If you are a professional carpenter, or a woodworking enthusiast regularly building new things in your workshop, one of the many tools that you will find useful for your needs is a chop saw. This is a tool typically used to make straight and accurate cuts, and a different version of these saws, called miter saws, are widely used to make angled cuts. Chop saws are available as different types, such as metal chop saws, abrasive, and wood chop saws. Of these, the best metal chop saw is one that, as the name implies, enables you to cut through metal.
If your work involves dealing with metal quite a lot, then investing in the best metal chop saw would be your best bet. With this saw, you will be able to cut through a wide range of metals quickly and with utmost precision, thereby completing your project efficiently. When we say that a metal chop saw can be used to cut metal, we don’t just mean those thin sheet metals, but actual thick metal pieces, done at ease. The sheer power of these metal chop saws gives them the ability to rip across metals in huge volumes at any given time.
Top 7 Best Metal Chop Saws – Reviews
1. PORTER-CABLE PCE700 Metal Chop Saw
Established in 1906, Porter-Cable is a leading name in the power tools sector, and today the company’s products range from chop saws, circular saws, grinders, hammer drills, to roofing nailers, routers, tile saws, and a whole lot more. The PCE700 is a bestselling metal chop saw from the brand, which is known to be a perfect option for woodworking enthusiasts and entry-level woodworkers who will be dealing mainly with light-duty projects. The saw weighs around 32 pounds, which makes it quite portable and hence, it can be carried around from one workshop to another.
The PCE700 from Porter-Cable is powered by a 15 AMP motor, which can reach a maximum RPM of 3,800. Being able to deliver this much power, you can expect the saw to make precise and clean cuts without damaging the workpiece. The machine is designed with a quick-release clamp, which makes it easy for you to remove and cut material of your choice. The cutting fence in this unit comes with miter adjustment that enables you to make angled cuts up to 45 degrees.
Since the base of the machine is made from heavy-duty steel, it remains stable while in use. This is one of the few machines in the price range that comes with a spark deflector, which keeps your line of sight clear at all times. Furthermore, the spindle lock makes blade changes easy. The product comes backed by a 3-year limited warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
2. Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 Metal Chop Saw
Evolution has more than 20 years of experience in the industrial power tools market, and the company has a great reputation worldwide for its quality products equipped with advanced technology. The EVOSAW380 Metal Cutting Chop Saw from the brand is quite highly-priced when compared to many other models on our list, but this is a machine that is designed to be suitable for carrying out tough, heavy-duty projects in any industrial space, which justifies the pricing. This is a 15-inch dry metal chop saw, weighing 62 pounds, which keeps in on the heavier side of the spectrum, bringing down its compactness and portability. However, considering that this is intended for industrial use, the weight shouldn’t be an issue.
With its 15 AMP/1800 watt motor and the mild steel blade, the machine can make 1000 cuts before requiring blade replacement. The unit is powerful enough to cut through a wide range of materials, including metal roofing, tube, angle iron, square tube, and steel plate. It comes with the adjustable vise, with which you can make cuts between 0° and 45°. The fact that this is a cold cut saw reduces sparks, heat, and burrs, leaving you with a smoothly finished material. On the safety front, you get a chip deflection shield, which basically protects you from stray metal chipping, and to keep your workplace clean, there is a pull-out collection tray, which makes disposing metal chips easy. If there is one prominent drawback to this chop saw, it would probably be the slight vibration you are likely to experience in the handle.
3. DEWALT D28730 Chop Saw For Cutting Metal
Founded in 1922 with a woodworking machine as their first product, DeWalt is now a highly popular brand, with its products being used in different industries for different applications all across the world. With its high quality and durable products, the company still continues to remain a go-to brand for many. The D28730 is a 14-inch chop saw from DeWalt, which, based on its features and specifications, will make an ideal metal cutting saw option for medium to heavy-duty applications. Weighing just 35 pounds, portability and maneuverability wouldn’t be your main concern with this saw.
The saw is powered by a 15 AMP / 2300W motor, which provides overload protection, one of the reasons why this saw can be used on a regular basis and it will still keep working just fine for a long time to come. Regardless of the size of the material you use on this metal chop saw, thanks to the quick-lock vise, you can clamp it easily and quickly. The “D” handle on the machine is ergonomically designed to provide you with a comfortable grip, thus lessening fatigue and increasing productivity. And with the 45° pivoting fence, you can make angle cuts easily and efficiently. This product comes with a 3-year limited warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
4. Makita LC1230 – Best Metal Chop Saw
Makita is another well-known brand in the power tool industry, just like some of the models we have discussed so far. This is also one of the high performance, the heavy-duty metal chop saw models for those who are in need of a commercial large scale performer. This model is powered by a 15A motor, delivering a maximum speed of 1700 RPM. It has a miter gauge adjustment lever for quick adjustments in the range of 0º to 45º. It comes with a 2-finger trigger setup, and this one comes with a lock-off button, which helps prevent the motor from running without knowledge. The depth of cut achievable using the Makita LC1230 is 3-1/2 inches at 45º and 4-1/2 inches at 90º.
