The Best Chop Saws for Easily Cutting Hardened Steel

Complete routine jobs faster while efficiently managing large quantities with this powerful saw capable of cutting through wood, metal, and plastic at 90-degree angles.

By Oliver Harriett | Updated Mar 1, 2021 5:31 PM

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The Chop Saw Option

Photo: amazon.com

Chop saws, also known as cut-off saws, are indispensable tools in most wood and metal workshops. While chop saws and miter saws may look alike, chop saws are reliable and robust tools for cutting metal, wood, and plastic, especially where speed is essential. The best chop saw offers the advantage of faster completion of routine jobs and is usually fitted with a large blade, powered by an electric motor, and is mounted on a hinged arm for up and down swinging movements. A chop saw’s speed control can make quite a difference in your work. When making precision cuts, you will want to reduce the speed as much as possible. For producing large quantities of repetitive pieces, you may opt for the maximum possible speed. When it comes to blade choice, knowing what you are using your tool for is critical. There are many blade choices to make with a chop saw. For example, standard-toothed blades are ideal for woodworking, abrasive discs are designed for metalwork, and carbide-tipped toothed blades turn the saw into a multi-material cutter. Finally, there are extra features you might need, such as LED lights, laser guides, cordless operation, ergonomic handles, and safety lock buttons, and they all vary depending on the manufacturer and the saw’s model. When selecting the best chop saw for your needs, consider factors such as speed control, blade choice, and extra features.

Our Top Picks

The best chop saws can help you complete routine jobs faster and increase productivity by cutting large quantities efficiently and quickly. With the considerations above in mind, here is a list of our top picks.

Top Pick

The Chop Saw Option: Makita LC1230 12” Metal Cutting Saw
Photo: amazon.com

With its carbide-tipped teeth, the Makita is a highly precise metal chop saw, with accurate, clean, burr-free cuts. This saw cuts light pipe, conduit, tubing, and angle iron up to four times faster than with abrasive chop saws. It also provides long-term cost savings because carbide-tipped teeth last up to 50 times longer than abrasive wheels. Miter cutting is also available with a 45-degree pivoting fence, plus quick-release support. A lock-off button prevents accidental starting, and its D-shaped handle ensures a comfortable grip. The base is made from cast aluminum and provides a shavings collection tray. It also offers storage for the blade changing wrench, which is included in the package, along with safety goggles, a switch button, and the cutting blade. At 1,300 revolutions per minute, this blade will cut to a maximum depth of 4.5 inches at 90 degrees or 3.5 inches at 45 degrees.

Runner Up

The Chop Saw Option: MK Morse CSM14MB 72-Tooth Carbide Blade Chop Saw
Photo: amazon.com

This chop saw by MK Morse features a 72-tooth carbide blade, making it a powerful tool to have. The motor rotates at a mere 1,300 revolutions per minute, but you get a higher torque driving the 14-inch Metal Devil steel cutting blade in exchange for the lower speed. This saw cuts through metal and does not grind the metal. This process produces clean cuts without the noise, sparks, smell, and heat build-up experienced with other saws and blade types. To change the blade, you need a wrench, and there is an on-board space to store the wrench. Also included in the package are safety goggles, a blade safety guard, earplugs, a beveling vise, two hex wrenches, and the Metal Devil cutting blade. This saw will make a 4.25 by 4.25-inch square cut and a 3.75 by 7.25-inch rectangular cut. It is CSA safety certified and also meets the ISO9002 standard.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Chop Saw Option: PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw, 15-Amp, 14-Inch (PCE700)
Photo: amazon.com

The PORTER-CABLE is a quality, well-made chop saw for an excellent price. It comes with a 15-amp motor, which generates its 3800-revolutions-per-minute cutting power. The blade’s arm is mounted on a solid steel base for better stability while working, and the blade is attached to the arm using a spindle lock, which makes blade changes easier and faster. There is a cutting fence with a pivoting ability up to 45 degrees, designed for miter cuts. A spark deflector is provided for safety and offers a clear line of sight while cutting. This saw’s clamp also features a quick-release function for easy cutting and removal of materials. The 14-inch blade will cut a maximum of 4.75 by 5.3 inches, and it comes with an 8-foot long power cable. It weighs 32 pounds.