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Best metal chop saw 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated July 1, 2019
Best metal chop saw of 2018
There’s a product for every kind of user on the list of affordable options below. Based on customer reviews and my own experience with the cowboy method I’ve found the best 3 metal chop saw on the market. Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products. We’ve narrowed down our options based on the customer feedback (read positive reviews), functionality, material and size. In other words, we’ve put all fundamentals into consideration to come up with a comprehensive list that suits various needs.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this metal chop saw win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
Why did this metal chop saw come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office.
Why did this metal chop saw take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
metal chop saw Buyer’s Guide
Always Start With the Application
Although you may think you are cutting a very familiar job, the material being cut may be different than you think. Is the stock a different size or shape from what you have cut before? Is it solid or hollow? What type of finish do you want on the cut end—smooth or highly polished? If you are cutting a different material, you not only need to answer these questions, but also determine if your abrasive wheel is right for the material.
In some cases, a little experimentation can produce a solution. In other cases, you may have to make major upgrades to your equipment or purchase a new saw.
Focus on the Abrasive Wheel
Just as different metal saw blades are made for different woodworking jobs, abrasive cutting wheels come in many formulations for the material being cut. The most common abrasive materials are aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, and zirconia, with proprietary formulations available for specific applications. Aluminum oxide wheels generally are used for cutting mild steel. Silicon carbide wheels are used to cut glass, ceramics, tungsten, and similar materials. Zirconia wheels are used when cutting alloy steels.
Proprietary wheels usually contain several types of abrasive materials. The wheel manufacturer determines the formula of abrasive materials, their proportions, and other characteristics needed to achieve the optimal cut in a specific type and size of workpiece. Given the range of materials and alloys, it is impossible to recommend one specific type of wheel. You should contact your saw distributor or the saw manufacturer, especially if you will be cutting large workpieces or require an ideal metallurgical cut.
Abrasive materials come in grain sizes from 8, which is the coarsest, to 600, which is superfine. A coarser-grain wheel cuts faster, but will produce a rougher surface finish and may leave a burr around the edge. A superfine-grain wheel cuts slower but produces smooth, highly polished surfaces and clean edges.
Wheels are graded from A, which is the softest, to Z, which is the hardest. The hardness determines how tightly the bond holds the abrasive material. In general, hard wheels are used to cut soft materials such as mild steel, and soft wheels are recommended for hard alloys. The reason for this is the nature of the abrasive cutting process.
Regardless of the wheel’s composition, all cut by releasing abrasive particles from the wheel in the process of removing material from the workpiece. This abrasion continually produces a fresh cutting surface as the wheel wears down. A soft wheel allows the release of abrasive particles faster than a hard wheel. This provides the optimal cutting surface for hard materials. Since soft materials are easier to cut, the cutting surface of the hard wheel does not break down as fast.
Don’t Overlook Other Factors
While the abrasive wheel is the key to making ideal cuts, as mentioned previously other factors such as the size and material type play important roles in the success—or failure—of the process. To understand how, consider the example of a base model 14-in. dry cutoff saw with a manual downfeed.
The reason is the relative percentage of the wheel’s surface area in contact with the workpiece. The friction generated by the abrasion process during cutting produces heat—the greater the contact area, the more heat that is generated. With dry cutting, in which no flood coolant is used—the heat has nowhere to go. Obviously, cutting harder materials increases the heat generation, and this is why large workpieces made of hard material are more likely to suffer scorching and edge melting.
Wheel Diameter = Spindle RPM
Again using the dry saw with a 14-in. wheel as an example: 3.8x 12,000 = 45,840. Dividing that by 1results in about 3,27RPM. For a wet saw, the required spindle speed would be about 2,18RPM. Don’t worry if your spindle speed is somewhat different from these examples. But notice the 1,000-RPM difference between dry and wet RPMs. If your spindle speed varies from the optimal speed by that much or more, it could be the cause of any existing problems.
Because wheel speed and the downfeed rate work together to produce the cut, varying the downfeed rate can compensate for a slightly slower or faster wheel speed. If you are cutting small workpieces, you may not be able to detect a difference in the cut quality. Optimal wheel speed becomes an important factor, however, when cutting larger workpieces, especially high-alloy steels. A slower- or faster-than-optimal wheel speed can contribute to poor-quality cuts and possibly longer cutting times.
Machine horsepower is important because you need the ability to maintain the optimal wheel speed during the cutting process. This speed depends on sufficient torque, which is a function of horsepower. In practice, horsepower requirements depend on the material type, workpiece size, and the type of cut—ideal or metallurgical.
A 14-in. saw designed for general cutting should have at least a 5-HP motor. Move up to a 20-in. saw and you will need a 15-HP motor. A 30-in. saw requires a minimum of 2HP. If you want to make ideal metallurgical cuts with a 30-in. saw, you should have a 50-HP motor. Notice that the horsepower requirement is not linear—the larger the saw, the more relative horsepower needed. The extra horsepower is needed to battle greater friction that is generated while cutting larger workpieces and to produce greater torque, which is needed to maintain optimal cutting speed.
Most abrasive saw manufacturers equip their saws with motors that have adequate horsepower for any potential sawing application. This is not always the case with inexpensive retail chop saws. To keep the price down, these manufacturers use low-horsepower motors. Sometimes the same motor is used for both metal blades and abrasive wheels, resulting in improper wheel speed for your application.
Position the Workpiece Correctly
The wheel’s position relative to the workpiece is critical. Whether you are cutting a single piece of stock, a bundle, or an irregular workpiece, the wheel should always make contact on the leading top edge. This is where the centerline of the wheel is ahead of the piece being cut. In this position, the rotation of the wheel helps clear the cut.
To minimize movement and vibration, clamp the workpiece on both sides of the cut. When cutting a bundle, always ensure interior pieces are held securely, ideally with a bundle cutting clamp—also called a top clamp. If round shapes have freedom of movement, they can rotate when the abrasive wheel engages them. If square or rectangular shapes are not clamped tightly, they can shift. The result can be a quality control nightmare.
The FABRICATOR is North America’s leading magazine for the metal forming and fabricating industry. The magazine delivers the news, technical articles, and case histories that enable fabricators to do their jobs more efficiently. The FABRICATOR has served the industry since 1971.
Saw blades are also available in different materials. Most of them are made of steel. Blades made of steel are a bit expensive and they get dull quickly. You can also get carbide tipped blades that are also expensive and long-lasting. Another type of blade material that is common is blades with an industrial diamond finish. They are perfect for ceramic and masonry tiling.
Size and Thickness
It is also great if you consider the thickness and the length of the saw blade. For instance, if you want a blade that can cut faster and sharper, consider a thinner blade. If you want a durable blade that can cut through metal, go for a thicker blade.
You can get the blades in different sizes from inches to 1inches. Each size of the blade is suitable for a specific saw. It is important if you check the documents that come with your miter saw so that you can know the right blade size to pick.
DEWALT DW3128P80 Tooth and 32T Kerf
More suitable for rip cutting. They’re both thin kerf blades, so you don’t need as much horsepower to spin them. You also don’t end up with a large amount of wasted material turning into sawdust.