Just like some of the chop saws, even this one cuts through different kinds of metals and other materials 4 times faster than your conventional abrasive saw. The cutting material can be retained efficiently using the quick release vise. For added comfort and control over the cutting task, you get a D-shaped handle. A socket wrench to change blades is also provided with the saw. The metal chip tray is provided as standard, so safety and clean workstation are guaranteed. At this price point, it is one of the fully-loaded chop saws models from a reliable brand.
5. DEWALT DW872 Metal Cutting Saw
There is no power equipment product review without including the brand DEWALT, such is the quality and performance on offer from the brand. The DEWALT DW872 model of a chop saw is a versatile tool that lets you cut through different types of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. The 14” 70-tooth carbide tip blade delivers precise and smooth cuts every single time throughout. When you compare this to other metal chop saws, it has the ability to cut 4 or 8 times faster and more precisely than those models, such as the quality on display. As per the brand statement, it has no burr no spark operation, but when cutting through thick steel, you can see some light burr and sparks; however, that should not be of any concern.
The 15A motor delivers a maximum speed of 1300 RPM, which is the norm for most of the metal cutting saws. This particular saw uses a horizontal handle setup, which makes it one of the comfortable and easy to operate models. Just like any other DEWALT power equipment, even this has a great build quality and is highly durable. Metal chip tray does not come as standard, so make sure to have one or buy one along with the saw to keep your workspace clean. Even though the price of the saw is set right, the blades you might need to buy can be expensive. DW872 comes with a limited 3-year manufacturer warranty.
6. Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 Metal Chop Saw
Evolution Power Tools is one of the leaders in power equipment manufacturing and its products are used in hundreds to thousands of workshops worldwide. RAGE2 is one of the best selling metal chop saws models from the brand. This model uses a 14-inch, 36-tooth tungsten carbide tipped blade, which is one of the class-leading blades used to cut metals. The saw is capable of cutting through cold steel sheets of metal without causing any smoke. This saw weighs around 44 pounds and the company guarantees that their cutting technology used in this saw does not deliver any smoke or heat or sparks during operation.
RAGE2 uses a stamped metal base, which gives you added stability and control during operation. The saw uses swivel adjustments, which let you make bevel cuts in the range of 0º to 45º quickly and efficiently. The 15A motor delivers a max no-load speed of 1450 RPM and this saw comes with a limited 3-year warranty provided by the manufacturer. Burr free cutting is something most of us love. The TCT blade can be swapped with a diamond-tipped blade, which should be perfect for cutting through concrete, stone, etc. Metal chip collector tray is missing but this model is considerably cheaper than some of the best selling models.
7. Slugger by FEIN MCCS14 Metal Chop Saw
The Slugger from FEIN is one of the top metal chop saws models in the market. It uses the same conventional low speed, high torque motor mechanism, which most of the metal cutting saws use to achieve smooth and precise cuts. The cutting angle you could achieve using this product starts from 0º and goes all the way up to 45º. The 14-inch blade has a depth of cut range of 4-1/8 inches at 45º and 5-1/8 inches at 90º. The base is made of heavy-duty material, making it one of the sturdy power tools. You can certainly use a different blade for performing special cutting tasks but the stock blade delivers more than enough performance.
Unlike some of the chop saws which have a cooling mechanism to keep the unit from overheating and also to eliminate sparks, this doesn’t have any of that, which you can expect from a metal cutting chop saw at this price point. This might not be the saw for everyday use, even though it is capable of cutting thicker metal sheets. The design and build quality shouts light usage so this is best suited for DIYers and metal cutting enthusiasts. At 54 pounds, it is not the lightest and requires effort to move.
When you want to invest in the best metal chop saw, you cannot just purchase the first saw that you come across. You need to look at the different features that every saw has to offer before choosing the one that you know will be suitable for your needs. Following are some of those important factors you should look at:
As with any other saw, perhaps the most important aspect you should look at in this one too is the blade. A good blade will have the ability to cut through even thicker pieces of metal easily, quickly, and accurately. When it comes to the blades in this saw type, you have two options to choose from: cold saw blade and abrasive saw blade.
Blades in the former category are usually metal toothed, and these blades cut cleaner, faster, and more accurate than what an abrasive saw blade can deliver. Also, cold saw blades can be re-sharpened when they get worn out, whereas abrasive ones will have to be disposed of.
Abrasive saw blades, on the other hand, typically function like a grinder. You will encounter a lot of sparks when using these blades to cut metal, as a result of which the material will remain extremely hot after being cut. It is the exact opposite with a cold saw blade, where there will be no sparks while cutting and the material wouldn’t be hot to touch.
