Chop saw are very powerful equipment. It is like a predator, a predator of power tools. The chop saw is even more powerful than a miter saw. It is such a handy, handy tool that it has the capability to cut through pretty much anything that is put in front of it.
You can understand that it is a tool used for cutting through heavy materials. In addition to this, chop saw is also a fast tool. It is faster than the circular saw just to give you a comparison.
- 0.1 Cut Hard Materials with Your Chop Saw
- 0.2 Choose Your Blade Wisely!
- 0.3 Off The Ground
- 0.4 Set up
- 0.5 How to use the Chop saw
- 0.6 Be Accurate
- 0.7 The Big Confusion
- 0.8 Clean up
- 0.9 Less spark, less heat?
- 0.10 Getting used to controlling
- 0.11 Wasting the Blade
- 0.12 Cutting Outsiders?
- 0.13 Angled cuts?
- 0.14 Stay Safe
Cut Hard Materials with Your Chop Saw
It is great that the chop saw is capable of cutting through harder materials with ease. Harder materials which most other saws are not able to cut.
So, how the chop saw is capable of cutting heavy materials? The chop saw uses abrasive blade more often than not.
This particular blade has no teeth. It is typically used to cut through hard materials. These hard materials include metals, tiles, and even concrete. That is why chop saw is so effective in cutting hard materials.
Choose Your Blade Wisely!
Choosing the blade with which you are going to cut is important. You do not want to have a blade for the wrong material. You need to make sure that the blade will go through the material you are cutting without any wearing out. If you install a blade to cut the wrong material then you jeopardize damaging your saw itself.
There is slight difference in the abrasive blade mentioned earlier. The abrasive blade that looks thinner will cut through the material quicker. Whereas a little more thick blade will make your job slower. But, it will certainly handle abuse better than the thinner blade.
Off The Ground
Because of the width or length of some materials, you might wish to use your chop saw on the ground. Do not saw on the ground. Rather put something (should be solid, flat) underneath the saw. Also, it is recommended to use packers for further support. Packers are best supporter when you are cutting steel.
Before you begin sawing, set your machine along with the materials and stuff in the correct order. You can test if the face of the disk is in the right position using a square. Also, set your packers right. Do not set them level or high. If you do then it might cause the chop saw to bind and jam. But, do not worry if the right sided packers are a bit lower. This will actually help and will allow the cut open up a little bit as you saw.
How to use the Chop saw
The chop saw use is easy. Abrasive blade or disc is fixed on the swing arm. So, the workpiece that you have should be held down on to the saw table or a platform. The trigger is positioned on the handle, switch it on. And then wait for the disc to reach enough rpm, and then take the head down in slow motion. Now, cut your workpiece and then bring it out. Consequently, it is important to make sure that you keep on pressing the trigger switch all the while you cut.
When using your chop saw, you will of course want to cut your materials fine or accurate. For getting the perfect accuracy, it is important that you mark the line of cutting. You can use the old simple way, a pencil, to mark the cut you will make. But, if the mark is not clearly visible then it will be even better for you to use white chalk. If the mark with the chalk is not that accurate then use tape measure to straighten up. This marking will help you cut materials finer and more accurately.
The Big Confusion
I know that with the chop saw there is confusion present in many people. So before I go any further, let me clear that up. Is the chop saw the same as a miter saw? In a way, yes it is. But in general, nope! The chop saw and miter saw are not similar or the same thing. Let me elaborate.
The biggest similarity that these two tool share is the appearance of the two. They look pretty identical to each other. And this is what confuses most people into thinking that they are the same. Apart from this, there are no other major similarities between the two. The chop saw is a whole lot powerful than miter saw. The miter saw has the ability to cut in angles, but a chop saw is unable to do that. A chop only cuts straight or in 90 degrees. There is a chance to damage miter saw if used for cutting metal, but the chop saw is really built for cutting metal-like materials. So, even their implications differ from each other, don’t they?
These differences should give you a good idea about how different these two power tools are. So, do not make that mistake like so many other people.
As you continue to use your “predator”, the inside of the steel guard could be filled up with metal or disk residue. You cannot let these stay for much long. So cleaning the blade is crucial for you. You can give a little knock on the outside of the guard with a hammer. This will dislodge the junk that has been building inside. But, of course be careful and do not hit with too much force. You do not want a broken saw, do you?
