I am looking for a mid priced chop saw. I know there are 2 types...dry cut (no sparks) and abrasive (sparks). Anyone have any suggestions...brands? Only hobby use not any production.
For just hobby use I would recommend a Makita abrasive saw.The dry blades are nice but expensive. I first bought a Harbor Freight chop saw and was not happy due to lack of power even cutting 1/8" flat bar standing on edge. I've had the Makita 3 yrs and am totally satisfied with it.As with any power tool, you usually get what you pay for. A friend has a Makita like the one I bought. It's 8 yrs old and is used in a production shop and still works as well as mine.
My $.02 worth,
Call your local tool supply store get a 6" Metabo Cut Off Grinder and about a dozen of the metabo cut off blades (blades are about 1/16" thick cuts any metal like a hot knife thru butter) you will never use anything else after using one. They are built with a clutch so if the blade hangs it does not burn the tool up they look just like a regular six inch grinder and will accept regular grinding disc, great tool, we use them everyday in the sheetmetal trade.
Hmmm. I recently got a HF chop saw... still in the box, waiting for me to clear more junk out of my shop so I can set it up. I couldn't resist the price: normally $99, reduced to $50, with the same HP rating as their other models. I guess we'll see if the thing has the oomph to cut through stuff thicker than sheet metal - although that is my intended application (cutting through stuff like conduit/pipe/gutters). For heavier stuff I'd probably want to use a band saw or cold saw, anyway.