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How to cut stainless steel

How to cut stainless steel

Stainless steel is one of the most widely used materials in the world thanks to its strength, durability and corrosion resistance. Considering how strong and durable it is, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed if you find yourself needing to learn how to cut stainless steel.

Fortunately, there are a few different methods that can help you make quick work of the job, and we’re going to cover each of them below.

Table of Contents

What You’ll Need

Stainless steel comes in many different forms from sheets to bars to tubes and everything in between. Most often, the thickness of the metal is referred to by gauge. Depending on how thick the steel you’re working with is, you’re going to need one of these three tools:

  • Tin snips (for thin sheets)
  • Power shears (for thicker sheets)
  • Circular saw with metal cutting blade or cut off wheel
  • Angle grinderw/ metal cut off wheel (for thicker sheets or tubes)
  • Plasma cutter (for very thick sheets, bars or solid tubes)

You’ll also need the following, regardless of which method you choose to cut the steel:

  • Safety goggles (a full face shield is even better)
  • Work gloves
  • Workbench
  • Metal file
  • Tape Measure
  • Marker

Step I: Preparing Your Workspace

Regardless of how you’ll be cutting the metal, you’ll need to prepare your workspace. A nice sturdy workbench or saw horses will be necessary for this project.

If you’re going to be using a saw, grinder, or plasma cutter, it’s best to work outside. Otherwise, make sure you remove anything flammable from the area, as sparks are going to be flying as you cut.

Step II: Measuring For the Cut

Use your tape measure to get an accurate measurement for the area you need to cut. Use your marker to mark off where you need to cut. If you’re going to be cutting a straight line, use a ruler or square to get a perfectly straight line.

Step III: Cutting the Steel

Once you’ve set up your workspace and measured and marked for your cut, it’s time to select a tool for the job.

If you’re cutting through thin stainless sheets, tin snips are your best option. Thicker sheets will require power shears, a circular saw or an angle grinder. You can also use a circular saw for stainless tubing. For really heavy duty steel, a plasma cutter is your best option.

Using Tin Snips

If you’re working with thin steel, a pair of tin snips will make quick work of the job. Use the tin snips as you would a pair of scissors and slowly work your way through the material, making sure not to cut yourself on the edge you’ve created.

Using Power Shears

Power shears work a lot like the tin snips, except they have a motor. These shears will chomp out a thin strip of metal from the middle of the cut. To cut stainless with power shears, place the steel into the jaws of the power shears, squeeze the trigger, and slowly work your way through the material until you’ve completed your cut.

Using a Circular Saw

A circular saw can come in handy for cutting through pieces of steel too thick for tin snips or power shears. The most important thing to remember is that you’ll need a proper metal cutting blade.

Before you begin cutting, make sure you’re taking proper safety precautions. Whether you’re using a saw, grinder, or plasma cutter to cut, you’ll need to wear safety goggles (or a full face shield) and heavy-duty gloves. Wearing long sleeves and pants will also help prevent you from getting any metal splinters.

Once you’re prepared, turn the saw on and allow it to reach full RPM before you begin cutting. Then, lower the saw to the surface and allow the saw to slowly work through the material until you’ve completed your cut.

Using an Angle Grinder

With an angle grinder, the same principles you’d apply with the circular saw are in place.

Always make sure you’re wearing safety gear. Allow the tool to reach full RPM before beginning your cut and slowly work your way through the metal.

Using a Plasma Cutter

A plasma cutter is a useful cutting tool that can make quick work out of any metal, including stainless. For thinner material, a plasma cutter may be overkill. But, for thick pieces of stainless, it’s your best option.

First, you’ll need to prepare the plasma cutter. Connect the plasma cutter to your air compressor and turn on the air. Next, set the current for the plasma cutter. The thicker the metal, the higher you’ll set the current. For 18-20-gauge sheet, set the current around 25. Attach the ground clamp to the edge of your material.

Now, you’re ready to begin cutting. Turn the machine on and bring the handle of the torch close to your work surface. Depress the trigger, and you’re ready to begin cutting. Move slowly and deliberately, and do your best to keep a steady hand as you trace your line.

Once you’re finished, shut the plasma cutter off, then disconnect the air and ground clamp and roll up your hoses.

Step IV: Clean Up Your Edge

Once you’ve finished cutting, you’re going to be left with a pretty nasty edge along any of the sides you cut. To truly finish the job, use a file or deburrer to remove the rough edge from your material.

