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Chop Saw from Harbor Freight - Review


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I bought one some time ago when it was on sale.  Here's the current webpage: http://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/cut-off-saws/bench-top-cut-off-saw-42307.html

 

This is similar to the one MicroMark sells for roughly twice the price. 

 

It's a good tool but not a great one.  Once the miter guage is calibrated, it cuts crisply and cleanly with no blade wobble. The vise holds the wood firmly.  However, the miter gauge will need to be checked anytime it's moved to a new setting due to the slop in the mechanism.  Also, use a piece of wood about 1/16" (1 mm) or so behind the workpiece to move it forward otherwise the wood is not completely cut.

 

Below is a pic of mine with an attachment so can see where the blade is actually cutting. It also provides a precise method ot put a small ruler to get repeatable cuts.

 

Would I buy another one? Yes. For the money, it's a pretty good deal as long as you're aware of it's limitations

 

 

post-76-0-26051700-1361052090_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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  • 5 years later...

Hmm, for this tool and other operations, a Wixey digital protractor could be very useful.  

 

http://wixey.com/products.html

 

In the old days, I calculated the angles trigonometrically and then used a 12" hundredths' ruler to lay out the angles and cut lines. This was tedious at times.  The precision required for a larger object, e.g. a kitchen cabinet door, is likely greater than for a smaller object such as the parts of a model (since the greater the distance, the greater the inaccuracy (error)).

 

But for starters, this item might be ok:

 

http://wixey.com/digitalprotractor/index.html#rule

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Hi, I still have this saw and it performs well.  The only issue I experienced was when changing blades I did not put the support flange washers on correctly and it wobbled.  Other than that does a grand job of cutting straight - sharp blades are essential as with any saw.

 

Note this saw does 90 degree cuts only if modified as I have.

 

cheers

 

Pat

Edited by BANYAN
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I too have one and it does the job for me, but as Mike said, one has to be aware of its limitations.  For me, I added an adjustable stop on the starboard side which allows repetitive cuts of the same length.  Plus the real benefit is cutting brass and aluminum tubing.  For $33, it is a decent tool.    Duff

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16 hours ago, Srodbro said:

Could one of you update your opinion of this saw now that it is five years later?

still have it? Still working

Steve bought mine in 2013, 2 extra blades and ordered 2 fine tooth blades on-line. Works as good as when it was purchased. When I posted the saw way back it was met with a little disdain, and numerous suggestions of better saws available which were more expensive.

 

Love it, will soon by there scroll saw, and mini table saw and combo belt and disc sander. which will leave me a lot of cash to purchase other materials. I can hear the groans now  why these machines are cheap and aren't precise and etc.

 

Fact is I am 70 will not be building scratch models of museum quality that take years to construct am happy with Harbor Freights cheap tools that serve my purpose and saves a lot of money. Would recommend everything they sell for people that do not have deep pockets. I am a Happy Camper. :D

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1 hour ago, John Allen said:

Steve bought mine in 2013, 2 extra blades and ordered 2 fine tooth blades on-line. Works as good as when it was purchased. When I posted the saw way back it was met with a little disdain, and numerous suggestions of better saws available which were more expensive.

 

Love it, will soon by there scroll saw, and mini table saw and combo belt and disc sander. which will leave me a lot of cash to purchase other materials. I can hear the groans now  why these machines are cheap and aren't precise and etc.

 

Fact is I am 70 will not be building scratch models of museum quality that take years to construct am happy with Harbor Freights cheap tools that serve my purpose and saves a lot of money. Would recommend everything they sell for people that do not have deep pockets. I am a Happy Camper. :D

I'm not particularly hung up on name brands.  Often a less expensive tool can be very useful with minor modifications.  That said, I think that I would certainly compare HF with Grizzly before buying.  Grizzly sells tools with a full range of features,  for hobbyists and industrial manufacturers.  They also stock a full line of replacement parts and their customer support is excellent.  Most of their machinery is probably from Taiwan, and their quality control is quite good.

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Steve.

I gave mine away as I realized I wasn't using it that much.   Shortage of bench space and having to set it up wasn't worth the time to me as right next to where I would use it was my mini table saw.  More functionality with the table saw (for me) and less hassle all around.

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  • 1 year later...

I just picked up one at Harbor freight  yesterday and been playing around with it. It seems to be a good one, but time will tell. I have a 12 inch chop saw which I use as much as my table saw so figure that this little chop saw should fit in really nice. Now all I have to do is figure out how to make it a little higher so I can see what am cutting. Maybe a table on top of the table. . Gary

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On 2/16/2013 at 5:03 PM, mtaylor said:

I bought one some time ago when it was on sale.  Here's the current webpage: http://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/cut-off-saws/bench-top-cut-off-saw-42307.html

 

This is similar to the one MicroMark sells for roughly twice the price. 

 

It's a good tool but not a great one.  Once the miter guage is calibrated, it cuts crisply and cleanly with no blade wobble. The vise holds the wood firmly.  However, the miter gauge will need to be checked anytime it's moved to a new setting due to the slop in the mechanism.  Also, use a piece of wood about 1/16" (1 mm) or so behind the workpiece to move it forward otherwise the wood is not completely cut.

 

Below is a pic of mine with an attachment so can see where the blade is actually cutting. It also provides a precise method ot put a small ruler to get repeatable cuts.

 

Would I buy another one? Yes. For the money, it's a pretty good deal as long as you're aware of it's limitations

 

 

post-76-0-26051700-1361052090_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

A Wixey digital protractor (for setting the miter gauge) would be a modestly priced ($12USD) and useful addition to your shop. Resolution to 0.3 degrees

Edited by Bob Blarney
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