Abrasive saw

Abrasive saw

An abrasive saw (also called a "cutoff saw" or "metal chop saw", but not to be confused with the miter saw, a woodworking tool also known by these names) is a power tool which is typically used to cut hard materials, such as metal pipe.

The cutting action is performed by an abrasive disc, similar to a thin grinding wheel. An abrasive saw generally has a built-in vise or other clamping arrangement, and has the cutting wheel and motor mounted on a pivoting arm attached to a fixed base plate.


As with all power tools, wearing safety goggles or safety glasses and ear protection is a must when using an abrasive saw.

In addition to the eye hazard posed by flying metal chips, an abrasive saw produces copious quantities of sparks. It should be kept well away from flammable materials while in use, and should never be used in an atmosphere where explosive vapors (such as those from gasoline) may be present.

The thin abrasive disc can shatter if stressed or damaged. Always cut with the edge (circumference) of the blade. Never press a workpiece against the side of the blade.

To help avoid injury should the abrasive cutoff wheel shatter, never operate the tool without the safety guard in place and fully operational.


Metal cut off "chop" saws are classed as being slow speed machines. The disks are clearly marked as being such with either the maximum no load RPM of 4800, or the maximum of 4800 M/min. clearly printed on them. They should not be used in higher speed machines.The abrasive disks for these saws are typically 14", 355mm diameter. During operation the blade wears down to a size where it is unusable, and a new disk is used. The thickness of the disks are typically 7/64" or 2.8mm.Larger machines than the ones pictured here take 410mm disks.Disks are available for steel and stainless steel.


Since their introduction, portable metal cutoff saws have made many building site jobs easier. With these saws, lightweight steel fabrication previously performed in workshops using stationary power band saws or cold saws can be done on-site. Abrasive saws have replaced more expensive and hazardous acetylene torches in many applications, such as cutting rebar.

See also

* Power tool
* Metalworking
* Cutting tool

External links

* [http://www.builderbill-diy-help.com/chop-saw.html Using a metal chop saw.]

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