Carbide Chop Saw or Cold Saw?
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  1. #1
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    Default Carbide Chop Saw or Cold Saw?

    We have a Haberlee350 in the shop, Great saw. I need something for "home" and though I'd pick up a use cold saw. However I've been looking at some of these carbide "Chop saws" and thought maybe that is all I need. I cut everything for .049" wall CroMo tubing to 4"Square steel, Aluminum and sometimes stainless. Can anyone give me an opinion about how these carbide saws work? I realize a chop saw isn't going to be a $5000 cold saw, but I don't think I need that, and even a good used one is $2K+

    Thoughts?

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    Link to a couple examples of the machines you're interested in, that'll help a lot with feedback.

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    We use the evolution brand saws and love them for chopping steel and aluminum bars up.

    They hold good cut tolerances and last a long time.



    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    How straight and accurate are the cuts? Do you cut miter (non 90° angles)?

    I was looking at the trajan 1400:
    Carbide Steel Cutting Chop Saws for Carbide Circular Blades

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    If you let the saw do the cutting they are straight, if you rush it you will see taper.



    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    4" square steel bar will be no fun with a dry cut carbide blade. The saw will not have the power to keep that many teeth engaged in the stock making chips. Carbide teeth may not be happy either as longer engagement will stock will be a lot more heat because the teeth are rubbing the material away.
    I did see a cold saw at a show cutting 3" solid steel round stock like it was butter. A few seconds per cut. Not a home shop saw as I think it had something like a 30 HP motor. It was auto fed.

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    Going by this video: YouTube it's a step up from what you'd get at a Home Despot, but not a commercial grade saw. Sort of a semi-premium home shop tool. Aluminum base, small motor that likely will overheat with prolonged use, wimpy vise, etc.

    Might work for your application, but I'd want to see a fine tooth blade for your moly tube, or better "anti drop" blade design to prevent straddling teeth with thin wall cutting.

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    I use one of the Evolution saws at home for cutting thin wall 4130 tubing and the occasional piece of steel pipe or bar also, works great for that. I recently did a bunch of 304 s/s 1 1/2"-.049 for an exhaust system, and after about 12-15 cuts the blade was getting pretty dull (it wasn't a new blade to start with), I think s/s is asking a bit too much for this kind of saw. I also wouldn't think it would work too well for any solid section thicker than an inch or so. Generally I'm very happy with it for the hobby work I use it for though.

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    I have two of these Slugger saws. One is the original Jancy and one the the Fein version now made in China.

    They are very accurate and cut well with the correct blade for the material being cut.

    Metal Cutting Saws - 14 in Slugger Metal Cutting Saw | FEIN

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    A cold saw is a completely different class of tool than those carbide chop saws.
    The chop saws are OK for thin wall tubing, or angle, but they are lightweight, built to a (low) price point, and will bog down pretty fast even cutting 1" solid, much less 4".
    You gets what you pay for.
    A decent cold saw can easily weigh 400 pounds or so, versus 50 for a chop saw.
    And a blade turning at 50 rpm, with continuous coolant, is going to outlast one turning 1200 rpm with no coolant every day of the year.

    Personally, I have found the best combo is a real cold saw, and a good bandsaw. But it costs more. My coldsaw blades run over $150 each, and, if you dont break em, can be resharpened for years.

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    I had the DeWalt version of a dry cut carbide saw and agree with the other posters. It was great for round steel tube, OK for square and angle, but it really didn't do well with solids. Mitering square tube worked OK with a sharp blade, but one that had some wear didn't like cutting the flat surfaces of the square section. One downside to these saws is they're LOUD. The other is the chip collection isn't great. Still they make less mess than doing the same things with an abrasive chop saw and tend to cut straighter in my experience.

    I had a local guy that would sharpen the blades pretty cheaply, and would even braze new carbide on if you lost a tooth or two. He was very cost effective relative to buying new blades when they got dull. I could get 2-3 sharpenings on a blade before needing to replace it.

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    We have both a fixed in place Hyd-Mech cold saw, which is great for fine finish cuts on Aluminum, and a Dewalt carbide chop saw. The Dewalt is amazing where you wouldn't expect like cutting 8' steel C-channel. As noted above it's more like 30 lbs so we keep it stored away and bring it out to cut long stock in the middle of the floor of our limited space shop when needed. The vise on the Dewalt is rudimentary though, so setting up a square cut is a bit of a task. So they are sort of complementary but the chop saw is more of a production cutting tool to feed a machine shop where the Dewalt seems optimized for fabrication projects. I don't think we've tried to cut large solid stock on the Dewalt and the Hyd-Mech has a max size of like 90mm diameter. The Dewalt is overall great and would be ideal for home use by the serious fabricator/machinist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    The Dewalt is overall great and would be ideal for home use by the serious fabricator/machinist.
    I have one too and agree it's a decent machine except for the vise. If I get some spare time I'm thinking of cobbling up something better.


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