7 Best Chop Saws for Easily Cutting Hardened Steel

Best Chop Saws

Chop saws, also known as cut-off saws, are indispensable tools in most wood and metal workshops. Both chop saws and miter saws look alike, but where miter saws have evolved for woodworking, chop saws have remained the metal worker's reliable tool. A chop saw is usually fitted with a large blade, which is powered by an electric motor, and both are mounted on a hinged arm for up and down swinging movements.

The blade can have normal teeth, in which case the saw is used for wood, or it can have carbide tipped teeth, which makes it a multi-cutter. It can also be an abrasive disc, in which case the saw is used mostly for metal work. Its hinged arm is normally fixed, and perpendicular to the table. This way, it can neither be swung nor swiveled to the left or right. Chop saws are great for cutting wood, metal, plastics and other materials.

You can also read other product reviews such as scroll saw, track sawreciprocating sawtable sawjig sawmiter sawbow sawband sawcircular sawhack saw

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Product Name

Power

Speed

Max Capacity

Rating

Current Price

Dewalt D28715 Quick-Change 14-Inch Chop Saw

1. DeWalt D28715 Quick-Change Chop Saw

15 Amps, 5.5 HP

4000 RPM

5 in

4.3

Dewalt D28710 Abrasive 14-Inch Chop Saw

2. DeWalt D28710 Abrasive Chop Saw

15 Amps, 4.0 HP

3800 RPM

5 in

4.4

Makita LC1230 12-Inch Chop Saw with Carbide Tipped Blades

3. Makita LC1230 Chop Saw with Carbide Tipped Blades

15 Amps

1300 RPM

4-1/2 in

4.6

Porter-Cable PCE700 14-Inch Chop Saw

4. Porter-Cable PCE700 Chop Saw

15 Amps, 4.0 HP

3800 RPM

4-3/4 in

4.3

Dewalt DW872 Carbide Tipped 14-Inch Multi Saw

5. DeWalt DW872 Carbide Tipped Multi Saw

15 Amps, 4.0 HP

1300 RPM

5-3/16 in

4.4

Porter-Cable PC14CTSD 4 HP 14-Inch Chop Saw

6. Porter-Cable PC14CTSD Chop Saw

15 Amp, 4.0 HP

3800 RPM

N/A

4.3

MK Morse CSM14MB 72-Tooth Carbide Blade Chop Saw

7. MK Morse CSM14MB 72-Tooth Chop Saw

120 V

1300 RPM

5-1/8 in

4.6

#1. DeWalt D28715 Quick-Change 14-Inch Chop Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Dewalt D28715 Quick-Change 14-Inch Chop Saw Review

Featuring a powerful 15-Amp motor, this D28715 from DeWalt delivers 5.5 HP of torque to get the job done as quickly as possible. It comes with a Quick-Lock vise, designed for faster and more precise clamping of your material. There is also a pivoting fence, with a 45-degree angle, for making accurate angle cuts. Four pre-drilled holes allow for easy attachment and bolt-down on any workbench.

Quick-Change is a DeWalt technology that allows the rapid change of blades on this saw, and without needing a wrench. The maximum round cutting capacity is 5 inches, but it can handle rectangular materials up to 4.5 x 6.5 inches in dimension. This saw weighs 39 lbs., with a solid steel base for stability. DeWalt backs it up with a 3-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • 15-Amp motor with 5.5 HP for maximum performance and durability.
  • High speed, 4,000 RPM blade speed.
  • Quick-Change allows the user to change blades without a wrench.
  • Ergonomically designed handle reduces fatigue and increases productivity.

Cons

  • 1-year free service is a bit short for such a popular brand's product.

Who should buy?

DeWalt designed this metal chop saw for those who want a reliable tool they can use time and again without any hassles. Designed with insights from DeWalt's long-term experience in the power tools industry, and backed by a 3-year limited warranty, you can rest assured about the quality and durability of this saw.

#2. DeWalt D28710 Abrasive 14-Inch Chop Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Dewalt D28710 Abrasive 14-Inch Chop Saw

Continuing with our metal chop saw reviews, the DeWalt D28710 is a low priced 14-inch chop saw, made with DeWalt's quality engineering. Changing of its cutting disc requires a wrench, and the saw offers an on-board storage for this wrench. Its motor generates 4 HP with a no-load speed of 3,800 RPM. This saw also has a round cutting capacity of 5 inches, and a rectangular capacity of 4 x 7.6 inches.

