Can You Cut Metal Pipe With A Circular Saw? Everything You Should Know

Last Updated On July 1, 2023

Metal cutting is surely a challenging task, even for the most expert DIYers.

However, with the right power tool at hand, it becomes a breeze. 

But can you cut a metal pipe with a circular saw?

The answer is yes. But you must use the right circular saw blade depending on the configuration of the metal you are cutting. Also, it would be best if you had a heavy-duty saw with a carbide-tooth blade specifically designed for metal cutting.

However, there is a lot more to learn if you are cutting metal pipes with a circular saw for the first time.

So, let’s dive in!

How do Cut Metal with a Circular Saw?

Here are the steps on how to cut metal with a circular saw-

  • First thing first, choose the right saw blade. The blade should be selected focusing on whether the metal is ferrous or nonferrous. Also, always pick a sharp carbide-toothed blade to cut metal accurately. And yes, the blade diameter also matters.
  • Install the blade to the circular saw snugly. Remember, all the nuts, bolts, and other attachments should be secured enough to hold the blade in place.
  • Now, adjust the blade depth. It’s essential to note that you should set the depth of the blade not more than ¼” thicker than the metal depth. 
  • You must wear protective gear like a dust mask, safety goggles, and hand gloves to remain safe while cutting metal.
  • As metal chips will fly everywhere, you should cover everything in your workplace before you turn the circular saw on.
  • Finally, clamp the workpiece to your workbench securely. If you hang the metal piece over the blade edge, it could be cut uniformly. Now, turn on the saw and start cutting the metal piece as you want.

What Type of Circular Saw Blade Do You Need to Cut Metal?

A sharp carbide-tipped blade is preferable for metal cutting as it lasts 10 times longer than a regular steel-toothed blade. And you should decide on the tooth count of the saw blade based on the type of metal you are cutting.

On that note, thinner metals require a higher tooth count and thicker metals need a lower tooth count.

So, the pitch and design of a metal cutting circular saw blade highly depends on the thickness of the metal pipe. 

Nevertheless, if you are working with non-ferrous metals like aluminum, brass, or copper, a 7-¼” steel blade will get the job done.

But for ferrous metals like sheet metals, you can choose a blade diameter of up to 12″. 

In that case, you should use a larger circular saw, of course.

If you are cutting steel with a circular saw which is thicker than ⅛”, we recommend going with an abrasive circular saw blade.

However, regardless of the metal type and thickness, you should select a super-sharp saw blade with lesser sparks and vibrations to ensure smoother cuts. 

On the same note, they should be less susceptible to wear and tear to last longer.

Here’s a list to go through.

Metal TypesSteel Blade (inch)
Aluminum7-¼” steel blade
Brass7-¼” steel blade
Steel12” steel blade
Copper7-¼” steel blade
Steel with ⅛” thicker9” Abrasive blade

Can You Cut Steel Pipe with a Circular Saw?

Yes, you can cut a steel pipe with a circular saw but with the right metal cutting blade. At the same time, you must get the saw up and running before you bring it in contact with the steel pipe.

It is applicable not only to circular saws but also to other power tools.

Because if you first place the blade against the pipe and then start the saw, the blade is gonna throw the line off by a notable amount.

Resultantly, a considerable amount of steel will be chewed up.

That’s why we recommend starting the blade beforehand. 

However, cutting through a steel pipe results in a lot of sharp pieces. So, you should definitely wear a face shield underneath your safety goggles.

And please don’t forget to add ear protection as cutting a steel pipe will expose your ears to loud noises.

Most importantly, the steel pipe should be tightly clamped down so that it can’t move.

Another point to be noted, a power tool like a circular saw will throw a lot of sparks while cutting steel. Sometimes, the sparks could even start a fire.

Therefore, it’s safer to have a fire extinguisher nearby. 

Metal Pipe TypeCircular Saw TypeBlade Type
Thin-Walled Steel Pipe (less than 1/8 inch)Metal Cutting Saw or Angle Grinder with Cut-Off WheelCarbide-Tipped Saw Blade or Abrasive Cut-Off Wheel
Medium-Walled Steel Pipe (1/8 to 1/2 inch)Circular Saw with Metal Cutting BladeCarbide-Tipped Saw Blade
Thick-Walled Steel Pipe (greater than 1/2 inch)Circular Saw with Metal Cutting BladeCarbide-Tipped Saw Blade 
Cast Iron PipeCircular Saw with Diamond Blade Diamond-Tipped Saw Blade 
Copper PipeCircular Saw with Metal Cutting Blade Carbide-Tipped Saw Blade
PVC PipeCircular Saw with Fine-Toothed Blade Fine-Toothed Saw Blade 

What Is the Kind of Saw Used for Cutting Pipes and Metal?

Based on the composition and configuration of the metal, you can use different types of saws to cut through metals and pipes. 

Usually, a motorized circular saw, hacksaw, grinder, metal chop saw, or reciprocating saw is used to cut pipes and metal.

Whatever saw you use, it must have a hard metal cutting blade to cut through metal accurately. 

If you are cutting a thin metal pipe, a hacksaw is probably the best choice.

But for thicker metals, it won’t work as the blade goes dull quickly. 

So, you can go for a reciprocating saw or a handheld power saw designed with a specific metal cutting blade.

Can You Turn a Circular Saw Blade Around to Cut Metal?

Yes, you can turn a circular saw blade around to make a specialized cut such as metal cutting.

But should you really do this? The answer is no.

It’s not a safe option to turn the blade around while cutting metal. So, try installing the blade in the direction suggested by the manufacturers. 

Can You Use Circular Saw on Metal?

Why not? Perhaps, it’s not the best tool for metal cutting. But you can definitely use a circular saw to cut metal and pipes.

Of course, there are some basic differences between a metal saw and a circular saw.

But with the right-fitted blade, you can turn the saw into an awesome metal cutting tool.

If you have a standard circular saw at home, equip it with a 7-¼” metal cutting blade and you are good to go.

Otherwise, you can look for dedicated metal-cutting saws with plenty of features and functionalities for metal-cutting tasks.

How Do You Cut a Metal Pipe with a Circular Saw?

You can follow the following steps to cut a metal pipe with a circular saw-

  • Place the metal pipe on a stable work surface.
  • Use a visor or a clamp to secure the pipe tightly so that it doesn’t move while cutting.
  • Then place the circular saw blade on the pipe where you need to make a cut.
  • Now, start the saw blade to start cutting through the pipe gently. 
  • Always position the blade perpendicular to your work surface throughout the procedure. 

Final Words

A circular saw is, indeed, a staple in the power tool industry. They are unparalleled when it comes to making quick and clean cuts at a glance. 

But can you cut a metal pipe with a circular saw?

Hopefully, you got your answer above. With the right saw blade, you can perfectly cut a metal pipe with this handy power tool.  The blade must have more teeth than a wood-cutting blade. And it should be less prone to wear and tear.

Moreover, please make sure to clamp the pipe tightly on a stable work surface. And don’t forget to wear the necessary safety gear.

With these few tricks, you can turn your circular saw into an amazing metal cutter.

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