Cutting Aluminum with a Jigsaw – Everything You Need to Know

Cody
| Last Updated: April 12, 2021

Tool Tango is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The most common tool to cut aluminum sheets is a jigsaw; they’re the most best-suited tool to use. In the article below, we’ll discuss the various tools and techniques that’ll help you successfully cut aluminum sheets. 

How to Cut Aluminum With a Jigsaw

Aluminum isn’t a tough material and can be easily manipulated. However, it takes certain tools and techniques to cut it safely and correctly; we’ll show you exactly what you need to do that in the section below. 

Secure The Aluminum Down 

The blade of a jigsaw moves rapidly in an up and down motion to make the cut. It’s necessary to hold the aluminum down securely using multiple clamps. 

If you don’t do this, it’ll move the aluminum around, and the teeth will lift it up and down, causing serious shredding, ultimately leaving a rough cut. You can also prevent shredding by placing two heavy planks on either side of where you plan on making your cut. 

Use A Metal Cutting Blade 

To cut an aluminum sheet, you have to use a particular jigsaw blade. A blade that has between 21-24 TPI will cut through metal sheets with no effort whatsoever. The main point is to find a blade with as many teeth as possible, as the more teeth a blade has, the cleaner the cut will be. 

It’s also important you try to find a blade that doesn’t have paint on it; this usually burns off due to the excessive levels of heat created due to friction; it’s more of a safety hazard than anything else. 

You’d also be looking to use a high-speed steel blade to cut metal correctly as it doesn’t create the standard high temperatures in contrast to other types. 

Sawhorses Are Vital When Using A Jigsaw 

It’s important to have a stable surface to work on, and a few sawhorse stands are able to provide that. They’re relatively inexpensive and don’t take much prep to set up. It’s advisable to use three saw horses if you’re working with a long piece of aluminum. 

The reason being that if you put one in the middle as well as on each side, it’ll stop the middle part of the metal from slouching, making the cut uneven and inaccurate. 

Wear The Necessary Safety Gear 

When cutting aluminum, you don’t need to wear a face mask as it won’t create dust when being cut. However, it’s important to protect your eyes from flying shards/chippings; reinforced plastic protective glasses will be suitable for this. 

Another piece of protective equipment needed will be earplugs; using a jigsaw will create plenty of noise. If you have to bear ten minutes or more of a machine producing 80 decibels or more, it can have a detrimental effect on your hearing. 

Conclusion

Using a jigsaw to cut aluminum is a great option as the tool gives you the freedom to maneuver with precision around a piece of sheet metal. If you follow our advice mentioned above, you’ll have a far easier time completing the task.