If you found your way to this article, then you are probably wondering if you can put an abrasive cutting blade on a miter saw. Perhaps you need to do an angle cut on a piece of metal, or you have some other heavy-duty material you need to work with.
Unfortunately, using an abrasive blade on a miter saw isn’t recommended. Miter saws are primarily used to cut wood. They are meant for projects like making photo frames, cutting molding, or slicing through house studs — all tasks that do not require an abrasive disc.
However, assuming the abrasive blade size matches your miter saw, you may be able to get away with making a couple of cuts. However, you should be aware that it will cause extra wear on the miter saw.
Problems With Putting an Abrasive wheel on a Miter Saw
There are basically two main issues that come into play when you start putting abrasive discs on your miter saw. The first thing to be concerned with is damage to the motor.
Using an abrasive blade and cutting through metal or other tough materials can overload the motor and/or damage the bearings.
This is because the miter saw was engineered specifically to cut wood.
It operates at an RPM range that is higher than some other types of saws such as the chop saw.
Abrasive disks are made to be used in saws that run at 3200 to 3600 RPMs. The miter saw typically operates somewhere between 4000 and 5400 RPMs.
All that speed means more friction. If you are a fan of physics, then you will know the extra friction will cause heat — it can even cause enough heat to make the abrasive blade and the metal you are cutting red-hot!
This leads us to the second thing you need to be worried about: your safety. When the blade and the materials you are working with start heating up, this can cause any plastic pieces on your saw to warp or melt.
You also need to be aware of the sparks and dangerous debris using an abrasive blade can kick up.
If your miter saw has an exhaust bag, it is even possible that a spark or the heat could cause it to burst into flames!
Working With an Abrasive Disc on Miter Saw Safely
If you absolutely need to put an abrasive disc on your miter saw to finish a particular project, then you will want to be sure you do the work safely.
The first thing you need to “manage” is your work expectations. Don’t expect the abrasive blade and the metal or other heavy-duty material to cut in a similar manner as your typical wood project.
Understand that you will not be able to do this work at the same speed and fashion you do when cutting wood with a non-abrasive blade.
Before you switch out the blade, you will want to thoroughly clean your miter saw. Be sure to remove any dust and residue from your previous projects. You want your saw to be as clean as it is possible to make it to prepare for the possible heat and metallic debris that is coming.
Choose an abrasive blade that is suited to the type of material you will be cutting. For instance, if you are cutting aluminum, you may want to get a blade made of aluminum oxide. width of the abrasive blade on a miter saw will also make a big difference.
You will also want to make your cuts more slowly when you are using an abrasive disc. Having a thicker blade will naturally slow things down which, in turn, will help keep the motor from overheating and lessen the likelihood of throwing out sparks.
To ensure your own safety, be sure to use proper gear before attempting to make cuts using an abrasive blade in your miter saw. You may want to consider wearing a welder’s mitts and mask.
This will help protect you from the heat and the potential sparks that you may encounter when attempting to make cuts with the abrasive disc.
At the end of the day you need to realize this isn’t the right tool for the job, and you need to use caution if proceeding.