Miter saws can cut various materials with ease. the versatility of the saw and many adjustable cuts a miter saw can perform make it a valuable tool. Miter saws are designed to cut manufactured wood and composites, typically in construction or woodworking applications. This is that a miter saw is best at.
That being said there are times when you need to make a couple cuts to a material, other than wood, and might wonder if your miter saw can cut it. Below I’ll cover a few types of material that people often wonder if their miter saw can cut.
Again, miter saws are designed for wood and composites, not cutting metals and rocks. Sometimes the job just needs one cut and you don’t have the proper tool for the job. I’ll offer some points should you choose to to use your miter saw with materials it isn’t designed for, but you do so at your own risk.
Please proceed with caution and common sense.
Using A Miter Saw To Cut Metals
Miter saws can be equipped with a ferrous and non-ferrous metal blades. This is an important distinction you need to make before using your miter saw to cut metal, depending of the type of material.
Can A Miter Saw Cut Metal
While it isn’t the ideal choice, yes a miter saw can cut metal. You will want to ensure that you use a metal cutting circular saw blade and make your cut slowly to allow the balde to perform the work. The saw will produce sparks, so ensure the area is safe and free of saw dust and debris.
Metal Cutting Miter Saw Blade
Figure out what kind of metal you will be cutting and get either a ferrous or non-ferrous blade. While these blades are typically more expensive than normal miter saw blades, it will perform much better and save a lot of wear on your miter saw.
How To Metal With A Miter Saw
When cutting metal with a miter saw, ensure the material is securely clamped down. With a metal cutting blade installed, allow the blade to reach full speed before coming in contact with the material. Allow the blade to perform the work, do not rush the blade. Watch out for sparks.
Can You Cut Steel With A Miter Saw
A Miter saw is not the best tool to cut steel with, however, with the correct blade, a miter saw can cut steel. You will yield better results using a cut-off saw or a chop saw with an abrasive wheel. When cutting steel with a miter saw ensure you watch out for sparks.
Steel Cutting Blade For Miter Saw
A ferrous metal circular saw blade will be the best steel cutting blade for a miter saw. Do not use a normal blade designed for wood, as you will quickly ruin the blade. Using a ferrous metal blade will ensure you are using the best blade for the job.
Cutting Steel With A Miter Saw
It is necessary to clamp down the steel to the miter saw and ensure it doesn’t move. Power up your miter saw and let the ferrous metal cutting blade speed up fully, before performing the cut. Let the saw do the work.
Can You Cut Aluminum With A Miter Saw
Aluminum is the easiest type of metal to cut with a miter saw. You can cut various types of aluminum using a non-ferrous miter saw blade, some will be no problem and some tougher types of aluminum may be more difficult.
Miter Saw Blade For Aluminum
You will want to attach a non-ferrous miter saw blade when cutting aluminum pieces. This will enable you to get the cleanest cuts and put the least amount of strain on your miter saw. Non-ferrous blades are common and can be found at your local hardware store.
Cutting Aluminum With A Miter Saw
With a non-ferrous blade attached to the miter saw. Start by clamping the material to the miter saw fence. Allow the blade to reach full RPMs before beginning the cut. Sparks are sure to fly so wear eye protection, and make sure your work area is clean of saw dust and flammable material.
Cutting Aluminum Gutters, Soffit and Aluminum Siding
These types of aluminum can be easily, and cleanly cut by a miter saw. A miter saw will have no problem performing this task. Miter saws are a great option when needing to cut siding and soffit. Aluminum gutters and eavestrough are no problem either.
These types of materials are typically best cut with shears, so it is important to take tear out into consideration when cutting these with a saw. The tear out made by a saw can leave sharp jagged edges, as opposed to smooth sharp edges left by shears.
Aluminum Screen Frame, Extrusions, Block, And Tubing Cuts With A Miter Saw
Aluminum screen frames and tubing are no problem for a miter saw. Aluminum extrusions are typically not an issue unless uncommonly thick. Aluminum blocks will not do as well under a miter saw as other cutting options.
Can I Use A Miter Saw To Cut Rebar
Cutting rebar with a miter saw is not recommended, there are better tools for this job. However, in a pinch, a miter saw with a ferrous saw blade will be able to cut rebar. So long as you use the correct blade and only make a couple of cuts, you’ll see minimal wear.
Best Blade To Cut Rebar On A Miter Saw
Rebar is a ferrous metal and therefore calls for a ferrous circular saw blade to be installed on your miter saw. These blades are designed for hard metal, which is exactly what rebar is. A ferrous metal blade is an absolute necessity.
Cutting Rebar With A Miter Saw
With the ferrous metal blade installed on your miter saw, begin to power the saw letting reach full speed. Slowly perform the cut, do not rush the blade as it will certainly bind and kickback. Sparks will be abundant so do so in a safe area.
