3 Stars By R Jordan on 2016-12-27
Good with the proper blade, otherwise not worth keeping.
The saw is decent, and the arm slides smoothly.
The first thing I did was loosen the fence and adjust it. I do that with all my tools even the ones that are name brand and cost 3 times as much as this one. So that's not a negative as far as I'm concerned.
Keep in mind that it's not a Makita or Dewalt, so if you keep your expectations realistic, you'll be ok with it.
It cuts wood as good as my Makita miter saw. But that's not why I bought this. I bought it to cut steel.
My first reaction after the first cut is to package it and return it. The blade chatters a lot and leaves a rough cut and it's no where close to good enough. See photo.
I tried cutting just a little bit into square tubing to test it. The cut was twice as wide as the saw teeth thickness, I knew then that I cannot get an accurate cut with this.
The only reason I didn't return it right away is because I could use the sliding action when cutting wood, my other miter saw does not slide.
Then I decided to take a chance and order the evolution steel cutting blade to try instead of the multi-purpose blade that came with it.
The results were completely different. The chatter was minimal, if any, the cut was perfectly on the line and the edge was much smoother. The cuts were square, unlike the original blade.
With the proper blade, the saw went from destined to be returned to a keeper. I only wish the saw had 5/8" arbor instead of the 1" arbor. Which limits the choices of blades.
The "cup" on the clamp came off after 2 uses, I had to fix that.
Make sure you use at least safety goggles when using this saw, face cover is even better.
To help you see the difference, I'm posting photos of the cut differences between the Original Multi-Purpose Blade and the Evolution Steel Blade.
3 Stars By Tristan Lee on 2016-08-24
Setting up the saw was pretty straight-forward and the overall quality seems to be "okay"
Setting up the saw was pretty straight-forward and the overall quality seems to be "okay". The bevel indicator on the back of the unit is almost blocked by the saw itself so it is not easy to get an accurate reading of the angle of the bevel you set the saw to. Adjusting the miter takes effort especially if the saw is not fastened to a table. Unless I am missing an adjustment, I need to hold the edge of the base with my left hand while adjusting the miter with my right to keep the saw from sliding around on the table, and it still doesn't slide easily. My DeWalt miter saw can be adjusted with my thumb and index finger without wanting to slide as I adjust.
So far, I have only used this to cut steel (flat, angle, and square tube no thicker than 3/16"). The other issue I am having, which I have inquired to the company about, is that when doing a vertical cut, no matter how much (or how little) force I use as the blade cuts, there seems to be some deflection in the blade. It wants to jump to the left and it causes cuts to not be completely straight, excessively loud during deflection, and an ugly finish which needs cleaned up with a flap wheel. I do not have this issue with my Harbor Freight abrasive chop saw so I am not sure if the included blade is just a lower quality. The miter and bevel cuts are nice, but until I figure out the issue with the blade, I will stick to my cheap chop saw for vertical cuts.
3 Stars By User on 2015-04-25
Jack of all trades, master of none
My star rating is based on the saw only but I will also cover how the Evolution company and BTA-MALL have failed this product.
The saw does cut just about anything you want it to, wood, metal, plastics. When cutting wood, you have to go slowly or you will produce a lot of tear out on the back side. When cutting steel, you have to cut real slowly and even then the blade will often deflect, leaving a jagged cut that often requires dressing. While cutting plastic, the saw will produce a nice cut but then start to deflect when you get to the backside of the cut leaving a 1-2mm deviation between the start and end of the cut when cutting schedule 40 ABS 1" pipe.
The key to the saw is its slow turning motor and the blade design, this is what allows the range of cutting materials. The problem is, when trying to make a product that can do everything, Evolution made a saw that can't do any one thing particularly well.
The standard blade can cut like I said but is does not last long on steel. My first blade lasted approximately 40 cuts on 1.5" square tubing which was slightly over 1/16 walled. These same cuts would have taken one much cheaper disc on a metal chop saw. The arbor size on the Evolution blade does leave you stuck buying their blades which is a cheep trick on their part.
The saw is on par with or just slightly better than Harbor Freight quality. It is British engineered but made in China.
This isn't my first rodeo and I have owned, setup and ran several saws before. In my experience, every saw requires dialing in out of the box. I don't agree with people who complain about the saw not being 100% true out of the box (that's the owners responsibility). Everyone who owns a miter or table saw should also own a square to true the blade.