Final Word

Learning how to cut stainless steel is easier than it appears at first glance. Depending on the material you’re using, you’ll be able to cut it using either tin snips, power shears, a circular saw, angle grinder or plasma torch.

Regardless of the method you’re using, be sure to work slowly and safely to complete your project.

Picture this: You want to drill some ⅛ “holes in your stainless steel project. You tap your punch, line up your drill and squeeze the trigger…

But the bit spins helplessly on the steel barely making a dent and billowing smoke.

If this sounds familiar, let me share the right way to cut stainless steel.

How To Cut Stainless Steel:
To cut or drill stainless steel without wearing down your drill bits or blade you’ll need three things: a variable speed drill (or saw), a squeeze bottle and water. You’ll want to keep your drill bit or blade cool spraying water from your squeeze bottle on the bit and maintain a slow cutting speed.

How to cut stainless steel

How to cut stainless steel

So, let’s get down to business.

When you want to cut stainless steel (like most metals) you’ll want to first secure it in the proper manner. For small pieces of metal, a vice will work well to secure your metal so you can cut or drill it.

How to cut stainless steel

By the way a great cordless combo set is available here. And if you’re in a shop and need a drill press, this is a highly recommended press.

Next, you’ll want to get a good drill bit or blade for your jigsaw or chop saw.

Once you have that you’ll need a squirt bottle filled with water.

How to cut stainless steel

Now, once you have all your material in place you’re ready to start.

Grab your stainless steel and use a scribe to mark your line to cut. If you’re drilling a hole using a center punch to get a dimple started or simply use your drill at a slow speed to get a hole started

How to cut stainless steel

Once you have your line marked or hole started you’re ready to actually cut.

If you are drilling set your drill into the divot and slowly squeeze the trigger forward.

You want to “feel” the bit cutting into the metal.

A good sign is to watch the bit slowly cutting into the metal and creating small shavings around your hole

How to cut stainless steel

I can’t give you a specific speed to use when drilling because there are so many different variables (steel thickness, drill diameter size, etc) But, if you want a good resource that gives you a formula, check this site out.

But remember, if you see shavings coming off, you’re probably going to right speed.

By the way, since we are talking about drills, check out this comparison between Ridgid and Dewalt cordless drills. Oh, and here is a chart I use all the time to reference drill bits that’s super helpful for me.

When cutting stainless steel it’s best to use a cold band saw but you can also use a jigsaw in the field for smaller cuts and thinner materials ( like 1/16” ⅛” etc.) If you are cutting thin materials make sure you secure your work piece in a vice or to a workbench with a set of clamps

The most important thing is to have your squirt bottle ready when you’re going to cut your stainless steel. Notice how the bottle is positioned right next to the cutting blade and is being squeezed repeatedly.

How to cut stainless steel

Remember the two key ideas: low speed and a cool bit. By continuously spraying water on the cutting blade you’re keeping the bit cool and the cutting action consistent.

And that’s how you cut or drill stainless steel easily.

Also, remember to use hearing protection as showing in the video. Loud saws and drills can affect your hearing over time – so check out this article for some good hearing protection. And here is the hearing protection I use every day.

But that’s not all….

Common questions when cutting stainless steel

Q: Do I need an expensive drill bit like cobalt or HSS to drill stainless steel?

A: Although having a harder bit will help make the process easier, it’s not necessary at all! The secret is a slow speed and keeping your bit and work piece cool with fluid. Simple, cheap bits will do the job if they are kept sharp.

Q: Do I need to use water as my cutting lubricant?

A: No, you can use other lubricants like rapid tap or tap magic. The issue with these fluids is the application. When using this with common mild steel you place a small amount in your dimple and then drill – the result is great. When drilling or cutting stainless you need a lot of lubricants to keep your bit cool. With tap magic being about $100 a gallon you can see how expensive this can be. Water is cheap and effective.

Q: Do I need to drill a pilot hole when working with stainless steel?

A: It depends. When you’re making a larger hole, say ½” or more it’s best to have a pilot hole. With smaller holes, say up to ¼” or so, a simple tap with a center punch will be good.

Q: Why is stainless steel so hard to cut?

A: Stainless steel contains chromium, which makes it much harder than mild stainless steel. You want to reduce the friction and thus the heat. The hardness of the steel makes the friction between the bit and the metal result in heat. Heat wears out bits and blades.