Cutting Stone, Bricks, Pavers And Tile With A Miter Saw
Masonry materials are best cut with a concrete saw. these saws are gas powered and are designed to make easy cuts to the below material.
Of course, Miter saws can get the job done if you are willing to deviate from recommended practices.
Cut Stone With A Miter Saw
While not designed specifically to cut stone or other masonry materials, when equipped with the right blade a miter saw will be able to cut stone and some types of rock. This process will not be quick and will produce a lot of dust.
Stone Cutting Blade For Miter Saw
Masonry blades are diamond blades that can appear to have more similarities with an abrasive wheel that a normal miter saw blade. This type of blade is better suited for cutting stone on your miter saw, and will make quick work of it.
What To Use To Clean Stone Dust From A Miter Saw
Cutting stone on a miter saw will produce a lot of dust. The best way to clean this dust is with compressed air. An air compressor is the ideal tool for this. However, for a little dust you can wipe with a dry cloth and gently blow away the remaining dust. Do not use any liquids to remove this dust.
Cutting Concrete Patio Pavers With A Miter Saw
A Miter saw can be used to cut patio pavers so long as you are using a masonry blade. It is important to note that when cutting larger patio pavers you may see a lot of breaks and cracks occurring in the patio paver even where you are not cutting it.
Miter Saw Blade To Cut Pavers
Using a standard masonry blade will be the best option to cut patio pavers on your miter saw. These blades will cause the least wear on your saw, while helping to reduce possible cracks and breaks in the pavers during a cut.
How To Cut Pavers With A Miter Saw
Allow the masonry blade to fully speed up before making contact to the paver. Ease the blade through the paver slowly. Rushing the blade will cause kickback and increase the likelihood of cracks or breaks in the paver. This is best done outside due to large amounts of dust.
Can You Cut Tile With A Miter Saw
You can cut tile on a miter saw, however, intricate expensive tile should be cut on a wet saw, as wet saws reduce the chances of cracking and keep potentially toxic dust from getting into the air. Do not attempt to use your miter saw as a wet saw. You’ll only damage both the saw and the material.
Tile Blade For A Miter Saw
A masonry blade will be the best choice when cutting tile. You can also look at wet saw blade options in this scenario. Most tiles will cut easily, however, some types of tile will pose more trouble than it is worth to cut on your miter saw.
Cut Tile With A Miter Saw
To cut tile on a miter saw, place the tile face up on the miter saw and clamp it down. Let the blade reach full speed before making contact. Do not rush the blade when making the cut, rushing will only cause cracks in the face of the tile, ruining the material.
Can You Use A Miter Saw To Cut Brick
A miter saw with a masonry blade will make quick work of bricks. Provided you are cutting standard clay type bricks, these soft types of masonry pose little problem even for a miter saw. They will, however, produce a massive amount of dust during the cut.
Brick And Masonry Miter Saw Blade
A standard masonry blade that fits onto your miter saw will be more than enough to quickly and cleanly cut brick. You may be able to use a standard miter saw blade if only a couple cuts are needed, but a masonry blade will yield better results.
Cutting Brick With A Miter Saw
In a well ventilated area, with a masonry blade installed on your miter saw, clamp the brick to the miter saw fence. Fully speed up the blade before performing the cut and move the blade slowly through the brick. This will create a great amount of dust, and is best done outside.
Can I Use A Concrete Blade On A Miter Saw
Yes, provided the blade fit on to the arbor of the miter saw (An adapter can often be used if it doesn’t fit). Miter saws can do light work concrete cuts. It is not recommended to use a concrete blade on a miter saw to cut wood as this will produce poor results and possibly ruin the material.
Cutting Concrete With A Miter Saw
A large volume of concrete cuts with a miter saw is not recommended due to better options being available for that job and extra wear the miter saw will incur. A gas powered concrete saw will be your best option. A miter saw would be pushing its upward limits cutting concrete slabs.
Using A Miter Saw To Cut Plastics And Synthetics
While not designed to cut plastics and synthetic materials, miter saws can make quick work of them. Flooring or PVC pipes are easily cut with any miter saw blade, but some are better suited than others.
One important note I’ll mention is that these types of material can often cause build up of tiny bits of plastic or synthetics on the teeth of the blade, dulling it quickly. It’s recommended you clean your blade after using it to cut these types of material.
Can You Cut PVC Pipe With A Miter Saw
Miter saws can cut PVC and other plastic construction materials with general ease. You may choose to use a melamine saw blade, however, a standard miter saw blade will be fine to use for a few cuts. Careful to watch how slowly you cut as sustained heat may compromise the PVC pipe.
