7 Effective Tips to Cut Through Metal with Circular Saw!
Circular saws have been the go-to tool for metal cutting since their invention. Their portability, ease of handling, and high efficiency are the reasons they are the preferred choice.
With advancements in technology, many modifications have been made to the design and use of the circular saw, making it one of the most versatile tools in the market.
We want to make sure you get the most out of your metal-cutting circular saw, so we have created this guide to help you understand the ins and outs of these powerful tools.
How to Cut Metal with Circular Saw
Cutting metal with Circular Saw requires special care and attention. Here are a few essential tips you must ensure to cut metal pieces safely.
1-Choose the Right Saw Blade
Metals have various properties, and not just any saw blade can be used for cutting them. Therefore, it is important to choose the right blade for the job.
Different grades of metal saw blades cater to a wide range of metals in the market, such as mild steel, stainless steel, iron, and aluminum.
Today’s two major categories of metal saw blades are HSS metal saws and Carbide-tipped metal blades.
Aluminum is fragile, so cutting it requires special metal saw blades. The number of teeth per inch differs depending on the thickness of the metal, and ferrous metals would require a 30-80 teeth metal blade, while non-ferrous metals would require a 60-100 teeth metal blade.
For example, ten teeth per inch saw blade should be used for sheet metals less than 1/6 inch thick, and a 12-tooth-per-inch saw blade is perfect for materials up to 1/8 inch thick.
As the thickness of the metal increases, so should the tooth per inch of the metal saw blade reduce.
Carbide-tipped saw blades are more expensive, but they are up to 10 times stronger than regular steel saw blades and provide a smooth and accurate cut.
The right blade is essential for a job well done!
- Lubricate the saw blade for protection
Metal-cutting processes generate a lot of heat due to friction, so it is necessary to use a lubricant to reduce this heat at the cutting interface. Not properly lubricating a circular saw blade can cause it to overheat.
Lubrication has several benefits for easing the cutting process:
- Reduces the risk of injury from grabbing workpieces.
- Prolongs the life of the carbide-tipped saw blade by dissipating heat.
- Minimizes friction between the saw blade and workpiece.
- Helps to wash debris off the surface of the workpiece.
A special metal cutting lubricant should be used, as it does not damage the metal workpiece. Instead, it gives it a smooth, clean cut and makes it shine.
To further lubricate the blade, use a saw blade wax stick. Apply it intermittently along the line of the cut.
- Use appropriate blade depth
The general rule for circular saws is to never allow the blade to go beyond ¼-inch (6mm) of the workpiece thickness.
Before using the saw, the depth should be set to the recommended depth. This will help prevent binding, kickbacks, and safety issues from incorrect depth settings.
The blade will cut more efficiently when preset ¼-inch plus its thickness. This is why it is important to adjust the blade depth correctly.
- Be mindful of the saw and blade’s speed
It is important to be mindful of the speed of the blade when using a circular saw. The average speed should be 5000 revolutions per minute (rpm) at no load when cutting metal.
The ideal speed for non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, brass, and copper is 3000 to 6000 rpm. For ferrous metals such as pipes and cast iron, the speed should be 1800 to 3500 rpm.
As indicated on the blade’s packaging, the blade’s rpm should be greater than the circular saw’s rpm. This will ensure that the blade and saw remain healthy and that the project is done safely.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that the circular saw is not forced through the workpiece, nor is it running too fast.
Slow and steady is the best way to ensure accuracy and stability.
- Safely Install the blade on the power saw
The arbor is the base upon which the metal blades of a circular saw rest. It is important to exercise caution when operating a circular saw, as mistakes can be costly.
All nuts, bolts, and attachments must be properly aligned. Refer to the circular saw’s manual for further instructions.
Failure to assemble the blade correctly could lead to serious damage. Pay attention to detail when working with a circular saw. It is critical to ensure that all components are securely in place.
- Secure and Position the workpiece appropriately
- Positioning Yourself
While using a circular saw, it is important to position yourself and the workpiece properly. Proper positioning yourself will help you feel comfortable and deliver a good cut.
- Securing the Workpiece
It is important to secure the workpiece with clamps, vices, or fences before any cutting operation. Failing to do this can lead to dangerous results.
- Pre-Cutting Operations
It is beneficial to follow all procedures and preparations before cutting operations.
- Keeping Both Hands on the Circular Saw
When cutting, keeping both hands on the circular saw is important. This is a safety measure that should always be followed.
- Observe all safety tips
Never underestimate the havoc metal chips cause. They are sharp and can cut one’s skin, but they are also pretty hot when cutting is ongoing.
Only purchase a circular saw that has this essential accessory. Warn bystanders around your work environment to tread carefully.
Wear all proper safety gear to protect yourself—gloves, long sleeves, safety glasses or face shields, and hearing protection.
Carry out routine maintenance on your circular saw to keep it in shape and avoid disappointment.
However, some advise that wearing a glove could do more harm than good. These people believe gloves could get stuck on the teeth during the operation and draw you in.
Cutting metal with a circular saw is a common operation in many workshops.
To get the best results, it is important to use the right saw blade and to take the necessary safety precautions.
If the precautions mentioned above are taken, cutting metals with a circular saw can be a safe and rewarding process.