by Michael Boyer
Last Updated January 21, 2019
Willpower will determine a fair number of other qualities about the product but primarily affects the durability of the chop saw as well as the its ability to make the cut. This is in a large part due to the fact that the power is intended to be transferred into torque as opposed to straight speed.
Regardless, the power of a chop saw’s motor and gearbox are heavily focused and rated in terms of raw electrical power in amps and in terms of speed in RPMs. That said, you should not necessarily look at the specs of a chop saw the way you would other kinds of saws.
While all chop saws are able to make cross cuts and plunge cuts, some of the better items on the market are also able to perform some other cuts. Keep in mind that if you plan on cutting hardwood or any other material that requires higher RPMs to be cut properly, you are better served simply using a more traditional saw.
Still, since power tools designed to precisely and quickly cut metal and other materials are not readily available at a consumer grade, chop saws with the following cuts are a bonus indeed.
As we can see, there is not going to be a single chop saw that is best for all people in all circumstances. Some are simply interested in a product that can perform all of the expected functions at the highest levels and maybe even has a trick or two, while others are more interested in a chop saw that provides them with some additional versatility to increase the value of their purchase.
If you are looking for the outright best metal chop saw, then we recommend the DEWALT DW872. Aside from the fact that it comes with the requisite powerful motor and low RPM spindle, the DEWALT DW872 can make cuts that no other product on our list can. In fact, this is the only unit we reviewed which can make bevel cuts as well as miter cuts.
Of course, if you are looking for a chop saw to provide additional value, then we recommend the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2. This item comes with a blade and motor that are made to effectively cut a wide variety of materials including plastic, metal, and wood. Even better, the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 comes with a heavy-duty metal base that features adjustable rubber feet.
Evolution Power Tools is a unique brand in that it is one of the few companies on our list that truly specializes in saws and saw accessories. That said, Evolution Power Tools is definitely a bit of a baby on our list as they have only been around for about 2 decades as opposed to some others which either come close to or even actually eclipse the century mark.
Still, with an eye on versatility, the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 provides the best all-around value out of any other items we reviewed.
When it comes to the best metal chop saws, one of the most important factors is the kind of cut that the saw makes – in regards to both the quality of the cut as well as the type of cuts that can be made. For the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2, both of those questions come back with big check marks that clearly define this as a professional, job site tool.
For instance, this one of the few metal cutting chop saws that we encountered that can make miter cuts from 0 to 45-degrees. On top of that, this unit comes mounted to a base that features adjustable rubber feet. This allows to provide a more stable cut with less vibration or divergence from the expected cut line.
Easily one of the most valuable qualities of the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 is the fact that it can be used for such a wide variety of different projects. For instance, when it comes to the project materials themselves, this saw provides excellent versatility able to cut through wood, metal, and plastic.
That said, this is not necessarily the best saw to use to cut hardwood due to the fact that it only has a maximum RPM setting of 1450 RPMs – though this does make it ideal for harder metals as well as softer woods, providing excellent value for woodworkers and metalworkers alike.
Still, to truly get the most out of this chop saw, you will also need to pay a little bit more for the superior blade option – though the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 still remains a great value
PORTER-CABLE is by far one of the oldest companies on our list with a storied history that stretches back over a century.
On top of that, PORTER-CABLE has been in the business of manufacturing power tools since the beginning – though it quickly transitioned from specific power tool specialties to power tools more generally.
Still, PORTER-CABLE has been known for quality and innovation throughout the length of its history and, despite being purchased by Black+Decker/Stanley Tool, remains a fairly decent quality brand. That said, PORTER-CABLE is definitely more of a mid-tier power tool manufacturer which is why it is a veritable steal as our Best Price Budget metal chop saw.
One thing to keep in mind is that the PORTER-CABLE PCE 700 is not necessarily as focused as perhaps some of the other more specialized products that we reviewed. As such, this saw is not truly intended to be used exclusively for the service of materials that require slower cuts like metal and plastic.
Instead, this saw is intended to serve as a modified miter saw that is also designed to accommodate saw blades meant for either metal or masonry of an abrasive nature. In fact, were it not for the inclusion of another metal chop saw on our list, the PORTER-CABLE PCE700 could very well have been our best abrasive chop saw.
In times past, PORTER-CABLE was known for excellent quality and a high degree of durability. While those qualities remain, one of the qualities that PORTER-CABLE has never truly been known for is convenience to the user.
That said, this item seems to be a complete reversal from the previous method of product design that PORTER-CABLE employed. For instance, every aspect of this machine that needs to be adjusted, changed, or released can be done quickly with virtually all auxiliary functions held in place by springs.
On top of the easy adjustments, the PORTER-CABLE PCE 700 also comes with a heavy-duty steel base to provide additional durability–though it will need to be mounted to reduce vibration.
Though DeWalt may not necessarily be the oldest company on our list, it has still been around for 9 decades. On top of that, DeWalt is also one of the power tool brands that got its start making various types of circular saws. That said, DeWalt quickly Diversified and focused on other categories.
On top of that, DeWalt is one of the companies that, when purchased by Black+Decker/Stanley Tools, saw its quality temporarily decrease as their manufacturing was shipped offshore to China. Still, DeWalt has now been rebranded as the professional grade brand in the Black+Decker/Stanley Tools catalog and has produced our best abrasive metal chop saw
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a chop saw is that there are ultimately different types of chop saws depending on what you are cutting. Considering that chop saws are not truly meant to be used for cutting wood–as there are already loads of different power saws made for that purpose – it is a better idea to look for the product that cuts metal, masonry, and maybe even plastic.
As such, the fact that the DEWALT D28710 is explicitly designed to use an abrasive saw blade only further reinforces its role as a traditional style chop saw. On top of that, the abrasive saw blade is made of aluminum oxide which provides a great deal of friction to grind away the metal or masonry.
