Cut aluminum

A typical machining of aluminum is cutting. However, aluminum is a very soft metal, which distinguishes the cutting of other metals. There are also other aluminum properties that need to be considered. Below are possible techniques for cutting aluminum.

Properties of aluminum limit the cutting possibilities

Aluminum is a soft light metal. Anyone who has ever cut aluminum, knows that the metal can therefore lubricate in a wrong approach. But that is not the only problem. The following properties must be observed when cutting aluminum:

  • Softness of the light metal
  • chemical reactions to other metals
  • the low melting point
  • depending on the further processing the oxidation

Tin snips and cutter for cutting thin sheets of aluminum

The equipment and machinery that you can use to cut aluminum also depends on the thickness of the workpiece. You can also cut thin aluminum sheets with a metal shears. You can even cut very thin sheets with a cutter and then break them.

Circular saws, jigsaw and angle grinder

But even with a thickness of several millimeters, the cutting of aluminum becomes more complicated. Specialist companies use either special metal saws or water cutters. Plasma cutting is also an option. But as a handyman you are of course usually not so prepared. The machines that could be used are limited to table or circular saw, angle grinder or jigsaw.

Speed ​​and feed rate during cutting

Basically you can work with all these saws. First, the choice of a suitable saw blade is important. A multiblade should not be used, but a metal saw blade with non-entangled, so straight teeth. The speed should be as low as possible, and the feed must be made rather slowly adapted to the material.

Use the right coolant

Often a coolant is used to cut aluminum. Again and again laymen recommend alcohol. The risk of ignition is extremely high, which is why you should refrain from it. Instead, you can use water-based coolant emulsions. However, this does not help with the table saw because the motor hangs under the edge of the table and the coolant could get into the electric motor.

Setting jigsaw for cutting algae

Rather suitable would be jigsaw or circular saw with guide. In the jigsaw, the speed (stroke) must also be rather low, also without pendulum motion. A straight, fine-toothed saw blade for metal should be used. Cooling the interface is the easiest with the jigsaw.

Cut angle grinder

The angle cutter is again a bit more problematic. In particular, if accurate cuts are to be made. In addition, the speed of the angle grinder is relatively high from the house. Overheating is very likely. This high speed also makes the use of a coolant difficult. Also use a suitable cutting disc.

Professional aluminum cutting with water cutter or scraper

Optimal for cutting would of course be a hacksaw with coolant supply (and suction). If you can not own or rent such equipment, it may be a good idea to cut to a specialist company to cut thick aluminum blocks or workpieces. There, the parts can be folded or cut with the plasma cutter.

Advantages of water cutting devices

If you want complex and filigree patterns without burr and really extremely clean, we recommend a water cutter for cutting aluminum. This allows almost any shape to be cut from any piece of aluminum, even filigree cooling fins or complicated rounds, etc.

The oxide layer on the aluminum

Aluminum, when in contact with oxygen, ie the air, has the property of immediately forming an oxide layer. Should or must this oxidation layer be avoided, you must take appropriate precautions, so seal the interface, for example, immediately after aluminum cutting.

Tips & Tricks

Depending on which tools you use to cut aluminum, you will need to rework the workpiece accordingly. Here we show you how to professionally grind aluminum, here the filing of aluminum. The polishing of aluminum could be necessary.

Video Board: How to cut aluminum DIY, SIMPLE!