Best Chop Saws Reviews & Price Comparison
Chop saws are fast-rotating circular saws attached to a pivoting arm to cut only in the vertical plane (up and down) at a 90° angle to the material. Their motion is ax-like and cannot be rotated left or right or angled horizontally. Because they come with a powerful motor and a stable base, they work a lot faster than conventional saws. As they usually feature abrasive discs without any teeth, they have a remarkable prowess for cutting rather effortlessly and quickly through the toughest materials, which makes them the go-to tool for contractors, builders, plumbers, mechanics, and even DIYers handling equally abrasive and tough materials. Our buying guide can help you find the best chop saws.
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Before upgrading or purchasing your first chop saw, though, there are a few factors to keep in mind to ensure you get one that best meets your unique cutting needs. These factors, together with a review of the best chop saws on the market, follow in our buying guide.
5 Best Chop Saws
1. DEWALT DW872
Weight: 55 pounds
Size: 24" x 15.25" x 18.5"
1,500 amp motor
Carbide tipped 66-tooth blade
As with all things DeWalt, this saw epitomizes high-quality construction and offers nothing short of the best performance. This multi-cutter shop saw specifically effortlessly, accurately, and quickly blazes through steel and other non-ferrous materials, without the slightest indication of the motor straining. The high-performance 4 HP, 15-amp motor significantly enhances performance and durability by providing additional overload capacity. Consequently, it easily reaches speeds of up to 1.300 rotations per minute, yet it is eight times faster than a portable band saw.
It also has a heavy-duty 14-inch, 66-tooth carbide-tipped blade that offers lower cost-per-cut compared to cutting with abrasive wheels. The blade produces a consistent depth of cut; it delivers virtually burr-free cuts, which eliminates the need for preparation grinding and is cool to the touch for safety.
The blade averages 1,200 cuts for most applications but can deliver 5,000 cuts if the blade is periodically sharpened.
The tools feature a spindle lock for quick blade angle changes and have onboard storage to safely keep the change wrench handy for easy blade adjustment. Replacing the blade is a breeze.
A lock down pin at the head of the saw allows carrying it without the chain.
The unit has an ergonomic handle strategically positioned to minimize hand strain while working or transporting it. And to top it all off, you get a generous 36-month warranty to cover for deficiencies in material and craftsmanship
The saw has no dust collection system.
The $586 DeWalt 872 has 91% 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon.
Wheel replacement is a snap
Cuts smoothly and easily
Generous 36-month warranty
Somewhat feeble base
2. Evolution Power Tools RAGE2
The Evolution Power Tools Rage2 is a multipurpose chop saw that can cut through mild steel as well as plastics, aluminum, stone, and even wood without having to change the blade to suit the hardness or softness of the material. It can even cut wood with embedded nails.
Weight: 46 pounds
Size: 23" x 12" x 24"
Adjustable fence and vice
Behind every high-performance chop saw is a powerful motor that works smoothly and reliably although it can be loud. This tool packs a powerful 15-amp motor boasting no-load speeds of up to 1450 rotations per minute. The machine is so powerful that it powers through pieces of wood with nails with minimal hesitations, a fete that most chop saws would freeze trying to accomplish. When it first came on the market, it was revolutionary as it had metal teeth that were not often used to cut metal; it promises 1,000 cuts on mild steel. It can even cut concrete, stone, paving blocks, and more.
The hi-torque motor gearbox that in addition to reducing motor stresses, enhances the performance and longevity of it. The machine also incorporates an easy-to-use swivel clamping mechanism that allows for miter cuts 45 degrees to the left or right.
It uses a heavy-duty 14-inch multipurpose 36-tooth TCT blade that requires no changing as you shift from one material to another. A unique selling point of a multipurpose TCT blade is its ability to cut efficiently and smoothly with no heat, burrs, or sparks at the end of which you get a superior quality finish. That blades may be pricey but they outperform 14 abrasive disks.
For those who cut particular materials frequently, additional blades are available, including a diamond one for stone and masonry cutting.
The Rage2 does its job with virtually no sparks. It cuts steel with minimal heat and requires no coolants.
Fast action swivel clamp enables cuts to be made from 0-45°.
Recommended for professionals and DIYers alike, the Evolution Rage2 is economical at $229. This model is not readily available but the Rage4 model at $140 might be a good substitute.
An all-around machine
Cuts quickly and with remarkable ease
Has a spark deflector for safety
Perfect for cutting at 90-degrees
Cuts are jagged at fast speeds
Blade may not live up to the hype
3. Makita 2414NB
Weight: 40.5 pounds
Size: 19.69" x 11.02" x 23.62"
15 amp motor
Quick release vise
3-position adjusting fence
This saw combines a heavy-duty 14-inch disc with a powerful 15-amp motor capable of 3,800 rotations per minute to make it an ideal choice for users undertaking heavy-duty applications. The machine is designed to cut 4-1/2-inch round stock at 45 degrees and 90 degrees and easily adjusts between 90 and 45-degrees on both sides for the perfect angled cuts.
