Can Miter Saws Cut Metal? A Common Myth about Miter Saw

I was sitting in front of a miter saw and was thinking about can miter saws cut metal? I was too afraid to try because I wanted to avoid accidents at all. So before trying I did some research on the topic and as a result, I found some interesting answers. 

Can miter saws cut metal

Miter saws can cut metals however, they need to be equipped with the right type of blade. Usually, blades that are more abrasive in nature are fit for metal cutting projects. 

Having that said, things aren’t as simple as we think they might be. Only an abrasive blade won’t be sufficient for cutting metals with a miter saw. If you want to learn everything about how to cut metal with your saw then you should keep on reading. 

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Metal Cutting Miter Saw

Always Use Proper Speed

Miter saws are quite fast. They can cut a lot of wood and complete the business in no time. However, at the same time that high speed isn’t good for metals. If you try to cut metals with a regular blade and that too at a high speed then it will produce a lot of friction. A large amount of friction will cause the metal to heat up.

Another thing that you need to be careful with is the chips of the metal. With high speed the blade the chips of the metal will fly away in so many different directions. It can be dangerous. Therefore, you need to check your speed before cutting metal with a miter saw. 

Which Blade Is Good for Cutting Metals?

As far as I have learned from different sources and from my experience I found the diamond blades and carbide ones quite effective. Apart from that, any 12-inch metal cutting blade for a miter saw will be good. 

Make sure you get something abrasive in nature to cut the metal. It will help you complete the project safely without putting too much load on your saw. Apart from that, it will also make sure that a minimum amount of chips flying away. If you want to make precise cuts then you should look for a blade with a higher number of teeth.

Blades with more teeth can give cleaner outputs even on the hardest subjects such as steel. However, blades with more teeth are relatively slower when making metal cuts. On the other hand, the blade with fewer teeth can do the job quickly but you can’t expect very smooth outputs. 

Can Miter Saws Cut Metal With a Wood Blade?

I wouldn’t recommend cutting metal with a regular wood blade. It is because wood blades aren’t rated for heavy-duty tasks. If you want to use them on steel projects then these blades will produce a lot of friction. It is due to the high RPM of the blade which is usually good for softer subjects like wood and aluminum. 

Higher friction will produce a lot of heat which will make the blade and the subject very hot. Apart from that, it also puts too much pressure on the motor which can reduce the performance of the motor with time.

Lubricants Can Change the Game

You might have noticed that we don’t use any kind of lubricant while cutting woods. However, things are pretty different when it comes to cutting metals. It is because woods are usually softer than the metal, aluminum, or even PVC. 

The best metal cutting miter saw will have a carbide-tipped blade along with lubricants. Now you might be thinking about why we are going to use a lubricant. Let me tell you a solid reason for that. During metal cutting projects a lot of heat builds up due to friction between the blade and the metal surface. 

Using the lubricants will absorb the heat and keep things safe. It will also make the cutting process smoother as compared to dry conditions. 

Can a Miter Saw Cut Lengthwise?

Miter saws are specifically used for making angled cuts. If you want to make lengthwise cuts then the miter saw (For example Dewalt Miter saw) may not be the right tool for you. You will need to change your mind and get something like a table saw or a circular saw for lengthwise cutting. 

Can I use Miter Saw to Cut PVC?

Yes, miter saws are awesome tools for cutting PVC pipes. Especially when you want to get some cool angled cuts. However, just like metal cutting projects you need to equip your miter saw with a carbide tip blade. Usually, blades with a higher number of teeth are highly recommended. 

Having that said, you need to be very careful while cutting PVC pipes with miter saws. It is because using an abrasive blade will sometime ruin the smoothness of the blade. Now if you have already made proper calculations. Even a small wrong cut will make a real mess during the project. 

Using Other Tools for Metal Cutting Projects

If you don’t want to use your miter saw for metal cutting then you can make good use of other tools. For example, a circular saw or a table saw can come in handy for such things. You can cut without using any machinery at all. However, it will take very long which is not recommended at all. 

Imagine using a miter box for cutting a lot of steel. It will take you hours to complete the project. Apart from that, you can always make good use of some life hacks and DIY tools. But that will require a lot of creativity. 

Safety Consideration for Cutting Metal with Miter Saw

Before you put steel or any other metal for cutting in a miter saw you need to take some safety measures. These safety measures will make sure you get the maximum output without any accidents at all. 

So without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most important points you need to take care of. 

  • Always make sure you have safety on. Never use a saw without properly covering your eyes and wearing gloves. 
  • Make sure that the saw is secured properly and it won’t slip or fall off from that place where you are using it. 
  • Try to put the steel or any other type of metal properly under the blade
  • Always double check your calculations before cutting the metal
  • Never use a low-quality blade on your miter saw
  • Always use lubricants when working on steel, aluminum, or any other metal. 

Additional Questions to Answer

What Material can you cut with a miter saw?

Miter saws are quite versatile, provided that you are using the right type of blade for the job. If you want to use your saw for projects other than the woodworking then you will need different types of blades. You can use your miter saw for cutting bricks, steel, aluminum, PVC, brass, and even copper. 

However, some people don’t agree as the speed of the saw is quite high and it will produce a lot of heat. Having that said, if you have taken the safety measures then you will be good to go without any issue. 

Can a Miter Saw Cut Aluminum?

Aluminum is one of the most extensively used element. If you are working on projects then you might need it somewhere. However, most people don’t know if a miter saw can cut aluminum. The answer to this question is yes but there is a problem. 

If you are using an abrasive blade then your saw should cut the aluminum without any issue. However, the cuts won’t be as smooth as required. Therefore, you need to double-check which blade are you using before trying aluminum cutting with a miter saw. 

Can a Miter Saw Cut Tiles?

Tiles are a bit challenging to cut especially when you are trying a miter saw for the project. You can cut the tile without any issue however, you need to be a little creative. The problem with cutting tiles on a miter saw is that they produce a lot of dust.

It will make a mess and that dust is harmful to health too. Therefore, you need to make the tile a little bit wet using some lubricants. Apart from that, make sure you have covered your face properly during the job. 

Conclusion

Can a miter saw cut metal? Most people have this question in mind especially when they are trying their miter saw for the first time. I didn’t even know the ABC of miter saws when I started learning about them. 

However, with the passage of time and my own experiments, I learned that with the right type of blade and speed you can convert miter saw to cut metal. Once you figure it out how to do it properly it will help you a lot on your projects. 

If there’s anything you would like to add to this post or any insight you have on this subject, please feel free to comment below.

Jack Logan is a student of MS Global Navigation Satellite System who spends his free time researching and writing articles, many of which are geared towards helping people. His favorite power tools are miter saws and impact wrenches Read More About Jack

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