Why Use Diamond Blades?
In today’s modern day and age, structures and buildings are often built and with the likes of concrete and other hard metals.
These materials aren’t easy to cut.
You can’t just grab any regular old saw…
Hard materials need to be cut with an even tougher and stronger material.
That’s where diamond comes in.
Diamond, if you don’t know already, is the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man, which is why it’s used to cut hard materials like tile, steel, and concrete.
On the mineral hardness scale, diamond comes out on top, have a rating of 10 on the Mohs Hardness scale.
But diamonds are also pretty rare, making them rather pricey.
So when you buy a diamond blade, the blade is actually synthetic (man-made) diamond.
Without a synthetic diamond, it would be virtually impossible to cut hard materials…
These blades also offer multiple advantages over other metal and abrasive blades:
Will Diamond Blades Cut Metal?
Yes, certain diamond blades can cut through metal, but this will depend entirely on the blades application.
Most diamond blades are used to cut through concrete, brick, tile, and asphalt.
But, not all blades are the same.
Different blades mean different applications…
Each blade comes with a different styles, shape, and grooves which come into play in it’s ability to cut.
Usually, each blade is specialized to cut a certain material or hardness of materials.
Take for example, the difference in concrete vs asphalt diamond blades.
“Because asphalt is softer than surfaces like concrete, or granite, soft bonded blades won’t be effective and typically don’t result in clean cuts. Instead, the best tool for asphalt cutting is a diamond blade with a hard bond.”
Some blades are universal and can be used to cut through almost all materials.
Before buying any blade, always be sure to do your research and figure out it’s application.
Check the product packaging. If you’re not sure, ask someone for help in identifying the application/specialization.
Can Diamond Blades Cut Steel?
Steel is one of the strongest metals on the planet.
When it comes to diamond blades, there are a few that can cut through steel.
Certain blades like the Husqvarna High Pro 3 and 5 series are acceptable for cutting through steel bars.
But in general, abrasive saws are betting for cutting steel, not diamond.
Abrasive saws are made of “aluminum oxide grain that is reinforced with two sheets of fiberglass or other insulting material” which is better for grinding through steel.
How do Diamond Blades Cut?
Believe it or not, but diamond blades don’t actually cut.
Instead, they use the friction force to ‘grind’ away at the material.
“Harder materials are best cut when the bond of the diamond blade is softer. As the diamond particles are dulled and broken, the bond releases so that more of the synthetic diamond can be exposed grinding away at the material.”
“The reverse is true for cutting softer materials. The bond is stronger to ensure that the diamond is exposed long enough to be fully utilized.”
Essentially, the blades scratches away at the particles of each material.
What Size Diamond Blade Should I Choose?
Size of the blade will also have an impact on what your cutting and the project your working on.
You’re not going to walk into the kitchen to cut some tile with a 30″ diamond blade and a massive cut off saw. You’ll probably use a much smaller, electric saw with a more applicable 4″ blade.
Keep this in mind next time you begin a home renovation project.
The size you choose will depend on the sizing that fits your saw.
In order to find this out, read the saws manufacturers manual or product packaging and find out the diameter of the blade it takes.
How Long do Diamond Blades Last?
The material you’re cutting and the usage will be the greatest determinants of your blades life expectancy.
That being said, it’s generally known that a diamond blade can be used about 100 times longer than other abrasive type blades.
The quality of the blade will also play a factor:
Remember, buying cheap is often more expensive in the long run.
Diamond Blade and Saw Safety Tips
Any blade and saw is dangerous.
Saws spin at a couple thousand Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). Combine that with the fact the blade is made of the hardest material on earth and you have a pretty serious cutting machine.
There’s no way you want your hand or any other body part anywhere near that blade…
Here are a few tips to keep you safe out there:
Wear the Proper Safety Gear
Cutting with a circular saw, road saw, or anything with a high speed blade will cause debris to go flying everywhere.
That means you need to wear gear the protects you, especially your face:
Follow Manufacturer Directions
Just like a car needs specific gas, saws and blades have their own instructions that need to be followed.
Always check the manufacturers manual as well as the product packaging for the proper safety and handling of the product.
Don’t Force It
Whenever operating saws, it’s a bad idea to force the saw. Avoid pushing it too hard.
Even diamond blades have their limits and will crack, chip, and break
Simply put, do not cut with the blade at such an angle that the sides of the saw does any of cutting.
The blades are only designed to cut at the edges of the saw and not the flat sides.
Saws get really hot, really fast.
There’s a lot of power, friction, and force that go into grinding away the likes of concrete, brick, and asphalt.
If your saw doesn’t use water for cool down, you should take a break time.
The harder the material you’re cutting, the more cool down time you’ll need.
Cut Only What’s Recommended
Like stated above, many blades are only designed to cut certain materials.
Don’t cut materials you’re not supposed to!
Reading the manufacturers manual and following the recommendations is a must.
These instructions are designed to prevent the diamond blade from wearing down or ripping through material.
Routine Maintenance Checks
Before operating any saw with a diamond blade, it’s a good idea to make sure nothing is already damaged.
Check both sides and the edges of the blade to ensure it’s ready to go.