Q: I am drilling through thin stainless steel and my hole is not round, what can I do?

A: If you are drilling through a thin piece of metal and your hole is not round, you have a problem Your drill bit has two sides or flutes. While drilling one side is not supported properly, so the bit wavers. You can use an old piece of cloth to provide stability and give you a nice round hole.

See this old machinist trick on youtube

Q : Do I have to cut stainless with a band or chop saw? Is there an easier way?

A : Yes, in fact I only drill stainless when I forget my plasma cutter. A plasma cutter skips all the guess work and makes cutting stainless super easy. I highly recommend you buy one, and here is a review of the hypertherm plasma cutter if you want to get familiar with a good machine.

Conclusion

Cutting or drilling stainless steel does not have to be a frustrating process. If you use a slow speed, a cheap squirt bottle and some plain water you can avoid the frustration of burning out expensive blades and bits. We covered step by step how to drill or cut any size stainless steel to help you be successful in the shop or on your home project!

When it comes to cutting a stainless steel plate, there are several different ways that it can be done. Some of the different methods are a little more difficult than others, but that will also depend on the thickness of the steel plate. For the most part, many stainless steel plate pieces can be cut with simple power tools like a circular saw. However, plates that are 1/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch will need to be cut with more expensive cutting tools like plasma cutters. Here are the steps involved in cutting a stainless steel plate.

Step 1 – Set Up Work Space

Cutting metal will require that you have a stable work area and a place that is away from combustible items. As you cut through the metal, sparks are going to be flying around the room. Keeping these sparks away from other items will help to keep you and anyone working with you safe.

Step 2 – Cut With Circular Saw

A circular saw is most often used to cut wood, but it can be used in a wide variety of situations. As long as you use the right type of blade, this saw can cut through a thinner stainless steel plate. Install a metal cutting blade that is made specifically for stronger pieces of steel, place the plate on a piece of plywood for a strong backing, and mark where the cut is to be made. Slowly cut into the metal and keep the blade moving as you go. A file, or grinder, can be used to smooth off the cut and remove any metal slivers before you clean the piece.

Step 3 – Cut With Cut Off Saw

A small handheld tool called a cut off saw will also do the trick when cutting through thinner pieces of stainless steel. Many people like to use the pneumatic cut off saw, because of the added power through the air pressure. When working with this saw, it is important to use a full face shield, as small pieces of metal can fly around. Locate the mark where you are going to make the cut and slowly lower the blade onto the metal. Cut through the steel plate slowly but without stopping the tool. Use a grinder to deburr the piece and smooth out the edges.

Step 4 – Cut With Plasma Cutter

When it comes to cutting stainless steel plate, there is one tool that outshines them all. A plasma cutter uses an intense beam of energy to cut through fairly thick pieces of stainless steel without a lot of problems. When the plate has been placed on a stable cutting surface, clamp the negative cable to the section where you are going to be working. Start by placing the cutting end of the torch about three inches away from the surface of the steel and start the cutter. This will burn through the steel plate on contact and allow you to cut along the mark.

A plasma cutter does yield a smoother cut than a circular saw or a cut off saw. However, you must be careful to keep a steady hand in order to keep the cut straight.

I need to cut out a small section of 1.5mm Stainless steel. Before, when I’ve made cuts I have used an angle grinder and its resulted in thr stainless becoming scorched/burnt and I can’t remove it.

What can i do to cut stainless steel and not have scorch marks?

How to cut stainless steel

4 Answers 4

As you have implied, heating the metal is actually changing it near the cut and causing it to discolor. There’s not soot or anything you can clean off – the metal is changed. You may be able to sand off the surface of the metal near the cuts to remove the discolored metal on the surface, but this will lead to a cut that doesn’t look very clean and some discoloration may remain.

The other choice is to cut the metal without heat. Angle grinders don’t really cut – they sand their way through the metal creating a massive amount of heat. One tool that actually cuts through the metal is known as a “nibbler”. They come in many forms. Hand operated, air powered, electric, and as a small attachment for an electric drill.

They are basically a small punch that nibbles of small bits of metal. They do this very quickly so the result looks like a straigt cut. The issue is that many of the tools that I found top at at 16ga (1.5875mm) or 14ga (1.984375mm) sheet metal. Your 1.5mm sheet is going to be at the top end of their capabilities, but if you choose a quality tool and don’t try to move too fast, I think you’ll be ok.

Do you know how to cut a hole in a stainless steel sink?

