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How To Cut Aluminum Coil Stock: A Simple DIY Guide

January 31, 2024 lz Comments Off

You’ve probably seen those big rolls of thin, bendy aluminum at the hardware store. They’re great for making homemade aluminum gutters, sidings, or roofing. But how do you cut that stuff neatly at home? It might seem tricky, but you don’t have to fear it. With a few basic tools and tips, you can figure out how to slice and dice aluminum coils like a pro. In this guide, we will help you through the complete process of how to cut aluminum coil stock safely and accurately.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cutting Aluminum Coil

Choosing the Right Blade

The secret to cutting aluminum cleaning is using the proper blade. You may opt to use carbide-tipped blades for cutting through soft aluminum, like a 1060 Aluminum Coil and 1050 Aluminum Coil. Just make sure the carbide tips are smooth, or they will chew up the aluminum. Circular saw blades work great too, as long as they have fine teeth (60 teeth or more). The more teeth, the smoother the cut will be. Refrain from using steer-clear or rough woodcutting blades. For thin metal, you may use jigsaw blades and look for “non-ferrous” blades with 25-32 TPI (teeth per inch). 

For most aluminum cutting, a circular saw or table saw with the right blades is your best choice. But a jigsaw and metal blade can save the day in a pinch. 

Setting up Your Gear and Work Area

Prepare your workspace properly and this will give you a much easier time. Clear away any crap that could get in the way of cutting. Use sawhorses or tables to support long aluminum near the cut. Don’t let that floppy coil bend and warp on you. Protect yourself with gloves, goggles, a mask, and ear protection. Aluminum dust and chips aren’t something you want on your skin or in your eyes. Cutting aluminum can get messy, so have a vacuum on standby. Make sure your tools are sharp and in good condition. 

Measuring and Marking

Accurate measuring is key for perfectly straight cuts. Use a tape measure that won’t flex. Carefully measure from the factory edge of the coil. Clearly mark your cuts on both sides of the aluminum so you can actually see them. For angled cuts, use a speed square and protractor. Precise angle marking takes the guesswork out. Leave yourself an extra one-eight inches to account for the blade thickness removing material. To keep everything lined up nicely, clamp down a long straight edge as a guide. 

Cutting with a Circular Saw

This is applicable for long straight cuts. To do this, lock down your aluminum workpiece on some solid sawhorses or a table. Use clamps if you need extra security. Line up your cutting line with the saw blade using the straightedge as a guide. Set the blade depth all the way through the coil thickness so it cuts through in one go. Keep the front of the saw shoe flat and steady as you go. Avoid twisting and turning. No need to rush. Just maintain a smooth, constant cutting speed. That’s how aluminum gets bent mid-cut. Let the blade do its thing, no need to force it. To avoid flopping down and bending, support the freshly cut piece. 

Cutting with a Jigsaw

Jigsaws are great for curvy cuts and cutouts. By using a blade with fine teeth, around 25 TPI, you can prevent jamming in soft aluminum. Go as slowly as you can to avoid bending the aluminum with too much pressure. At tight corners and curves, ease off the downward pressure and just pivot the blade gently. For straight cuts, keep the jigsaw aligned with your cut line and apply smooth forward pressure. Support both sides of the aluminum during cutting so the thin stuff doesn’t bend or tear. 

Cutting with a Table Saw

Nothing does smooth, straight aluminum cuts quite like a table saw. But always keep in mind these rules:

  • Use a carbide or a blade with 60-80 teeth to get fine cuts without tear-out.
  • Instead of one deep one, make several shallow passes to allow less chance of blade jamming. 
  • To maintain a clean cut, feed the aluminum stock slowly and steadily. Rushed feeding will result in metal bending. 
  • Use feather boards and clamps to hold the stock tight to the fence and table. Avoid unnecessary movements. 
  • You can wax the blade and aluminum if you want to reduce the friction and heat buildup.
  • Watch for a kickback, aluminum is lightweight enough to get thrown off the saw.
  • Support long stock with a stand so it doesn’t sag and bend under its own weight. 

Smoothing Up Those Rough Cuts

The cut edges of aluminum can be uncomfortably sharp. To make them smooth, use a de-burring tool to quickly knock off the sharp edge for safety. Just a few passes do the trick. Gently file the edges with a fine metal file until smooth. Make it slow to avoid scratches. After filing or sanding, wipe away any gunk on the edges so it’s nice and clean. Do not use any kind of solvent, they can mess with aluminum. 


With the right preparation and tools, cutting aluminum coil stock isn’t so terrifying. DIYers can handle it without having difficulty. Just follow these tips for smooth, burr-free cuts that will make your next aluminum project look professionally done. If you want to learn more about our aluminum products and services, feel free to reach YK Aluminum