The DeWalt D28710 chop saw weighs 36.5 lbs and can be easily carried around with its well placed handle. There is a Quick-Lock vise, which enables a fast and easy clamping on of different materials for better productivity. Its ergonomically designed "D" handle reduces fatigue, and a pivoting fence allows up to 45-degree miter cuts. DeWalt supports this saw with a 3-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • 15-Amp motor delivers 4 HP of torque for better efficiency.
  • Integrated handle allows the saw to be easily carried around.
  • 45 degree pivoting steel fence allows quick and accurate angled cuts.
  • Abrasive disc can be easily removed and attached using the spindle lock.

Cons

  • This saw's motor is not very efficient, but it is also low priced.

Who should buy?

DeWalt D28710 is an affordable DeWalt chop saw version. It is designed for those who desire the reliability and high quality of a DeWalt metal chop saw, but are slightly on a budget. The spark guard is adjustable and it comes with a 14-inch abrasive wheel and a wrench.

#3. Makita LC1230 12-Inch Chop Saw with Carbide Tipped Blades

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Makita LC1230 12-Inch Chop Saw with Carbide Tipped Blades

With its carbide tipped teeth, the Makita LC1230 is a highly precise metal chop saw, with accurate, clean, burr-free cuts. This saw cuts light pipe, conduit, tubing and angle iron up to five times faster than with abrasive chop saws. It also provides long-term cost savings, because carbide tipped teeth last up to 50 times longer than abrasive wheels. Miter cutting is also available with a 45-degree pivoting fence, plus a quick release support.

The base is made from cast aluminum and provides a shavings collection tray. It also provides on-board storage for the blade changing wrench, which is included in the package, along with safety goggles, a switch button and the cutting blade. At 1,300 RPM, this blade will cut to a maximum depth of 4.5 inches at 90 degrees, or 3.5 inches at 45 degrees. Makita backs it up with a money back guarantee and a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Carbide tipped blades cut cleaner than abrasive wheels.
  • Ergonomically designed D-shaped handle offers better user comfort and reduces fatigue.
  • 15-amp motor produces 4x faster cutting with its carbide tipped blades.
  • Lock-off button improves safety by preventing accidental starts.

Cons

  • This saw looks a bit crudely made.

Who should buy?

The Makita LC1230 is designed for those who want power and speed combined in one machine. With its 15-Amp motor powering a 12-inch blade with carbide tipped teeth, Makita delivers a saw that is powerful, precise and very economical.

#4. Porter-Cable PCE700 14-Inch Chop Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Porter-Cable PCE700 14-Inch Chop Saw

Porter-Cable's PCE700 is a high quality and well-made chop saw, offered at a good price. It comes with a 15-Amp motor, which generates its 3800 rpm cutting power. The blade's arm is mounted on a solid steel base for better stability while working, and the blade is attached to the arm using a spindle lock, which makes blade changes easier and faster.

There is a cutting fence with pivoting ability up to 45 degrees, designed for miter cuts. A spark deflector is provided for safety and a clear line of sight while cutting. This saw's clamp also features a quick release function for easy cutting and removal of materials. The 14-inch blade will cut a maximum of 4.75 x 5.3 inches, and it comes with an 8-foot long power cable.

Pros

  • 15-Amp motor with 3,800 rpm, featuring replaceable motor brushes.
  • Pivoting fence allows up to 45-degree adjustments for miter cuts.
  • Clamp features a quick release mechanism for better efficiency.
  • This saw uses a spindle lock for quick and easy blade changes.

Cons

  • It looks cheaply made.

Who should buy?

Porter-Cable provides a good quality, budget chop saw with this PCE700. Featuring a 15-Amp motor with 3,800 rpm, this is probably the best chop saw for those on a budget. Porter-Cable priced it quite attractively, so if you don't mind its rather cheap look, then this is a great buy.