If you do not know then this guideline is going to help you and make your work simple and easy.

People think cutting a hole in stainless steel is so tough but they do not know by following some steps it can be more than easier.

How To Cut A Hole In A Stainless Steel Sink| 6 Easy Steps

To know how to cut a hole in a stainless steel sink keep reading the article.

Here we will describe the systematic process of cutting a hole in a stainless steel sink.

Let’s learn!

Necessary Ingredients

Cutting a hole is not an easy task. To cut a hole you need to follow some steps that will make your work easy and simple.

  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Lubricant
  • Brand new standard size 3/8” Bi-Metal hole cutter
  • A small wooden block (if needed)
  • Center punch or nail
  • A marker
  • An old rag
  • Safety glasses
  • Measuring tape
  • A small file or emery cloth

To complete all the steps you need some necessary ingredients that will help you to accomplish the task. Without all the required instruments, you cannot make a hole in a stainless steel sink.

Before starting to make a hole you need to collect the components. The necessary components that you need to make a hole are given below.

Step 1: Find The Spot

At the very beginning of cutting a hole in the stainless steel sink, you need to identify the place where you are going to make the hole. Finding an accurate place is very important because after drilling there is no way to undo it.

Before starting the selection of the place, two things you need to keep in mind. The first thing is the potential damage to fixtures under the sink and the second one is the distance from pipes of the selecting area.

You need to survey the underside of the sink, to confirm the right place so that you do not face difficulties during drilling time.

Another good way you can select the right place is by measuring the distance from the sink to the place where you are going to use the fixture. To make a mark on the spot, masking tape is necessary, and then place it on the identified place.

Step 2: Indentation

Indentation is important while drilling the hole. Most of the experts use this method to complete the task smoothly. During drilling, the drill can skip across the surface of the sink.

If you can make indentation then you can prevent this problem. By making a small indentation, you can keep the drill in the right place.

To do the process, take a nail set and hold them in the right place then with a hammer strike on the top of the nails. Strike the nails again if you are not satisfied with the first indentation.

Step 3: Lubricating

Drilling is the most important part to make a hole in a stainless steel sink. Picking the right drill bit is not the last thing. When you start to drill, the bit can lose your temper. Putting lubricant oil can solve the problem. Apply a single drop of the oil to the point of the bit.

You have to keep the bit lubricated if you think you need more oil to add then apply some more drops. If you see, it begins smoking then you need to stop drilling.

Step 4: Use protective eyewear

A spinning titanium step drill bit can be very dangerous for your eyes for this reason you need to take proper protection before starting drilling. You need to use protective eyewear and goggles so that the tiny bits cannot fall into your eyes.

Therefore, protection is very important otherwise, it can damage your eyes.

Step 5: Start to drill

Before drilling, select the perfect drill bit that will be fitted in the place. Place the point of the bit on the mark and perfectly place it on the masking tape. Hold the drill bit in a vertical position and then start drilling at a low speed.

When you see it starts to penetrate the sink surface, then stop drilling. Continue the drilling process until it goes through the sink surface.

Step 6: Removing the sharp edges and debris

After completing the drilling task, there are more things to do. You can see a sharp edge inside the hole that you need to remove. Using a paper towel, you have to clean the surface of the sink. Some debris can also be seen, cleaning them too.

To sand the hole, take an emery cloth, this will help to smooth the edges. Be careful when you are doing this because the edges are very sharp so your finger can be hurt. Use gloves to save your finger.

Conclusion

If you have a stainless steel sink in your kitchen then you may need to cut a hole. By following the process of how to cut a hole in a stainless steel sink, you can cut a hole with ease.

If your sink is out of the countertop, then you can make a hole by following these steps.

We are often asked how to cut stainless steel welded mesh & woven mesh and the answer very much depends on the wire diameter.

The smallest wire gauge that we stock is 0.025mm diameter which is thinner than the finest human hair and obviously doesn’t need to be cut with an angle grinder. In fact, the finest meshes are easily cut using a pair of household scissors.

How to cut stainless steel

Scissors are used to cut very fine stainless steel woven mesh up to mesh with a wire diameter of 0.20mm

At the other end of the scale, our largest wire diameter (6mm) does require an angle grinder.

How to cut stainless steel

An angle grinder cutting stainless steel welded mesh off a roll

In between, there are mesh sizes that are best cut using tin snips.

