10 Best Metal Cutting Saw Reviews 2020

Shopping for the best metal-cutting saw but struggling to find the right tool? Let us help you!

This post is dedicated to saws crafted specially to cut metal. More specifically, our goal today is to introduce you to our Top 10 metal-cutting saw picks, as well as help you choose the right tool for your projects.

Let’s get started with our guide without further ado!

10 Best Metal-Cutting Saws

In this section, we will showcase our Top 10 picks.

When shortlisting candidate tools for review, we’ve tried to keep our list more varied to meet the needs of as many people as possible. So below, you will find pricey tools that can cut through metal like butter, and you’ll also see budget picks suitable for light-duty jobs.

We’ll briefly cover the key features of each tool to set our picks apart. And after our review section, we’ll talk about a few important points to help you better understand metal-cutting saws!

1. DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 1,300.
  • Blade style: 14-inch carbide
  • Warranty: 3-year.
best metal cutting saw

DEWALT DW872 continues DEWALT’s fine tradition of quality and great performance. 

This particular metal-cutting saw model is a higher-end one, so it’s a good fit for tough jobs. According to DEWALT, DW872 cuts metal 4 times faster than regular chop saws and 8 times faster than portable band saws. 

When it comes to blades, you can get this saw with the DW8500 diamond-edge blade or a 66-teeth blade designed for cutting ferrous metals. These blades are excellent and go through metal without sparks, overheating, or burrs, though replacements are expensive.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Smooth, quick cuts.
  • Adjustable 45-degree support fence + vertical clamp.
  • Tough and durable.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • The clamp is loose and needs some work.
  • Pricey replacement blades.

2. TruePower Mini Miter Cut-Off Chop Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 7,800.
  • Blade style: 2-inch high-speed steel.
  • Warranty: 1-year.
best metal cutting saw

The TruePower Mini Miter Cut-Off chop saw is a nice purchase for hobbyists or people who are looking to process softer metals. This mini tool is specifically designed to cut aluminum, copper, and brass, and it can also cut wood, plastic, and other similarly soft materials.

For added flexibility, this little unit is equipped with a 45-degree miter gauge too. The tool itself is highly compact and lightweight, so it should also work for those who want great portability.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Very inexpensive.
  • Compact and light.
  • Great if you will be mostly cutting soft metals.
  • 45-degree miter gauge included.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Won’t withstand heavy use.

3. DEWALT D28715 14-Inch Chop Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 4,000.
  • Blade style: 14-inch abrasive wheel.
  • Warranty: 3-year.
best metal cutting saw

he DEWALT D28715 chop saw is a cheaper alternative to DW872 reviewed earlier. 

All in all, D28715 is a better pick for lighter-duty projects. But despite being cheaper, it has keyless disc changes too – a very handy feature!

The biggest difference between the two DEWALT metal-cutting saws is the blade. As a classical chop saw, D28715 employs an abrasive disc. This disc will do a decent job and won’t cost a whole lot to replace, but compared to the blades included with DW872, it will cut much slower and less smoothly.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Not too expensive.
  • Keyless blade changes.
  • Very cheap replacement discs.
  • Keyless disc changes, adjustable miter fence, and more.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Won’t achieve as quick and smooth cuts as blade-based models.

4. Evolution R355CPS 14-Inch Chop Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 1,450.
  • Blade style: 14-inch 32-tooth tungsten carbide blade.
  • Warranty: 3-year.
best metal cutting saw

Just a little pricier than DEWALT D28715, Evolution R355CPS offers way better metal-cutting performance. This is primarily thanks to its blade – being a 32-tooth blade rather than an abrasive disc, it will cut through metal much faster and with little to no burring.

Blade replacements, unfortunately, will cost quite a lot, but for moderately tough jobs, this tool is worth it.
The included blade isn’t omnipotent and won’t handle every metal, but it will work fine for non-ferrous metals like aluminum or copper. It can also cut through mild steel or angle iron, though not as effectively.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Rather pocket-friendly.
  • Cuts through metal quite fast.
  • Built-in carrying handle.
  • 45-degree miter guide.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Pricey blades.

