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  • Cut-off saw issues

    Hi folks, I just got into welding with a MIG 135 and am loving it. I also have a Rigid abrasive cut-off saw, but it cuts inconsistently (sometimes it slices right through, sometimes it hardly cuts on the same material). Any ideas? Generally it gets worse as I work, and the cuts look like the metal gets squished. Is the wheel getting too hot?

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  • #2
    Originally posted by jtn View Post
    Hi folks, I just got into welding with a MIG 135 and am loving it. I also have a Rigid abrasive cut-off saw, but it cuts inconsistently (sometimes it slices right through, sometimes it hardly cuts on the same material). Any ideas? Generally it gets worse as I work, and the cuts look like the metal gets squished. Is the wheel getting too hot?

    Do you think the wheel may be clogging ??
    Careful with That Axe, Eugene


    • #3
      An abrasive wheel grinds its way through material creating a lot of friction
      plus heat which softens the metal and begins to smear and can start to "Load" the wheel which doesn't cut as well. Better quality wheels do a better job. Your feed rate has a lot to do with it. Good quality wheels, as they wear, expose new cutting surfaces. A sharp controlled cutting edge such as a band saw blade or a circular blade with a specific cutting angle
      produces less friction, less heat, which does not change the metal structure as much. Even blades need coolant to operate at optimum. A sharp blade
      still cuts through compression creating heat but to a lesser degree and can be controlled with coolant. The quality of the cut depends on the equipment you're using. You get what you pay for. I would not use a cutoff abrasive tool in my shop. Noisy........sparks flying......who needs it? I would probably use one on a job site cutting rebar or the like. But you have to use what your budget allows. Even a cheap band saw cuts better than an adrasive chop saw if it has a decent blade. Hope this helps
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      • #4
        Thats what it sounded like to me too monte.
        Careful with That Axe, Eugene


        • #5
          I use a rigid chop saw myself, but have used many others as well. It's not the saw it's the blades. Chop saw blades have a tendency to glaze when they heat up and sometimes it's a real pain to get them cutting again. Let the work cool down and then try again. Also make sure the work is secure and flat on the table. This gets worse with the more angle you put on the cut. The cheaper the blades you use the more this problem shows up. I mostly use the chop saw on 1/4 inch strap, light square tube and light round tube. They don't work very well on hevier stuff such as 1/4 wall two inch square or schedule 80 3 inch pipe. I don't worry too much about the sparks and dust since I am cutting with a torch, welding and grinding in the shop as well. Plus it's kinda hard to haul the bandsaw or mechanical hacksaw around for site work and they have a large footprint in the shop. If I had the room and the budget for one I would love it though because they don't care how heavy the iron you put in them is.
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          • #6
            hi, i have a ridgid chop saw and it had some pretty bad problems, burning the metal, and even burning up the brushes. i asked my salesman from the local welding supply and he put me onto the norzon plus cut-off wheel made by norton abrasives. it is a little expensive, but it outlast the other ones by far. so in the long run it is actually cheaper. give one a try i believe you'll be happy, no more "burn throughs"

            nothing fancy, just a few hot glue guns for metal


            • #7
              I'm not trying to start an argument here, but I think a chop saw is a very good tool when used correctly. I have an OLD Makita chop saw that is built similar to a wood cutting miter saw. Sadly, it's a model that is no longer made. I have used it a LOT and done some pretty precise cuts with it. I've used Makita blades exclusively. No sub for a good blade. Buy them a box at a time and they are pretty affordable. As for the loading, I just tap the edge of the blade with a scrap piece of metal to chip off the glazing and the blade will go back to cutting as normal. A little experience will tell you how to avoid the glazing problem. It's like any tool, you need to learn the best techniques for it's use.


              • #8
                I also have the ridgid chop saw, and have cut larger stock with good results. I found going to a thinner blade helps, your not taking out as much material, the saw doesn't work as hard, but the down side is that they don't last quite as long, no big deal, the thinner blade doesn't load up as easily, good blades and steady even pressure works mint
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                • #9
                  chop saws are great for what they are, but they are not band saw's

                  a good blade is the most important part of an abrasive saw. i have a $49 one from big lots thats 5+ years old and still going strong.
                  but the way you cut the material is also just as important if you want a good fast cut. do your best to avoid large flat spots for the blade to have to cut threw, it dose not like long flat surfaces. if you have a 1"X2" piece of square tube put it in the saw with the 1" part up and the long cut to the side so the saw is cutting down threw the long side instead of sitting on top of it trying to melt threw it. use the clamp movement spots also to keep from starting a cut in the middle if you have to cit large flats, so the blade first contacts the corner, not the middle of the flat.
                  if it dose get loaded up and starts to melt threw, scraping the blade with a spare piece of steel helps like Jim-TX said. also back off let it cool and re-cut.
                  keep in mind it is a chop saw. you wont get the sweet clean cuts of a band saw out of it. but its still a very useful cutter. grab a flap disk, or bench grinder to do a little clean up after the cut. most of the time i use a flap disk on my 4.5 angle grinder for clean up but if i am cutting several Pisces before welding i'll just stack them up and use the bench grinder for clean up.

                  in short:
                  a good blade (i use dewalt)
                  a good positioning choice
                  keep it cool and scrape as needed
                  expect a little clean up

                  if you keep those things in mind you and your chop saw should be happy for a long time. if thats not acceptable..........better get a band saw.

                  the MM135 is a great lil MIG. i love mine, its done way more than i ever expected out of it.
                  thanks for the help
                  hope i helped
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