What is a Chop Saw? 2023 Buyer Guide

Updated 3/9/2023

A chop saw, a circular saw attached to a pivoting arm, creates fast and precise crosscuts in many materials.

Use the material to press against a fence, then draw the saw blade down onto it for a precise cut.

An adjustment bar regulates the cut’s direction. Carpenters utilize saws, sometimes called miter saws, to slice lumber, tile, and steel.

Since a chop saw allows you to cut through boards very quickly, countless contractors utilize it instead of using a manual, traditional way involving a circular or hand-held saw.

To create a slice, you pinpoint the width you want to cut the panel, then press the panel all over towards the fence and glide the panel over the fence till the mark lines up with the saw blade.

You switch on the saw and draw the blade down, which slices the panel. If the job needs a cut with a specific angle, you change the blade to a pre-determined angle and then create the slice.

Chop saws with adjustable miter angles and bevels, also called compound miter saws, create rapid work of complex finishing that calls for an angle slashed throughout the width and thickness of the panel.

A compound miter changes angles much like an ordinary chop saw, and since the saw blade and motor can flop to a single side, it adjusts to chop bevels.

Contractors use chop saws for cutting crown molding and framing roofs and stairways.

Tile installments vary from easy square tile layouts to complex designs. The installer must trim the tile to fit whatever the design, at one point, for example, close to a wall.

Chop saws made for cutting tile usually incorporate a water supply, which lubricates the saw blade while slicing and helps prevent the tile from fracturing.

The specialist marks the specified cut and then holds the tile against the fence. He activates the water pump and carefully cuts the tile to shape.

When equipped with a special metal-cutting disc, a mechanic could use the saw to chop steel.

Some prevalent kinds of metals it slices include square and rounded tubes and solid metal bars.

Like various other purposes, the owner brings down the blade on top of the steel and carefully cuts through it.

Just watch yourself when cutting steel, because the sparks it throws off are very real.

Therefore, the mechanic should use a metal-cutting chop saw in fire-resistant locations.

Best Chop Saws Based On Our Test Results

Recently, we had the opportunity to test a few of the supposed “best chop saws”. This was made possible by one of my very generous contractor friends.

Check out our picks for the best chop saws of this year below!


PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw, 15-Amp, 14-Inch (PCE700)
  • 15 Amp, 3,800 Rpm Motor With Replaceable Brushes Provides Power And Durability For The Chop Saw
  • Quick-Release Material Clamp Of The Metal Chop Saw Allows For Easy Material Cutting And Removal
  • Cutting Fence With Miter Adjustment Of The Metal Cutting Saw Allows Up To 45 Degree Angles To Be Cut
  • Spark Deflector Provides Safety And Clear Line Of Sight For Cutting

The PORTER-CABLE PCE700 chop saw has become very popular in the market, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.

As a reputable brand, Porter-Cable never stopped creating highly sophisticated machines used in different industries.

The PORTER-CABLE PCE700 has all the features you need to make an accurate crosscut.

It’s made with quality materials and comes at an affordable price, making it perfect for any homeowner who wants their projects done right!

What We Like

  • The PORTER-CABLE PCE700 is designed to provide an efficient job that no other chop saw can provide. The materials used in this unit’s construction process are carefully selected to give you the best performance.
  • The Porter-Cable metal chop saw is the go-to tool for cutting iron pipe, angle iron, and more. The 15 amp motor provides enough power to get through any cut without throwing obstacles in its path, and at 3,800 RPM, you don’t have to worry about it wearing out.
  • The innovative front D-handle design allows for minimal pull when cutting.
  • The PCE700 is a lightweight, compact tool that will allow you to do all your repairs and building projects without hassle. The saw weighs only 32 pounds, so it can easily be transported if necessary

Porter-Cable Warranty

The Porter-Cable PCE700 has a 3-year limited warranty, one free service contract, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a great chop saw that does 90-degree, 45-degree, and anything in between, you will want to consider the PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw PCE700.

We think it’s worth it, especially at this price.

2. Hitachi C10FCH2 Miter Saw with Laser, 10-Inch

Hitachi has produced some of the industry’s most sophisticated tools and machines for over 100 years. With their experience and expertise, they’ve become an iconic brand.

Hitachi C10FCH2 15-Amp 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker
  • Hitachi’s Laser Marker System for increased cutting accuracy
  • 15 Amp motor, powerful for the toughest cutting jobs
  • 0-52 Degree miter angle range, to the right and left for increased flexibility
  • 0-45 Degree bevel angle range, to the left with adjustable bevel stops for precision cuts
  • Horizontal handle with soft, vibration reducing Elastomer grip adds comfort and control

It should be noted that Metabo acquired the Hitachi power tools division in 2018. The move surprised many in the industry, as Hitachi was one of Metabo’s chief competitors.

However, the deal made sense strategically, giving Metabo a larger presence in Asia and access to Hitachi’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.

