View Full Version : cut-off saws

04-12-2006, 07:29 PM
Does anyone have any experiences to share (good or bad) with metal cut-off saws? In partiular, I'm looking at the 14" abrasive wheel style. I made the mistake a couple of years ago by purchasing a cheap-o from some home show ( a speedway) that had no power at all. Duh on my part. Milwaukee has one for around $160.00 or so that has 5 or so HP, it seems like agood deal, but would like to hear yays or nays about any of the brands and models folks have dealt with.
Thanks in advance to everyone.
Robert in soggy California.

04-12-2006, 07:38 PM
My Dewalt with gear reduction is good but my 20 year old Makita direct drive was better, IMHO.

04-12-2006, 10:06 PM
Let me see .... I have a Makita in my shop at home that is about 20 years old as well. At work we have had a Makita, Milwaukee, and a Dewalt. The Milwaukee fried after about 2 years. Same with the Dewalt. The Makita is still cutting and it was the older machine.
So, from my experience if I were to ever need to replace my personal machine, I would get another Makita.

04-12-2006, 11:51 PM
Sadly the newer Makita's(who knows) aren't the same machine as the old ones(Japan).I had an old one that lasted 10 years or better,new one I replaced it with died in six months.

I have a Dewalt now,it lives out in the rain,only gets attention when I need it but it still works(made in Korea).

I liked the looks of the Hitachi 14" at Lowes,las one I looked at was made in Japan,seems like it was $159.

Another option depending on what machinery you have at your disposal is to build your own homebrew belt drive unit.If you play your cards right you can have a machine that is vastly better than the store bought units for a few dollars more.

04-13-2006, 03:42 AM
5 HP. Wow, That's something like a 40 amp 120V circuit.

04-13-2006, 05:04 AM
5 HP. Wow, That's something like a 40 amp 120V circuit.

Yea, whats your point?

Real men use real tools. ;)

J Tiers
04-13-2006, 10:14 AM
Yea, whats your point?

Real men use real tools. ;)

The point is that the rating is complete and total, unadulterated BS.

A rating more appropriate for vacuum cleaners or other household garbage.

Apparently in THIS case it is "real men use fake tools......"

john hobdeclipe
04-13-2006, 10:46 AM
I have a Makita that I've used occasionally for about 5 years with no problems. Seems pretty solid and will probably fill my needs for many years to come.

The best cutoff machine I've ever used was an EVERRIT. (I may not have spelled that right.) Used one when I worked in a furniture mill tooling dept. This one had a belt drive from a standard NEMA 56 frame motor to the wheel arbor. Simple to repair when needed. We used it constantly to cut high speed steel knife stock, and it never gave any problems.

weirdscience is right: It wouldn't take too much to build a good solid saw, especially if you already have a motor.

04-13-2006, 11:54 AM
I like the new carbide "cold" cutoff saws that DeWalt, Milwaukee, and others have introduced better than abrasive cut-off saws. I find they cut faster, smoother, and with less noise:


If you are going to cut hardened, you may still need an abrasive saw. I haven't tried my saw on hardened steel.



Mike P
04-13-2006, 12:23 PM
I have a cheapy, Odd Lots saw that has been a surprisingly good saw. I burned up a brush hook up wire and had to jury rig it, but it's been running for months now.

While I was fixing the thing, I bought the big Sears brand saw. It's got a really heavy cast iron base with a nice skewable fence. The downside is, the cheap saw has more guts than the Sears saw, but isn't anywhere near the precision of the Sears Saw.

The Sears saw bogs down if you really force it, but the cuts are VERY straight and consistant. The cheap saw's base is sheet metal and the fence is adjustable with a couple bolts. The Sears saw has an easy adjuster.

I use the Sears saw for accurate cuts, the cheapy for lots of quick cuts.

04-14-2006, 07:12 PM
I really appreciate all the honest responses, I think I may just built something as some of you suggested, for now my Sawzall has been filling in well enuf and has some advantages over a chopper, just takes another step on the belt sander to square up the work.

04-14-2006, 07:22 PM
The point is that the rating is complete and total, unadulterated BS.

A rating more appropriate for vacuum cleaners or other household garbage.

Apparently in THIS case it is "real men use fake tools......"


paul j smeltzer
04-14-2006, 08:08 PM
I bought a Milwalkee cut off saw about 5-6 years ago. It blows the 20 amp circuits in my shop, all wired with 12-3. the only way i can run it is to split a 240 volt 30 amp circuit. called the factory and felt from the reply that they were not concerned. no big deal. I run it off of a 6000 watt generator the same way.

04-14-2006, 08:55 PM
I have the cheepest HF saw, and it cuts in its own slow, crooked way. I have a smaller 8.5 inch saw that was made from a Crapsman cast iron wood saw, it does ok for the smaller stuff. My Sawzall gets a lot of use. But the saw that I want to mention is the Crapsman "Twin Cutter" (I think it is called), Looks like a heavy angle grinder, it has two blades that spin in opposite directions, has the teeth like the DeWalt and Milwaukee saws (BobWarfield post) use. The kerf is kind of wide, but for those times when it is easier to take the tool to the work, it does an good job. What I really like is it has not jerked me or the work around like the recip saw can. I haven't used it hard everyday that I owned it, but it does seen to be holding up. I have a six/seven inch grinder stand (like the ones for a 4-4.5" angle grinder, but a slightly bigger) that I plan to adapt, so I can cut 90* other than by "eye".

04-15-2006, 02:24 PM
If I could only have one I would buy a band saw not a chop saw. I have both and the noise alone keeps me from useing the abraisive saw most of the time. Mine is a Mikita it is underpowered big time if the material is very thick the blade gets hot and it stops cutting if you push too hard on it you will stop the blade. It works great for tubing and thin material much faster than the band saw but also makes a much bigger mess. For my needs I like my band saw much better. One other good use for the abraisive saw is cutting very hard material that would ruin a band saw blade. I guess you just have to figure out what you will be useing it for.

Alistair Hosie
04-15-2006, 04:42 PM
I agree with all you guys who said that the Makita is very good at present I would take makita over Dewalt and hitachi not even close.I have slow cutting cold saw with ten inch blade and inbuilt coolant Italian make very nice finish,and also an older makita abrasive which cuts fine but all those sparks and dirty dust everywhere the cold cut is the way to go unless you have room for a good quality bandsaw as the cold cut saws are limited in their ability to cut big diameters regards Alistair