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Buying Guides Guides Saws

Best Metal Cutting Saws in 2020

There are several tools you can use to cut metal. Most metalworkers are probably familiar with the good ol’ fashioned hacksaw or junior hacksaw. But if you’re looking for a more efficient way of slicing through metal pipes or bars, you can turn to bandsaws, reciprocating saws, chops saws, and multi-cutters to do the heavy work for you.

DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw

DEWALT DW872

Cutting Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metal

There are two types of metals used for construction purposes. These are ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals – carbon steel, cast and wrought iron, and stainless steel – are foundation metals used in large construction projects. They’re the rough-and-tough metals used in skyscrapers, bridges, and even some DIY projects. These are the high-density metals that require a lot of power and super-durable blades to slice.

Non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, copper, tin, and zinc, have no iron content (rust-resistant). For liquid pipes, roofing, gutters, and outdoor signs, you should turn to non-ferrous metals. In addition, these metals are highly malleable so cutting them down to size can be done with less powerful saws.

What to Look for in a Metal-Cutting Saw

Metal-cutting saws come in all different sizes, shapes, and with different specs. These are the most important features to pay attention to.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 Multi Purpose Cutting Chop Saw

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2

What Saw To Cut Through MetalMetal Cutting Guide

Abrasive Disc vs Carbide Blade

When strolling down the saw aisle at your local hardware store, you’ll most likely encounter metal-cutting saws that come with two types of blades: an abrasive disc and a carbide blade. An abrasive disc is a flexible disc which grinds against the metal stock. These discs produce a whole bunch of sparks when grinding against metal which can leave residual marks on your stock (not safe for aluminum or other soft metals).

Carbide blades are rigid, durable, and produce much cleaner results when slicing through metal stock and pipes. They’re also long-lasting so you don’t need to purchase replacement blades for several months or years of use. This is a good thing too since replacement carbide blades are rather costly.

DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw

DEWALT DW872

Blade Rotation Speed

Looking at the maximum RPM of a metal-cutting saw can help in determining how powerful the unit is. Typically, we want a tool that can deliver at least 1,300 RPM for metal-cutting purposes. However, if you purchase a saw that uses abrasive discs rather than carbide blades, you’ll want a tool that delivers at least 3,000 RPM.

Blade Size

Obviously, we want the blade/disc of our metal cutter to pass through whatever size pipe or bar we place put on the chopping block. Depending on what you need, you can get some great metal-cutting saws with blades ranging from 7 to 14 inches in diameter. We suggest going for at least 12 inches to all DIY-ers, but you might also get by through all of your work with a small 7-inch blade.

Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

Makita LC1230

Clamping Mechanisms

When cutting small pieces of metal, it’s best to keep your hands away from holding the stock since cutting metal produces heat. The best metal-cutting saws come with great clamping systems. Some manufacturers skimp out on installing a reliable stock-clamping system which can result in disaster (kickbacks, causing your metal stock to fly and hit you in the face).

Which Metal-Cutting Saw to Get

The market is saturated with some great-performing metal-cutting tools like multi-cotters, chop saws, and bandsaws. However, in our opinion, the safest and most reliable tools to use for metal-cutting purposes has to the chop saw or multi-cutter. Here is our pick for the top 5 metal-cutting saws on the market.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 7-1/4-Inch TCT Multipurpose Cutting Chop Saw

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4

5 Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

Our number 5 spot goes to the Makita LC1230. It features a 15.0 amp motor which spins the blade at up to 1,300 RPM for cutting all sorts of metals – both ferrous and non-ferrous. The LC1230 can also produce mitered cuts up to 45° with depths up to 4-1/2 inches. The unit features a quick-release back fence and clamping system for holding down your stock with proper force to prevent kickback.

Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

Makita LC1230

If you care about portability, this unit weighs only 42.5 pounds fully assembled, so carrying it to and from your truck won’t murder your back. It’s definitely the best 12-inch metal-cutting chop saw on the market.

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita LC1230 on Amazon >>>

4 DEWALT D28710 14-Inch Abrasive Chop Saw

The DEWALT D28710 is the only metal-cutting saw on our list that uses an abrasive disc rather than a carbide blade. If you’re looking for a cheap but effective option for cutting ferrous metals, the D27810 could be the perfect tool for you.

DEWALT D28710 14-Inch Abrasive Chop Saw

DEWALT D28710

It features a 15.0 amp motor that delivers up to 3,800 RPM. The pivoting fence allows for mitered cuts of up to 45°. Its 14-inch abrasive disc can cut as deep as 5.4 inches. The only problem with this unit is its somewhat underperforming fence and tension screw which sometimes leaves the metal stock wobbling dangerously under the disc. The unit weighs 36.5 pounds so it’s super light enough to lift from site to site without trouble.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT D28710 on Amazon >>>

3 Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 Multipurpose Cutting Chop Saw

The RAGE4 by Evolution Power Tools features the smallest blade on this list. Its 15.0 amp motor provides up to 1,450 RPM for quick, clean cuts through all sorts of metals. Its 7-1/4-inch carbide can cut as deep as 2 inches, though users should only cut steel sheets as thick as ¼ an inch to be safe, making it best-suited for home DIY projects and light-duty industrial work on all types of metals.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 7-1/4-Inch TCT Multipurpose Cutting Chop Saw

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4

The back fence of the RAGE4 can pivot 45° to the left and right, and the reliable tension screw keeps your stock from moving even slightly while under the blade. If you’re looking for an extremely lightweight, small-blade model, this is it (only 19 pounds).

Check how much you can save, buying the Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 on Amazon >>>

2 Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 Multi Purpose Cutting Chop Saw

Oddly enough, the RAGE2 is the big-brother model to the RAGE4. It features a 14-inch carbide blade built for slicing through all sorts of materials and metals – both ferrous and non-ferrous.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 Multi Purpose Cutting Chop Saw

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2

The 15.0 amp motor of the unit delivers up to 1,450 RPM for easy chopping. The action swivel clamp and fence allow it to make mitered cuts at up to 45° in either direction. The RAGE2 can cut metal stock and pipes as large as 3 inches.

Check how much you can save, buying the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw

Finally, we choose the rather underrated DEWALT DW872 multi-cutting saw as our number one pick. First of all, the 15.0 amp motor delivers up to 1,300 RPM. The 14-inch carbide blade is suitable for all types of materials, including both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The DW872 delivers the deepest cuts out of any item on our list (5-3/16 inches deep) so you can chop a lot of bars, sheets, pipes, and small beams with this multi-purpose cutting saw.

DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw

DEWALT DW872

Like the other models, you can make mitered cuts by pivoting the back fence. To help ensure that your stock doesn’t wiggle, this unit comes with an angle clamp to keep your stock nice and snug while bringing the blade down. The only drawback is that it’s the heaviest unit out of everything here (55 pounds).

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DW872 on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

And there you have it, folks. This is our buying guide and our pick for the top five metal-cutting saws that can help you in your next DIY project.

There are several important things to keep in mind while searching for a reliable metal-cutting saw. First, determine what types of metal you’ll be dealing with (dense, rust-prone ferrous metals (except stainless steel which doesn’t rust) or rust-resistant, malleable non-ferrous metals.

DEWALT D28710 14-Inch Abrasive Chop Saw

DEWALT D28710

Next, decide whether you want a model which uses an abrasive disc for grinding through metals (more sparks and heat, messier finish, but cost-efficient) or a unit that uses carbide tips (usable on both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, produces few sparks and little to no heat, but a costly investment).

