When working on projects, it is all about the tools. The wrong ones can make your life a living nightmare, but the right ones help you speed through them.
When cutting metals like steel, you need to have the right tool or else you will be far behind, and cutting sheets will take forever. This is where steel chop saws come in.
A power tool that lets you speed through not just steel, but various kinds of metals too, chop saws are a staple in welding and similar workshops. They are fast, they are easy to use and most importantly they are safe.
If you are in this business, or have to work around cutting metals, consider getting yourself one of these to make work easier.
But buying one is not that simple, especially if you are new to this. You will come across many when looking for a chop saw, but only a few are worth your time.
To make this easier for you, we have gathered here a collection of the top eight chop saws that we think are worth checking out. Take a few minutes to go through them, and hopefully, you will be able to find your perfect tool.
- Best Steel Chop Saw Reviews
- 1. Evolution, Heavy Duty Steel Cutting Chop Saw S355CPSL
- 2. DEWALT Metal Cutting Saw DW872
- 3. Makita, Super Steel Cutting Saw LC1230
- 4. DEWALT, Chop Saw For Steel Cutting D28730
- 5. Evolution Power Tools, Steel Cutting Circular Saw EVOSAW230
- 6. DEWALT, Yellow Chop Saw D28710
- 7. Ironton, Dry Cut Chop Saw J1G-KE-180
- Buying Guide How to choose one!
Best Steel Chop Saw Reviews
1. Evolution, Heavy Duty Steel Cutting Chop Saw S355CPSL
This product is a dry-cut saw. Since the saw doesn’t become hot while operating, you won’t need to use water or coolants, which provides you a cleaner work space.
It’s set on a strong base created from lightweight, pressed steel. The saw is equipped with a locking pin, installed at the head to prevent accidental injuries. It offers a 14-inch long blade with tips coated by a combination of tungsten and carbide.
The product is equipped with a sliding compound miter tool, set at the base. You can set the desired angle and execute precise cuts using the miter, within a 0 to 45-degree range.
The saw is loaded with features that’ll make sawing easier and effortless. Take the chip deflector for example, it works to spin away residue from the handle of the machine. Thus, it saves you from getting injured and eliminates frequent cleaning.
Despite being an electric saw, run by a 15 Amp (110-Volt) motor, it doesn’t create splashes of spark. However, it is able to spin the blade at 3,800 RPM speed, providing you a faster workflow. It also gives you a prepared and cold-to-touch finish, saving you the trouble of filing an unsatisfactory cut.
The saw is equipped with an adjustable guide rail, which lets you detect the desired length of the material to be sawed. The quick-release carbon-steel vises (a rectangular and v-block vise) help to lock materials in place and keep the blade stable while sharpening.
The package comes with a carbon steel coated blade, blade Guard, and chip deflector.
- Doesn’t require water or coolants, providing you a cleaner workplace.
- Uses a 15 Amp (110-Volt) motor to provide you a 3,800 RPM speed.
- Offers an instant professional finish, erasing the need for additional filing.
- Can make miter/angled cuts, ranging from 0 to 45-degree.
- Provides two carbon steel vises (a rectangular and a v-block) for stability.
2. DEWALT Metal Cutting Saw DW872
The highlight of the product is a 14-Inch long, multi-cutting blade. It is able to saw through both iron and non-iron based metals.
According to Dewalt, the saw is able to cut materials 4x quicker than regular a chop saw. In terms of band saws (portable), the cutting rate is 8x faster. In fact, the DW872 outperforms most deep-cut band saws in cutting 5.18-inches (round) and (4.5 x 6.5)-inches (rectangular) metals.
The blade is manufactured with a set of 70 carbide plated teeth, providing you a smoother cut and continuity of depth. They can save you up to 5-cents for each cut compared with an abrasive wheel. Our survey reveals you can get up to 5,000 cuts from the product if the blade is sharped regularly.
The saw offers various other convenient features too, such as: a miter that can be operated without using any additional tools, integrated brush and wheel-swap wrench storage, etc.
The product’s equipped with a 45-degree fence with a quick-release feature and makes executing tricky angle cuts precise and easy without using any tools. It also has a spindle lock, which stops the blade from spinning by locking the spindle while you remove the nuts. Without this feature, it’d be quite hard and risky to change blunt wheels.
The construction is smart and effective. It has a pure steel base with 4 bolt-on holes, which help to securely lock in the saw on any workbench. It further lets you weld stoppers and jigs right on the surface, without using any damage-reducer sheet/plate.
The saw uses a fast-retraction guard to allow visibility of over the predetermined cutting line with safety. The compression spring is industry-grade. You can also adjust the chip deflector in a particular direction, ensuring it properly reaches the purifying system of your worksite.
