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3 Things To Consider When Selecting a Diamond Cutting Blade

When it comes to cutting and drilling concrete and other masonry, diamonds are a contractor’s best friend. Lab-grown crystals have supplanted natural stones in most construction tools, but selecting the perfect diamond cutting tools will ensure a successful engagement with your next project. Much as gem-quality diamonds are rated on cut, color, clarity, and carat size, each diamond tool possesses qualities that makes it suitable for particular applications, duties, and material. Consider these variables when selecting the diamond cutting tool that is right for your job:

1. Hard or Soft?

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The type and hardness of the material to be cut will help take the first important step in blade selection. It may seem counterintuitive, but the harder the material, the softer the blade’s bond matrix should be. The bond matrix is the pressed mixture of metallic powder and diamonds that form the blade’s cutting segments.

When cutting hard material, you want a bond of softer metals that will wear away easily to expose layers of newer, sharper, harder diamonds as the old stones fracture and become blunted. Conversely, use hard bonds that wear slowly when cutting softer materials to avoid sloughing off perfectly functional diamonds before they are used up.

Use this chart as a rule of thumb:
Hard material/soft bond Soft material/hard bond
Granite or flint aggregate Limestone or flint aggregate
Coarse (1-inch or more) aggregate Fine aggregate
Reinforced (rebar) concrete Green concrete or asphalt

Remember that diamond blades with softer bonds will need to be replaced more often, and they require more power to run because they are tasked with cutting harder materials.

2. Fast or Slow?

The equipment you use limits your choices among diamond blades. Obviously, if you’re using an electric saw, you can’t use blades designed to be water-cooled. Each blade is made to operate within a range of speeds. Using a blade with a saw that cannot generate the horsepower to drive it at high enough RPMs will make it less effective and can shorten its lifespan. Worse, using a too-powerful saw that exceeds the blade’s recommended speed can damage the blade and the concrete and can risk injury to the operator.

3. Wet or Dry?

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As mentioned above, wet cutting tools should never be used dry. And while dry blades can often be used wet, water cools the blade to prevent warpage and segment deterioration, allowing for cutting in more extreme conditions. In general use wet blades for these applications:
  • When using walk-behind saws
  • When making deep cuts
  • When cutting expansion joints in cured concrete
  • When other respirators and dust-control measures are unavailable
  • When slurry clearing out the cutting area will make the job easier or safer
  • When cutting ceramic, porcelain, brick, pavers, and block
Dry blades, on the other hand, are usually best in these applications:
  • When using an electric saw
  • When cutting is intermittent, allowing time for the blade to cool
  • For decorative or other precise, shallow cuts
  • When using a power cutter, either with or without water for dust control

Cut Concrete Efficiently and Precisely With Diamond Cutting Blades

Power Bolt and Tool carries a full line of diamond cutting blades and tools. Request a quote or call us at 1-844-514-5151 to speak with a representative. Also check out our downloadable guide for more information on selecting diamond cutting tools. Whether it’s diamond cutting tools or any other construction supplies, Florida contractors know Power Bolt and Tool will have what they need.
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