Difference between ferrous and non-ferrous circular metal cutting blades?
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    Difference between ferrous and non-ferrous circular metal cutting blades?

    Ready for another Saturday night silly question?

    What is the difference between a ferrous and non-ferrous circular saw metal cutting blade? I know the difference between the two metals. I have a small Makita 5-3/8" cordless metal cutting circular saw. I have 30-tooth and 50-tooth blades but they both say they are for ferrous metals. Looking on-line I see that most blades are advertised as being for ferrous but a few are in fact labelled as non-ferrous. Both style blades come in 30T and 50T and are carbide tipped. So what makes one 30T or 50T carbide blade suitable for non-ferrous and another one not?

    I have to make a 6-inch cut through 1/4-inch thick 6061 Aluminum Tooling Flat Sheet Plate Bar Mill Stock and I'm trying to decide if I can use either of the blades I currently have.
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    I suspect the aluminum one has a sharper edge. The sharper edge will cut the aluminum better instead of melt it and clog up. The sharper edge would break quicker in steel.

    You can try yours and if you lubricate it liberally, feed lightly and make a few cuts before the bar can start melting you might be ok. Did I say lubricate liberally. I mean like Bernie Sanders would if he loved oil.
    Last edited by Herminator; 08-17-2019 at 09:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herminator View Post
    I suspect the aluminum one has a sharper edge. The sharper edge will cut the aluminum better instead of melt it and clog up. The sharper edge would break quicker in steel.

    You can try yours and if you lubricate it liberally, feed lightly and make a few cuts before the bar can start melting you might be ok. Did I say lubricate liberally. I mean like Bernie Sanders would if he loved oil.
    Heh heh... any preference on the type of lube? What would Bernie like?

    Something like Fluid Film or more like a traditional cutting / tapping fluid?
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    I would probably use a spray with a straw that you could get down into the slot. Well sorry I just noticed it’s a 1/4”. Good part is that won’t hold the heat as bad. A little thicker might be better but the main thing is slippery. It will melt to the teeth quicker than you think. The good part is if you stop in time you can usually knock it off with a screwdriver. If you wait too long then the base metal of the blade gets hot.

    If you have a partner in crime just have them spray while you cut and it should work good
    Last edited by Herminator; 08-17-2019 at 09:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herminator View Post
    I would probably use a spray with a straw that you could get down into the slot. Well sorry I just noticed it’s a 1/4”. Good part is that won’t hold the heat as bad. A little thicker might be better but the main thing is slippery. It will melt to the teeth quicker than you think. The good part is if you stop in time you can usually knock it off with a screwdriver. If you wait too long then the base metal of the blade gets hot.

    If you have a partner in crime just have them spray while you cut and it should work good
    Sounds good. I will give that a try. I think I will use the 30T blade as the 50T says it is specifically for thin material.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Sounds good. I will give that a try. I think I will use the 30T blade as the 50T says it is specifically for thin material.
    Good idea. Sorry neighbor just called and I had to correct a bat in the house situation. What I am imagining is something like a small circular saw. If so spray with a straw from the underneath side while cutting so the teeth are oily each time they connect and the cooling effect of the aerosol will help as well. You might get it in one pass then. As long as chips are flying keep cutting. You will feel the resistance change instantly when it starts to clog.
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    Herm is right, my family owns a metal shop. Generally all metal blades cut everything but aluminum well. Aluminum will fairly easily clog blades that aren’t designed for it. We would run less teeth on the saws we set up for aluminum. Most of our saws had multiple speeds and we would run as slow as possible for aluminum. They were liquid cooled saws (blades not motors). Dispute buying the liquid many times I have no clue what it actually was. Local shop sold it to us in unmarked 5 gallon buckets. It really felt like 75% water with some light oil mixed in.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Herminator View Post
    Good idea. Sorry neighbor just called and I had to correct a bat in the house situation. What I am imagining is something like a small circular saw. If so spray with a straw from the underneath side while cutting so the teeth are oily each time they connect and the cooling effect of the aerosol will help as well. You might get it in one pass then. As long as chips are flying keep cutting. You will feel the resistance change instantly when it starts to clog.
    Correct. It is a Makita BCS550
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BCS550.jpg  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herminator View Post
    What I am imagining is something like a small circular saw.
    Now I am imagining a very nice saw. I have one for wood that I probably bought when I bought the house in 90. Used it today and still works like new.
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    I've always used a carbide tipped saw blade run backwards to cut aluminum.
    Its noisy but it leaves a clean cut and is easy to handle.
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