There are many different blades to choose from and they range in price from very expensive to very cheap.  Knowing the basics of diamond blades will help you to get the most out of them and their saw, whether it is boosting the cutting speed or preventative saw maintenance.

“Use the right tool for the job” is a mantra learned early and heard often from construction sites to kitchens. Chances are you have at least half a dozen different types of saw blades for cutting concrete, asphalt, metal or plastic. Technology has given us the opportunity to condense and include one blade for a variety of different materials. The key is to make sure you know each blade’s unique application.

How Deep Do I Need To Cut?

Knowing the depth of cut is the first question to ask when searching for a saw blade, as it tells us what type of saw is required for the job.  Whether it is a chainsaw, ring saw or standard cut-off model, the process of finding the right blade begins here.

Consider the Material and Project

Choosing the right blade isn’t that complicated if you ask yourself three basic questions: What’s the material I’m cutting, how thick is it, and what’s the shape of the cut?

#1 Rule for diamond blades: use a hard bond to cut something soft and use a soft bond to cut something hard

This is the most important factor in finding the appropriate blade. Soft, abrasive material such as asphalt, brick and block require a blade with a hard bond. Since these materials are already so abrasive, hard bond blades help break down the bond and open the next layer of diamonds to be cut. Each exposed diamond crystal does the grinding portion, while the metal matrix or bond holds the diamonds in place. 

Hard, reinforced concrete with rebar works in the opposite fashion, requiring blades with a soft bond. This is where speed comes into play: saw cutters often want to cut quickly. However, hard concrete with metal can be difficult and care should be taken to work more slowly and prolong the life of the blade. The tradeoff of a very fast-cutting, soft bonded blade is shorter blade life.

Big blades are great for cutting straight lines, but cutting tight curves is best done with a 6” blade. If you need a deeper cut, use the 6” cut for a guide, then angle the larger blade slightly for an easier cut.

Diamond Quality

Overall, you get what you pay for. There’s no secret ingredient a salesmen can give you for a great long-lasting, fast-cutting blade at an inexpensive price. When a blade is made with high-quality diamonds, its performance will be extremely noticeable compared to a lower-quality blade.

What it comes down to: Low-quality diamonds allow for inexpensive blade prices and work well for landscaping or utility work. High-quality blades perform and correctly cut hard, reinforced concrete.

The Right Equipment

At times, with the right inspection, you can tell how the blade failed for the operator. When segments are cracked or fractured, it is usually because the bond was too hard for material being cut –something a softer bonded blade would fix. Having a full understanding of the equipment being used, along with knowing what to look for, assures strong blade performance. Some important components to watch are the saw blade shaft, center arbor hole, belt tension, water supply and voltage (electric saws). 

Blocks, Pavers and Lines

A 16” blade will cut through most SRW (segmental retaining wall) blocks in a single pass, saving time and making neater cuts. A 14” blade is easier to use and is a better choice for pavers, which aren’t as thick as blocks. A 6” diamond blade on a grinder is great for cutting scoring lines for larger cut-off blades because it’s easier to guide. Plus you can verify that your cut lines are where you want them before using the big blades. The bigger blades will follow the score line, too, making the cut easier and more precise.

Cutting Edge Concrete Experts

Sophisticated landscaping and outdoor living spaces are some of the fastest-growing items on homeowners’ must-have lists. Ace Cutting Equipment has the right blades for the job and the saws to use them with. Visit our newly designed web site, Acecutting.com, to see the many ways our American-owned family business is always on the cutting edge when it comes to equipment and supplies for the concrete and masonry cutting industry.

Have Questions about this Product? Call us at (888) 283-2597 or email us steve@acecutting.com and we will help with any questions you may have.