All in all, the saw is just barely okay. There is no way that this is an industrial or commercial heavy duty saw like Evolution tries marketing it. This saw should be only for the maybe once or twice a month home user that has limited work space and is on a budget.
That's it for the saw, now onto the shipping problems.
I had to order this saw 3 times and finally settled with what I received the third time.
The first time I ordered the saw, the box arrived cut open and re-taped on the edges. This did not give me high hopes and when I opened the box, I discovered that everything was just tossed inside in no form of order and the blade was missing. BTA-MALL gladly took the saw back and ordered me a second one. That cost me the time of having no saw and having to drop it off at the UPS store.
The second saw arrived a couple of days later and it too had been cut open and re-taped on the edges. At least this time everything was in the box but there was a big dirty glove print on the handle and the blade had been used (I am guessing someone bought it, used it for a job and returned it to get their money back). So amazon takes this saw back and orders me a third one. I am left with still no saw and having to drop off this one at the UPS store.
Finally the third saw arrives and it has also been cut open and re taped on the edges. Before even opening the box I called amazon and ask if they have been opening and inspecting these and they said that how I receive it is how they receive it. I then place a call to Evolution and they say that the box should come once taped and that it should never be opened once it leaved the factory. There is a problem here and it is making the product look bad.
I finally opened the box which had everything in it but in no order, just all crammed into the box. The saw did not appeared to be used so I finally settled on that one.
In summary 3 stars for the saw because it does work just not very well and negative a lot of stars for shipping, packing and quality control.
4 Stars By Colby Villers on 1969-12-31
Great saw for the money
For starters its a miter saw that can cut metal. I had a hitachi that i tried to cut metal with and literally caught the saw on fire. this thing cuts through wood like butter but i bought it mostly to cut metal at angles. Being able to cut everything with one blade is awesome but i do have the blade designed to cut metal on the way. The base feels a little on the cheap side but the saw itself feels pretty good quality and has no issue cutting through anything i have thrown at it. also i dont know if people just havent looked but the silver piece that sits on your arbor flips over and can fit a 5/8 arbor blade so really finding blades wont be as big of issue as people say it will.
3 Stars By Rene N. on 2017-06-23
Small Design Flaws But Good Value
There are numerous video and site reviews that offer an extensive look at this product. However, there are a few things that I wanted to point out that a lot of these sites seem to gloss over or not mention.
1. The laser was difficult to calibrate and I would not rely on it for any type of accuracy +/- 1/16".
2. The laser lens was too scratched to be useless after 2 cuts of 1/8" thick 2" x 3" square steel tubing. Not that I relied on it to begin with, but something that should be noted.
3. The included blade works without any problems for wood, plastic, aluminum, but made for a concave cut (not square) on the steel square tubing I mentioned above. I ordered the steel specific blade, and it improved the cut slightly, but it was still not 100% square--better than what you would get on a small 4"-6" capacity bandsaw--this applies to steel only in my experience, it seems that no matter how slow I feed (30 seconds for the square tubing I mentioned above), still came out with a non-square cut. It seems that there is just enough resistance on the blade to deflect it mid cut, as this is not an issue at all with the wood or aluminum extrusions I have cut with the same saw.
4. The side "extensions" to "support" the stock to be cut are lower than the deck of the saw, which makes it fairly useless. Why include this with the product if it is not going to be of any help?
Overall, even as a general wood miter saw, with the ability to cut other material, you really cannot beat this saw for the price. Generally, for the price that this is offered for, you are just getting a miter saw that is good for wood only, so it is still quite a value. It is not a cabinet maker's saw, so adjust your expectations accordingly. The replacement blades are a bit pricey, but only when compared to standard wood blades, so take that info and make up your mind accordingly.
