View Full Version : General Metalworking Dry Cut Chop Saws (esp. Evolutioon Rage)--who's got one?

Matt Meiser
02-26-2012, 1:14 PM
My 4x6 bandsaw is acting up and might need a new motor. A long time back someone recommended an Evolution Rage dry cut chop saw. Lowes carries them now and I've been looking at the 14" model which would cut anything I've ever done with the exception of a few cuts I do on the BS with in vertical mode. Those could be done with a jigsaw or even *gasp* a hacksaw (though my worst shop injury ever involved cutting a piece of angle with a hacksaw--I cut tenon in finger when the saw went through on the last stroke and my hand went forward into the newly cut edge.)

I've watched some videos and read some reviews. The tool guy at my Lowes said buy it, try it, and let him know how I like it or bring it back if I don't--he hasn't sold one yet and wants to know.

My biggest question is the mess. With my BS, the debris drops into a tray I added to the stand. I'm envisioning metal chips flying everywhere in the shop with the chop saw?

David G Baker
02-26-2012, 2:15 PM
I have thought about the dry cutting metal chop saw for a few years but have always been a oil cutting type saw kind of guy. The thoughts of lowering a dry blade that is not fiber into metal gives me chills. If you take the plunge let us know how it goes. I have lots of steel I would like to cut and have used the fiber blade chop saw for all of my cutting but have found that the blade drifts and causes uneven cuts. I have thought about a horizontal metal cutting band saw but the project hasn't come along yet for me to justify the expense.

Eric DeSilva
02-26-2012, 8:53 PM
I've owned one for a while and think it is infinitely superior to an abrasive cut off saw, and better than my metal BS for anything straight. It makes a bit more of a mess than my metal bandsaw, but it takes out little chunks of metal that are actually easier to clean (and far easier than cleaning up after an abrasive saw). Mine is not 14", however, more like 7.5, I think. But, it chews through 3" angle and 2" square tubing with ease. The only quibble I have with it is that it seems like the base was designed by a different company than the rest of the saw. The motor and saw part seem really well built, but the base is some stamped piece of %*$& metal and I couldn't even swing the "fence" around far enough to get a true 45* angle. I ended up having to cut away some metal with a file to get it to 45*. Building a brand new base for the thing is on my list of to-dos, but that list is pretty long...

Eric DeSilva
02-26-2012, 8:55 PM
[QUOTE=David G Baker;1882437]...but have found that the blade drifts and causes uneven cuts./QUOTE]

Amen. Plus the abrasive ones are a bloody mess. The Rage leaves a cleaner edge, is scary fast, and doesn't drift like the 14" abrasive blades. Doesn't heat up the metal either. I love mine, but it does make a racket.

Matt Meiser
02-26-2012, 9:41 PM
One thing I noticed about the 14" saw was the stout base and fence which are castings. It has some kind of chip collection pan but I'm wondering if it does anything at all.

Jerrimy Snook
02-27-2012, 1:45 AM
These dry cut saws work very well. The only complaint I've heard has to do with clamping the fall-off. Some saws only clamp one side of the cut and the fall-off may fly away.

I think the most important thing to do when using these is to let the saw cut, do not force the blade through the material. I have had many blades come in with damaged carbide, broken shoulders, and cracked plates because they were pushed beyond dull.

The best blades I have seen for these saws are the PRF35572DS Tenryu blades that have laminated plates. I have not seen broken shoulders or cracks in these.


Steve Ryan
03-02-2012, 11:56 AM
I have the Makita 10" drycut. It too has a little chip tray. Makes short work out of cutting metal. A bit noisy but you get a fairly quick clean cut. I leave the abrasive saw for the hardened steel. I also have a 10" cold saw that runs wet. It leaves the best finish by far, almost like a milled finish.

Charles Lent
03-27-2012, 11:41 AM
We have an 8" metal cutting circular saw and also a 14" dry cut miter saw, both made by Milwaukee, that are used for a welding business/hobby. They have made cutting mild steel and aluminum very easy when compared with previous methods. Probably the biggest plus for using them is that they don't heat up the metal very much when making a cut. You can pick up the part or the drop with your bare hands without getting burned. The cuts are smooth and accurate, almost milling machine quality.

