A chop saw also known as cut-off or abrasive saw is easy to use the cutting equipment. It is used to finely cut hard materials such as metals, wood, plastic, etc. They are best known for their accuracy, precision, and speed. This mechanical device has got a cutting wheel and motor installed to a fulcrum. The motor provides power to the cutting disc which in turn produces strong friction when it rotates rapidly on its axis.
Since its very launch, chop saws are highly in demand especially in the wood cutting and construction business. It has made work for the labor force much easier plus it saves a lot of time. It will cut almost anything and everything (within a particular size range) that you put on it with absolute fineness.
Guide to Buy Best Chop Saw
Below is a very informative buying guide framed to help you purchase the best chop saw. Here are some of the basic things everyone must know about chop saws.
Metal Chop Saws
Metal chop saws have the strongest blades because they not only can cut plastic and wood but it has the efficiency to cut metals like steel. It has a spring loaded axle mounted to a metal surface or which is generally known as the metal table. It has a cutting wheel which is covered with a metal guard to ensure safety.
It only makes 90-degree cuts. The blades with which they are equipped with are carbide tipped blades. These blades make sharp and fine cuts. It not only cuts smoothly but also reduces waste buildup. Cutting metals require a lot amount of mechanical power and friction. Because of this reason, the cutting disc and the motor heats up after some time. For consumer woodworking blades having a diameter of 14 inches is generally used and for industrial purpose blades of 16 inches diameter is used.
Metal chops after a certain amount of usage and time wear down and depreciate. It is recommended to consider maximum cutting capacity and the task that the saw will be put to before making a purchase.
Wood Chop Saws
Miter saws are generally wood chopping saws. They make a very quick and precise cut. Compound miter saw that is one of the two types of miter saw is capable of fine slant edges.
The blade type used in wood chop saw can vary in accordance with the size of the wood to be cut. Usually, a wood chop has a blade having a diameter of 8.5-12 inches. It can be used for cutting different types of wood some of which are lumber, plywood, and hardwood.
Mini Chop Saws
Mini chops as the name suggests are smaller in size. These are very much suitable for light duty tasks. Mini chops being small and lightweight are easy to carry around. They have the capacity to cut both metal and non-metal. They have an easy blade replacement procedure. They also have a soft start and it gradually gains pace.
Best Metal Cutting Chop Saw on the Market
PORTER-CABLE PC14CTSD 14-Inch Chop Saw
- 15 Amp, 3,800 RPM motor with replaceable brushes
- Quick-release material clamp
- Cutting fence with miter adjustment
- Heavy duty steel base for stability
Features and Specifications
Porter-cable is an excellent chop saw which has a cutting disc of 14-inch diameter and the diameter of the axle is 1 inch. It is equipped with spindle lock which makes it very easy to replace the cutting blade. The porter cable chop saw comes with the see-through safety shield that safeguards the user from debris produced while cutting which can cause injury to the operator.
The cutting wheel is strong enough to cut hard metals with absolute exactness. Also, the brushes of the motor help in generating required power. It can also be adjusted at an angle of 45 degrees to create angular cuts. This saw is best suitable for carpenters, contractors and fence builders.
Pros and Cons
Everything has its pros and cons and so does this product.
The D-shape handle provides utmost comfort and the quick release material clamp helps in easy material cutting and debris removal. Also, the brush attached to the motors and the ball bearings promotes the durability of the product. The protective see-through shield, the blade guard, and the spark deflector ensure utmost security. The porter-cable PC14CTSD chop saw allows making angular cuts of 45 degrees. The surface on which the saw rests is very stable and durable. Also, it is easily portable.
However, it has some cons as well. The cutting speed is a little slow and you sometimes may find difficulty in cutting large and thick pieces. On heating up, it stops cutting also the mounting holes provided are a bit less. If the blade was of a superior quality, this product could have been a five star.
What Is the Difference Between Chop Saw and Miter Saw
Chop saw and the miter saw is very much alike. A miter saw can however sometimes be used as a chop saw but a chop saw can never be used as a miter saw. The few basic grounds of differences are:
The cutting wheel in a chop saw is set at an angle of 90 degrees in respect to the table thus it can cut only at a 90 degree angle. Whereas, the axis of a miter saw is a pivot and it allows the cutting disc to rotate and make angular cuts.
Miter saw being of two different types namely standard and compound. The former is sometimes considered to be same as the chop saw because both can cut only at an angle of 90 degrees.
Miter saw is not installed with any motor. Its blade is made to function by applying manual labor. A chop saw is installed with a motor that supplies power to its cutting disc and thus it does not require any human force to be exerted over it.
There can be two types of tasks. This involves small wood cutting tasks and large material cutting tasks. The former will require miter saw and the latter will require a chop saw.
When fine and accurate cuts are needed, one should go for the miter saw and when large block are to be cut, a chop saw should be preferred. Also, if for example, the purpose is to cut window, doors, frames etc. then miter saw should be opted and in the case where materials like steel are to be cut chop saw should be given priority.
Chop saws can be of great use for people indulged in cutting activities and also for DIY kind of people. The only thing required is to make an appropriate choice considering your need, budget, purpose and obvious skills. There are many chop saws being offered with a great variety of features that makes the whole cutting process a much easier and comfortable job. You get quickness, preciseness, safety, durability and everything you desire for.