So what is the best metal chop saw on the market today? Like all good power tools, there are many options available to the regular buyer. Your own requirements are also a big factor on the choice that you make.
In this article we will take a close look at 5 top rated metal chop saws you can buy. For our findings at a glance just check out the table below.
For our in depth chop saw buyer’s guide and full reviews of each of our picks, keep on reading
Best Metal Chop Saws
|DEWALT DW872 Multi-Cutter Chop Saw
|14 Inch Blade 15amp, 5.3 HP Motor
|Makita LC1230 MetalCutting Saw
|12 Inch Blade 15amp Motor
|Milwaukee Abrasive Chop Saw
|14 Inch Blade 15amp, 4 HP Motor
|DEWALT D28715 Quick Change Chop Saw
|14 Inch Blade 15amp, 5.5 HP Motor
|Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 Steel Cutting Chop Saw
|15 Inch Blade 15amp Motor
Metal Chop Saw Buyer’s Guide
What is a chop saw
Despite the fact most of you will know what a chop saw is, we will start with a couple of quick clarifications.
As you can see from the image above, a chop saw is very similar to a circular saw. The saw is mounted on a pivot arm that is anchored to a metal base.
One issue to get your head around is terminology. There are a few different names for a chop saw, with the variation stemming from the type of material you wish to cut.
A wood cutting chop saw is often referred to as a miter saw. A metal cutting chop saw goes by the name of metal chop saw, abrasive cutting saw or a cut-off saw.
The Metal Chop saw
For the purposes of this article we are going to be covering metal chop saws. The beauty of the metal chop saw is that it is able to make 90-degree and angled cuts quickly and easily.
We will discuss chop saw blades in greater detail below, however the most common blade you will find on one of these tools is the composite carbide-tipped disc.
They are popular because the blade is able to grind away at the material with clean cuts and minimum debris.
Metal chop saws are also designed in a way that minimizes heat build up and flying splinters, (a potentially dangerous by product of when cutting metal).
What to look for when buying a metal chop saw
Image Credit: MilwaukeeTool.com
If you are in the market for buying a metal chop saw there are a number of issues you should bare in mind.
What will you be using it for?
Deciding what you will be using your chop saw for is clearly the first step. If you’re going to be doing a lot of woodcutting, then a miter saw is the best choice for you, (and you can probably finish reading this article here).
However, if you have decided on a metal chop saw, you can take this further by considering the types of metal work you will be doing.
Metal chop saws can be used on jobs such as metal studwork, cable conduit and plumbing pipes. For light work such as this a mini chop saw is likely to suffice.
However, if you are going to be cutting tougher metal materials or will be using the saw for professional purposes, a more powerful tool should be considered.
Maximum Cutting Capacity
Image Credit: DeWalt.com
Following on from the above point. Once you have decided on the main use for your chop saw, you can begin to look at cutting capacity.
When researching potential saws to buy, look at specifications such as maximum capacity for tubing, squares, and rectangles.
You will want to know that the model is versatile enough to take the blades you need.
We mentioned versatility above. The best metal chop saws have that in spade.
One feature that you will want on your saw is an adjustable angle fence. This makes the tool versatile enough to position workpieces at various angles.
The fence should have the ability to be set at precise angles as well as locked off at 90 degrees.
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Easy Vise Adjustment
The majority of metal chop saws on the market today feature a spring-loaded pivot arm. This is attached to the main saw platform.
The saw will also have an angle plate that holds the workpiece at the desired angle. The vise part is the mechanism that locks the material in place, ready for the cut.
Easy adjustment on the vise is very important for efficient, accurate work. Look for saws that allow for fast adjustment and the capacity to hold a range of material sizes. This will definitely save you time in the long run.
Easy Blade Change
Image Credit: ToolBank.com
Along with easy vise adjustment, you will also want fast and easy blade changes. This is especially true for professional work where you may need to change blades in the middle of a job.
Look for specifications that state quick blade replacement features.
A soft start feature is a nice addition to your saw. By having the ability to ramp up the motor speed upon startup, you will be able to save strain on the motor and gearing system by limiting that initial force.
