Right blade for the job

by The Saw Doctor

Through the "Saw Doctor" I get to share my expertise to broaden your understanding and knowledge about saws. If there is one thing that gets under my skin this would be it...The wrong blade being used for the material being cut.

If you have a look at the picture you will notice that there is a tooth missing. The tooth is missing because this blade has been used to cut aluminum when it is designed only to cut timber. A timber cutting blade has a positive hook angle which has caused the tooth to grab the aluminum. The force and pressure on this tooth has caused it to break off in an attempt to relieve the stresses of the aluminum being caught in the tooth.

Another factor that has not helped the situation is that the aluminum was not clamped whilst sawing. Unfortunately people often mistakenly think that because it’s aluminum and only soft it will be right to cut with the panel saw. Sure, there has been times where you have trimmed the aluminum to length and there has been no problem. BUT then there is the one time when your concentration might not be 100% your grip on the the aluminum might not be as secure as it should be, and someone in the workshop comes over to you and asks you a question then BANG “what was that you say to yourself” your hand is tingling from the jolt. You're lucky this time as you have not received any serious cuts,  but you could lose a finger or even an eye from the aluminum off cut.

This is a common problem that I come across on a regular basis and  I’d like to bring to your attention that this practice is dangerous.The “she’ll be right” mentality can cost you a lot of money. That's why it’s important to use the correct blade when cutting aluminum.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a negative aluminum blade. The middle of the range quality would be far more effective and less dangerous than trying to save a few bucks and cut aluminum with a timber blade.

Until next time Happy Cutting and remember use the correct blade!!

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September 13, 2011
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