#5. DeWalt DW872 Carbide Tipped 14-Inch Multi Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Dewalt DW872 Carbide Tipped 14-Inch Multi Saw

This is the ultimate saw for those who want the very best. Fitted with a carbide tipped blade, which is able to cut faster and more precisely than with other blade types, this saw is a dream come true for the professional. From ferrous and non-ferrous metals, to all sorts of other materials, you can be sure to get it cut faster and cleaner with the DW872. It is backed by a 3-year warranty.

A 15-Amp motor powers the 14-inch blade at 1,300 rpm, and there is an adjustable fence for making up to 45 degree angled cuts. DeWalt's Quick-Lock vise allows for easy clamping of materials, and the ergonomically designed handle reduces the stress on your wrists. It cuts up to 4 times faster than standard chop saws with abrasive discs, and has a round cutting capacity of 5.2 inches, plus a rectangular capacity of 4.5 x 6.5 inches.

Pros

  • Blade with carbide tipped teeth offers cutting versatility.
  • Carbide tipped teeth deliver accurate, fast and burr-free cuts.
  • 15 Amps motor generates 4 HP for up to 4 times more cutting speed than abrasive discs.
  • Patented Quick-Fence with a 45-degree pivoting ability offer quick miter cuts.

Cons

  • It's a bit pricey, but the saw's quality is worth it.

Who should buy?

DeWalt designed this metal chop saw for the professional user who simply wants the best. From the base, to the clamp, fence and blade, this saw is simply pure goodness and built to last. The carbide tipped 70 teeth on the blade, offer a high level of cutting precision that is non-existent with other blade types.

#6. Porter-Cable PC14CTSD 4 HP 14-Inch Chop Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Porter-Cable PC14CTSD 4 HP 14-Inch Chop Saw

Featuring a 15-Amp motor which drives a 14-inch wheel, Porter-Cable's PC14CTSD is designed to tackle a wide variety of materials with relative ease. Its front-positioned D-handle minimizes the amount of force required to operate it. A 45-degree pivoting fence makes miter cuts from 0 to 45 degrees possible, with the material clamp offering a rapid release mechanism for a more efficient work-flow.

Porter-Cable's PC14CTSD weighs just 32 lbs, and is 21 inches in length. A steel base makes it more solid and safe during operation. The adjustable spark deflector and a blade guard further increase this safety. There is an on-board tool storage for the blade changing wrench, and Porter-Cable backs up the machine with a money back guarantee and a 3-year warranty.

Pros

  • 15-Amp motor, delivers 4 HP of torque to tackle all kinds of materials.
  • Up to 45 degrees miter capacity provided by pivoting fence.
  • Clamp features a quick release mechanism, making it easier and faster to do work.
  • Spindle locking system makes changing of blades quick and simple.

Cons

  • This saw's design is rather boring.

Who should buy?

Designed to be a reliable and sturdy saw with universal application, Porter-Cable's PC14CTSD can cut through angle iron, iron pipes, conduit, threaded rods e.t.c. Its 15-Amp and 4 HP generating motor provides the needed power to drive the 14-inch blade at 3,800 rpm. An 8-ft. long power cord also increases the saw's flexibility.

#7. MK Morse CSM14MB 72-Tooth Carbide Blade Chop Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

MK Morse CSM14MB 72-Tooth Carbide Blade Saw

The last product in our metal cut off saw reviews is the MK Morse CSM14MB. The carbide tipped 72 teeth of the Metal Devil blade on this saw, makes it a very powerful tool to have. The motor rotates at a mere 1,300 rpm, but in exchange for the lower speed, you get a higher torque driving the 14-inch Metal Devil blade. This saw cuts through metal, it does not grind the metal. This produces clean cuts without the noise, sparks, smell and heat build up experienced with other saws and blade types.

Changing of the blade requires a wrench, and there is an on-board storage space for this wrench. Also included in the package are safety goggles, blade safety guard, ear plugs, beveling vise, 2 hex wrenches and the Metal Devil cutting blade. This saw will make a 4.25 x 4.25 inches square cut and a 3.75 x 7.25 inches rectangular cut. It is CSA safety certified and also meets the ISO9002 standard.

Pros

  • 14-inch disc rotates at low 1,300 rpm but with high torque.
  • 72-tooth carbide tipped blade cuts metal with high precision.
  • Does its job without sparks, heat build-up, noise or smell.
  • Metal chop saw package comes with accessories to make your work easier.

