Caption: A circular saw for cutting aluminum
Are you having problems achieving a smooth and straight cut when cutting aluminum with a circular saw? Is it your first time cutting metal, and you would like to do it properly?
We prepared vital tips that will improve cutting accuracy and ensure consistent results when dealing with aluminum. Take a look at what experts have to say about using a circular saw for this metal!
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1.Pick the Right Blade
- Chapter 2.Always Go with a High-Quality Blade
- Chapter 3.The Importance of Lubricating the Blade
- Chapter 4.Always Clamp the Material
- Chapter 5.Wear Protective Equipment
- Chapter 6.Use a Guide for a Straight Cut
- Chapter 7.Take Advantage of the Masking Tape
- Chapter 8.Allow the Metal to Cool Down
- Final Thoughts
Chapter 1.Pick the Right Blade
Caption: A circular saw on white background
Even beginners know this, but if you need a reminder, we like to start with the basics. When you are choosing the blade, it is always important to fit it to the material you are cutting. That is true for all materials, which means you want a suitable for aluminum.
A blade you use for woodworking will work on an aluminum application. However, you will need to ensure that the blade has carbide tips, and it is necessary to be more cautious with metal. That is because the tips can get ahold of the material, which will destroy the cutting piece or the blade.
A much better choice is to pick a blade designed to cut metal. It is important to note that aluminum is a non-ferrous material. That means you can look for blades manufactured to deal with this type of metal. Most manufacturers can help you in picking a suitable blade and carbide grade for aluminum and similar materials.
Another thing to consider is how much teeth the blade has. The rule is simple, and the only thing to remember is that it is reverse proportion. If you are cutting thin aluminum, go ahead and pick a blade that has a large number of teeth. But if you are cutting thick applications, your saw should have a compact number of teeth. You can go as low as six teeth for ¼ or thicker aluminum, and increase the number for thinner materials.
Chapter 2.Always Go with a High-Quality Blade
Caption: A circular saw used to cut aluminum
Apart from choosing the right blade characteristics, it is important to ensure that it made of high-quality materials. If the saw is of inadequate quality, it won’t be able to cut metal like aluminum. Instead, it will break quickly, and you might not be able to use it for a single cut.
Carbide teeth are essential for a circular saw blade. Purchasing blades is not a situation when you want to be cheap. You can get high-quality units at a fairly affordable price, which means investing a few extra dollars will be worth it.
It won’t be a big burden on the budget, and it means a lot for the cutting process. You will ensure that you get optimal results every time and improve overall accuracy and cut quality. Additionally, a high-quality blade also means safer operation. Think of it is as an additional protection layer during the cutting process, which reduces the risk of injuries.
A top-quality blade will also be more durable. The saw blade will have more wear and tear when cutting metal than when cutting wood. That is because of the additional vibration, which is why you want a durable and strong blade. It is particularly important if you are doing complicated tasks like cutting thick aluminum frequently
Chapter 3.The Importance of Lubricating the Blade
Caption: WD-40 oil on shelves
Here is another tip that is crucial for both safety and optimal operation. Did you know what the biggest risk for a circular saw user is? It is that the blade will grab the metal application it is cutting. If that happens, you will lose control of the circular saw. These mishaps lead to physical injuries, which can be severe, like losing fingers or worse.
The lubrication is the way to minimize the risk of the blade catching the aluminum. Additionally, it will help to remove debris during operation. That will keep the blade safe from overheating issues, which promotes accurate and smooth cuts. If you don’t take care of lubricating the unit, you might frequently encounter chipped tips on the tool.
You have two options for lubricating the blade. The first one is spraying it with WD-40 oil, which is quite convenient. It is a versatile oil with many potential uses. The problem is that you will need to reapply it frequently and use a generous quantity of oil each time.
If you are looking for a more durable solution, go with wax. You can apply wax sticks easily, and it will stay on for a long time. It will keep you safer while delivering better and faster cuts. It is worth noting that you want wax solutions that are specialized for saw blades. We are not talking about other types of wax, but specialized formulas. Apply them to the blade’s teeth, and use the tool as normal.
Chapter 4.Always Clamp the Material
Caption: A metal clamp
Are you having problems with reaching a smooth cut when cutting aluminum? It is not easy to cut metal, especially if it is thick. You can make your job easier by clamping it. Some saws already come with a clamp that will secure the material, but it might not be enough for aluminum.
The experts recommend that you go ahead and use at least a couple of C-clamps. These will keep the material stuck to a table and ensure it doesn’t move while you are cutting. Make sure to pick industrial and durable clamps of optimal quality. The best material to go with is cast iron since those clamps are sturdy and durable.
Here is another important thing – you want to cut the material, but you want your working area to stay in one piece. You don’t want to go through the aluminum and cut the table after that. That is particularly critical if you invested in a steel table, or another type of high-quality workspace.
Chapter 5.Wear Protective Equipment
Caption: DIY enthusiast with protective equipment
An important thing to consider that cutting aluminum produces chips. These chips come out at a fast rate, and they made of metal. That means they can cut your hand, get into your eyes, or cause various injuries. It is why every user is required to wear protective equipment when cutting aluminum with a circular saw.
The first thing to ensure is to protect your face. And we do mean your face and not only eyes. While safety glasses are better than nothing, consider putting on a full-face mask. Go with masks that can cover your entire face and prevent the chips from coming from above or the sides. That way, you will protect yourself from cuts and injuries. Lubrication is there to prevent and reduce chipping, but you can never be too cautious.
Now, when it comes to gloves, you need to be careful when using them. Either use the right pair of gloves or don’t use them at all. The problem is that gloves could get caught in the blade, which might lead to severed fingers and other injuries.
The same applies to other clothes. If you wear a loose shirt, you risk getting it caught in the tool. The fact that it will ruin your shirt is the least of your problem because the injury risk will be high. You should also avoid wearing rings and necklaces around the tool.
Chapter 6.Use a Guide for a Straight Cut
Caption: A man working with a circular saw
Holding aluminum with clamps is the starting point in securing straight and smooth cuts. If you want to maximize accuracy, you can also use a guide.
Although professional accessories are welcome, guides don’t have to be an additional investment. You can grab a straight piece of wood or any piece that is completely straight and can act as a guide. The idea is to ensure that your blade remains straight during cutting. You also reduce the chances of it binding. If you are a newbie, guides can be extremely helpful to enhance cutting accuracy.
Chapter 7.Take Advantage of the Masking Tape
Caption: Masking tape isolated on surfaces
Here is another useful tip that you can do to improve the smoothness of your cut. If you want to avoid to scratch the material, make sure to use masking tape.
It is an excellent method of protecting the surface of the application from scratching during the cutting process. The final result will improve, and you will be happy that your efforts will pay off.
Chapter 8.Allow the Metal to Cool Down
Caption: Circular saw for cutting aluminum
Overheating is an issue that can cause major problems when cutting metal. That is why it is essential to allow the metal to cool down whenever necessary.
If you notice that lubrication is not doing a good job in keeping the tool and the cutting piece cool, take breaks whenever necessary. Be cautious since that is the only way to maximize results. Also, be careful not to touch a heated blade or material to avoid potential burns.
Apart from using the right technique and protective equipment, the crucial factor in cutting aluminum is picking a suitable and high-quality blade. If you want blades of exceptional quality, turn to NCCuttingtools.
The company has more than two decades of experience in tool production and a long list of satisfied clients. The skillful and professional engineers are ready to listen to your requests and fulfill customized orders. You will receive a competitive price, and the products will be delivered quickly. Don’t hesitate to contact the company and discuss your requirements today!