If you're on the way to becoming the best woodworker there is, there are a couple of steps you should first overcome. In order to make finesse cuts and perfect projects, you need to learn how to use more tools with different applications, one of which is a chop saw.
Often confused with a miter saw, the chop saw is a straight-cutting power tool that's perfect for cutting metal at a fast pace. The best chop saw will let you run across steel, pipes, PVC, tiles, and so much more when you master it.
Finding one is not hard, but getting the best metal chop saw is a bit tricky if you don't know what to look for. That's why we've gathered some of the finest chop saws that could be found on Amazon today.
After the reviews, we'll add useful info and a buyer's guide so that you can find out more about these incredible tools.
Table of Contents
- Top 8 Chop Saws Money Can Buy
- #1. PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw - The Best Abrasive Saw Out There
- #2. Evolution EVOSAW380 Chop Saw - The Most Efficient Chop Saw
- #3. DEWALT 14-Inch Chop Saw - The Best Lightweight Chop Saw
- #4. Evolution S355CPSL 14-Inch Chop Saw - The Best Heavy-Duty Chop Saw
- #5. Makita LC1230 12" Chop Saw - The Best Premium Chop Saw
- #6. Fein Slugger Chop Saw - The Safest Chop Saw To Use
- #7. Milwaukee 14-Inch Chop Saw - The Best Power Saw
- #8. Metabo HPT Metal Chop Saw - The Best Cordless Chop Circular Saw
- Chop saws 101
- Buyer's guide: How to choose the best chop saw?
- Who's the best chop saw out there?
- Final thoughts
Top 8 Chop Saws Money Can Buy
$ — PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw ~ 32 lbs - This hybrid chop saw can do anything that you might require for your future projects. Straight cuts - no problem! Miter cuts? It's adjustable up to 45 degrees. Strength? Wait till you boot it up. The cool part about it is that it's so cheap.
$$ — Evolution EVOSAW380 Chop Saw ~ 55 lbs - Do you feel like the standard, abrasive saws just can't do the job well? Well, wait till you feel the quickness and strength of this super chop saw. It might be a bit bulky, but the compensation's worth it.
$ — DEWALT 14-Inch Chop Saw ~ 16 lbs - You know what you're getting into when you see the classic DeWalt trademark. We'll go into details in the review, but what you should know right now is that this chop saw has a 2300 W motor and the entire thing weighs only 16 lbs. Crazy, right?
$$ — Evolution S355CPSL 14-Inch Chop Saw ~ 94.7 lbs - The winner of the best heavy-duty chop saw undeniably goes to this one. It weighs a lot, but it cuts like it holds a grudge against any workpiece.
$$$ — Makita LC1230 12" Chop Saw ~ 42.5 lbs - If you're a fan of numerous features and added twists to your products, this Makita unit will undoubtedly bedazzle you. It's the most expensive abrasive saw on this list, but we can't say it's not worth it.
$$$ — Fein Slugger Chop Saw ~ 54 lbs - So, there are well-secured power tools with a lot of safety features, and then there's the Slugger. It's not the fastest chop saw out there, but the precision is top-notch.
$$ — Milwaukee 14-Inch Chop Saw ~ 42.5 lbs - Milwaukee always has something new to offer and bring to the table. It's fast, accurate, and undoubtedly one of the contenders for the best abrasive saw, thanks to its 4.0 HP motor.
$$ — Metabo HPT Metal Chop Saw ~ 37.4 lbs - Lightweight, portable, and runs at 4000 RPMs. Do we have to continue?
Chop saws differ in many things: sizes, designs, motor functions, build, and so much more. But, after you put it all in the same bowl and do some digging, you'll find the creme de la creme, the PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw.
We need to give a shoutout to the manufacturer before moving on to the review. Porter-Cable is one of the leading companies when it comes to making pneumatic and power tools, including abrasive chop saws. The company is owned by Black+Decker, which also holds the right to DeWalt, a well-known tool manufacturer.
Now, we call this one the best overall abrasive saw, but how does it stand out? First, we have to look at the design. The Porter-Cable chop saw has a simplistic build with a small yet powerful 15-amp motor and a heavy-duty base made of steel.
