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How To Safely Use a Metal Chop Saw

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Image Credit: Milwaukee Tools

Do you have a project that demands you make use of a steel chop saw? This article essentially provides a clear explanation of what you should keep in mind when using a steel chop saw.

Actually, all steel chop saws are designed with similar friction blades, which are of the same size. This article can, therefore, serve as a reference guide to people using almost any sort of steel chop saw.


How to prepare for cutting

First of all, before you proceed to use this type of saw, it essential to check if it is in a good condition and if it is capable of cutting the type of stalk you want to chop off.

For instance, a 35.6 cm (14 inch) saw will effectively cut through huge stalks of about 12.7cm (5 inches) thick provided it is made with proper support and blade. Ensure that you first check on guards, clamp base, cord and the switch of the saw before you use it.

The next important step is to supply the saw with suitable power. Most steel chop saws usually require a minimum of 15 amps at 120 volts.

This means that the saw may not work well if you choose to operate it with a long, tiny gauge extension cord. It is, however, possible for you to use a ground fault interrupted circuit especially where an electrical short is probable or when the cutting is to be done outdoors.

How to select the correct blade

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Image Credit: DeWalt.com

You should ensure that the blade you choose to use matches with the kind of material you want to cut. Slightly thicker blades work effectively, but thin abrasive ones cut quickest. This means that you should ensure that you buy a quality blade from a reliable supplier for you to get the best results.

How to use a metal chop saw

When using the steel chop saw it is important to ensure that you set it up rightly. For instance, if you are working on the flat metal bar, you may need to use a clamp to position the metal bar vertically.

This way the cut goes through a thin layer all over the metal bar. Actually, it is difficult for the blade to clear the cuttings (kerf) when it has to cut across a flat bar.

You will finally have to check out the setup to see if it provides a working space. In case your packers are wrong or the ground is sloping, make use of a square to test whether the face of the disk is in position with the steel saw.

You should not worry if the packers on the right side seem to be a bit low. In fact, this kind of position allows the cut to open slightly as you work it out.

Most importantly, never should set your packers level or high. This entails that you should never use the steel chop saw on a bench.

As you cut all through the material, you should always keep your blades clean. Clear off all sorts of debris and dust to ensure that you cut through the desired mark.

Basically, ensure that you mark your first cuts with a sharp piece of chalk or a fine pencil, and keep them visible for you to get a really accurate cut.

Above all, you can seek advice from experts if you want to know how to use the saw well. It is also important to ensure that you keep the blade of the steel chop saw clean if you want them to last longer.

Also ensuring that you visit experts to help you fix them when the need arise is important. Unskilled people may not be able to fix the blade properly. In addition, sharpening of the steel chop saw blades should be strictly done by the experts.

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Safety measures when using a metal chop saw

Although the use of safety equipment is a very important factor, some people tend to ignore it, but you should not. The steel chop saws create debris, sparks, and dust, so eye protection is recommended.

You should additionally consider wearing of hearing protection and thick gloves, as well as sleeved shirts and sturdy long pants. In addition, ensure that you put on work boots for further protection.


Image Credits: Milwaukee Tools, Dewalt