Depending on what sort of jobs you will be doing, you’ll want to check beforehand the maximum speed output of the motor (RPM) and the size of the blade or disc since thicker metals require a large blade to cut cleanly through. Finally, for safety reasons make sure that the unit comes with an adequate strong clamp to prevent unwanted accidents and kickback.

On our top 5 list, we provide you with metal-cutting saws with blades of all sizes (from 7-1/4 to 14 inches) as well a single abrasive disc model (DEWALT D28710). The best model, in our humble opinion, is the DEWALT DW872 which is an excellent tool but has yet to get the attention it so deserves.

Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

Makita LC1230

It comes with a 14-inch blade that can be used for cutting through both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and it has a cutting capacity larger than any of the other items on our list (up to 5-3/16 inches). In addition, the kit includes an angle clamp to assist in making mitered cuts by keeping your stock in place without the risk of wobbling under the blade.




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Buying Guides Guides Saws

Best Band Saw Kits in 2020

A portable band saw is an invaluable tool that all professional handymen should have. The main difference between a portable band saw and the traditional tabletop or floor model band saw is that this model can be taken from site to site without having to mount it to any stationary table or workbench. This tool is designed to tackle both wood and metal to produce accurate curves, cross cuts, bevel cut, or plainly ripping through thick wood stock or metal bars.

Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit

Milwaukee 2429-21XC

Before you purchase a portable band saw, there are several points that you should consider.

Cutting Capacity

Unlike traditional tabletop or floor band saws, portable band saws have an extremely limited cutting capacity. Some models have a capacity of only 2-1/2 inches in width, while others can cut stock up to 5 inches. Since portable band saws are mainly used for cutting metal, the small capacity shouldn’t matter too much since most metal pieces are less than 5 x 5 inches. Just be sure to get a unit that can handle what you’ll be regularly using it for.

DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS374P2

Best Metal Cutting Saw: Buying Guide

Speed

The best portable band saw models should give you an option to set the blade speed. Speed is measured in surface feet per minute (SPM or SFPM). Materials like cast iron, brass, and aluminum require slower quicker blade speeds to make neat, accurate cuts, whereas tougher metals and other hard-to-cut materials require a lower speed. Some models may come with a speed dial or a touch-sensitive trigger, while other models may not deliver enough SFPM to make it worth having more than one gear. Choose the one that works best for you.

Power Source

Like with almost every handheld power tool, they can be either corded or cordless. Obviously, the main pro of going cordless is that the tool is portable and work is not limited by any cords, though downtime is determined by how many batteries you have and how long it takes to charge. Corded models can run constantly, provided you continue to pay your electricity bills. However, your work is limited to how long the cable is and how many extension cords you have on hand.

DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS374P2

Blade

Although you’re holding onto the unit, the blade does all the work. Usually, blades are around 45 inches long, so don’t be surprised when you head to the hardware store to pick up a 40-plus-inch long blade for your portable band saw.

It’s important to select the correct blade for each application. For example, for making quick cuts, use a coarse blade (less teeth-per-inch, TPI). To make straight cuts through wide stock, use wide blades. To make detailed cuts or sharp-angled cuts, use narrow blades. Of course, it all depends on the material you’re cutting (plastic, wood, metal, etc.).

DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DWM120K

Other Features

Portable band saws can come with a variety of additional features, including built-in LED work light, comfortable handle, rubber bumpers, and hooks for hanging the unit. Of course, these add-ons may encourage accuracy, but they don’t guarantee it. Just be sure to get the right model with the right selection of additional features to make handling the unit much more comfortable.

DEWALT DCS371P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS371P1

Which Portable Band Saw to Get

Now that we know the basics of what makes a good portable band saw, the only question left to answer is: Which model should you getWe’ll provide you with our pick of the top 5 portable band saw models, but your purchase decision should be based on your specific needs and the unit’s ability to meet your demands.

5 Milwaukee 2729-21 M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw

The fifth spot goes to the Milwaukee 2729-21 M18. It has a cutting capacity of up to 5 x 5 inches so the blade can cut through multiple metal pieces in one pass. This model features a touch-sensitive trigger that allows users to control how quickly they want the blade to move. The speed of the blade ranges from 0 to 380 SFPM and is able to cut through all sorts of materials.

Milwaukee 2729-21 M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw

Milwaukee 2729-21

This is a cordless model which uses REDLITHIUM (Milwaukee’s own creation) batteries with extended life. It comes with a 44-7/8-inch blade with 24 TPI. You may need to invest in additional blades since the stock blade isn’t exactly a blanket solution for all your cutting needs.

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee 2729-21 on Amazon >>>

4 Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit

This Milwaukee model has the smallest cutting capacity of all the units on our top 5 list. Only pieces up to 1-5/8 inches can pass between the blade, so this unit is definitely only used for single bars, pipes, or thin wood stock. Because of the unit’s compact size, the M12 REDLITHIUM battery lasts much longer – the company boasts up to 150 cuts on ¾-inch EMT in less than 5 seconds.

Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit

Milwaukee 2429-21XC

The compact size also means smaller blades will fit into this unit – 27-inch long blades, to be exact. The 2429-21XC M12, however, doesn’t feature a variable speed trigger or dial, and it works at a constant 280 SFPM.

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee 2429-21XC on Amazon >>>

3 DEWALT DCS371P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion Band Saw Kit

The DC371P1 by DEWALT is another cordless, compact, and easy-to-use portable band saw. It’s a direct competitor with the previous model, evidenced by the limited cutting capacity (2-1/2 inches). This unit doesn’t have a speed dial or touch-sensitive trigger, and operators are left working at a constant 740 SFPM.

DEWALT DCS371P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS371P1

The high speed is better-suited for working on soft metals (e.g. aluminum) and wood to prevent burn marks, but you can also use this to slice tough objects like steel rebar. The DC3371P1 features a hook for hanging when not in use to prevent damage, and it comes with built-in LED lights with a 20-second shutdown delay.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCS371P1 on Amazon >>>

2 DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit

The DEWALT DWM120K is the only corded handheld band saw on our list. This unit with a 5-inch cutting capacity features a variable speed dial which lets users determine how quickly they want the blade to move. The speed range is between 100 and 350 SFPM, great for both tough and delicate objects.

DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DWM120K

This model features a brushed motor, so keep in mind that there will be more frequent maintenance issues (replacing brushes) and heat-dissipation problems. Like the previous DEWALT model, the DWM120K comes with an integrated hanging hook and LED sight lights to help in poorly lit areas. It uses a 44-7/8-inch long blade, and replacement blades are readily available in many hardware stores as well as online.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DWM120K on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

Finally, the number one spot on our list goes to DEWALT’s DCS374P2. It has a maximum cutting capacity of up to 5 inches for rectangular objects and 4-3/4 inches on round objects. It features a touch-sensitive variable speed trigger which sends the blade moving up to 490 SFPM – perfect for both tough and delicate materials.

DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS374P2

The DCS374P2 uses a brushless motor so it uses its 5.0 amp batteries efficiently and manages heat extremely well to extend the life of both the unit and the battery. It also comes with an integrated hanging hook to keep the front handle and base well-protected, and it has built-in LED lights to illuminate dark spaces while working.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCS374P2 on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

The portable band saw may not be a must-have tool for metalworkers and woodworkers, but if you need a compact saw to cut thin pieces of metal, wood, and plastic down to size, this tool is definitely worth the investment. First of all, it’s a handheld power tool so you don’t need to worry about transporting bulky band saws to and fro the workplace, despite the “portability” of bulky tabletop band saws.

DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DWM120K

Before shopping online for a worthy handheld band saw, make sure you take note of these five things: cutting capacity, speed, power source, blade, and miscellaneous features like LED lights and hanging hooks. The cutting capacity is extremely limited (as small as 1-5/8 inches and as large as 5 inches). Like many handheld power tools, you have a choice between corded or cordless.

The blades are flexible yet durable, and you can purchase blades specifically built for tearing through steel quickly or making smooth cuts in soft aluminum. Miscellaneous features refer to things like the unit’s weight, ergonomic handle, LED lights, hanging hook, and so on.

DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS374P2

It’s clear from our pick of the top 5 handheld band saws that there are only two go-to brands – Milwaukee and DEWALT. For the largest cutting capacity, the Milwaukee 2729-21 M18 is the best option to go with (5 x 5 inches). When dealing exclusively with small objects, the 2-1/2-inch DEWALT DCS371P1 can be your best friend.

The overall best handheld band saw, in our opinion, has to be the DCS374P2 by DEWALT. Basically, it performs just as well as the other DEWALT and Milwaukee models, but the added features – integrated hook and LED lights – make it stand out. Not to mention the brushless motor which means you’ll have fewer maintenance issues in the long run. If you need a portable band saw for cutting all sorts of bars, channels, and pipes, the DCS374P2 is definitely the model to go with.

Milwaukee 2729-21 M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw

Milwaukee 2729-21




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Buying Guides Guides Saws Table Saw

Best Wet Tile Saws in 2020

Any DIY-enthusiast will tell you that a wet tile saw is the ultimate tool for cutting tiles down to size. Although wet tile saws aren’t exactly a must-have tool for the all-purpose workshop, they are extremely beneficial for slicing tiles made of any kind of material to your required specifications.

DEWALT D24000S Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile Saw

DEWALT D24000S

Unlike other tabletop saws, the blade of the wet tile saw typically doesn’t plunge down into the material, but instead, you push the tile or hard material into the spinning blade by using a back fence. These tile saws are commonly available for rent in hardware shops or professional contractor establishments, but wet tile saws are also affordable buying them online.

What to look for in a wet tile saw

There are several things to look out for when purchasing or renting a wet tile saw. Although most tile saw models are based on a generic design, there are specialized features that might come in handy when wanting to slice tiles.

SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

SKIL 3550-02

Water source

Obviously, wet tile saws require water to run perfectly. The blade needs to be kept lubricated and cool, and water is a great solution for both issues. In addition, water helps keep dust away from the blade and out of the air. Wet tile saws use either fresh, cold water or water basins for reusing water.

With fresh water, your workstation is limited to how far away you are from a source of cold continuously-running water, but it keeps the blade clean and filtration system free of gunk. As for water-collection tray, it reuses the water that lubricates the blade. This system allows for enhanced portability but you should be conscious of how polluted the water is.

Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw (BEAST7 Model)

Lackmond Beast BEAST7

Blade size

In general, the bigger the blade, the deeper you can cut, though the tile saw will need a larger motor to spin large-sized blades efficiently. Typically, wet tile saw blades will range from 4.5 to 10 inches in diameter, and the most commonly used blade size is 7 inches. It’s large enough to cut through practically every tile size and thickness without overkill.

Miter and bevel cuts

All of the best wet tile saws should come with a table and back fence that allows for making diagonal cuts through tiles. The most common miter angles are 22.5° and 45°. However, only the most versatile models include a blade beveling feature for making angle cuts through your tiles.

However, for most home projects, producing beveled cuts isn’t all that necessary, but it’s nice to have a wet tile saw that can do it.

Motor power

As we mentioned before, the motor determines how quickly the blade spins. Smaller blades need less power to reach the same RPM as bigger, energy-consuming blades, but everything depends on your unique specifications. You’ll typically want a motor that can deliver at least 3,500 RPM for neat cuts.

QEP 22650Q 650XT 3/4 HP 120-volt Tile Saw

QEP 22650Q 650XT

Plunging action

This is perhaps for only the most meticulous workers that need to make artsy curved cuts with a wet tile saw. Similar to a miter saw the most advanced wet tile saws will have a plunging head to help in making curved cuts. Keep in mind that it’s not a commonly used feature, thus many models can’t plunge down into the tile or stone.

Which wet tile saw to get

By now, you should have a basic understanding of what a wet tile saw can do for you. If your line of work requires cutting down ceramic, porcelain, stone, or marble tiles down to size, you should consider investing in a wet tile saw, otherwise you can rent a model from your local department store. Here, we’ll give you our recommendation of the top 5 wet tile saws you can use to make slicing tiles much easier.

5 QEP 22650Q 650XT 3/4 HP 120-volt Tile Saw

This 15.6-pound tabletop wet tile saw by QEP comes with a ¾ HP motor that delivers up to 3,600 RPM, making it capable of slicing through a wide range of tiles of various materials (including marble and stone). The 22650Q 650XT comes with a 7-inch blade that cuts through tiles as thick as 1-1/4 inches.

QEP 22650Q 650XT 3/4 HP 120-volt Tile Saw

QEP 22650Q 650XT

You can also adjust the table to allow for 22.5° and 45° cuts. The table is completely adjustable and includes an 8-inch extension for increasing the rip capacity of either side of the blade. The 650XT features a water recirculation system to keep the blade adequately cooled and lubricated, though there’s no device to filter out the tile dust from the reused water.

Check how much you can save, buying the QEP 22650Q 650XT on Amazon >>>

4 PORTER-CABLE PCE980 Wet Tile Saw

The PCE980 by PORTER-CABLE is another tabletop wet tile saw that weighs roughly 33 pounds fully assembled. It comes with a 1 HP motor that delivers up to 3,600 RPM for tiles and other hard objects. The PCE980 uses a 7-inch blade which can cut as deep as 1-3/8 inches through tiles.

ORTER-CABLE PCE980 Wet Tile Saw

PORTER-CABLE PCE980

The table and fence allow for mitered cuts through whatever materials you feed the blade, and its built-in stop lets users make repeated cuts at any angle and width. This model comes with a water basin for holding water and spraying it to the blade to keep it running smoothly, though, like the QEP, the basic doesn’t come with a filtration system.

Check how much you can save, buying the PORTER-CABLE PCE980 on Amazon >>>

3 Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw (BEAST7 Model)

The Lackmond Beast is a 58-pound bench-top wet tile saw that comes with a 13.0 amp motor that delivers up to 4,200 RPM. The Beast7 comes with a 7-inch blade that cuts up to 2-3/8 inches deep for cutting cleanly through tiles, granite, and stone.

Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw (BEAST7 Model)

Lackmond Beast BEAST7

In addition to making diagonal cuts through tiles, you can also cut diagonally into tiles with the 22.5° or 45° bevel. You can feed tiles up to 24 x 24 inches diagonally through the blade so you know you’re getting huge rip capacity. The lubricating system shoots one or two sprays of water at the blade to prevent dust from going airborne, and it features a filter to keep tile slurry away from passing through the spray nozzle.

Check how much you can save, buying the Lackmond Beast BEAST7 on Amazon >>>

2 SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

This SKIL-made wet tile saw weighs around 54 pounds and comes with a 1-3/4 HP motor for delivering speeds of up to 3,600 RPM. The depth of the cut is limited to only ¾-inch deep so only the thinnest can be cut cleanly with a single pass.

SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

SKIL 3550-02

The blade of the 3550-02 doesn’t bevel, but operators can adjust the table to 22.5° and 45° to make beveled cuts. The sliding extension table allows for materials up to 18 x 18 inches in size to rest comfortably on the table and back fence. The proprietary HydroLock guards water from splashing above and below the table, though it doesn’t the water basic and system doesn’t come with a filter to keep slurry from gunking up the blade and ruining cuts.