The motor is placed right behind the fixed arm that holds the abrasive blade that measures 14 inches. The arm has a couple of handy features, such as a spark deflector and a spindle lock that lets you swap out the blades efficiently and quickly.
A cool thing about this chop saw is that it can also function as a miter saw since the cutting fence has miter adjustments up to 45 degrees. Standard chop saws can only make straight cuts, so you could call this one a hybrid between a chop and a miter saw.
Due to its build, this thing can reach up to 3800 RPMs with ease, so cutting metal won't be of any concern. Also, the product features a quick-release clamp for easier removal of the material. Overall, it has it all, from the smallest features to the exquisite cutting skills.
Evolution Power Tools is one of the biggest names in the industry when it comes to chop saws and chop saw blades. Even our list will feature two of their products, and this is the first one. Let's see what makes the Evolution EVOSAW380 Chop Saw.
Most abrasive and chop saws are suited for metal cutting, but you'll need something a bit stronger if you plan on working with rough and hard materials. In that case, you'll need a super chop saw, which is this one.
It's one of the heavier chop saws, weighing at 55 lbs, and it's made for industrial cutting, which is evident from its build and motor. It has a powerful motor that runs on 1800 W and features a high-torque gearbox that relieves most of the pressure and improves your overall cutting performance.
It doesn't run that fast in comparison with some of the chop saws we'll see in the following paragraphs, but it's a slow grinder for hard materials, such as diamond-like structures. The maximum speed is 1450 RPMs, which is actually more than what most chop saws in the mid-range will offer you.
It supports 15-inch size blades, and the entire thing is reinforced with a heavy-duty base made of steel and aluminum. The real greatness is in the fact that this power tool has little to no emitted heat during the cuts, let alone sparks.
It's also a type of hybrid saw since it can make quick and effortless cuts at 45-degree angles, which most miter saws are known for. Now, the fence isn't what we hoped for in terms of quality, and we'd like to see an improvement when the next model comes. It's okay, but some angles can give you a headache if you need absolute accuracy.
A variety of manufacturers and different companies is always good for the market, but there are some companies that are always consistent in their quality and mass production, and they'll never be replaced.
Such is DeWalt, a crucial branch of Black+Decker, and we're presenting you with their DEWALT 14-Inch Chop Saw.
The previous unit was our best industry power tool, so it makes sense to move on to the best lightweight. This entire power tool weighs only 16 lbs, which is unheard of when it comes to most chop saws.
Furthermore, this DeWalt saw has a 2300 W, 15-amp motor that can achieve speeds up to 4000 RPM - another unbelievable fact. What's even more confusing is that this product is not even known for its strength; it has user-friendly features.
Firstly, it has an ergonomically-designed handle, which doesn't sound like much, but it's different when you try it out. Controlling the saw and mastering the precision of each controlled cut is not an easy task, and a good handle is a great addition to the learning curve.
Secondly, you can create angled cuts with the 45-degree fence that pivots, and you'll have the help of the quick-lock vise to secure your materials. In relation to this, the DeWalt saw excels in both cutting wood and metal, but it's more appropriate for metal cutting.
After you put all of these features together and add in the overall price it goes for, you get one hell of a chop saw.
The only thing that really affected our overall impression was the quality of the stock blade. You need a sharp blade or a disc to cut materials, and this one didn't do the trick. However, there are many replacement blades that you can get online for a fair price.
Now it's time for the second Evolution Power chop saw. It bears some of the features of the previous one, but it still has some innovations that we think are worth mentioning. So, without further ado, here's the Evolution S355CPSL 14-Inch Chop Saw.
You don't have to physically hold this tool or look at it in the shop to know that it's one huge tool. Looking at its accessories and pictures will already tell you that this chop saw is made for some serious construction projects.
It weighs 94.7 lbs, which makes it the heaviest item on this list, it measures 20.8 x 12.2 x 16.2 inches, and yet, it's extremely portable. Even though it's large, it's really easy to assemble and disassemble, and it's the best dry-cut metal chop saw.
We say this because the tungsten-carbide blade that comes with this chop saw is one of the rare stock models that truly does everything that was marketed. It excels and works better than most abrasive discs and replacement blades, and it cuts through mild metals and steel with ease.
