Although Cold Saws and Chop Saws have more similarities than differences, it’s the differences that count. Many have confused the two and some consider them the same thing. Why take the time to explain the difference? We want to help educate the metal working community and equip them to make the best decision. Whether you’re working in your garage at home or a full time fabricator, which is the right saw for you: A cold saw or a chop saw? Let’s take a look at a side by side comparison on a 14 inch blade version.
Mitering Head vs Mitering Vise
A summarizing statement could be: “Cold Saws are best for industrial use whereas Chop Saws are best for a home shop”. The price would support that statement, however there are smaller bench top Cold Saws for around a thousand dollars. Some fabricators may find bench top cold saws very fitting for a home shop, others may find them a bit too much. A common oversight when purchasing these types of saws is how miter cuts are done, and whether that makes a difference. Cold Saws have a mitering head. Your material can remain stationary and in line with material rests while clamped in the vise. Chop Saws have a mitering vise. This means the opposite end of a long piece of material will swing way out on a 45 degree cut.
Unlike an abrasive saw, both Cold Saws and TCT chop saws use a toothed blade. This blade design transfers the heat generated by cutting into the chips cut by the blade. This enables the blade and cut material to remain cool, resulting in longer blade life and immediate handling of cut parts.
In conclusion, a Cold Saw will provide the lowest cost per cut and should be considered the best sawing method in a high production environment, but those wanting to keep a low upfront cost and intend to use the saw less frequently will find a Chop Saw to be a great and effective alternative.
Written By Derek DeNooy -Inside Technical Sales