Not all Cut-off/Chop saws are created equal. I’ve been using a basic chop saw from Harbor Freight with a Diablo abrasive wheel and I must say, that thing does not pick up its slack. Here’s what I mean: First, it make a bulky cut, which makes it REALLY hard to do precision cuts that are within 1/16th of an inch variable, if even that. 2) Once you make that cut, the amount of melted steel that needs to be grinded off for the cut is time consuming.
All of this was enough to convince me to get something that is far more efficient. I decided to get the Evolution Rage2 Chop saw with a diamond blade. Here are my thoughts on it compared to a typical Abrasive Wheel Chop Saw.
The Abrasive Wheel is notorious for the amount of fireworks that it puts out. The flash metal sparks light up your garage/shop and it gets hot. Boy does it get hot!
On the other hand, the Evolution Chop Saw has yet to make a spark. The picture above is the saw operating at maximum speed cutting through he same exact 16 gage 3/4″ square tube. No hot sparks to be found.
I like how the Evolution has the fully enclosed blade cover that is only exposed or opened when the blade is lowered. This makes it a great security feature. When you’re too quick to reach for that freshly cut off piece, the safety feature really helps from getting cut with a blade that is in the process of powering down.
I have to say that the basic Harbor Freight saw does have a clamping feature that I prefer. Not only does it spin unlike any other, it also has a flip that allows for a quick major clamping that bypasses all the threads. When the flip is flipped the opposite way, it allowes for a more fixated tightening when engaging the threads.
As you can see, the Evolution only has the threaded adjustment clamp, which takes a while to open or close because it doesn’t have a way to bypass the threads.
I HATE the switch on the HF saw with a passion. In some weird, unnatural fashion, you have to press the red switch down while pressing the yellow switch up and forward. Honestly, it takes a few tries before that puppy fires up.
In contrast, the Evolution switch is straight to the point. You just press the side safety with your thumb, and then lift the switch nice and smoothly.
I do like the lock on the HF saw. It’s a pin that goes in through the arm that is pressed down and slides into place while preventing the saw from raising. It also makes it easier to carry. I like this because it’s quick.
The Evolution saw has a more archaic approach that involves a chain to be hooked on to a pin. It works, but it seems like it was just a means to an end during the design.
I really like how the blade locking safety pin is right there on the Evolution. It makes it super easy to be on both sides of the machine when changing the blade.
But enough of the talk, lets see some cuts! The above picture is a cut with a new Diablo Abrasive Wheel. As you can see, all of that melted steel needs to be cleaned up from an angle grinder.
The picture above is with the Evolution Chop Saw using the diamond blade it comes with. As you can see, it needs no extra love or attention. It is ready to roll.
The Evolution Rage2 saw is not really sold at your local store, but it can be purchased from a lot of the online stores from $187-$200 with the blade. Originally I was going to just get the blade and set it on my Harbor Freight saw. The problem with that is that my HF has an RPM of about 3500 and the Evolution has an RPM of 1450. If you throw a Damond blade on such a fast spinning motor, you run the risk of ruining the blade and putting yourself in danger. That being said, I LOVE my Evolution Rage 2 Saw. It cuts fast, crisp, and clean and better yet, make no sparks. Click the link below to see the cheapest amazon pice for this saw.