Another cool thing is the warranty deal. You'll get a 3-year deal from the customer service team that protects you from all types of damages and breaks to the saw. Naturally, the price is a bit high, but you should look at it as an investment.
There are some minor design flaws that could be worked on, such as the fixed backstop and random vibrations. They are not crucial and shouldn't pose that many issues, but it's something to keep in mind.
Every article deserves a pick so expensive that you wouldn't even think of getting it, but still, you'll be longing for it every time your mid-range chop saw gives you problems. This is the definition of the Makita LC1230 12" Chop Saw.
As you know, Makita is a well-respected name in the tool industry. They manufacture gardening and construction products, woodworking equipment, and many powerful tools, such as the chop saw.
We can go on and on with the incredible numbers that this chop saw puts out, but what makes it the true creme de la creme? There are always subtleties that make the difference between a good and a quality product, no matter its nature.
In this case, the first thing we'd mention is the design. It's obvious that the team behind this chop saw really loves cutting and wood/metalworking. The D-shaped handle has a 2-finger trigger for easier use and a locking button for extra security.
Moreover, blade changes don't require many tools and precise dangling with bolts and screws. Thanks to the shaft lock, you can swap out the blades with a single wrench, and you'll be set.
You don't have to think about its efficiency as this tool is made for cutting materials with ease, soft or hard. It runs on 1300 RPMs at 1750 W, which is a nice number given that this unit supports 12-inch blades.
We can keep on listing and talking about the benefits of having this chop saw, but the vital thing you need to overcome is not the reasons why to get it; it's the price. It's really expensive, but you won't feel regret it if you purchase it.
Powerful saws can do tons of damage to the cutting materials, which also means that if you're not careful, they can do damage to you. Therefore, finding a power saw with good safety features should be one of the priorities on your quest. Here's one, the Fein Slugger Chop Saw.
The Jancy Slugger is one of those power saws that combines high-torque and low speed in order to make the most efficient cuts. Due to low speed, heat emission is not that high, and there are no sparks, even when you're cutting through steel.
You can use it to cut thick wood, but it's recommended for aluminum, steel, a variety of pipes, and other softer metals. However, this is not your basic chop saw. In addition to its versatility when it comes to cutting materials, this chop saw is equipped with some cool safety features.
First, you have the eye protection plate and a retracting blade guard for some added protection during projects. Also, the handle is ergonomically designed to fit every hand and release some of the strain with its balanced build.
It can cut a miter angle at the range of 0-45 degrees, and the adjustments are quite smooth, as you would expect from top-rated chop saws. It features a quick-release material clamp and a sturdy aluminum base for added stability.
Now, in terms of the price-to-quality ratio, we're not very pleased. Even though it's a great chop saw and undoubtedly deserves to be on this list, but it seems like the price is a bit too high as there are miter saws and chop saws that can accomplish similar things for a lesser price.
The best metal-cutting chop saw needs power, and that's a fact. Now, there are strong units on this list, but this one exceeds all expectations with its combo of motor power and design. It's the Milwaukee 14-Inch Chop Saw.
In general, cutting through thick surfaces requires either a slow-tempo motor with high torque or a fast-cutting beast with a lot of horsepowers. In this case, we have the beast in this Milwaukee product.
Milwaukee is a China-based company that delivers various tools to the rest of the world, and they're accepted in the world of woodworking and metalworking as one of the quality manufacturers. Their signature red and black designs are always up to par with the market's standards, and it's no different with this chop saw.
This unit boasts a 15-amp motor with 4.0 HP with a cutting capacity of 5 inches, depending on the material. For example, it works great with steel pipes, aluminum, and even wood, but it's recommended that you use it with metal due to the nature of the blade.
The adjustable fence can let you make miters at the desired angle anywhere between 0 and 45 degrees, which is always cool to see in a chop saw.
Another important thing to mention is that this is a fast-paced cutting circular saw. It can achieve speeds of 3900 RPMs with the help of its 15-amp motor. We tested it, and the resulting cut was always smooth, even with steel.
It does heat very fast, and there are sparks, but it's to be expected from such a tool. Still, we would've liked to see a spark reflector included, but it is what it is.
