What is a Chop Saw?


If you work in the carpentry industry or regularly build things, you’ve likely run into tools like chop saws before. However, if you’re new to the industry or are a beginner DIYer, you might not be as familiar with the tool. A chop saw is a tool that is used to make cuts that are straight and precise. Many contractors use chop saws to make square cuts.

There are also versions of chop saws that are able to make angled cuts. These are called miter saws. They are slightly more versatile than a regular chop saw and are great for making fast and accurate angled cuts.

Many people often confuse chop saws and miter saws with circular saws. However, even though these saws may appear to be similar, they are far from it. The main difference between the two is that chop saws and miter saws are stationary. This means they can’t move.

The blade only goes up and down, making it necessary to bring the material to the blade if you want to make a cut. However, circular saws work in the opposite manner. A circular saw is capable of moving in several directions – not just up and down.

This makes them slightly more versatile – though not nearly as specialized. However, even though chop saws are not able to move in the same way that circular saws can, they are capable of making some very impressive cuts depending on what types of blades you’re investing in.

Metal Chop Saw

A metal chop saw is a specialized chop saw that is specifically made to cut through metal. If you work with metal frequently, this is likely the best tool for you to use. You’ll be able to make fast and clean cuts to the metal you’re working with – so long as they don’t need to be angled cuts.

All you need to do is line the metal up with the abrasive blade, do a quick dry run to make sure it will hit the designated mark, and put on your safety gear. From there, turn the blade on and let the cutters do the work for you. And always remember not to force the blade – they’re more than capable of doing the work on their own, just be patient.

Wood Chop Saw

A wood chop saw is the most common type of chop saw you can find. You’ll be able to do quick and effective work that will help you stay on track with your projects. However, you’ll need to be sure that you don’t need to make angled cuts with your saw. A chop saw is only able to move up and down.

This means that you’ll need to invest in another tool (like a miter saw) that is able to make those sorts of cuts if you encounter them frequently in your line of work. Wood chop saws are incredibly effective and are easy to use, however you’ll need to remember to follow safety precautions and use safety equipment if you want to achieve the best results.

Abrasive Chop Saw

You’ll need an abrasive chop saw if you frequently come into contact with tough materials. These types of saws are different from traditional saws in that they don’t have the same ‘cutting teeth’ that a typical saw would have. Instead, they function as a sort of grinding wheel that can be used to cut away at materials like asphalt, concrete, tile flooring, or metal.

They work in a similar manner to typical chop saws in that they are only able to move up and down, however they are extremely effective and will prove to be a powerful ally should you come across these types of materials on a regular basis.

Metal Chop Saw Blade

Last but not least, if you need to cut through metal but don’t have a metal chop saw, you can still accomplish this feat. However, in order to do this, you’ll need to find a specialized metal cutting blade that you can attach to your regular chop saw if you’re going to get the job done.

This solution isn’t as ideal as having a metal chop saw to work with, but it is effective and will work – especially if you rarely encounter metal materials that you need to cut. All of these types of chop saws will help you get your work done quickly and effectively.

However, in order to get the maximum amount of work done that is possible in your work day, you’ll need to take into account which types of materials you come into contact with regularly and which type of chop saw will benefit you most in the long run.

About the Author

Bob Robinson has been a tool enthusiast and lawn care expert for the past 11 years. First working with John Deere to reduce their impact on the environment, whilst building his love for writing in his spare time. Now, Bob runs the editorial team at BestofMachinery and tends to his garden in his spare time.

We hope you enjoyed our article on "What is a Chop Saw?", if so, please share and rate it.


    Leave a Reply