Look out for chop saws that have a blade guard above the cutting disc. This guard is simply raised to expose the blade.
It is likely that your chosen model will have a hood or splash guard. This is an important requirement that acts as a spark deflector.
The best metal chop saws have an adjustable spark guard that can be altered or replaced depending on the work taking place. Remember, safety first when using a metal chop saw.
Whether you are a pro user, needing to take the saw from job to job, or need a chop saw for DIY work at home – portability is a factor you should consider.
Many metal chop saws have built in handles for easy portability. Some will also have lock-down pins to assist trouble-free transportation.
Take a look at the specifications regarding this to ensure you have a tool that easy enough to move and carry.
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A word about metal chop saw blades
Image Credit: Evolutionpowertools.com
It goes without saying that the blade on a metal chop saw is very important. Cutting metal is a tough task and you will get through those blades pretty quickly.
What you have to be aware of is the fact different discs are used for different jobs. Where as one type of blade is used to cut steel, you will need another type to chop through nonferrous metals. (That’s why a quick release blade system is worth considering).
Let’s take a closer look.
Steel Cutting Blades
Steel cutting blades use special carbide tips with narrow kerfs. They provide a precise cut and will have teeth ranging from 24 to 48 per blade.
The blades will also be labelled stating the rpm tolerance. A standard steel-cutting blade can generally be used from between 6,000 and 7,500 rpm. It is important to use the correct blade for the job in hand.
Blades running at the above speed are designed to cut light sheet metal and thin-wall pipes. They can also be used for cutting steel studs.
Heavy-duty blades can run at slower speeds, (2,500 rpms or less). These are designed to cut thick, denser materials. Harder metal requires slower speed operation in order to prevent the blade from over heating.
Non-ferrous metal blades
Nonferrous metals cutting blades have 70 to 80 teeth per blade. They generally cost less than carbide tips to buy.
As the name suggests, these blades are designed to cut nonferrous metals such as brass, copper, and plastics. They are also suitable for aluminium cutting.
You will find these blades in two main categories:
- 7,500-rpm versions for thinner materials
- 2,500-rpm versions for heavy-duty work requiring a slower cut
As with the carbide blades, the slower the cut, the less chance you have of the blade overheating.
Related Post: How to safely use a metal chop saw
Top 5 Metal Chop Saw Reviews
Our top pick metal chop saw is actually classed as a multi-cutter saw. As the name suggests, this is an extremely versatile tool, built like a chop saw, but able to cut a wide range of materials.
The Dewalt DW872 is able to cut ferrous and non-ferrous metals and has enough power under the hood (and cutting depth capacity) to handle a range of workpieces.
Whether its 5-inch piping or a 2-9/16-inch solid steel bar, the Dewalt is up to the task.
A 15 amp, 5.3-horsepower motor forms the heart of the tool and has a 1,300 RPM no-load speed.
The specifications and performance that Dewalt state the DW872 is capable of is rather impressive too.
“Designed to outperform chop saws by 4 times and portable band saws by 8 times” you can see the benefits of opting for a multi-cutting tool, especially if you are after a machine for professional use.
The DW872 has an angle iron of 2-by-1/4-inches. With its 14 inch, 70-tooth carbide blade, the tool is constructed to reliably maintain a steady blade penetration throughout the duration of the cut.
The blade is of high quality too. The carbide teeth deliver fast, precise and close to burr-free cuts
We’ve already mentioned the amount of versatility the DW872 offers. The multi-cutter features a specially designed fence with the ability to easily adapt through 45 degrees. Sizable angles can be cut efficiently and with precision.
Holding the work piece cutting material is simple too. The DW872 features a quick grip vise that is able to handle a wide range of applications.
The perpendicular clamping system is a great addition. Add that to the professional standard, broad and sturdy steel base and you have a tool capable of quality results.
For further pro-style use, the base features 4 pre-drilled holes for bolting. It is also equipped to weld jigs or stops to itself.
Other great features include a spindle lock for speedy wheel replacement. There is also a built-in wheel change wrench to lessen the chance of misplacement.
