Cutting steel with a circular saw

flyidaho

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L 3301 HST
Feb 28, 2017
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I got one of these the other day, (https://www.google.com/search?q=dia...BGNQOcsZ8VxudJ0Pz8hOBf9RBxH0Reg:1579487916117) and yesterday started using it for the first time. Maybe I'm late to the party but these are new to me. I have a plasma cutter, a bandsaw, and plenty of skinny wheel cut off disc, plus a torch. I was building a car ramp, and was cutting 3/16" thick, 2"x2" angle iron. Like a hot knife thru butter! No noisier then a regular saw (noisy still, but not a extra metal screeching sound), and none of the super fine/hard to clean up/gets everywhere dust that a cuttoff or abrasive blade leaves, more like metallic sawdust. Granular, but not sharp, easy to clean up, doesn't float around.

It cut thru the 2" angle iron about as fast as a wood blade would cut thru a 2x4. NO heat build up, and no burr! Pretty amazing, and I'm looking for the catch....maybe it'll wear out in no time, but so far, very good.
 

8upbowhunter

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L4701 FEL, Cutter, Discs and Land Plane
Dec 15, 2016
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Yep I bought one last year for a small trailer project for our golf cart. Not sure how long it will last but it made my project a lot easier.


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sdk1968

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B2601HSD & CK4010HST 4WD/FEL
Oct 19, 2016
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we use these all the time at work...

where they really do good is cutting grating & plate steel.

no bad edge, no torch needed & it saves LOTS of prep work time.

you will find out hat the blades are pretty pricey.


key of cutting thicker stuff: dont try to force it thru like you would a wood saw... let it eat its way thru.


we actually use these: https://www.redtoolstore.com/produc...MIstexn5iS5wIVBZyzCh39KAPqEAQYBSABEgJV1_D_BwE
 

Yooper

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3901 LA525
May 31, 2015
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And don't try to "milk it out" once it starts becoming dull. Replace or sharpen. Best to have another blade handy for when it decides to starts burning through instead of cutting.
 

Tarmy

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Milwaukee has a circular saw M18 fuel for cutting metal. I like you, was skeptical at first....now, I hardly ever use the plasma for cutting sheet material up to 1/4”. That circ saw cuts it clean and easy...

As mentioned, don’t keep the blades once they lose their sharpness...just move on to a new one.
 

seanbarr

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B7100DT (sold) - Branson 3520H
Feb 1, 2013
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Deer Park, WA
Question is, how long will the blades last if used right?


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flyidaho

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L 3301 HST
Feb 28, 2017
326
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Yes, that is the big unknown for me as of now, longevity. But it all depends on what projects I have going on, it's not like I'm cutting steel every day, in my intermittent shop use, a blade may last me a 6 months or a year, your mileage may differ. I will say it would have to be very short lived,to make me not buy another. One cut was a 3" by 12" piece out of some 1'8" sheet stock, and in about as long as it would take to cut plywood, it was done, and again, no burrs to speak of and no heat build!
 

SidecarFlip

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I have to say that I've cut expansion grooves in cured concrete with an ordinary carbide tipped circular saw blade in the past with no issue other than the dust. I use an old dull carbide tipped blade, not a new one and I've also cut Fabral steel barn and building siding with a carbide tipped wood saw blade as well so anything is possible I presume. Cutting steel siding to size with a circular saw is light years easier than with tin snips....:D
 

flyidaho

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L 3301 HST
Feb 28, 2017
326
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I too have used an old carbide blade to cut roof tin, but it leaves a kinda nasty edge, that's why the burr free cut of the Diablo is amazing. Another trick I used before carbide blades became common, was a regular all steel saw blade, but install backwards! That works pretty good also. I have yet to try this blade on thinner stock, but originally heard about it on an aviation site, being used to cut 4130 chrome moly tubing, usually no thicker then .049 for aircraft use. From what it does on angle iron, I'm pretty sure it will cut that tubing like a chainsaw thru butter.
 

D2Cat

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flip you say, " Cutting steel siding to size with a circular saw is light years easier than with tin snips...."

I have a neighbor who works for a company that build barns using mostly steel for siding and roofs. He was doing some work for me, and he convinced me when one knows what they are doing and using the right tools they become very efficient.

He was doing my project after hours. He'd come over after work and have the lights on his truck so he could see. He'd cut a piece of tin, wrap it like a taco, climb a ladder, screw it down.... and be right down for another one. In one hour he'd get done what I would take several hours to do. He use a long nosed snips, and he'd cut that sheet in about 30-40 seconds...I know way less then a minute!
 

SidecarFlip

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I own a full set of snips (Wiss), straight, left, and right and a long nose pair as well but I don't use them often and it shows in my crooked cuts so I use the saw blade method (and ear plugs too). I'm headed to Lowes today to pick up a Diablo blade anyway. Loos to me to be the cats meow.
 

sdk1968

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^^^^ my "day job" requires the use of tin snips all day long.... so im good at it....

we have moved to the metal saw for big sheets & long cuts. its faster, safer & doesnt make any sparks.

way less chance of getting cut or burnt while saving time & money.
 

SidecarFlip

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My day job is gainfully retired but, I bought a Diablo blade yesterday. Too bad HF don't have a comparable one but I bet they will soon.
 

flyidaho

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L 3301 HST
Feb 28, 2017
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I had a cut to make today, just some 3/4" sq tube, but in such an awkward location my 4" skinny wheel grinder couldn't get in there. The tube was welded in place....then I remembered the Diablo, and it saved the day. Much quicker and a cleaner cut then getting the sawzall out, and i wasn't sure if I had a metal cutting blade.

One thing, I am getting one of those cheap clear full face visors, or whatever they are called, my welding helmet auto darkens to often when wearing it while cutting, and standard safety glasses were not good enough. Your saw may be different, but my worm gear Skil Saw seems to throw the chips right in my face, BUT they are not sharp, just annoying, and some got by my safety glasses, screw that. Still though, the most benign way to hack metal I've found, maybe a band saw is, but compared to a friction blade or torch.
 

SidecarFlip

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Bought the blade and have used it but I prefer my Hypertherm plasma cutter. Of course 30 bucks versus 4 grand is quite a difference in price.
 
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Bulldog

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Question is, how long will the blades last if used right?


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Don't know about that brand. I bought a Milwaukee metal saw about 10 years ago. Can't really say for sure how much I've cut but would guess between 200 -300 feet and it still cuts just as good as it did new.

Not used daily but a great tool for any welder/fabricator to have around.