Metal Cutting Saws: A Short Introduction
Cutting metal with an angle grinder can be tricky, inaccurate, and unsafe. Switching to using a metal cutting saw will make the job easier and save you time.
When working on home improvement jobs we often use materials we aren’t familiar with building with. It’s common practice to use wood around the house or workshop. Metal is overlooked in home improvement, as it is seen as a specialist material. However, the tools needed to work metal, such as metal cutting saws, are often simple to use and inexpensive to purchase.
Whether you’re new to the world of home improvement, or a seasoned DIY lover, this article will help you work out the best metal saw for you.
We have compiled a list of the best metal cutting saws on the market today. We’ve sorted through hundreds of reviews, specifications, and more to find you the right saw. From chop saws to portable band saws, we have a tool suitable for any metal cutting task.
First, we’ll take you through what to consider when buying a metal cutting saw. We’ll follow this up with reviews of the top ten metal saws on the market. Finally, the buyer’s guide and FAQ section will answer all the extra questions and concerns you might have.
What To Consider When Buying A Metal Cutting Saw
The capacity that a metal cutting saw can handle is important to know. It determines the maximum radius of material you can cut. Depending on how big the metal you’re using and your overall project is, there are different tools for the job.
Material Securing Method
When cutting metal, make sure that the material is held firmly in place. Different machines use various methods of securing the metal bar or rod in position, whilst some don’t offer a securing method.
When purchasing any power tool, you should be thinking about where you need to use it. If your metal cutting saw is going to be left in position in your workshop then portability is less important. However, if you need to cut metal on the go then a lighter saw with accessible handles is a good choice. Metal saws come in both corded and cordless electric models.
Cutting metal can be dangerous, and you don’t want to hurt yourself in the process. Safety features built into metal cutting saws are very important. Automatic shut-off is a great safety feature to look for, as well as cooling systems and trigger stops on more expensive models.
A metal cutting saw can set you back anything from 100 to 1000 dollars. Most people don’t need to stretch to the upper end of that range to get something suitable for home DIY. Think about how advanced you need your kit to be. Be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars to get what you need. If you’re going for something more professional, expect it to cost a bit more.
Top 10 Metal Cutting Saws 2021
1. DEWALT Metal Cutting Saw DW872
14 inch diameter cutting blade
Carbide tipped blade
Total weight 47 pounds
1300 RPM Motor
5-3/16” round capacity
4 Horse Power
The DEWALT multi-cutter metal cutting saw is a versatile and fast saw with a high capacity. A carbide-tipped blade allows deep cuts into thick material and keeps the blade in top condition for a long time. Carbide teeth create a fast, precise cut, with a reduced need for preparation grinding. This also means the finished cut is cool to touch, making it a very safe saw option.
Additionally, the capacity of the DEWALT metal cutting saw is very high. Boasting a higher capacity than a portable band saw, this product comes in at the largest capacity in its class: 5-3/6” round. Combined with its ability to cut both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, the variety of materials and sizes this saw will handle is vast.
An ergonomically designed horizontal handle makes use more comfortable, and the clamp keeps the user safe by stopping the metal from moving during cutting. With a built-in vertical clamp and 15 amp motor, the DEWALT metal cutting saw gives a lot of bang for your buck.
Highly rated and from a reputable brand, you can’t go wrong with the DEWALT metal cutting saw!
2. PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw PCE700
Weight 32 pounds
15 amp motor
14 Inch Cutting blade
5-1/3” round capacity
8 ft Power Cord
Next up, the PORTER-CABLE chop saw is another reliable choice. This metal cutting chop saw comes in at a much lower price point than the DEWALT metal saw. However, it offers a great service for the money.
Featuring a 15 amp motor with replaceable brushes, this metal saw is powerful and durable. A quick-release clamp makes it much safer to use, and allows for quick and easy work. This saw also includes a miter adjustment, allowing metal to be cut at up to 45 degree angles. A spindle lock allows for easy blade changes.
The 8 foot cord makes the PORTER-CABLE metal cutting chop saw quite maneuverable, and at 32 pounds it’s significantly lighter than the DEWALT model. This saw has quite a bulky design, but if you have the workshop space for it, then it will do a great job.
If you’re looking to spend a bit less but still get a high-quality product, the PORTER-CABLE chop saw is for you. Ideal for smaller projects and simple to use for beginners, customers rate this option highly.
