Have you ever wondered why some blades last longer than others? Are you sick of replacing blades all the time?
What if changing one thing could transform your job?
This sounds like something that could never happen. However, everything changes when you change blades.
The type of blade you use in your tools makes a huge difference in how the job gets done. These blades don’t come cheap, so you need to know what you’re working with, and how to choose the best one for the task at hand.
BUT it can be hard to know where to start – there are so many different kinds of blades and tools available, and each one serves a different purpose.
Homeowners and construction professionals often use traditional saw blades or abrasive blades. Unfortunately, these are easily damaged and must often be replaced.
You can avoid this by switching to diamond blades.
In this handy guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about diamond blade tools. Keep reading to learn more!
What Are Diamond Blades?
Diamond blades are the blade of choice for bricklayers, concreters, landscapers and for civil construction. Pop them on an angle grinder, brick saw, demo saw, or floor saw they slice through bricks, concrete, stone and asphalt with ease!
Despite the name, the blades are not made fully of diamonds. They are made of powdered metal laid over a core of steel that has been mixed with diamond crystals. These aren’t the type of diamonds you’d find in jewellery, they are synthetic diamonds made with a high-temperature, high-pressure synthesis process.
This diamond material allows for the highest efficiency while cutting materials. The final result is more than just another tool. It is an investment in the quality of every single job that you work on.
Keep reading to discover all of the benefits of using these blades.
Let’s be honest upfront. Diamond blades are going to cost you more money than traditional saw or abrasive blades.
Despite the extra cost, diamond blades will save you money in the long term. This is because they last longer than most other blades.
Additionally, they can be used for multiple different purposes. This lets you buy a single tool for multiple indoor and outdoor projects instead of buying multiple tools.
Finally, they are an investment in quality. Buying longer-lasting tools means having to replace them less frequently. And for homeowners and professionals alike, time really is money!
These blades typically offer a better speed than you get with traditional cutting blades. This is because they can deal with heat better and have better debris removal.
Faster cutting speed will add up when you look at the amount of time you spend cutting. The math is simple: saving time on every single cut leads to major time savings at the end of a project.
Saving time is what makes diamond blades so popular with contractors. Finishing projects faster puts more money in your pocket at the end of the day!
Diamond blades are popular as they cut through virtually any surface. They are used by many different experts to work on more difficult areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Whether you are designing your dream home from the ground up, or using these blades on the jobsite to earn your living, there is a blade suited to your job.
Different Kind of Cutting
The diamond blade lets you cut wet or dry.
Wet cutting is when the blade uses water to help reduce some of the heat its friction generates. The wet cutting technique is part of why the blade lasts much longer than other blades.
The water also minimises the amount of dust generated, which helps to keep you safe. This is good for your health and to help you comply with OHS regulations.
Dry cutting is best done outdoors and is most suitable to smaller projects. When dry cutting, the blade should be allowed to cool off periodically. Cooling can be increased by allowing the blade to spin freely out of the cut.
Dry cutting outside also helps to keep the blade cool with airflow while also being a natural protection for you against the dust generated.
While dry cutting it is even more important to wear a mask, so you do not inhale dust as it can cause silicosis, a serious lung disease.
Diamond blades will not just change the way you cut various materials. They are likely to change how you think about cutting entirely. This is because they do not actually cut in the way that traditional saw blades cut.
Most blades work by directly cutting the material. Instead, a diamond blade relies on friction along with a special process. The diamond blade works by generating friction and essentially working like a grinding wheel.
Types of diamond blades
The power of any tool comes from how versatile it is. And one of the best things about a diamond blade is that it offers different kinds of cuts for your different needs.
Let’s go through some of the things you should consider when deciding on the best blade for you.
Sintered vs laser welded diamond blades
The method of attachment of the abrasive rim to the diamond saw blade core is important.
You have a choice of getting a “sintered diamond blade” or a “laser welded” or “laser melted” diamond blade.