Safety is a bid deal when cutting metal with a sharp spinning blade. The Dewalt has a cutting wheel guard of course.
However, this has been cleverly designed to rapidly retract, enabling the operator to view the cut line while still shielding them from sparks and debris using the chip deflector.
Ergonomics have been considered too. A parallel handle allows you to hold your wrist in a comfortable position as you work. There is also a tough, top metal handle designed for use during transportation.
Portability is also a real plus point of the DW872. A chainless lock down pin ensures that the saw head remains fastened during transit.
Finally, there is the excellent Dewalt 3 year limited warranty. The brand is one of the best know in the world when it comes to power tools.
With the warranty you have the piece of mind that your too is covered for any defects due to faulty materials or workmanship). DEWALT also throw is a one-year free service contract, which sees the company stepping up to maintain the tool and replace any worn parts caused by normal use – all free of charge.
DEWALT DW872 14-inch multi-cutter saw; 14-inch carbide-tipped blade; wrench; vertical clamp; operating instructions.
- AMPS 15.0 AMPS
- MAX CAPACITY (RECTANGULAR) 6-1/2″ X 4-1/2 IN
- MAX CAPACITY (ROUND) 5-3/16 IN
- NO LOAD SPEED 1,300 RPM
- POWER TOOL TYPE CORDED
- QUICK LOCK VISE YES
- SPINDLE LOCK YES
- TOOL LENGTH 21 IN
- TOOL WEIGHT 47.0 LBS
- WHEEL ARBOR 1 IN
- WHEEL DIAMETER 14 IN
Pros of the Dewalt DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw
- Powerful 15 amp, 5.3-horsepower motor
- Cuts 4 times faster than chop saws, 8 times faster than portable band saws
- The 2-inch by 2-inch by 1/4-inch angle iron
- 14-inch 70-tooth carbide tipped blade – with specially designed carbide teeth
- close grip vise and perpendicular clamping system
- professional standard, broad and sturdy steel base
- Some users have experienced some issues with the vise not holding materials firmly enough, (this is a rare customer complaint however).
The Dewalt DW872 is a versatile and powerful multi-cutting saw that takes the job of the metal chop saw and takes it one step further. Features abound, and able to deal with a wide range of applications, it is difficult to fault this tool. That’s why it received our top pick.
2. Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw
The Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw doesn’t have the blade size of our top pick Dewalt, however for some not looking for the capacity of the DW872, the Makita could well be a good option.
The tool is capable of cutting a wide range of materials, including pipe, angle iron, conduit, and more. Makita have opted for a 15amp motor with a delivery speed capability of 1,300 RPM.
The adequate cutting capacity range comes in at 4-1/2 inches at 90 degrees to 3-1/2 inches at 45 degrees.
The saw uses a carbide-tipped blade that is engineered to cut cleanly and accurately. Virtual burr-free results are achievable, minimising overall time it takes to complete jobs.
A tool-less, quick release guide plate offers precision adjustments, and can be manipulated from 0 degrees to 45 degrees for simple and efficient cutting.
A quick release vise holds your materials in place as you work. Fast repeated cut-offs can also be achieved with ease.
A supplied socket wrench sits on the base ready for convenient blade changes.
The machine also includes a collection tray ready for those shavings as the fall from the work-piece.
Other great features on the LC1230 include the D-shaped handle with a two-finger trigger. This incorporates a lock-off button that is designed to prevent any accidental start-ups.
- (1) Safety Goggles (191686-2)
- Blade Diameter :12″
- Arbor :1″
- Max. Cutting Capacity (at 90°) :4-1/2″
- Max. Cutting Capacity (at 45°) :3-1/2″
- No Load Speed :1,300 RPM
- AMPS :15
- Overall Length :20-1/4″
- Net Weight :42.5 lbs.
- Max. Cutting Capacity at 90° (aluminum) :4-1/2″
- Max. Cutting Capacity at 90° (mild steel) :4-1/2″
- Max. no load speed :1,300 RPM
- Power Type :Corded
- Shipping Weight :50.1 lbs.
