When cutting acrylic with a circular saw, do I need a cooling system?

The use of a saw blade cooling system can yield a much cleaner, smoother saw cut edge and greatly increase the life of the saw blade. These systems remove heat from the blade and the plastic as it is being cut.

Two types of systems are commonly used:

  • Compressed air (or vortex tube cooled compressed air) systems are preferred. 
    • These systems are cleaner to operate and require little maintenance. 
  • Mist systems 
    • These systems apply a water-soluble oil with rust inhibitor, also work well providing blade lubrication as well as cooling. However, these systems will require more maintenance and the material may need cleaning afterwards to remove residual oil. 

It is also important to ensure that the lubricating solution is compatible with acrylic. When using a saw blade cooling system, the air or mist stream should be lightly sprayed on the teeth of the saw blade just before they enter the material.

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