Best Chop Saws
Steel is thick, and cutting it is difficult. And we’ve tried almost any weapon possible, from rotating saws, cold chisels, band saws, hack saws, torches, jigsaws, Chop Saws and cold saw, an industrial unit. They don’t make cutting steel as simple as cutting wood, but they certainly make it simpler than it would be otherwise. Besides, we enjoy the sound of sparks, smoke, and freshly cut steel ringing on the shop floor. Take a look at some purchasing tips and stuff to consider if you’re in the market, then scroll down to see our picks for the top five.
It consists of a large motor that transmits torque to the abrasive wheel or disk through a series of gears. The machine’s head (which includes the motor-gear assembly, handle, and wheel) pivots down into the cut. A vise inserted into the saw’s base holds the metal in place. The disk is very small, and it wears away steadily as it slices into the steel, similar to a grinding wheel. This is why these saws produce such massive spark plumes. Pay attention to the spark pattern as you’re setting up the saw and doing the first test cuts. If a lot of the sparks are coming back at you, change the deflector to guide the sparks where you want them to go.
How We Conducted Our Research
On each Best Chop Saws, we first installed an industrial-grade Norton Gemini Rapid Cut abrasive wheel. It’s a fine, high-quality wheel that provided us with a stable platform on which to assess the saws’ other components and qualities equally. We then performed a test cut into a steel pipe with an 18-inch wall thickness and, if possible, modified the spark deflector. Following that, we timed another cut into the tubing. Other aspects of these saws that we tested along the way included how well their vises performed, how much friction they made, and the overall quality of the unit, also known as fit and finish. While both of the saws cut metal well, we found some differences in ease of use. Here’s what we discovered.
Vise capacity: 9 3⁄8 in.
Pipe-cut time: 11.14 sec
There’s a lot to like about this DeWalt, including the fact that it was the smoothest cutter in the test despite not being the fastest. We dove into the steel and pushed our way through before the offcut gave way. Its tool-free blade turning was also a plus, as it was the only one of the five saws with that option. It has a better return than the horizontal spring on the other saws, and it doesn’t sound as jerky.
Vise capacity: 8 3⁄4 in.
Pipe-cut time: 13 sec
This Bosch saw has a long and illustrious history; the business has been selling it for at least ten years. We believe the saw’s slow-but-steady cut represents an institutional philosophy of putting less pressure on both the saw and the customer in order to improve both’s longevity. The Bosch also has a wheel cover that is easier to cut than the other saws and allows for easier access to the spindle bolt in the middle of the wheel. When you take the cover off the Bosch and some of the others, you’ll wonder how a company could forget such a simple detail. Despite our disdain for the straight cantilevered handle, we admire the Bosch’s large top carrying handle, which makes it the most compact saw in this test.
Metabo HPT CC14SFS
Vise capacity: 11 7⁄8 in.
Pipe-cut time: 10 sec
The CC14SFS from Metabo HPT is a swift cutter with the largest vise in the test. The vise also gets bonus points for providing a quick-lock and quick-release option, which allows you to raise the jaw without having to turn it all the way up. The Metabo straight-handle saw had the most comfortable configuration and the best geometry for up-and-down travel of the straight-handle saws in this test.