How many times have you wished for a full size chop saw for lead, zinc and metal came? One that didn't look like a honey I shrunk the miter saw victim of home studio ergonomics? Well, check out Gryphon's Miter saw. It measures a substantial 15 1/4 " wide, 13 1/2" deep and 9" high. Its 5 1/2" abrasive wheel spins at a healthy 7000 rpm, and it handles like a glass shop version of the chop/miter saws used for woodworking. We found tons of use for this puppy as soon as we unpacked it. Not only is the Gryphon an up/down chop saw, but its incremental and fixable blade adjustments make it an excellent miter saw for cutting angled edges in lead, zinc, brass and copper channeling. Additionally, it features an adjustable stop gauge for securing your material against the straight back edge of the chop surface.
The Gryphon Miter base, blade housing and engine cover are made of sturdy industrial plastic. A swing-back style clear cover makes access to the abrasive blade a cinch, and the 5 1/2" diameter blade itself, made of abrasive rather than metal, can be changed easily. Unlike its toothed, metal competitors, the abrasive blade cuts through metals smoothly, does not rip into materials and does not create the buildup of residual metal so common in other saws.
The saw's power switch is located on the engine cover, facing the user. Turning the saw on and lowering it into the metal is done in a simple one handed movement. As you let up on the saw after your cut, you can just as easily let up on the power switch, turning the saw off.
Gryphon's Miter weighs in at approximately eleven pounds, giving it much more stability than any smaller, similar tool and keeping it better in place during use. Although it does not have any accommodations to permanently fasten it to your work table or bench, stops can easily be built around the saw to keep it from traveling when on. It rests on four, soft rubber feet.
How fast does it cut? Pretty fast, and clean. But like any saw, cutting speed varies with the consistency of the metal being cut. The Gryphon sails through lead came but takes a bit more time to make a smooth cut through harder metals. It is also a good idea to gradually send the blade through harder metals than to ram it down into the material for the sake of speed. The kerf (space removed by the thickness of the blade) is approximately 1/16". We recommend you first try the saw on a sample of the metal you intend to cut to gauge the kerf for yourself.
If you have an opportunity to try the Gryphon Miter at your glass supplier's, don't pass it up. It's a versatile, well made machine and once you use it, you'll wonder how you got along without it. Check it out!
Gryphon Abrasive Miter Saw Road Test
Reprinted with permission from:
Gryphon Miter Saw
by Joe Porcelli