To prolong blade life we have found that free hand cutting with the 8" circular causes blade binding and this cracks/chips teeth on the blade. Always follow a straight edge that's clamped to the work. For both saws, don't stop the cut midway in mild steel and then try to resume the cut. The metal will harden as it cools and chip blade teeth when you try to resume the cut. Apply enough pressure for a good cut, but then maintain the pressure until the cut is complete. For the 14" saw, make sure that the metal is clamped into the vise properly and is tightly held. Follow the instruction manual for the correct orientation of the metal shape to the direction of cut. Let the saw do the work and don't apply so much pressure that you overload the saw. Don't try to cut hardened steel or rebar with them. Save these cuts for the abrasive saws.


steve joly
04-04-2012, 6:53 PM
I have the Milwaukee dry cut off saw with the 14" carbide blade, I use it all the time and it is a great tool for someone who does not have the space or money for a large horizontal band saw. The noise while cutting is terrible so make sure to use hearing protection, and as always eye protection is a must. I had to buy a different blade to cut stainless, and there was a learning curve on which position to put the clamp in, but I highly recommend the saw. It works great and makes very clean accurate cuts, no more abrasive blades for me!

Matt Meiser
05-23-2012, 11:44 AM
I've got an invitation to buy a lightly used Milwaukee with 2 blades for $250 that I'm considering.

Jerirmy, any thoughts on typical life of a blade, how many average resharpenings, etc?

Jerrimy Snook
05-23-2012, 7:13 PM

You bought this machine right!?! That is almost like buying 2 blades and getting the machine for free.

These tools perform differently depending upon the operator. If you are conscious of how well the blade makes chips and let the blade do the work, then you can expect many sharpenings and better cuts.That friend of yours that bent your Ridge blade may only get one sharpening from one of these blades. I have had to retire blades (due to plate cracks) when they came in for the first sharpening.

For a typical wood blade I remove .008-.012" from the diameter when sharpening. On a typical dri-cut blade, I'll remove .032-.062" from the diameter and sometimes more. Often when I need to remove a 1/16" the blade is cracked and the blade is no longer serviceable (OSHA Regulation number escapes me) unless the customer is using the Tenryu blade I mentioned above. The total number of sharpenings depends on how much carbide is on the saw when new and how dull it gets between sharpenings.


Carroll Courtney
05-24-2012, 1:03 PM
I had one and it really was a nice saw for cutting anything but on the flat.I was cutting angle iron 6" and once it got to the flat part it really had a hard time.As long as the piece is on edge or pipe,it cuts very well.45's not so good,different blades for different material----Carroll

Josh Bowman
05-25-2012, 8:41 AM
Don't cringe to much, but I just use an old Craftsman chop saw with the wood cutting carbide blade. It does a great job, you will want to use it outside since it turns fast and chips fly all over. But so far the blade remains sharp and the cut is great.

Michael Gaynes
05-25-2012, 11:36 AM
I've had good luck so far with the Northern Tool saw. On sale with a coupon + sales tax, etc. I believe it was under $240.

After several dozen cuts through 2" square tube (1/8"), it's still running and cutting well - much more accurate and pleasant than an abrasive saw and squarer than the horizontal band saw we have.

Matt Meiser
06-01-2012, 10:57 AM
Well the Milwaukee is mine. It actually came with three blades. None are anything spectacular (two are Porter Cable Riptide blades and one is the original Milwaukee) but they are functional. I bought it from a friend who bought it from someone else who tried using it to cut wrought iron with poor results. The blades were supposedly all resharpened when my friend bought it, though we question whether that's true of one, and the one on the saw has now made a fair number of cuts. I need to mount each and make some test cuts to figure out what I've got. Probably look at getting that Tenryu when I wear these out and go from there.

Jerrimy Snook
06-01-2012, 11:37 AM
Matt, some of the older Riptide blades were also laminated like the Tenryu. Do they have recessed arrows on the plates? If not, they are probably more like the Milwaukee blades. I have a few customers that use the Milwaukee blades and have sharpened them maybe 8 times before the blade is worn out. Like I said earlier, let the blade do the work, don't force it and you will have longer service life from any of these blades. The Tenryu is just a little more forgiving than the other blades I have seen.

Two major factors in the carbide life are heat and impact. If the carbide is dull, then the cut generates more heat and carbide fatigue (cracks and chips) will occur. This also causes more stress on the plate and cracks can occur. If the material is not clamped solid and moves during the cut, then impact damage can occur. Short fall off pieces also cause alot of damage to the carbide and the steel plates on these saws... try to clamp both sides of the cut.