Best Heavy Duty
3. Slugger by FEIN MCCS14 Metal Cutting Saw
Weight 54 pounds
14 inch blade diameter
Table Base clamp
Eye protection included
1300 RPM Motor
5-1/8” round capacity
Coming in at a hefty 54 pounds, the FEIN Slugger metal cutting saw is ideal for those bigger pieces of metal. With a 2,200-watt motor, the Slugger is more powerful than the PORTER-CABLE and DEWALT metal cutting saws. It can handle up to 5-⅛ inch material at a 90 degree angle, and 4-⅛ inch material at a 45 degree capacity.
An automatic retracting lower safety guard makes this model especially safe. It includes a very heavy-duty base, making it more durable and secure, and produces only a small amount of heat whilst in use. This is because it rotates at a lower rate of 1,300 rpm, creating less friction and therefore less dangerous metal sparks.
For use on steel, aluminum, stainless steel and other types of metal and wood, the FEIN Slugger is a good all-rounder. Reliable and sturdy, this is another great option for home metalwork.
4. DEWALT Portable Band Saw DWM120K
10 Amp Motor
Portable Band Saw
5 inch cut capacity
LED sighting light to show cut line
The DEWALT Portable Band Saw is the second DEWALT metal cutting saw featuring in this review and for a good reason. A highly reliable brand, DEWALT guarantees quality and expert precision for its user. Again, although at a slightly higher price point, you know this saw will perform well.
This metal cutting band saw holds a slightly smaller 10 amp motor with a 5 inch cut capacity. It features a serviceable steel shroud and rubber bumpers, making it a sturdy tool for a busy construction site. LED lights allow guided cutting, making it ideal for darker work environments.
Ergonomic grip is another great feature of this product, bringing comfort and ease to the user without foregoing quality. It is made in soft-touch rubber to reduce user fatigue and is easily adjustable.
With glowing reviews, the DEWALT corded electric metal band saw is another great option. It’s perfect if you want a more beginner-friendly, smaller DEWALT product for your home improvement.
Best Extra Features
5. WEN 3970T Metal-Cutting Band Saw with Stand
Weight 122.9 pounds
5 inch cut capacity
10 Amp motor
10/14 TPI metal cutting blade
Variable speed dial
Another reliable metal cutting band saw option is the WEn 4×6 inch metal saw. At a heavy 122.9 pounds, with a 5 inch cut capacity, this product is comparable to the DEWALT Portable Band Saw. Coming in at just under 100 dollars more, it’s slightly more powerful, however.
Featuring automatic shut-off once a cut has been completed, the WEN band saw comes with a stand. This is ideal if you don’t have a decent workshop bench ready for your new saw. It is also maneuverable for cutting both horizontally and vertically, making it very flexible for different projects.
The WEN metal cutting band saw has an adjustable blade speed usable on a variety of different metals. It makes cuts anywhere between 0 and 60 degrees, and includes a beveling vise that grips your metal firmly. This is another great beginner all-rounder.
6. GALAX PRO Circular Saw
5.8 Amp Motor
4 blades included
1 – 11/16 inch cutting capacity
Rip guide and dust extraction
Next, the GALAX PRO Circular Saw is a versatile product that can handle a range of materials. It comes with 6 different blades for several uses, making it more flexible than most saws on the market. The GALAX can cut anything from wood to plastics, with the included adjustment blade for soft metals.
This saw can cut at a 90 and 45 degree angleand has an ergonomic handle making grip fatigue less likely. A capacity of 1-11/16 inches at 90 degrees, and 1-1/8 inches at 45 degrees is substantial.
Whilst not a heavy-duty saw, if you want a good product to handle a variety of tasks, this is the saw for you. Corded electric and with a speed of 35000 rmp, this 5.8 amp metal saw is a hand-held budget option great for any DIY newcomer.
Boasting a laser guide for a more professional cutting line, the GALAX is a small, portable and powerful saw for the money.
7. M18 Fuel Metal Cutting Circular
Brushless 3900 RPM Motor
Integrated Hanging Hook
Minus battery weight 4.9 pounds
2 inch cutting depth
For a brilliant battery-powered metal cutting circular saw, look no further than the M18 Fuel saw. A brushless 3,900 rpm motor with no wearable components is a speedy, long-lasting product with a neat finish. Powerful lithium batteries mean this saw can deliver up to 370 cuts in ¾” metal, ideal for a full day of work.
