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Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / Will I destroy my miter saw?
- - By 49DegreesNorth (**) Date 03-13-2003 00:13

I have a pretty nice 10" Makita compound miter saw which is designed for wood. I swapped out the blade and it does a great job cutting metal -- and I can get compound miters! I wonder, though, if I will do permanent damage to the saw somehow... I mean, is there a reason that chopsaws for metal are sold as such?

Parent - By welder_guy2001 (***) Date 03-13-2003 04:08
a run of the mill chop saw that you can get at any hardware store is usually a direct drive motor, like your miter saw. as long as you don't push too hard and overload the motor there shouldn't be any damage. we've used a DeWalt chop saw w/ a special carbide tooth blade for cutting worked pretty nice. I had some 1/4" aluminum strips stacked up 2" high on the saw and it would run right down through them all. just make sure you keep the teeth cleaned out when cutting soft metals like aluminum, because it heats up and then clogs the teeth and then you'll wonder why it's not cutting so well.
Parent - By DaveP (*) Date 03-13-2003 16:22
I did the same thing. My only fear is the abrasive dust getting into the works of a saw that was not designed for this. If your saw is all aluminum, the abrasive dust may tear up the aluminum in a short time, make it sloppy, wrecking your saw.
Parent - - By rpoche (*) Date 03-13-2003 18:01
Be sure and verify the recommended blade speed to the stated motor speed. Some of the metal blades on the market today are not made to be used at the higher RPM level. This is a Safety Concern.

Parent - By jwright650 (*****) Date 03-13-2003 18:08
Good point, the speed is usually posted as the max. speed, and it should be on the blade somewhere(new blades, as the old ones have probably worn off the writing).
John Wright
Parent - By Wildturkey (**) Date 03-13-2003 18:40
the only difference that i have noticed between the two saws is that the chop saw is mostly made using metal parts because of the probably wont melt the plastic guard cutting aluminum but carbon will be another story
Parent - By CHUB380 (*) Date 03-13-2003 22:07
I would never use a wood saw like that for metal. Not only will metal shavings get in the motor. I would not be suprised if your miter gauges would get thrown off after abusing it like that. My grandfather was a professional carpenter and one time he almost fliped because I was using my compound miter saw on a 4by4 He said use that saw like that on a regular basis and it would never cut your fine trim work good again. Chub
Parent - By scmait (*) Date 03-17-2003 15:35
I do the same thing. The max speed issue is very important one. In addition to that make sure you wear all the appropriate PPE just in case the blade decides to shatter. Those particals are painful and dangerous!
Parent - By 49DegreesNorth (**) Date 03-17-2003 20:01
Update on the miter saw destruction:

The saw is pretty much made of aluminum, but there were some small "anti-chip" guides along the saw slot which were made of plastic. As these showed signes of melting, I removed them. The guard for the saw is plastic, but it doesn't seem to show any ill effects. One disappointment is that my dust collection system (a big shop vac) doesn't work at all for metal. (Yes, I remove the sawdust from it before using it for metal!)

Also, the blade for metal wears away, whereas the ones for wood don't, so there is a limited amount of depth adjustment available on this saw -- I will run through blades quicker.

In the interest of science I think I will continue to use this for metal -- will keep you posted!
Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / Will I destroy my miter saw?

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