Check how much you can save, buying the SKIL 3550-02 on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT D24000S Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile Saw

Finally, our number one pick for the best wet tile saw is the DEWALT D24000S. As you can probably guess, the D24000S uses a large 10-inch blade for producing cuts as deep as 3-1/8 inches. It supports cutting tiles diagonally of up to 18 x 18 inches in size at 22.5° and 45° angles.

DEWALT D24000S Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile Saw

DEWALT D24000S

The rip capacity is up to 28 inches thanks to the saw head’s plunging action. There’s no special beveling mechanism in this unit so it’s built specifically for all-purpose, everyday tile-cutting applications. Finally, this kit includes a stand which supports the 69-pound D24000S so you can make cuts anywhere without having to drag or carry your heavy worktable with you.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT D24000S on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

This concludes our article on wet tile saws. Hopefully, you’ll have the knowledge to make an educated purchase decision if you feel that a wet tile saw can truly be a valuable addition to your workshop.

Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw (BEAST7 Model)

Lackmond Beast BEAST7

At the end of this article, you should know that the most important features to look for in an all-purpose wet tile saw are where the water used to lubricate and cool the blade comes from and whether it has a filtration device in place, how large a blade can be fitted into the wet tile saw and the various cutting depths they produce, bevel and miter mechanism to help in cutting down tiles to the perfect size and shape, how powerful the motor and how quickly the blade spins to make neat cuts every time, and whether the saw’s head can plunge down into materials.

In the end, our top pick for the best wet tile saw is the DEWALT D24000S. The 10-inch blade is perhaps the largest blade you’ll ever find in a residential-grade wet tile saw, and looking at how deep the blade cuts, we feel that it performs perfectly for almost all DIY projects, home projects, and even commercial settings.

SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

SKIL 3550-02

The table allows for huge-sized tiles – up to 18 x 18 inches diagonally – to pass through the blade, and the plunging head can increase the length of cuts to up to 28 inches.

The kicker is the stand that comes with along with the wet tile saw. No longer will you need to worry about whether your next job site will have a table or workbench readily available to you. If you need to cut tiles indoors or outdoors, the stand that comes with the D24000S will hold the tile saw perfectly.




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A-Check Jig Saw Saws

Best Jigsaw for Cutting Wood/Metal/Curves

The jigsaw is one of the most underrated power tools out there. For whatever reason, many DIY-ers feel that they can get by with basic tools like handheld circular saws, table saws, and maybe a drill press if they’re feeling fancy.

A jigsaw is a basic-looking handheld saw that features a handle, an electric motor, and a straight, narrow blade that hangs vertically under the tool. When activated, the thin blade oscillates up and down without any guards or fences, allowing you to cut in the middle of your workpieces after drilling a pilot hole for the blade to enter.



Benefits of the Jigsaw

There are several reasons why the average DIY-er would need a jigsaw in their arsenal of power tools. First of all, they’re not limited by any guards or fences, meaning that the blade will make flush cuts into any material. Of course, the straightness of the cut depends entirely on how steady a hand and keen an eye you have, but for the most part, a chisel will perfect the cut after running a jigsaw.

Another great thing about jigsaws is their versatility. You can produce almost any cut as a result of the various blades that the tool accommodates. The assortment of blades available for jigsaws is meant to be used on different materials like wood, plastic, and even metal.

But perhaps the most prominent advantage of a jigsaw is its ability to make curved cuts. This means you can reduce the amount of work and number of tools needed to make curved armrests for furniture or intricate cuts for bed posts or headrests. Try doing that with a circular saw or table saw, and you’ll most likely end up tearing the board apart (note: do NOT try doing that with any other saw).

Jigsaw Buying Guide

Finding the right jigsaw is more challenging than it sounds. It’d be nice if the first jigsaw you see is the best, but the “best” jigsaw actually depends on what you’re doing and what materials you’re working with. In the following sections, we’ll provide a brief buying guide for those of you who need a jigsaw for wood projects, metal, and to make curves and intricate cuts.

Jigsaw for Cutting Wood Buying Guide

The most basic use of a jigsaw is to cut wood. This is why in many professional woodworking shops, you’ll find multiple jigsaws fitted with different blades for thin and thick cuts through boards. If you’d like to pick up a jigsaw for wood-cutting purposes, then continue reading our guide on what specs and features make for a high-quality jigsaw.

Corded vs. Cordless

Like most power tools, jigsaws can come as either a corded-electric model or a cordless model. Choosing one over the other is completely up to you. However, we’d just like to point out the major benefits that each has to offer.

Corded jigsaws can run for extremely long periods of time before the motor burns out. Cordless jigsaws can be taken and used anywhere on the planet, provided that the battery still has some juice in it. Between the two, the only question you need to ask is whether you appreciate portability more than uninterrupted runtime.

LEDs

Even though you’re (hopefully) working in a well-lit area, it doesn’t hurt to have some extra illumination shining bright on your workpiece, especially since the tool will probably block out most of the light emitted from the room’s light bulb.

Laser Guide

Now, we can’t really recommend built-in laser guides as a surefire way to make perfectly straight cuts using a jigsaw. They’re more of a hint of what’s to come rather than a guarantee. Some models have better laser guides than others in terms of straightness and alignment, but in general, experience is a much better teacher at making straight cuts than any laser guide could ever be.

Orbital/Pendulum Action

It may sound weird that a jigsaw which doesn’t naturally produce perfectly straight lines without a steady hand would have an orbital/pendulum feature. This feature swings the blade at an angle, giving it the ability to cut through thicker materials. It also combats heat as the blade oscillated rapidly through the wood which in turn extends the life of the blade.

Variable Speed

Many jigsaw models come with a variable speed feature – either a dial or speed presets – which allow the operator to choose how quickly the blade moves up and down. The average SPM (strokes per minute) rate is 3,000, but depending on what you’re doing, at what angle you’re cutting, and on what type of wood you’re working with, you’ll want to adjust the speed accordingly.

Jigsaw for Cutting Metal Buying Guide

Even though the jigsaw’s blade is relatively thin compared to other saws, it doesn’t mean that it’s not able to cut through dense materials like metal. When working with sheets of metal or metal pipes, bars, and conduits, a jigsaw will prove to be a hand tool to cut them down to size. In this section, we’ll go over both the specs of a metal-cutting jigsaw and which blade you need to get.

Corded Recommended

As we mentioned in the previous guide, jigsaws can either be corded or cordless. However, if you’re planning on using your jigsaw for more than just cutting wood, and especially for making cuts in metal sheets, then corded is the way to go. Corded jigsaws are generally more powerful than cordless, and every additional amp of power is a plus when dealing with metal.

Of course, this is under the assumption that the tool comes with a sufficiently powerful motor for dealing with metal. We’d recommend getting a jigsaw with a motor that’s no smaller than 4 amps for cutting metal.

Variable Speed

Like woodworking jigsaws, the best metal-cutting jigsaws have a variable speed feature. You’ll want to adjust the speed of the blade’s stroke depending on the type of metal you’re working with, as well as the thickness of the conduit/pipe/sheet. For cutting metal, generally speaking, slower is better since it has a reduced risk of tearing the sheet as well as overheating.

Orbital/Pendulum Action

Adjusting the angle of the blade is essential in extending the blades life, reducing heat, and cutting cleanly through metal. Setting the blade to 45° is recommended for cutting metal objects.