The blade tips are made of tungsten and carbide, so they stay sharp for a longer time and you won’t have to resharpen the blades too frequently. The blades also feature a plate precisely balanced by a computer, so you don’t get as much vibration. This provides you with a better finish for your cuts, and the accuracy of your cuts doesn’t suffer.
The two blades have more steel behind each blade tip, due to the wedge shoulder design. With that much steel behind the tips, the blades are less likely to break, and you get a lot of precision too. This comes with a 3-year warranty. But for most people, the Dewalt brand is more than enough of a guarantee for its quality and durability.
Freud D12100X 100 Tooth Diablo Ultra Blade
It’s like using a heated samurai sword on butter. You won’t get any fraying even with hardwood materials. Your cuts can be so thin that you can see through the slivers of wood. They’re also so smooth that it’s as if the wood has already been sanded by ultrafine sandpaper.
With the design of the blade, delivering these cuts doesn’t take much effort. You don’t waste as much material and you really optimize the effectiveness of your miter saw. The design also features stabilizer vents cut by lasers, which reduce the vibration to keep the blade steady and your cuts accurate and smooth.
These vents even trap the noise so you don’t create a ruckus every time you’re working.Don’t overanalyze why this Freud D12100X.
IRWIN Tools Classic Series Steel Blade
Lots of woodcutters like to stock different blades for different purposes, and that can be an expensive collection if you stick with premium blade brands. But this Irwin blade is extremely affordable, so it really should fit even a modest budget. This is a 10-inch blade with ⅝-inch arbor.
It offers 180 teeth (count them if you want), and it’s made of heavy-gauge, high-carbon steel.It’s tough enough to cut through mild steel without even causing sparks to fly. It’s also tough enough to last for a very long time.
If that’s the case, then these Irwin blades will do the job cleanly and quickly. At this price range, it’s an absolute steal.
Freud D1060X Diablo 10-Inch 60 Tooth
The Freud D1060X s designed for 10-inch miter saws, and it’s a definite upgrade on most stock blades you find on brand-new miter saws. First of all, this features 60 teeth, and they’re made with high-density carbide and titanium. The blade also comes with “tri-metal brazing”.
Basically, all these features mean that the tips are resistant to impact, you get a fantastic finish to your cuts, and the blade will last for a very long time. It endures against wear and tear very well, and it actually maintains the sharpness of the blade times longer compared to standard carbide blades. In fact, the blade comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
The blade is coated with Non-Stick Perma-Shield, so it’s resistant to heat and it also reduces pitch buildup. It comes with an extremely thin laser-cut kerf, so the cuts are clean and very fast, and you don’t end up with lots of wasted material.
You also have laser-cut stabilizer vents that minimize the vibrations when you work. This allows you more control over the miter saw, and you also feel more relaxed. Then vents also minimize the friction and the warping of the blade. In addition, these vents reduce the noise too.
If you’re working on pine, oak, and melamine, this is a great blade to have. It’s also useful for cuts on delicate molding and veneer plywood.
Sliding compound miter saws.
Chop saws were the first iteration of this tool, and they’re difficult to find these days. Even if you do find them, they’re not worth buying because they’re of comparable price to the more capable miter saws.
Chop saws just let you do a straight 90 degree cut, nice and simple.
Miter saws are the next step up – they’re similar to the chop saw, except they also let you make miter cuts by adjusting the blade horizontally left or right to the correct angle.
The next level are compound miter saws. These not only have the ability to make miter cuts, but also beveled cuts. And of course, it can make both of these cuts at the same time.
That’s what makes a compound cut, and where this version of the miter saw gets its name.
The very first thing to mention is the motor. It is of course what provides the cutting power – but for the most part, motors all do their job well.
You should be more concerned with the features that put that power to good use – the fence, miter and bevel gauges, and so on.
Avoid getting too caught up on the motor – most manufacturers do just fine in this department.
Another simple thing to be aware of is the blade size. We’ll talk about blades in their own section later.. but, miter saws generally come with a 8, 10, or 1inch blade. Obviously, a smaller blade will make for less cutting capacity.
The fence on a miter saw is also very simple, yet important. A fence should be solid, level, and also tall enough to handle whatever it is you’ll be cutting. Crown molding, for example, would not be easily cut on with a inch high fence.
The job of the electric breaks is probably obvious – after the saw is powered off after a cut, the electric brakes kick in and stop the blade.
They cut the stopping time down to a matter of seconds, which is great for safety.. you don’t want a rogue blade spinning away for a long time after every cut.
The blade guard does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a plastic guard that covers the blade.
It lifts up as you move the blade downards, so the blade can do the actual cutting.. then, as the blade is being raised after a cut the guard will slide back down over it.
The blade guard is probably the most important safety feature.
Safety clamps are simply used to hold the work piece tightly in place when cutting.
A lockout trigger is a switch on the handle that will stop the saw being powered up accidentally. You gotta flick the switch or hold it down while making your cut.
There’s more to miter saw blades than you might assume at first glance.
There’s several different versions, each designed for certain tasks. They’re made out of different materials, have different widths, and different numbers of teeth.
Talking too much about blades is beyond the scope of this article, since it’s not directly related to the miter saws themselves.
But nevertheless, we’ve prepared a guide which covers the topic of saw blades thoroughly – I encourage you to read it.
The blade is the heart of a miter saw or any other saw (just try to cut something decently on a band saw without a great blade – it won’t work out), and a great miter saw can be held back significantly by an inferior blade.
Standard vs Compound Miter Saws
Standard miter saws are the ones which only offer straight 90 degree cuts, and miter cuts at angles usually between -4and +4degrees.
This type of miter saw is becoming less and less popular, and this is mostly due to the price of compound miter saws coming down.
Compound miter saws are now generally in and around the same price as standard miter saws.. so as a buyer, you might as well go for a compound miter saw with it’s additional functionality.
A compound miter saw, as described earlier in this article, allows for miter cuts, beveled cuts, and compound cuts.
As you can see, there’s a lot of additional functionality right there – and for a similar price to standard miter saws, there’s no reason not to go for a compound model.
As mentioned above, the most capable (and expensive) version of these saws is the sliding compound miter saw.
The sliding arm provides the significant benefit of increased cutting capacity, but it comes at a cost.
The sliding arm mechanism makes the saw overall heavier and bulkier.
This can really become an issue if you’re working with limited space – the sliding arm needs space behind the saw to move out into as the blade is pushed backwards.
This basically means you’ll need a 1-foot gap of open space behind a sliding compound miter saw, for the arm to move into. So, you can see what I mean by this being an issue in a limited work space. That’s a lot of wasted space.
Tall sliding fences and exclusive back fence
The Dewalt DWS70is the best sliding compound miter saw, because it just does everything right.
It’s a powerful 1inch saw with 1amp, 3800 rpm motor and a unique sliding fence design, which also manages to be lightweight at just 5lbs.
It’s very precise, and also has several features to help accuracy – such as locking positions at common miter angles, easy-to-read miter and bevel gauges, and a very tall fence.
Combined with all this, it blows comparable sliding compound miter saws out of the water with it’s very affordable price. It’s even a double bevel miter saw – With it being sliding, compound, and dual bevel, it really is as good as it gets in terms of miter saws.
