A reader wrote in yesterday asking about Evolution Tools. There were two Evolution circular saws on sale at Woot’s Tools section, and the reader asked for our general thoughts about the company.
Woot has two Evolution circular saws on special – one is a 9″ which is actually pretty appealing from a cut perspective.
What are your thoughts on this brand? (whose brand is it?) what are your thoughts or potential pitfalls for a 9″ circular saw (blade availability?) – Mike
Evolution is not a very well known company, so here are a few of my general thoughts about the brand. Keep in mind that my opinion is not as well developed as with Bosch or other brands that I have much more experience with.
Evolution Tools is an independent company that makes specialty circular saws and metal-cutting chop saws that seem to be designed around their multi-material-cutting blades. These saw blades are designed for cutting steel, aluminum, plastic, and wood materials. Need to cut through a wood board what is full of nails? That’s the kind of application these saws and saw blades excel at.
One of the main selling points of Evolution blades and saws is that they cut dry without abrasives. You can cut steel without abrasive debris or sparks flying everywhere.
I own an Evolution Rage 7-1/4″ chop saw and have used it lightly for a couple of years now. I originally purchased it for cutting through aluminum profiles in cases where a 10″ miter saw with non-ferrous blade would have been too bulky or inconvenient to set up.
The machine quality is reasonably good, but nothing to write songs about. Based on my experiences with the saw, I would purchase it again.
What I Wouldn’t Buy
I don’t think I would trust Evolution’s miter saws. A chop saw is hard to get wrong, but a miter saw can be hard to get right. I see Evolution as more of a blade manufacturer that builds basic tools to fit their blades. Maybe this is an unfair way of looking at it, but not much can be done about that.
Amazon user reviews for the Rage 10″ miter saw have also soured my feelings towards Rage’s miter saws. Besides, one could always add a non-ferrous blade to a 10″ saw for cutting aluminum or plastic, and there are plenty of affordable dry-cutting and abrasive chop saws in the 8″ to 14″ range.
Just going by product images, I would think that Evolution’s circular saw blades are reasonably well designed and presumably well built. The large knobs and thick shoes are typically the first things I look at on a circular saw.
9″ Multi-Material Saw?
The Rage230 has a 9″ multi-material cutting blade that can make vertical cuts of up to 3-1/4″ deep. This seems impressive, and huge cut capacity is the only reason I would consider this 9″ circular saw.
The downside is that 9″ blades are hard to find. There are a couple of 9″ saw blades available via Amazon, but I have a feeling these blades are designed for older 9″ table saws and possibly underpowered 10″ saws. So if you buy the Rage230, you’re limited to only using Evolution’s 9″ multi-material blade for general construction materials, or their 9″ diamond blade for masonry materials.
3rd party blades might fit, but one would have to be careful to match the arbor size and maximum speed.
If I needed a multi-material or light metal-cutting circular saw with large cut capacity, the Rage230 might be at the top of my list, but only if the limited replacement blade selection wasn’t too much of a potential issue.
MK Morse would probably be one of my top choices for multi-material or metal-cutting hand held saws. Makita would also be at the top of my list, but don’t ask me why. I can’t explain it, but Makita is the brand that sticks out in my mind as a top choice for metal-cutting saws.
Do you have any questions, experience or feedback about the brand, or additional points to comment on? Please share!