So you think you have every type of power tool available? How about a
circular saw... that cuts metal? It is of course possible to cut sheet
metal on a table saw with an appropriate blade, and on the band saw as
well, again, with an appropriate blade. And you can even buy metal cutting
blades for circular saws, angle grinders and rotary tools. But today we
are taking a look at a circular saw designed specifically for cutting
metals, and we will explore those features that set it apart from your
standard wood cutting circular saw.
Specifications & Features
Let's start with the motor. The MCG-960K is fitted with a universal
style 1200W motor that rotates the blade arbor at 3,500 RPM. This is in a
similar speed range to many wood cutting circular saws, and in fact, you
can use this saw equally well for cutting wood, assuming you can find an
appropriate blade to fit, although this shouldn't be a problem as there
are many 185mm diameter (7 1/4") blades available on the market with a
These type of saws are designed to cut mild steel and sheet
metal materials only.
In terms of noise output when run up, the 1200W motor outputs no more, or
no less noise than your average 1200W universal motor. It's right on
average in the noise stakes. You will of course need both ear and eye
protection during use, as standard safety precautions.
The saw comes pre-fitted with a blade, and one should always check the
blade is correctly secured (no matter what circular saw you buy) before
you run the tool for the first time. The 36 tooth TCT blade that is fitted
to the tool is appropriate for metal cutting tasks. It doesn't make a
terribly fine-finish wood cutting blade, but for rough docking tasks it
can do the job. It is designed for metal cutting and, naturally, this is
what it should be used for. Replacement blades can be ordered, as can
replacement carbon brushes for the universal motor, although two extra
brushes are generously supplied. It is difficult to predict how long a
blade will last, but a conservative estimate may be cutting up to 80
lineal meters of 6mm steel plate. This, at least, gives you a rough
estimate as to how often you might need to purchase (or re-sharpen) a new
blade. Blade securing/releasing is made easier thanks to the spindle lock
feature, common on most circular saws.
The maximum depth of cut clearance is 57mm at 90 degrees (i.e. the blade
at right angles to the base plate). Note however, that the actual maximum
material cutting thickness is 7mm, and there is a minimum material
thickness of 1.2mm. Also, there is no bevel tilt mechanism on the saw, so
square cuts are the only cuts on the menu, obviously for safety reasons.
There is a depth cutting option like on standard circular saws, and this
is achieved by lowering or raising the base plate in relation to the blade
via the front pivot point.
The metal base plate is solid and stable and exhibits minimal warping,
even when deliberate attempts at bending the plate are made. The included
metal rip fence is secured both to the front of the base plate, and to the
rear via standard bridge slots and single thumb screws. The rip fence is
handy for making parallel cuts against a straight edge of the material
being cut. The fence does not have a printed or etched scale however, so
measurements will have to be made a different way, as well as ensuring the
fence is square to the blade.
The saw casing and upper guard surrounding the blade is all-metal
construction for enhanced user protection. Although the saw is a
"cold-cutting saw", there is still the chance of sparks and debris being
ejected from the saw, although we found this was very minimal. The saw
features your standard spring-loaded, retractable lower blade guard for
protection from the blade below the base plate. There is a collection
"hood" on the saw which holds metal chips and debris during use, and this
needs to be emptied once it starts to fill up. There is a clear, hard
plastic window to allow you to view the level of debris build-up.
Naturally, you should ensure any chips or metal debris has cooled down
before attempting to empty the collection point.
The main handle and power button are plastic with a rubber over-mold grip on the
reverse of the handle for better grip control. This handle is also
independently adjustable up and down to make cutting safer and more
ergonomic. There is a removable round plastic handle that screws to the
front of the saw that acts as the second grip/hold for your left hand. The
power button is used in conjunction with the safety lock button to prevent
accidental startup... i.e. you need to push in the safety lock button
first while pressing the main power button in to start the saw. This is a
common safety feature on most cutting power tools.
Using the metal cutting saw is not much different to using a wood
cutting circular saw to cut wood, however, depending on the material you
are cutting, you might require more patience. Cutting metal is generally
slower than cutting wood, so as long as you take your time, everything
should work out fine. Again, personal protective equipment is required,
and the workpiece needs to be secured properly before cutting. Forget hand
holding material to cut it. You are only asking for trouble and metal
objects have much more potential for injury than wood materials if they
happen to get into motion. If cutting sheet material, secure it down
adequately to a solid surface. If cutting mild steel tubing or pipe,
secure it in an appropriate vice or clamp before cutting.
The saw is quite comfortable to use once you have set up the adjustable
handle. This type of saw requires two hands to operate at all times.
Failure to do so can result in serious injury, and circular saws are not a
tool to take chances with.
We found the power and features of the saw to be adequate for light metal
cutting tasks in the absence of more dedicated metal cutting machinery.
For the odd metal cutting job around the home or workplace, this saw can
deliver very useable results. Backed up by a 3 year replacement warranty and a retail
price of AUD$229.00, the Ozito Metal Cutting saw is worth considering for
your next metal cutting task.
The Ozito Metal Cutting Circular Saw is available in Australia through Bunnings
Similar model saws are available from other manufacturers and retailers in
other parts of the world. A search for "metal cutting circular saw" on a
search engine will bring up some options for our USA/International