5. Toolman 8350 14-Inch Chop Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 3,800.
  • Blade style: 14-inch abrasive disc/saw blade.
best metal cutting saw

The 8350 chop saw from Toolman is a pretty nice choice if your budget is very limited. Needless to say, this thing won’t have the oomph to quickly cut through steel, iron, or other ferrous metals, but it’s fine for light-duty applications.

What’s nice about this chop saw is that you can get it with two blades – a 14-inch abrasive disc and a 14-inch saw blade. Swapping the blades is easy thanks to the quick-release blade clamp. Both blades may be used for metal-cutting, though again, don’t expect too much from this tool.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Very inexpensive.
  • Quick-release blade clamp.
  • Available with two types of blades – an abrasive disc and saw blade.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Probably not the best for ferrous metals and generally tough uses.
  • Has no spark guards.

6. WORX WX801L Mini-Cutter

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 19,000.
  • Blade style: 3-inch cutting/grinding disc.
best metal cutting saw

WORX’s WX801L Mini-Cutter is an angle grinder-like tool that works wonderfully in tight spaces and when you need to cut through small amounts of metal quickly. This mini tool is battery-powered as well, and it’s also designed for ergonomic one-handed operation. 

To allow you to get started quickly, WORX includes a battery, charger, 3 cutting discs, and 1 grinding disc. With the provided discs, you will be able to cut metal (including steel), tile, concrete, and plastic.

Note that the cutting wheels aren’t easy to find for this tool, unfortunately, but people seem to have found them from Home Depot and Menards.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Cordless and extremely portable.
  • Comes with 3 cutting blades and 1 grinding disc.
  • May be operated one-handed.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Replacement discs are hard to find.

7. Evolution S355CPSL 14-Inch Chop Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 1,450.
  • Blade style: 14-inch 66-tooth tungsten carbide blade.
  • Warranty: 3-year.
best metal cutting saw

Evolution’s S355CPSL is a significant step-up from the R355CPS chop saw we reviewed earlier. Although the base design in the two chop saws is very similar, S355CPSL delivers dramatically different cut quality and speed thanks to the 66-tooth blade.

The cheaper Evolution chop saw, if you don’t remember, had 32 teeth. With over double the teeth, S355CPSL will cut through metal much faster, smoother, and with less overheating. In terms of cutting quality, S355CPSL may even compare to DEWALT’s DW872 we reviewed at the very beginning!

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Cuts through metal very quickly.
  • Can do 45-degree miter cuts.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Expensive replacement blades.

8. Makita LW1401 14-Inch Cut-Off Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 3,800.
  • Blade style: 14-inch abrasive wheel.
  • Warranty: 1-year.
best metal cutting saw

Makita’s LW1401 cut-off saw is yet another nice budget pick on our list. It’s cheaper than Evolution R355CPS and DEWALT D28715, so it’s a better option for not too heavy DIY needs.
Notably, LW1401 has a two-stage power button to prevent accidental startups. This is a pretty nice feature to have on any chop saw, and especially a cheap model like this one!

Cutting-wise, LW1401 offers decent performance. Makita includes a 14-inch abrasive wheel that can cut through metal pretty well – both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The abrasive discs are very cheap to replace too, especially if buying in bulk.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Inexpensive.
  • Replacement abrasive wheels are cheap.
  • Two-stage power button for safety.
  • 45-degree fence for miter cuts.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Again, the abrasive discs won’t cut the best.

9. Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal-Cutting Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 1,700.
  • Blade style: 12-inch carbide-tipped 60-tooth blade.
  • Warranty: 1-year.
best metal cutting saw

For demanding applications, Makita LC1230 is quite a nice choice. This tool is comparable to Evolution S355CPSL and DEWALT DW872, but it has some small differences.
Among those differences are the two-stage lock-off power and the tray for metal shaving collection. The blade is sized at 12 inches as well, so the max cutting capacity is a little lower than in 14-inch chop saws.

But in terms of cutting quality, LC1230 is excellent. The 60-tooth blade is expensive to replace, but it delivers quick, smooth, and burr-free cuts – just like you’d expect from a top-quality tool!

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Cuts quickly and smoothly.
  • Oversized handle for easy gripping.
  • Can do 45-degree miter cuts.
  • Has a tray for shaving collection.
  • Two-stage power button to prevent accidental starting.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Short warranty for the price.
  • Expensive blade replacements.

