Best Power Metal-Cutting & Chop Saws in 2020



Milwaukee 6370-21 13 Amp 8-Inch Metal Cutting Circular Saw Review:


after years of cutting steel with a plasma cutter / sawzall/ torch/ jig saw /grinder i thought i've seen it all. then one day i was on a job site and i seen one of these in action on some roofing deck , wow it cut fast ,straight and no sparks! i had to have one. when i got my saw in the mail i first tried it on a piece of 11 ga. sheet steel- zip right through that ! later i was building link mounts for a jeep project and i needed a nice straight edge ,, so i broke out the saw and - zip! right through 5/16 plate ! i have about 20 ft worth of cutting steel 5/16 down to 20ga and the blade is still as sharp as it was when new.



Crain No. 835 Heavy-Duty Undercut Saw, Formerly Crain 825NEW Review:


An undercut saw is a must have if you're a flooring contractor, and Crain makes a great one. I've used the 825's for years and they've only needed new motor brushes or power cords, and I expect this one will be no different. Changing the collet to use the diamond blades or a domed wood blade is quick and easy.



Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 7-1/4-Inch TCT Multipurpose Cutting Chop Saw Review:


I needed a small saw to do 90s and 45s for my smaller steel stock (2 inches and below), I have a plasma cutter for bigger stuff. First off its only ~$120 so you can’t beat the price and even with the general purpose blade it cut 1x1x16GA square tube (at 45) like a hot knife through butter. I also did 1x1x11GA nice and slow, with minimal sparks. I did also buy the stainless steel, 48 tooth blade and noticed it did cut just a little bit cleaner. I'm expecting that the official steel blade would out last the general purpose blade due to the number of teeth etc. In either case I could probably take that cut steel and jump right to welding w/o any sanding prep. The weight and size are perfect for small home shops like mine. There were some minor issues with the saw, I hate the stupid locking chain, they have me one ear plug (really minor but wtf), and the rubber foot for the clamp was a pain to put in (why did I have to do it)?

The only real issues I have are:

#1 This is saw has a 20MM (METRIC) ARBOR. I read some of the comments and they lead you to believe you can run this saw with 5/8s blades w/o a bushing, NOT TRUE! You need to get the ‘Evolution CSBUSH20M5/8 bushing’. Amazon sells it and it’s cheap. You cannot find 7 ¼ inch 20MM arbor blades in stock at Home Depot or Lowes, you have to order them. So you may want the bushing in case of an emergency. I don’t see this as a huge deal, just something I wish was called out.
#2 I found that the clamp system alters the angle you set for making 45s etc. I've seen mush more expensive saws with the same design so its not just this saw. I'm doing my stuff with clamps now.
#3 The hash marks for 45 are off by a couple of degrees. I made my own new hash marks (hey its ~$120)

I’m very happy with the saw so far.

PIC INFO:
The cut steel pics are 1x1x16GA from the official steel blade the general purpose blade cut very similar to so I didn't post the pic.

I put a blue 5/8s arbor blade on the stem so you can see the fitting problem. I have not ordered the bushing yet so I can't say how well that works.

Btw it does have a small dust port you can install and it comes with eye protection and spare motor brushes.



DEWALT Metal Cutting Saw, 14-Inch (DW872) Review:


This is what I found out. The saw cuts amazing compared to an abrasive saw and in a fraction of the time. The saw from the silver cast aluminum saw mount up is great!! It cuts a lower rpm than most other saws, I was worried it would bog down but it never did cutting 3x3 18 thick tube steel. The blade seems to have some wobble to it however it is consistent and the cuts are square.

The Yellow blade guard and spark deflector however are not designed very well. Cutting the 3x3 tube steel at a 45 I had to remove the spark deflector and cut off about 1" of the blade guard so that I could complete the cuts. A 14" saw needs to be able to cut the size of material it was made to cut without having to remove safety features and cutting the blade guard to do so.