Metal Cutting Blades

The most important thing to pay attention to when shopping for metal-cutting jigsaws is the type of blade it comes with or is compatible with the model. Blades for cutting through metal have more teeth per inch (TPI) than wood-cutting blades. They’re also much more flexible to improve heat dissipation.

Speaking of compatibility, not every jigsaw is designed to use every type of blade. Some jigsaws are versatile and allow users to mount both wood- and metal-cutting blades, while others are one-trick ponies. We’d highly recommend getting a versatile, one-tool-uses-most-types-of-blades jigsaw. Simply swap out blades, and it’ll be good for a wide range of materials.

Jigsaw for Cutting Curves Buying Guide

The final buying guide we’ll leave you with is on how to find the perfect jigsaw for cutting curves and producing intricate cuts in wood, plastic, drywall, and thin sheets of metal. Essentially, cutting curves comes is dependent on the type of blade fitted into the tool so we’ll focus more heavily on that.

Variable Speed

Variable speed is important to get the blade to curve at the right angle. Too fast and the blade won’t flex, but too slow and the blade won’t cut. The right speed depends on the material you’re cutting; around 3,000 SPM for wood and around 2,000 SPM for metal.

Blade TPI

TPI refers to how many teeth are found on the blade per inch. More teeth generally translates into cleaner cuts, but the jigsaw needs to work at a slower pace to do so. If you prefer speed, then get a blade with fewer teeth. You may need to make repeated passes or clean the cut with a chisel, but it’ll get the job done much quicker.

Blade Material

Another thing to consider is the type of material used to construct the blade. There are three choices: high-speed steel, high-speed carbon, and tungsten carbide.

HCS blades are bendy but not as durable as the other options. HSS blades are rigid, durable, and quite cheap. If you have experience and are looking for a long-life blade, then opt for a tungsten carbide one. In terms of bendiness, they’re in between HCS and HSS, but their durability outclasses the others. Beginners usually comment on how difficult it is to guide tungsten carbide blades when making curved cuts, but as the old adage goes: practice makes perfect.

Blade Width

The width of the jigsaw blade plays a huge role in how well it’ll flex to the contour of the desired curve. However, narrower blades are also more prone to snapping, especially when in use in hardwoods and metal. If you’re not afraid of snapping but also don’t want to throw money down the drain, then consider getting thin HSS blades which are quite cheap and have a smaller chance of breaking than HCS.

Blade Length

Finally, you’ll want to consider the length of the curve-cutting blade. It’s a good idea to find a blade that’s longer than the thickness of the material. Granted, the length of the blade isn’t as crucial as the width when making curves, but it’s still an important factor to consider if you want to make a cut through the board without having to flip it over. It becomes infinitely more difficult if you plan on making curved cuts using a blade that’s far too short.

Final Remarks

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. A jigsaw is a handy tool that any DIY-er and professional craftsman should own. They’re great for making free-hand cuts since they aren’t limited by fences or guards. However, they’re only as good as you are patient and/or experienced. It takes time to make straight cuts with a jigsaw, but it’s definitely worth it if you don’t want to spend hours chiseling away at the middle of your workpiece.

In this article, we’ve split the buying guide into three sections. We talked about how to find the right jigsaw for woodworking, for metal, and for making curved cuts.

Jigsaws for woodworking projects are the simplest to find. The tool usually comes with a stock blade that’s used for cutting wood, so you don’t need to worry about it too much. The most important factors are whether the tool comes with a variable speed feature and orbital action. Other than that, you’re pretty much good to go.

As for cutting metal, the right jigsaw is any corded electric model that features at least a 4-amp motor. In our opinion, bigger motors are better since they’ll deliver enough power and speed to send the blade through sheet metal like a warm knife through butter. Jigsaw blades for cutting metal usually aren’t available in the tool’s box unless you get a jigsaw that’s specifically made for metalwork. However, they may not be compatible with other non-metal-cutting blades.

The third and final mini-buying guide is on how to find the right jigsaw (blade) for producing curved cuts. In a nutshell, the right jigsaw is any that can deliver between 2,000 and 3,000 SPM, and a variable speed dial/speed presets would be ideal. However, it’s not really so much about the tool as it is about the blade.

If possible, we’d recommend you get a thin, 12-plus-TPI carbide tungsten blade for making intricate curves in wood and/or metal workpieces. However, if you’re on a budget, then HSS blades will do just fine. Even though the length of the blade isn’t nearly as important as the width (bendiness and snapping), it’s still worth considering since finishing a cut by flipping the piece over can be a pain, especially when attempting to finish curves.




Categories
A-Check Saws

PORTER-CABLE PCE980 Wet Tile Saw Review

There is a wide assortment of tools that can be used to cut tiles, but when it comes to accuracy and efficiency, nothing can beat a wet tile saw. This type of saw differs from the standard saws you commonly find in woodworking by using a water basin and jet streams to cool the blade as it penetrates the tile’s surface.

PORTER-CABLE is a well-known presence in the power tools industry, and it’s fair to say that they’ve got an assortment of wet tile saws to help you chop through porcelain, ceramic, and even stone tiles. Today, we’re going to take a look at their PCE980 wet tile saw and see how it fares in dimensioning tiles.



Design

The first thing we noticed is that the PCE980 is made of durable, rust-proof stainless steel which is important since wet tile saws are exposed to water. Overall, this is a solid unit that’s easy transport (weighs roughly 30 pounds) and easy to use.

Sliding Table

This tool comes with two tables – one stationary table and one sliding table – to support your workpiece. To cut your tiles down to size, place half the tile on each of the tables and push the sliding table forward to pass the tile through the spinning blade. The thing we and other customers have noticed about the sliding table is that it’s not completely even with the stationary one. The sliding table is just shy of 3/4 of an inch lower; this means you could end up cutting your tiles at a slight bevel, rendering it completely useless.

Even though the unit we tested was perfect out of the box, there have been some complaints about the sliding table’s rollers being bent and requiring a bit of tampering to get the table working perfectly. This is just something to be wary of if you decide to get a PCE980.

Accurate Miter Square

The PCE980 supports simple miter cuts thanks to the miter square that comes in the box. The square clamps onto the ruler channel located on the edge of the sliding table closest to the operator. The square helps make diagonal, repeatable cuts with extreme precision. As long as the square is clamped tightly, you should get accurate cuts every time.

Motor Power

The power of the motor will determine how well a wet saw will cut through dense tiles. We obviously want a powerful enough motor to do so without going overboard (larger motors cost more). The PCE980 is equipped with a 6.5-amp motor that generates up to 2,850 RPM.

Rip and Diagonal Capacities

The making ripcuts through tiles, the PCE980’s work table can support tiles as wide as 17 inches. If you position the tile diagonally, this wet tile saw can support 12 x 12-inch tiles effortlessly. This should be more than enough space and support for any tile you plan on using.

Cutting Depth

One of the only issues we have with the PCE980 is its limited cutting depth/tile thickness capacity. Due to the position of the blade and splash guard, you can only cut tiles with a maximum thickness of 1-1/4 inches. Granted, this will be more than enough for most tiles, but it won’t do well on stone pavers or thicker tiles.

Blade

If you purchase the PCE980 kit, you get a neat 7-inch blade designed to cut porcelain. We found that the blade works well most of the time, but there will be some instances where the blade will cause chipping on the edges of your tiles. In our opinion, if you get this tool, the best thing would be to invest in a higher-quality blade.