10. Ironton Dry Cut 14-Inch Metal Saw

QUICK SUMMARY

  • RPM: 1,450.
  • Blade style: 14-inch carbide-tipped 72-tooth blade.
best metal cutting saw

Last but not least, we have this 14-inch metal-cutting saw from Ironton. This tool offers similar performance to saws like DEWALT DW872 or Evolution saws, but there are some minor differences to be covered.

Most notably, the blade here has 72 teeth, so theoretically, it should deliver smoother and quicker cuts than blades with lower tooth count. In practice, 60-66 teeth work well enough, but if you want excellent cut quality, Ironton’s 72-tooth blade should be very nice.
What’s even better is that this dry cut metal saw isn’t that expensive! With that, it’s a solid tool for mid- to high-volume metal cutting.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Lock-off button to prevent accidental starts.
  • Excellent cut quality.
  • 45-degree material guide.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • The miter guide isn’t very sturdy.
  • Pricey blade replacements.

What Type Of Saw To Use To Cut Metal?

You could have noticed that our top 10 featured metal-cutting saws of various types, including, most importantly, chop saws. Although we’ve had a good look at available options, there are many other types of metal saws you can find on the market.

Well, which one of these saw types would be the best for cutting through metal? And generally, which saw types can be used for this kind of job?

Quick note – there are no such tools as “metal-cutting saws”. With the right blade, any saw can technically be used to cut metal. Miter saws, table saws, band saws – tools like these are all capable of cutting through metal when equipped with an appropriate blade for the job.

But whether the cutting would be effective, safe, and convenient is a little different story. Due to subtle differences between the capabilities of different tools, not every saw should be used for cutting metal, even with a blade that can cut it.

Nowadays, the most popular saws used to cut metal are as follows:

  • Chop saws.

  • Angle grinders.

  • Reciprocating saws.

  • Circular saws.

Angle grinders technically aren’t saws, but they are close enough and should be at least briefly covered.

Now, let’s talk about each of these tools a little more in-depth so that you understand which saw type would work the best for your metal-cutting needs.

Chop saws

A chop saw is a circular saw-like tool that is perhaps the most popular metal-cutting tool these days. Chop saws are highly effective at cutting any type of metal accurately and quickly.

Technically speaking, chop saws are not saws because they usually use abrasive discs rather than blades. The cutting action is achieved through abrasion, like in a grinder. Due to this, chop saws are often called abrasive saws.

Chop saws have their cutting discs mounted on a pivoting arm. To use the chop saw, you lift the arm, place the material on the worktable, turn the tool on, and lower the disc onto the workpiece. 

This mechanism of action is similar to that of miter saws – another type of saw popular in woodworking. Often, the phrase “chop saw” is used to refer both to miter saws and abrasive saws. However, we and many people think that this name should not be interchangeable because the tools are dramatically different.

Chop saws typically use discs sized from 14 to 16 inches. Mots commonly, chop saws are made for steel and stainless steel cutting – however, there also are discs available for cutting through very hard materials like concrete or asphalt.

When it comes to uses, chop saws are used to make quick cuts in metal. With that, if your goal is to process as much metal as you can throughout the day, a chop saw is an unparalleled tool. 

However, also keep in mind that chop saws typically don’t make cuts very accurately and cleanly, so some post-processing work may need to be done on the workpiece.

Angle grinder

One could consider an angle grinder a portable alternative to a chop saw. Like a chop saw, an angle grinder uses an abrasive cutting disc to go through metal. 

Angle grinders are much more compact than chop saws, however, so they can’t do as large jobs as quickly. On the other hand, they are excellent when you want portability, as well as when you need to reach tight spaces. Cutting pipes, fencing, and other small jobs are just right for an angle grinder.

Angle grinders can cut just about anything besides metal, but with the right blade or disc. Aside from that, angle grinders may be used for polishing too.

Reciprocating saw

In reciprocating saws, the cutting action is achieved via the reciprocating (back and forth) movement of the blade. This back and forth motion is called a stroke. To quickly make cuts in material, reciprocating saws perform thousands of strokes per minute.

Reciprocating saws are used for quick demolition jobs, so their cuts are rough and imprecise. When you need to go through cast iron, copper, or steel quickly with no regard for smoothness and cut quality, a reciprocating saw is your best friend. 

