When equipped with the correct blade and speed controls, you can even perform metal cutting with miter saws. That flexibility makes it one of the most versatile tools in your collection!
Can You Cut Metal with a Miter Saw?
The metal you can cut with a miter saw depends on the blade equipped to the tool. Each material requires a specific circular saw blade to produce the results you want.
If you need to cut non-ferrous metal, a blade such as the Freud LU77M012 is an excellent option. It features just under 100 teeth, offers a one-inch arbor, and uses a non-stick coating that protects the cutting blade from heat and corrosion.
A generalized non-ferrous blade can cut through anything without iron in it. That means you can manage aluminum, brass, copper, plastic, or even laminate flooring.
The miter saw is not a high-capacity metal cutting tool. Slower RPMs are necessary for a precise cut with this material. That means you need to slow the blade to reduce the risk of friction, spatter, and warpage.
Miter Saw Metal Cutting Blade
When cutting through metal, diamond-tipped blades are your best option. Not only do you see longevity improvements with frequent use, but you are also dissipating the heat from each cut with more precision.
That means you’re less likely to burn the piece or create a safety hazard when getting the chop you want.
The issue for many DIYers with diamond-tipped saw blades is that they tend to be expensive. That’s why carbide is the solution that many people use. The advantage you receive with a carbide metal cutting blade is that you can resharpen it several times before the edge wears out completely.
Although you’ll eventually pay the same amount for diamond tipping if you don’t resurface the edge yourself, the initial investment is still lower.
Most metal-cutting blades have a thin kerf, which refers to the material removed when cutting. Look for a 3/32-inch or small product to get the precise results you need for your project.
Miter Saw Blade: Aluminum vs. Steel
When you shop for metal cutting blades that work with miter saws, you’ll find ferrous and non-ferrous options.
A ferrous cutting blade is one that works with steel, pig iron, and any other iron-alloy metal. Stainless steel is included for this edge.
Usually, these blades are suitable for use on both miter saw and table saw. Non-ferrous saws work with any other metal such as aluminum, brass, copper, laminate, etc that doesn’t contain a significant iron amount in its creation.
Because of the differences in the metal’s toughness, density, hardness, and iron’s magnetic qualities, you must use specific blades that work with these different materials. If you use a metal cutting diamond blade on aluminum, you could damage the piece, your tool, and simultaneously increase the risk of injury.
On the other hand, if you cut steel with a non-ferrous blade, excessive heat will be produced and you will damage the cutting edges of the blade.
If you’re unsure what metal type you have for your project, place a magnet on the material. Something from off of your refrigerator will work. Does it have an attraction that causes it to stick?
If it does, the magnetic force tells you that a ferrous blade is necessary for your work.
Additional examples of ferrous metals different alloy steels that contain chromium, manganese, nickel, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.
Metal Cutting Wheel for Miter Saws
If you cannot find a metal-cutting blade for your miter saw, it may be possible to use an abrasive cutting wheel instead.
Cutting wheels are different than the traditional saw blade. They typically use an aluminum oxide grain to remove materials quickly while providing an aggressive cutting action that produces a smooth edge.
It holds up to high-speed applications better when you choose a performance-grade option.
If you decide to take this route for your metal-cutting needs, pay close attention to the wheel’s RPM rating. Many of them have a maximum rating of 6,400 RPM or less. Should your miter saw exceed that rotation, you could damage your project or tool.
I do not recommend using abrasive wheels on a Miter saw since the saw is not designed for it. The motor of the saw is not intended to work with wheels and the fine grinding dust that is produced during metal cutting can enter inside and cause damage to your saw.
Many miter saws use a dust collection shoot at the back of the tool. When you cut metal with it, the sparks and slag can get hot enough to melts this component. You’ll want to remove this feature before proceeding with your project.
For cutting hard ferrous metals, a metal cutting chop saw with an abrasive cutting wheel works the best.
Cutting metal with a miter saw is easy when you have the correct wheel or blade. Keep this information in mind as you shop for your tools so that your project can go off without a hitch.