And with the abrasive blade that this particular tool uses, it will produce more sparks too. So do not be lazy! Clean up the surroundings after you finish sawing.
Less spark, less heat?
As mentioned earlier, the chop saw uses abrasive blade. This particular blade produces a lot of sparks. This blade makes the workpiece you are cutting very hot.
But nowadays, you might find a few manufacturers who do make cold-cut blades. These types will not make the workpiece that hot at all. On top of that, these produce almost no sparks.
Getting used to controlling
The chop saw is no way a tool that is easy to control. You should not take this tool lightly. To improve your control, you have to keep on practicing. And the marking cut we discussed earlier is super important.
But if you are a beginner in DIY then I highly suggest that you do some visual training first. Meaning see other specialist work with the chop saw. Focus on what and how they are going about their work. And with a slow pace but for certain, you will learn the basics. This will help you a lot in getting better control when you finally start using the saw.
Wasting the Blade
There’s hardly any blade or saw at all that will not wear out with time. But, aside from wearing out, the blade could be wasted by the user. And that could be done without the user even realizing it. You can do the same with your chop saw.
The blade could be wasted if you use it on materials that are not fit for that particular blade. For example, the blades that are for wood-cutting purpose should not be intentionally used for metals.
Also, if you are using the blade and pushing it with much force, then you might waste it. In such case, you might see dust coming off the blade. If you do see such scene then you need to step aside and step aside quick.
So, be gentle with your saw. Do not push too hard thinking you will get the job done quicker than before. Have a little patience and work without wasting your blade.
Now, the chop saw is mainly for cutting metals. When I say outsiders, I mean wood, plastic, etc. So the question is, can the chop saw be used to cut wood type material? Yes. But you should not cut!
Using it to cut wood type material will only waste the power of your saw a great deal. Also, it is better to not cut especially when you are using the abrasive blade (which is for metal cutting). If you do cut then the disc will get loaded, and might cause it to break.
And with wood-cutting, it is more about accuracy. But unfortunately, the chop saw will not provide that kind of accuracy. So, the work will always lack the desired result.
When you think about all this, it does not make sense to cut wood with it. Especially considering the fact that there are other tools available. Other tools like the table saw that will give the best results when cutting wood.
The next question that many people have in mind is about angle cuts. So, can you make angle cuts with the chop saw? Again, yes but you should not. As we discussed earlier, the miter saw is capable of making angle cuts. That is why most people ask this question. Because the chop saw looks like the miter saw.
The answer is partial yes because it is very difficult. The chop saw is used for straight cuts, that is its best work. And with the angle cuts, you must have a very high level of control over your chop saw. The type of control that is a lot hard.
And remember the power of the chop saw that we talked about? Well, this adds to make it even more difficult to make angle cuts.
So, it is better to just use a miter saw than take the risk with a chop saw.
Chop saw could pose much threat if you do not use it with caution. Here are some important points to help you stay safe:
- The chop saw produces a lot of dust, sparks, and debris. So, this makes it necessary for you to wear safety equipment. Eye protection is pretty much a must. Better to wear gloves and also soft hearing protection.
- Chop saw uses are not child’s play! Respect your machine. As with most other saws, you also need to approach this power tool with caution.
- Keep it steady. It is really important that you hold the workpiece firmly. And also the equipment itself.
- Give time. Let the blade or disk acquire the required rpm before touching the workpiece with it. If you are impatient and do not let it get to the required rpm then you are taking a risk of damaging the saw.
- Do not work with the small workpieces too much. Avoid doing that and also avoid making tiny cuts (unless it is super important). This is because of your own safety. When you make tiny cuts, you have to place your hand closer to the cutting edge. Or in other words, in the line of fire. So, it is better to use other power tools for making tiny cuts instead of the chop saw.
- When it comes to the chop saw, there is definitely space for learning. If you are someone who is only beginning his DIY work, then it is better for you to not use the chop saw just yet. I would advise you to use other harmless power saws like the jigsaw first. And when you have a little experience with the power tools, then you can start with anyone you desire.
- There is a type of freehand chop saws powered by gasoline. It can be used mobile. When and if you use them, then much caution should be taken.
The chop saw is a tool that has proved its worth. Heavy workpieces kneel before this metal-eating machine. When chop saw uses are in your arsenal, it will only improve and help you in your work. Besides, now you know more useful things you can do with it. Happy chopping!
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