Can a miter saw cut metal, aluminum, tile, PVC pipe, laminate flooring, and brick? The short answer is yes! Yes, miter saws are going to be able to cut through all these materials, the difference is how well it will cut.
Miter saws are one of the best tools, if you need to make angled cuts. Making miter, bevel and compound cuts on a miter saw is a breeze. But, miter saws are designed with wood and composite in mind. That might leave you wondering what blades or extras you need.
Some material will cut better than others. And in a pinch, a miter saw will do the trick. But, don’t expect your miter saw to cut through title with the same results as a tile saw. While it will work, results may vary.
Luckily, we’ve done the research and have a few tips and tricks for cutting through all kinds of material with your miter saw!
Can a miter saw cut metal
Yes, a miter saw can cut metal. However, some metals are softer and you need to match the blade to the type of material that you are cutting. Metals have a broad spectrum of hardness. Softer metal like copper and aluminum are easier for miter saws to cut. Harder metal like steel, while doable, will take longer to cut, even with the right blade.
Purchasing a metal blade is easy and relatively cheap when compared to buying a metal cutting saw! You need to know what kind of metal you’ll be cutting. There are blades for ferrous and non-ferrous metal. For softer metal you’ll want a high tooth count and a blade made for cutting metal. Can a miter saw cut metal? Absolutely!
Big warning for cutting metal! While you might be used to cutting wood on you miter saw, cutting metal produces sparks! You must ensure that your saw and surrounding work space is clear of saw dust and debris. Sparks can easily ignite old saw dust.
Also note, that many experts argue against using an abrasive cutting disk. These disks are toothless and cut through the metal by grinding through it. Typical miter saws are not designed for such use and not only will the cut take a very long time, but you’ll also be putting an incredible amount of stress on your miter saw.
Can A Miter Saw Cut Aluminum
Yes! Miter saws make quick work of aluminum. Aluminum is one of the softest metals, much of the same information we just covered above applies to aluminum. Cutting aluminum with a miter saw is much more common and because of that there are far more options for cutting blades.
You’re going to want to pick up a miter saw blade specifically for cutting aluminum. Often the blade will say its made to cut aluminum, but if not, we want a blade that will cut non-ferrous or plastic material.
These types of blades usually have 80-100 teeth and are tougher that your normal wood cutting blades. The average cost of a good non-ferrous metal blade can range between $25-$50.
Do not try to use a high tooth count wood blade to cut metals. Not only do you run the risk of damaging the blade and the material, but also your miter saw.
Fair warning! Cutting aluminum will cause sparks! Make sure your saw and work space is clean and free of saw dust that might catch fire from the sparks! Can a miter saw cut aluminum? Yes, but watch out for the sparks!
Remember that when cutting aluminum on your miter saw, you’ll want to go slowly through the cut. Each cut will take longer, and you do not want to rush the saw. If you follow these tips you’ll be cutting aluminum like a pro in no time!
Can A Miter Saw Cut Tile
Yes! A miter saw will make quick work of tile. However, tile vary greatly compared to wood or metal. You’ll want to ensure you have the right set up to cut tile with your miter saw. Even with the right set up it might be worth considering buying or renting a tile saw for your project.
Of Course, you’re going to need the right type of blade for tile. What’s more important, however, is that you are using water to cut tile. Most tile saws are also wet saws. This is for good reason. Wet saws will always yield a better result when cutting tile compared to a dry saw.
You’ll want to see if you can attach or add water to you miter saw cuts. You might realize it isn’t worth the hassle or the trouble of getting your miter saw work space wet.
You also need a tile blade for your saw. Tile saws do not have teeth, but look more like abrasive cutting wheels. Tile blades however, have one big difference, diamonds! Might sound expensive, but they really aren’t.
Instead of having teeth that cut every time they pass through the material, tile blades have diamond that make thousands of tiny cuts every time the blade makes a rotation. This results in a much finer cut.
When cutting tile dry, you will produce a massive amount of dust. Dust that might be far more harmful than sawdust from wood. For this reason we recommend using a wet saw to eliminate the dust and keep your lungs safe.
Wet saws just work better, and miter saws are not designed to cut tile. Because of this you need to consider how big your project is. If you only need to make a handful of cuts, then a miter saw with added water will be fine.
Can a miter saw cut tile? Yes, however, if you need to make a lot of cuts, and want the end result to look amazing, we recommend a wet tile saw.
Can A Miter Saw Cut PVC Pipe
Yes, miter saws will eat through a PVC pipe easily and with great results. Of course, like any non-wood material we need to ensure we use the correct blade for the job.
The best miter saw blade for cutting PVC pipe will be a saw blade designed for non-ferrous metals and plastics. These blades typically have a higher tooth count around 90.
Installing a blade made for PVC will ensure you cut through the material faster, but will also make cleaner cuts. You also won’t run the risk of damaging the material with a blade that is too aggressive for the material.
PVC pipe can melt, we only want to go as fast as the blade can cut. Do that and you’ll have a great cut for you project!
Cutting PVC pipe with a miter saw is much safer than cutting metals or tile. You won’t have harmful dust or sparks. You’ll get plastic shavings that resemble wood more than plastic. Can a miter saw cut PVC pipe? Yes, and with a great degree of success and quality.
Can A Miter Saw Cut Laminate Flooring
Yes! Miter saws are a great tool to cut laminate flooring. When installing laminate flooring getting a precise cut at the perfect angle can be tough. Using a miter saw to help with those cuts is a great option to have.
However, you do have to take some considerations into account.when cutting laminate flooring with a miter saw. The main thing is getting the right blade for the job. You won’t be able to use the same blade you would cut PVC pipe with, for laminate flooring. PVC pipe is a much harder plastic and can handle heat better than laminate can.
Luckily, there are miter saw blades designed for laminate flooring. These blades should say they are for cutting laminate and melamine. These blades typically have 80 teeth, and will run you about $70.
Laminate flooring is soft compared to wood flooring. Because of this a regular high tooth miter saw blade will quickly get gummed up as the soft laminate particles build up on the blade.
This means your cuts will be slower and be less precise. Blades designed for laminate address this issue, and will let you make thousands of cuts before you need to worry!
Can a miter saw cut laminate flooring? Yes, just ensure the best blade for the task is installed!
Can A Miter Saw Cut Brick
You might need to make some precise cuts to brick. Whether you’re installing an interlock patio, or doing fine detail work a miter saw can get you the perfect cut for bricks. Yes, a miter saw can cut bricks. In fact, it does it quite well.
As we mentioned with tile, a wet saw is always best when cutting stone type material. However, bricks or pavers are more rugged than tile. This means that if you choose to dry cut bricks or pavers with your miter saw you won’t damage the material as you would with tile.
You’ll want to ensure you make the either outside, or with a high level of dust collection. There’s going to be dust. A lot of dust! Next you’ll want the best miter saw blade for the job.
Diamond blades are the way to go! Just like with tile, a diamond blade doesn’t have teeth but rather many rough diamonds that make thousands of minor cuts every pass. Can a miter saw cut brick? You bet!
The biggest thing when cutting bricks or pavers with a miter saw is dust. Use a respirator, or make your miter saw cuts outside. Follow these tips and you’ll be cutting bricks with a miter saw with a perfect angle!