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I have an abrasive cutoff saw that I use to cut metal, it runs at 3800RPM. You cannot cut aluminum with these saws, so I bought a carbide blade rated for 3800RPM.

I went to install it, but after looking in the manual I don't think it is such a good idea. It says "No toothed blades". A regular saw runs around 1200RPM.

Why can't I put toothed blades in my cutoff saw? The blade is rated for that speed, would there be a problem?

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  • $\begingroup$ I did call a company called cut technologies and they make a HSS blade that will work much higher than 3500RPM. They cost about 100$ than I want to spend, I might go that route. A lower speed cutoff saw is 200$ more than what I paid for my abrasive cutoff saw. $\endgroup$ – Voltage Spike Feb 18 '16 at 6:18
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I would certainly hesitate to install a toothed blade on a saw designed for abrasive disks. My biggest concern would be that the dynamic loading is likely to be significantly different and as these things are dangerous enough to begin with it seems and unnecessary risk that some unforeseen set of circumstances could cause a catastrophic problem.

If I were you I would get a basic cutoff or mitre saw designed for toothed blades. Multi-material saws are now readily available and woodworking saws work fine for aluminium and there aren't expensive.

There is also the consideration that it is not really good practice to use he same machine for cutting steel and aluminium as a mixture of steel and aluminium swarf is extremely flammable ie thermite especially when the steel cutting process is abrasive.

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Generally a company is not going to recommend you do something outside the scope of the intended product design because that would invoke liability. There are lots of variables like blade mounting tolerances, bearing loading, shroud design, chip removal, intended cutting material, motor hp and rpm as you mentioned. And because of these variables, someone like myself won't be able to tell you if it is safe or not.

That said, cutting aluminum with a high speed carbide blade is common industry practice. They are called cold saws in contrast to "hot" abrasive saws. They typically employ coolant and the cut speed is controlled by computer to ensure maximum safe cut speed.

For your situation, a regular wood circular saw or wood miter saw outfitted with a high-tooth-count carbide blade will cut aluminum profiles just great without any coolant.

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  • $\begingroup$ I do have a miter saw but I believe it also runs over 3000RPM. When I bought my carbide blade I got a high toothed count blade, I saw some that were lower and had a wide gap over 1/5" I can't imagine what would happen if the blade caught an edge. The problem is, my blade is 14", miter saw is 12". I'll have to return the blade. $\endgroup$ – Voltage Spike Feb 18 '16 at 6:15
  • $\begingroup$ Small tooth is a good bit of insurance so that you dont feed to fast and break a tooth. The tooth size doesn't matter just as long as you dont feed to fast. A higher tooth count will also last longer because there is just physically more cutting surfaces to wear out. It may have worked on your abrasive saw, but it would be better to just take the sure route and use a saw and blade that match. $\endgroup$ – ericnutsch Feb 18 '16 at 7:31

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