When working on a project that requires cutting metal, it’s crucial to have the best metal cutting saw for the job. Having the right metal cutting tool will ensure that you make the cleanest cuts in the shortest time. With so many different options available, though, it can be confusing to tell which kind of saw is right for your needs.
In this guide, we’ve outlined some of the different types of metal cutting saws available and when they could be useful. We’ve also tried to answer a few common questions when it comes to cutting metal with a saw. This info should save you frustration and money by ensuring you can find the saw that you need.
Our Top Picks
|14-inch Multi-Cutter Saw||View on Amazon|
|Milwaukee 6370-21 Metal Cutting Circular Saw||8-inch Circular Saw||View on Amazon|
Deep Cut Band Saw
|Corded Portable Band Saw||View on Amazon|
|Milwaukee 2621-20 M18 SAWZALL||Cordless Reciprocating Saw||View on Amazon|
|Evolution Power Tools RAGE 3-DB||10-inch Multipurpose Compound Sliding Miter Saw||View on Amazon|
|EVOSAW380 Steel Cutting Chop Saw||15-inch Steel Chop Saw||View on Amazon|
|DEWALT D28730 Chopsaw||14-inch Chop Saw||View on Amazon|
Best Metal Cutting Saw Reviews
DeWalt is one of the most trusted brands in the power tool industry, and with products like this, it’s easy to remember why. This powerful saw can cut through just about any metal quickly and cleanly.
Designed for use with a specially designed carbide-toothed saw blade, the Dewalt Metal Cutting Saw, 14-Inch (DW872) produces precise cuts that are cool to touch in as little as a quarter of the time it would take to make the same cut with an abrasive wheeled chop saw. Similarly, it outperforms portable bandsaws by an even more significant margin in speed while being able to deliver a comparably accurate cut.
It also boasts an incredibly large capacity, meaning you can use it to cut a variety of different sized materials. Another feature of this saw is a quick-lock vise, which makes clamping different sized materials fast and easy. It also has an ergonomically designed handle that feels comfortable and secure.
While it may seem like a pricy initial investment compared to an abrasive chop saw, this saw uses a toothed blade which is cheaper than abrasive cutting wheels and will end up saving you money over time with a lower cost-per-cut.
- This saw can cut faster and cleaner than the competition.
- It can cut a wide variety of materials, making it a highly versatile option.
- An ergonomic handle makes it comfortable to use.
- It has a good blade life; you won’t need to buy replacement blades often.
If you need a circular saw that can reliably make fast, clean cuts in even the toughest metals, then the Milwaukee 6370-21 13 Amp 8-inch metal cutting circular saw is a tool worthy of your attention.
This saw is a beast when it comes to cutting steel and works great for cutting steel plate, grating, HSS tubes, or C channel, and I-beams. It cuts through 1/4 inch steel plate with ease, and with the right cutting techniques, it even tears into up to ¾” steel plate without trouble. Of course, it probably goes without saying that this saw also tears through lighter materials like aluminum with ease.
Once the saw is engaged, you’ll find that it pretty much self feeds, and it takes little to no effort on your part to keep the cut straight. When lining up for a cut, the saw has an onboard sightline and point of entry indicator to keep your cuts accurate. The shoe of the saw also has a slot that can be used with a rip fence.
Sparking minimal while cutting with this saw and it leaves behind a cool edge, free or scorch or burr marks that won’t need post-cut finishing. The metal shavings created while cutting are contained by the magnesium blade shield and collected in the saws chip tank, making for a quicker and easier cleanup process. The cool cutting of the saw also provides the benefit of the material cut being able to be handled almost right after a cut, further reducing your overall downtime when working with this metal cutting saw.
- The handles of the saw provide a secure grip that is well placed and soft enough not to cause discomfort during extended use.
- The cermet-tipped blades that this saw uses last much longer than standard abrasive wheels, providing a much lower cost per cut.
- Quick-release buckle makes it quick and easy to change the blade or empty the internal chip bin.
- Well designed for making plunge cuts.
- It provides fast, accurate cuts with almost no sparking.
- Valuable time-saving features reduce cleaning and prep times.
This portable band saw is yet another high-quality offering by DeWalt. If you need a portable bandsaw that offers the power and control for any job site application, then this tool won’t disappoint. If you need to cut pipes or rails in a confined space, then we can’t recommend this tool enough. As a bonus, there are also mounts sold that allows this saw to double as a tabletop bandsaw.
The DWM120k is powered by a 10 amp motor and features variable speed control. This additional control allows you to adjust the cutting speed for a different material or application-specific cutting needs to ensure the best possible cutting performance. This saw also features accurate blade tracking, which serves to prolongs the life of your blade, and when you do need to change the blade out a lever to adjust, the blade tension makes it simple.
