Diamond blades cut by grinding away at the surface of project materials. The core is a steel disc that attaches to the saw holding the diamond crystals in place at the outer edge. The diamond crystals are synthetically grown to sizes suitable to the shape, size and toughness and are the pieces that grind through the materials.
1. Price – Smaller jobs may be suitable for a lower priced blade, but for lower priced jobs or regular use you will find a higher-priced blade is actually more cost effective broke down to a smaller dollar amount in cost per cut.
2. Material – Determining your material to be cut and matching a diamond blade to exact specifications can increase the lifeline of use. Materials cut outside of the scope of the blade affects the cutting speed. Material categories generally fall as follows:
- Hard materials (soft bond): granite, clay, flint, and brick.
- Medium hard materials (medium-hard bond): concrete and building materials.
- Soft and abrasive (hard bond): bricks, blocks, concrete tiles.
- Abrasive: asphalt, concrete block.
- Wet blades must be used with water. Wet cutting cools the blade, reducing heat build-up extending the lifeline of the blade and allowing for deeper cuts to be made. Water also eliminates dust.
- Dry blades can be used wet or dry.
4. Blade size – accuracy for equipment.
5. RPMs – blade shaft (arbor) speed is in the maximum safe speed as listed on the blade.
6. Segment Height – how deep will you be cut? Make sure you have the correct blade diameter for the job as it can vary based on equipment (saw and accessories) and blade collars (flanges).
- Types of blades:
- Segmented – have slots that cut to the core allowing water and air to flow for faster cooling. Diamonds can bond into the blades edge with varying concentrations. A blade with larger amounts of diamond concentration typically will cut longer.
Understanding your blade choice may simply come from codes developed by the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (csda.org). Codes indicate versatility in wet dry use, approved surfaces, and type of saw the blade is meant for.