How The Chop Saw Works

The construction and operation of a chop saw are fundamentally as simple as they are ingenious. In the following article, I specifically deal with the structure and function of the cross-cut saw (and pull cross-cut saw) and explain the relationships.


Structure of the chop saw

A basic distinction is made between 2 different types of cross-cut saws. On the one hand, this is the “normal” cross-cut saw and on the other hand the pull cross-cut saw . The latter is also known as a “cross-cut saw with pulling function”.

The following 2 pictures show the most important components.

  • Classic chop saw
  • Pull cross-cut saw (cross-cut saw with pull function)

The basic structure and the core functions are the same for a classic cross-cut saw and a pull cross-cut saw .

Both types are equipped with a circular saw blade (1), motor (6), handle (5), protective hood (2) and a saw table (rotary table) (4). The joint (3) is also available on all models. This makes it possible to move the entire saw head (7) downwards and upwards.

As a rule, the joint is also designed so that it can be adjusted in angle . This means that the complete saw head tilts and various angle and miter cuts can be made. The max. Angles that can be set here are usually 0 to 45 ° or -45 ° to + 45 °. In the case of very high-quality cross-cut saws, there is also more, for example -47 ° to + 47 °, which allows an undercut to be made.

However, the difference between a classic cross-cut saw and a pull cross-cut saw is the pull function (9). The entire saw head can thus be moved forwards and backwards, which has a huge advantage: significantly wider workpieces can be handled with a pull-cut saw.

While with a “normal” chop saw regarding max. Cutting width is therefore entirely dependent on the size of the saw blade, you can use a pull-cross-cut saw due to the pull function (usually 2 ball-bearing double tubes) to produce significantly wider workpieces.

The above max. Cutting widths naturally vary from model to model. But it clearly shows how big the differences are.


How the chop saw works

The way it works is basically simple and at the same time awesome. An electric motor drives the saw blade either via a pair of gears or via a drive belt .

In the sawing process itself, you move the saw head from top to bottom (cut) through the workpiece and cut it. Usually there is the possibility of fixing the workpiece on the turntable and thus securing it against slipping.

If the chop saw has a pulling function , you first pull the entire saw head towards you , then lower it and then push the saw blade through the workpiece. Then you fold the saw head, which is usually spring-loaded, back into its starting position.


The turntable

The turntable is a central element of the chop saw, as this allows horizontal angle cuts to be made. Usually it is max. 45 ° to the left and max. Turnable 45 ° to the right. One then often speaks of: -45 ° to + 45 °.

Professional devices often offer a larger angular range. For example, -47 ° to + 47 ° are common . These 2 ° to the left and right allow the undercut, which – depending on the trade / application – can be a great relief.


The inclination of the saw blade

Nowadays, the saw blade / saw head can be tilted with almost all cross-cut saws . For one-step models, this is usually up to max. 45 ° long possible on the left, since here the motor is usually on the right, which makes it impossible to tilt in this direction. An undercut is also possible with higher quality models (e.g.: -47 to + 2 °).

If the motor sits ” piggyback “, ie exactly behind the saw blade, the saw head can then usually be tilted to the left and quite fully. So for example from max. -47 ° to + 47 °. So you are very flexible, which can always be a big advantage in professional use.

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