How To Turn A Chainsaw Into A Chopsaw

If you’re doing a lot of metal working, a chop saw is a great tool to have. It’s an easy and quick way to do a lot of neat, clean accurate cuts. [Making Stuff] wanted to do just that, but didn’t have a chop saw lying around. Instead, an old Stihl chainsaw was placed on the bench, and hacking ensued (Youtube link, embedded below).

To achieve this, it was necessary to source some parts and make some modifications to the chainsaw. The clutch bell was removed, and modified to mount a roller chain sprocket. An arm was then built, which mounted a pair of journal bearings at the far end. Another sprocket was installed at this end, along with a shaft which mounts the cutting wheel. Finally, a guard was fitted over the cutting wheel to give the build a semblance of safety.

[Making Stuff] notes that the chainsaw can readily be converted back to its standard purpose, needing only to refit the original parts and replace the modified clutch bell with a stock one. It’s a great way to get two tools out of one, and we’re sure it will prove useful in future projects.

If you’ve got a taste for wacky chop saws, check out this hard drive build. Video after the break.


13 thoughts on “How To Turn A Chainsaw Into A Chopsaw

  1. WOW, that looks like it was a shitload of work to make, but it is an interesting idea. I wonder if people would be interested in purchasing it as a kit? (Made in China of course.)

      1. Cheapness, unless you think they could make it cheaper in Bangladesh or Vietnam? Of course I would prefer it to be made in North America or Europe but it would cost more.

      1. Converting an electric one sound like a good idea until you are on the jobsite and see how and where these chop saws or sometimes affectionately called “gas axe(s)” are used. Cutting rebar, asphalt, concrete and often the asphalt and concrete cuts being cooled with water that helps control the dust. Usually far away from a power point or a generator. God forbid a remote site. Doesn’t help that a lot of the battery ones like the dewalt have been disappointing except for homeowner light duty work. Pruning and felling.

  2. Yea, you can only get a new metal chopsaw at HF for $79, not counting a 20% or 25% off coupon. If you have the pieces kicking around it might be another story.

  3. At the end of the video the guy is using the “chop saw” to cut tubular steel…..seems like a lot of work when he had a bandsaw that could make more accurate cuts.

    Now, for freeform rough cuts — it could be useful — but I wouldn’t want to have to continually switch in/out the parts to turn it into a chopsaw and back into a chainsaw. (Might be easier to use the chainsaw as is, with a chain modification to do both jobs simultaneously).

  4. I’ve spent a few hrs on a consaw. I’m guessing that a chain drive would probably stutter a lot and chew up disks. 1/2″ rebar is jumpy stuff to cut anyway. Personally I would drag in a genny and use a 9″ grinder if I had a lot of steel to cut. The great utility of engine powered circular saws is the capability of cutting concrete or stone with the appropriate disk or blade. Commercial consaws have a v belt. Which will slip a bit if binding occurs. And it will on deep cuts. I reckon a chain drive on hard stone would be somewhere between frustrating and a nightmare.
    That said an interesting project. Stout construction, I wonder what the balance is like. I could really see something like this as a rough polisher or abrasive shaper.

    1. Don’t worry about the lack of vee belt for slippage, chainsaw clutches slip a fair bit.
      I rather fancy the whole thing is a waste of time because a chainsaw is not up to cutting with something of such a large diameter at what looks like a 1:1 ratio.

  5. I know crapola about most labor industries.. I knew they didn’t know power saws existed the second I seen the picture.. They’ve been around at least a quarter of a century

  6. Well, now I know what im doing with that old McCulloch 1635 I have.. And if that doesn’t work, Ill give it a bit of tannerite, and a 5.56… Send ‘er into orbit… Tally ho, Gents..๐Ÿป๐Ÿป๐Ÿป

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