Aside from metal, you could use a reciprocating saw to cut through any other material as well, even concrete.

Notably, many people mistake reciprocating saws for jigsaws, and vice versa. Although both tools have reciprocating blades and operate similarly, their uses and applications are very different.

As mentioned earlier, reciprocating saws are ideal for jobs where you need to go through material fast. In contrast, jigsaws are used for making more accurate cuts in the workpiece. Typically, jigsaws are used for all kinds of plunge cuts, curved cuts, or crosscuts.

Technically, you may use jigsaws and reciprocating saws interchangeably. However, because a jigsaw isn’t as powerful as a recip saw and doesn’t have as tough blades, it will never be able to tear through material as quickly. And since recip saws are clunky, making smooth, accurate cuts with them is challenging.

Circular saw

A circular saw is a handheld power saw that uses a blade or abrasive disc to cut material. Circular saws typically use blades that are interchangeable with table saws.

A circular saw is typically used to make crosscuts. Crosscuts, if you didn’t know, are cuts that go across the material. Occasionally, circular saws may be used for rip cuts (cuts that go along the workpiece), but table saws are way better for this purpose.

Circular saws might be used to make gradual curved cuts as well, but here, a jigsaw would be the preferable tool.

Compared to the previous tools, circular saws are better when you need to make a few quick cuts in a sheet of metal. For pipe-cutting jobs – the ones that angle grinders are often used for – circular saws are clunky and inconvenient. Obviously, they also can’t be used for demolition jobs, like recip saws. As for chop saws, circular saws can’t achieve the same volume of work.

Can You Use A Miter Saw To Cut Metal?

As mentioned earlier, miter saws are similar to chop saws and are sometimes interchangeably called “chop saw”. Given the similarities, you might be wondering – can you use a miter saw to cut metal?

Well, with a metal-cutting blade, a miter saw can indeed be used for cutting through metal. However, a miter saw should not be your go-to tool for metal jobs.

Why? Because miter saws are specifically designed with wood-cutting in mind. This fact mainly manifests itself in the higher RPM of miter saws – about 66% higher than in the typical chop saw.

When it comes to cutting metal, high RPMs are undesirable because they lead to quick tool wear and overheating. If you try to cut metal at typical miter saw RPMs, your workpiece and the blade may get red-hot.

The friction generated by high RPMs will also severely wear your blade, shorten its lifespan, and possibly even ruin your project. We aren’t even talking about debris since the extra-high RPM would create a lot of sparks and send debris flying at high speeds.

The RPM issue can be resolved if you have a variable-speed miter saw. However, unless your miter saw allows you to lock the speed, maintaining safe RPMs will be very difficult.

All in all, when it comes to effectiveness, a chop saw will always work better than a miter saw for cutting metal.

Now, if you are looking to do a couple of cuts and don’t want to take out your chop saw for them, you may use a miter saw. A few passes over metal shouldn’t do much harm. But for tough, high-volume jobs, opt for a chop saw.

Can You Use A Metal Saw To Cut Wood?

Another question that many people wonder about is whether you can cut wood with a metal saw. More precisely, can you use a metal-cutting blade to process wood?

The answer – metal-cutting blades are more than tough enough to tackle wood. However, because metal and wood blades have dramatically different features, they can’t be used interchangeably.

You see, wood-cutting blades have a few large teeth, while metal blades have many smaller teeth. Wood blades are designed to decrease abrasion – with high abrasion, the wood would simply combust. Not only that, but wood is way softer than metal and doesn’t need that much abrasion in the first place.

Metal-cutting blades with a high tooth count can cut through wood too, but they will do so slower than a blade specifically designed for wood. A metal blade will wear quicker and may even set the wood on fire.

With that said, if you want to tackle thin pieces of wood, a metal blade should go through it without significant wear and without burning. However, if you need to go through a few pieces of thicker wood, switch to a wood-cutting blade to do your job safely and without having to damage your metal blades.

Also, note that we were talking about metal-cutting discs. Some saws (chop saws or angle grinders) use abrasive discs to go through metal too. Abrasive discs have no teeth and rely on friction to cut material. If you try to apply the same friction to wood, you’ll just burn through it – no matter how careful you are.

