Kevin first gives a tour of Evolution’s Evo Chopsaw, a 14″ metal cutting chopsaw with a toothed blade, as opposed to an abrasive blade. It gives cleaner cuts and smoother cuts, is relatively quiet, and creates a lot less dust.
A sturdy cover hides the blade in case you accidentally start the saw so you don’t lose an arm. As you pull down the blade, the cover moves out of the way. The vise on this chopsaw also is made of metal, so it is sturdy, too. The saw vise control has a quick release for adjustment and a handwheel to tighten it. The backstop is heavier and taller than his old chopsaw.
Kevin really loves this chopsaw’s stout table – the table on his old chopsaw bent too easily. To prevent bending, this chopsaw has a heavy chunk of steel near where the blade lowers as well as a slot for the blade itself. “I think this is going to last a whole lot longer than my old saw,” says Kevin.
On the back of the vise backstop, there’s a quick release so it can be set at anything from 90 to 45 degree angles. A set screw holds it in place; the Allen wrench to adjust it is housed in the base.
The saw lock is on the tool’s side. If you just pull it out, the chopsaw relocks after your cut. That’s fine for a single cut, but for cutting multiple pieces of metal, turn it 90 degrees to lock the chopsaw into an open position.
Kevin also shows the saw’s chip guard. It helps keep metal chips from the blade from flying toward the operator.
Lefthanded people might not like the placement of the safety switch on the trigger, which is easier for righthanded people to depress during use. You can press it lefthanded, but it’s a little awkward.
Enough yakking! Let’s give that chopsaw something to eat. Kevin gets his safety equipment – sound mufflers and safety glasses – clamps the steel into the chopsaw’s vise, and cuts through some 2″ square tubing with 1/4″ thick wall, providing 1/2″ in total to cut through.
He also checked the sound level of the machine. It was 80 decibles without a load on it, and 81 decibles when cutting. Not much difference. Afterward, the cut looks great with almost a mirror finish, with a small burr at the end of the cut on the bottom.
A big secret to using this type of metal-cutting saw with a toothed blade is to not force it while cutting. The weight of your hand is enough to guide the blade downward. Give it time to cut. Forcing it overheats the blades, which then lose their sharpness and don’t cut well. Give it time to chew.
The blades can be sharpened. One metal blade does the job of 20 abrasive blades, according to a sticker on the chopsaw. Kevin says he gets 350 – 400 cuts before a blade gets dull and it takes a long time to cut. That’s when he removes the blade, puts on a fresh blade, and has the dull one sharpened. The shop can even replace teeth. It costs about $60 to sharpen them. As long as you don’t bend them, blades last a long time.
A new blade costs about $75 – 80 on Amazon. The Continental blades Kevin gets from the saw sharpening shop cost about $200, but they last a lot longer. They are better steel, have a thicker blade and better teeth.
The Evo chopsaw also has a nice little chip tray under the blade that’s easy to pull out, empty, and replace.
Kevin is impressed with the machine. It’s a good heavy saw, and more weight means more stability with smoother, straighter cuts. The cost? From about $350 at Sears to $430 elsewhere.
Kevin’s ready to go back to work, but you can stick around another moment to relate to every speaker’s nightmare ….