Pros of the Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw
- Powerful 15 amp motor @ 120 volts
- Engineered, long lasting, carbide toothed blade
- D-shape handle for easy gripping
- Lock-off button prevents accidental starting
- tool-less, quick release guide plate offers
- Efficient shavings collection tray
- Doesn’t have the cutting capacity of our top pick Dewalt
The Makita is a great home workshop metal chop saw. Versatile and powerful enough to tackle a number of projects, many users will not be disappointed.
However, if you are looking for more tougher use application as well as regular professional level use, the Dewalt DW872 or Milwaukee (reviewed below) would be a better choice.Enter your text here…
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3. Milwaukee 14-inch Abrasive Chop Saw
The Milwaukee 6177-20 14″ Abrasive Chop Saw is another tool that packs a punch in the power department.
Under the hood is a 15 Amp, 4.0 maximum horsepower motor, designed with durability and performance in mind.
The speed the Milwaukee is capable of is definitely impressive, with RPMs coming at 3900 on the top end. (Torque is good on the bottom end too).
The power of the 6177-20 allows for fast and efficient cutting on tough materials. The tool has the capability to make its way through drywall track in bundles, angle iron, rebar, conduit, pipe and tubing, all up to a 5 inch maximum capacity.
In short, like the top pick Dewalt DW872 the saw provides the strength that everyone from the home metal worker to professional tradesman will need.
Like all good chop saws, Milwaukee have fitted the 6177-20 with a 45 degree capacity. The easily adjustable fence allows for fast, precision cuts.
The quick adjust vise clamp does exactly what it is designed to do; manipulating the tool efficiently makes cutting different material sizes, fast and painless.
Easy blade changes also contribute to the efficiency of your work methods. The large spindle lock button is easy to use and makes changing your blades a breeze.
Finally, for those requiring good portability from their chop saw, the Milwaukee utilises a durable light-weight design that allows for stress free transportation.
- (1) Abrasive Wheel
- (1) Hex Wrench
- (1) Vise
|No Load RPM
|4-5/8 X 4-5/8″
|Maximum Bevel Capacity
Pros of the Milwaukee 14-inch Abrasive Chop Saw
- Easy and efficient operation
- Powerful 15 amp, 4 horse power motor with a top speed of 3,500 RPMs
- Durable yet lightweight design for easy portability
- Large 5 inch Cutting Capacity: Provides versatility on a wide range of materials
- Build quality isn’t as robust as the top pick Dewalt DW872
The Milwaukee 14 inch abrasive chop saw is a tool that will suit those looking for power on a wide range of metal cutting tasks.
However, in our opinion it doesn’t meet the level of performance as the DW872.
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4. DEWALT D28715 14-Inch Quick-Change Chop Saw
Another Dewalt makes our top 5 list. The D28715, 14 inch (quick change) chop saw has similar specs to our number 1.
Featuring quick-change keyless wheel changes the tool is a very good option for those requiring fast crosscut operational ability.
Under the hood Dewalt have opted for a 15 amp, 5.5-horsepower motor. This has an impressive 4,000 rpms top end no load speed. It also has built in load protection.
The DW28715 features a 14-inch wheel. Armed with this you will be able to tackle handle rounds that measure 5 inches across. Rectangular materials as large as 4-1/2 by 6-1/2 inches can also be cut.
The quick-lock vise is able to grip a wide range of materials with ease, while at the same time allowing for faster transitions and increased efficiency.
90-degree cuts are easily achieved, the 45-degree pivoting fence stepping in to take care of things there.
Like the DW872, the tool uses a D-shaped handle enabling you to position your hand comfortably. A less tired hand is able to control the work with greater precision and create better results.
The saw also sports a similar base to our top pick. The steel construction allows for the welding of jigs or stops.
For safety there’s a durable adjustable spark guard.
Portability is good too. The saw measures in at 21 inches long and weighs only 39 pounds. An integrated top handle aids transportation.
Furthermore, to ensure that the saw head locks into place while on the move, a heavy-duty lock-down pin fits into place without the use of a chain.
