being accidentally started, a tool-less guide plate for 0 to 45-degree miter cuts, a quick-release vise and finally, onboard socket wrench storage for quick blade changes.
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Chop Saw Guide
It doesn’t matter what you need it for, a quality chop saw can help make your home renovation or metalwork a lot easier. They are popular because of the number of materials they can be used with so whether you are working with metal, wood or even plastic it should be up to the task.
This is only going to be possible if you find a quality chop saw as the sub-par products have their limitations. If you are looking for your first one, or just want an idea of what makes a good chop saw so effective, we have created the following guide.
What To Look For In A Chop Saw
- Power – The more amps the chop saw has behind it the better the level of power it can omit. This helps it to make light work of tough materials and cut with smooth precision. Look for a motor with at least 15 amps to get the job done.
- Stand – If you are using the chop saw for heavy-duty work or are taking it from place to place a stand is an important feature. Not all products give you this but to have a tailor-made space to work on. This increases stability and in turn, accuracy.
- Adjustable Fence – This allows you to cut at different angles and encourages accuracy. Without it, you will find it difficult to create with precision.
- Spark Deflector – When working with metals and abrasive blades expect sparks to be flying off the machine. A deflector helps to contain the sparks so they become less of a nuisance. Always wear safety goggles no matter what type of material you are cutting.
- Cord Length – This might be low on your list of considerations but some chop saws come with short cords that restrict the area that they can be used within. Anything six-foot and under is going to mean you have to stay close to a socket so try and find a product that gives you more room.
- Safety Features – Your safety starts with wearing sensible and not loose-fitting clothing as well as protective goggles throughout but some products give you additional safety features. Usually, this will be in the form of a gate to protect you from sparks or a blade guard.
- Vibration – As with any power tool, there is going to be a level of noise and vibration but some products are better at controlling it. This doesn’t mean you have to compromise on power and performance but it is capable of but the lower the amount of vibration, the more comfortable you will be and the easier it is to cut accurately.
- Value – There is no point in buying a professional level chop saw if you aren’t going to be using it as often or the added power is unnecessary for the tasks you will be using it for. Reducing the power and features can save you money.
- Dust Collector – Sawdust, chips, and debris need to go somewhere so why not buy a chop saw with a collector tray? This keeps the work area clean and can save you time on pushing a broom around the workshop.
Types of Chop Saw
The list isn’t long but here are the two main types of chop saw.
- Metal Chop Saw – As the name might suggest the limitations of this type is that it is designed to work exclusively with metal. Any welder or metal-worker should have this at their disposal. With extra torque than the other options it is better for using at a slower pace making it not as suitable for soft materials.
- Multipurpose Chop Saw – If you are working with different materials, this chop saw can make your life a lot easier. Because it has variable speeds it can work both fast and slow so it is suitable for hard and soft materials. Great on construction sites and in places where there is a wide array of materials that need cutting it is all down to the blade. You can use the one that comes as standard although it is always best to get one that is tailored towards certain materials.
Types of Chop Saw Blades
There are two main types of blades that you will use with a chop saw and they each have their benefits for different types of work.
- Cold Saw Blade – Using less friction they can be sharpened and are faster at cutting. Better for leaving a smooth surface, cold saw blades are not as well suited to harder materials like stainless steel but are available in both metal chop saw and multipurpose chop saw varieties.
- Abrasive Blade – One thing you will notice with abrasive blades is that they will leave the material very hot after cutting and produce a lot of sparks whilst doing so. You can’t sharpen these blades so they tend to be thrown away before too long but are often used for grinding.