One thing to keep in mind that uses an abrasive saw blade is that they take longer to cut through the material. This is due in a large part to the grinding action over the cutting action, though this does result in a clean cut.
Still, if you are going to be using the DEWALT D28710 for longer periods than other models due to the grinding action, then it only makes sense for you to look for a product that is also designed to be used for extended periods of time without issue.
In this regard, this chop saw meets these demands fully. For instance, it features an ergonomic design as well as various quick-action adjustable functions to help speed up the process as much as possible.
Of the different brands that we reviewed, MK Morse is the only one we saw that actually does not specialize in power tools to any degree. In fact, MK Morse instead focuses on manufacturing high-end saw blades for virtually every type of saw available.
That being the case, it is surprising that the MK Morse CSM14MB is not only exceptionally well made. If you are looking for a chop saw that can also perform serviceably in a number of other capacities, this is likely your best option.
By far one of the best qualities about the MK Morse CSM14MB is that it comes in a multitude of different sizes. While the largest size is liable to be the most popular, there are actually benefits to getting a smaller chop saw as well.
For instance, with the larger chop saws, unless the tool is well built, there is a good chance that the blade will wiggle a little bit – often less than 1/64” – which will ultimately make the cut slightly off. A smaller saw will also ultimately have less power and produce less vibration. As such, a smaller chop saw will be able to provide a more accurate cut than a larger, more powerful saw, all other things being equal.
Of course, the chop saw itself must provide something special if we are going to award it the Editor’s Choice Best Performing metal chop saw on our list.
The MK Morse CSM14MB definitely goes above and beyond in that it provides a type of cut that none of the other items we reviewed do: a bevel.
While a miter cut is still cutting at a right angle against one of the faces of the workpiece, a bevel cut opens a whole new world of project possibilities – especially in regards to projects that include metal pieces.
This is because the MK Morse CSM14MB uses a cold-cut blade which may or may not be suitable for certain types of masonry work.
Considering that it is one of the largest, most well-known, and well-respected power tool brands on the market it should come as little surprise that it was awarded our People’s Choice Most Popular metal chop saw on our list.
That said, this product definitely aims for a niche–though in fairness, this is perhaps a bit of a misnomer as the DEWALT DW872 aims to instead provide value for as many niches as possible, meaning that it provides excellent versatility and is perhaps the best all-in-one metal cutting saw.
Much like the other DEWALT products, the DEWALT DW872 makes it a point to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack by providing a more convenient experience for the user.
One of the biggest ways that it accomplishes this is by being designed ergonomically for your use. On top of that, the various adjustments relating to the clamp, spindle, and miter are all spring-loaded to make changing them quicker and easier.
Finally, the DEWALT DW872 bucks the traditional trend and features a blade that can be used to cut a wide variety of materials, providing plenty of options for projects.
Speaking of the blade, this item differs from abrasive chop saws in that it cuts considerably more quickly. In fact, the DEWALT DW872 will cut, on average, 4 times quicker than a chop saw with an abrasive saw blade.
The blade itself features 66 teeth tipped with carbide to provide a great cutting edge–though the tooth count itself will impact this as well. This is due to the fact that the 66 tooth count is roughly the appropriate number of teeth to fall within the combination blade category.
This means that not only does the DEWALT DW872 provide versatility with the materials it can cut, it can make both cross and plunge cuts equally well.
As a corporation, Makita forms a strong showing in the regional battles with Milwaukee from the United States and Bosch from the EU all vying for the best all-around professional brand of power tools.
That said, Makita initially started as a manufacturer of electric motors for mining and eventually focused on compact motors for power tools. That history has paid off for Makita as their electric power tools are often noted for being more powerful than those of their peers.
However, a chop saw is not all about raw power, as metal requires the blade spin at much slower speeds than for hardwood and other materials. As such, Makita did the next best thing by packing the same amount of power into a smaller chop saw.
The first thing that you will notice is that the Makita LC1230 is smaller than the rest. At 12” in diameter, this item is more akin to a miter saw in terms of size than a traditional chop saw.
Still, the smaller profile does not mean that Makita skimped at all in the power department, as it comes with a 15 amp motor with a maximum RPM of 1300 to generate the kind of torque necessary to properly cut softer materials.
That said, the smaller size with the same heavy-duty power does mean that this saw is not as precise as some.
The Makita LC1230 makes a point of providing plenty of convenient features. For instance, its handle features a handy “D” shape as well as a two-finger trigger to help cut down on fatigue for those larger jobs.
On top of that, the Makita LC1230, like many of the other chop saws that we reviewed, comes with a quick-release valve to make changing it out easier. Finally, the cast aluminum base means you do not have to worry about the durability of this item.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can use a miter saw to cut metal as long as you use the appropriate blade; however, the types of metals are limited. ... When cutting aluminum, you will need blades with the appropriate teeth configuration. Basically, you can use carbide blades to cut aluminum.
Both Chop Saw and Miter Saw are great tools and important to have for a workshop. Also, they look alike. However, there are a few differences. A Chop Saw is used to saw a fixed angle of 45 degrees and is used to cut in an up and down motion. But it has a very strong base and has the ability to cut through tough materials like various metals. At the same time, a Miter Saw can be used to saw at a 90 degrees’ angle. It is made possible because it has a saw in a circular shape attached on a frame. Thus, it gives the added advantage of rotating the blade at a wider range.
A miter saw is a specialized tool that lets you make cuts at a variety of angles. The saw has a blade mounted on a swing arm that pivots left or right to produce angled cuts. You can use a miter saw to quickly make cuts for crown molding, picture frames, door frames, window casings and more.