Makita is bringing their CA5000X aluminum groove cutter to the USA. It’s a relatively new saw that seems to have been released internationally in early 2016.
So what’s an aluminum groove cutter? I didn’t know, but Makita UK’s promo video helped clear things up. I’ve embedded it at the end of the post.
In short, an aluminum groove cutter cuts a special V-shaped groove into aluminum composite material panels that allows the panel to be bent to a perfect right angle. There is also an optional cutter that allows for 135° angles.
Basically, it cuts a mitered groove.
This allows for easy bending, but also seamless edges.
Makita says that applications include:
- Architectural cladding
- False ceilings
- Wall linings
- Shop fitting
- Sign making
The tool allows for on-site panel fabrication. (How are aluminum composite panels typically fabricated for fitment?)
The aluminum groove cutter is compatible with Makita’s guide rails.
This is the cutting blade that comes with the saw. There’s also a blade for 135° grooves.
The blade can also be swapped out for a wood-cutting blade, turning the groove cutter into a plunge-cutting saw that can work with wood. When equipped in this way, it has a 36mm (~1.42″) cutting capacity.
- 4-5/8″ blade size
- 13/16″ arbor
- 7/16″ max cutting depth
- 13.5″ long
- 12A motor
- 2,200 – 6,400 RPM
- Depth adjustment for 3mm, 4mm, 6mm thick panels (0.118″, 0.157″, 0.236″)
- Can cut as close as 11/16″ to an edge
- Built-in swiveling dust port
- Weighs 11.3 lbs
It’s designed for use on aluminum composite materials.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Makita UK promo video:
To be frank, this is a specialty tool well outside my familiarity, and the same goes for aluminum composite panels. I understand the concept behind ACP and ACM panels, which features a multi-layer construction of thin aluminum panels on the outside and a non-aluminum material on the inside as the core.
I had a computer case once that had sandwiched side panels, with steel outer layers and a plastic sound-deadening inner layer. I figure that aluminum composite panels have aluminum outer panels for strength and durability, and something else on the inside for improving the strength and rigidity but at lower cost and far less weight than if the panel was made from solid aluminum.
According to Wikipedia, the core material is often low-density polyethylene.
If you work with aluminum composite materials, is this something you would buy? What do you use currently to fabricate corners and bends?