What’s not to love about metal cut off machines? They’re like miter saws for metal and they make sparks! I realize that might not be the most professional viewpoint around, but sparks make most warm blooded males excited. So we’re warming up for a series of metal cut off saws in preparation for a super-secret project we have going on at the shop right now. We’ll be looking at a few different blade options, too. We’ve decided to start with a look at the Ridgid 14-inch Abrasive Cut Off Machine.
For the most part, metal cut off saws aren’t the sexiest tools in the shop and the feature set is pretty limited. After all, it’s got one of the toughest jobs to do and you don’t need a tool that’s worried about chipping its nails when doing it. Ridgid built their saw around a 15 amp motor, which should be what you’re looking for in this class of tool. We’ll see how it feels when we get down to cutting some steel in a couple weeks.
Ridgid 14-inch Abrasive Cut Off Machine Features
The machine sits on a steel base which moves away from the last generation’s bench top shop role and shifts toward the contractor. On one hand, you need a bench top tool like this to sit tight when cutting. At the same time, Ridgid wanted this model to be mobile, so they dropped more than half the weight from their previous model that had a cast iron base. We’ll be sure to see if the weight loss has any detrimental effect on stability, but my guess is that it will be negligible at first glance. Solid rubber feet on the base absorb vibration and should keep the machine from walking on us. A carry handle makes transportation easier.
The included fence allows for 45 degree miter cuts both left and right. You can make those adjustments tool free. We’ll be sure and look specifically at how easily those adjustments are made, how accurate are cuts are, and how secure the fence is. To hold material securely, you have a vise clamp equipped with a quick release lever.
There’s a solid blade guard in place that will help protect against any accidental brushes with the blade. It should keep most of the sparks from landing on us during use. Ridgid added on an oversize spark deflector to direct the sparks downward. The wheel locks in place for transportation with a chain. I like the simplicity here – if the chain breaks, I can just buy a new length.
Ridgid 14-inch Abrasive Cut Off Machine Specifications
- Model: Ridgid R4142
- Motor: 15 amp
- No Load Speed: 3900 RPM
- Wheel Diameter: 14″
- Arbor: 1″
- Miter Range: 45 degrees left and right
- Steed Stud Cut Capacity: Full Bundle
- Pipe Cut Capacity: 5″ (outside diameter)
- Bar Stock Cut Capacity: 2″
- Price: $179
- Warranty: Lifetime Service Agreement
Clint DeBoer and Tim Johnson made a few cuts on some steel stock to “make sure the saw was in good condition.” I may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but I’m pretty sure they really just wanted to make some sparks…especially since they then went on to cut some tool steel (just because they could). Regardless, the first impressions are good with straight cuts and a chip deflector that seems to be very effective.
Overall, the Ridgid 14-inch Abrasive Cut Off Machine is simple, but well built. We have some performance considerations to look at and we’ll get back to once we’ve had a chance to put blade to steel for a while. We’re going to look at what this can do with the stock abrasive blade in place, but we’ve also got blades from Milwaukee and Diablo in house to see what the performance will be like with an upgrade.