Oddly enough, Hitachi and Metabo tools are still separate entities, and Hitachi power tools remain a powerhouse in the industry today.

The power of the Hitachi chop saw makes it an excellent choice for accurate cuts.

Laser marker system for exact alignment and predictable blade placement. Simple miter adjustments between 0 and 52 degrees.

Gorgeous bevels with a bevel range of 45 degrees to the left. The 15-amp motor generates up to 5,000 rpm for the effortless making of crosscuts and miters.

Check out our official Hitachi C10FCH2 Compound Miter Saw Review here!

3. Metabo HPT 10-Inch Single Bevel Miter Saw

Metabo HPT 10-Inch Miter Saw | Laser Marker | Single Bevel | Compound | 15-Amp Motor | C10FCH2S
  • 10″ Compound Miter Saw with Laser
  • INCLUDES: C10FCH2S Miter Saw, 10″ 24T TCT Saw Blade, Pivoting Flip Fence, Dust Bag, Vise Assembly (322952), 10mm Box Wrench (940543), 4mm Hex Bar Wrench, Material Support Extension
  • MOTOR: 15 Amp motor, powerful for the toughest cutting jobs
  • Same tools. New name. Hitachi power tools has renamed to Metabo HPT
  • MITER ANGLE RANGE: 0-52 Degree miter angle range to the right and left for increased flexibility

The Metabo HPT 15-amp motor can generate a no-load speed of up to 5,000 RPM. That’s some serious power for miters and crosscuts!

A horizontal handle with a vibration-reducing elastomer grip keeps you in control.

The dust collector minimizes the accumulation of particles in your workspace and inside the saw.

4. JET JMS-12X, 12-Inch Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw

JET JMS-12X, 12-Inch Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw, 1Ph 115V (707212)
  • GREATER VERSATILITY: Adjustable left and right fence and extension tables.
  • FAST ANGLE ADJUSTMENTS: Change miter angles quickly with the single-motion thumb lever.
  • EFFICIENT DUST COLLECTION: 2-1/2″ adapter connects port to a dust collection bag.
  • PRECISE CUT LINE REFERENCE: Razor-thin high-visibility red laser.
  • MAXIMUM CONTROL: Ergonomic, D-shaped, ambidextrous, rubber grip handle.

With a 15-amp and 1,950-watt motor, cutting through pipe, rebar, and shaped steel is easy. Quick-lock and release vise increase productivity.

A simple adjustment allows miter cuts up to 45 degrees in either direction. Comes with a 3-year warranty. Good features at its price.

What We Like

  • It’s incredibly precise, and the blade guard makes it incredibly safe.
  • The beveling mechanism is also really smooth and easy to use
  • The JMS-12X is very lightweight, which makes it easy to move around on a very large job site

The Jet JMS-12X miter saw is one of the best tools I’ve ever used. I love this saw and recommend it to anyone looking for a quality miter saw.

Metal Chop Saw Blades

Generally, this type of tool uses three types and sizes of blades.

The sizes of blades that are being used in this power tool measure three, 12, and 14 inches.

The larger size blades are typically used in cutting large-sized pipes. When purchasing a chop saw, it is essential that the purchaser must also consider the size of the thing.

This is one of the things that must be considered for the user to be assured that they will make an excellent, easy, and precise cut and that the money spent will not be wasted.

Whatever the size of the blade, it will still be capable of cutting metal pipe and even flat-stock perpendicular to its base.

This tool is only used in making straight and angled cuts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I put a metal-cutting blade in my chop saw?

Most chop saws are designed for cutting wood, but some can also be used for cutting metal. The key is to choose the right blade. Metal-cutting blades have a different tooth configuration than wood-cutting blades, and they are often made from a harder material. As a result, they can wear down more quickly when used on wood. Additionally, metal shavings can cause damage to the chop saw’s motor. For these reasons, it’s best to use a metal-cutting blade only when necessary.

Can you use a chop saw to cut PVC pipe?

While the process is not as straightforward as cutting wood, getting a clean, straight cut on PVC pipe using a chop saw is still possible. First, mark the desired cutting point on the pipe. Next, using a hacksaw, make a series of small cuts around the circumference of the pipe at the marked point. Finally, line up the chop saw’s blade with a series of cuts and slowly guide the blade through the pipe.

Can you cut aluminum with a chop saw?

When cutting aluminum with a chop saw, it is important to use a blade designed for metal. These blades are typically made of carbide or diamond and have teeth spaced further apart than those on a wood-cutting blade. In addition, it is important to use a coolant when cutting aluminum, as this will help to prevent the metal from overheating and becoming damaged.

Can you use a circular saw blade in a chop saw?

Yes, as long as the chop saw has carbide saw blade capabilities. Check the instructions from the manufacturer to be sure.

Wrapping it Up

Thank you for reading our best chop saws guide. We hope that you have found this information helpful and that it has helped you make a decision on which chop saw is right for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Until next time, keep on sawin’!

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