- Offers 4x faster (than chop saws) and 8x faster (than band saws) cutting speed.
- Uses a vertical clamping design, the most effective clamping system in market.
- Features a fast-retraction guard, allowing safe visibility of over the cutting line.
- Integrated storage for brushes and wheel-swap wrench minimizes losing tools.
- Provides up to 5,000 cuts per blade, if it is sharped regularly.
3. Makita, Super Steel Cutting Saw LC1230
This dry cutting saw truly portrays how a steel cutting saw should be designed.
Fueled by a 15 Amp and 120-Volt motor, it’s able to pump out a 1650-watts of power while providing a 1,700 RPM speed. Despite running at such a high RPM, the saw is significantly quiet and produces minimal amount of sparks.
The product uses a 12-inch blade with 62 carbide coated teeth. Its longevity is 50 times more than regular abrasives. It’s cost-beneficial and provides an instantly cold and professional finish, eliminating the effort of shaping-up a rough edge. It saws four times faster than abrasives on materials like: angle irons, light pipes, tubing, conduits, etc.
Equipped with a 1-inch arbor wheel and a miter tool, the saw offers a cutting depth of 4.5-inches at 90-degrees and 3.5-inches at 45-degrees.
It is engineered with a fence that offers an angle range between 0 to 45-degree. This feature makes executing angle cuts using the miter more spontaneous. The saw also provides a fast-release guide plate that can be altered from a 0 to 45-degree angle without using any additional tools. The product also delivers a vise with a quick-release mechanism.
Makita adds a chip collector at the back, a tray for collecting residue shavings, a wrench storage at the base, and a brush storage that can be reached without opening the entire machine.
Furthermore, a shaft-lock is added to quickly change wheels with just one tool and a D carrying handle (with a dual finger trigger design) to increase portability and comfort.
The LC1230 also provides a lock-in button to prevent injuries from unintentional turn-ons.
- The guide plate can be adjusted from 0 to 45-degree without using any tools.
- A carrying handle with “dual-finger trigger design” increases comfort.
- Offers a lock-in button to prevent injuries from unintentional turn-ons.
- Despite using a 15 Amp motor with 1,700 RPM speed, runs a quiet operation.
- Cuts steel of various shapes four times faster than abrasive wheels.
4. DEWALT, Chop Saw For Steel Cutting D28730
DEWALT rarely misses the mark in producing a simple yet effective saw for cutting all types and shapes of metals. This chop saw, fortunately, is not an exception.
The product is run by a 15 Amp and 230-volt motor which is capable of releasing 2300-Watts of power at a 3,800 RPM speed. It’s created with an overload protection and designed with a ventilated outlet. Thus, the saw doesn’t overheat even in high temperatures.
With a 14-Inch cutter wheel, equipped with the standard 1-inch arbor wheel, the saw delivers an industry-grade performance. It also has a fast-lock vise, which allows you to lock in materials at a variety of lengths and keeps the blade stable while sharpening. However, you can’t make bevel cuts with this saw due to rotational limitations.
The product is designed with a miter tool, that offers a range of 0 to 45-degree. You simply need to loosen the two hexagonal nuts to fix the miter at your desired angle. Then you should tighten the nuts and start sawing. It also includes a fence that can pivot from 0 to 45-degree, helping you make tricky angle cuts quickly and with precision.
The saw showcases an adjustable spark deflector, using which you can direct the fiery sparks away from yourself and other hazardous/valuable materials.
It offers a variety of convenient features. For example, a D-shaped carrying handle with a patterned grip, specifically engineered to increase user comfort and eliminate hand-fatigue.
The upper body is set on a multi-level steel base, secured with corner-stoppers. The D28730 offers a sturdy fence. An external hook, attached to the blade guard, provides safety while exposing or guarding the blade.
Other than the chop saw and a 14-inch abrasive wheel, the package also includes an installation wrench.
- Uses a motor with 2300-Watts of power output and a 3,800 RPM speed.
- A multi-level steel base, secured with corner-stoppers, provides stability.
- An external hook, attached to the blade guard, ensures a safe usage.
- Equipped with an adjustable spark deflector.
- The motor is designed with a ventilated outlet to prevent overheating.
5. Evolution Power Tools, Steel Cutting Circular Saw EVOSAW230
This product is the brainchild of innovation, spontaneity, and portability.
This premium-grade saw uses a 9-inch blade, produced with 48 tungsten-carbide coated teeth, and employs a laser guide to make precise cuts. The cutter wheel uses a 1-inch arbor wheel for smooth rotation and provides a 3.5-inch of maximum cutting depth.
It’s built with an impact-resistant, pressed stainless steel base, and equipped with a carrying case and D-shaped carrying handle. The blue ribbed top-grip handle and case are designed to provide easy access to the trigger switch (dual finger) and the power switch.