The base however leaves much room for improvement. It has a quick release to change the angles of cut however it still needs a square or a 45 to set it correctly, ie not tabs that are dependable??????? When the fence is set correctly it will move each time you clam steel into the cutting vice. at 90 is not as bad as the 45 but still you can not count on it to stay true. We change this by drilling secondary holes that we put pins through to be a perfect 90 or 45 and stay true no matter how much pressure we put on it with the vice. All of these issues could have be resolved by Dewalt with some simple indexing that would keep the vice true and remove the need to set the fence with a square or a 45!!!!!!!!!!
The saw comes with a clamp to hold your cutting material down to the cutting table, but again poor though on this part. It has three places you can put the clamp for the different positions of the fence. However you can not use it for cutting 1x1 stock as the clamp will not fit where needed and there are not spaces for it when you adjust the fence to its middle positions. Two more rectangle wholes is all that is needed, a simple die adjustment from Dewalt to punch five holes not just three.
To sum up this saw, it is a great cutter and performs very well from the middle up. from the middle down it is a half hearted attempt at making something that is not really available on the market today. While these oversights are disappointing I still would buy this over some of the other saws I have seen. Four stars is because of it cutting performance and ability.



Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 Multi Purpose Cutting Chop Saw, 14-Inch Review:


I've made dozens of projects and hundreds of cuts with this saw and I'm still impressed with the quality of cuts that it produces. There was a bit of a learning curve as this is the firs dry cut saw I'd ever used but once I figured it out and matched the blade to the material I have been happy with its performance ever since. I used the blade that came with it until I got used to how to use the saw before I changed it and I'm glad that I did. Replacement blades are expensive but with good technique the blades last a long time so cost per cut is reasonable. And the quality of cut is awesome. You can use the saw to shave material or make the thinnest shims of you need to. Not many other types of saws could do what this one can.

I have four tips for using this saw:
1 - Wear ear plugs. The saw makes a terrible noise when it cuts steel.
2 - Match the blade to the material being cut. Blades are expensive but you'll get more life and much better cuts out of the correct blade.
3 - Clamp the material securely. If you let the material move or the blade chatter you will chip and destroy the blade quickly.
4 - Don't let the excess material fall back into the blade. The saw is capable of throwing that material through a garage door, I learned that the hard way.



Makita LC1230 12" Metal Cutting Saw Review:


I would give this saw itself 5 stars. I bought this to replace an ancient Makita abrasive cutoff saw. Compared to that it is much quieter and cuts in about 2/3 to 1/2 the time. In addition, the workpiece stays much cooler and has few if any burrs that need to be cleaned off. Can't believe I didn't buy one of these earlier. I look forward to using the non-ferrous blade that I bought, too. Aluminum is a pain to cut with an abrasive tool, as the disc always loads up with metal.

Shipping from Amazon is terrible, however, 0 stars. This saw ships in its packaging only, which is a cardboard box with a few extra pieces of cardboard in it. That's all, for a heavy, bulky, and expensive tool. On the first saw I got the guard was so bent out of shape that it was impossible to turn the blade, which was biting into the guard. I returned that for a full refund and the second saw was almost as bad. Instead of dealing with a second return and refund I disassembled the guard, bent it back close enough, and reassembled.

Buy this saw from a local welding store and you'll be thrilled. Don't buy it from Amazon, since they'll ship you a flimsy box full of broken parts.



Neiko 30066A 18 Gauge Pneumatic Metal Cutting Shear | 1/4" NPT Air Inlet | 4 CFM, 90 PSI | 2200 RPM Review:


For all the types that are out there, at a wide variety of prices, this was the best price around. Two fixed blades and one active center blade give nice, smooth, almost burr-free, edges. I was not familiar with this type until I used this one. Be aware that, to give that nice clean cut, this shear produces a thin strip of waste between the two halves produced. You need to pay attention to the desired line and which side of that line you wish to use. This is a characteristic of the tool, not a fault or complaint. I arrived at this choice after some research. It compliments my air chisel set nicely. You can't get such a nice fine edge with a chisel. I'm happy and recommend this product.



DEWALT D28715 14-Inch Quick-Change Chop Saw - Old Model Review:


I bought this from Amazon with help from a gift card I had received. The price was very comparable to Home Depot. The first and only chop saw I had owned was a tool sale special. It lasted about 8 years. Great value for the money. Not that easy to work with.

I took this out of the box and cut some 1 1/2" square tubing. I changed between the 90 degree and 45 degree cuts with ease. Much better than the standard saw I had used before. Each swap was quick and easy. Usually I would try to cut each angle separately and then change to the other to finish all cuts. This was so fast and easy to change back and forth that I cut each piece as needed.

I am a home hobbyist and wanted a durable chop saw that was going to last. I feel very confident in purchasing this saw. One of the good features of the quick change back stop is being able to move it forwards and backwards on the table with ease. This is especially useful when your blade gets smaller. Some of those cuts I couldn't make with a smaller blade, I think I can now. The blade that comes with the saw is great. Fast cuts and high quality.

