Best Chop Saws for Metal Cutting (Cutoff Saws)

A chop saw is a pretty basic saw used for cutting metal pipe, tubing or flat stock, usually at 90 degrees but with 45 degree miter capability. They’re called chop saws because of the drop-down function that chops through the metal from top to bottom. They’re also sometimes known as cutoff saws.

Traditional chop saws used abrasive blades that cut through metal at high RPMs causing sparks to fly everywhere and giving pretty rough edges. Modern chop saws have lower RPMs with a cold-cut blade to give clean, fast and accurate cuts that are cool to touch. Below are our top rated chop saws on the market today.

Top 5 rated chop saws

1. Evolution S380CPS

medal Best professional chop saw

Evolution S380CPS Heavy Duty Cutting Chop Saw
Cutting:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Stability:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Features:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

The new updated Evolution S380CPS is an absolute beast of a chop saw that cuts cleanly through steel like a knife through butter and has lots of cool features. One of the immediate things you notice about this is how solidly built it is. This is a heavy-duty machine that weighs 62lbs and has a rock solid cast aluminum base with holes if you want to bolt it to your workbench. The clamp is strong and the head wobble is minimized by its sturdiness. 

It comes with a 14″ carbide tipped blade and it cuts clean and accurate. It’s also capable of fitting a 15″ blade. If you’re used to an abrasive style blade this will blow your mind how quickly and cleanly it cuts through metal. Clean up time is seriously reduced and the metal is cool to the touch right after cutting. There are also much fewer sparks than with an abrasive blade.

In the back of the saw there’s a tray to collect loose metal chips. Chips fall through the grooves in the machine where the blade goes in and are collected in the back and can be removed. It doesn’t catch that many but is still a useful feature to make the workplace a bit cleaner.

One of our favorite features is the locking pin where you can quickly move it to lock the saw at 45° or 90°. This saves a lot of time if you want to do 45° cuts because you don’t need to keep lining up your angle. The cut is pretty close to true 45° and 90°, which will be fine for most users but can be perfectly squared quite easily if needed

On top of the machine is handle which makes carrying it a lot easier. We also like the vice ratchet system which helps you save time mounting metal in the saw as you don’t need to keep turning the vice. Also the clamp thread has been updated to a square thread for increased efficiency. Finally, any adjustments to the saw can all be done with the same size allen key which is stored on the front of the saw.

Overall this is an outstanding chop saw that accurately cuts through metal clean and fast with loads of great added features.

Specifications

Brand Evolution
Model S380CPS
Power 120V 15A
Speed 1450rpm
Blade Diameter 14″ (Capable of 15″)
Blade Type 66-tooth carbide tipped
Round Tube 90° Cut 5-7/8″
Angle Capability 45°
Weight (lb) 62
Warranty 3 Year
Full specs Specifications

Pros

  • Heavy-duty cast aluminum base
  • Capable of fitting 15″ blade
  • Clean cut
  • Cuts cool to touch
  • Less sparks
  • 0-45° Angle capability with locking pin
  • Square thread clamp
  • 3 year warranty
  • On-board chip collection

Cons

  • Expensive

2. Makita LC1230

medal Best 12″ chop saw

Makita LC1230
Cutting:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Stability:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Features:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Price:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

The Makita LC1230 is another cold-cut chop saw that cuts a lot cooler and cleaner with less burrs than an abrasive blade chop saw. This model from Makita has a 12 inch blade so it’s a little bit less expensive that 14 inch blades and is perfect if you don’t need to cut above the maximum cutting depth of 4-1/2 inch at 90 degrees. The maximum cutting diameter at 45 degrees is only 3-1/2 inches, so if you think this could be an issue then you’re better moving up to a 14″ blade chop saw.

The stand out thing you notice from this machine is how well it’s built. The base is solid cast aluminum which keeps it very sturdy and the vise is made from solid steel that firmly holds everything in place. The wheel is really nice to use as well because it spins fast and has quick release on the clamp to save time. Another nice feature is the blade adjustment and how easy it is to adjust it. You can quickly switch it between 45 and 90 degrees in a few seconds and lock it in place. 

Other cool features are the chip collector tray, and the easy blade changes. The chip tray isn’t great, but we’ve never seen one that’s amazing on any machine. Overall this chop saw is a perfect choice if you a saw that’s solidly built, good value for money and provides fast, clean cuts and metal that’s cool to touch but aren’t looking to cut more that 4-1/2″ at 90 degrees or 3-1/2″ at 45 degrees.

Specifications

Brand Makita
Model LC1230
Power 120V 15A
Speed 1700rpm
Blade Diameter 12″
Blade Type 60-tooth carbide tipped
Round Tube 90° Cut 4-1/2″
Angle Capability 45°
Weight (lb) 42.5
Warranty 1 Year
Full specs Specifications

Pros

  • Solidly built cast aluminum base
  • Chip collection tray
  • Cheaper than 14″ saws
  • Clean cut
  • Cuts cool to touch
  • Less sparks
  • Easy blade changes
  • Fast angle adjustment

Cons

  • Only holds 12″ blade
  • 1 year warranty

3. Evolution S355CPSL

Evolution S355CPSL
Cutting:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Stability:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Features:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Price:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

The Evolution S355CPSL is the younger brother of the S380CPS that is cheaper but still gives a cold cut with a carbide tipped blade that massively outperforms abrasive blades. This saw isn’t as heavy duty the S380CPS, the base on this saw is stamped steel compared to the solid cast aluminum of the S380CPS. It has a chip deflector to help control the spread of metal chips, but doesn’t have the chip collection tray or 45° locking pin of the S380CPS. Obviously, not having these features does make it cheaper than the S380CPS, which makes it a great option for home buyers on more of a budget. It does still have some great features such as the square thread clamp with quick release and easy blade change. Furthermore, it’s actually one of the cheapest cold cut chop saws on the market, making it incredible value for money. 

