I’ve been using dry-cut metal circular saws similar to the new Skilsaw Dry Cut Metal Saw (SPT62MTC-22) for several years. Primarily, I cut ten-gauge steel sheets and work with a few custom jigs I built for steel tubing. I use my horizontal bandsaw for the bulk of my 90º cuts. The bandsaw, however, is a slow cutting tool and it takes some time to get different angles properly setup. Consequently, I tend to break out my Ridgid abrasive metal chop saw quite often. I find it handy for cutting 45º angles or when I have a lot of cuts to make and I’m pressed for time.
Why You Might Want One
I’ve had the same abrasive chop saw for about 8 years. While faster than my bandsaw, it’s difficult to get consistently accurate cuts. I also find it nearly impossible to shave a piece down by a blade width. Additionally, the cutting capacity diminishes as the blade wears down. It also leaves the cut full of burrs. Those need to be cleaned up with a grinder before being laid out for welding.
Dry-cut chop saws, on the other hand, are as accurate as a standard miter saw. They cut to a mark and leave you with a clean edge. They also maintain nearly the same cutting capacity as the blade wears down.
I recently reviewed the Skilsaw Outlaw Worm Drive Metal Saw and was thoroughly impressed by the build quality and performance. During my research, I came across the Skilsaw Dry Cut Metal Saw. I knew I had to get my hands on it. I like the compactness of the 12-inch model for storage since I don’t always have it out on my workbench. 12-inch blades also cost $30 less than the 14-inch blades used on competing saws in this class.
Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22 First Impressions
I was definitely happy to see the Diablo Cerment blade. I’ve cut tons of material (literally) with the 8-inch version of this blade. In my Skilsaw Outlaw, it has proved the longest-lasting dry-cut blade I’ve ever used on metal.
The Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22 sits very sturdy and level on its five rubber feet. The fence/clamp system seems pretty stout compared to my abrasive saw. I also noticed you can adjust the fence angle conveniently without tools. Many other saws in this class require a separate tool to loosen and adjust the fence angle. That’s a nice feature.
We Like the Table Extensions
There are a couple more standout features on the Skilsaw Dry Cut Metal Saw, the first being a table extension. Metal chop saws all have a very narrow table and steel is pretty heavy, so without additional support, it can get difficult to hold your piece flat while you clamp it in.
Although this feature seems laughable when you go to make your first cut on a 24-foot stick of steel, it’s pretty handy when you’re working with a 5-foot or shorter piece and you have no additional support nearby.
The Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22 also has a couple of safety features that are subtle, but worth mentioning: a trigger lock and a chip shield. I love safety features that aren’t bulky and don’t slow you down during typical use. The trigger lock slides in both directions, so it’s easy to use with your right or left hand – nicely done!
Excellent Visibility & Chip Clearing
The chip shield is out of the way when you don’t need it, but comes down with the blade to shield your eyes from stray metal particles. Needless to say, you should still wear safety glasses anytime you use a chop saw.
A nice, deep chip collector is placed at the rear of the saw. Since dry saws don’t generate the heat that abrasives do, you won’t have to worry about slag collecting inside.
Skilsaw Dry Cut Saw Metal Saw is a Smooth Operator
The Skilsaw Dry Cut Metal Saw only weighs about 38 pounds. Compared with my Ridgid at nearly 70 poundswith its cast iron base, the Skilsaw is MUCH easier to get out of storage and setup on my welding table.
The soft-start motor and smooth blade guard actuation, paired with the hot-knife-through-butter Diablo blade, got me singing Sade all afternoon (smoo-oowoo-oowooth op-erat-aaahhh). The SPT62MTC-22 is actually so smooth that you have to be careful not to cut too quickly. If you go too fast, it’ll fling the cutoff piece of steel away from the saw and leave you with a small defect at the last corner. After a few cuts, I got the hang of the proper cutting speed and I was cutting accurate, clean edges much faster than I ever could with the abrasive saw.
Pro Tip: Even though the blade can cut faster, finish your cut smooth and slow to keep burring down to a minimum on dry cut saws.
Using the Fence and Clamp
The fence and clamp on the Skilsaw are also taller and much more sturdy than on my Ridgid. The angle adjustment indicator is easy to read and was accurate enough to get mating 45º cuts without using my machinist square to dial it in.
Another noticeable difference between the older Ridgid abrasive saw and the Skilsaw dry-cut, is the blade changeout. The blade shroud on the Ridgid is cumbersome and doesn’t lock out of the way when you’re loosening the arbor bolt, so you have to jam a big screwdriver into it to wedge it up while you change out the blade. The Skilsaw’s blade guard gets propped out of the way during blade changes via the forward cover plate screw.
Skilsaw Dry Cut Metal Saw Specifications
- Model: Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22
- Blade Diameter: 12”
- Motor: 15 amps
- No Load Speed: 1500 RPM
- Weight: 38.2 pounds
- Cord Length: 6 feet
- Maximum Cutting Capacity: 4-1/2”
- Maximum Wall Thickness: 1/4”
- Price: $399
The Bottom Line
The Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22 is a massive improvement to my metal-cutting setup, and I would definitely recommend considering the Skilsaw when you’re ready to make the change, either from an abrasive chop saw or from an entry-level dry-cut saw that isn’t holding up. The capacity that you surrender in going with the 12” blade over the 14” blade is more than compensated for by its lightweight (20-45% lighter than the competition), compact frame, and affordable blades.