A well-built, powerful, accurate, and affordable miter saw that will serve you wonderfully for years to come.
Why We Chose the Dewalt DWS709
The sliding compound miter saw is the mac daddy of all miter saws.
It works the same as a compound miter saw – allowing to make beveled, mitered, or compound cuts. But, you also get the additional cutting capacity of a sliding arm that carries the blade further out over your material.
The sliding mechanism tackles the main drawback non-sliding miter saws, which is the shallow cutting capacity.
These are also the most expensive of all miter saws – but, that’s understandable because the extra functionality is very valuable.
Accuracy and power are the most important features in any miter saw – but especially in sliding compound miter saws, as the extra sliding mechanism can sometimes lead to less stability, blade deflection, and overall worse accuracy then a fixed miter saw.
The Dewalt performs well in terms of both accuracy and power.
The 1amp motor will tackle anything you throw at it. This is especially true, as always, when combined with a great saw blade.
The DWS70also does a lot to help you out with accuracy. Not only is the saw very stable and precise itself, but it works with you to help prevent human errors too.
There’s a high sliding fence to help hold even tall crown molding steady while cutting. Combined with 1positive locking miter angles, and an over-sized, easy-to-read bevel scale, this sliding compound miter saw makes it easy to be accurate with your cuts.
Another great thing about the Dewalt DWS70compared to our runner ups, is the price.
The Makita LS1016L comes in second place. It’s a pretty similar saw, but with an only inch blade, slightly lower build quality, and also a lot more expensive.
Dewalt also make a similar model, the DWS780, which is another great sliding compound miter saw.
It’s more capable than the DWS70with a greater cutting capacity, but it’s also way more expensive – and more expensive than the Makita, too.
For the combination of doing all the imporant things well plus a great price, the Dewalt DWS70is our winner for the best sliding compound miter saw category.
The Makita is a close section in terms of features.. but, it’s just too expensive as compared to the Dewalt.
Precision machined aluminum base
If this inch miter saw from Makita looks basic and compact, that’s because it is.
But, this isn’t a downside. The LS1040 is a great non-sliding compound miter saw that provides a certain no-frills quality that comes at a wonderful price – It’s also the top rated inch miter saw in most reviews.
It packs a punch with its 4600 RPM motor, and also has great features to aid accuracy such as positive locks at common miter angles.
It’s got not only power and accuracy, but also great portability as it comes in at just 27.3lbs.
All of these great features, for a pretty unbeatable price. Any inch compound miter saw you find for cheaper than this, will definitely have serious trade-offs in terms of quality.
Why We Chose the Makita LS1040
Makita seems to have found a niche for themselves within the compound miter saw market, as their inch saws tend to be pretty great.
In fact in our “best inch miter saw” category, Makita has claimed both first and second places.
First place of course goes to the LS1040, and we gave the runner up position to the Makita LS1016L.
Our winner is a non-sliding inch compound miter saw, while the LS1016L is basically the big brother.. also a inch compund miter saw, but has a sliding mechanism.
The sliding version is of course more expensive, but it otherwise provides a lot of the same no-frills quality that you get with our winner, the LS1040.
When people hear the term “no-frills” they tend to attribute something negative to it… but, this could not be further from the truth with these Makita miter saws.
No-frills means these saws are basic, but does not mean they lack quality.
For this price, it is of course only a single bevel saw – to the left.
There’s enough power in the LS1040 to tackle any projects you give it, and this is combined with familiar precision and accuracy that’s so very important with any miter saw.
You get all the nice features you’d expect on more expensive miter saws – positive stops at common miter angles, dust collection bag, included blade, smooth, accurate, and secure miter and bevel adjustments, and plenty of power from the 1amp motor.
Dust collector attachment
When considering the best budget miter saw, price is of course one of the main concerns.
A lot price isn’t enough. A budget miter saw also needs to actually work – it needs to be powerful, accurate, and reliable.
All of this, and the price is stupidly low. I mean seriously, just go check out the reviews. The bang for your buck with the Hitachi C10FCEis ridiculous… This is a budget miter saw, but it outclasses other saws twice the price. It is truly the best buget miter saw for the money.
Why We Chose the Hitachi C10FCE2
Hitachi may not be one of the famed powertool manufacturers, but don’t let the lack of big brand fame fool you – the Hitachi C10FCEis a great 10-inch compound miter saw.
In fact, that exact lack of big brand fame is actually beneficial.
What comes with big branding is a big price tag. The Hitachi on the other hand, is very reasonably priced and delivers an incredible bang for your buck.
And this is truly what makes the Hitachi a great choice of compound miter saw – It’s a no frills powerhouse that offers incredible features and functionality for a very fair price.
The C10FCEperforms well in more than just the price department.
It’s a single bevel compound miter saw, to the left. While it allows miters from 0-5degrees both left and right.
The powerful motor draws 1amps and runs at a crisp 5000 RPM – plenty of power to tackle most jobs.
For this price range, some miter saws tend to not be accurate. There’s play in the arms or blade, and you have to fight with the saw to make it do what you want.
But that’s not the case with the Hitachi – You’ll be glad to hear that it should be fully accurate out of the box.
There’s also a great fence which extends to inches high, and can be raised higher by screwing on some wooden extensions if needed.
DEWALT D287114-INC Quick-change chop saw
It used for the hand tool organizer and the hand saw. When it comes time to substitute the grinding wheel, the Quick-Change blade alteration system permits you to change controls without a twist. This 14-inch chop saw with Quick Modification drives with a DEWALT Guaranteed bundle that includes a three-year limited guarantee, a one-year free facility contract, and a 90-day money back assurance.
This chop saw structures an ergonomically intended D-shaped grip that allows you to location your hand contentedly, reducing user exhaustion and increasing productivity and exactness. This DEWALT saw topographies a 14-inch helm and can grip rounds that amount inches cross ways or four-sided resources as bulky as 4-1/by 6-1/inches.
This frivolous compound miter saw weighs just 4pounds and topographies a built-in carry grip. Offering a no-load haste of 4,000 rpm, it makes quick work of cutting inclosing or decoration, as well as other cross wounding and miter wounding words. So you can change it to the job site effortlessly and boost it securely when it originates time to put the saw at the end of the diurnal.
This robust saw is intended to bring both a multipurpose arrangement and outstanding accuracy to handle a variability of submissions. This DEWALT saw is calculated to transport rapid, precise bevel scratches. Ideal for a variety of requests, the saw, can bring clean, 45-degree bevel cuts through the dimensional wood that events up to by weight creeps.
The best rated miter saw tables included on this chart actually only small part of the models of the market. There are many different manufacturers and models exist that it is impossible for us to list everything. However, many excellent tables are included at every price range and from a wide variety of quality makers.
This stand comes with wooden saw horses with a solid wood plank across them. From the name itself, traditional, it is the obsolete way of mounting the tools on a plank positioned above the ground. This is quite heavy, so you will find it hard to transport to any area of your home or working area. However, the upside of this is that it can be utilized in supporting a wide array of tools. So, if you are the type of person who often moves from one jobsite to another, this is not the right stand for you.