M18’s metal cutting saw is made from high-carbon steel, weighs 4.9 pounds, and is extremely portable. More versatile than most corded options, the battery-powered feature allows for greater maneuverability in your working space. The blade is extremely sharp and cuts metal very easily.
The design includes an integrated hang hook, meaning you can hang the saw up safely without fear of it dropping off. This is a neat feature if you lack storage space in your workshop or garage.
Customers highly rate the compact, portable nature of the M18 metal cutting saw, and even recommend it for use on some woods. Glowing 5-star reviews bring this saw right to the top of our list!
8. HYCHIKA Compact Circular Saw
4 Amp Motor
4500 RPM Adjustable
3 Blades included
1 inch maximum cutting depth
Adjustable cutting depth
HYCHIKA’s mini circular saw is very similar to the TACKLIFE circular saw. The main differences are a higher cutting speed, and fewer blades included. It comes with 3 saw blades that can be used on wood, plastic, and soft metals. One of these is a grit diamond blade, great for metal cuts and tiles.
Cutting at a speed of 4500 rpm, this saw has a capacity of 3-⅜ inches. With a durable and powerful motor and ergonomic soft rubber handle, this saw is designed to be safe and long-lasting. It includes a laser guide and an easy-set depth gauge to make cutting easier and more precise. Additionally, it comes with a dust port and sawdust pipe to minimize mess in your workspace.
Although not as highly rated as the TACKLIFE handheld circular saw, HYCHIKA’s mini circular saw is still a good, compact option. It is said to be very quiet compared to full-size saws, and versatile for a range of different materials. Ideal for a first-time DIYer!
9. WEN 94396 Portable Band Saw for Metal
Variable blade speed
4 ½ inches maximum cutting diameter
Auto shutoff feature
Another WEN band saw has made it onto our list because of its decent price point and high capacity. At 14.5 pounds with a 5 inch cut capacity, this is the lighter, stand-free alternative to the WEN metal cutting band saw.
The lightweight design and rubberized handle mean this tool is a lot more comfortable to work with than some others on the market. Adjustable saw speed makes it versatile for different types of metals and cuts.
With variable speed operation and a powerful 10 amp motor, this saw will easily cut most metals and other materials such as plastic. It is more lightweight and portable than the other WEN product in this review, and includes ball-bearing blade guides and an external blade tensioning lever.
This saw is rated highly by customers as a great option for the price but is a little heftier than some of the other options offered by brands like DEWALT. If you don’t want to spend upwards of 300 dollars on a metal cutting band saw, the WEN portable band saw is perfect for you!
10. Grizzly Industrial G0561 Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
1 HP Motor
Variable blade speeds
Hydraulic feed control
7 inch diameter maximum cutting capacity
Our final review is the Grizzly Industrial G0561 Metal-Cutting Bandsaw. This saw is by far the most expensive on our list and is more applicable to industrial settings than domestic. However, if you’re doing regular DIY or a big project, and want a long-term metal cutting saw investment, this might be the product for you.
The Grizzly bandsaw comes with an adjustable speed blade and 220 volt/1 HP motor. It weighs a huge 343 pounds and has a massive capacity of 7 inches. It has a bigger blade than most band saws on the market. Cutting at 90 degrees and 45 degrees, this saw can handle those big, heavy, metal projects.
This saw is extremely professional, with hydraulic downfeed control, a coolant system, and a blade brush included. It is supported by cast-iron wheels and heavy-duty ball bearings, with adjustable blade guides and a heavy-duty all-steel one-piece base. The Grizzly also comes with automatic shut-off, making it quite safe to use.
Starting a small workshop? Or maybe you already have some big projects ongoing? You can’t go wrong with the Grizzly Industrial Metal-Cutting Bandsaw!
Metal Cutting Saws Buyer’s Guide
As far as power tools go, metal cutting saws are quite straightforward. They’ve been developed to make cutting metal super quick, easy, and safe. There are so many options on the market today. It’s important to consider a few key points when working out which saw to purchase.
Types of Metal Cutting Saw
There are several different saws to choose from for metal. Manual options like hacksaws are sometimes used, although motorized saws are more reliable and less tiring to use.
Circular saws are capable of making straight cuts through most metals, and some feature additional maneuverability for angled cuts. A metal chop saw is another option if you want a stationary, sturdy base. These are bigger, heavier, and can generally be used for bigger, heavier projects. Finally, a band saw is a fast, horizontal saw which can make thin cuts, even though heavy metal. These are typically easy to control and good for beginners.