Water Management

One thing that’s really amazing about the PCE980 is its water management system. The blade guard prevents water from splashing up and into the user’s face, while the sliding table has grooved channels that let water and tile debris fall into the waiting basin below. Despite being so great at capturing dirtied water, cleaning the basin of debris is not a breeze and takes quite a bit of time to do thoroughly.

Verdict

So after testing out this tool, we found that for the most part, the PORTER-CABLE PCE980 a pretty great wet tile saw. For smaller jobs, this tool could work pretty well, provided the blade doesn’t go on a tile-chipping streak and ruin every tile you have. The motor seems to work fine when the tool is equipped with a different blade, so it appears that the included blade is at fault.

Either that or the position of the tables (stationary table is higher than the sliding one) could be the culprit behind it all. Honestly, the only thing this tool has going for it is its water management system in how it disposes of water and prevents water from splashing all over the user.




Categories
Saws Table Saw

DEWALT DW745 Table Saw Review

According to many, a table saw is the heart of any woodshop. It does anything a circular saw, and miter saw can do and offers a ton of support for handling large pieces of lumber. Table saws can be portable, allowing you to take them from place to place while still providing ample power for cutting through thick boards.

DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw Review

The DW745 from DeWalt is one of these table saws that is compact enough to transport without a hitch. However, apart from being portable, what other features make this tool worthy of purchasingIn this article, we’re going to take a close look at the DW745 to find out whether it’s as good as numerous customers say it is.



Weight and Portability

Since the biggest selling point of the DW745 is its portability, we’d like to find out just how portable it really is. The weight of the DW745, fully assembled but not including the stand (sold separately), is roughly 55 pounds which, by table standards, is rightfully classified as lightweight. Loading and unloading the DW745 does not require helping hand, and it’s compact enough to not take too much space in the bed of a truck.

DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw

Motor Power

The DW745 comes with a large 15-amp motor that provides extreme effectiveness and efficiency in cutting through thick lumber. The tool is fitted with a 10-inch 24-tooth carbide blade that spins at a maximum speed of 3,850 RPM, giving you nice, clean cuts on the edges of your work. The motor generates enough torque to saw through sopping wet to frozen stiff boards when working in the field.

Cutting Capacities

The DW745’s 10-inch carbide blade has the ability to cut boards up to 3-1/8 inches thick in a single pass. The blade can bevel up to 45° and cut at depths of up to 2-1/4 inches. For an on-site table saw, we found that these cutting depths are just about the industry average, so it’s not exactly jaw-droppingly amazing, but you can still get a ton of work with minimal passes over the saw blade.

DEWALT DW745 Table Saw Review

Massive Worktable

At first glance, you can tell that the worktable on the DW745 is huge. In fact, it can support rip-cuts through boards as wide as 20 inches. For a portable table saw, this is a tremendous amount of space and support, especially if you’re ripping huge boards down to a more manageable size.

Lackluster Dust Collection System

Now, the one area where the DW745 doesn’t fare so well is the dust management. Anyone who’s ever used a table saw knows just how much sawdust this tool produces, portable or not. Even though the DW745 comes with a 2-1/2 dust collection port, it won’t be of much use out in the field or in any spot away from a shop vac. Furthermore, more often than not, dust falls away from the blade and on the ground, making the dust port somewhat irrelevant.

DEWALT DW745 Table Saw

Not Fit for Dado Blades

You may be wondering why we bothered to mention the DW745’s lack of support for dado blades, stacked sets or wobbly ones. However, it’s an important thing to address if you plan on using this table saw to make joints and grooves. There are ways to get around using dado sets to cut grooves along the length of a board, which this tool can do, but it can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention the safety warnings before doing so.

Great Guarding System

The guarding system that comes in place in the DW745 is pretty decent. Firstly, all adjustments can be made without the use of external tools. Next, the table is anti-friction to allow the smooth movement of passing boards.

However, one thing buyers should be aware of is the plastic top plate which may not seem like a big deal, but the material used to make the top plate is quite crucial to the overall durability of the tool. As time goes on, plastic components are more prone to warping, especially when exposed to the elements of nature which is likely to happen to portable table saws. With proper care and storage, you can significantly reduce the extent of damage to the plastic top plate, but we would have much preferred if it were made of metal.

DEWALT DW745

Verdict

We hope the plastic top plate didn’t send you running in the opposite direction of the DeWalt DW745 since it is, in our opinion, a fine portable table saw. The powerful 15-amp motor paired with the large 10-inch carbide blade makes it a great tool to have to cut huge boards down to length and width. Keep in mind that the only safe way to use this tool out in the open is if you purchase any compatible saw stand.

DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw




Categories
Compound Miter Saw Saws

DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw Review

Miter saws are one of the most convenient types of saws available. They make producing repeatable cuts a cinch by eliminating the need to readjust the saw head, angle, and fence after every cut. A compound miter saw takes it to the next level by allowing users to make repeated compound cuts (mitered and beveled cuts) in no time at all.

DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw with XPS Review

One of the more popular compound miter saws out there is the DW716XPS from DEWALT. This saw is known for its tremendous power, high-speed blade, and amazing positioning system that ensures you’re making precision cuts every time. Let’s take a closer look at what the DW716XPS is packing and how well it works.



XPS (Cross-Positioning System)

Without any lights or lasers, it can be quite challenging to gauge how much material will be removed. The kerf (thickness) of the blade determines the width of the cut so it’s extremely important that you know just how wide the cut will end up being. Normally, miter saws come with lasers which give a somewhat accurate picture of where the blade will penetrate your piece, but the main problem with lasers is that they often don’t match the kerf of the blade, especially if you purchased a laser add-on separately.

DEWALT’s ingenious system – the XPS module – projects a bright LED light on both sides of the blade, creating a shadow that darkens and becomes more defined as the blade moves closer to the workpiece. The thickness of the shadow is also extremely similar to the kerf of the saw blade so users can get a clear idea of how much material will be removed. In our opinion, DEWALT’s XPS trumps any laser system out there. Of course, the only drawback is if you’re working outdoors where sunlight shines directly on your piece.

DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw Review

Motor Power and Speed

The DW716XPS is equipped with a large 15-amp motor which delivers a ton of power for chopping through all types of wood. It spins the huge 12-inch blade at speeds of up to 3,800 RPM for quick, clean cuts through wide boards. For portable compound miter saws, this is the largest motor you’ll ever need, and anything more powerful can be overkill.

Miter and Bevel Capacities

This compound miter saw has a maximum mitering capacity of 50° in both directions. The mitering system has 11 pre-installed positive stops to help make repeated cuts at the most commonly used angles. The DW716XPS also has a beveling head that can tilt in both directions at up to 48°. Apart from the 0° position, each direction has three positive stops at 33.9°, 45°, and 48°.

Cutting Capacity

The 12-inch blade that comes with the DW716XPS can deliver deep cuts on wide boards, making it an extremely useful tool for all sorts of woodworking projects. While the blade is at the 90° position, it can cut boards up to 8 inches wide and 6.5 inches thick. While mitered at 45°, the 12-inch blade can cut 4 inches deep on 6-inch wide stock. For cutting through crown molding in the nested position, the DW716XPS can cut as deep as 6-5/8 inches with a single plunge.

DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw

Dust Collection Bag

Like any woodworking tool, a compound miter saw produces huge mounds of sawdust in just a couple of passes. Luckily, miter saws like the DW71XPS feature a handy dust collection bag that attached to a 2-1/2-inch dust port located on its backside. The dust bag doesn’t leak but can fill up rather quickly if you’re using the tool continuously so consider attaching a shop vac hose to this unit’s dust port. Adapters are available (but sold separately) if your shop vac doesn’t use a 2-1/2-inch hose.

