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Chop Saw Recommendations/Reviews???

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  • Chop Saw Recommendations/Reviews???

    A few weeks ago I wasted some resources buying a HF Chicago Electric Heavy Duty Chop Saw. Other than being virtually impossible to set an accurate cut angle or cut square to the table, it's really a pretty good saw At least when you pull the trigger, the blade spins

    Now, I've finally wised up and want to replace that POS with something that will not only spin the blade but cut at least semi-square to the table with a crosscut angle that's fairly easy to set and somewhere close to what's wanted. I'd like to get one of those 6" band saw's, but floor space is limited and I'm not quite disgusted enough to spend that much money (yet!).

    I'm a "weekend warrior", farm/home, hobbiest type with no aspirations for any professonal production work. Applications would be mostly for small shapes; channels, angles, square tube, etc. no thicker than about 1/4 inch and mostly 1/8 or thinner . If you guys have any experiences, recommendations or reviews of metal cutting chop saws that might satisfy my wants, I'd really appreciate your sharing them with me.

    Yeah, I know this is a welding forum, but I figure before you weld the pieces together, you got to cut them to size, right?
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS

  • #2

    Hey Ive got a DEwalt 14'' it's been a good saw I use it manly on square tubing up to 3/16 thick or hand rail pipe 1 1/4 or 1 1/2, it's paid for it's self at least 10000 times hope this helps


    • #3
      Hi Tom. I've got a Bosch 3814. I've cut angle & pipe up to 3",both square & 45. Cuts good enough, for me anyway.


      • #4
        I have a Milwaukie and it does afine job also.
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        • #5
          I have a Black & Decker Industrial 14" chop saw. Had it 15 Years now and it hasn't given me one once of troulble. I bought a band saw last year and never want to use the chop saw again unless I haft to. If you can get the band saw, I would say you wont regret it. No sparks, dust, and allot easy on the ears.
          Little Fabrication
          Miller DVI2
          Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
          Thermodynamics cutmaster 38
          HF 130 tig

          Third Class Power Engineer


          • #6
            I have a Ryobi that I bought from Home Depot several years ago. I was in a bind and out of town and needed to cut some stuff, thinking if it got me through, then that was all I needed. I still use it some every now and then if I need to do something out of the shop. The best money I spent was on a small band saw. I second the fact that it is MUCH quieter, no nose clogging dust/smoke, and its cutting capacity doesn't diminish as the blade wears. Nothing like having to put on a new abrasive blade just to cut that last half inch of something. Plus I think band saws are a lot safer than cut off. I've thrown/broken some bands before and all it does is sit there. I've thrown an abrasive as well....let's just say I needed to change the ol under shorts on that one

            Bobcat 250, MM 210, Syncrowave 180, Spectrum 375
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            1 Thessalonians 4:11-12


            • #7
              I know what you mean about throwing a chop saw blade. Bad.

              The bandsaw is the way to go. Also you can do other things while it cuts, blade life is way better ( cost effective ) plus if you have one like my, you can stand the blade up, bolt on the table and cut sheet metal like a wood bandsaw.
              Little Fabrication
              Miller DVI2
              Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
              Thermodynamics cutmaster 38
              HF 130 tig

              Third Class Power Engineer


              • #8
                My vote. Skipchop saws all together. If you need it cut & welded a chop saw is not the way to go.
                Buy a bandsaw. The cuts are quicker, easier, and infinately more accurate.

                Oddly, to quote myself an hour ago on a car fourm where this question of 14" chop saw VS 4*6 bandsaw was asked in building exhaust manifolds / exhaust setups on a car:
                Make sure it's a ginzu tho!
                Bandsaw ftw by such an ungodly margin...
                You can get the red (better) harbor frieght one for $130-170 most of the time.
                Harbor Freight buys their top quality tools from the same factories that supply our competitors. We cut out the middleman and pass the savings to you!