With this machine, you can get a 14″ chop saw that cuts metal square and clean. The lower RPM and carbide tipped blades reduces sparks and means you don’t need to cool the metal after cutting. All this at a price not too much more expensive than an abrasive blade chop saw makes it definitely one to consider. This is a budget friendly high-quality chop saw that’s perfect for hobbyists.

Specifications

Brand Evolution
Model S344CPSL
Power 120V 15A
Speed 1450rpm
Blade Diameter 14″
Blade Type 66-tooth carbide tipped
Round Tube 90° Cut 5-1/8″
Angle Capability 45°
Weight (lb) 51
Warranty 3 Year
Full specs Specifications

Pros

  • Clean cut
  • Cuts cool to touch
  • Less sparks
  • Stamped steel base
  • Square thread clamp with quick release
  • Easy blade change
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Not as heavy duty as S380CPS
  • No locking pin

4. DEWALT Metal Cutting Saw DW872

DEWALT Metal Cutting Chop Saw DW872DEWALT Metal Cutting Chop Saw DW872
Cutting:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Stability:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Features:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Dewalt’s cold cut chop saw is as you’d expect from a Dewalt product, one of the most popular saws on the market. It’s a pretty reliable saw but the main pain point is probably its price. As one of the most expensive chop saws on the market, is it really worth it? Well the carbide-tipped blade is sure to give you fast cuts that are cool to touch and relatively burr-free. It also has a slightly larger cutting capacity than other chop saws in its class at 5-3/16 round at 90 degrees. The ergonomic handle also stands out as something that’s nice and comfortable to use.

The biggest drawbacks are that it could have been built a bit more solidly with some better features. The base is quite sturdy but it is stamped steel so isn’t up there with the solid cast aluminum bases. The blade guard is plastic, whereas Makita and Evolution offer metal guards. The clamp holds pretty well but if you over tighten it, it can move out of square position. The saw should be square out the box but may need adjusting. It also has a quick release function on the angle adjustment, however there is no locking pin and you still need to set the angle. Overall this is good product, a million times better than any abrasive chop saw, but it’s not a great product and for the price there are definitely others to consider.

Specifications

Brand DeWalt
Model DW872
Power 120V 15A
Speed 1300rpm
Blade Diameter 14″
Blade Type 66-tooth carbide tipped
Round Tube 90° Cut 5-3/16″
Angle Capability 45°
Weight (lb) 47
Warranty 3 Year
Full specs Specifications

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Carbide tipped blade
  • Clean cut
  • Cuts cool to touch
  • Less sparks
  • Reliable machine
  • Round cuts up to 5-3/16″

Cons

  • More expensive that other cold cut chop saws
  • Plastic blade guard
  • Stamped steel base

5. Porter-Cable Chop Saw

medal Best for the money

Porter-Cable Chop Saw
Cutting:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Stability:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Features:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Average:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

This chop saw from Porter-Cable is the cheapest on our list. It’s a basic, no-frills saw that cuts decently and is great value for money. There’s a few drawbacks compared to the more expensive models which we’ve outlined below. Firstly, it’s a abrasive chop saw with a 15 Amp, 3,800 RPM motor, so you’ll create a lot of sparks with this and it cuts a lot slower than cold cut saws. It does have a spark deflector so you can see what you’re doing but your workplace will get covered in sparks so make sure there are no flammable items nearby. It has a steel base which I guess is quite sturdy, but you’ll get some movement and it’s not built anything like the higher-end cast aluminum saws.

The blade it comes with is pretty poor quality and you’ll be better off replacing it with a 14″ Dewalt abrasive blade instead. Finally, the accuracy on this saw is far from perfect, but is fine if you don’t require exact precision. It probably won’t be set at true 90 so you will likely have to adjust the fence with the allen key provided in the bottom of the saw.

All that being said, what you do get is a user-friendly chop saw that with give you pretty square cuts at a great price. You can quickly adjust the cutting angle by unscrewing with the allen key and changing the angle up to 45 degree miter adjustment. The blade can be easily changed with the spindle lock and the clamp has a quick release function to help speed up cutting. There’s nothing really “wrong” with this, it’s just a basic chop saw that’s super easy to use for getting fast square cuts on thin metal tubing or pipe.

Specifications

Brand Porter-Cable
Model PCE700
Power 120V 15A
Speed 3800rpm
Blade Diameter 14″
Blade Type Abrasive
Round Tube 90° Cut 5-1/3″
Angle Capability 45°
Weight (lb) 32
Warranty 3 Year
Full specs Specifications

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Quick release clamp
  • Spark deflector
  • Steel base
  • 45 degree miter adjustment

Cons

  • Lots of sparks
  • Cuts require grinding down after
  • Metal won’t be cool to touch
  • Lower accuracy
  • Poor quality blade

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