As mentioned before, the way you plan to use your metal saw will determine which power source is best. Gas-powered metal saws are available, but not widely used. Corded electric saws are good for stationary workshops. If you need your saw to be portable, a battery-powered saw is for you. These are more suitable for lightweight projects, but can be easily recharged and moved around.
Metal Cutting Saw Blades
Different blades work on different materials. Some blades are coated with things like carbide or even diamond to make them usable on very heavy-duty materials, whereas wood blades are much less hardy. When choosing your metal saw, make sure the blade it comes with is appropriate for the job you’re doing. If it’s not, can you buy an additional blade? Some saws even come with multiple blades included, giving you a lot more flexibility for your money.
As previously mentioned, making sure you’re safe when cutting metal is paramount. All saws on the market have some in-built safety features, but you need to take extra steps to protect yourself and your workspace. Wear solid eye protection or a face shield and gloves specifically for metal cutting to protect your face and hands. Avoid wearing jewelry and loose clothing whilst sawing, and keep your hands away from the blade whilst and just after it’s working. Check that your power source is away from water and has no breakages or faults.
How long the manufacturer you buy from will fix your metal cutting saw if it breaks is very important. The products on this list are highly rated and durable, but things can still go wrong. Checking what warranty is offered by the manufacturer, and how good their customer service is, is essential to making the right purchase. These days, companies offer anything between 2 and 5-year warranties, so keep your eye out for the best guarantee!
How to Saw Metal
Our top tips for cutting metal, beyond buying the right saw for the job, will make your project much smoother and more professional. Cutting metal fast will give a cleaner finish, so if you can, avoid manual hacksaws and opt for a mechanic electric saw instead. Avoiding grinding disks, and opting for carbide or diamond disks instead will ensure a faster cut, as well as equipment that lasts a lot longer.
Different metals work best with different types of saws, too. Circular saws will handle most metals, but things like aluminum might be better off with a miter saw. Do your research before you start!
Using a Metal Cutting Saw with Wood
Additionally, you might be thinking of using your new metal saw on other materials, for example, wood. Whilst the saws reviewed here are primarily designed for metal, a few will cope with basic woodwork too. We recommend using a sliding miter saw instead as they are designed for cutting wood.
Metal cutting saws with switchable blades made for wood are your best option in this case, as specific wood blades will give a much finer, neater cut. Certain blades, although great for cutting metal, are much more heavy-duty. Your cuts won’t turn out very professional unless you use a specific wood blade.
What is the best saw for cutting metal?
There are a few different types of metal saws that all have benefits. Saw and blade types are best chosen based on the specific type of metal you’re using, and the cut you want to achieve. The best options on the market tend to be circular saws for smaller projects, metal chop saws for use on a more sturdy, stationary base, and a band saw for thin cuts in thick metal.
What Saw Can Cut Steel?
Steel is best cut with a chop saw with carbide teeth or a horizontal bandsaw. You can use a manual hacksaw if you’re looking for a much cheaper option, but the finish won’t be as good.
How Does a Cut Off Saw Work?
Instead of using teeth to cut the metal, a cut-off saw uses an abrasive cutting method. It cuts metal by grinding it down or eroding it. These cutting wheels are self-dressing, meaning the blade doesn’t wear away in the same manner as a normal cutting saw. However, it is not good for large diameters, and raw metal can only be cut in straight lengths. Cut-off saws are not the best option for at-home DIY.
What is the Easiest Metal to Cut?
Aluminum and copper are the easiest metals to cut at home. Non-ferrous metals are typically easier to cut than ferrous metals. Luckily, aluminum and copper are some of the most common to be used in home improvement!
Can You Cut Metal with a Coping Saw?
A coping saw can be used for metals such as aluminum tubing, but a hacksaw is generally preferred. You need to make sure you’re using a blade specifically for metal, though.
Best Cold Cut Saw?
In our review, the DEWALT metal cutting saw comes highly rated, as does the Grizzly Industry metal saw. Cold cut metal saws are generally more expensive and heavier, but they are safer.
Can a Hacksaw Cut Metal?
Hacksaws are versatile and can be used on metal. You need to find a hacksaw labeled ‘bi-metal’ for cutting metal, however, a typical hacksaw blade is not strong enough. There are plenty of electric-powered alternatives to the manual hacksaw which will create a much more efficient, cleaner cut for metal, though.