Laser welded blades cut faster and have a much longer life (about 35% longer) than sintered diamond blades. As the name indicates, a laser is used to melt the diamond segment and the steel core together. This creates an incredibly strong bond that can tolerate high temperatures making the blade the best choice for both dry and wet cutting. As laser welded blades are a premium tool, they will cost more, but are worth the extra for professional use.
Sintered diamond blades are manufactured cheaply and the segments are considered to be less secure. They are made by putting the steel core of the blade into a mold with the diamond segments and then sintering them together without actual melting the metal bonds into a liquid. The core of the blade is also weaker, so a sintered blade may deform in high-load and high-intensity cutting jobs (they should be used for wet cutting to avoid this).
How can you tell the difference between a sintered and laser welded?
It’s actually a pretty easy to recognise the difference between a laser melted diamond blade and a sintered diamond blade.
If you look at the two images below, you can see that there’s a difference where the blade tip meets the blade core. In the top image you can see that there is weld but in the image below, it is perfectly smooth.
Example of a Laser Welded Diamond Blade
Example of a Sintered Diamond Blade
Choosing the right bond
You need to choose a blade with the right bond for the materials you are cutting.
Generally, for hard materials you need a blade with soft bonds, and for soft materials you need a blade with hard bonds.
This is because diamond blades grind rather than cut and the bond controls the wear rate of the blade.
For example, when cutting a hard material, a soft bond will expose the object being cut to more diamonds as the blade wears down – this makes a neat cut. So if you’re cutting hard porcelain, you want a diamond blade with a soft bond. That way, the blade will wear down faster as the material is cut, exposing more diamonds and create a better cut.
As soft bonds are more forgiving on a range of materials, they are typically used for Universal blades.
While you can cut soft materials with a soft bonded diamond blade, it would be a waste. You’ll get much more life out of your diamond blade with hard bond blade for the cutting of your soft material.
If you cut a hard material with a hard bond you will glaze your blade. Luckily you can fix it by running the blade through a soft material like asphalt to expose more diamond material.
Most manufactures won’t reveal their bonding methods (TOP SECRET STUFF), so it is important that you check the specifications on the packaging of your blade to make sure it’s the right one for your job.
So, to sum up, the main reason you want to choose the right blade is all about how long your blade will last. If you use the wrong blade for the wrong job, the life of your blade will be shortened.
The packaging will say what your blade is designed to cut, and often they will be named after what they can cut, such as brick cutting blades, concrete cutting blades, asphalt blades, metal blades.
You can get general, universal, or multipurpose blades and they are great for a handy man or light user. But for professionals, you will get better performance and more for your buck with a speciality blade designed for your job.
The blade’s teeth (diamond tips)
In other words, this is the type of rim. You can get a segmented rim which is the best blade for both wet and dry cutting. The segments actually cool the blade down, blow out the dust and create a quicker cut. It is also the roughest cut.
Then there are turbo rims, which have lots of little notches on the edge of your blade. This is also designed to get you a quick cut and can be used wet or dry.
Lastly there are continuous rims where the edge of the blade is smooth (no segments or notches). Continuous rim blade are only to be used wet. It is the slowest blade to cut, but will get you the smoothest finish (less chipping). This blade type is most often used in tiling, glass and stone slabs.
Silent, semi-silent or standard diamond blades
Some blades are dubbed as silent, others are semi-silent and some will leave your ears ringing (safety first- wear earmuffs).
The high pitched whine that comes from conventional diamond blade can ruin the serenity on the jobsite. Much worse, it can cause hearing damage to the tradesman who is operating the saw and those around him.
There is revolutionary technology to overcome this, and many quality diamond blades on the market have some sort of silent technology incorporated.
Generally speaking, a blade that is advertised as silent has been ‘vibration damped’ within the core of the blade.
There are two main methods of silencing a blade:
- A Laser Cut Core: This is where an epoxy silencing material is integrated within the core and provides limited noise reduction
- A Sandwich Core: As the name suggests, this involves laminating two steel cores together between these two cores is a copper centre. This technology provides the best sound reduction. this is also called a two piece blade.