Electric Brakes

Miter saws should come with a wide range of safety features like retractable blade guards and lockout triggers. But the one feature we think not enough miter saws come with – the DW716XPS not included – is electric brakes. Basically, when the trigger is disengaged, the DW716XPS’s saw blade will stop almost instantaneously. This means while the blade is slightly above the surface of your material and fully exposed, after releasing the trigger you’ll have a reduced risk of cutting your forearm.

Verdict

In all honesty, the DeWalt DW716XPS is like so many other 12-inch compound miter saws out there in terms of maximum cutting capacities, mitering and beveling ranges, and safety features. However, the thing that really sets this tool apart is the XPS module which helps give operators a clear idea of the blade’s kerf and how much material will be removed. This feature alone is definitely worth the cost of the tool if you’re serious about woodworking.

DEWALT DW716XPS




Categories
Saws

Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 Chop Saw Review

Cutting steel beams, rods, and conduits is something that should only be done with a specialized tool. Sure, you can use a hacksaw to scrape thin layers of the hard material off manually, but why waste hours doing this when you could complete the job with the pull of a leverDitch the fatigue-inducing hacksaw and get a chop saw instead.

Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 15-Inch Steel Cutting Chop Saw Review

Chop saws are equipped with powerful motors for slicing through tough metals like a knife through warm butter. In this article, we’re going to take a look at one of Evolution Pro Tools metal-cutting chops saws – the EVOSAW380. Let’s find out what’s under the hood and how it performs.



Construction and Design

Right out of the box we can tell that this is a special chop saw. It weighs a good 55 pounds which keeps it stable as you plunge the saw head time and time again into metal workpieces. The entire base is made of durable cast aluminum and comes with a tall 3-inch fence and quick-release vice which are made of cast iron. The vice can pivot up to 45° to the user’s right to make mitered cuts.

Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 Review

15-Amp Motor

Cutting cleanly through metal requires a ton of power. Good thing the EVOSAW380 is equipped with a beefy 15-amp/1,800-watt motor which delivers more than enough strength for heavy-duty slicing through steel conduits and copper pipes.

15-inch Blade

Like cutting wooden boards, there’s nothing more annoying than having to flip the piece over to complete the cut. We prefer using larger blades since they can cut through workpieces in a single pass. The EVOSAW380 comes with a massive 15-inch blade that cuts 5 inches deep with a pull of the lever.

One thing that you must absolutely be aware of is that the EVOSAW380 comes with a 14-inch blade. Yep… It has the capacity to carry a 15-incher but is shipped with a 14-inch blade instead.

Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380

Spark-Free Operation

Dealing with sparks can be a hassle. Not only does it block your view, but it also poses a fire hazard if any of the sparks land on a pile of sawdust. With the EVOSAW380, sparks are not as big of a problem. The blade saws through steel and produces chips instead of red-hot pieces of metallic debris since the tool uses a metal blade instead of an abrasive disc. Because there are hardly any sparks, the EVOSAW380 doesn’t need a coolant. The quality of the blade will not deteriorate as quickly as it would in other chop saws. The manufacturer recommends a blade change every 1,000 cuts.

Chip Tray

Something that many chop saws seem to lack, or at least seem to be ineffective, is the chip tray. As you plunge the blade into your work, the blade will toss chips everywhere, making cleanup a hassle. You don’t have this problem with the EVOSAW380 as the tray built directly under the entire length of the blade, catching most stray chips. To empty the tray, simply pull it out from the base and dump the contents into a trash bin.

Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 Chop Saw Review

Chip Shield

To help keep chips from going airborne, the EVOSAW380 comes with a chip shield. The shield encases the entire top half of the blade. There’s also a retractable portion guarding the blade which retracts as the saw head moves downward so as not to block your view. It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it does work well enough to block pieces of metal that go flying into your face (always wear safety goggles in the workshop).

Unbalanced

One thing that’s most unfortunate about the EVOSAW380 is that the unit, when resting on a flat surface, is not level. The tool has two rather large rubber feet located on the bottom of the front-end of the tool. These feet leave the back-end dipping downward so that the cast aluminum base sits directly onto your workbench. Admittedly, it’s not as bad as you’d imagine; cutting through small pieces of steel isn’t a big issue, but when dealing with larger pieces, it becomes gravely important to clamp the piece down tightly using the provided vice.

EPT EVOSAW380 Steel Cutting Chop Saw

Verdict

After careful consideration, we can safely conclude that the EVOSAW380 from Pro Evolution Tools is one of the best chop saws available. The massive 15-amp motor powers a massive 15-inch blade which cuts as deep as 5 inches into square and cylindrical pieces. There are numerous features that keep the tool safe and free of debris. The two largest issues we have with the EVOSAW380 is that it doesn’t come with a 15-inch blade (you have to purchase one separately), and the tool isn’t completely level due to the two front rubber legs. In terms of performance, there’s absolutely nothing to dislike about this chop saw.

Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 15-Inch Steel Cutting Chop Saw Review




Categories
Compound Miter Saw Saws

Bosch Dual Bevel Axial-Glide Compact Miter Saw Review

Miters saws are one of the most time-saving tools you could own. Their versatility makes them an excellent choice for performing intricate straight cuts through wide pieces of lumber. Compound and sliding compound miter saws take it several steps further and give you the ability to cut on two planes through wider boards.

Bosch Dual Bevel Axial-Glide Compact Miter Saw, CM10GD Review

The Bosch CM10GD goes beyond what a regular sliding compound miter saw can do. It comes with space-saving features that significantly reduce the amount of required clearance to draw the saw head forward. Now let’s see what else the CM10GD is packing.



Axial-Glide Arm

You might be wondering why the CM10GD isn’t called a sliding compound miter saw. After all, the saw head “slides” forward and backward to increase the saw’s cutting capacity. However, the saw head doesn’t slide like in sliding miter saws, but instead, it is directed by a gliding arm.

The main difference between “sliding” and “gliding” is that the CM10GD’s axial-glide arm doesn’t require the use of long rails that protrude from the back-end of the tool. This means you can push this tool up against the wall without having to worry about whether or how far the saw head can move.

Bosch Dual Bevel Axial-Glide Compact Miter Saw, CM10GD

Fence

One feature that most people overlook is the fence. The CM10GD has a two-piece fence; a fixed lower fence and an extendable upper fence. The markings on the fences are easy to read for precise repetitive cuts. However, the design of the saw has one major flaw in regards to the design of the fence. While the extendable fence is closed (not extended outwards), then it’s possible that the saw blade can cut through it. This is, in our opinion, a major flaw that the operator needs to be aware of as not to cause any damage to the unit.

Cutting Capacities

Due to the mitering and beveling nature of this miter saw, there is a wide range of different cutting capacities to take into consideration.

First, with the saw head positioned at 90°, the 10-inch blade can cut boards up to 8 inches thick and 12 inches wide. When angled at 45° in either direction, the saw can crosscut boards up to 8 inches wide. While the blade is tilted at 45°, it can blocks up to 4-1/2 inches thick.

Bosch CM10GD Review

Precision Lock

It’s not uncommon to find that the miter gauge needs some fine-tuning to get the saw head at the desired angle. However, that is not the case with the CM10GD. Straight out of the box, the CM10GD’s miter gauge will be perfectly set so you can get straight to making compound cuts.

The miter gauge has positive stops at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, and 45° in both directions. There are also positive bevel stops set at 0°, 33.9°, and 45° to the left and right.

