Miter saws are often employed in woodworking projects, but these tools are also preferred by many amateurs for metal cutting. However, since they are not specifically built for metal, many users are wondering which 10’’ miter saw blade works best for cutting aluminum.
In this article, we’re going to tell you which blade to use for the purpose, how to use a miter saw to reach your goal, as well as what other things you should weigh in before getting started.
TOMAX Miter Saw Blade
10-Inch Miter Saw Aluminum Cutting Blades
Although this article focuses on 10-inch miter saw blades for aluminum, the truth is that all miter saw blades for soft metals must be chosen in the same way.
That said and getting back to our scope, the most important thing to do to make sure your miter saw blade is suitable for aluminum is to pick a blade specifically made for non-ferrous metals.
There are quite a few blades for non-ferrous materials to consider, but your best bet is a blade with triple chip grind (TCG) configuration.
This type of blade excels at cutting non-ferrous metals, plastics, and other hard materials such as MDF and laminates. The peculiarity of these blades is the predisposition of the teeth which alternate between flat and trapeze teeth.
Due to this configuration, the TCG blades work wonders on tubing, plates, and aluminum sheets, as long as the profile of the material doesn’t exceed ¼-inch in thickness. Obviously, there are a host of blades designed for thinner or thicker profiles too; you’ll just have to identify the right one for you.
Another thing to consider is the number of teeth. Most 10-inch TCG blades have between 72 and 100 teeth, and they are more suitable for coarse rip cutting than fine cutting.
While it’s hard to say which blades will be the best for you, one we truly like for the purpose is the TOMAX 10-Inch 80 Tooth TCG Aluminum and Non-Ferrous Metal Saw Blade. At the same time, the Diablo D1080N is a great alternative to TOMAX is you also want to cut plastics.
Can I cut Aluminum with a Wood Blade
If you mostly use your miter saw for woodworking, chances are you’d want to know if it’s truly necessary to change the blade for a quick cut of an aluminum object. Well, the answer is a bit more complicated than a blunt no.
In theory, you can cut aluminum with a wood blade, as long as we’re talking about a stellar wood blade and a machine with adjustable speed. However, we wouldn’t recommend it.
Wood blades are designed for softer materials. Cutting through aluminum, plastics, or other harder materials could result in blade tooth loss. Spinning at over 2,000 revolutions per minute, lost teeth can easily become life-threatening projectiles.
If you care about your safety and want to make sure your blade will live up to your expectations, always use a blade suitable for the material you are cutting.
DIABLO D1080N Saw Blade
How to Cut Aluminum With a Miter Saw
Now that you know which blades to use, perhaps you’d also like to know how to cut aluminum with a miter saw. Here are a few quick steps you should follow.
Step 1 – Clamp the material
While cutting wood is pretty straightforward due to the softness of the material, cutting aluminum is a whole different thing. It is essential to clamp it in place; otherwise, the blade might grab the material while you’re cutting.
If this happens, it could result in blade damage. At the same time, flying material or blade teeth could hurt you and pose life-threatening hazards.
Besides clamping the material in place, we also recommend wearing safety goggles and equipment when cutting or grinding any type of metal.
Step 2 – Choose your blade
When cutting aluminum, it is essential to use a blade designed specifically for non-ferrous metals. These blades also provide great results on other materials, such as brass or bronze as well as plastics.
What makes the difference between these blades and all others is the special grade of carbide employed in their making.
Most aluminum blades have a chip top grind design and a zero or negative hook angle which improves resistance and durability.
Another thing to consider is the number of teeth. The more they are, the more accurate the cut, but if you don’t care about the finish, a lower number of teeth means faster cutting. As a general rule, most non-ferrous material blades have between 72 and 100 teeth, although it’s also possible to find high-speed steel blades with up to 200 teeth.
Ideally, you should use a 10-inch blade with up to:
Another thing to consider is the kerf of the blade. A kerf of up to 0.125 inches reduces the trend of flex during high-volume cutting. Blades with thinner kerf put less load on the motor, and are indicated when you’re using an entry-level or under-powered miter saw.
Step 3 – Cut your workpiece
Now that you’ve clamped the workpiece and chose the right blade, it’s time actually to cut it. The easiest way to do it is by setting the machine at a low speed and using lubricant to prevent blade or material overheating.
Wax stick or WD-40 is the easier to apply to a spinning blade and work wonders when cutting aluminum.
It is also recommended to work at a speed lower than 2,500 revolutions per minute. For this purpose, you can either invest in a miter saw with an adjustable speed feature or get one with self-adjusting speeds.
Regardless of your choice, you now know which 10’’ miter saw blade works best for cutting aluminum and what are the best practices to achieve your purpose safely and easily.