This miter saw stand type comes with pull-out legs coming out from a horizontal rail. When the saw has been detached from the stand, it is easy to carry and compact as the rail and legs are just the ones that remain. This stand also comes with clamped crossbars designed for mounting to the rail. Considering the fact that they can be placed anywhere on the rail, they can house various saw types and tools. This is actually one of the best things about this product, making it a popular choice among woodworkers and contractors. It is said that the best rail stands are the ones that come with a padded feet located on the crossbars as they can be left on the miter saw and used without a stand. These usually come with slide-out extensions that can support long work pieces on fixed framework and rollers.
Wheeled 1-Hand Folding Stands
This stand type is one of the best creations of engineering as it is portable and versatile. It comes with a strong table with a wide foot at end and locked wheels at the other. To remove, all you have to do is release a catch and collapse it. In order for it to look like a 2-wheeled trolley, the next thing you need to do is bring it on an upright position onto its wheels. You will find it easy wheeling it around in an upright position, with the miter saw still securely mounted on it. All you have to do is release a single catch, and when you are done, unfold it again. With this stand’s ease of use and portability, you will not experience any hassle when you use it.
This type comes with multiple parts. It has saw horse-style supports made of metal and a sturdy plank located across the middle. Thus, you can be sure that it will stand the test of time. Two of the best features of this stand are its light weight and portability, making your work stress-free.
The jigsaw is used to make straight and curved cuts in wood and other materials. It is easy to use, and usually for cutting shapes like kitchen worktops.
Straight Cut or Cross Cut
Mitre saws can do what is termed a straight 90 degree cut. Often this is referred to as a cross cut as it cuts across the width of a material. This is the same cut that a circular saw can do. If that is all you need then I would recommend buying a circular saw, as they are cheaper and designed just to make this simple basic straight cut. We have done a guide on those which you can read by clicking here.
Cordless Mitre Saw
So hopefully, this has helped guide your choice as to which is the best mitre saw for your needs. Below you will find a more detailed guide as to what the key features are to look for. For those who don’t have time to read the details, I have put together a top list for both compound and sliding compound mitre saws, which you can view just below.
VonHaus Multi-Purpose Compound Mitre Saw
All of the above are very good choices. These will be able to do most cutting jobs around the home. For wider cuts though you will need to upgrade to a sliding compound saw. We have made three recommendations below.
When you want proven quality in a miter saw and other professional grade construction products, you want a DeWalt. This name has been in the forefront of construction for years, and they always have great products.
You can also override the detent settings and choose your own degree angles. A total of 1positive stops make this a truly versatile tool.
You have a generous 0-4degrees to the left and right with this saw, making bevel cuts simple and easy. And with a total weight of only 4lbs, you can pretty much carry this miter saw anywhere there’s an outlet. It’s compatible with DeWalt laser systems, giving you yet another reason to seriously consider it.
Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Miter Saw
With dual slides, this Makita LS1216L 1Inch Compound Miter Saw is as good as you can get for the money. You can make crosscuts, crown cuts, and it has a ball bearing system to keep it running smoothly.
The 1/inch tall sliding fence is another improvement, and upper and lower fence adjustments allow you to keep everything lined up precisely the way you want it.
It bevels from 0-5degrees on the left, and 0-60 degrees on the right. It also has multiple positive stops to speed up the process of making angled cuts.
The bevel scales are true and accurate, and it even has a laser sighting system to ensure that every cut you make is as good as it can get. The 1amp motor is guaranteed to never slip, get bogged down, or need maintenance in any way. The included Electronic Speed Control makes sure that blade RPM is maintained throughout your cuts. DXT (Deep and Exact Cutting Technology) is a modern day miracle for construction professionals. It’s a tried and true engine system that really works well, and the LS1216L features it.
Built in laser does a great job of aligning cuts perfectly.
The perfect miter saw for business professionals like carpenters, woodworkers, cabinet makers, decking and flooring workers, and more.
Best in Class for functionality in the garage and at the worksite.
Amps Of Power
How big the blade is will determine what kind of projects you’ll be able to accomplish. In most cases, you’ll want a bigger blade, rather than a smaller one. With a larger blade, you can get all the small jobs done but you get the added benefit of being able to accomplish really big jobs as well. Look for miter saws with a blade diameter of 1inches. This blade diameter is capable of handling both large and small jobs with ease.
The blades blunt out too easily
This chop saw is an excellent option that gives you your money’s worth. It has been made sturdy and robust to suit the use of various materials including metal application. It makes use of the patented RAGE technology, giving you superior quality and finish. This chop saw makes use of TCT blades as opposed to the use of an abrasive field. The impressive cuts of this chop saw can competently outdo the performance of an abrasive saw. And so it saves you the expense and effort of buying one.
The RAGE will cut through various materials like wood, wood with nails, steel as well as aluminum. It creates all these incredible cuts using just one single blade. The cuts made by the RAGE are clean; one can make these cuts fast and efficiently without any burr and practically no sparks too.
Additionally, it includes features like a fast action swivel that has a range of 0-4degree work clamp. To ease out the clamping of the box section, this chop saw comes with a V-clamp. Useful for making cuts as deep as 120 mm, his chop saw is multipurpose. To add to its advantages, it also comes with a whopping 3-year warranty.
Struggles to cut through thicker bars or sheets
This metal cut off saw comes with an ergonomically designed ‘D’ shaped handle that is horizontal. This comes handy and makes the tool easier to use. It reduces the fatigue while using the tool. The chop saw is also known to reduce the working time especially taken for changing the workpiece with its quick release clamp.
This unique chow saw motor provide some exceptional protection against overload. The motor has also been especially designed to be abrasion protected. It also has superior performance and durability. The chop saw has been especially engineered with a 4degree pivoting fence; this facilitates more accurate angle cuts with a faster speed. The wheel can also be changed easily saving time due to the spindle lock that has been installed.
The different names for a chop saw
One factor that can confuse most users is the different names of this one single tool. It has different names depending on the different functions it performs. To elaborate this further, a chop saw that is used to cut through wood is known as a ‘miter saw’. The chop saw that can be used to cut through various metals like stainless steel, aluminum etc is known as an abrasive saw, a metal chop saw, or even a cut-off saw.
There is yet another variant in these options and that is the ‘mini-chop saw’ this is best for all those who wish to use it simply for hobby purposes or to cut through simpler materials like plastic or ceramic.
These terms are very often interchanged and so while purchasing a chop saw; one must essentially read the features of the tool, as the one that is used to cut metal is quite different as compared to the one used to cut through wood.
Care before using a chop saw
As the name suggests, a chop saw comes along with a sharp blade no matter whether you are using it for cutting through wood or metal. So first and foremost the tools have to be kept away from children at all times.
Using of chop saws involves a lot of noise, it is best to protective gear for the ears. Then again there is a lot of debris that flies out during the use which could cause harm to the eyes, so never forget to wear safety glasses before use. While using the chop saw for metalworking, it is best to wear a dusk mask and protect your hands from metal splinters by using gloves while working.
If you are a hobbyist or a DIY enthusiast who will use the chop saw for light work you can opt for the ‘mini-chop saw’. As this can also be used to cut through ceramic and plastic as well.
