How to Cut Aluminum Pipe

Preparation and Safety Manuals

  • Make sure you wear safety glasses, gloves, and other safety gears
  • Select a place where there is no disturbance when you work
  • Get the worktable and cutting tool ready before you start work
  • Clamping is necessary, keep more clamps than you require
  • Keep the cords clear of the area you have selected for cutting
  • Before adjusting the blade, disconnect the power supply
  • Don’t forget to lubricate the pipe so that the blade and pipe stay safe

Aluminum Saw Cutting: Experimenting Saws and Blades

Cutting Aluminum with Miter Saw

cutting metal with miter saw

Aluminum is one of the most used materials of this century because of its lightweight nature. For being malleable and soft, forming shapes and creating deeper spinning is easier with this material.

It is used for constructing cans, kitchen utensils, window frames, airplane parts, pipes, and a lot more other objects. Compared to PVC pipes, aluminum is used because of the rust-resistant formula.

With the adjustable cutting features of a miter saw, cutting aluminum is easiest when it comes to metals. All you need is a non-ferrous miter saw blade and you can get the cleanest cuts in no time.

Things you need

  • Marker pen
  • Measuring tape
  • Heavy-duty clamp

Step 1: Prepare Yourself

Firstly, you have to get your safety gear on. From eyes to hands and the body parts, get your eye protective gear, with safety gloves or face shield. Loose-fitting clothing and jewelry are highly avoided while cutting metals.

Step 2: Prepare the Blade

Get a new blade and lubricate it with a saw blade wax stick. With lubricants, there will be no chipping and overheating. Now, adjust the blade and get ready. While choosing blades, pick up the ones with more teeth; it will provide smooth cuts.

For aluminum pipes that are thinner than 1/16 –inch, go for the blade that has more than 10 teeth in every inch. Pick up the 10 and 8 teeth ones for aluminum tubing that are respectively 1/8 inches and ¼ inches thick. However, if you have a thicker aluminum tubing, 6 teeth in every inch can do better. 

Step 3: Measure and Mark

Now, start with changing the saw blade and get a new one. Always keep in mind that a newer blade is going to provide you better results especially when it comes to metals.

Metals require a lot of energy and power. Once you get the miter saw ready, get your measuring tape for accurate measurement. Take a look at the pipe and measure it carefully.

Mark the spot from where you want to cut with a marker pen. The pipe is cylindrical. So, while marking, out dots on all sides, add all the dots and certify that you have marked the whole circumference.

Step 4: Clamp it down

Now that you have marked the area, you have to make it ready for the process. Cutting the pipe will require a force of power. Miter saw will clap down your material but still, you must clamp it with multiple heavy-duty cast iron C-clamps  Some aluminum metal is very slippery so, clamping is necessary.

Step 5: Cut the Tubing

When the metal is clamped and you are prepared for the process, plug in the saw. When you start working, you have to make sure that the blade has reached the full RPM. Once it reaches there, start the cutting process.

Note: There will surely be sparks that will fly. Your protection gears are there to save you. Don’t forget to ensure that the workplace includes no flammable material. Sawdust-free area is most preferable for cutting metals.

Cutting Aluminum with Circular Saw

cutting aluminum with circular saw

Circular saw is not always the most recommended saw for cutting metal. But if you place a non-ferrous carbide-tipped blade, cutting thin metals like aluminum gets easier.

However, keep in mind that circular saw produces more speed than table saws. These have an outer edge that spins over 120 mph.

  1. Change the old circular saw blade and replace it with a new one with carbide-tipped. Adjust the blade depth carefully. Prepare it in a way that only a bit of teeth tips stay out.
  • Now, take the measuring take like before, and start measuring. Mark the exact spot where you want to cut with the marker pen.
  • We used clamps in the previous method but here, we will use a bench vise. With a circular saw, it is tough to keep the pipe in its position just with the clamp. Circular saw tends to pull the metal while cutting. For better protection, a bench vise can help you dealing with two circular things-the tubing and a saw!

Note: The blade rail of the circular saw will snag if you wear anything on your hands. So, do not wear safety gloves while working with a circular saw.

  • Plug the circular saw and switch it on. Start sawing and soon you will see that you have divided the tubing into two different parts! 

Cutting Aluminum with Hacksaw

cutting aluminum pipe with hacksaw

One of the handiest and safe tools for cutting aluminum pipe is a hacksaw. The name hacksaw seems very tough and heavy-duty but these are highly portable.

Mostly known for cutting plastic, wood, and metal, these cheap C-shaped saws do not require electricity to cut metals like aluminum. As aluminum is thin and malleable, you need less effort in cutting it with your hands.

  1. Get a new blade and adjust it carefully. Ensure that the blade is correctly aligned. Mark the place where you want to cut.
  • After marking, place it on the workbench and clamp it. The thicker the metal, the better the clamps should be. Pick up the several heavy-duty clamps to hold it place.
  • Now it is clamped, start cutting it. Go for one way strokes against the teeth’s direction. In this narrow incision, the blade will sit. Once it gets its place to move, slowly, move the hacksaw back and forth. Make sure you are making smooth and steady movements, and let the saw do its work.

