A diamond blade is a saw blade that is specifically designed to cut through very dense, abrasive materials like concrete and asphalt. The process of cutting abrasive materials is much different than cutting through wood because the blade gets extremely hot due to friction. Not all diamond blades are the same, however, and it can be difficult to choose the best diamond blade for each individual job. Let’s take a look at the diamond blade cutting process, speed, and methods of cutting to get a good understanding of how to choose the best diamond blade for your project.
Diamond Blade Cutting Process
They’re called a blade, but diamond blades don’t really cut; they grind. The process of cutting with a diamond blade is a little different from cutting wood or another soft material with a regular saw. Diamond blades literally scratch out particles of hard, dense materials instead of cutting straight through them. This process eventually cracks the tiny diamond particles embedded on the blade and renders the blade practically useless.
Diamond Blade Cutting Speed
Speed plays a big part in the life expectancy of a diamond blade. A saw operator who cuts slowly will extend the blade’s life where a saw operator who cuts faster will go through blades more quickly. There is a direct correlation between cutting speed and the life of the blade. Each individual project is different, so each contractor has different needs where diamond blades are concerned. Contractors with large projects often choose blades that are designed to cut faster, so they understand that frequent blade replacement is going to be an issue. This is an issue they’re willing to pay for because of the scope of the project.
Diamond blade Cutting Method
Diamond blades are generally used for two methods of cutting – wet and dry. Cutting concrete and other abrasive materials is messy business.
- Dry Cutting: Concrete dust is very harmful to the saw operator’s lungs and it drifts with the flow of air, so it affects other people as well. This isn’t much of an issue on a jobsite where everyone is going to be wearing masks, but that doesn’t apply to all job sites. Dry cutting also causes more friction to the blade requiring more frequent stops for the blade to cool and more blade changes as they wear out relatively quickly.
- Wet Cutting: Dust created from cutting is drastically reduced when wet cutting. The amount of friction on the blade is also much less than with dry cutting, so the saw operator doesn’t have to stop quite as frequently to allow the blade to cool. Ultimately, diamond blades perform better when cutting wet.
Diamond concentration influences the cutting proficiency of diamond blades. The bond type and diamond grit size will both affect the diamond concentration. Having an appropriate diamond concentration will allow for the maximum use of the diamonds and bond. Having diamond concentrations too high for the material being cut can result in diamonds falling off the blade prematurely. Conversely, having diamond concentration too low can result in reduced cutting proficiency.
Diamond concentration typically ranges from 25% to 75%. In general, as the diamond concentration increases, the blade’s cutting efficiency and sharpness decrease. Higher diamond concentrations will decrease the impact of each individual diamond particle, reducing the cutting efficiency but also extending the blade’s life.
Whether a blade is sintered, electroplated, or resin bonded will affect the blade’s capacity for holding diamonds. When the holding strength of the bond is strong, the diamond concentration can also be higher. Saws with a lot of horsepower often need a strong blade with a high diamond concentration for blade durability and longevity.
High diamond concentration with a coarse grit is ideal for cutting abrasive materials while low diamond concentration and fine diamond grit it typically good for cutting hard, dense materials, precision cutting, and polishing. For more efficient cutting where smooth cuts are not a concern, blades with low diamond concentration and coarse grit are often popular.
How long will a diamond blade last?
A low-quality diamond blade can only last around 12 hours of non-stop cutting, while high-quality blades can cut materials up to 120 hours.
Hereof, how long do diamond tile blades last?
A low quality diamond blade under perfect conditions can last around 12 hours, but with improper technique or the wrong materials, this could be reduced by half or more. On the other hand, some high quality diamond blades under standard working conditions have been known to have a life of over 120 cutting hours.
One may also ask, can you use a diamond blade to cut wood? General purpose dry diamond saw blades can be used for several materials, but reconsider before using them to cut wood. The harsh grit of the diamond blade can cut tile and masonry with straight lines. In most cases, it is better to use a traditional steel blade for wood.