When used properly, V-blocks can maximize blade life, lessen cutting time, and improve chop saw capacity.
V-blocks can reduce the cross section being cut, therefore speeding overall cut time.
Let’s use a piece of 2” x 2” x ¼” tubing as an example. When set flat in the V-blocks, the blade has to first cut through the top 2” x ¼” cross section. It then needs to cut through the ¼” sides. Lastly, it must cut through the 2” x ¼” cross section on the bottom.
But if you take the same workpiece and turn it diagonally in the V-blocks (as shown in the photo), the blade has to tackle two equal ¼” cross sections throughout the entire cut.
When we put the theory to the test in our Cut Lab using a Metal Devil circular saw blade, the flat placement yielded a 14-second cut. The diagonal placement returned an 8-second cut; nearly halving the cutting time.
When used on round workpieces, V-blocks give you four points of contact, rather than two, to hold your piece steady. When cutting rounds without V-blocks, you are more prone to slippage, which can strip teeth off the blade.
When cutting plate, you can remove the back V-block and secure the plate at an angle between the vice and front V-block to maximize the capacity of material the saw can cut. An example is a 6” x ¼” plate. When laid flat, the blade must cut through the entire 6” cross section at once, fatiguing the blade faster and returning a longer cut time. When angled, the blade has a small cross section to cut through, leading to faster cut completion.
Want to see the V-blocks in action? Watch here!