Weighing at only 1-pound, the product becomes a perfect choice for outdoor worksites and traveling. Evolution claims that the circular steel cutting saw cuts 4 times faster and has 20 times more durability than an abrasive saw.
The saw is equipped with a miter tool. It has sliding guide rails and adjustable clamps that can be locked in at various lengths. It is engineered with a specialized tilt, ranging from 0 to 45-degree, for making bevel cuts.
Being a dry cut saw, it can stay cool without using any water or coolants. Thus, it’s able to produce clean, cold cuts which can be touched immediately. You also get a professional finish that doesn’t require any polishing or filing afterward. It creates a minimum amount of sparks, providing safe operation.
Running on an AC power source, the saw uses a 15 Amp motor (pumping 1750-watts of power output) to provide a maximum RPM of 2,700. The product has a viewing panel, allowing you to ensure that the sawing process is progressing accurately. It also has an automatic residue collecting system, making it easier for you to clean the saw.
- Constructed to offer 20 times more durability than abrasive saws.
- Features an automatic residue collecting system to provide an easy clean-up.
- Built with a specialized tilt for easy transitions between different style cuts.
- Offers a viewing panel to allow real-time visibility over the sawing process.
- A storage case and ribbed top-grip D-handle enhance ease and portability.
6. DEWALT, Yellow Chop Saw D28710
The D28710 is another gem in Dewalt’s premium chop saw series.
The saw uses an AC/DC power source to run its 4HP (15-Amp) motor, producing a massive 3,800 RPM speed.
The cutter wheel uses aluminum oxide as a grain for creating an abrasive surface. Thus, it is able to absorb strong impacts for vibration reduction and increases durability. The arbor wheel used in production has the standard 1-inch diameter.
Besides being compatible with type-1 cutter wheels, the saw offers a maximum cutting depth of (4 x 7.62)-inches for rectangular metal stocks and 5-inches for round metal stocks.
The saw provides an adjustable fence that can be pivoted from a 0 to 45-degree angle. It offers a locking mechanism for the spindle to prevent injuries caused by a spinning wheel while changing it. It also has a vise, allowing you to clamp down materials of different shapes with a faster speed due to its quick-lock feature.
The product has an integrated storage for a wrench, specifically produced to change wheels. This feature speeds up your workflow and eliminates the possibility of frequently losing your tool.
The D-shaped carrying handle is set horizontally to the cutter wheel and equipped with an easy access trigger. Such ergonomic design choices make operating the saw easy, portable, and intuitive. The product also includes a dual locking method for carrying the saw safely.
Finally, two small features caught our attention: an adjustable spark guard, which helps you to deflect the fiery specks away to remain safe. And a rolled edge at the end of the blade guard, making removing and closing the guard spontaneous and safe.
- The end point of the blade guard is rolled for user comfort and safety.
- The carrying handle is set horizontally to the wheel for intuitive using.
- An integrated wrench-storage allows smooth access and prevents loss of tools.
- Can be used with type-1 cutter wheels.
- Features a dual locking method: a strong locking pin and a locking chain.
7. Ironton, Dry Cut Chop Saw J1G-KE-180
The J1G-KE-180 can be considered as the “Swiss Army Knife” of dry cut chop saws. There are very few sawing activities that can’t be executed using this product.
Ironton designed this saw to be multi-rotational. Thus, in a 0 to 90-degree range, it can cut round stocks (e.g. solid steel pipes) up to 2-inches, square stocks up to 1.78-inches, rectangular stocks up to 3.5-inches, and L-shaped stocks up to 2.37-inches. In a 0 to 45-degree angle radius, it can saw steel tubes up to 1.25-inches, square stocks up to 1.25-inches, rectangular bars up to 1.56-inches, and L-shaped metals up to 0.87-inches.
The product is also designed with an adjustable guide plate that provides an angle range of 0 to 45-degree and doesn’t require any extra tool for operation. This feature really comes in handy when you are executing angle cuts (e.g. dovetail cut) using the miter.
The upper body is set on a base made of carbon steel, which is prepared through a process of steel casting to enhance structural strength and shock absorption. The company uses a 36 TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) blade with carbide coated teeth for fast, precise cutting and increased longevity.
It is powered from an electric source through a 10.5 Amp, 120-volt motor. The motor is able to provide a 3,800 RPM of speed when no additional load is attached to the machine.
The 7.25-inches dry cut saw has a fast-release vise to safely lock materials of various sizes and allows you to make similar cuts in a row with increased speed. It has the standard D-shaped carrying handle for ease of portability and an emergency button to lock-off the machine for preventing unintentional startups.
- Offers a multi-rotational chop saw to make angle and bevel cuts easily.
- Uses a 36 TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) blade for increased longevity.
