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What Can You Use to Cut Aluminum?  (How To)

There are many different tools that you can use to cut aluminum. Everything from hacksaws to plasma cutters can cut metal.

But, to cut aluminum safely, you need to follow the correct procedures. 

A hacksaw is the easiest tool for cutting aluminum. An angle grinder with a cut-off wheel cuts aluminum quickly, but remember to wear eye protection and a dust mask. A jigsaw with a steel blade is suitable for short or detailed cuts, while portable band saws are great for cutting aluminum tubes.

Tools to cut Aluminum

Circular saws with the correct blade make short work of any length of aluminum that you need to cut.

It is best to cut angle aluminum angle in a miter box. Just remember to clamp it to the base so that it won’t move when you’re cutting. Unclamped material can fly up and get caught in the blade or fly off and hit you.

Plasma cutters are both quick and efficient and make short work of any aluminum that needs cutting. They are, however, expensive and may not be the best choice for your project. 

Can You Cut Aluminum With Angle Grinder? 

Tools to cut Aluminum

Most home workshops have an angle grinder. This is a versatile tool that is suitable for cutting different kinds of metal so long as you have the correct blades or cutting wheels.

Aluminum can be cut with a grinder, but it requires the right type of disc. Use a disc designed for cutting metal, such as a diamond blade or a thin abrasive cutting wheel. Ensure the grinder is at the correct speed and apply steady pressure to avoid overheating and warping the aluminum.

The key to successfully cutting aluminum with a grinder is controlling the speed and pressure. Aluminum heats up quickly, which can cause it to warp or melt. To prevent this, keep the grinder moving along the cut line at a steady pace and avoid pressing down too hard. Let the disc do the work.

Remember that the dust that you create when grinding aluminum is both toxic and potentially explosive. For this reason, you should wear the correct protective gear and utilize a vacuum to remove the dust as you cut your material.

Can You Cut Aluminum With a Router?

Tools to cut Aluminum

Routers are popular tools in most woodworking workshops. But how many people realize that you can use your router for metal projects?

You can use a router fitted with a carbide bit to cut aluminum in the same way that you cut wood. If you wish to make a cut-out in an aluminum plate, then a plunge cut is easy to do. Set your router to 1/32 inch for the first pass and then increase the depth with each subsequent pass. 

If you’re worried about damaging or wearing out your bits, then don’t be. Using a router bit on aluminum does not dull your bits.

The metal is soft enough for the router bit to cut cleanly through it, leaving a very clean surface. Minimal work is required to clean up any small burrs that may be left behind.

Can You Cut Aluminum With a Chop Saw? 

Tools to cut Aluminum

If you need to cut aluminum tubing or an aluminum angle, then a chop saw could be just the tool you need.

A chop saw cuts through aluminum whether you choose to use wood or non-ferrous metal blades. Eye protection is recommended to avoid getting shavings in your eyes. Both aluminum tube and angle can be cut, just be sure that the material is held firmly in place to avoid it moving while you’re cutting.

If you are concerned about cutting metal with your woodworking blades, swap out the blade for a 60-tooth non-ferrous one.

Chop saws are ideal for cutting exact angles, especially if you are putting together complex projects.

Can You Cut Aluminum With a Jigsaw? 

Tools to cut Aluminum

Aluminum is a very soft metal that is easily cut, filed, and drilled. This allows you to cut aluminum using a jigsaw without fear of damaging it.

You can cut aluminum with a jigsaw, either using a wood or metal cutting blade. Jigsaws are ideal for shorter cuts or intricate, detailed cuts. You can cut longer pieces, but it is more difficult to keep the line straight. Lubricate your blade to reduce wear and tear on the jigsaw.

You should always wear eye protection as the chunks of aluminum can easily fly off the material you are working on.

You don’t need to press too hard against the aluminum, but rather maintain a firm, steady pressure and allow the blade to do the work.

While woodworking blades can cut aluminum, you can achieve far better results if you use blades that are designed for cutting non-ferrous metals.