Silent blades are the most premium option and are more expensive. Depending on your attitude, the blessing of silence may or may not be worth the extra money. However it is also good to also consider that the vibration resistance that comes with a blade beling silent also protects the blades core. This will in turn increase blade life and sawing quality.
For those who want a reduction in noise but are not up for the cost, the semi silent blades are a great option and are usually available at a mid-range price.
Choosing the Right Diamond Blade Tools for your job
The right blade and tools can make the job fast, efficient, and cost-effective. Meanwhile, the wrong one might make the job take longer and cost more. You’ll need to choose the correct blade for the correct machine that’s made to cut the correct material.
Whether you’re a business owner or just a part-time handyman, this knowledge will save you precious time and money.
Let’s go over some things you’ll need to consider when choosing the best diamond blade for the task.
1. Materials You’re Cutting
First and most importantly, decide which materials you’ll be cutting in order to decide which diamond blade tools to use. If you know what you’ll be working with, you can work faster and your blade will last longer, because it’s well-suited to the job.
Most blades work well with a variety of materials, so don’t worry – you won’t have to buy new tools for each new job. However, that range is limited based on the bond hardness, as well as the diamond quality within the blade.
For best performance, try to match the blade to the material it will be used to cut most often.
If you’re cutting asphalt or concrete, you also need to know what materials were used to make up the aggregate. If you know what aggregate you’re working with, you can find the best diamond blade tools for it.
Not sure what kind of aggregate you’ve got? Either examine it yourself, or use a Mohs test to figure out how hard it is.
2. Equipment You’re Using
The next thing to consider is the equipment or tools you’ll be using to do the cutting. This makes a big difference in the blade you choose.
You’re often buying the blade separate from the equipment, so it’s not a package deal. You’ll need to get the right blade to work with your equipment, as well as one that will cut the material you need it to.
If the blade is the wrong size for the machine, for example, it will be useless.
You also need to consider whether it’s a wet or dry blade. Often, equipment is meant to work with water, but what if there’s no water available?
Consider RPMs as well. A blade that runs fast or slow will be less effective, and wear out more quickly. For example, a brick saw typically revs lower than a demo saw, so a blade that is good on a bricksaw won’t also be great on a demo saw even if you are cutting the same material. Blades will always have a maximum safe speed they can be used at – be sure not to exceed it.
Lastly, but very importantly, the blade must go on your machine the right way round. This is with the comet tails of the diamonds going away from the cut.
3. Depth You’re Cutting
How deeply do you need to cut the material? This will also affect the right kind of blade for the job.
Sometimes, the maximum cutting depth of a blade is different once you’re using it on the job. Both the saw type and the blade diameter affect the depth you can work with.
4. The Speed You Need
Finally, you need to balance speed versus lifespan considerations for your blade.
Do you need to get the job done fast, or do you need a blade that’s going to last a long time? How much are you willing to spend? A pricier blade tends to last longer, giving you a lower price per cut. Some contractors like concreters make money literally but the minute when they get a job with long lineal cuts. These guys generally prefer speed over blade lifespan, as the cost of a diamond blade is insignificant in comparison to the big contract job.
Recommended by the Pros
Whenever you are choosing a new tool, it’s important to find out how the pros feel about it. And the verdict is in: experts prefer to use diamond blades for their major cutting needs.
These blades offer an unparalleled level of convenience for users. This is because they help save time and money for contractors and homeowners alike.
Whatever the project, you’ll get the job done faster. And you’ll be able to complete many different projects before ever having to replace a diamond blade.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are a professional or a home renovator, you are not alone if you just want some advice in choosing the right blade for your job. This is where we can help.
We know diamond blades inside out, and so you can have confidence that any blade you get from CDBS Construction Centre is the quality you need. AND we have diamond blades to suit almost any material.
Browsing through our online store is easy. We provide perfect descriptions of our tools, as well as user reviews from people just like you. If shopping online is really not your thing, just give us a call on 02 6242 8996 because that’s easy too.