If you are a professional or hobbyist, knowing the limitations of the tool is very important. Most accidents happen when these tools are pushed over their limits. So, it is most important not to push these machines to situations they cannot endure. That is why you need definitive knowledge about cutting aluminum with a table saw.
So, can you cut aluminum with a table saw? It is the question I have wondered for a long time since getting a table saw. Whenever the question arises, the answer comes in a somewhat ambiguous form.
Today I will discuss at length and clear out all confusions about table saw and aluminum cutting.
Can You Cut Aluminum With A Table Saw?
If I am to answer you in short it would be, it depends. Table saws are made to work with wood, plastics, and similar materials. When you want to cut tough metal like aluminum it depends on what kind of blade you have the table saw. Because if you buy one explicitly for cutting wood-like stuff, then the blade might not be capable enough. In that case, you will have to change the blade.
If the blade is already strong enough to hold against aluminum then the table saw is capable of cutting aluminum sheets. These saws generate the power required to cut these sheets; they only need the blades that are strong enough to cut the metal. So, to answer it shortly, yes you can cut aluminum with a table saw if the blade is strong enough.
But there are a few things you will have to keep in might. I’ll be discussing them shortly in the next sections.
How To Cut Aluminum With A Table Saw?
You will need to follow certain procedures if you are going to cut aluminum with a table saw. Follow these steps to minimize the risk of accidents when working on a project. You will not only get to avoid risks but also get an excellent finish. Now, let’s take a look step by step procedure.
- Wear the protective gear first. Never start the machine without them.
- If you already have a blade that can cut aluminum then skip this step. If not, then replace the blade with a proper one.
- To reduce friction properly lubricate the vicinity. Especially the blades and the tabletop.
- Now you will need to adjust the speed depending on the metal sheet thickness. It would be better to follow the recommended chart. The speed recommended for cutting aluminum is around 1000-1200 feet per minute.
- At this step, you will need to decide the blade height. If the blade is put higher than metal there will be kickbacks and the edges will tear out. But this method will let you cut faster. A much lower blade height would let you have smooth cuts but you will need to have patience.
- It is time to plug the machine. After plugging make sure everything works fine.
- You will have to push the sheet into the blade now. It is better if you have a pushing tool. Then you can easily stay out of the kickback area. Otherwise, slowly push the sheet as you would have for the woods.
- Once you are done cutting, it is time to turn off the machine.
These are common steps to follow for all the table saws out there. Some table saws come with extra features that make the cutting experience a lot easier. In case your saw has some features like that, then make sure to use them to their full potential.
What Other Metals Can Be Cut With A Table Saw?
Can you cut brass on a table saw? Besides aluminum, brass, steel, and titanium are the most demanded metals in the industry. Answers to the question if you can cut those metals depends on the hardness of the blade. Cutting tin on a table saw is doable as tin is not as hard as those metals. Some blades even have a diamond coating on them to aid in cutting tough metals.
So, you can cut even the hardest of metals like titanium if you have the right blade. The blade for cutting wood would not stand a chance against tough metals. You will probably need to get harder blades if you plan to cut aluminum, steel, titanium, and similar materials. Almost all metals can be cut with a table saw if it generates enough power and has a proper blade.
Precautions To Take
As safety comes first, check if you have the necessary protective gear with you. In case you don’t, see the provided list below. Remember accidents happen in split seconds, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Wearable gears: For wearable gears, you will need gloves, eye protection, and earplugs. These tools will keep you not only safe but also provide a better working experience. I would heavily advise against working with these machines without safety tools.
Selecting Blade: Matching the blade strength to aluminum is crucial. Otherwise, it would be a recipe for disaster. There is a great chance of the blade breaking or bending if it is not up to the metal sheet. You should also follow the chart for blade sizes to cut sheets with different thicknesses.
Push tool: It is better to stay away from the sheet as there can be kickbacks. A push tool would help you to push the sheet forward while keeping you safe and the sheet stable.
Lubrication: The aluminum tends to stick to the blade. If those shards somehow get into the internal parts, that might break the whole machine. That is why you need to lubricate the blade so that the little parts do not stick to the blade.
Deburring Tool: The deburring tool will be very useful if the blade has lost its sharpness. Or, you really like to finish the end product. This tool will help you to smooth out the tears on the edge of the metal.
Dust collection: Remember to turn off the dust collection system if the table saw was made to cut wood. Because the hot pieces of aluminum can ignite a fire in the dust barrel.
By now, you know the answer to the question can you cut aluminum with a table saw and more. Cutting aluminum with a circular saw or table is very possible if they are given the right tools. When using these saws for cutting metals always give safety the first priority. Always start with proper gear and equipment for the best result.