This comes first. The depth of your cuts depends on the size of the blade. Most metal chop saws ship with 8’’, 10’’, 12’’, and 14’’ blades. Needless to mention, wide items will require wide blades. Vice versa is true.
On this note, it’s important to consider the types of blade that each unit comes with or accommodates. This will determine the size of metals you can work on. Multi-purpose blades make working on different types of metal easy. They, therefore, save you all the hassle and time spent on changing the blades.
In addition, consider the maximum cutting capacity that the blade offers you. It’s also important to understand how flexible in terms of cutting bevels the saw can be. Typically, most metal chop saws have a beveling shoe that offers 450 and 900 cutting angle options.
How easy it is to change the blades
Several heavy-duty blades will cut through different types of materials without a hitch. However, there also exists some that will withstand one type of metal and not the other one. This makes interchanging them necessary. As such, you need a unit that you won’t spend all your time on this.
If you plan to carry the metal chop saw from place to place, then this is a factor that you won’t want to overlook. Tradesmen who move about with their tools of work will prefer a lightweight unit that has been designed for the road. Besides being light, the cut off saw also needs to have convenient carrying handles. On this note too, consider going for a tool with a tank-like construction. You don’t want to lose it to a few bumps as you move it around, do you?
That handle needs to be comfortable
Needless to say, eating through metal will cause a whole lot of vibrations. Considering that metal chop saws utilize a spring that pushes the arm up as you pull it down, you’ll certainly need a handle that won’t work against your hand. This not only makes your work easy but also adds to your safety.
Typically, a metal chop saw with a horizontal ergonomically designed handle will be more comfortable than a vertical one.
Laser guide for precision
A common way of making precise cuts on your metal is by making marks on the exact point where the blade should grind. Fortunately, some abrasive saws are fitted with a bright laser light. While this light is ideally meant to make accurate cutting possible, it also makes it easy and safe for you to work in low-light areas.
How powerful is the motor?
Does the speed of the motor matter? Motors with high rotation speeds result to higher RPMs. High-speed blades offer you fast cuts and greater control in your projects. On the downside, motors that give up to 3800 rpm also cause lots of sparks. This causes heat build up on the blade plate and the metal that you’re working on. Resultantly, you’ll have to grind it further to give it a smooth finish after cutting.
It’s advisable to go for a unit with a strong motor that has low speeds. These cause little to no sparks and the freshly cut metals are cool to hold.
What do other users say about it?
Worth mentioning, don’t always take the manufacturers’ or product reviewers’ word for it. You need to consider what other users have to say about the unit.