In terms of cost, cold saw blades tend to be pricier than the other, and they are also heavier. Abrasive saws can be a good choice for beginner woodworkers or hobbyists, they are cheaper, and light in weight as well.
Purpose of the Tool
Generally, you can use these chop saws to cut two types of metals: ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The former category is inclusive of cast iron, wrought iron, stainless steel, and carbon steel, all of which are known to be really strong and hence are widely used in construction projects. As a result of their strength, these metals require a saw with high power and extremely durable blades to cut them through.
Non-ferrous metals include tin, zinc, aluminum, copper, and the like, basically, metals that do not require much power from the saw to be ripped apart. These are used in more commonplace applications, such as roofing, piping, etc. Determining your purpose behind the purchase of the saw is crucial, and this requires you to know exactly the types of metals you will be cutting with the saw.
No matter the type of power tool you are looking to buy, its size is a vital factor to be considered, because it is what helps determine if the tool will be suitable to cut the metal size you desire. The saws designed to cut metal are available in numerous sizes – applicable for both light-duty residential applications, with blade sizes up to 12 inches, and industrial use, with blade sizes starting from 14 inches. Obviously, the size of the machine ultimately depends on the size of your woodworking projects and that of the materials.
Power and Performance
Of course, you need to make sure that the model you choose has sufficient power to help you complete your projects, and not to mention, cutting metal does require quite some power. In general, look for a saw that has a minimum power of 15 amps and 1100W. Additionally, what you also need is a machine that runs evenly, where power plays a crucial role once again because insufficient power leads to blade deflection, which in turn prevents you from obtaining desired results.
Getting a durable metal chop saw is again of extreme importance because you want the unit to last long without causing too much trouble. Therefore, look for a model that is built with sturdy materials, from a reliable brand, and comes backed with a warranty.
If you are a professional working in different jobsites at a time, you might want a metal-cutting saw that can carry with you easily. In this case, one of the best options you have is to invest in a cordless model of this saw. However, remember that this is just for portability, and as far as performance goes, corded saws are known to be more powerful than cordless models.
Since you are looking for a chop saw that cuts metal, just bear in mind that you don’t require the fastest of all models. In addition to producing accurate results, using these saws at low speeds also helps ensure your safety during work. In the case of soft metals such as aluminum, the maximum speed measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) that can be reached is 3,500. On the other hand, when it comes to heavy metals, the machine’s cutting speed should be maintained less than 3000 RPM. You can always go through the user’s manual to follow the right cutting speeds for specific metals.
When choosing a saw that chops metal, you should also look for a solid vise, because the primary operation of this component is to lock the machine in place. To make things easy, there are models that come with a quick-lock or quick release feature, which can be done in no time and improves overall productivity.
Yes, these saws are designed to make straight, accurate cuts. But, it would still be a nice addition to choose a model that can also make angled cuts. Keep in mind that most models do not allow you to do the same; but, if you would like to have some flexibility with your saw, you can look for a model with this feature. Some models come with tilt capabilities as well as adjustable miter gauges, which enable you to make cuts to reach up to 45o.
This is more or less a standard feature you will come across in most of these chop saw models used for cutting metal, and many also offer adjustable spark deflectors. As the name implies, this component basically deflects sparks produced by the machine away from you, anyone around the machine, and also the materials surrounding it.
Another important but often ignored aspect to look for when buying a metal chop saw is the machine’s base elevation. As it is, you need to make sure that the unit you purchase has a lot of room at the base, giving it plenty of elevation. This prevents the machine from getting into contact with the table you are using it on or the ground during or after the metal cutting process. Any good quality machine from a trustworthy brand will be designed in such a way that the blade doesn’t touch the ground even when it is completely recessed.
As we constantly emphasize, wearing proper safety or protective gear, such as hearing protection, respiratory protection, safety goggles, etc., when handling a power tool such as this one is highly crucial, and as such, you should look at the different safety features equipped in a saw before buying it. Some features you can expect are an eye protection plate, trigger stops, overheat shutoff, and a blade guard.
A product’s warranty is something that makes buyers believe in its quality and durability and decides the trustworthiness of the product’s manufacturer as well. In general, most of these saws come backed with a 3-year warranty.
Metal chop saws, similar to any other saw, are a highly invaluable tool for a wide range of woodworking projects. Whether you are looking to renovate certain parts of your home or carrying out some regular woodworking tasks, one of these saws will come in handy. The tool is capable of maintaining the right speed while cutting and almost always delivers clean and precise cuts.
With a vast array of offerings in the market, finding one that suits your metal cutting requirements is always difficult. Perhaps the most important thing to remember here is that each model will be suitable for specific applications and materials, and not to forget, you should also be aware of your project demands before making your choice. Finally, our list of reviews of the top picks out there will help you shortlist a few and finally choose one.