The Cutting Capacity of a Chop Saw

How do you measure the cutting capacity of a chop saw

A chop saw is essentially a lightweight circular saw mounted on a spring-loaded pivoting arm and supported by a metal base. A chop saw is considered the best saw to get very exact, square cuts.

The capacity of a chop saw is the maximum thickness of the materials which it can cut. If the capacity is larger, it means the saw can cut thicker materials. The normal cutting capacity for circular saw is considered to be 1/3 of the blade’s diameter in most materials. The usual diameters are the following: 6-1/2″, 7-1/4″, 8″, 10″ and 12″. According to this, typical woodcutting blade with 12″ diameter has 4″ cutting depth.

A saw doesn’t have the capacity to cut that deep, though. Maximum depth of cut is less than the radius. It cuts no deeper than 1/3 of its diameter. A 10″ saw cuts about 3″ deep at maximum capacity, and usually less. There are times when it is possible to cut up to 45% of the blade’s diameter, but that usually requires removing safety guards, which is not a good practice. This is typical for large circular blades.

A big blade has greater cutting depth. Not only can a larger blade cut deeper, it also has a larger circumference, or the measurement around the rim. A longer cutting length around the circumference makes space for more tips overall. For this reason, bigger blades have longer endurance. Small blades have less circumference circling the rim, which explains how fast they get used up. A big one might last the equivalent of two smaller ones. However, large sizes won’t necessarily allow faster feed; coarseness determines that.

One of the vital factors which manufacturers take into consideration when designing a saw is the cutting capacity. Everyone wants the biggest capacity possible, so that they can cut the thickest material possible. Working with a saw blade with greater capacity enables you to make cuts in one go. Therefore, the saw design, especially the design of the safety guard, is done with the idea of making the deepest possible cut. The other exception which limits the capacity of a saw is the material being cut.

A circular saw is one of the most commonly used power tools today.  One must consider the the major factor that is the cutting capacity that is suitable for their cutting application. Choose and invest in the appropriate saw that is beneficial to you.

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