If you're a freelance construction worker, you know what a hassle it is to carry around tools and materials, especially when they're corded. Finding a good location and organizing your space is always in the back of your mind, but not if you have the Metabo HPT Metal Chop Saw.
It's not just that this unit is cordless; it's the fact that you can do the same type of work in an efficient manner and be comfortable while you're at it. Generally, cordless devices are weaker and less reliable than corded ones, whatever the field of work we're talking about.
However, this unit boasts a powerful 15-amp motor with 2000 W that can run at 4000 RPMs! If that's not special, we don't know what is. Also, it's lightweight and very portable, which is surprising given that it houses a motor and a battery.
This entire thing is made to make most miter saws look like jokes compared to it. It's practical, has a lot of ergonomic additions, and it can make smooth miters at a 45-degree angle. Why would you invest your money in a miter saw and a miter saw blade when you can get this handy item?
Also, we should add that this chop saw features a quick-release vise for faster material switching. So, why isn't it on the top of our list?
First off, the battery life is not that great, which could be problematic if you're working with a lot of materials. Secondly, this Metabo's blade isn't as high-quality as some of the previous ones.
Regardless, you can always buy a new and solid blade, and you can recharge the battery, so the salient question is, are you ready for this trade-off?
Chop saws 101
People that are into woodworking and metalworking have probably understood everything that we'd talked about in the reviews. However, if you're a novice, some of the things that we mentioned probably didn't make that much sense to you. Worry now because we're here with some information.
Before we start talking about some features in the buyer's guide, we'll quickly go over some basic information about chop saws to get you more acquainted with the topic. Stay tuned!
1. What are chop saws?
Generally, there are many people that confuse chop saws and miter saws due to their similar build and resemblance when it comes to cutting, when in fact, they are very different tools used for different applications.
In its early stages, a chop saw and an abrasive saw were one and the same. As these units progressed, woodworkers have started making a difference between the two because modern chop saws have miter properties, meaning they could perform angled cuts, whilst abrasive saws only made straight 90-degree cuts.
But, how do you draw the dividing line, considering the fact that miter saws are called the way they are because they can make miter cuts?
2. General differences
Well, most miter saws can make cuts anywhere between 0 and 90 degrees, sometimes even more if the fence allows it. On the other hand, modern chop saws are designed to cut straight and make miter cuts up to 45 degrees.
Secondly, chop saws are almost exclusive to metalworking, which is not the case with even the best miter saws. In fact, the best miter saws are always marketed for woodworking due to their sharp teeth and large TPI's (teeth per inch).
Chop saws, on the other hand, have abrasive discs that can't make that smooth of a finish on wood, but they're extremely efficient when it comes to cutting pipes, steel, aluminum, and all sorts of metal.
Another way you can observe and compare chop saws and miter saws is by the way they're divided for individual use. Let's take miter saws as the first example.
Since these units are masters of angles, they have evolved into three separate groups: sliding compound miter saws, double-bevel and single compound saws. Single compound saws rotate in one direction, dual-compound miter saws in both left and right, and compound miter saws even allow you to tip the blade, thus enabling you to make two cuts at the same time.
The other group, chop saws, don't differ in the way they cut, but by their design. You can choose between table-tops, walk-behinds, and free-hand models, with each of them giving the user a new way to experience metalworking.
Buyer's guide: How to choose the best chop saw?
If the picture's a bit clearer, it's time to move on to the specifics of what makes the best chop saws.
Naturally, we're talking about power saws that are capable of cutting through both rough and mild steel and metal, so finding a strong chop saw is of utmost importance. Well, how do you know that you've found a strong one?
If you've read all our chop saw reviews, you've probably seen that all of these units have 15-amp motors, which is the industry standard today. However, the strength in terms of power output and speed differs based on various factors: blade size, application, design, etc...
If you look at our top pick, the PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw, you'll see that its maximum rotation speed is 3800 RPMs, which fits perfectly into its design and applications for its 14-inch size blade.
If it were a bit larger, you could make dues in two ways: with a low-speed, high-torque motor or a fast-paced motor with more than 3 HP. Anyway, the amount of power the chop saw will dish out will be more than enough for you.
