The miter saw, also known as a chop saw, is a powerful tool for cutting wood. The design of the miter saw allows it to make smooth and sleek wooden cuts effectively. Although it might be tempting to test its power on different materials, there are a few things you should never try to cut with a miter saw.
Here are 8 things to never cut with a miter saw:
- Ferrous materials.
- Ceramic tiles.
- Electronic devices.
Next, we’ll dig deeper and discover why the list of things mentioned above is a bad idea to cut in your miter saw. By the end of this article, I hope to fully inform you what dangers you could potentially face when you attempt to cut these materials with a chop saw.
1. Ferrous Materials
You should never attempt to use a miter saw to cut hard metals such as:
First, manufacturers design the miter saw specifically to cut dry wood, which does a fantastic job. But trying to cut metal with this power tool would not end well for you or your blade.
It is not a good idea to use your miter saw for metals for the following reasons:
2. Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic comes in different forms, such as porcelain, earthenware, and brick. It is a hardened material that usually consists of a substantial amount of crystalline compound. The material is quite brittle and shatters under pressure and force.
Since ceramic can shatter under pressure, you should not cut this material using a miter saw. Not only can its pieces be launched into the miter saw and damage it, but it can also cause serious injury to the operator.
Imagine multiple sharp pieces of this material flying about in the room at high speed. It wouldn’t yield the results you might anticipate.
Glass is another red flag when cutting it in a chop saw. The results should be self-explanatory since we have a blade spinning at high speeds and glass. If it doesn’t paint a clear enough picture, let me try to explain.
We all know glass is a very brittle material, and we are also aware by now that the blade on the miter saw spins fast, almost 2,000 – 4,000 RPM (revolutions per minute). Now imagine loading a piece of glass into the saw and pushing the saw down on it with the blade spinning at high rates of speed.
The outcome would not be favorable for you or your tool. Little pieces of glass will infiltrate the inner mechanics of your miter saw, and most of all, you are in danger of getting seriously hurt with the little bits of glass flying everywhere. In addition, inhaling the dust from the shattering glass could be irritating.
Concrete is usually sand and gravel mixed to form a hardened material. A lot of sources out there will tell you that with the right type of blade, you could potentially cut concrete with a miter saw.
However, I would relate to my earlier point that the motor on your miter saw is typically designed to cut wood, which is much softer than concrete. Attempting to cut this hard material will strain your miter saw and significantly deteriorate your power tool.
Stone is harder than concrete, depending on the type of stone you are trying to cut in a miter saw. There are better tools available especially designed to cut stone. When taking on a project requiring constant or prolonged rock cutting, you shouldn’t use a device that a manufacturer does not explicitly create to cut these materials safely.
Take the circular saw, for instance; it is a tool you can use to cut stone and make a wider range of cuts. Cuts that wouldn’t be possible with a miter saw, not to mention, a circular saw has more mobility as well.
The Milwaukee 2730-20 Fuel Circular Saw is a battery power tool perfect for stone and concrete cutting jobs. A circular saw is a tool for you if you want something durable and practical.
- M18 Fuel 6 1/2 Circular Saw Bare
- The product is highly durable
It is pretty evident why you shouldn’t try to cut open any batteries with a miter saw. Although most people already know this, I’m putting this section in the article to be safe.
Batteries contain various acids and chemicals that can splash out and cause severe chemical burns. Having a high-speed blade cutting through a battery is a huge red flag and should never be attempted. Moreover, as a rule of thumb, you should never attempt to breach the casing of any battery by any means.
7. Green Wood
Freshly cut wood consists of moisture, also known as green or wet wood. You should refrain from cutting this type of wood in your miter saw for several reasons:
8. Electronic Devices
Lastly, electronic devices of all kinds should never be cut open with a miter saw. The reason is that electronic devices and gadgets have tiny parts and components that can swing out with the motion of the blade and cause injury to the operator or anyone standing close by.
You also risk getting electrocuted. In the case of a battery-operated device, it could cause additional harm to the operator. Therefore, stand clear of cutting all electronics and use a screwdriver if necessary.
You can safely open most machines and electronics with a flat-head or a Phillips-head screwdriver. Therefore, take caution and always refrain from cutting such devices in a miter saw.
What Type of Cut Must Never Be Made With a Miter Saw?
Freehand cuts should never be made with a miter saw or cut with your hand within 6 inches (15.2cm) of the blade. The material you intend to cut should be securely in place in a safe working area and never cut on the ground. You should also avoid cutting objects 8 inches (20.3cm).
Whatever you are trying to cut in your miter saw, you should never attempt to cut it free-hand. Always ensure the material is clamped and resting solidly against the fence.