If you plan on using it professionally or for heavy works, then a heavier option may be preferable.
The Metal chop saws
These can make 90-degree angles with ease. They are usually carbide tipped blades that are best for making clean and accurate cuts.
The better metal chop saws are the ones that create minimum noise with lesser vibration, heat or burrs. When looking for a chop saw for metal works look for maximum cutting capacity for tubing, squares, and rectangles. Also, check for different blades used to cut through different materials.
Wood Chop Saws
These are best used for cutting through sheets of wood. They often have miter saws with blades to that can tilt to make beveled angles. They are most commonly used when cutting door and window casings a well as frames.
One thing to bear in mind while choosing the chop saw for wood is the kind of wood you are planning on cutting, as different types of wood require different blades.
A manual miter saw is a straight, fine toothed and short hand driven saw used for making fine cuts on millwork. To avoid buckling of saw blade, it is also provided with an extra support at its top. It is a totally human operated simple hand tool. It is used with a miter box. This miter box works as a tray to hold the workpiece or the job in place and guides saw during the sawing operation. Miter box has slits on its sides that allow the saw to fit inside. Also, it has grooves at its bottom that helps to cut the wood throughout.
A three sided miter box is commonly used, which is open at ends and at its top. Earlier, workers used to make their own miter boxes of wood. Nowadays, readymade miter boxes are available, which are made of either molded plastic or cast aluminum. In some of miter boxes, clamps are also provided to hold small pieces tightly while cutting.
The manual saws are used mostly for fine cuts on millwork. It is usually used for 4degree angled cuts, which allows worker to join two pieces of wood at right angles. Many other angles are also provided on the miter box. 90 and 4degrees angle cuts are provided by all the boxes. To cut a piece, it is placed in the miter box and the cutting point is aligned with the required angle slot in the box wall. The saw blade is placed in the slot and is moved back and forth. This slot guides the saw throughout the cut and keeps the blade perpendicular to the face of the wooden piece or board.
While cutting smaller pieces, it becomes difficult to hold the piece. To solve this problem, clamping boxes are also provided. The piece to be cut is held firmly by the clamps, and hence the cutting process is made easier and more accurate. In this modern world, although manual miter saw has been largely displaced by power driven saws, it is still used in picture frame making industry. As there is no rotating blade, it is a safe and easy to use wood cutting tool. Also, hand driven saw is a cheap tool that is preferred by workers who have less workload and enough time.
Power driven saw has a circular blade rotating at very high rpm, which is placed on the workpiece in a controlled motion. Miter index given on the saw helps in setting a required angle of the blade with respect to the holding fence. Holding fence is the holding tool that firmly holds the workpiece. Some of power driven saws also provide a laser guide, to give a visual indication throughout the cutting process. This laser tells the positioning of the blade on the workpiece before the worker starts cutting. Some models have single line whereas others have double lines for reference.
There are mainly types of power driven saws available
A compound miter saw is a power driven saw used to make angled and bevel cuts in a given workpiece. Bevel, here means that the blade of the saw can be tilted sideways. It has a rotating vertical pivot that allows tilting the cutter head and blade. Rotating the head allows worker to cut angled cuts in both the planes. Compound saw blades and motors are mounted on a pivoted arm, this combination is brought down on the material using a handle. The material is tightly clamped to the heavy base of the saw. The word “compound” means the angle of the blade, which is adjustable in horizontal and vertical plane. Angle adjustments are provided on the compound saw.
These types of models also provided with a blade guard. As working with blade rotating on high speeds is highly dangerous, a blade guard covers the teeth of the blade. Now days, miter saws also have blade guards that automatically retract. On lowering the blade on the workpiece, the cover retracts, and on raising the blade, it recovers the blade. Compound saws are also provided with dust bags that collect all the sawdust from the wood during the cutting process.
As the workpiece is fixed on the fence, and saw head moves, chances of kickback are negligible. This makes it a safer cutting tool for the working person. Compound miter saws are best suited for cutting narrow or small pieces of wood. They are power tools that are also used for cutting materials like cumber etc. As the pivoted point is strongly fixed to heavy base of the saw tool, the cuts made are very precise and are easily repeatable. They can be used to make cross, miter, bevel, miter + bevel i.e. compound cuts.
They are light in weight, less costly than double compound miter saws. They are easier, accurate and faster than manual miter saw box and handsaw combination. For simple tasks, light weight models are used. Simple compound miter saws are costlier than manual saws, but are much cheaper than double and sliding compound miter saws.
Double Compound Units
In a simple compound saw, the operator can tilt the saw head plus the blade only in one direction. Due to this, an operator has to flip the workpiece again and again to make several cuts. But dual compound units are advanced version of simple compound models, solves this problem.
In compound miter saw, the saw head + blade arrangement can be tilted in both sides i.e. left and right. Using double compound miter saw, complicated angle cuts can be done with great ease. It gets its name due to this dual tilting property. The workpiece is held by a fence, same as in case of simple compound miter saw.
Using a double bevel compound saw, worker can make compound and bevel cuts in both the directions, without the need to flip the large stock. This makes working convenient and efficient. Double compound miter saws are used widely in crown molding.
Double compound miter saw is same as the compound miter saw, with an added function of dual tilting option.
Sliding Compound Units
Simple compound units are good tools for cutting angled cuts or bevels. But the problem arises when a board of wider area is under operation. Simple and double compound units fail in this case. For such wider boards, a sliding type compound model is used. Sliding compound miter saw is a kind of compound saw, which has horizontally sliding arms that allows cutter head to move horizontally, so that cuts on wider boards can be obtained.
These units work in the same way as simple compound unit, but has an added functionality of sliding horizontally. Sliding compound miter saws are available both in single and double compound types. In sliding compound miter saw, rails are provided, which allows front back sliding motion of the motor blade. But due to this, the range of pivot mechanism is narrowed, which limits the thickness of the material that can be cut.
Sliding compound miter saws are used to make cross, miter, bevel and miter + bevel cuts on the wider boards. This makes the work easy and saw can be slid easily on the wood and cut it. In most sliding compound saws, crosscutting capacity is more than 1inches.
Sliding compound miter saws are made strong enough, so that the accuracy doesn’t decreases when moved or tilted. Adjustable stops of 4and 90 degrees are usually provided for tilting of head, so that angle can be adjusted easily and accurately. Sliding compound miter saw requires large space and fits in large workshops. It is the most expensive saw out of the all types. It is a heavier saw as compared to compound saws, and is almost non-portable.
Rundown of Key Features
A Miter saw provides accurate, efficient and versatile results than a table saw or a hand saw. It can be used for cutting decks, window frames, door frames and any furniture where precise angle is important. Since it is very handy, any woodworker would want to add this to their power tool collection.
The powerful results and convenience that these saws give are extraordinary. However, several kinds of saws exist in the market and their features vary from one another. So before you decide to buy one, you better understand the features of it and choose the best model for your needs.