Finally, there is that DEWALT warranty package. The tool comes with a three-year limited warranty, a one-year free service contract, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
- D28715 DEWALT 14-Inch Chop Saw
- 14-inch abrasive wheel
- fence wrench
- tool-free flange system.
- AMPS 15 AMPS
- BLADE CHANGE QUIK-CHANGE™
- HORSEPOWER 5.5 HP
- MAX CAPACITY (RECTANGULAR) 4-1/2 X 6-1/2 IN
- MAX CAPACITY (ROUND) 5 IN
- NO LOAD SPEED 4,000 RPM
- POWER TOOL TYPE CORDED
- QUICK LOCK VISE YES
- TOOL LENGTH 21 IN
- TOOL WEIGHT 39.0 LBS
- WHEEL ARBOR 1 IN
- WHEEL DIAMETER 14 IN
Pros of the D28715 DEWALT 14-Inch Chop Saw
- Powerful 15 amp motor – no-load speed of 4,000 rpm
- Quick-Lock Vise for fast, precise clamping of material
- Quick-Change blade change system – lets users change wheels without a wrench
- 45-degree pivoting fence for accurate angle cuts
- Ergonomic D-handle design for control
- Three-year limited warranty, one-year free service, and 90-day money-back guarantee
- Doesn’t do 45 degree cuts in both directions
- Some users have had troubles with vise being more awkward to use than advertised.
Overall the Dewalt D28715 is an affordable metal chop saw solution that will please a lot of buyers. The power is good, the top end RPMs are good and the overall features you getting for the money make this a worth while buy.
5. Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 15-Inch Steel Cutting Chop Saw
Our final metal chop saw review is a model from Evolution Power Tools.
The EVOSAW380 15-Inch Steel Cutting Circular Saw is another tool with the power to take care of your metal cutting needs.
A 1800 watt, 15 amp motor provides the overall brawn, giving the saw a 1450 rpm non-load speed.
This is a cold cut chop saw meaning no coolant is required. A beneficial result of this is that when metal is cut cold, it can be handled immediately.
There’s no waiting around waiting for materials to cool down before you move onto the next stage of your project.
Evolution Power Tools have fitted their 15-inch chop saw with a 66 Tooth Carbide Tipped Blade.
The manufacturers claim that the specifically designed blade has an extended blade life. The durable construction offers an average of 1000 cuts in 2 In x 2 In mild steel.
A competitive 3 Year Warranty is also included with the saw.
- Motor (120v ~ 60Hz): 1800W
- Amps: 15
- Horsepower: 2.4
- RPM (No Load): 1450
- Recommended Maximum Duty Cycle: 30mins
- Sound Pressure Level (Under Load): 112.4dB(A)
- Maximum Thickness Of Cut: 1/2”
- Maximum Cut 90° (Square): 5” x 5”
- Maximum Cut 90° (Rectangle): 3-3/4” x 7-7/8”
- Maximum Cut 90° (Round): 5-7/8”
- Maximum Cut 45° (Square): 3-1/2” x 3-1/2”
- Maximum Cut 45° (Rectangle): 3” x 4-3/8”
- Maximum Cut 45° (Round): 4-1/4”
- Tool Weight: 55lbs
- Tool Dimensions (H x W x L): 26” x 13-1/2” x 21”
Pros of the Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 15-Inch Steel Cutting Chop Saw
- Dry metal cutting without producing heat, burrs or coolant
- 1800 watt / 15 amp motor
- 1450 RPM no load
- Long blade life averages 1000 cuts in 2 In x 2 In mild steel
- 1-Inch arbor
- The build quality just isn’t up there when compared to the Dewalt and Milwaukee
- Ergonomics are not great, difficult to use if you are left-handed and the plastic handle is poorly constructed.
Overall the Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 is a capable machine that performs well enough. However, it is marred by a lacklustre build quality, (the components and body of the saw just don’t feel sturdy enough) and bad ergonomics.
It is recommended that you try before you buy.
Image Credits: Power Tools Direct, Tool Stop, MilwaukeeTool.com, DeWalt.com, Evolutionpowertools.com