May 10, 2021

Chop saw vs Band saw | Which Tool For What Jobs?

The saw blade is the most crucial difference between a chop saw and a band saw. The blade of a band saw is much thinner than a chop saw, which means it can cut through thicker pieces of wood, although it does not perform as well as a chop saw. If you are wavering between a chop saw vs band saw, this article will save you the stress.

The information in this article is not just from research. But I’ll take you straight to the details, having used both saws in different models for years without wasting time.

Overview of the Chop saw

Users may confuse the chop saw with the miter saw due to the similarities these products have. However, a chop saw cuts 90-degree angles, which is considerable, whereas the miter saw cuts angled or beveled cuts. It is more versatile than the chop as it rotates and pivots to the left and the right. A Chop saw is meant for straight cuts in wood material. It looks almost the same as a circular saw, but they have different features that separate them. 

It is ideal for precise cuts. However, some chop saws are for bevel or angled cuts. When they make these cuts, they are now called miter saws. A chop saw is fast and smooth and ideal for cabinetmakers. The blade size determines the thickness of the material that it can rip. The Chop saw uses a circular blade, which is used in industries as it cuts large volumes of heavy-duty material. Chop saws have metal cut-off wheels. 

Most have the standard metal wheel, whereas high-end chop saws have multi-purpose cold-cut blades. The saw is left hot after performing the task due to abrasive blades that produce sparks. However, a cold-cut saw does not leave the tool hot. They are aggressive tools that even cut through metal. When used with a professional, it performs better on metal and rips through trusses, joists, rafters, and studs. The standard chop saw has a 14inch blade. Freehand chop saws are dangerous, and they need great caution. 


  • Ideal for straights cuts
  • Fast and smooth
  • Heavy duty
  • Standard metal wheel
  • Aggressive.


  • Non-abrasive blades make sparks and the tool hot.
  • It does not work on beveled angles.

Key Features of the Chop saw


The D28715 has abrasion wheels that make the tool smooth and fast. An abrasion cut-off wheel makes it possible for the machine to be fast on heavy-duty tasks. These pieces include materials such as steel and iron. The tool is ideal for steel tubing, and you can easily operate it on tough materials.

Blade and Max cutting depth

It uses multiple blades. The Evolution cutting saw has a quick-change blade system, and it cuts through 6mm steel without producing heat and sparks. It has swivel clamping, a mechanism that allows 0-45degree miter cuts.  

Safety features

 The chop saw has a quick-lock vice system that makes the tool safe. It locks the material when running the machine, and it does not move or slip away. That is ideal for a 14inch saw that can make 4,000 rotations per minute, which is faster hence the need for a locking system.

Amp motor

The soft-start increases the lifespan of the saw motor. The Dewalt Chop saw has 5.5 horsepower, the maximum motor that gives more overload capacity. The Evolution chop saw has a 15amp saw an engine that produces 1450 rotations per minute. 

Fence system

The quick-fence system does not include the use of wrenches. You are allowed to manipulate the material and make angles of your choice between o and 45 degrees. 

Overview of the Band Saw

The blade is not solid as standard blades. It is narrow, flexible, and has teeth on one edge of the saw. The teeth are stretched between wheels to cut the material. The wheels hold the rotating blade supporting the piece and the motor. Band saws come in different sizes ranging from small benchtops to heavy-duty models. The stock size determines the saw size. Benchtops are portable, and you are allowed to use a stand. 

The sizes range from 14 to 24 inches. The size of the saw is the size of the blade.  A large table is convenient for guiding and holding the stock. Band saws come with a fence for resawing. The saws have different motors ranging from 1/3 to 1-1/2 horsepower.  Blade guides have to be adjusted accurately. The saw is ideal for cutting curves and tricky shapes. It is for thick cuts and crosscuts. It makes accurate cuts on irregular shapes. Lumber is cut into thinner slabs. The blade easily maneuvers in such spaces, unlike the circular blade limited to straight lines. 

Pro Tip: Here are some Uses for a Bandsaw.

The narrow blade keeps the workpiece solid on the table while cutting. The chances are low that it will slip off the saw, which is safer regardless of the type of cuts you are working on. When working on cutting tapers, you need to draw guidelines, make cuts slightly outside the lines, and add some strokes to remove the saw marks. That way, you will get a smooth surface. Resawing makes the cut thin from a thick surface, and that process becomes easy and affordable on materials that attract more costs. 


  • Flexible blade
  • Ideal for curves and odd shapes
  • Easy blade system
  • Solid 
  • Smooth.


  • It requires additional finishing.
  • It is not versatile.

Key Features of the Band saw


The blade does not come in a circular plate of steel with carbide teeth right round. It is narrow and has carbide blades on one side. It falls between wheels that protect you from getting injured. The cutting action takes place when the wheels turn. The blade on the saw goes downwards toward the table. The table saw blade is easy to change. 

Rip capacity

Making a rip cut is easy on a band saw. You only need the right blade, and the square edge is not necessarily a prerequisite. You need a straight line that guides you when feeding the workpiece into the blade. 


The saw comes with a sturdy frame that lasts longer and does not compromise the performance of the maximum blade tension. The steel frame withstands the pressure that comes with different materials, and it is sturdy and rigid. 


It is a mechanism by which power moves from the motor to the blade. The iron cast wheels are durable and withstand the pressure of larger blades. The wheels need to be sturdy to contain the vibration that comes with the process. Blade tracking and proper tires are required.

Blade tensioning

There is a need for proper blade tensioning so that the machine remains safe to use and accurate. Consistency is vital in cutting. Straight, uniform, and smooth cuts have to be maintained. The spring tightens the blade, and a tensile force of up to 20,000psi is applied. However, it goes up to 30,000 psi. You may use a bi-metal saw blade as they are stronger. 


The motor is like a computer’s CPU, essential before buying a saw. It should be strong enough to withstand the pressure of different types of materials. A motor with a cooling system is what I recommend since it has zero tolerance for noise. Mechanically braked motors are safe and efficient as they can stop the machine in 10 seconds. 


  • They both make a mess during the operation.
  • They both have wheels.
  • They both have sturdy frames.


  • Chop saws are quick and dirty, whereas band saws are slow and clean. 
  • Band saws are more accurate than chop saws.
  • Band saws have finer blades than chop saws.
  • Chop saws are ideal for cutting rough material, whereas band saws are for finishing.
  • Chop saws are for straight cuts, whereas curved cuts are for band saws.


Chop saws also start from 200, whereas a Band saw ranges from 100 to 5,000.

Verdict on band saw vs chop saw

Your location and the features each product offers will determine your best choice. However, you may need the device for the same workplace. You need to consider the additional features that come with each product. A table saw is ideal if you are concerned with mobility and size. If you need a saw for your workshop, a chop saw is a sturdy tool that can withstand heavy-duty tasks. For curved and odd-shaped pieces, you’ll need a band saw. I recommend a band saw with a cooling system.

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