Design & DIY

The right way to cut aluminum

aluminum-railing Photo by Mike Totten/Shutterstock

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you sure can impart new tips to an old contractor.

I recently completed a big deck job that featured rail less glass for the scenic sections and aluminum railings for the runs without a great view. Pretty standard stuff.

In the past, I have used hacksaws, jig saws with metal cutting blades, recip saws, and grinders equipped with cut off wheels to trim railings and/or spindles.

The supplier from whom I got the material suggested this: a good mitre saw with a quality carbide blade would cut the aluminum easily and smoothly.

Of course, I was a tad skeptical and on the first cut I kind of expected the worst. But it worked. I made about a hundred cuts for that job and the blade is still perfectly sharp.

It is important to wear good quality safety glasses and hearing protection; and make sure to hold the material tight to the fence and to bring the saw up to full speed before introducing blade to aluminum.

And finally remember, this only works for non-ferrous metal.

Featured Video