View Full Version : Making Aluminum offcuts - what tool?

01-10-2010, 04:46 PM
Hello everyone,
I'd like some advice... simple really. I always buy big bits of aluminium and then as I make parts on the cnc, I'll cut a bit off thats the appropriate size. I don't really have much in the way of power tools, so I've been doing this by hand with a hack saw. Sometimes I've been cutting 8mm aluminium and it can be very exhausting!

One of my more recent projects is going to require me to cut through a 20mm bit of alu.

I'm fed up with the hack saw, it takes a lot of time and energy, so I'd like to get some sort of power tool to do it. Not really sure what to get though. Thoughts? Circular saw? Jigsaw? I haven't seen any alu circular saw blades? Will I be able to get something out of B and Q that will be beefy enough for 20mm alu plate? Where to buy as well?


01-10-2010, 04:54 PM
You want an Angle Grinder with spare cutting blades to boot,cicular saw needs an Ally blade and don't last long continued use.

15 in argos but vary in price depending on what make you want?

John S
01-10-2010, 04:59 PM
You can't use an angle grinder on alloy it will clog the blade up.

It's very dangerous practice as a loaded blade can explode.

01-10-2010, 05:10 PM
Erm! been cutting ally for a number of years now and my Blade hasn't exploded.

Excuse my ignorance though but....I thought an angle grinder was for numerous metal cutting jobs?

Oh and why do they sell blades that are for cutting ally,steel,stainless steel....ect,ect

01-10-2010, 05:54 PM
Angle GRINDER is th clue. i use a SLOW speed chop saw that uses a METAL cutting blade which has a fine set of teeth. Don't waste your money on a small bench band saw. If you have the room look out for an old industrial type one instead. You won't regret it and i would sap my chop saw for one any day of the week. John is right loading a blade at high speed can explode. It even happens with a band saw in the wrong circumstances.

01-10-2010, 06:04 PM

01-10-2010, 06:15 PM
And the essential stand,because you chop and release rather than cut...been doing it like this for seven years with 15mm and 20mm Ally,any thin stuff and I use my slidingmitre saw with appopriate blade.

01-10-2010, 07:46 PM
George if i was on a site or underneath a car then i would use exactly what you have suggested. it is not wrong for slicing off a bolt, cutting some tubing or removing a door hinge etcetera. In a workshop environment for cutting plate materials i would rather use the proper tool. trust me i have used the tools you say here and have the scares to prove it. Safety is too under estimated and my old workshop tutor would be turning in his grave. These things get you out of a hole when there is nothing else available for sure and as always at your own risk.

01-10-2010, 10:35 PM
chop saw.....

Robin Hewitt
02-10-2010, 12:43 AM
I use an old bandsaw with a skip tooth blade for aluminium, 40mm is a bit slow, half inch is easy, 1/4" it doesn't really notice it's cutting.

02-10-2010, 05:47 AM
I use an old bandsaw with a skip tooth blade for aluminium, 40mm is a bit slow, half inch is easy, 1/4" it doesn't really notice it's cutting.

I bought an old bandsaw, it came with a stack of wood blades and they cut through <5 mm ali completely effortlessly. Chopping inch stuff the metal gets hot but it does the job. Think proper blades are in order.

I used to cut out a lot of stuff from upto inch ali with a jigsaw, use an eclipse all hard
14tpi blade and they are quite good. I only have a cheap old jigsaw and it works pretty good.

I cut a lot of sheet out with a circular saw, no idea about blades I just go in the back of my brothers van and use his circular saw. It makes a terrible racket but cut's really well.

02-10-2010, 10:21 AM
I use a 2000W B&Q mitre saw with a 80T or 96T TCT blade for aluminium. Not used it thicker than 16mm so far, but will cut 200mm wide on the slide. Use some WD40 as a lube; gives a better cut. Only downsides compared to a bandsaw are: the noise; the 3mm kerf; throws chips all round the shop despite the 'dust collector' and my Henry on full tilt; oh, did I mention the noise? Ear defenders and goggles a necessity! I made a simple additional clamp as the one for wood that comes with it is too far from the cutting point to be safe.

I will be looking to put a speed controller on it as really it spins too fast for metals...

Web Goblin
26-06-2012, 06:32 AM
Using an angle grinder for cutting aluminium is probably as safe as using it to cut any other metal provided you use the correct cutting blade. It will be slow going though. If you are cutting lots of the stuff you could always invest in a plasma cutter. This will cut ali quickly but does have drawbacks in the health and safety department. You would need to look into these before you get one.

26-06-2012, 07:31 AM
An horizontal mill with a slitting blade ? I use to do that when I had my Tom Senior M1...

28-07-2012, 08:37 AM
I use a 99 9 inch RAGE drop saw..blades are 19 but I get through a fair amount of alloy before it needs a swap...small size to and will cut plate up to 95mm wide x 6 mm or tube up to 70mm dia. Quick and easy

28-07-2012, 02:44 PM
This is what you want,

I own the same one, I have cut 35mm aluminium 6061T6 with it no problem.


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