Miter Saw Blade For PVC Pipe
The best miter saw blade for PVC pipe would be a melamine blade. These blades are designed for composites, and non-fibrous material. A standard miter saw blade for cutting wood will wear faster and usually experience build up from the synthetic material.
How To Cut PVC Pipe With A Miter Saw
With the PVC Pipe Clamped into position get the miter saw up to full speed and make a firm cut through the material. Allow the blade to do the work, but do not take longer than necessary as heat may become an issue.
Can You Cut Laminate Vinyl Planks (LVP) With A Miter Saw
Cutting laminate vinyl planks on a miter saw is no problem provided you are making cross cuts. Should you want to cut the board lengthwise to trim the width of the board you will want to use a table saw.
Miter Saw Blade For Vinyl Laminate Flooring
If cutting LVP laminate vinyl flooring on a miter saw you will want to use a melamine saw blade. This type of blade will hold up longer against composite and synthetic materials like vinyl. You won’t have to worry about material build up dulling the blade.
Cutting Laminate Flooring With A Miter Saw
LVP and other laminate, vinyl flooring can be quite soft. Take special consideration that the material doesn’t move during a cut as soft materials can twist and cause binding. Should your miter saw bind into a piece of laminate flooring it will ruin that piece of material.
Cutting Natural, Treated And Composite Wood Materials With A Miter Saw
Miter saws are great for cutting lumber and various other types of wooden building material. However, it is important to note that not all wood materials can be cut in the same way.
a 2×4 needs little explanation to be cut on a miter saw, in fact that’s what it’s designed for. Natural untreated wood, for contrast, might have tough sappy knots that can cause unexpected binding on your miter saw.
Can A 10 Inch Miter Saw Cut A 4×4
Yes, a 10 inch miter saw can cut a 4×4, although not in a single cut. Performing multiple passes in the same cut can often compromise the quality and precision of the cut. Ensure that when moving the material between passes that the blade is correctly lined up with the previous cut.
Cutting A 4×4 With A Miter Saw
Clamp the 4×4 to the miter saw fence and make the first pass. Raise the saw head and flip the 4×4 over. You can align the 4×4 back up to the previous pass and perform the next pass. Even a 10 inch miter saw can cut a 4×4 in 2 passes.
Can A 12 Sliding Miter Saw Cut A 6×6
Yes, a 12 inch miter saw making multiple passes can cut a 6×6. Though it won’t cut through in one pass, you can use a miter saw to complete a cut to a 6×6 no harder than other standard power saws.
Cutting A 6×6 With A Miter Saw
With the 6×6 clamped down, make your first pass. Next, flip the 6×6 onto its side (not upside down) and make another pass. This is to ensure better alignment. Again, rotate the 6×6 onto the final uncut side and make the last pass.
Can A Miter Saw Cut 2×4
Yes, a miter saw will make easy work of any standard treated or untreated 2×4. Infact, performing cross cuts on a miter saw is the easiest cut a miter saw can make. You’ll be able to easily make any cut needed to a 2×4 with your miter saw.
Cutting 2×4 With A Miter Saw
Clamp down the 2×4 to the miter saw fence and make the cut with the blade at full speed. This is an easy cut to make, but do so safely. While uncommon, some lower grade 2x4s may be slightly bent or curved. A quick inspection will solve this issue.
Can I Cut Logs With A Miter Saw
While you can certainly cut logs with a miter saw you might prefer to use a wood splitter, if available. Careful with logs of unknown quality as cutting into solid wood only to cut into bad rot can cause kick back or binding.
Cut Logs With A Miter Saw
The awkward shape of logs might make clamping them down difficult. Hardwood isn’t difficult to cut with a miter saw, but isn’t the same as a 2×4. Note that when cutting logs you must watch out for knots in the wood, as they can cause binding.
Can A Miter Saw Cut Plywood
Miter saws will make quick work of any plywood you can find. No special blade is needed. Plywood will be easy, however do not attempt to break down an entire sheet of plywood with a miter saw. The minimal cutting capacity means a table saw will be better suited.
Cutting Plywood With A Miter Saw
With an appropriate sized piece of plywood for a miter saw, begin by clamping the material to the fence. Any standard miter saw blade will be able to make quick work of plywood without much concern. Get the miter saw up to full RPMs and make the cut.
Can A Miter Saw Cut Quarter Round
Quarter round and other various types of trim are a miter saw’s specialty. A miter saw with a standard blade installed will cut quarter round with ease. A miter saw will be able to give your quarter round miter and bevel angles without any problem.
How To Cut Quarter Round With A Miter Saw
Firmly secure the quarter round to the miter saw fence and rev the saw up to full speed. Lift the head of the saw and perform the cut slowly but firmly. This will produce fine cross, miter and bevel cuts to quarter round and other types of trim.