What Kind Of Blades Do You Need For Metal-Cutting?

A single tool may be used to cut different materials by just switching the blade. To cut metal, you, obviously, need a blade that is designed for cutting metal.

Though this sounds simple, things are a little bit difficult – since metals have different characteristics, you need to have a separate blade for each type of metal you are dealing with. Sawing ferrous metals like steel is much more difficult than sawing non-ferrous, soft metals like aluminum or brass.

Thankfully, blade manufacturers make choosing the right blade simple by specifying which materials their blades are designed for. So if you are looking to cut through, say, steel, look for a blade that is designed for it.

But generally, know that metal-cutting blades have many small teeth (usually 60-80) that are situated close to each other. These blades are often made of diamond or carbide, though other materials may be used as well.

What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Metal-Cutting Saw

Now, let’s have a brief look at the most important specs and features in metal-cutting saws. 

This buyer’s guide won’t be as expansive as in our other tool posts – this is because “metal-cutting saw” is a very general phrase that can imply any saw with a metal-cutter blade. We don’t have enough words in this post to cover all those tools, but if you want to know more about a specific tool, then have a look at our other guides.

Blade size

Metal-cutting saws typically have 7-14-inch blades.

10-12 inches is probably the best size for most people. If you are a hobbyist or DIYer with not too high job volume, then these sizes should work fine.

You may go smaller than 10 inches too if your budget or space are limited. As for larger saws, these are reserved for pros who need to go through a lot of material throughout the day.

Blade type

Though metal-cutting saws typically use abrasive discs to do their job, abrasive discs actually aren’t the only accessory that one may use to cut metal.

There are three types of blades or discs that may be used to go through metal – abrasive discs, dry cut blades, and cold saw blades.

Abrasive blades rely on abrasion to cut metal. While doing so, abrasive discs produce a lot of sparks, heat the workpiece, leave unclean, burred cuts, and cut slowly. However, abrasive discs are rather cheap.

If you want clean, fast, burr-free cutting, go for a saw that supports dry cut or cold saw blades. Dry cut and cold saw blades are similar, but cold saws may also use a liquid coolant to keep the material cool and lubricate the blade, prolonging its life.

These blades can cost over $200 per piece, but they produce dramatically better results than abrasive discs. 

Note that you can’t mount a dry cut blade onto a saw designed for abrasive discs. This is because abrasive discs are rated for much higher RPM. If you clamp a dry cut blade onto a saw with very high RPM, you will destroy the blade when cutting.

Saw blade RPM

When cutting hard materials like metals, you don’t need high RPM. You typically need lower than 1,300 RPMs to cut metal, and the harder the metal, the lower you need to go. To cut stainless steel, you’ll probably need to ensure an RPM level of up to 300.

Ideally, your saw should have variable RPM to allow you to cut different kinds of metals. Check out the RPM range of the desired saw to ensure that it will indeed be able to safely and effectively tackle your materials.

Also, note that every kind of saw blade has a max RPM rating. So you may want to first decide what kind of blades you are buying and then purchase a metal-cutting saw that covers the required RPM range.

Spark deflectors

The metal-cutting process will produce a lot of sparks. A spark deflector is thus a useful feature for keeping you and surrounding objects safe. Some metal-cutting saws include spark deflectors, while others that don’t may sometimes be compatible with accessory deflectors.

Warranty

You are probably going to use a metal-cutting saw heavily. With that in mind, consider the warranty coverage of the desired tool as well. Aside from the raw duration of the warranty, check out what it does and doesn’t cover.

Cheap tools usually have 1-year coverage, while mid- and high-end saws can have 3-5-year warranties.

Final Words

Although the vast majority of our picks were chop saws, we suggest that you research other types of metal-cutting saws too. We are talking about angle grinders, reciprocating saws, and circular saws.

Although chop saws offer unparalleled effectiveness in metal-cutting, we know that for some people, other tools may be a little more convenient.

If the chop saw indeed is what you are looking for, then get started with our top picks – you should be safe no matter which one you choose!

With that, hopefully, our buyer’s guide will serve as a solid foundation for your purchasing process! Though we’ve talked about the most important aspects of choosing a metal-cutting saw, be open to new information and be always ready to do more research.

  • Faiz
  • August 15, 2020
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