Q & A: Sawing Aluminum
Can I cut aluminum with my chop saw?
Yes.Most carbide blades work fine for occasionally cutting
aluminum, but we recommend using a special, non-ferrous
metal-cutting blade (about $70) if you cut a lot of aluminum or
brass. It’s safer to use than a standard blade because the geometry
of the teeth makes it less likely to kick back when cutting a
soft metal.And it will last longer than a standard blade because
the teeth are made of a softer carbide.
No matter which blade you use, feed the saw about one-third
slower than you do when cutting wood.Coating the blade with
a regular dose of WD-40 (when the saw’s not running) prevents
the gullets from clogging.
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker April 2001, issue #86.