View Full Version : can a 7" chop saw cut 3" square steel?

05-26-2013, 09:20 PM

or should I just save up for a metal bandsaw (like 400$ more)

05-26-2013, 09:37 PM
I'd be buying a simple 4x6 bandsaw, can't beat the price, they been selling for less that $300.00 or so for a number of years.
I,m sure you will find the odd one on Kijiji Toronto area.

05-26-2013, 09:37 PM
I cut through 2" steel with my 14" abrasive blade chop saw. It worked but was a pain. The abrasive blade glazed several times during the cut. Perhaps it was a cheap blade. It was a mess as well.

If you're referring to a chop saw with carbide teeth, the 14" Dewalt saw of that type is advertised to cut through 2 9/16" stock.
IMHO, in the long run you would probably be better off with the band saw, or a portable band saw.
Not suggesting HD is the best place to purchase, just easy to find information at their site.

05-26-2013, 11:30 PM
You need high pressure to prevent glazing while cutting large chunks with an abrasive wheel, or to move the cutter so its only cutting a small chunk at a time, as high pressure then requires high HP, and most chop saws just don't have it.

You SERIOUSLY should get a bandsaw, get silly 4 1/2" cutoff wheels for angle grinder for the odd time you have to cut something that is hardened or can't get into the bandsaw.

05-27-2013, 12:25 AM
If you are going to make one cut, yeah probably. If you are going to make a bunch of cuts you need a band saw. I bought a 7X12 (with a coolant system) a few years ago to cut a bunch of 3" A36 rounds. The 7X12 was an excellent purchase. I tried to cut the 3" hot rolled with my old 4X6 Clark and it took 15 minutes to make a cut. The 7X12 (TurnPro) would cut it in 3 minutes.


05-27-2013, 12:30 AM
Ive used a saw similar to what firbikrhd1 posted with an abrasive wheel (forget the thickness) to cut 1" 1018 bar stock and was wishing i had a band saw each time... makes a mess, sparks flying every where and just a pain (cant use the same wheel to cut aluminum or brass (loads up bad)). Hopefully (if i dont buy anything else) in two pay checks im gonna pick up a cheap-o harbor freight bandsaw.

05-27-2013, 01:12 AM
That is not an abrasive saw he is looking at, it is one of the Evolution carbide tipped saws. I wouldnt mind having one of the larger Evolution saws.

But no, you wont cut that thick on that saw, you will need at least a 10" blade according to the documentation on the 10" model. Thats at 90 degrees.

05-27-2013, 03:55 AM
With the abrasive blades besides the sparks there is the stench that comes off the blades that clings to your clothes and hair. Oh also I forgot the noise. It will make your neighbors hate you and make you deaf. Oh yeah the blades wear out much faster than you think they will. On the evolution type carbide blades they don't last as long as you will hope and are also painfully noisy. I use my bandsaw 10x more than I ever though I would and get months of use out of a blase unless I do something stupid. I save the abrasive blades for hardened or mystery metal.

Allan Waterfall
05-27-2013, 04:21 AM
Like Macona said,you need a bigger blade.On that saw the machine will hit 3" thick steel before the blade cuts through.
I've got a larger Revoulution mitre saw and although I've only used it for wood I'm well pleased with it.


05-27-2013, 06:36 AM
I'm with sasquatch. I bought one of the no-name 4x6 H/V bandsaws years ago. The thing was sort of a semi-finished kit of parts and benefited from a bit of cleanup and refinement, but it's worked great for 20+ years. Set it going and walk away to do something else.

05-27-2013, 08:25 AM
With the abrasive blades besides the sparks there is the stench that comes off the blades that clings to your clothes and hair.

I dread that smell and the dust. I built a flat conformal panel that sits on the underside of my chop saw. It connects to a shop vac that sucks both the majority of the sparks and the dust. It makes the chop saw so much more usable.

I like the chop saw for cutting 1-3" tubing, especially stainless.

As others mentioned, cost per cut will be lowest with a bandsaw.

05-27-2013, 08:55 AM
Funny this is mentioned. I just pulled my chop saw out of a corner the other day and wiped it down and put it up for sale. I haven't used this saw in over 5 years or since the day I bought my 7x12 bandsaw. ;)


Dr Stan
05-27-2013, 11:17 AM
I've never liked abrasive saws. While they may have a purpose in a welding/fab shop they are noisy, filthy dirty, create air borne particles that are bad for people & equipment, create very nasty burrs, should not be used on non-ferrous (I know they are), result in very hot ends on the workpiece, tend to create hard spots on the ends (bad for machining no issue for welding), are a safety hazard due to the sparks, etc. In industry we tended to refer to them as "suicide wheels" due to the very real possibility of an exploding wheel.

Before I built my horizontal cutoff saw I purchased a reman Milwaukee recip saw from CPO Tools. While far from ideal it served the purpose and was also useful in construction/demolition projects around the house. I also purchased metal cutting carbide blades for my circular saw & my compound miter saw which give me much better cuts than an abrasive saw.

So I recommend you save your $ and put it towards a horizontal bandsaw. If it were me, I'd be looking on Craig's List using Search Tempest for a used one, or if necessary go to Horror Fright with a 20% off coupon and buy one on sale (choke gag).

05-27-2013, 09:48 PM
Just bought a BXA wedge qctp, bandsaw delayed further. If a surface grinder comes up worth the price, you sure as hell bet that bandsaw is getting delayed!

05-29-2013, 04:20 AM
Buy or build a power hacksaw to cut heavier pieces of solid bar etc.

05-29-2013, 09:23 AM
I have a 12" Abrasive cutoff saw as well as a 7 X 12" Enco H/V bandsaw. I would cut something like 3" round or square steel on the bandsaw.

I don't think it would be very nice to do 3" steel on the abrasive cutoff saw. It would probably use up a good portion of the blade and it would be rather hard on the metal. . Also, unless you have some way to catch the sparks, it's a fire hazard.

Dr Stan
05-29-2013, 01:09 PM
Buy or build a power hacksaw to cut heavier pieces of solid bar etc.

I built a horizontal bandsaw based on the Gingerly design at a cost of around $200 - $300. I made a number of design changes to improve the saw and will share them with anyone who wants to know.