This band saw boasts an impressive 5-inch deep cut capacity. It also features an adjustable material guide to set the saw for optimal performance when cutting different materials. A build-in LED sight light illuminates the cutting area so you can see the cut line in poorly lit work environments.
This is a saw that built for convenience with an ergonomic design well balanced to prevent fatigue and ensure consistently accurate cuts. It features a sizeable multi-position front handle that can be easily adjusted to ensure a precise grip. The rear handle meanwhile is an ergonomically soft handle that provides a secure and comfortable grip during use. This saw is also a highly durable tool built to withstand abuse without damage thanks to its rubber bumper guards and serviceable steel shroud.
- A 5″ round, 5″ by 4 3/4″ inch rectangular capacity
- An integrated hook makes storing this tool simple.
- Changing the blade is easy, thanks to a lever to loosen blade tension.
- Externally replaceable brushes make it easy to make quick repairs.
There’s a reason that the Sawzall brand has become so ubiquitous, and that’s the consistent level of quality of Milwaukee’s reciprocating saws. The M18 line continues the dominance of Sawzall as the best reciprocal saws on the market. This saw is the perfect tool for demolition jobs.
This powerful saw cuts through even the heaviest materials like steel faster than its competitors. With a 1-1/4″ stroke, variable orbital action, and an operating speed of up to 3000 strokes per minute, it’s able to remove more material in a shorter amount of time. A speed control dial and variable speed provide you with more control over your cut.
As a cordless tool, it gives you more freedom of movement to maneuver the saw. It can also be useful if you’re working on a demolition project without easy access to electricity. When fully charged, its 12 Ah battery is rated for up to 150 cuts, so you won’t have to worry about it quitting out on you early into a job. This model also features a rafter hook for storage between cuts.
- An onboard LED light provides you with the visibility to make accurate cuts in poorly lit workplaces.
- Changing blades is quick and doesn’t require any tools.
- Long battery life
- The 5-speed dial and variable speed trigger offer total control of your cutting speed.
This multipurpose cutter by Evolution is a specially built double bevel miter saw designed to stand up on heavy-duty cutting tasks. Unlike a traditional miter saw it can safely cut metal and does so with minimal sparks, burrs, or heat. With a 2500 RPM cutting speed, it is even well suited to cutting tough metals, including steel.
With the ability to make cuts at various angles, the Rage 3-DB brings much more flexibility to the table than a chop saw. It allows you to do this with the highest level of accuracy, ensuring that you get the job done with one clean cut.
The saw also features a large 12.5″ slide mechanism, which allows for it to make long angled cuts. This will enable you to work with larger materials you would be unable to with other similar saws. Plus, with its double bevel function, you save time by not needing to adjust your workpiece as often when cutting. Instead, you can adjust the saw itself making it quicker and easier to create multiple matching cuts.
Perhaps the most significant flexibility that the saw brings though is in its all-purpose design and blade. You can use this saw to cut wood, plastic, aluminum, and even steel without needing to change the blade that you are cutting with. You can see how effectively this saw can cut steel in this video here.
- Save time by using the same blade to cut through metal, wood, MDF, and plastic.
- Flexibility for making highly accurate angled cuts.
- An extra-large base ensures that this saw stays stable while cutting.
- An extendable fence guard ensures accuracy when working with long materials.
The Evolution EVOSAW380 is an amazingly powerful tool with consistently high customer reviews. Built for heavy use, this powerful saw has serious cutting power. This powerful saw cold cuts through steel, creating no sparks and leaving clean, burr-free cuts. High performance and incredibly durable this saw puts abrasive chop saws to shame.
This heavy-duty chop saw by is an ideal cutting solution for heavy-duty materials like steel plate, pipes, angle iron, and many other dense materials. Cutting with it is fast and easy, the blade slices through steel like a knife through butter. The blades made for this saw also last an incredibly long time, and Evolution claims they are rated for 1000 cuts in 2×2 mild steel. With this kind of blade durability, the cost per cut ratios for this saw is incredible.
With an adjustable back wall and a heavy-duty vice, your cuts are sure to be accurate as well. The vice features a quick-release, making set up even more straightforward, which makes clamping down your materials quick and simple. With this saw, you can also make miter cuts at angles ranging from 0 to 45 degrees.
Other features include a chip deflection shield and convenience features like the chip collection tray. The tray seems only to catch about half of the chips when cutting, though, so you may still need to sweep up after a day of cutting.
- Cold cuts steel for virtually spark-free cuts.
- A quick-release vise for fast clamping.
- High blade durability with an excellent cost per cut ratio.
