If you are a woodworker professionally or passionately, you are not a stranger to what a miter saw is. It is a standard wood cutting tool almost everyone has. That said, alongside wood, there are times you require to use other materials. Not having the right tool to cut those materials can be a pain.
In this case, many users have had a very common inquiry on can you cut aluminum with a miter saw?
Cutting aluminum with a miter saw is possible but a bit risky because cutting hard metal isn’t a primary function of the miter saw. However, you can do it with proper safety and knowledge of the process. To know more about it, let’s move on with the article.
What Type Of Blade Do You Need To Cut Aluminum?
As aluminum is a material harder than wood, it is necessary to choose the proper blade. All blades may not be helpful and may cause accidents. Here are some blades I recommend using to cut aluminum, doesn’t matter whether it is aluminum gutters or anything else:
- Circular Blade: These are the best blades to use if you plan to cut aluminum in tilted angles to get different shapes.
- Razor Blade: This blade should be your go-to if you are looking for precise cuts.
- Coarse and Very Coarse Cut Blades: Best for getting that fine finishing on your cuts.
- Sharp Cut Blades: I recommend using this blade if you need accurate and perfect cut pieces of metal.
How to Cut Aluminum with Miter Saw:
Cutting aluminum is a hard job for freshers. And doing it with a miter saw requires special attention to detail and knowledge of the process.
So far in the article, you should have gotten an idea on which miter saw to use and which blade is good for what.
Now, to answer your question, “can I cut aluminum with a miter saw?” Yes, you can, and here is a step-by-step guide you must follow to do so:
Step-1: Choose the Right Blade
Choose the type of blade you need for your task. Once you have done that, make sure the chosen blade has proper tooth count.
It is also essential to see how thick your piece of aluminum is. For example, an H.S.S. blade is suitable for cutting thin aluminum.
Step-2: Attach the Blade
Remove the blade that is already mounted to your miter saw and attach the one you will use now.
Ensure to check if it is properly attached or not, as it is essential to ensure there is no scope for accidents.
Step-3: Clamp the Metal
It is essential to properly clamp the piece of aluminum you are cutting, as the poorly clamped piece may move midst cutting, causing an accident or ruining the cut.
Also, make sure the aluminum bar is tightly attached to the clamps.
Step-4: Wear Your Safety Gear
No matter how professional you are at your task, ensuring you are safe first is crucial. Using proper safety gear like glasses and gloves does not make one an amateur!
So don’t forget to wear your safety gear properly to avoid any sort of hazard that may occur.
Step-5: Cutting the Aluminum Bar Right Away
Once everything is done and in place, it’s time to start the actual task.
First, mark the part you want to cut using a marker. Then align your blade according to the marked area.
I recommend keeping one hand on the piece of aluminum, and the other one on the miter saw. Then gently lower the tool’s handle until it starts touching the aluminum bar. Continue till you achieve the required cut.
Be sure to use enough lubricant to make the work easier. Moreover, if the piece is too big, I suggest cutting it into smaller pieces before giving it the desired shape or size. This way, it will make your work as easy as 1-2-3!
Note: Watch this video to get practical ideas on cutting aluminum with a miter saw.
Essential Aluminum Cutting Tips to Follow:
Here are some tips I feel like everyone should know while or before cutting aluminum:
This can be a dangerous thing and does cause a lot of injuries. When you are cutting a piece of aluminum, the cut-off piece may fly towards your face due to high momentum. This causes severe injuries.
So it is recommended alongside safety goggles, you can wear a full face mask or a shield that will protect your face and neck.
Moreover, another clever and vital tip is putting wood on the cut-off piece of aluminum. Thus, it won’t come flying towards you.
Using Cutting Oil
The danger of the saw catching onto the material and causing splinter is always there. Anyone nearby may get hit by chipped-off aluminum or shrapnels from the blade at high speed during such an occurrence.
So I recommend using low viscosity cutting oil to ensure the blade does not get loaded with debris or aluminum. You may also use kerosene and paint thinner if cutting oil is unavailable.
Doing this not only decreases the chances of splinters but also keeps your blade and piece of aluminum from overheating issues.
Make Sure To Use a Fine Blade
It is beneficial to use a fine blade with many teeth to cut aluminum. This way, you will have precise cuts and not damage the material.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.'s):
Is It Safe to Cut Aluminum with A Miter Saw?
With proper knowledge, expertise, and the use of safety gear, it can be pretty safe to cut aluminum with a miter saw. However, if you are new to it and do not know what you are doing, it is not recommended to do so.
What Saw To Use To Cut Aluminum?
I recommend using either a 7 ¼ or a 10-inch miter saw to cut aluminum. However, if you are confused about which one to choose, know the differences between 7 ¼ Vs. 10-inch miter saws are crucial.
Can You Cut Aluminum Siding With A Miter Saw?
Yes, you can; a miter saw can be an excellent tool to cut aluminum siding. Start cutting along the contours, and make sure you use the panel to avoid snags. Also, work slowly to get an even cut out.
What Kind Of Saw Blade Do You Use To Cut Aluminum?
As I have mentioned above, there are four recommended saw blades to use when cutting aluminum. They are circular blade, razor blade, coarse and very coarse cut blade, and lastly, sharp cut blade.
Wrapping Things Up!
I hope you have got the answer regarding can you cut aluminum with a miter saw. Other than yes or not, it comes down to whether you know the proper technique and measures or not.
With proper knowledge and guidance on the process, a miter saw is a great tool to get a precise cut on aluminum. Just make sure to take all the required steps and equipment, alongside taking proper safety measures.