                $179.99 minus the 20% off any single item coupon = $144.00 pre tax.

                or you can get the "new" version of the Grizzly copy model which is the same thing with a MUCH bigger, better motor (For the rest of the year only tho b/c Grizzly does that with entry items only). Better stand, looks better, should work better, etc.

                Grizzly Industrial, Inc. is a national retail and internet company providing a wide variety of high-quality woodworking and metalworking machinery, power tools, hand tools and accessories. By selling directly to end users we provide the best quality products at the best price to professionals and hobbyists.

                Or you can get their older version for $25 more
                Cut angle-iron, pipe, rods, shafts, structural steel, etc. Completely portable and lightweight, this saw is bound to become an indispensable part of your workshop. Features handle, wheels and a removable table for vertical cuts.


                • Capacity: 4 1/2" round, 4 1/2" x 6" rectangular
                • Blade speeds: 80, 120, 220 FPM
                • Blade size: 64-1/2" x 1/2"
                • Motor 1/2 H.P., 110/220V , 60Hz, 1720 RPM
                • Amps: 9/4.5
                • Drive: V-belt
                • Transmission: sealed worm gear
                • Overall height: horiz. 38"; vert. 55"
                • Height floor-to-table: 32-1/2"
                • Overall width: 15"
                • Overall length: 38" Overall bed: 26" x 9-1/4" x 3-1/8"
                • Floor space: 18-1/8" x 41-1/4"
                • Angular cuts: 90 Degrees to 45 Degrees
                • All ball bearing drive wheel and blade guides
                • Shipping weight approx. 115 lbs.


                I'd buy the newer model. It's a full 1hp 110v motor instead of the 1/2hp of the older grizzly. The harbor freight motors are grossly over-rated. They're normally only 1/3 to 1/2 their rated power output. :\

                Hope that sort's it out for you.

                I love all my expencive Grizzly woodworking tools. I'd most likely buy the new Grizzly one when I burn my second one up...
                Na. If someone were gunna make a living, they wouldn't be looking at little 4*6 bandsaws!

                And lookup/google things about them. Step one is always ditching the blade for a bi-metal blade for better blade life & faster cutting. Step two is converting to a water cooled setup to extend blade life further & speed cutting yet again. Step three is converting to a hydraulically controlled arm.

                And sometimes you have to build, or brace in a new stand. No big deal... If you're on this forum you've got a welder & in this case you just bought the saw to cut the bracing out with!

                Oh... And whatever oil they use in the gearbox, etc. Ditch that dumb **** too right off the bat for some Mobil1!

                I just think that for a hair under $300 shipped. The new white grizzly is the way to go. Come ****, or high water I'll buy one this year. Especially if my second red HF one burns up... Again... Pieces of ****...
                Never buy anything with moving parts from harbor freight unless it's expendable!!!!!!!!!


                • #9
                  JET has a copy of those also.

                  It's 1/2hp, but it can be wired 110v or 220v.

                  It's the king sorta. It's less powerful than the new grizzly one even when wired 220v. But it's really a 5*6 bandsaw, not a 4*6.
                  Round Capacity at 90° (in.) 5
                  Round Capacity at 45° (in.) 3
                  Rectangle Capacity at 90° (in./W x H) 5x6
                  Rectangle Capacity at 45° (in./W x H) 5x3
                  Throat Depth (in.) 6
                  It's also normally found right around $400. Which is prohibatively expencive for most people.