You know you'll be working with a lot of rough materials if you purchase a chop saw, so it makes sense to buy one that's reinforced in a way that won't interfere with your accuracy and maintain the overall balance.
Quality chop saws always have sturdy bases, which are generally made out of aluminum and steel. This is not only good in terms of durability, but the excess weight is shifted towards the bottom of the tool, thus preventing slipping.
Also, the tool itself should be a combination of tough materials that are not prone to rust, such as stainless steel or tungsten-carbide steel.
3. Chop saw blades
It's the blades that do the heavy lifting, and in most cases, the stock ones are not that great, as we've seen from the reviews. When it comes to their composition, tungsten-carbide is undoubtedly the best material for the blades, as it's durable and strong enough to cut through metal without much scarring.
Also, tungsten is great in terms of heat retention, which is important if you're getting a high-speed chop saw, which would be in the range between 3000 and 4000 RPMs.
4. Added features
Obviously, the best chop saws cost a bit more, but there are reasons for it other than efficiency. They generally have a feature or two that makes working a lot easier.
For example, many premium chop saws have a dust-catching feature that can make the difference between a healthy working environment and a cluttered one with no organization.
Secondly, investing in accessories that can help improve your accuracy is always a good idea. A good adjustable fence, a cutting parameter, a laser guide, and a miter gauge will surely improve the way you work, whether it's with metal or wood.
We want to mention warranty deals as they are quite common in this industry, but you should know what to expect.
Mid-range chop saws generally come with 2 to 3-year deals, while premium models can go up to 5 years, depending on the manufacturing company. Overall, you shouldn't settle for less since these units are prone to field accidents and breaks.
Both miter and chop saws have similar price ranges, going from $250 up to $500. It depends on the brand and the overall quality, but we wouldn't recommend you go over $400, except if you're looking for the very best saws.
What is the most accurate chop saw?
There are a lot of precise and accurate saws on this list, but we'd have to go with the DEWALT 14-Inch Chop Saw. Not only is this saw great overall, but its accuracy was really something. If you're a beginner, using this saw will make you feel like a pro since there is very little for you to do.
What is a good brand of chop saw?
All subsidiaries of Black+Decker, including Porter+Cable and DeWalt, are a good choice when it comes to chopping saws. Also, Evolution Power Tools has provided the market with some extremely well-crafted units that shouldn't be overlooked.
What is a chop saw used for?
A chop saw has abrasive discs that are ideal for cutting metallic surfaces such as steel and rough metals. Modern-day chop saws have adjustable fences that let you perform miter cuts, but they are generally intended for straight cuts at 90-degree angles.
What makes a good chop saw?
There are many factors, but the crucial ones that we'd highlight are a sturdy base, powerful motor, quality blade, and fast-paced cutting.
What is the salient difference between a chop saw and a miter saw?
These are often confused and misused, but the main difference is that chop saws are meant for metal, and they cut at 90-degrees angles, while miter saws prefer wood and can make various cuts in a wide-angle range.
What materials can I cut with a chop saw?
You can cut various types of metal, including stainless steel, pipes, PVC, tiles, but wood is not preferable since abrasive discs don't have teeth.
Who's the best chop saw out there?
We have to go with the PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw - it's that simple. It's the perfect combination of all features that we talked about previously, it's quite affordable, and it's really easy to master. Also, the way it is built is truly a sign of excellence - the sturdiness, durability, and absolute control over the workpiece.
- 15 Amp, 3,800 Rpm Motor With Replaceable Brushes Provides Power And Durability For The Chop Saw
- Quick-Release Material Clamp Of The Metal Chop Saw Allows For Easy Material Cutting And Removal
- Cutting Fence With Miter Adjustment Of The Metal Cutting Saw Allows Up To 45 Degree Angles To Be Cut
- Spark Deflector Provides Safety And Clear Line Of Sight For Cutting
So many chop saws and we had to pick only eight. Don't get us wrong, there are many phenomenal units out there that didn't make the cut, but they're still terrific. Therefore, we hope that the buyer's guide gave you enough information to start finding the best chop saw if none of the products above caught your attention.
Thank you, and send us feedback!