- Can cut round, square, rectangular, and L-shaped steel in different depths.
- Provides an adjustable guide plate that doesn’t require extra tools for operation.
- An emergency button to lock-off the machine during unintended startups.
Buying Guide How to choose one!
Although a lot of saws are handheld, we recommend going with ones that are powered. These are more efficient and accurate, especially when dealing with hard materials like steel.
Now, what type of power source should you go with?
One option is gas powered saw. It uses gasoline and can chop through steel and various other metals at increasing rates.
This is definitely one of the most powerful options as it features high speed. But on the downside, these saws are a tad bit on the heavier side, and noisy when running.
Electric powered saw is another option. You connect your saw to an outlet and have it running, it is as simple as that.
These take up less space, and weigh less too, making them easier to move. Make sure to have long cords that give you the freedom to move around freely.
You will also find saws that are battery-powered, mostly NiCad or lithium-ion. These are easy to move with since there is no cord.
On the downside, they are mostly suited to light works like cutting aluminum, not necessarily the best for steel. If you seek mobility and want to reach small places, this will be a good option, but it definitely has less power than the other two.
Metal cutting blades are different from the ones used on wood or plastic. The prior ones have to be coated with a ceramic blend to be able to cut metal smoothly.
Metal cutting process heats up the blade a lot, and the coating helps to prevent that as well to make the blade more durable. You get smoother and more precise cuts this way, and also do not require any extra coolant for your blade.
Now, your options lie between abrasive disc and carbide blades.
Abrasive blades give off sparks when cutting steel and leave it hot right after. They are ideal heavy metals since a lot of friction is needed to cut them.
However, being slower and lightweight, these blades are suited mostly for hobbyists and not industry professionals.
Carbide or cold saw blades are quick in their work, and give off the most accurate finishes. You will not see any burrs in the final product. Since no spark is generated during the cutting process, the metal is cool to the touch even after cutting.
Coming with metallic toothed blades, they tend to be more durable and produce cleaner slices and chops. However, all these qualities make them more expensive than other options.
Tooth Per Inch (TPI)
The TPI or tooth per inch is a measure of the teeth density of the blade. When it comes to chop saws, the teeth are different and specially designed in a manner that lets them work efficiently while dissipating the heat created. The result is a cool metal product even after the cut.
For cutting steel and other metals, you need to look out for a TPI between 60-100 to get a burr-free and smooth cut.
Also, look for carbide-tipped blades since these give you fast cuts, and let you do different depths and lengths of cut with little adjustments- a must-have for professionals.
Blade size depends on the size of the metal you will be cutting. So if you are a professional who has to cut numerous types and sizes of metals, opt for a size that will work with all or most of your metals.
A blade of 14 inches or higher will be ideal in this case. For lighter use at households or small backyard projects, go for 7 to 12-inch blades, as these will be most suitable for lighter work.
Revolutions Per Minute (RPM)
When it comes to cutting metals, speed is not everything. You do not need the highest speed, as that can be dangerous with materials like metal.
The rotational speed is measured in RPM. A moderate RPM is suggested for cutting metals like steel, so that the outcome is smooth and there is no fear of accidents.
If you wish to cut softer metals like aluminum, opt for saws that have a speed range of 3000- 3500 RPM, but no more than that.
For Haber metals, opt for speeds below 3000 RPM.
If you are using an abrasive disc blade, opt for a minimum of 3000 RPM.
With powered devices, you always have to check the motor and how it performs. Even though cutting metal itself might not require the highest speed, a high torque is surely needed to go through something as strong as steel.
Make sure to go for a minimum of 15 amperes, and 1100 watts. Also see that your motor can run smoothly with the power supply you have and that it can work at low speeds. This ensures minimum sparks when working.
Even if you are sure that you only need straight cuts, there might be a few instances where you need curved cuts, and you should be prepared for it.
Most of the products featured here come with tilt capabilities and adjustable miter gauges. So you can easily cut any metal you want up to an angle of 45 degrees.
Most good chop saws will come with spark deflectors to keep sparks at bay as you work. It makes the work easier while helping to keep surroundings safe. Try to go for saws that come with adjustable spark deflectors.
Tools like saws, most of all, should have adequate safety features. Saws can be dangerous to work around, but proper safety devices can help you.
Look for things like blade guards and safety goggles when you purchase a steel chop saw. If they don’t come with your chosen saw, get them separately.
So that is all about metal chop saws. We hope you found this helpful.
Choosing the right tool is the key to good performance. Working with the saws we recommended will make your work a whole lot easier and faster, giving you time and space to work on other things.
A quick skim through this article should help you understand all you need to know about metal chop saws, from their build to the brands to choosing one that is right for you. Hopefully, you can leave this guide with a model in mind.