4 Stars By TheHiggs on 2017-05-25
Great saw but odd arbor size
I needed a small saw to do 90s and 45s for my smaller steel stock (2 inches and below), I have a plasma cutter for bigger stuff. First off its only ~$120 so you can’t beat the price and even with the general purpose blade it cut 1x1x16GA square tube (at 45) like a hot knife through butter. I also did 1x1x11GA nice and slow, with minimal sparks. I did also buy the stainless steel, 48 tooth blade and noticed it did cut just a little bit cleaner. I'm expecting that the official steel blade would out last the general purpose blade due to the number of teeth etc. In either case I could probably take that cut steel and jump right to welding w/o any sanding prep. The weight and size are perfect for small home shops like mine. There were some minor issues with the saw, I hate the stupid locking chain, they have me one ear plug (really minor but wtf), and the rubber foot for the clamp was a pain to put in (why did I have to do it)?
The only real issues I have are:
#1 This is saw has a 20MM (METRIC) ARBOR. I read some of the comments and they lead you to believe you can run this saw with 5/8s blades w/o a bushing, NOT TRUE! You need to get the ‘Evolution CSBUSH20M5/8 bushing’. BTA-MALL sells it and it’s cheap. You cannot find 7 ¼ inch 20MM arbor blades in stock at Home Depot or Lowes, you have to order them. So you may want the bushing in case of an emergency. I don’t see this as a huge deal, just something I wish was called out.
#2 I found that the clamp system alters the angle you set for making 45s etc. I've seen mush more expensive saws with the same design so its not just this saw. I'm doing my stuff with clamps now.
#3 The hash marks for 45 are off by a couple of degrees. I made my own new hash marks (hey its ~$120)
I’m very happy with the saw so far.
The cut steel pics are 1x1x16GA from the official steel blade the general purpose blade cut very similar to so I didn't post the pic.
I put a blue 5/8s arbor blade on the stem so you can see the fitting problem. I have not ordered the bushing yet so I can't say how well that works.
Btw it does have a small dust port you can install and it comes with eye protection and spare motor brushes.
4 Stars By Lutorm on 2015-11-09
I've cut a ton of aluminum with this and it cuts quickly and, with a bit of practice, very cleanly. If you true the blade up you can get perfectly orthogonal cuts, but then you still have the opportunity to make all kinds of angles when the need arises. You do have to get a feel for how hard to push the blade, if you push too hard, the blade will vibrate and "sing" and widen the cut significantly. I also did cut some steel and that quickly wore out the "all purpose" blade. Once you get a bunch of chipped teeth it's all downhill. I have a steel cutting blade that I haven't tried yet, hopefully that will perform better.
There are a couple of annoyances. One is that you can't use the work holding clamp on the right side, it interferes with the motor. The clamps are also kind of small and far away from the blade, so you can't cut things that are smaller than a couple of inches without making some clamping device. I have a pile of aluminum angles and rectangular tubes by the saw so I can leverage them in the clamps to hold pieces better.
The material end stops are quite flimsy, they're plastic with set screws threaded into the plastic. If you don't overtighten them and are reasonably careful when mounting the material they work fine, though.
All in all, it's been hugely useful for what I paid for it.
4 Stars By Michael on 2017-01-01
Great saw for Metal cutting, and no other saw like it-
I have worked in rapid prototyping, heavy manufacturing, am a metal hobbyist, and I think this is one of the best bargain tools that you can buy. The gear reduction that this saw runs at is properly setup to power its way thru steel or aluminum without burning thru blades like crazy. The RPM is spot on. If you fixture the work piece right and have patience with cutting you can go a long way with a blade and even though it says 1/4" max thickness I have done 3/8" web on an I-beam without a problem, and I would do thicker as well if I needed to.
The one that I purchased I believe is the previous gen. since the motor comes out of the right side of the blade rather then over the top, however I have a hard time believing that they are dramatically different, and if the keep the gear reduction the same, and the construction of the base some what similar it is a welcomed change for me since this is more or less the reason behind my review. (see below)
For starters, this saw with either the Rage 'steel' blade or the Oshlun steel blade can make easy work or mild or even medium strength steel. Since I have owned the saw I have made ~2000 cuts in mild steel, and ~400 cuts in 4130 chromoly and I have very little to complain about in terms of the quality, repeatability, and speed of cut. I have also done a lot of aluminum cutting on the only the Rage 'Aluminum' blade, and still have no reason to replace it (~900 cuts)
There is very little heat affected zone (HAZ) in the workpiece and the majority goes into the chip (as it should), and cut surface is consistent even when the blades start to go. For me, when the blades go I start to get a lot of sparks and it takes a lot of pressure to get the blade to feed. the friction does affect the HAZ, but it is to be expected. Blade wear is also more of a cliff for me rather then a consistent drop in performance.