Cutting Aluminum with Sawzall

cutting aluminum pipe with sawzall

Very common as Sawzall, the other name for this saw is a reciprocating saw. This machine-powered saw will go for a push-and-pull motion and provide you perfect cuts. It is known as the ultimate demolition tool and cutting aluminum tubing will never be tough with it!

  1. Get a new saw blade for the cutting procedure. There are several blades available for such saws. Go for the metal cutting sawzall blade as you want to cut aluminum pipe. The blade of a Sawzall should be only 2/3 inches longer than the cutting depth you need. Choose the blade in that manner.
  • Now mark the point from where you are going to cut the pipe. You must mark a bit more than you need so that the cutting line is smooth. Also, clamp the pipe.
  • The saw speed should be slower than the wood cutting speed. Now, plug in the saw, squeeze the trigger and keep a firm and steady hold. When you need to change the cutting angle, all you have to do is raise or lower the trigger hand.

Cutting Aluminum with Angle Grinder 

cutting aluminum with angle grinder

Cutting tiles to metals, angle grinder work for almost everything! Along with a straight cut, you can settle for angled cuts by holding the blade a bit angled.

These handheld power tools don’t only cut but also can polish, sand, and sharper the objects! It spins faster than the circular saws you use; these feature 6000 RMP or more.

  1. Getting the right disk is your first job here. Choose a metal cutting angle grinder wheel. Go through the maximum rmp of the disc you select. Mount the disc properly and to check if it is working properly, you must switch the angle grinder for a minute.

Note: You have to compare its RMP with the tool’s RMP. The maximum RMP of the disc must be higher than the maximum RMP of the angle grinder you are using.

  • After you have got the right disk, mark the place you want to cut. Now, go for clamping the workpiece to keep it on the right place.
  • Once it is clamped, check the angle of the blade. Start cutting at the surface of the tubing. Never settle for too much pressure. Let the grinder work on its own.

Cutting Aluminum with Pipe Cutter

aluminum pipe cutter

To cut pipe, nothing can be better than a pipe cutter because it is solely designed for cutting tubing. This hand tool offers clean cuts but grips the pope between the rollers and the cutting wheel. By rotating,

  1. First, measure the tube and mark from where you want to divide the pipe. Then, get the pipe cutter and set it on the end part of the pipe. To take it to the marked area, you have to slide it slowly. Keep sliding until it reaches the marked area.
  • Now, check for the adjustable handle and move the screw adjust the pipe cutter. All you need to do is make the screw tight by twisting the adjustable handle. A few revolutions will make it tight and stable in its place. Yes, it is easier with tubing cutter than the regular saws as you don’t need to clamp it for cutting.
  • Once secured, the roller wheel along with the cutting wheel will come in contact of the aluminum pipe. Now, rotate the pipe cutter around the secured pipe and start cutting. Let the complete rotation pass. After one full rotation, make sure you tighten the screw to keep it in place. You don’t need to move your hands; it will do its job alone!

Pro Tips for Aluminum Pipe Cutting

  • While cutting in a direction, don’t change or twist the direction
  • Never push the saw while cutting, let the saw do its job
  • Never clamp at the ends of the pipe, let the ends be free to fall when you cut the pipe
  • Mark around the whole circumference to keep the line smooth and sharp
  • Don’t go too slow with the saw, it might melt the metal

FAQs on Cutting Aluminum Pipe 

What is the best way to cut aluminum?

To cut the aluminum sheet, first, you have to get the saw carbide blade. Ensure that it has fine teeth. Lubricating the aluminum, you have to clamp the pipe.

When the pipe is stable, switch on the saw and start cutting. Don’t go too slow as it can melt the metal and never force the saw. It will cut the metal by itself!  

Can you cut aluminum with a wood blade?

While cutting aluminum getting a non-ferrous blade is important. The grade of the carbide in such blades is different than the typical power tools. You can work with wood blades that have carbide tips easily.

All you need to do is maintain precautious because the tips of such blades can easily break the aluminum. But we always recommend you to get the metal cutting blade for cutting aluminum

Can I use a hacksaw to cut aluminum?

Yes, if the aluminum is not too thick, you can cut it with a hacksaw. In some cases, thick aluminum can also be cut with a hacksaw. Just like other saws we have mentioned above, this one works the same.

As this is not powered, you have to put your energy and move the blade after clamping so that you can cut the aluminum sheet or tubing. 

What is the best blade to cut aluminum?

As you will use the woodcutting saws in cutting aluminum, woodcutting blades are also perfect! Take any woodcutting saw with a carbide blade and work with it. While choosing the blade, make sure it is fine-toothed.

The thickness of the blade should not exceed ¼ inch, otherwise, it will break or bent the metal. Non-ferrous materials are the best for constructing blades for cutting aluminum.

What can I use to cut a metal pipe?

You can use woodcutting saws along with carbide-tipped woodcutting blades for cutting metal pipes. Metal pipes are cylindrical and do not stay stable.

Mark it, clamp it and go for cutting it. The saws you can use for the procedure are a miter saw, circular saw, hacksaw, jigsaw, angle grinder, or reciprocating saw.

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Last Updated on January 30, 2022 by John G. Anderson


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