How to Cut Metal With a Miter Saw

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Cutting metal with a miter saw will require an abrasive cut-off blade. An abrasive blade looks similar to a grinding wheel that is as thin as a regular saw blade. Most manufacturers do not recommend cutting metal with an abrasive blade on the miter saw because sparks can damage the blade shield and work table. The sparks can leave marks on the finish of your miter saw. Whenever you use your miter saw you should always wear safety goggles and gloves. It is a good idea to wear a long sleeved shirt to protect your arms if you are going to cut metal with your miter saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Abrasive cut-off blade
  • Wrench set
  • Leather work gloves
  • Goggles
  • Helper
  • Fire extinguisher

Unplug your miter saw power cord from the electrical outlet. Press the spindle lock button for your miter saw to lock the spindle.

Raise the blade guard and remove the current blade from the saw. Remove the bolt securing the blade to the spindle with a wrench. Remove the outer washer from the spindle and remove the saw blade.

Place the abrasive cut-off wheel over the spindle and place the washer over the spindle. Secure the blade to the spindle with the retaining bolt.

Lower the blade guard and release the spindle lock. Place your piece of metal against the back fence on your miter saw deck. Secure the metal with the clamp on your miter saw.

Put on leather work gloves and eye goggles and ensure that there are no flammable liquids or rags nearby. When cutting metal you will produce a showering of sparks.

Plug the miter saw power cord into the electrical outlet. Ask a helper to stand by with a fire extinguisher to be your “fire watch.” Your helper should also have gloves and goggles on.

Press the trigger to start the saw and slowly bring the blade over the piece of metal. Gradually move the blade through the metal, applying little pressure. Allow the abrasive cut-off wheel to do the work. Once you cut through the metal, lift the blade out of the work piece and release the trigger. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Abrasive cut-off wheels are available at home improvement centers. Purchase wheels that are the same diameter as your regular miter saw blades.
  • Any damage to your miter saw resulting from cutting metal will not be covered under warranty.
  • Always have a helper stand as a “fire watch” when cutting metals. Sparks can quickly catch paper and leaves on fire. Your helper can be on the lookout for these hazards while your eyes are on your work.

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