How to cut stainless steel

Tin Snips cutting stainless steel woven mesh

A Guide for what Cutting Tools to cut Stainless Steel Welded Mesh & Woven Mesh

Product Wire Diameter Cutting Tool
Welded Panels 2.50mm – 8.00mm Grinder
Welded Rolls 0.63mm – 1.00mm Tin Snips
1.20mm Tin Snips / Grinder
1.60mm – 2.00mm Grinder
Woven Mesh Up to 0.20mm Scissors
0.22mm – 1.20mm Tin Snips
1.60mm and greater Grinder

When using an angle grinder, the cutting disc should be 0.9mm thick and of a type suitable for cutting stainless steel. Remember that an angle grinder typically operates at a speed of 10,000 RPM so take appropriate safety precautions. Wear gloves, safety glasses and hearing protection, and keep other people out of the vicinity when you are cutting.

Question
I have run into a situation occasionally where the two piece stainless chimneys were too tall for the ceiling height. The vent hoods are set at the height required by the manufacturers, but they are still a few inches too tall. I hate having to tell the customer that they have to find a metalworker to cut this, so I would like to do it myself for them if I could. Is there a cutting wheel for a Dremel that would do this? Or maybe a special jig saw blade that would cut stainless?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor A:
I’ve never seen them get cut. All the ones I have run into have a special snap-lock connection. I think if you cut them you can’t join them.

From contributor B:
Usually the flue is in two pieces – one slides into the other. They can be adjusted by sliding them. You can try a jig saw blade made to cut metal. Look at the Bosch web site for more information for blades. Are you sure that the pieces can’t be move to the proper height? Or maybe they got the wrong size flue? Or maybe the hood was not installed at the proper height? How much do you have to cut off? Can you move the hood down so that the flue will fit? How far off the floor is the hood?

From the original questioner:
I need to cut about 2 inches. The vent sits 30″ off the cooktop, which is what is required for the vent and cooktop. It is only the inner piece that needs cutting, as it is too tall. I suppose we could rehang the vent 2 inches lower, but then it would put it lower than the required height.

Dremel makes a fiberglass reinforced cutoff wheel. It is much stronger and longer lasting than the regular ones.

From the original questioner:
That is why I set the hood at the manufacturer’s height of 30″ from the grate. I figured if anyone questions it, we can pull out the manual and show that it was installed at the required height.

Also, after burning up a couple of the standard Dremel wheels, I tried the fiberglass reinforced wheels, and they did last much longer. I did notice that they cut a little slower than the other ones, however.

Home | Blog | Stainless Steel | Comparing methods of cutting stainless steel sheets

There are different methodsto cut stainless steel sheets and technical aspects have to be valuated to choose one: Quality of cut, tolerance and production speed are critical performance issues.

How to cut stainless steel

Laser cutting – high precision and productivity

The high-energy, infrared focused beam of laser cutting provides a cut width of less than one millimeter or kerf, minimising material loss. We value laser cutting for its precision and superb quality of cut surface. The thermal nature of laser technology limits its capacity to stainless steel sheet thicknesses up to 25 millimeters (in some cases even up to 30 or 35 millimeters). Furthermore, laser cutting generates a heat-affected zone (HAZ) at the boundary of the cut. Thermal stress can occur with very complex profiles, at slower cutting speeds, particularly for thin workpieces. Gas-assist technologies have minimised this limitation and help to maintain a clean surface quality. While cut length is limited, substantial cutting area dimensions are available. As a relatively low-cost approach, as well as highly efficient, producers typically prefer laser to cut thinner stainless steell sheets.

How to cut stainless steel

Waterjet – accuracy at greater thicknesses

Waterjet propels water that cuts material with sharp-edged cutting sand under extremely high pressure (4000 to 6000 bar). Usually the kerf has a width of approximately one millimeter. Typically used to cut thicker sheets of 40 millimeters and above, dynamic cutting eliminates any taper, that usually appears when laser or plasma cutting greater thicknesses. While Waterjet is a more expensive method, it offers value when quality and close manufactoring tolerances are critical, but sheet thickness is out of the range of laser’s limitations.

Productivity of laser cutting and waterjet prepared

Waterjet and laser are both high productivity methods; however laser is about four times more productive. Nevertheless, unlike laser, waterjet speeds can be modulated against edge quality, to meet production rate demands. Waterjet is a non-thermal process, eliminating HAZ and the need for secondary machining for complex profiles. However, this is a significant consideration in some industries, such as aerospace. Similarly to laser cutting, waterjet has little material loss and long cutting bed sizes (over twelve meters) are very rarely available.

