Can Chainsaws Cut Metal?

Chainsaws are awesome machines that can cut through almost anything. Chainsaws are designed to cut through wood, but they’re not always the best tool to use to cut metal.

Although, a chainsaw is a high powered cutting device that is used to fell upright trees, cut their branches off from the bottom up and finally chop into smaller pieces, during its use, a lot of heat is generated.

This heat is due to the frictional force that exists when the chain and wood surface collide. 

If this much heat could be generated with a poor conductor of heat, imagine how much of it will be generated between two metal, one being the chain that is made of steel and the other being any other metal.

Here are some likely scenarios:

  • Sparks would fly: Sparks will be generated and it is a fire hazard.
  • The chain could break: The chain will not be properly lubricated and could break immediately. A situation that can only cause serious injury to the person involved and those surrounding him/her.
  • Your chainsaw dullens: The chainsaw will immediately get duller over time.
  • The level of kickback will be greater: An unexpected amount of kickback will be generated and operators can easily lose their grip on the chainsaw.

These are a few reasons why a chainsaw would not be suitable for cutting metal.

The chainsaw is a beast of a machine. It cuts through trees, metal posts and other materials with ease. Cutting metal isn’t something you can do with just any saw. The teeth on the blade are specially designed to cut wood, not steel or aluminum. That’s why it’s important to know what type of saw will work for cutting metal before you start in on this project!

Therefore, in this article, I’ll be discussing saws and other devices that can be used to cut metal instead.

Tin Snips

These look like a pair of scissors. They are an affordable manual tool that is used for cutting soft metal such as corrugated metal. Depending on their blade type, they can cut in curves or straight lines. They are the perfect handy tool to use but when using them ensure that you keep your safety gloves on.

 

aviation tin snips black grained surface

 

Tin snips are a simple tool that can cut through metal. By using these in conjunction with other tools, you can make quick work of any metal project. Tin snips come in many sizes and shapes so it’s important to find the best tin snips for your needs.

If you’re trying to cut something that’s really thick like an old car hood, then it will take a while with tin snips because there’s not enough pressure behind them. Luckily, if you’ve got some thin sheet metal or something like aluminum siding (thin), then it’ll be easy-peasy!

Hacksaws

A hacksaw is a popular metal cutting tool. The only factors to consider when purchasing hacksaws are their blades and frame. It has interchangeable blades that make it suitable for most kinds of cutting. The regular blades are for cutting soft metals. The raker blades cut thick metal and finally the wavy blade cut hard, thin metals. The frames could also be fixed or adjustable.

 

hacksaw metal yellow background applied by craftsmen repair plumbing construction

 

Many people don’t realize that hacksaws can be used to cut metal. A hacksaw is a type of saw that uses a reciprocating blade and an open frame design to make long cuts in wood, metal, or other materials. It’s known as the “poor man’s bandsaw.”

You might need a hacksaw for any number of reasons:

  • cutting wire mesh
  • cutting plumbing pipes
  • cutting rebar
  • sawing through metal fencing posts

Hacksaws are one of the most versatile tools you can have indoors because they’re lightweight and easy to use for cutting small pieces of metal or rebar.

Tips for Cutting Metal with a Hacksaw

  • Always cut using firm, steady strokes.
  • Ensure that the metal you are about to cut is clamped in space so it does not slip out under you. As it could cause instability which could cause injuries.
  • Always wear the right safety equipment.
  • Always clean your hacksaw after use.
  • Always select the right cutting blade suited for the material to be cut.
  • Cutting mainly occurs on the forward stroke.

Bench Shears

As the name implies, they are bench-mounted tools that are used to shape and cut through sheet metal. To use it, you simply have to position the sheet metal between the upper and lower shears. Then you pull down the handle which leaves you with a precisely cut metal.

Bench shears offer an excellent alternative for cutting sheet metal because they are smaller than chainsaws and easier on both hands and ears. They also require less power than a chainsaw which makes them safer around other people who might not have experience with working with these tools.

Tips for Cutting with Bench Shears

  • Ensure that you are properly trained before using the machine.
  • Wear personal protective equipment always, most especially gloves.
  • Always maintain a safe distance between you and the shear.
  • Before use ensure that it is in good working condition.
  • Always ensure that your surrounding area is free of obstacles when using this machine.
  • Never place your hands between upper and lower shears.
  • Work slowly and never when you are fatigued.

Circular Saws

Circular saws are suited for cutting metals when fitted with the right blade. It can cut mild steel when paired with carbide tipped abrasive cutting discs. When cutting, ensure that you are wearing the correct personal protective equipment because hot metal chips will be everywhere.

 

close up cutting metal pipe man using angle grinder

 

A circular saw is a useful tool for cutting metal. It can cut, shape, and even weld various types of metals. There are different blades that are used with the circular saw to perform specific to cut sheets of metal.

If you need to cut long lengths of metal, it’s best to use a plasma cutter that leaves melted edges on the material.

Other tips include:

  • Ensuring that the metal to be cut is clamped down and secure.
  • Inspecting your saw before use. Ensure that it is in the right working condition.
  • Setting the blade depth before cutting.

Jigsaws

Jigsaws are a versatile cutting tool. They cut through a lot of materials, metals included. However, before cutting, you would have to first drill a hole into the metal.

Several noteworthy tips when cutting metals with a jigsaw include:

  • Always mark out or highlight the lines along which you will be cutting.
  • Always wear personal protective equipment, especially gloves.
  • Ensure metal is securely clamped down to the workbench before cutting.
  • Always lubricate the blades at intervals when cutting so it does not break from the heat.

Jigsaws are a great tool for cutting metal. They can be used to cut anything from thin sheet metal to thick steel beams. This is the best way for anyone who needs to do some heavy-duty work around their house or on their farm.

Band Saws

If you’re looking for a way to cut metal, band saws are an excellent option. They can be used to cut sheet metal and pipes, as well as other materials. Band saws work by using sharp teeth on the blade that rotate against the material being cut from both sides of the blade. This causes friction and heat which melts the material in between the teeth and eventually cuts through it.

These are also great for making precise cuts. They are usually used for cutting metal pipes and sheets into custom shapes and angles. When working with them, ensure that you adhere to all safety precautions.

Miter Saws

These are used to make precise cuts on aluminum. They are similar in function to circular saws but do not require as much force. Just like the saws listed above, when cutting non-ferrous metal, a lot of debris is created. Therefore, you must wear safety boots, gloves, and goggles to ensure that you do not get injured at all times. Like all heavy machinery, you must be fully active when using it and the working area must be cleared up.

Oscillating Saws

This power tool is used to cut metal pipes, nails, and bolts. When in use, both it and the object to be cut must be securely clamped down. You must be properly trained to handle this device and you must be in your safety gear always.

Reciprocating Saws

These are popular among DIYers for cutting nails and thin metal sheets. They are carbide tipped and aren’t suited for making precise cuts.  

Final Thoughts

In the end, chainsaws are not the best tools for cutting metal, simply because there is a lot of risks attached to it. Also, most cannot handle the amount of heat that will be generated from that action because they do not have metallic reinforcement. With the numerous alternatives listed in this article, you can see that there are affordable, safety compliant power tools for cutting different kinds of metal.