Repeatability might be something a lot of people would question, but for the price I am not expecting the numbers on the tool to be my guide for accuracy. I instead rely on digital protractors, squares, and tape measures for my sizing and squareness, and have always used welding clamps or C-Clamps for fixturing. I have those available to me, and if your doing any kind of metal working you should as well. If you plan on relying on the clamps and guides that come with the saw then you will be disappointed.
The speed that I cut at is very much by feel and chip size, but I would say that every piece that I have cut that is steel, aluminum, or stainless I cut at the half the speed that I would a similar sized piece of crown molding, Still way, WAY, faster then any band saw or abrasive blade.
Complaints, and reason for star deduction:
Quality could be better- Laser is for rough cuts, base and walls are not really heavy duty, and now after all the cutting I have done the motor brush caps are starting to pop out, and I am relying on custom fabricated clamp to hold them in place. This is a failure, but this saw has easily paid for itself in just saved cut time so I have very little that I can ask for out of it. I also think that the failure was a result of both heat and vibration. I really did not have the saw itself fixtured, and this might not of happened if I had.
1" arbor is kind of a pain for wood cutting. If I was Evolution I would toy with the idea of being able to change this on the saw. Keep it 1" for metal cutting and 5/8" for wood.
Tips that have improved my cutting:
Always fixture the workpiece, and never cut thru a piece of metal and lift up with the blade spinning. It takes a bit longer per cut cycle, but I was losing teeth on blades like crazy when I cut and lift.
Clear debris and chips after every cut, These too were causing excessive blade wear, and would occasionally rip hunks out of my aluminum.
No cutting oils needed nor would I recommend. It did help with aluminum bar in terms of keeping it from clogging the teeth, but the better way to cut I found was to just take my time and cut with consistent pressure.
Don't slide cut unless you have to. It is difficult to control the feed, and the saw just wants to bounce.
Wear glasses, gloves, and sleeves- The chips are painful, and the scatter on everything almost as bad as saw dust. The are a pain in the _ _ _...
Oshlun blades have yielded 15% more cuts so far, however I would buy whatever fits that price difference . The evolution and oshlun are both decent blades for metal cutting applications, and I would buy whatever is the better deal.
4 Stars By PhoQis on 2017-04-06
Great saw, but one small issue.
Best Saw for the price, but 1 small issue. So the saw comes disassembled but very neatly packed in its box. Not a real issue what so ever given the fact a very detailed photo manual is provided also if you rather see a video on setup, there are tons of videos on YouTube to aid you with the process. First thing I noticed was how light the parts are. Even the base was extreamly light. Setup took about 15 mins.
My only issue was the fact one of the wing screws for the material stop was missing. Cutting was smooth and fairly accurate right out the box. I will be using a square to true up the blade at 90 degrees from the base and fence. Also, You may need to realign the laser guide if like me you are looking for precision cuts from this feature. All in all this is definitely a 5 star product but I had to knock a star off for the missing screw.
3 Stars By Mark's reviews on 2017-07-09
Reasonably priced, works as advertised - does have some drawbacks
I purchased this saw to cut steel, that's pretty much it.
Does it work? yes.
Does it cut steel? yes
Does it make a clean cut? with the included blade? Depends. Thickness of metal makes that determination. The thicker the better outcome. Does it cut aluminum? I don't know - Haven't tried yet.
Is it easy to use? on thin material, not really. Thicker? yes.
Is it my first go to tool for cutting metal? Nope! I' will pull out my heavy and akward porta-bandsaw; and wrestle with it before I pull out the Rage-B. The Rage-B comes out when I need to cut something that I can't cut with the Porta saw.
Any complaints? some soft of chip management that works would be nice. Like other inexpensive 7 1/4 circular saw cutting wood; The saw dust goes everywhere. Unlike cutting wood, the metal chips are extremely hot and do burn when landing on bare skin as well as a hole in my T-shirt.
Note to self, I should've worn my welding jacket and gloves. EYE AND FACE PROTECTION ARE A MUST with this tool. Safety squinting won't cut it.
Would I buy it again knowing what I know now? Yes with a caveat . The caveat being budgetary constants.