- A chip deflection shield, protecting the operator from stray metal chips.
A very highly rated option, The D28730 Chop Saw is an updated version of DeWalt’s incredibly popular D28715 chop saw. This saw is durable workhorse able to stand up to the rigors of daily use. Despite this, it’s still an affordable option making it a great model for pros and hobbyists alike.
Changing your blade with this saw is fast and easy. The process doesn’t even require any tools, saving you loads of possible downtime. It also features a tool-free 45-degree fence that can be easily adjusted for accuracy. Changing the blades and adjusting the fence with these tool-free systems is fast and a great overall time saver. Another useful time-saving feature of this saw is the quick-lock vise. This easy to use vise makes it quick and easy to clamp your workpiece so you can get down to cutting sooner.
With a broad steel base, this saw has a stable footing for cutting long material. The handle of the saw is an ergonomic design that is comfortably positioned for extended use. This tool also locks down into a carrying position without needing a chain to secure it thanks to a heavy-duty pin. When cutting an adjustable spark guard also allows you to control the channeling of sparks.
Instead of a blade, this tool uses abrasive wheels for cutting. If you’re someone who frequently uses their saw, then the extended life of saw blades still makes them the cheaper option with their lower cost to cut. However, for a saw that sees less frequent use, an abrasive chop saw can end up being the smarter buy. Since the saws themselves are also cheaper, and you are less likely to benefit from the lower cost per cut, meaning they can be a smart financial choice for hobbyists.
- Fast, tool-free blade changing.
- A large cutting capacity (5 inches round, 4 ½” x 6 ½” rectangular)
- The QUICK-LOCK vise provides fast clamping for your different sized materials.
- A solid steel base provides a secure cutting platform
What Type of Saw Should I Buy to Cut Metal?
When shopping for a metal cutting saw there are many different types to choose from. The most practical way to tell what would be the best metal cutting saw for your needs is based on what you need to cut.
Hand-held Circular Saws
Circular saws are a staple of every DIY handyman’s power tool collection, handheld and versatile they are valuables tool for a wide variety of jobs. If you are working with sheet metal or aluminum, then a circular saw is likely to be the metal cutting saw that would suit you’re needs the best.
Circular saws designed to cut metal are similar to their wood cutting counterparts, but with a few key differences that make them suited to the task. It is important to be sure that not just the blade, but also the saw you buy was meant to cut the material you are planning to work with. If you would like to learn more about the differences between circular saws designed for woodworking and metalworking, then you can find more info further down in this guide.
When using a circular saw for metal cutting, you’ll need to use different kinds of blades for different metals and thicknesses. You should always refer to the packaging of the blade to verify what material and thickness it is meant to cut. The material composition, pitch, and overall design of the blade all vary from one blade to the next depending on what it is you need to cut. In general, you’ll notice that blades designed to cut thinner metals will have higher tooth counts than those for thicker metals.
If you are working with tough materials like steel pipes or rebar, then a chop saw is the tool you want for the job.
Chop saws are large, powerful tools that are designed to make quick, clean cuts through almost any material with high precision. This makes them one of the go-to choices when working with heavy materials including the strongest metals such as thick steel cables, pipes, and rebar. Using a chop saw ensures that you get a clean cut on your first try, making it a highly effect tool.
However, what the chop saw has in power it pays for with its lack in versatility and while an incredibly powerful tool they are somewhat limited in their application. These saws work by bringing the blade down onto the material and those blades are unable to be angled. Because of this they can only be used to make straight cuts 90-degree angle.
Something to be aware of if you buy a chop saw is that they can generate a lot of sparks while using them. You should avoid using them near anything flammable. A chop saw should require very little force from the user, let the saw do the work and do not apply heavy force. If you find that the saw is not cutting without applying force, then it’s a sign that your abrasive disc should be changed immediately.
Cutting Metal With a Miter Saw
If you see what looks to be a chop saw that can cut at other angles, then it is almost definitely a miter saw. But while they may look similar to chop saws, they are used for a very different purpose and you should not use a miter saw to cut metal the same way you would a chop saw.
Miter saws are woodworking tools designed to make accurate crosscuts and miter cuts in pieces of wood. Because they are designed to cut wood and not metal, they operate at a higher cutting speed spinning their blades faster than a saw designed for cutting metal does. When used on metal this additional speed can cause more friction on the blade. That added friction heats the saw blade and causes sparking that can quickly wear down the blade.
If you already own a miter saw and only need to make a few cuts in a soft metal like aluminum, then they can be used with an abrasive chop saw blade if you don’t want to spend the money to invest in a new tool. However, while a miter saw can be used to cut metal in a pinch, you should not buy one if you are looking for a saw to work with metal or you will end up spending more in the long term for what is essentially a less effective method of cutting.
