Cutting metal with mitre or circular saw

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Old 09-12-16, 01:34 AM
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Cutting metal with mitre or circular saw

Hey guys,

I have a dewalt sliding miter saw and the 20 v circular saw. I have to cut some aluminum railing to redo my patio.

Exclusive to The Home Depot - Peak Aluminum Railing

Can I just put a metal blade on and use either to cut? I've heard the bearings cant hold up to it.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 03:51 AM
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I would not use a good saw that I trust to cut my wood on metal. Yes it is tough on bearings and the metal filings can infiltrate the motor housing causing problems there. Go to a pawn shop and buy a cheap circle saw and use it with metal cutting blades. Or rent a metal cutting chop saw to make the end cuts more perfect.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 05:26 AM
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I've used a jig saw with a metal cutting blade and had good results. With a saw guide you should be able to get a nice cut. You can do rough cuts with a recip saw but difficult to control for precision cutting.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 05:36 AM
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Do what you want but I've cut many an aluminum railing, gutters, door thresholds using my compound mitre saw and just a regular carbide tipped blade.
Goes through it like butter, and had no effect on the saw that I noticed.
I've been doing it that way with the same saw for at least 10 years.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 06:31 AM
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I would not hesitate to use a mitre saw designed for wood to cut aluminum.
A friend used wood designed power tools in his sun room installation business for many years without a single failure.
Aluminum chips are considerably larger than sawdust and should not pose a problem for any saw.....Just occasionally blow out any build-up.

Only thing I would recommend is the purchase of a blade designed for aluminum.
Much smoother cutting than a wood or backwards blade.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 06:35 AM
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I have to agree with both Joe and Chandler to some extent. Like Chandler, I don't like to use my good trim saw (sliding miter saw) to cut aluminum, but I do have an older miter saw I sometimes use for that purpose... also cut fiber cement siding with it. The trick is simply cutting slow. Aluminum cuts like butter provided you have a sharp thin kerf blade. You can also cross cut it with a cordless saw.

Every once in a while you may find that aluminum will kick back on you but that has a lot to do with how you hold the profile... basically if the first thing that contacts the blade can bend... it probably will kick when you try to cut it. So a square tube, for instance... no problem. But an odd shape, like a window jamb receptor... you need to turn it in such a way so that it is less likely to kick or pinch as you cut it.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 07:25 AM
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I would compare the miter saw blade to a drill bit. A good to decent drill bit will cut both wood and soft metal easily.

I've cut aluminum with no problem, including things I didn't want to cut through in the case of using a circular saw
 
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Old 09-12-16, 07:40 AM
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I use my old miter saw for aluminum, never my newer one, but would not hesitate if I had just one. I don't blow out that or any of my other tools after cutting metal though until I have gotten out what I can with a brush, to try to avoid blowing chips into places I don't want them like seals, motors etc. And always wear eye protection when cutting, but even more critical in my opinion with aluminum.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 04:28 PM
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OK, call it a carpenter's OCD, but I compare cutting metal with my good saws and blades akin to cutting through nails.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 04:47 PM
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True, Larry
I wouldn't use my best saw or blade, a good blade is too valuable.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 05:01 PM
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I have plenty of dull blades around. Great for cutting aluminum. LOL
 
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Old 09-12-16, 08:56 PM
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cool thanks guys.

I'm assuming the blade that came with it is likely good enough from the sounds of it. If I can find a metal blade for a decent price I may just use that. Other wise I guess I can use my reciprocating saw with a metal blade as well.. Might not be perfectly straight but the way it goes together it shouldn't be a HUGE concern.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 09:12 PM
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Any decent carbide blade will usually say: wood, plastics, non-ferrous metals.
 
 

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