Wide Miter Range
One of the best features of a miter saw is its wide miter range. Manufacturers of the product typically offer a range of 50” to a maximum of 60”. Since there is a variation of miter range, it is very important to choose the type of specification you really need. Some materials might not go well on a narrow miter range while others work perfectly on a wider miter range. In order to obtain the right range, determine your needs and choose a more flexible miter range. If you are having a hard time choosing, ask recommendations from friends who might have been familiar with miter saws.
Easy to Read Indexes
It is very important to work efficiently and accurately. Some models have easy-to-read indexes wherein it can transparently be seen while cutting. This is beneficial because it minimizes errors and it also promotes safety on your part. You can read the visible indexes on the miter and bevel so you will not have a hard time working on this tool. Aside from that, the easy-to-read indexes allow you to cut any wood surfaces properly. Errors are minimized and good results are achieved.
Working on complex furniture can be challenging. With the sliding fence feature of saws, the cutting process would be a lot easier. It provides a full-height support in order to cut the boards with wider dimensions. You just have to choose a durable miter saw that has this feature so that it is not difficult to work on the material and faster result is experienced. The sliding fence is actually beneficial considering that it minimizes hassles in working to users who are working on cutting and making home furniture at any sorts.
Make sure that when you buy a model, the electric brake is fully functional. This feature is very useful because it enhances your safety whenever you start using the saw. It also helps you cut faster because the blade stops seconds after releasing the trigger. You do not want to cut yourself whenever you cut wooden materials so; do a little research and check the electric brake for you to have a great experience in using a miter saw.
Easy Change Blade System
Easy change blade system is a unique feature of miter saws. The good thing about this is you do not have to change the blades one step at a time once you decide to choose which one works best for you. Making furniture and cutting wooden materials require different blades, making it time consuming. With the easy change blade system of miter saw, it is not hard to change one blade to the other. Time is more preserved that is why you can deliver the work a lot faster than using other kind of saw.
Sawdust is always scattered anywhere whenever you cut a wood. This can mess up your space or even cause respiratory problems. To minimize complications, using a saw with a dust port is highly recommended. A dust bag or a wet/dry vac can be connected to the unit through a dust port. This allows you to collect any sawdust and leave a clear and clean workspace. Errors are also minimized if sawdust is collected from time to time. Hence, having a dust port is important in order to deliver the best results.
With these types of saws there are a number of different types of stands for your portability. You can choose to have a folding stand or a stand with wheels. If you often work on long and wide materials, a stand having extensions would be very helpful. However, it is still your choice to choose a stand for your added convenience.
The blade determines the depth of cut. Choose a unit that will meet your needs. There are different blades with some cutting specific materials and others cutting wood, aluminum and mild steel. Extra teeth on blade mean a finer cut. Miter refers to a saw that accommodates angled cuts. Most saws allow angled cuts both to the left and to the right.
Chop saws that allow a sliding action make it possible for you to cut pieces of greater width. If you are cutting dado, you will need a saw that slides much. However, if you will be cutting fence posts, you will need a big blade and one that slides more.
Some saws allow you to cut angles by tilting on both sides while others tilt on one side. For the latter, you will need to turn the wood if you need to cut right and left angles. Performance is important, based on the task you will put the saw to. Even with good performance, the saw has to be easy to use.
When comparing DEWALT vs PORTER-CABLE, both the D287and the PCE700 are powerful saws designed for use on wood and metal. Each is offered with a 15Amp motor that produces up to Horsepower. This is enough power to cut though any material without much hustle. To the everyday woodworker or metal worker, the unit can cut through thick pieces of wood within seconds.
Given the great power that the motors yield, these machines are bound to get hot. However, each of them is protected from overloading and overheating. This means you can use them all day without expecting them to stop working. If you take continuous tasks all day every day, you will love these overload and overheat protection.
To lengthen the life of the motor, each of these units comes with replaceable brushes. They are compatible with different brands of brushes and this makes it easier for you. Most people consider the performance of a saw. Seeing that these two are offered with relatively same features and perform almost the same, it is a challenge choosing the best between them.
Both the Dewalt vs Porter-Cable models allow angled cuts. The PORTER CABLE PCE700 sports miter adjustments for precise angle cuts. With it, you can rotate the blade left and right to cut just the angles you like. The DEWALT D287is less adjustable, but also allows left and right angle cuts.
The PORTER CABLE PCE700 is offered with a 14-inch blade diameter. This allows you to cut different sizes of wood and metal. It has a wheel diameter of 1inches and an arbor size of inch. This gives it a max round capacity of 4.7by 5.inches. The unit is offered with an eight feet long power cable. This allows you to reach far places without running the risk of tangled cord. The saw itself measures 22.by 1by 17.inches and weighs 3pounds. Its overall size and weight make it easy to move and set up. The weight of the saw is contributed by the steel base.
The DEWALT D28710, on the other hand, accommodates a 14-inch blade with a 1-inch arbor size. This gives the saw a maximum rectangular capacity of by 7.inches. The saw measures 21.by 14.by 1inches and weighs 39.pounds. This is 7.pounds heavier than the PCE700. However, if you are looking for functionality, you may not realize the huge difference in the weight of the two units.
Each of these units is offered with a 14-inch aluminum oxide grain wheel. This enhances performance and lengthens the life of the saws. The wheels are designed for fast and smooth cuts.
A Few Missing Features
The presentation of these two saws is nearly similar. They both have a sliding action that lets you take on all widths of materials. This is great as it offers diversity in how you operate. However, they are missing the most recent features seen on saws. A good example is lighting, which comes handy when you are working in dimly lit conditions. Again, recent saws are designed with adjustable speed. This is done by simply turning a knob to select the speed you want. It is a good feature, especially when you are working on softwood.
Accessories offered with the saw are very important to most wood workers and metal workers. A saw that is offered with accessories is great, though it may be relatively expensive. Unfortunately in this Dewalt vs Porter-Cable comparison no accessories are included. One of the accessories you will need is a stand to place your saw. Nowadays, there are many stands online.
These two saws operate fast and powerfully, a dust collection bag, especially when dealing with wood, would have been handy. However, none of these saws has this feature.
Miter Saw Blade Diameter
One major factor single out is that you want to watch out for the diameter of the blade you’re purchasing. If you have a large diameter on your replacement blade, the bores might match but it could also negatively impact your guard. When you look in the instruction manual of your saw you should be able to find the dimensions, especially the diameter for blades allowed. You’ll usually get a minimum and maximum diameter and as long as your replacement blade falls in between those regulations you should be fine. If you have a thin blade you’ll be able to make thin cuts and if you have a wide blade you’ll be making wide cuts – simple stuff. Neither one is necessarily better. You need different blades for different applications and most craftsmen change blades. All the measurements are marked and the blades we recommend this page are general-purposed and suitable for most miter saws.
Selecting Good Miter Blades
There aren’t a lot of ways to determine the quality of a blade except checking for the brand name and price but an interesting indicator is to check for notches on the blade that are cut out on the disk. If your disk has the space to open up and expand its going to be able to process heat a lot easier and this is very useful when you’re cutting metal and similar materials with a lot of heat buildup.
These are our top most recommended blades that you can purchase as an accessory and prepare for your saw. You don’t need these if you’re just starting out and have a bare-bones miter saw but when you get to the mid range and high-end miter saws you’re going to want something that maximizes your accuracy and gives you variation.