There are some exceptions to this advice such as the Rage 3-DB which is a miter saw designed to be able to perform steel cutting. In these cases the manufacturer will make it clearly known that this is the case.
If you are working on something where you need the highest possible precision or the ability to make irregular cuts than a band saw is likely to be the best metal cutting saw for the job.
When it comes to metal cutting tools none offer more precision than the band saw. Band saws get their name from the continuous rotating band formed by their saw blades. These blades are circular in shape and are rotated through the tool which keeps the teeth of the saw moving in a continuous downward motion. The horizontal blade of a band saw offers a high degree of control and gives you the freedom to make irregular cuts. For instance, with a band saws you can make clean curved cuts. Most band saws are bench tools, but portable bandsaws are also available and fulfil another useful niche.
Portable bandsaws are useful tools that give the most precise cuts of any handheld saws. When working in an enclosed area the freedom of movement offered by a portable bandsaw can prove to be very helpful. One area where they really excel is working with pipes where the added flexibility, they offer in how you can approach the pipes is game changing.
A stationary band saw meanwhile can offer a similar level of control while working with thicker, heavier materials. Their saw enclosures are open at both the front and rear which allows for them to be used with long pieces of material. This means that you can do long cuts on these saws like you can with a table saw only with the ability to do so on much thinner sheets of metal.
Ideal for demolition work, these saws will cut through just about anything.
Sometimes called a Sawzall or hognose, a reciprocating saw may not produce the cleanest cuts, but these saws are perfect for getting into hard to reach places. Available in different sizes to deal with a wide range of jobs. These tools are great for making quick cuts through most materials. However, while they are powerful and offer a huge amount of versatility don’t expect the cuts this tool makes to be as clean as other saws.
Metal Cutting Saw Blades
Whenever you use a saw you should always be sure to use a saw blade designed for working with the kind of material you are cutting. When it comes to cutting metal different types and thicknesses of metal require different blades as well, for instance, blades made to cut lighter metals are different than those made to cut thicker metals. Blades designed to cut metals are also often treated with a coating which helps to reduce any heat build-up while cutting. This reduces sparking and keeps the blade from wearing out for longer.
Using the wrong kind of blade can lead to sloppy cuts and more importantly can damage the blade and possibly even the saw. Be sure to check what materials a blade is meant to be used with when buying it to be sure the blade you buy is for the kind of metal you are working with
Can You Use a Metal Cutting Saw Blade to Cut Wood?
While working on a project that includes cutting pieces of wood as well as metal, you may wonder if you can use the same saw blade for both. Afterall if the blade can cut through rebar it should make short work of 2x4s right? However, while it is possible blades designed to cut metal should not be used to saw wood. Doing so risks damaging or quickly wearing out the blade. Abrasive blades designed to cut through steel or other strong alloys are made with those specific materials in mind. They will not provide the same clean cut as you can get from a wood cutting blade, and risk getting worn out.
A toothed saw blade designed to cut through metal is built with many small teeth. The fewer larger teeth of a wood blade are able to cut through wood quickly. The small teeth of a metal cutting saw will take longer to cut through wood, causing a buildup of friction that can heat up and wear down the blade. In thicker pieces of wood, there is even a risk of the blade becoming stuck in the wood. Of course, the good news is that you can always change your blade.
Be sure to buy the right size blade though, metal cutting circular saws often use smaller blades. Additionally, multipurpose blades are available for use with wood and some metals. Purchasing one of these blades can save a lot of time and hassle on some projects.
Why can’t I just use any circular saw to cut metal?
If you already own a circular saw for woodworking, you may wonder if there’s any reason to buy another one for metal cutting. Wouldn’t the saw you have already work just fine if you just used the correct blade? However, it actually isn’t a good idea to use a woodworking circular saw on metal materials.
Metal cutting saws are purpose-built for their job and to do it they run at slower speeds than wood cutting saws. Higher blade speeds lead to increased friction when cutting which in turn heats the blade leading to more sparking. By operating at slower speeds, a metal cutting circular saw reduces sparking and prevents the blade from being quickly worn down. If you were to use a woodworking saw, you would find that the sparking caused by the extra speed can lead to wearing out the blade much more quickly.
There are also safety concerns when it comes to using a regular circular saw to cut metal. One of which is the sparks created when cutting metal, something that metal saws are designed to collect or deflect but which framing circular saws are not built with any precautions for. There is also a risk posed to the saw when you use a framing saw to try and cut metal materials. They are made with an open housing which isn’t designed to protect against metal shard buildup. In contrast, metal cutting saws have closed housing to prevent metal shard buildup from adversely affecting the saw.