Cons

  • A rather pricey saw, although the quality is definitely worth it.

Who should buy?

Mk Morse designed the CSM14MB as a high precision saw, perfect for professionals who want only the best metal cutting chop saw. The Metal Devil blade from Mk Morse combines titanium carbide and tungsten carbide for a long lasting, always sharp blade. Combined with the other components of the system, and including accessories, this is truly one high quality piece of equipment.

What to Look for When Buying a Chop Saw

Following are the most important features that you should consider, when you are in the market for a chop saw. They are in no order of significance.

#1. Speed Control

The Criteria for Buying a Chop Saw

Speed control is a feature that can make quite a difference in your work. There are cuts for which you might like to take your time, so you have to reduce the saw's speed as much as possible. In other situations, you might want to get a large quantity of repetitive work finished as quickly as possible. In such a situation, you will need the maximum possible speed.

Speed control is usually found in higher priced saws. It can be anything between a simple Low/High speed selection, and a variable speed dial, which offers a more precise control. Lower priced saws will tend to have one fixed speed, while the pricier models can offer a selection between 1,400 and 3,800 rpm (rotations per minute) on the average.

#2. Blade Choice

Knowing what you are using your tool for is as equally important. There are many blade choices for use with a chop saw. You can either use the normal, toothed blades for woodworking, or you could use an abrasive disc, solely for metal work. You could also use carbide-tipped toothed blades, which turns the saw into a multi-material cutter.

#3. To Miter or Not?

Knowing the exact kind of work that you do will also help you to determine if you need a saw with full miter capabilities, or if you just need a plain-old chop saw. Many metal cutoff saws will have a pivoting fence for making angled cuts anyway, while others have more elaborate systems, like revolving bases.

The simple rule is this: if you cut lots of rigid materials, especially metal, at a fixed angle, then you just need a chop saw. If on the other hand, you deal with a variety of materials, and precision and angled cuts are of much importance to you, then you should consider a compound miter saw.

#4. Extras

There are extra features that you might need, and they all vary depending on the manufacturer and the saw's model. The best chop saws will always have extra features, so keep an eye out for them. Some of these features include LED lights, laser guides (which are more common on miter saws), cordless operation, ergonomic handles and safety features, like lock buttons to prevent accidentally starting the saw.

Questions & Answers

Q1. What is a chop saw good for?

A chop saw is good for cutting metals and other rigid or hard materials. It usually has a big motor, and is fitted with a large, appropriate blade, perfect for rigid materials. The blade is mounted on a metal arm which is attached to its base, and makes vertical up and down movements.

Thus a chop saw is ideal for cutting materials at a 90-degree angle, and in situations where speed is of importance. Apart from its use in production shops, a chop saw is also ideal for framing works in building sites, as well as for other jobs that require a large cutting capacity.

Q2. Can you cut metal with a chop saw?

Yes, you can use a chop saw to cut metal, as well as other materials like wood, plastic, PVC e.t.c. You just have to change the saw's blade, and attach a more appropriate blade for metal, if you haven't already, then you will have a metal chop saw. In this case, you can either use an abrasive disc or a carbide-tipped, toothed blade to cut the metal. The abrasive disc is perfect for metals and similar materials, while the toothed blade with carbide tipping will enable the saw to cut more sorts of materials.

Q3. What is the difference between a chop saw and a miter saw?

The basic difference between a chop saw and a miter saw is that a chop saw cuts down into a piece of material vertically, and at a 90 degree angle, while a miter saw can cut down vertically into the material at varying angles. A compound miter saw is also able to swivel on its axis, and be able to make a bevel cut into the stock. A second difference between miter and chop saws is that modern miter saws have evolved into precision instruments, designed mainly for wood working.

Chop saws on the other hand, have larger motors and blades, with the advantage of faster completions of routine jobs. Miter saws come with laser guides, they can rotate horizontally, as well as swivel on their axis. At the top of the line, you have sliding compound miter saws, which add a front and back sliding functionality, in order to more easily cut through thicker materials.

>> Read More: Chop Saw vs. Miter Saw - What's the Difference

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Tom Bradly
 

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise.