What is a chop saw? Detailed user’s manual

What Is A Chop Saw - Top 5 Best Advantages of a Chop Saw

In our article we will see the difference between a chop saw and miter saw and also compare them on different features to understand how to use devices properly. Actually, it comes down to follow: a miter saw are used for cutting wood but chop ones are for metal.

What is a chop saw?
What is a chop saw?

And that’s why carpenters remember a time when this type of the cutting advice has become popular through new and modern system at that moment. But now we will plan to recognize chop saw vs miter. Also we will compare them with another models of saws.

The manufacturers could design the important features in this device, for example, it contains the ability to rotate the blade and that excellently improve the functionality of the item. And now you can make bevel cuts by this saw.

So, it is important to note that the producers go on to make the items more useful and one of advanced parameter is tiltable blade which significantly improves the efficiency in cutting.

Today most chop saws are replaced by more modern analogue that are known as miter saws. Nevertheless chop saw is still used to cut metal materials. Well, we will see in the article chop saw vs miter below and after that each man will decide what item is preferable for him.

More details about a chop saw

This tool is purposed to make only crosscuts sections of metal or wood into shorter pieces. But it can’t perform rip cuts, curves, angels or bevels.

A chop saw is a cutting tool that does one thing: It crosscuts (cuts across the width) lengths of wood or metal into shorter pieces. It is job of chop saws typically. It doesn’t cut angles, bevels or curves, and it doesn’t do rip cuts (cuts along the length).

Let’s look at the structure of the tool. Firstly, the cold cut chop includes special table with fence on the back side, it needs to support the metal or wood be cut. Also the system has a clamping device for securing material. As for cutting section itself, that’s a circular saw fixed on a special stand that could extend from the the center of the table and turn up or down.

Before we will understand how chop saw vs miter can be compared, let’s see the principle of the maintenance of the tool. First of all, you need to hold the handle on the chop saw, next push the button to switch on the device and finally put the blade down in the material. The item comes back to starting position after finishing the cut.

What is a source of power of a chop saw?

Actually, there are two sources of power – they are electrical cord and hydraulics.

As for first option, the cord is featured with smaller power than the second one. It suits the most for home and shop usage. Although it can be used even on jobs sites.

As for hydraulic saws, they are more powerful and purposed to make cutting sections of large materials.

Anyway, the chop saws are excellent method of cutting large and thick parts. Meanwhile, the item use abrasive blades.

What is a chop saw?
What is a chop saw?

What aim is a chop saw used for?

Generally, the chop saws are a powerful item indeed if we compare with a usual miter saw. And it may cut different types of the materials from rebar up to metal chop pipes and even masonry. In short, this is nice choice for you.

But the largest drawback is its size and weight because it is difficult to move and that’s why the most of homeowners prefer a miter saw for their cutting works.

In conclusion we add that chop devices are perfectly suitable for commercial works. For instance, if people need to cut 1000 parts and more, then of course you should this one. Otherwise typical bender which makes angled cuts would be ok.

What is a chop saw?
What is a chop saw?

What else is interesting about this type of the saw

Apart from it, the chop saw is excellent power tool to work much and hardly like a work horse. But we repeat it again that it suits only for large scale in industrial sizes. In another case just use the miter saw blade since it maintains for interior design, for example and can cut different angled cuts.

As for the last parameter, the chop one makes only 90 degree angled cuts. The material comes as a cross cut. But if you want other angled cuts, you should use the miter tool.


What is a miter saw?

Actually, the device differs from the chop analogue by follow point: it has a stand which can turn left and right and make cuts with angles of 45 degrees.

Also, on contrary of chop saw the last one contains round table with marked angle gauge. You can rotate the handle to extend the saw blade from the front of the table. Besides it, you can use special mechanism which locks cutting surface of miter saw and prevents it from motion while you chose the degree angle. It is really useful locking mechanism that helps in cutting wood or other materials.

More about the miter saw

In contrast to compound chop its compound miter saw analogue contains follow feature: a horizontal axis parallel of the tool is located to the table and can be locked at chosen angle. It means that you can cut bevel sections.

By the way, some types of compound miter saws tools may be installed on a horizontal track and it helps to move the toothed blade back and then to cut the pieces again with miter saw, including bevel cuts. So, let’s see it vs miter saw!

The Best Chop Saws e1596624089851

Chop saw characteristics

  • Do cross cutting pieces and straight cuts with a blade but without miter
  • Purposed for cut metal of various types
  • The blades are made from abrasive material
  • The sizes of the blades is up to 15 inches
  • The set of the tool can contain special clamps for holding material
  • The last feature vs miter saw is speed – it can be high or cold-cutting.

Miter saw characteristics

  • Do beveled cuts and straight ones as well
  • Perfectly suits for cut wood cross sections
  • The blades are made of carbide
  • The blade sizes is up to 12 inches
  • And also it can contain clamps to hold material
chopsaw vs circular saw 1600x1024 1

What are they used for?

Ok, we continue view battle chop saw vs miter saw and now we see the usage of both tools. Well, the first one of modern version we use for cutting steel. And there is clamp for locking into the chop saws.

It suits perfectly for construction industry because of the abrasive blade which is tungsten carbide tipped and it also has a teeth for metal cutting. This kind has a large cutting capacity and that’s why its tct blade could make thick pieces on job sites and do angle cuts if you use clamps.

What are chop saws and miter saws applied for?

So, generally speaking, let’s summarize in which cases the chop saw is utilized:

  • To do cuts from angle iron
  • To do cuts from plastic and metal pipes
  • To do cuts from different building materials as posts or studs
  • To cut from wooden materials with embedded screws or nails.

As for miter box, it performs the same function as typical chop saw but also makes miter cuts. Actually, the miter saw can do compound cuts and works from wood as well. Therefore it is rather better to apply a compound miter saw indeed.

Well, miter saws can cut as follow:

  • To make cuts as straight cross sections from wood materials;
  • To make hard materials as floor boards;
  • To make angled material to design doors and windows;
  • To make bevels for joints of lap type instead of butt joints;
  • To do compound angles for ceiling plinth.

Is a chop saw the same as a circular saw?

Nope, that’s not. The large difference that circular analogue may perform miter cuts however, the chop saw do only straight sections. As for equalizing with miter saw, the circular saw may not do cuts as the bevels sections. And also the last saw has a circular blade. And finally, this type of the saw is used for the most of materials from plastic to metal.

tool lab video still.0

What is the difference between a chop saw and a miter saw?

We are going to see key differences of the powerful tools. The most saws of these types can be used on construction sites but there are circular and table saws and we will compare with miter saws and chop saws now. Let’s view advantages and drawbacks of them vs miter saw and chop one.


  • Accuracy: If compare with typical circular saw, the both models do cuts the parts with more accuracy.;
  • Repeatability: It can make parts in mass quantity;
  • Safety: Applying of miter saw and chop saw are supposed safer when make works with table and circular tool.


  • Generally, miter saws and chop saws only make cross sections;
  • Size of stock: the models can’t be used to cut thick or wide stocks and they are limited to 12 in. wide stock in sliding miter saws;
  • Small size of table: people should design support stand if they make cuts from long stock.


How much do the devices cost?

Actually, consumers may buy excellent chop saw for about 100 dollars. However, the more power device with function of cutting bevels would cost about 400 dollars. By the way, chop saws include abrasive disc for best performance definitely. As for miter saws, now they are compound.

So people could buy them for about 150 dollars – that’s a budget version. But if people like one model with sliding track, the cost is to be up to 700 $ for most miter saws. That’s why it is rather better to buy compound miter saws with more power.


Can I use a chop saw as a miter saw?

When consumers are going to perform bevels sections from steel, they need to decide what type of the saws would be used for their works. And experts advise to pay attention to blade of cold-cutting version – it is located in hybrid miter saws for wood and steel works. We don’t make a choice to chop saws.

The cold-cutting blade is featured with higher tooth count and vertical plane and also it can handle both materials fairly excellently . By the way, the chop saws are useful power tools too.

More information regarding the differences

Apart from it, hybrid model more closely fits a compound sliding miter saw than a typical chop devise. Besides it, the hybrid saw works similarly to a cold cut tool with a slower blade speed. That’s why the device doesn’t need an abrasive wheel like another tools with high speed. And it allows metal cutting in short time.

What is an abrasive chop saw?

Such type of saw differs from the typical one in that the blade is like a grinder. That’s why it is excellent suitable for cutting concrete, asphalt and so on.

But it needs to note that the principle of performance of chop saw is exactly the same way but the difference is only in the abrasive blade because it can cut stone and masonry materials.

What is another description for a chop saw?

Frankly speaking, it hasn’t one. But we note that consumers often mix up the chop saw with miter saw because they has a similar features. But if you look at them more closely you will recognize that the chop saw and miter one are different devices. So, chop saw is chop saw.

Ok, both ones have a board to put the material on. A blade of round size. A handle for control and a power motor. But chop saws can make only cut up or down. And they cut straight cuts at 90 degree. As for miter saws, they can rotate and make miter cuts.

Eventually, the miter saw is often used on a residential job site but chop saws – for large industrial works and commercial projects.

041 Evolution3DB
Chop saw Miter sawHybrid saw
Types of cutting Cross sections Straightbevel and compound Straightbevel and compound
Blade sizes 12–15 inches 7-1/4 to 12 inches10–12 inches
Types of bladesAbrasive Carbide Carbide
Blade speed Quickly Quickly Slow
Cutting materialMetal WoodMetal and wood
WeightHeavy Closer to heavy Closer to heavy


To make a right choice on saw model, you need to pay attention to parameters that are in the above table, for example as cutting speed. Also, it is important to choose without any hurry. And in the article we tell about chop saw vs miter saw and now you already know the difference between them.

To cut the materials properly it requires to take account in the type of blade. For instance, for cutting metal it is carbide blade. This component is set up in the miter saw which is suitable for metal cutting. Also note to high speed of the saw this is major feature for maintenance.

It influences to cutting metal with chop saws and right functioning of the tools, including chop saws.

Waiting for your comments

So, now you are aware of standard chop saws and miter ones as well. The question is what is a chop saw is closed. Leave your comments below and share the article to your friends.

Serg Cooper
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