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Encyclopedia > Abrasive saw
An abrasive saw
Checking an abrasive saw.

An abrasive saw (also called a "cutoff saw" or "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. A miter saw (also called mitre saw) is a tool used to make accurate crosscuts and miters in a workpiece. ...

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. A grinding wheel is an expendable wheel that carries an abrasive compound on its periphery. ... A Vise (or vice) is a mechanical screw apparatus used for clamping or holding. ...



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 cut off saws have made easier many jobs on building sites. They have made possible fast and accurate fabrication of lightweight steelwork on site, that was previously only done in workshops using stationary machines. For example power hack saws and large Cold saws. They have displaced the oxy-acetylene torch for much work. (See Oxy-fuel welding and cutting.) Much on site cutting of rebar is quicker and easier with them. Cold saws use a solid steel, resharpenable circular sawblade, an electric motor and a direct drive worm gear, reducing the sawblades rotational speed to 54 RPM to produce maximum torque. ... Oxyacetylene redirects here. ... Rebar is common steel reinforcing bar, an important component of reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures. ...

See also

A power tool is a tool with a motor. ... Turned chess pieces Metalworking is the craft and practice of working with metals to create structures or machine parts. ... a Cutting Tool, in the context of Metalworking is any tool that is used to remove metal from the workpiece by means of shear deformation. ...

External links

[Using a metal chop saw.]



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