Tools & Materials
Choosing a blade with the correct number of teeth for a particular job ensures the best performance from a circular saw, a miter saw, or a tablesaw.
For “What’s the Difference?” in, I wrote about the significance of tooth grinds on circular sawblades. Choosing a blade with the correct number of teeth is equally important for getting the best performance from a circular saw, a miter saw, or a tablesaw.
Miter-saw blades- 80 tooth
If you do a lot of finish work—installing crown molding, for instance—you need a much cleaner cut that requires more teeth. Cutting miters is basically crosscutting on an angle, and blades with higher tooth counts generally perform best when cutting across the grain. A blade with 80 or more teeth offers the crisp miter cuts you’re looking for.
Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.
Makita LS1016L 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
Standard : The standard miter saw includes a blade from right to left to cut miters pivot. This saw is nevertheless getting less popular as compound miters convey more applications and are just slightly more expensive.
Compound : This miter saw can easily cut straight and smooth angles. It may also be biased in order that beveled borders could be cut by a person. Various basic miter saws don’t slope which usually implies they cannot make beveled sides. This really is appropriate and incredibly helpful for people focusing on far places.
Double Bevel : Double power compound saws or even dual bevel saws can trim horizontal angles with excellent precision. These are exactly the same with substance saws. They can be twisted on both sides for larger flexibility and to effectively make beveled borders. Moreover, these types of saws tend to be more adjustable when paired in order to basic compound saws.
Sliding Compound : The sliding compound saws are generally comparable with the most common compound saws but they can easily cut much larger bed sheets of wood because the saw could be pulled forward to create bigger pieces of wood. They are handy and can be changed in one location to another conveniently. For more details read the sliding compound miter saw reviews from the online marketplace.
Radial Arm Saw : The radial arm saws have become adaptable, and several customers prefer this type. It really is capable of making numerous cuts involving ripping share, dado, plus crosscutting. It could be slanted to lower miters and bevels effectively. You could use them for drilling and routing also. Radial arm saws are beneficial compared to a normal table saw with regards to the quantity of space rescued inside a workplace.
DEWALT DWS77Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Affordable Price: The price of a miter saw will be a significant consideration for many people, and you may find out that the market is rather competitive and you could find some excellent models being sold at affordable prices. You also desire to make certain that you get yourself a saw which will have sufficient power for the function you want this for, and that this includes a big enough function region to accommodate how big is the materials you will be using.
Safe Use: Many compound miter saws have an awesome safety function. The blade safeguard always addresses the particular rotating blade so that it doesn’t cut the hands. The blade safeguard automatically gets rolled away once you pull down the noticed blade intended for cutting. So when the particular blade retains its unique position the particular guard covers the blade automatically.
Easy to Use and Setup: The sliding compound miter saw is really a favorite among the do-it-yourselfers and professionals alike because of its, precision, durability plus portability. Despite the fact that they are portable they’re solid enough to maintain their accuracy and very an easy task to set up.
Eco-Friendly: The particular miter saw consists of the less production of dust particles as compared to the others. So it is eco-friendly in real. The dirt handbag of the miter saw will not permit the wood and dust contaminants to spread outside, but it holds all of them instead. The miter scale can be readable so in real this miter saw is user-friendly as well.
Durable: These miter saws have been created by the durable construction materials. The particular materials of the miter saw ensure that it is the very best among others. It really is serving the social people who have its best features and high level of performance.
Before using the miter saw
Learn the function and use of the ON/OFF switch, lock-off change, top and lower blade guards, and keep down latch, bevel lock deal with plus cover plate anchoring screws.
Review the Troubleshooting and Servicing Guide for the miter saw.
In order to avoid injury or even possible dying through electrical shock, make sure your fingers usually do not touch the plug’s steel prongs when plugging or even unplugging your miter saw.
Maintenance the Miter Saw
To reduce the chance of injury, turn the device off and disconnect it from energy source before cleaning or even servicing, before installing plus removing accessories, prior to adjusting so when producing maintenance. An unintentional start-up could cause injuries.
Stay away from solvents when cleaning plastic material parts.
The majority of plastics are venerable to damage from numerous kinds of commercial solvents and could be damaged by their make use of.
Use clean clothes to eliminate dirt, dust, essential grease, oil, etc.
Don’t let brake liquids, petroleum-based products, gasoline, penetrating natural oils, etc. are exposed to plastic parts. Chemicals may damage, weaken or eliminate plastic material which might lead to serious accidental injury.
Consequently, I usually don’t recommend using this device for extended work on these kinds of materials. However, if you work with these components, it is very important to clean the device using compressed air.
A power saw can be a considerable purchase. That’s why the few minutes that you spend on reading power saw reviews is time well spent. Not only can you save money but you can also avoid headaches by purchasing only the right tool for your need. Here, I share my personal experiences and honest reviews about power saws to help you sense what it is like to work before you actually purchase one. My experiences and opinions act as a litmus test for first time users and for those who want to upgrade their power saws. Wish to help you identify the most significant factors that should influence your decision when buying the best power saws.
After thoroughly vetting over 3circular saws and testing four, we feel the best one for most people is the SKILSAW SPT67WM-2It excels at every task a good circular saw should and has great features we didn’t see on the rest of the saws we tried.
In our tests, this saw had the power to cut through dense, wet pressure-treated wood and thick slabs of engineered lumber, but it also had enough precision to take on more delicate finish work. For added safety and control, the handle of the saw is set lower than on other models, putting the pushing force behind the saw rather than above it. One standout feature you see on top-quality saws like this one is a magnesium footplate and motor housing, which makes it durable and lightweight—it’s 9½ pounds, compared to the 10-plus pounds of some others. The depth of cut gauge is marked according to common lumber thicknesses, rather than a straight imperial scale like on the other saws, making accurate depth adjustments on this tool faster and simpler. Its easy-to-read bevel gauge can angle the blade to an extra-steep 5degrees (others stop at 45), and accurate cut line indicators are at the front and back of the baseplate. It also has convenient on-board wrench storage for changing the blade.
I’ve used circular saws on an almost daily basis for about 1years.
I’ve also written a number of articles specifically about circular saws. In 2015, I did large-scale testing of 18-volt cordless circular saws and track saws, both for Fine Homebuilding.
For this guide, I also read many online reviews from respected sources. Chief among these were the round-ups by Popular Mechanics and Family Handyman. The Popular Mechanics piece is a little older and contains some outdated models, but many are still available. The Family Handyman guide is up to date with most current models as of early 2016.
Who should get this
A circular saw isn’t an entry-level tool, but if you’re getting into heavier DIY work, it’s essential. Projects like building a treehouse, adding on a deck, rehabbing the front steps, replacing windows, or even building shelving are much easier to handle with a circular saw in hand. For smaller tasks, or if you would rather not deal with the inherent danger of a circular saw, we also have a recommendation for a handsaw.