Plasma – great material thicknesses

Plasma, we know it as the fourth state of matter, is essentially a superheated, electrically conductive gas. An inert gas, such as hydrogen, argon or just shop air, is directed at very high pressure via a fine nozzle, together with an electrical arc, to form the plasma jet. This method reaches extreme temperatures on contact with conductive metals. They are rapidly cutting and simultaneously displacing vaporised material with the pressure of the jet. Plasma offers a lesser quality of cut surface and wider tolerances. However, the older technology of plasma remains invaluable for cutting steel plate at greater thicknesses, where less accuracy is acceptable. It also has the advantages of good productivity levels, lower cost and an unlimited cutting length.

How to cut stainless steel

The chamfered cut profile that plasma can achieve is well suited to conventional welding applications. For plasma cutting there are many facilities with long cutting beds that meet most of the requests.

Saw cutting – low-cost but with wider tolerancs

Finally, saw cutting is a traditional method that has advanced in capability and precision as machine technology has developed. Some manufacturers use variable speed band saws to cut a broad range of sheet thicknesses. Hydraulic motors and CNC technologies add control and excellent repeatability to powerful sawing capabilities.

How to cut stainless steel

Abrasive wheel saws are also available for the wet or dry cutting of plate steel. For thicknesses up to around 650 millimeters saws present a low-cost method. They also have the advantage of introducing minimal heat into the material to avoid distortion. Saw cutting is appropriate when the limitations of long sheet lengths and wider tolerance are no concerns.

Cutting stainless steel sheets for producing profiles with laser welding

To cut strips out of stainless steel sheets we need an adequate technology. Especially, when they will be united by the laser to profiles afterwards. In case the metal strip is the web of the profile not only the tolerance of the width and the consistency over the length are important. Also the execution of the edges is essential. A diagonal or rippled edge is not acceptable. We have to machine this web to be equally plane as the flange.

Shearing – A real alternative?

There is another cutting technology for thinner sheet thicknesses called shearing. Not only due to the limitations in regard of the length but also due to the burr that occurs, sheared strips are not applicable for laser welding profiles. Another aspect that eliminates this technology for adequate pre-material is strain hardening at the cutting edge. This is not suitable for an ideal laser weld.
When these stripes are used as flanges of the profiles, shearing can be considered as a cutting alternative for stainless steel sheets. This is also because no re-working is necessary.

When cutting stainless steel, choosing the right saw blade as well as the appropriate speed and feed rates are vital in order for the bandsaw operator to achieve positive output.

Stainless steel is a medium range steel and is also known as Inox steel. This low carbon steel alloy contains a minimum of 10% chromium by weight. The increased chromium content and the addition of molybdenum, nickel, and nitrogen work together to enhance the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.

When cutting Stainless steel, it is recommended that either a Carbon or bi-metal saw blade be installed.

Carbon saw blades are an economical choice and used to cut different types of non-ferrous materials. This type of blade cuts soft materials like wood, plastics, and brass. Also low-alloy and mild steels.

Carbon blades used at the correct speed, preferably 200 feet per minute, will work with Stainless using a coolant.

How to cut stainless steel

Qsaw™ Q™701 Bi metal

Bi-metal saw blades are production setting blades — a workhorse.

Bi-Metal saw blades cost more than carbon blades but last longer depending on the types of materials being cut.

Bi-Metal blades are able to cut hard materials like Stainless, D-2, and dye’s.

A bi-metal saw blade won’t easily fail due to its high-speed edge performance.

Using the right saw blade does not always mean a successful cutting process. Speed and feed rates need to be taken into consideration.

The appropriate blade speed should be set to 200 surface feet per minute — medium speed — not too fast or too slow. The feed rate should be steady and at the recommended rate in order to achieve longer blade life and desirable results.

Correct band speed and feed rates can be determined by examination of the chips produced during the cutting process.

The chips should be curled and warm, not hot. Stainless steel chips are short curls with a yellow wheat color. If not, then too much heat is being generated. Extreme heat will produce blue chips and result in premature saw blade failure. Reduce the speed and feed rates in order to help normalize the cutting process.

Adjustment of feed and speed rates and recognizing the subtle changes in chip shape, color, and feel along with the utilization of the proper saw blade for the materials being cut will guarantee a successful and effective production process and desirable output.