May 10, 2021

Chop saw vs Band saw | Which Tool For What Jobs?

If you are stuck between a chop saw vs band saw, this article saves you from the stress. The most significant difference between a chop saw and a band saw is the blade. The blade on a band saw is much thinner than a chop saw blade, which means that it can cut through thicker pieces of wood, although it won’t work as well as a chop saw. 

The information added to this article is not only through research. But I will get you straight to the details after years of using both saws in different models without wasting time.

Overview of the Chop saw

Users may confuse the Chop saw from the miter saw due to the similarities these products have. However, a chop saw cuts 90-degree angles, and it is big, whereas the miter saw cuts angled or beveled cuts. It is more versatile than the chop as it rotates and pivots to the left and the right. A Chop saw is meant for straight cuts in wood material. It looks almost the same as a circular saw, but they have different features that separate them. 

It is ideal for precise cuts. However, some chop saws are for bevel or angled cuts. When they make these cuts, they are now called miter saws. A chop saw is fast and smooth, and they are ideal for cabinetmakers. The blade size determines the thickness of the material that it can rip. The Chop saw uses a circular blade, and it is used in industries as it cuts large volumes of heavy-duty material. Chop saws have metal cut-off wheels. 

Most of them have the standard metal wheel, whereas high-end chop saws have multi-purpose cold-cut blades. The saw is left hot after performing the task due to abrasive blades that produce sparks. However, a cold-cut saw does not leave the tool hot. They are aggressive tools that even cut through metal. When used with a professional, it performs better on metal and rips through trusses, joists, rafters, and studs. The standard chop saw has a 14inch blade. Freehand chop saws are dangerous, and they need great caution. 

Pros

  • Ideal for straights cuts
  • Fast and smooth
  • Heavy duty
  • Standard metal wheel
  • Aggressive.

Cons

  • Non-abrasive blades make sparks and the tool hot.
  • It does not work on beveled angles.

Key Features of the Chop saw

Wheels

The D28715 has abrasion wheels that make the tool smooth and fast. An abrasion cut-off wheel makes it possible for the machine to be fast on heavy-duty tasks. These pieces include materials such as steel and iron. The tool is ideal for steel tubing, and you can operate it with ease on tough materials.

Blade and Max cutting depth

It uses multiple blades. The Evolution cutting saw has a quick-change blade system, and it cuts through 6mm steel without producing heat and sparks. It has swivel clamping, a mechanism that allows 0-45degree miter cuts.  

Safety features

 The chop saw has a quick-lock vice system that makes the tool safe to use. It locks the material when running the machine, and it does not move or slip away. That is ideal for a 14inch saw that can make 4,000 rotations per minute, and that is faster hence the need for a locking system.

Amp motor

The Dewalt Chop saw has 5.5 horsepower, which is the maximum motor that gives more overload capacity. The soft-start increases the lifespan of the saw motor. The Evolution chop saw has a 15amp saw motor that produces 1450 rotations per minute. 

Fence system

The quick-fence system does not include the use of wrenches. You are allowed to manipulate the material, and you make angles of your choice between o and 45 degrees. 

Overview of the Band Saw

The blade is not solid as standard blades. It is narrow, flexible, and has teeth on one edge of the saw. The teeth are stretched between wheels to cut the material. The wheels hold the rotating blade supporting the piece and the motor. Band saws come in different sizes ranging from small bench-top to heavy-duty models. Bench-tops are portable, and you are allowed to use a stand. The stock size determines the saw size. 

The sizes range from 14 to 24 inches. The size of the saw is the size of the blade.  A large table is convenient for guiding and holding the stock. Band saws come with a fence for resawing. The saws have different motors ranging from 1/3 to 1-1/2 horsepower.  Blade guides have to be adjusted accurately. The saw is ideal for cutting curves and tricky shapes. It is for thick cuts and crosscuts. It makes accurate cuts on irregular shapes. Lumber is cut into thinner slabs. The blade easily maneuvers in such spaces, unlike the circular blade limited to straight lines. 

Pro Tip: Here are some Uses for a Bandsaw.

The narrow blade keeps the workpiece solid on the table while cutting. The chances are low that it will slip off the saw, which is safer regardless of the type of cuts you are working on. When working on cutting tapers, you need to draw guidelines, make cuts slightly outside the lines, and add some strokes to remove the saw marks. That way, you will get a smooth surface. Resawing makes the cut thin from a thick surface, and that process becomes easy and affordable on materials that attract more costs. 

Pros

  • Flexible blade
  • Ideal for curves and odd shapes
  • Easy blade system
  • Solid 
  • Smooth.

Cons

  • It requires additional finishing.
  • It is not versatile.

Key Features of the Band saw

Blade

The blade does not come in a circular plate of steel with carbide teeth right round. It is narrow and has carbide blades on one side. It falls between wheels that protect you from getting injured. The cutting action takes place when the wheels turn. The blade on the saw goes downwards toward the table. The table saw blade is easy to change. 

Rip capacity

Making a rip cut is easy on a band saw. You only need the right blade, and the square edge is not necessarily a prerequisite. You need a straight line that guides you when feeding the workpiece into the blade. 

Frame

The saw comes with a sturdy frame that lasts longer, and it does not compromise the performance of the maximum blade tension. The steel frame withstands the pressure that comes with different materials, and it is sturdy and rigid. 

Handwheels

It is a mechanism by which power moves from the motor to the blade. The wheels need to be sturdy to contain the vibration that comes with the process. Blade tracking and proper tires are needed. The iron cast wheels are durable and withstand the pressure of larger blades.

Blade tensioning

There is a need for proper blade tensioning so that the machine remains safe to use and accurate. Consistency is key in cutting. Straight, uniform, and smooth cuts have to be maintained. The spring tightens the blade, and a tensile force of up to 20,000psi is applied. However, it goes up to 30,000 psi. You may use a bi-metal saw blade as they are stronger. 

Motor

The motor is like the CPU of a computer, which is important before you buy a saw. It should be strong enough to withstand the pressure that comes with different types of materials. A motor with a cooling system is what I recommend since it has zero tolerance for noise. Mechanically braked motors are safe and efficient as they can stop the machine in 10 seconds. 

Similarities

  • They both make a mess during the operation.
  • They both have wheels.
  • They both have sturdy frames.

Differences

  • Chop saws are quick and dirty, whereas band saws are slow and clean. 
  • Band saws are more accurate than chop saws.
  • Band saws have finer blades than chop saws.
  • Chop saws are ideal for cutting rough material whereas band saws are for finishing.
  • Chop saws are for straight cuts, whereas curved cuts are for band saws.

Cost

Chop saws also start from 200, whereas a Band saw ranges from 100 to 5,000.

Verdict

Your location and the features offered by each product determine your best pick. Yet, you might need the tool for the same workplace. You need to consider the extra features that come with each product. If you are considering mobility and size, a Table saw is ideal. If you want a saw for your workshop, a Chop saw is a heavy-duty tool that can withstand heavy-duty tasks. For curved and odd parts, you need a band saw. I recommend a band saw with a cooling system.

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