How we picked and tested
After reading everything we could on the topic of circular saws and tapping into my own knowledge, we feel that the best saw for most people is one that has a direct drive motor and a blade-right orientation. Most saws manufactured today follow this pattern, and we didn’t feel it necessary to deviate from these norms. For specific features within this framework, we looked for saws with either an aluminum or magnesium baseplate, a bevel that goes beyond 4degrees, an easy-to-use depth-of-cut adjustment, and a relatively light weight, below pounds.
Direct drive saws, commonly known as “Sidewinders,” are designed so that the blade is connected directly off the motor, which positions the two perpendicular to one another. This is the standard saw that most people use and are comfortable and familiar with. The other prominent style is called a worm drive (or hypoid drive). These larger saws are geared down, reducing blade speed in exchange for more torque.
The tested saws.
Getting past these basics, we recommend a saw with either a magnesium or aluminum baseplate (also called the shoe). Both of these materials are more durable than the alternative, stamped steel. Steel baseplates are basically a thin piece of sheet metal curled up at the edges. If the saw takes a tumble (and all saws do at some point) these can bend very easily. The Family Handyman piece also raises the good point that the rolled edge of the steel makes it difficult to cut against a thin straight edge like a framing square. All of the less expensive saws have stamped steel baseplates, but we feel that the added durability of magnesium or aluminum is worth the cost.
Two saw manufacturers confirmed to us that the durability of magnesium and aluminum is about the same, but magnesium is considered better due to its lighter weight. We found that the majority of high-end saws have magnesium shoes.
Weight also played a big role in our selection process. Direct drive saws have a wide range of heft, with the majority in the 10-1pound range and the minority in the 8-pound range. We read enough very positive reviews of saws in the under 10-pound range that we didn’t feel it necessary to go above that limit. This lighter weight is going to make a big difference in comfort, particularly with the part time DIYer who may not be used to handling circular saws.
Regarding blade sizes, the standard is 7¼ inch, which, with one exception, is what we considered. 7¼-inch saws have a manageable weight and they can cut all common dimensions of lumber without issue. Going smaller or larger than a 7¼-inch blade really gets into specialty saws with the larger ones designed for timber framers and the smaller ones for small amounts of trim work. The one oddball we tested has a 6½-inch blade, which is a unique model made by RIDGID. Even with the slightly smaller blade, the saw has similar power and cut capabilities as a 7¼-inch saw. It’s designed to compete with the 7¼-inch tools.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The SKILSAW isn’t perfect. There are a few small negatives that caught our attention, but none of them even come close to offsetting all that we like about the saw.
The SKILSAW’s (right) depth adjustment lever is between the handle and the blade, which can make it difficult to operate. The lever on the RIDGID is positioned to the outside of the handle where access to it is much easier.
I also didn’t care for the fact that the lever for manually retracting the lower blade guard is small and not as easy to grab as on the other saws. Honestly, this is probably just as well. Messing with the manual retraction of the blade guard isn’t recommended. Any inconvenience here is more for the knuckleheaded 2year-old kid on a framing crew who thinks it makes him more of a man if he pins the guard open with a bent coat hanger.
In going through the customer feedback at various retailers, I saw a couple mentions that the saw-to-footplate connection is weak. I didn’t see any indication of this on our test saw. I even tried to flex the connection back and forth a little, but it was stable.
The RIDGID isn’t as full-featured as our pick, but its lighter weight and great ergonomics make it a pleasant, easy saw to use—and it’s often sold at a lower price than our pick, too.
The ergonomic design of the RIDGID is fantastic.
The ergonomic design of the RIDGID is fantastic. The main handle is lightly textured and perfectly contoured to the hand. The front pommel handle was by far the most comfortable on any of the saws we tested. On the other saws, this secondary handle feels like a design afterthought, but on the RIDGID it’s evident that care was taken with its shape and it makes a difference while holding the tool.
6½-inch blades are not as ubiquitous as 7¼-inch blades, but they’re still widely available.
The RIDGID saw is sold exclusively at Home Depot, so they have a good supply, as do many retailers online. I’ve also noticed that most local hardware stores also have a selection. Most cordless circular saws use 6½-inch blades, which helps explain their easy availability.
The motor is in line with the blade, delivering enough torque to carve up wet lumber or saw through concrete, which makes a worm drive ideal for framing or major renovation jobs. With the handle farther back, a user can better resist kickback and steer the 16-pound saw through long rips. As on most full-size worm-drive saws, the blade of this Skil HD7sits to the motor’s left — in easy view for right-handed users.
The motor sits alongside the blade, making for a lighter (1pounds or less) saw, which is more maneuverable over a long day than a worm drive. The helical gearing on higher-end sidewinders, such as this Milwaukee 6390-20, beefs up the torque, making these models worthy competition for worm drives.
Weight, balance, and handle size are all key features to consider when choosing a saw that fits you. For a slight-bodied person, a small pro model like this 7.7-pound Makita 5740NB may be more appropriate than a full-size sidewinder.
Battery-driven models have increased in size as their power packs have gained voltage, making them convenient tools out in the field or when the electricity’s not on. This Bosch 1660K sports a ½-inch blade and a 24-volt battery — the largest in its class. However, cordless models still have limited run times and generate less torque than corded saws.
Ease of Adjustment
Large, smooth-cornered lever locks and full-round knobs that can be tightened down with the whole hand, like this one on the DeWalt 364, make it faster and easier to change the depth of cut and bevel settings than small, hard-to-grasp levers and wing nuts.
Shoe Styles “No matter what you do, you will drop your saw,” warns Tom Silva. Cast-metal shoes with raised reinforcing ribs on the top surface, as seen here on a Porter-Cable 347, won’t bend like flat aluminum shoes if the saw hits the ground. On the other hand, a cast metal shoe adds weight to a saw.
Setting Blade Depth
Set the blade so that its bottommost tooth is 1/to ¼ inch below the work piece. Always make sure the power source is unplugged before making any adjustments to the saw.
Support the material on a bench or two strong sawhorses, overhanging enough so that the cut piece will fall. Never prop up this off-cut, or the material will buckle and bind the blade, causing a dangerous kickback.
For an accurate cut, mark the side of the material that will become waste, then line up the blade to just leave the pencil line on the keep side. To make the cut, support the front of the saw shoe on the work piece, but keep the blade about an inch from the material. Then start the saw, letting it come up to full speed before pushing it steadily through the wood.
TIP: For 90-degree cross-cuts, use a speed square to guide the saw (below).
TIP: For narrow rips, keep the saw straight by holding the shoe with your free hand and bracing your forefinger on the wood’s edge. You can also use a pair of locking pliers (below) or a rip-fence accessory.
TIP: Make sure to start back far enough so that you only push the saw forward; never drag a spinning saw back.
Ripping Wider Lumber
If a board is too wide for the saw shoe to hang over the edge during a rip cut, hold a narrow scrap of wood between thumb and forefinger, bracing your finger along the edge of the board, and butt the saw shoe against the edge of the wood scrap as you push both along the board.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your metal chop saw wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of metal chop saw
- №1 — INGTERCO 12-Inch 120-Tooth TCG Non-Ferrous Metal Saw Blade with 1-Inch Arbor
- №2 — PORTER-CABLE PCE700 15 Amp Chop Saw
- №3 — DEWALT D28710 14-Inch Abrasive Chop Saw