You may think cutting wood is for a professional worker at the job site or workshop, but it’s not. Since I found a DIY-website a few years ago, I’ve done so many projects by wood cutting all by myself.
One of my favorite tools is a chop saw, which operates powerfully, quickly, and efficiently.
So how to use a chop saw? Is it easy?
In this article, I will be sharing my experience in using a chop saw to cut wood in the most hassle-free way.
Table of Contents
What is a Chop Saw?
A chop saw, also known as a miter saw, is a type of saw with a sharp, powerful, and circular blade. This blade is put into a vertical hinge, which has a handle for you to move the blade up and down. As a result, this saw allows you to cut the material by adjusting the blade vertically while the object stands still.
Keep in mind that you do not move the material when the saw is in use. We only use the saw and move the blade; the object must stay fixed. This is different from other saws while the saw is fixed and we feed the material into the blade. A chop saw has a protractor and straight fence, allowing us to perform straight angles.
When to use a Chop Saw?
1 – Create a regular crosscut
This sturdy and robust machine is the best tool for cross-cutting. Let’s take an example with a large, thick board. While other saws cannot work on this object, or work with low efficiency; the chop saw is here to turn the board into two equal pieces. With a large, sharp, and durable blade, this tool can work well on most materials.
2 – Create an angled cut
This is why we call it a miter saw. This saw allows us to cut in some angles around 50 degrees to the left or right. The angle varies depending on the blade’s size and the length of the cut.
Steps to using a Chop Saw
1 – Prepare
Preparation is always the first important thing when working with such a bulky and powerful machine like a chop saw. What to prepare?
- Protect gear. Make sure you are equipped with eyeglasses, gloves, boots, and follow the safety rules.
- Objects/ materials. Get your object ready, mark a cutting line with a pencil to determine the right position to cut.
- Blade. You must be aware of the blade’s size and the length of the cut to get a suitable blade.
Can you cut metal with a chop saw? Yes, you can. Use a different kind of blades which have more teeth and sharper. It’s suitable for metal cutting.
- Fence. You may wonder why to use a fence, but it helps much in aligning the material and keeping it in the right position.
2 – Check the cutting lines
Make sure the blade hits the right point by pulling it down to touch the wooden piece. Carefully see if the blade is placed straight on the cutting edges before starting the machine.
3 – Start cutting
Turn the power switch to start the saw. Hold the piece of wood firmly by one hand, while the other hand slowly pulls down the blade. When the blade contacts the wood, let it naturally cut through, and do not move the material.
Keep lowering the blade until the wood is cut into two pieces, then slowly pull up the handle, and turn off the machine. Remove the pieces out of the cutting area and prepare for the next material.
4 – Follow the manual
As the chop saw is a powerful machine, it’s dangerous if you use it carelessly. I saw an unlucky worker be poorly injured while removing the pieces without turning off the engine. Remember to equip yourself with the protective gear and prepare the blade guard before starting the saw.
Do not apply small pieces of wood because:
- Your hands are in danger as they are close to the blade due to the small size of the material.
- When it is about to finish, the two pieces may shoot out at high speed, which can cause damage to people around.
Now you know that you can use a chop saw to cut wood. It is not only a powerful tool but also helpful and efficient in carrying along to a job site or around your house. Above are the simple steps to operate a chop saw. Comment below if you have any difficulty in running this tool.