Due to a mistake on my part, I ruined the first blade. I didn't have my metal secured and it slipped and ruined the blade. Nothing to do with the saw, just me being stupid. Changing the blade was fast and simple. No tools required. Unscrew the knob and change the blade. The knob clicks when it is tight enough going on.

Overall I would highly recommend this saw. I was going to buy it at Home Depot, but a friend gave me a gift card to Amazon and I used it with some money to buy the saw. Great purchase, quick delivery and it was free shipping. Actually cost me less than at Home Depot.



Evolution Power Tools RAGE 3-DB 10-Inch TCT Multipurpose Cutting Double Bevel Compound Sliding Miter Saw Review:


I have worked in rapid prototyping, heavy manufacturing, am a metal hobbyist, and I think this is one of the best bargain tools that you can buy. The gear reduction that this saw runs at is properly setup to power its way thru steel or aluminum without burning thru blades like crazy. The RPM is spot on. If you fixture the work piece right and have patience with cutting you can go a long way with a blade and even though it says 1/4" max thickness I have done 3/8" web on an I-beam without a problem, and I would do thicker as well if I needed to.

The one that I purchased I believe is the previous gen. since the motor comes out of the right side of the blade rather then over the top, however I have a hard time believing that they are dramatically different, and if the keep the gear reduction the same, and the construction of the base some what similar it is a welcomed change for me since this is more or less the reason behind my review. (see below)

For starters, this saw with either the Rage 'steel' blade or the Oshlun steel blade can make easy work or mild or even medium strength steel. Since I have owned the saw I have made ~2000 cuts in mild steel, and ~400 cuts in 4130 chromoly and I have very little to complain about in terms of the quality, repeatability, and speed of cut. I have also done a lot of aluminum cutting on the only the Rage 'Aluminum' blade, and still have no reason to replace it (~900 cuts)

There is very little heat affected zone (HAZ) in the workpiece and the majority goes into the chip (as it should), and cut surface is consistent even when the blades start to go. For me, when the blades go I start to get a lot of sparks and it takes a lot of pressure to get the blade to feed. the friction does affect the HAZ, but it is to be expected. Blade wear is also more of a cliff for me rather then a consistent drop in performance.

Repeatability might be something a lot of people would question, but for the price I am not expecting the numbers on the tool to be my guide for accuracy. I instead rely on digital protractors, squares, and tape measures for my sizing and squareness, and have always used welding clamps or C-Clamps for fixturing. I have those available to me, and if your doing any kind of metal working you should as well. If you plan on relying on the clamps and guides that come with the saw then you will be disappointed.

The speed that I cut at is very much by feel and chip size, but I would say that every piece that I have cut that is steel, aluminum, or stainless I cut at the half the speed that I would a similar sized piece of crown molding, Still way, WAY, faster then any band saw or abrasive blade.

Complaints, and reason for star deduction:
Quality could be better- Laser is for rough cuts, base and walls are not really heavy duty, and now after all the cutting I have done the motor brush caps are starting to pop out, and I am relying on custom fabricated clamp to hold them in place. This is a failure, but this saw has easily paid for itself in just saved cut time so I have very little that I can ask for out of it. I also think that the failure was a result of both heat and vibration. I really did not have the saw itself fixtured, and this might not of happened if I had.

1" arbor is kind of a pain for wood cutting. If I was Evolution I would toy with the idea of being able to change this on the saw. Keep it 1" for metal cutting and 5/8" for wood.

Tips that have improved my cutting:
Always fixture the workpiece, and never cut thru a piece of metal and lift up with the blade spinning. It takes a bit longer per cut cycle, but I was losing teeth on blades like crazy when I cut and lift.

Clear debris and chips after every cut, These too were causing excessive blade wear, and would occasionally rip hunks out of my aluminum.

No cutting oils needed nor would I recommend. It did help with aluminum bar in terms of keeping it from clogging the teeth, but the better way to cut I found was to just take my time and cut with consistent pressure.

Don't slide cut unless you have to. It is difficult to control the feed, and the saw just wants to bounce.

Wear glasses, gloves, and sleeves- The chips are painful, and the scatter on everything almost as bad as saw dust. The are a pain in the _ _ _...

Oshlun blades have yielded 15% more cuts so far, however I would buy whatever fits that price difference . The evolution and oshlun are both decent blades for metal cutting applications, and I would buy whatever is the better deal.