Which is the best way to go? I know that the carbide blades are expensive,
but what are some pro's and con's of each? Also, what is a good make and
model of chop saw? I will probably only consider a name brand like Dewalt,
Makita, Milwaukee, and the like. I've seen Dewalt and Makita and like the
clamp much better on the Makita (especially when it comes to angle cuts).
Thanks and enjoy the holidays.
The carbide chop saw blade requires a slower RPM with more torque than the
normal wood cutting chops deliver so you would need the more expensive motor
setup to run the 10 to 14 inch carbide blade. If you can get by with 7 1/4 inch
blade, you can use the $50 carbide blade on a beefy skilsaw (wormdrive). They
work great but will chip apart on harder steels like bed frame.
Abrasive saws on the other hand don't care as much about RPM and torque or
material but they are slower and seem more noisy.
I use a 10" abrasive blade on a wood cutting chop saw. The motor sound tells me
when it's getting overloaded and I ease up on the feed. I have a 7 1/4 carbide
for all the mild steel cuts I can do free hand. I use safety glasses with both
but the carbide cutter scares me the most as hot chips still at times manage to
find their way behind the lens. I guess a face shield with safety glasses would
be in order if you have one.
Ordinarily I would insist on Milwaukee - but I actually did pick up a DeWalt
14" carbide chopsaw for gruntwork.
I like the fact it has a reasonable amount of power and did'nt cost a lot.
I do not like the base it sits on, and the angle cut mechanism is so-so.
Also, it did not cut square to the base out of the box, had to adjust that.
The best thing about this machine is that the base can be completely
removed, and you can easily mount the saw directly to a custom welding
I have the current Milwaukee abrasive saw since it was on clearance at
Lowe's and my use is occasional. The Makita wheel is preferred by
others and I have one to replace the one originally on the saw when it
wears out. Out-of-square cuts can occur when the wheel flexes.
I use a Craftsmen 10" Chop saw with a 71/4" tenaryu steel cutting carbide
tipped blade and love it. I almost finished building a motorcycle trailer
and have cut 10-14 gauge box steel and even some 3/16" plate. It worked
great. The precise cuts made for great fit up. I have also used the
abrasive blades and they work well but they spray sparks all over and leave
a film of dust over everything. The carbide tipped blade does throw chips
around but they are easier to clean up. I prefer the carbide tipped blade
over the abrasive blade. I didn't need the depth of cut of a 10" blade so I
opted for the $50 7 1/4 blade.
You seem to have come across a slick setup.
The Tenryu blade in a wormdirve saw is going about 100,000 inches per min.
at the teeth. In a 10" wood miter saw, it probably goes about 113,000 ipm,
which is close enough to the design spec. By decreasing the blade
diameter, you slow the speed at the tooth into the ideal range. A 10"
blade is going almost 160,000 ipm for cutting wood.
For reference, a 14" dry cut saw goes about 57,000 ipm.
The 2 major headaches with abrasive blades in a wood miter saw are
HOT! bits of glowing steel and their associated abrasive dust
deflection of the blade which gives inaccurate cuts
With your setup you can treat the metal bits as "steel sawdust" that won't
catch your saw or shop on fire. And you get the accuracy of a more rigid
blade. As long as the reduced depth of cut is acceptable and the saw &
clamping mechanism are sufficiently rigid, I would say you've lined up a
trick (& cost-effective) setup.
(I'm babysitting a slow-cooking sauce and have too much time on my hands)
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