The 2414B has precision features such as a quick-release vise for secure material retention and fast repeated cut-offs, as well as an adjustable depth stop for precise and repeatable cutting depth. It also easily accommodates different workpieces, both regular and awkward, thanks to its 3-position adjusting fence.
The saw comes with an abrasive wheel, the standard for cutting metal/However, it can be replaced with a carbide tip wheel for light materials such as non-ferrous metals. It is not recommended to cut wood.
The tool features a lock-off button to prevent accidental start-ups and a spark diversion guard.
Hand fatigue or strain is a thing of the past with the 2414NB which has a D-shaped handle for easy gripping,
This saw, rated with 89% 4- or 5- star ratings on Amazon, currently sells for $268.
Ideal for shearing aluminium
Handy on-board storage for the socket wrench
An affordable and effective choice
Not ideal for soft materials
4. PORTER-CABLE PCE700
The Porter-Cable PCE700 Chop Saw is a bargain entry in our lineup of chop saws, yet has the power and features of a much more costly product. It's a solid choice for professionals and DIYers in search of a cost-effective, lightweight, and dependable option.
Weight: 32 pounds
Size: 22.69 " x 14" x 17.06"
Spindle lock for easy blade changes
Cutting fence with miter adjustment
Heavy-duty steel base
3-year limited warranty
The 15-amp motor works dependably and smoothly and doesn't strain even slightly when the machine is subjected to more abrasive and tough loads. It manages remarkable speeds of up to 3,800 rotations per minute and packs replaceable brushes that significantly enhance performance and durability.
The saw has a quick-release clamp, a popular feature in chop saw that secures the workpiece in place and and allows for easy removal.
The saw comes with a 14" abrasive wheel. When you need to change from one blade to another as you change your workpieces, you can quickly do so with the strategically placed spindle lock. The feature bring eliminates the need for a wrench to complete the change.
To assist with angled cuts up to 45 degrees, the cutting fence allows quick miter adjustments,
The design and engineering also protects the user with a spark deflector that also ensures you invariably have a clear line of sight . The unit has a heavy-duty steel base that guarantees it remains stable all during the cutting process.
Currently available for $120 of less, the is an economical choice even for those who just need a chop saw occasionally.
Cost-effective and portable
Versatile with its adjustable fence
Spindle lock makes for easy and quick blade changes
Doesn’t produce smooth edges
5. Makita LC1230
Weight: 42.5 pounds
Size: 13.78" x 22.56" x 17.32"
15-amp 4HP motor
1300 No Load RPM
Quick-release support fences adjust 0-45°
Exterior accessible brushes
Like most high-end options, it aims to deliver nothing short of clean, high-quality results, and to this end, the machine invariably provides remarkable results. It packs a powerful 15-amp motor offering speeds of up to 1300 rotations per minute. Couple the outstanding performance with the machine's no-load motor and you have a tool that takes the effort and time away from cutting through ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Also, because of the no-load motor, both the saw and the saw blade get to last for more than a lifetime with proper use, care, and maintenance.
While this motor is a traditional brushed type, it has externally accessible brushes for easy maintenance
Another unique selling point that makes it particularly appealing to the vast majority of craftsmen, handymen, and contractors is its ability to make miter cuts to 45 degrees with a "tool-less" guide plate that adjusts 0 - 45° for quick and easy miter cutting,
The saw has a long-lasting carbide-tipped blade for cost-efficient, clean, and accurate cutting that is virtually burr-free.
Changing the saw blade is both easy and a snap as it comes with a handy socket wrench that takes the time and effort away from the endeavor.
To increase safety and prevent any accidental starts, this Makita model has a two-finger trigger and a lock-off button.
As dust and material shavings are not healthy to breathe in or obscure the worksite, this saw has a savings collection tray for easy waste disposal and a cleaner work environment
At $540, the Makita LC1230 wins 4- or 5-stars from 95% of Amazon buyers.
Cuts accurately and cleanly
Convenient on-board storage for the wrench
Easy to use
Releasing blade takes time
Criteria for Choosing the Best Chop Saws
Quick cutting is the objective of using a chop saw as the machine rotates at several thousand RPMs. The saw should not snag on knots in the wood or fray at the edges because the speed is too slow.
Most chop saws on the market have a motor capable of doing the job, but the norm is about 15-amps with speeds of +/-3800 rpm. As long as you get one that can handle the material it claims to cut, a saw should have enough power. If the tool won’t cut through something, the material might be too thick or need to be backed off and fed more slowly into the machine.