                  • #10
                    i love my makita chop saw but i put a cold cut blade on it and it cuts any thing i can fit into it. just love it!!!
                    trail blazer 302
                    hypertherm plasma
                    millermatic 251
                    high feq. arc starter
                    suit case (extreme 12vs)
                    o/a torches
                    way to many other tools to list


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by arc View Post
                      i love my makita chop saw but i put a cold cut blade on it and it cuts any thing i can fit into it. just love it!!!
                      I thought the cold cut blades were supposed to be run at around 1200 RPM...not the 3000 RPM that a regular abrasive saw runs at.
                      Last edited by bruceb; 01-27-2007, 10:26 PM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Toysrme View Post
                        My vote. Skipchop saws all together. If you need it cut & welded a chop saw is not the way to go.
                        Buy a bandsaw. The cuts are quicker, easier, and infinately more accurate.
                        Oddly enough, after posting my original request I went out to a couple of the box stores to get a hands on look at some of the chop saws out there - and their prices. Looks like name brand stuff is going from the high $100 to low $200 prices.

                        Did some online looking at the portable band saw market. Mid $100 up to Low $300. May have missed a few, but those I found that had a table were limited to 90* cuts. Any miter cuts would have to be done freehand. Then, I ran across the Griz 0622 at $298.25 delivered. That's real competitive and looks like it'll do everything I want so I hotfooted back to here to see if any of you guys knew anything about it. And, whaddayaknow!

                        To avoid making a long story even longer, I just pulled the trigger on the Grizzly! Maybe I'll save enough in files to pay for the saw - not to mention the savings in scrap or the time spent filing the cuts square and/or to the proper angle. Probably won't help my bird poop welds, but that's another story...

                        Never buy anything with moving parts from harbor freight unless it's expendable
                        AMEN, in spades!

                        Thanks a bunch, guys!
                        Tom Veatch
                        Wichita, KS


                        • #13
                          Here is a pic of my band saw. Love it and would never give it up for a chop saw or cold saw. Harbour frieght carry one just like it for around 799.00. Great saw as you can see in the picture I cut 10 hours sold for 2 days dry cutting to avoid oil on the material for easyer welding and the blade is still going.
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by jamlit; 01-28-2007, 12:16 AM.
                          Little Fabrication
                          Miller DVI2
                          Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                          Thermodynamics cutmaster 38
                          HF 130 tig

                          Third Class Power Engineer


                          • #14
                            Chop saw vs. bandsaw

                            Chop saw or bandsaw. Bear with me. IMNSHO it depends entirely on your requirements. I bought a DeWalt 871 chop saw earlier this month. I would love to have a bandsaw, too, but can't justify one. Not just the price, but the space requirements. My "shops" are both small and are just for storage. One shop is on wheels so it can be moved from job to job and I bring it home home each night for security reasons. That shop is a 1-ton van. My other shop is a storage building in my back yard that is about 8X12. It is basically a rain-proof place to sitck my stuff under lock and key when I'm not using it on my driveway. Stuff gets moved regularly back and forth between the two depending on the job I am going to do.

                            Having considered that, I bought the chop saw. I purchased the D871 because it has the D-handle and the bigger (5+) horsepower. The one I bought came with a free DeWalt 4-1/2" grinder (which I needed). All together, it was a little over $200 including shipping. I love it. I've had no problem making square cuts. The fence is adjustable (without tools) and squares up easily with my small speed square.

                            If I had the space and the dough I would have a nice bandsaw, but I don't. so I bought the DeWalt. Hope this helps.


                            Ammonia refrigeration tech
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                            XR15 w/Push-Pull Gun
                            Victor O/A, DeWalt, North mask

                            "A professional knows what to do. A craftsman knows why."


                            • #15
                              I'd just about decided on a DeWalt D28715 after my trip to Lowes last night. It seems to be very similar to the 871 and also included a 4 1/2 grinder in the $229 price. But I've already got 2 grinders that size and the Griz bandsaw delivered was close enough to that price. I'll just have to find or make room for the saw's footprint.

                              I think the problem with the HF chopsaw is the base. Too flimsy, warped, no convenient way to square the blade to the table. It seems powerful enough and cuts well with a good blade. When I get some other stuff out of the way, I may just try to build another base for it. Might be a pretty decent saw with a good base.
                              Tom Veatch
                              Wichita, KS