Blades with smaller and more numerous teeth are best suited for cutting soft metals like aluminum.

Can You Cut Aluminum With a Plasma Cutter? 

Tools to cut Aluminum

With plasma cutters becoming cheaper, most DIY workshops now have one available. They are versatile tools and make metalwork projects considerably easier.

You can easily cut aluminum with a plasma cutter. Even cheaper, low amperage plasma cutters make cutting 5-10mm aluminum simple. However, this only holds true for thinner pieces of aluminum, as thicker pieces are quite hard to cut. Don’t cut aluminum-lithium alloys in the presence of water.

CNC plasma cutters that utilize water tables will cause an explosion if there is lithium present in the aluminum alloy.

As plasma cutters generate a fair amount of heat, it is important to cut quickly to avoid slag building up under the aluminum plate.

Can You Cut Aluminum With Miter Saw? 

Tools to cut Aluminum

For accurate cuts, miter saws are hard to beat.

You can cut aluminum with a miter saw. Whether you are cutting aluminum angle or tubing, the miter saw cuts well and provides a quick and accurate way to cut what you need. When cutting aluminum profiles, a miter saw fitted with an aluminum blade that has negative angle teeth works best.

While it is possible to use woodworking blades when cutting aluminum, the carbide tips tend to catch on the metal and can rip loose. If they do, the flying metal can cause damage to nearby machinery.

It is, therefore, preferable to use non-ferrous metal cutting blades that are purpose-made for cutting aluminum. 

To avoid the material moving while you are cutting it, clamp the aluminum angle or tubing in place before initiating the cut.

Can You Cut Aluminum With Laser? 

Tools to cut Aluminum

There are safety concerns when cutting aluminum. The formation of hydrogen gas and the presence of lithium in the alloy are known to cause explosions.

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on March 16, 2022.

This is due to the lithium content of the alloy and the presence of hydrogen when cutting it on a water table.

Despite aluminum being soft and conducting heat very well, you can cut it with a CO2 or fiber laser. Professional workshops can cut all grades of aluminum with high-speed lasers. When mounted on CNC tables, laser cutters can cut out intricate designs in aluminum.

Further problems can occur when cutting aluminum with a laser due to its reflective properties.

Should the laser reflect onto itself, potentially catastrophic damage can wreck your laser cutter. There are safety systems designed to measure the quantity of reflected light and cut the machine off should it reach levels that are considered unsafe.

Can You Cut Aluminum With Torch? 

Confused worker man

Acetelyn torches are used for cutting various metals, but they are not suitable for aluminum.

The very high temperatures reached when cutting with a torch make it unsuitable for working with aluminum.

Cutting torches are normally restricted to cutting ferrous or carbon-based metals. It is not recommended that you attempt to cut aluminum with a cutting torch. Due to the high temperatures, cutting torches will make irregular cuts with lots of molten aluminum left on the material.

There are various opinions relating to workarounds for the problem of cutting aluminum with a torch.

However, there is no practical way to cut aluminum as it melts at the temperatures at which torches operate.

If you are without electrical power and have no choice, you can melt pieces of aluminum apart, but the result will be very ragged.

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on March 16, 2022.

How To Cut Aluminum Properly 

Confused worker man

Everyone has their preferred method to cut aluminum. It very much depends on what type of material you are cutting, its thickness, shape, and size.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of the correct way to cut aluminum.

To cut aluminum properly depends on the size and shape of the material. Tubes and angle are best cut with a miter saw. Large sheets of aluminum are most accurately cut using a table saw or circular saw. When cutting short pieces of aluminum or intricate designs, the preferred tool is a jigsaw.

Speed is not the only factor when cutting aluminum. As the metal is quite soft, it is easy to make mistakes while cutting it.

The quality of your cut is also important, so selecting the correct tool to make your cuts is vital. With the metal being so soft, it tends to clog the incorrect cutting disks and blades.

So it’s vital that you use the appropriate blade or cutting disk to avoid overstressing your hand tools or damaging the material you’re working with.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on March 16, 2022.

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