Though a few high-priced cordless chop saws are available, most are corded models that are noisier and have brushed motors that require occasional maintenance.
What is most important with a chop saw is its cutting ability.
- Miter saws handle small section lumber (2 x 4s), but larger sliding compound miter saws can handle wood 8″ wide or more.
- Abrasive chop saws are 14″ or 15″ models that can handle 5-inch square tube or 5-inch round pipe
- Multi-purposed chops have reduced capacities to cut metal but can handle large amounts of wood
- Commercial chop saws might be able to cut through 7″ bars of metal.
The blades are what do the job with chop saws. Having the right size and type of blades is very important to successful cutting. Blades that are too big or too small may not do the job, be dangerous, and ruin the saw.
Common safety features on shop saws include:
Lockout triggers prevent the switch from being accidentally turned on. The user must turn on the saw and depress the lockout trigger for the blade to engage and start spinning.
Blade guards cover the outer edge of the blade as it is running to protect the hands and keep material waste from flying about. Transparent guards allow the user to see the cutting line.
Safety clamps secure material while cutting to prevent accidents and cutting errors.
Electric brakes stop the saw blade revolutions more quickly when the safety trigger is released.
Dust extraction systems are important as sawdust, metal shavings, and debris can impact vision and breathing and obscure the work surface. Some chop saws have a port that attaches to a bag or vacuum to reduct dust, although these attempts to collect dust are often not spectacular.
For cutting through wide material, having extension abilities with sliders on the saw enables a controlled cut over larger areas. They extend the tool markings, keep the material steady, and allow consistent rotations for a clean cut.
Laser sights can add precision to a cut, especially on a miter saw, by focusing an LED beam on the cutting line.
Ergonomically designed handles make it easier to use the tool and transport it to another location.
Other features to look for include spark deflectors, a shaft lock for quickly changing the wheel, and a quick-release vise for firmly holding the workpiece in place.
Sawing is a dusty task, whether the material sawed is wood, plastic, or metal. Dust particles can get in the lungs, block a good view of the work, and even case firs. A chop saw should have a good dust collection system to cut down on dust hazards.
Chop saws pricing starts at $100 and can exceed $700; $100-250 can buy a reliable, high performance machine. A basic, good quality miter saw might run $80 but can exceed $800 for advanced double-bevel sliding compound models
1. Can I use a chop saw to cut though wood?
Technically, yes. However, a chop saw designated as a miter tool is optimized for cutting through wood, while a chop saw is designed specifically for shearing the toughest metals, concrete, bricks, and other abrasive materials. Those intended for metals usually have abrasive wheels rather than blades with teeth.
2. How do I care for and maintain my chop saw?
Maintaining a chop saw is a straightforward endeavor. Cleaning it thoroughly after use, especially the blades, lubricating the parts that need to stay lubricated, and occasionally checking to ascertain that all nuts and bolts are tight should do the trick.
3. What are the types of chop saws?
There are four types of chop saw:
- Miter saws for woodworking use carbide blades with teeth. This type of saw can cut non-ferrous metals and plastics, as well as wood.
- Abrasive chop saws for cutting metal use an abrasive blade that can handle square, rectangular, or round tube, “I” section, or angles. For cutting large sections of steel, a bandsaw is the better tool.
- Multipurpose chop saws use a toothed tungsten-carbide blade to cut a variety of metal and are a good choice for those who need to cut small-section steel as well as wood.
- Commercial chop saws can use up to 22″ wheels to cut through up to 7″ of metal. They require 3-phase power and are not portable.
- How does a chop saw differ from a miter saw?
While miter saws are sometimes considered a type of chop saw, the two saw types are distinctive Miter saws are most often used to cut wood with bevels for trim work, while a chop saw is used for straight precision crosscuts in metal or even lumber, molding, and decking. Both use a circular blade, but the chop saw uses an abrasive or diamond blade, while a miter saw uses a carbide one.
Those who usually cut wood may find it handy to use their miter saw for cutting plastics or aluminum trim.
4. What safety tips should you observe when working with a chop saw?
Most chop saws have some protections built-in, but wearing adequate PPE while using them is important as operating them releases dust, sparks, and bits of material. Wearing goggles, a dust mask, or even a full-face mask can protect your face from flying materials. Gloves are a must, while long-sleeved clothing is a good idea too.
When using the saw, make sure the blade and saw are in good condition, check to make sure that guards are in place and working properly, and fasten the workpiece with clamps. To prevent accidents, focus on the work.
For professionals and enthusiastic DIYers searching for an efficient, quick, and accurate way of cutting heavy-duty metals, a chop saw might be the answer. Our list features some of the best chop saws on the market. They are durable, powerful, cost-effective, and remarkably long-lasting. Remember to wear the right protective gear before using yours, though.