Dust Collection

It’s extremely important that you keep your miter saw free of sawdust at all times. When dust goes airborne, it can settle underneath power tools which could become a fire hazard. The CM10GD comes with a collection bag that captures 90% of the produced sawdust. There’s also a 1-1/4-inch dust port to connect a shop vac.

Bosch CM10GDe Compact Miter Saw

Performance

Despite all of the CM10GD’s features, there are some pretty significant drawbacks to this tool.

The first thing we noticed is that the axial-glide arm doesn’t is a bit wobbly. This translates into imperfect straight cuts which could ruin the cut-edge of your board. The arm moves straight when it’s coming forward (toward the user) but then angles slightly away as it retracts.

Another thing we’ve found is that the dust collection bag doesn’t seem to want to hold onto all of the dust. It’s a bit too porous and leaks sawdust everywhere behind the tool. If you get this tool, we recommend connecting a shop vac for maximum dust collection.

Bosch Dual Bevel Axial-Glide Compact Miter Saw

Portability

Something that all professional handymen are looking for is portable tools. The CM10GD weighs 65 pounds which is quite heavy by portable miter saw standards. However, keep in mind that this tool has a small footprint so it won’t take up too much space when loading it onto your truck. To increase the tool’s portability, you can get the Bosch folding miter saw stand (sold separately) which comes with caster wheels for easy movability.

Verdict

There’s no denying that this is a great miter saw from Bosch. The lightweight, compact design makes it a noteworthy sliding/gliding compound miter saw for professional and hobby use. There are some rather significant downsides, such as the angled retracting trajectory of the saw head and the fact that the saw can end up damaging its own fence. However, with extra care, this could be an extremely valuable tool for your workshop or to take to the job site.

Bosch Compact Miter Saw, CM10GD Review




Categories
Reciprocating Saw Saws

DEWALT DCS387B vs DCS367B vs DC385B vs DCS380B

Reciprocating saws are one of the most versatile tools you could own. It can be used for construction, renovation, demolition, and even landscaping. With a wide assortment of attachments available, you can turn this cutting tool into a sander or scraper.

DEWALT Bare Tool DC385B

In this article, we’re going to compare four reciprocating saws produced by one of the most popular manufacturers – the DEWALT DCS387B, DCS367B, DC385B, and DCS380B. At first glance, these models are practically indistinguishable from each other, but what’s packed in their plastic casings differ vastly. So between these four DEWALT reciprocating saws, which of them reigns supremeLet’s find out together.



Cordless

DCS387B, DCS367B, DC385B, and DCS380B
There’s been debate on whether uninterrupted power from corded-electric tools are better than the maximum portability you get from cordless. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on which side of the debate you’re on), all of these reciprocating saws are cordless, so there’s no dilemma in choosing corded vs. cordless.

Motor

DCS387B, DC385B, and DCS380B
The two types of motors available in reciprocating saws are brushed and brushless. These three come with brushed motors which, generally speaking, are the less efficient type of motor. They will require periodic brush changes, but it depends on how often you use the tool.

DEWALT Bare Tool DC385B Reciprocating Saw Review

DCS367B
The DCS367B comes with a brushless motor which doesn’t heat as quickly as brushed. It also gets rid of heat much quicker than brushed motors which can help increase the tool’s lifespan. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you use reciprocating saws on a daily basis.

Conclusion: We prefer brushless to brushed motors, but it really comes down to how often you use the tool. If you take the reciprocating saw out once or twice a month, then a brushed motor reciprocating saw will be fine since the need to replace brushes will be few and far between. However, if you use a reciprocating saw every day, then a brushless model would be the better option.

Battery Power

DCS387B, DCS367B, and DCS380B
The type of battery that a cordless tool uses can be used to determine how much power it contains. Bigger batteries usually keep tools running for longer, but runtime really depends on a number of different factors. These three reciprocating saw models use 20V batteries.

DC385B
This is the only tool of the four that uses an 18V battery. This is about the average size battery that you may find in most cordless reciprocating saws.

DEWALT DCS367B Review

Conclusion: Do not mistake voltage for power. The only difference between the two batteries is that 20V can hold a bigger charge than an 18V. Basically, the 20V batteries that the DCF387B, DCS367B, and DVS3808B use have a larger power capacity than that the DC385B’s 18V. Efficiency is another story.

Speed

DCS387B and DCS367B
The speed of the reciprocating saw’s blade is measured in SPM or strokes per minute. This indicates how many times the blade moves forward and backward every minute. Both of these models can reach a maximum speed of 2,900 SPM.

DC385B and DCS380B
These models have a maximum speed of 3,000 SPM. The 100-SPM difference between these two and the previous models is insignificant.

Conclusion: Even though 100 SPM isn’t that large of a difference, we still prefer the 3,000-SPM DC385B and DCS380B simply because they’re faster. The good thing is that all four of these models have variable speed triggers, so you have full control over how quickly to cut through materials.

DEWALT DCS380B

Stroke Length

DCS387B, DCS367B, DC385B, and DCS380B
Cutting efficiency doesn’t just rely on the speed of the blade but also how far the blade travels. This is called the saw’s stroke length – the longer the length and the higher the SPM count, the more efficient the tool is. All four of these DEWALT reciprocating saws have a stroke length of 1-1/8 inches.

Conclusion: So when we look at both the SPM and length of the stroke, we find that the DC385B and DCS380B are both more efficient at cutting the same stock at the same thickness than the DCS387B and DCS367B. It’s not a tremendous difference in time, but professional handymen would appreciate anything that can shave a few seconds off of repetitive work.

Design

DCS387B and DCS367B
One thing that we really love about these two reciprocating saws is their offset motor design. The motor is in a compartment that’s angled downwards and out of the way. It reduces vibrations and is comfortable to hold using two hands.

DEWALT DCS380B Reciprocating Saw

DC385B and DCS380B
The DeWalt DC385B and DCS380B both have an inline motor. The motor and handle are pieced together in a straight line that extends all the way to the nose. This design is great for one-handed operation.

Conclusion: Choosing one design over the other is based on your personal preference. The offset-motor design is naturally more vibration-resistant than the inline-motor style, but it doesn’t work as well in cramped areas.

Additional Features

DCS387B, DCS367B, DC385B, and DCS380B
The great thing about all four of these reciprocating saw models is that they come with a wide range of additional features that make them easy to use.

The first thing is the adjustable shoe. You’ll need a pivoting shoe in order to hold down your workpieces as you saw aggressively through the material.

The next feature is bright LED lights which illuminate your work area. The light is located near the nose-end of the tool and shines a bright beam to increase visibility in dark spaces.

Third is the 4-position blade clamp. One of the positions allows users to make flush cuts by holding the blade directly against an adjacent surface.

Finally, all four of the reciprocating saws come with tool-less blade changing systems for easy swapping of blades and other attachments.

DEWALT DCS387B Reciprocating Saw

Verdict

So of the four models, which of them is the bestUltimately, it comes down to one crucial consideration: how often you use the tool.

If you need a reciprocating saw for regular use in your line of work, then we recommend getting the DeWalt DCS367B. Its brushless motor is the magic sauce that makes it able to withstand extended periods of use. The offset-motor design is also something that’s worth mentioning since it not only makes it more comfortable to grip with both hands but also significantly reduces vibrations.

If you need a reciprocating saw for landscaping or other once-in-a-while jobs, then we’d recommend picking up the DeWalt DCS380B. The thing that sets this tool apart from the other two brushed models is its work efficiency (SPM and stroke length). However, this is more of a technical advantage than a practical one since a 100-SPM disparity (3,000 SPM compared to the 2,900-SPM DCS387B and DCS367B) in speed doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.