Whatever project is in your hand, you must use the right tools designed particularly for your project material. For example, aluminum is stronger and more rigid than wood, and you may feel confused about using a miter saw to cut it. However, the task would seem easy if you applied proper measures and followed the steps correctly. Can you cut aluminum with a miter saw-this article will explain the question in the best possible way so that you will be able to utilize the material?
How is a Miter Saw Cut Aluminum?
A miter saw is an excellent option for chopping aluminum extrusions. This is one of the most effective tools for cutting aluminum as its design allows it to perform accurate cuts with the machine’s rotating blade. Many woodworkers or DIY enthusiasts like to use a miter saw for their projects because this equipment allows the user to cut aluminum correctly while remaining safe and secure.
You might not face a hard time while trying to cut aluminum because this material has high machinability and is easy to cut. However, you must ensure some specific considerations, like knowing the project’s requirements, measurements, and the metal volume. In addition, it is imperative to use a wood blade with many teeth on a miter saw to cut through aluminum.
Wood blades are typically very strong and can easily cut through non-ferrous materials. If you choose to use a wood blade, always consider looking for the number of teeth the blade has. The number of teeth of a wood blade is an essential factor. The more teeth a blade has, the better it is to cut through a material.
Different Types of Miter Saw to Cut Aluminum
There are many types of miter saws available on the market. First, you Should choose the best-fit miter saw for your project. All the varieties are suitable for cutting aluminum, but the experts suggest using the most effective 12 inches sliding compound miter saw for the best outcome. This variety helps woodworkers, homeowners, contractors, or DIY enthusiasts with their aluminum-cutting projects at the maximum level. In addition, it helps to cut the material from different angles. Now, look at some of the popular miter saw types as follows:
The circular blade type is the best pick for you if you are looking for a miter saw that can work with tilting angles while cutting aluminum. You can use this blade to cut aluminum into your desired shapes.
When creating a perfect size aluminum piece is your prime target, a sharp-cut blade is your best option. This will provide you with sharp cuts of aluminum.
Razor blades are used for getting high-precision cuts of aluminum.
Coarse Cut Blades
Coarse-cut blades provide an excellent finishing since it has an abrasive cutting ability.
Proper Cutting Angles of A Miter Saw for Cutting Aluminum
Knowing the right cutting angles for a miter saw for cutting aluminum is imperative. Most experts suggest clamping for mitered, compound, and beveled angle cuts. The aluminum pushes or pulls depending on the cutting angles. You may ask why clamping is needed. Clamping helps prevent severe injury by resulting in cleaner and straighter cuts.
For small items, you don’t need to cut angles down like an inverted V, as there is a possibility that the cut angles will be crooked. On the contrary, while working with more oversized aluminum, cutting a 3″ angle with a 7-¼” blade will be a great way to get the reach.
How to Cut Aluminum Using a Miter Saw
Step 1: Choosing a Fine Blade
It doesn’t matter which type of miter saw you choose to use, and you must consider the correct tooth count. Besides, measure the thickness of your aluminum project. If your aluminum is fragile, use a 200-toothed HSS blade. The blades can work well when they are made of high-quality carbide.
Step 2: Mounting the Blade
Open a blade guard, remove the old one and replace the new blade in the second step.
Step 3: Clamping Your Aluminum
The aluminum may move too much while cutting. Therefore, you should clamp it, prevent the blade from grabbing your aluminum piece, and protect it from damage. Use clamps correctly and wear safety goggles before cutting aluminum.
Step 4: Applying Lubricant on the Blade
Applying lubricant or oil makes the cutting process easier and faster. It will also reduce the risk of splintering and protect the material from overheating. So, use oil on the blade before you begin cutting.
Step 5: Cutting the Aluminum
Lastly, you have to align the aluminum workpiece, and the miter saw blade with your intended cut. Before that, create measurement marks. Then, keep one hand on the aluminum and use the other hand to lower the miter saw handle until you cut the material successfully.
Some Helpful Tips to Cut Aluminum
Wear safety goggles and a protective outfit before working with a blade. PPE can save you when you are close to the miter saw or cutting machine. The jewelry should be removed, or it might catch on the marching and cause an accident. Make sure the PPE or clothing you wear is tight enough that it might catch on to the rotating machine you are working with for cutting aluminum.
Secure the Cutting Material
You must maintain adequate precautions to avoid any mess while cutting aluminum. Therefore, secure the material properly. In addition, you should remember that aluminum might cling to the blade or miter saw and cause dangerous issues. So, to avoid hazardous incidents, use multiple clamps to keep aluminum securely in the right place.
Protecting Face from Cut-off Pieces
While cutting aluminum, the cut-off pieces may fly toward your face, which will assuredly cause severe injury. So, wear a safety mask, clothing, and goggles to protect your neck and face. Alternatively, you can clamp a piece of wood on the cut-off portion so the blade can not pull that side.
Using Cutting Oil
Another important aspect while cutting aluminum is to use cutting oil. When cutting aluminum with a miter, you will see it catching the material that might cause it to splinter and hit anyone standing there. So, we recommend you clamp the aluminum workpiece very securely before you cut it. Also, remember to use low-viscosity oil on the blade to protect it from being jammed with dust and debris. Oiling the blade reduces the risk of splintering and keeps the blade cooler. Besides, this process helps the user to prevent overheating of the material.
Using a Good Blade
The blade you want to use should have a good number of teeth that will help to cut through aluminum. In addition, lubricant or oil should be used on the blade to keep it cool while cutting. Lubricating the blade also allows the material to look intact and dramatically reduces the chances of injury.
Why should I use oil or water on the blade before cutting aluminum?
You can lubricate the blade with water or oil to prevent the build-up of debris or dust on the blade. Lubrication also helps avoid splintering and protects the aluminum blade from overheating while cutting.
Why is a wood backer needed?
A wood backer board is used to improve the quality of your cutting work. This board is very effective in ensuring the accuracy and safety of your work. So, always try to use a wood backer board when needed.
Why is clamping the metals needed?
It is imperative to clamp the metals securely before you begin cutting aluminum. This process allows you to cut aluminum correctly and avoid material waste.
You probably needed clarification about how to cut the aluminum because it is a tricky task. Using random tools can damage the material. So, you have to know how to use the right tools to cut aluminum. For example, can you cut aluminum with a miter saw- is a very common question people may ask. This article has given you the necessary ideas about how cutting aluminum with a miter saw is a practical approach.