It’s no secret that every project requires very specific skill sets, steps, and, most importantly, tools. Just as you wouldn’t try to cook your rice in a coffee pot or pay your rent with a gift card, you also wouldn’t want to use the wrong tools for the wrong project and wind up with a sloppy job or a broken blade.
With this said, below we have compiled an ultimate guide to diamond saw blades in order to always help you find the right one for the job. In this article, we will discuss not only the main elements that make up the average diamond blade but also what questions you should ask yourself before every new saw blade purchase. With this definitive guide by your side, you are sure to have the right tool for every project and be more productive than ever in the process!
The Main Elements to Consider When Choosing a Saw Blade
Whether you intend on creating a custom granite bathroom countertop for your home or cutting concrete for local Idaho contractors, there are several essential elements that must be considered before you choose any saw blade for any project. These are the kinds of elements that make up tools contractors swear by and workers actually enjoy using on the job. By analyzing these integral elements before making a purchase, you can ensure that the blade you choose is right for you and all that you do.
Segmented, Turbo, or Continuous Blade?
The first thing to consider when choosing a saw blade is the type of diamond saw blade you are looking for. There are three main types of diamond saw blades out there: segmented, turbo, and continuous blade.
When it comes to segmented blades, these blades are ideal for cutting marble and granite slabs, concrete, asphalt, and various building materials. The average segmented blade is roughly 12″ and above and has gullets to provide air flow, remove heat, and help with debris removal. Segmented blades are capable of both wet and dry cuts likewise. They are also very fast and relatively precise blades as well, but they can experience chipping in some cases.
Secondly, continuous rim blades has softer bonds and are best with wet cuts in order to make very precise cuts in tile, granite, stone, porcelain, glass, and other easily chipped materials. Unlike segmented blades, what makes these blades called continuous rim blades is the fact that they have a continuous blade with no gullets whatsoever.
Lastly, turbo blades are blades that have a continuous rim with a serrated edge. They also have a smooth to medium bond and are great for tile, stone, granite, marble, masonry, and other building materials. These blades have some of the best qualities of continuous blades and segmented blades combined and are a great for both wet and dry cuts.
The Diamond Quality
Just as the type of diamond blade is important, the quality of the diamonds is crucial as well. For instance, if you opt for a subpar diamond quality in your blade, you will likely have a blade that cannot maintain its sharpness and resist high heat. However, if you pick a high-quality diamond saw blade, you will be able to make smoother cuts for longer and not worry about causing damage to your project in the process. Below is a great guide by one of our vendors on diamond quality and amount in diamond blades.
As discussed slightly above, each type of diamond saw blade has a different bond. What this is referring to specifically is the bond that the diamonds have to the blade itself. In diamond blades, synthetic diamonds are bonded to the blade typically using sintered metal powder. This can affect the blade quality and what the blade is capable of cutting. A softer bond is better for porcelain and other easily chipped materials that are hard to cut through precisely so it breaks down at the same level as the material and allows for new diamonds to surface.
Similarly, a harder bond is used for softer materials as the blade itself does not need to wear down and reveal more diamonds as often. The bonding process is also highly important and it is crucial that you choose a reputable diamond blade company so as to avoid a subpar blade that is sure to be more pain than it’s worth.
To help you with all of these factors and give you a better idea of diamond blade specifics, below is an informative guide you can save and take with you anywhere with ease!
There are both negative and positive hook angles to choose from, and both have differing results. For instance, a negative hook angle is better when used with radial arm saws and other saws that make climb cuts. It is also ideal for cutting harder materials like metal, granite, or concrete.
However, a positive hook angle is ideal for aggressive and quick cuts that don’t require precision to accomplish.
When it comes to diamond saw blades, segmented blades are the only ones where the gullet truly matters. The size and shape of the gullet determines what these blades are specifically designed to cut. For instance, wider U-shaped gullets are best for cutting asphalt while more narrow u-shaped gullets are better for concrete.
Similarly, narrow slots are best for granite and marble while keyhole shaped slot blades are better for general use.
Finally, the kerf width of a saw blade refers to the width of the slot a blade cuts into a given material. Full-kerf or in-kerf blades are best for more rough and harder jobs as they remove more material and are used alongside more powerful blades as a whole.
However, thin-kerf blades are great for on-the-go contractor projects, simple around-the-house projects, and other projects where less material is needed to be removed at a time and a less powerful saw is fine likewise.
So, How do You Choose the Right Saw Blade for You?
Now that you know more about what makes up a saw blade, you likely still are unsure of which blade is specifically right for you and your project. Fortunately, by asking the questions below before making any purchase, you can eliminate this doubt and be prepared for your various projects without fail. Another great guide to reference before making a purchase is the metal bonding guide by Diamond Products. As stated above, the bonding is one of the most crucial elements of a diamond blade so it is vital that you take this into account first and foremost.
What Kind of Saw are You Using?
As stated several times above, certain saws work best with certain types of blades. If you don’t use the right blades for your particular saw or project, you could be putting yourself in danger or allowing for a subpar result.
The best way to determine this is to turn to the professionals and contact your local sawcutting shop. They will be able to give you the information you need in far less time than a tutorial or guide video ever could. Here is a great saw blade article referencing this by our owner Stan Gunn.
Do You Prefer Quantity or Quality?
This is essentially the most difficult question to answer when considering what blade is right for you. If you’re in love with tools and can appreciate the slight differences and abilities of each, you may prefer a quality blade that is capable of taking on very specific jobs.
However, if you are an all-in-one kind of person that would rather have your blade do everything than have specific blades for each project, you may be best suited using a turbo blade that is perfect for nearly all of your projects combined.
What Does the Manufacturer Recommend?
Although all of this information is great to help you determine what blade you specifically prefer, most manufacturers will also be able to help you along the way and give you insight into what blades are best for their particular saws.
For instance, if you look at the Sawmaster SDT 1410 on our site you will find that it comes with a specific 14” blade that has a wide gullet and less teeth than other options on the market by far. The reason for this is that this particular saw is a design that has these kinds of cuts in mind.
What Does Your Local Sawcutting Shop Recommend?
The final thing you can do to ensure that the saw blade you choose is right for you is to contact your local sawcutting shop and ask them what they specifically recommend.
At Sawcutting Specialties, we handle any and all questions that the Treasure Valley may have regarding saws and blades on a daily basis. As such, we guarantee we’ll be able to provide you with an answer to your saw blade conundrum with ease! Contact us today to find out our specific recommendations and tips! After all, the best advice you can get is from those that use these products and sell them each and every day! For more information on the various blades we carry and how they handle each and every job with ease, check out our blade inventory! Also, feel free to watch this video of our founder, Stan Gunn, discussing some of our cheap diamond tip blade selections for a more in-depth and individual approach below!