The Basics of Diamond Blades
Professionals that work with diamond tools know that many options exists. Perhaps you have found that during your search for the best tools. The ability to choose the correct blade for a task goes far beyond knowing which ones work the best. Rather, to make an informed decision you must actually understand some basic information about the way diamond blades are constructed and how it affects their performance. In this article we will look at the basics of diamond blades. Then, we will briefly talk about how that information affects your choice of blade.
Anatomy of a Diamond Blade
The forst thing we will discuss is what the basic components of a diamond blade are. Knowing the terminology that is used when talking about diamond blades is a key to contemplating which blade to select for a given task. Some of the lingo that you may or may not be familiar with include the following terms:
- Vacuum Brazing
- Laser Welding
As you can see from that
partial list of terms associated with diamond saw blades, discussing even simple concepts can get fairly complicated if a person is not familiar with basic words and phrases related to diamond blades.
While we won't cover every aspect of diamond blade anatomy, we are going to summarize each of the main parts of a diamond blade to highlight key concepts to consider when choosing a diamond blade.
The first element of a diamond blade's makeup that we will consider is the
core. The core of a diamond blade refers to the base of the blade. Meaning, the blades disc minus the seegments (which we sill define momentarily). Teh core of a diamond blade can come in a variety of designs, thicknesses, and strengths. Blade cores are designed to accommodate various types of segments. So when researching diamond blades, you will often read about cores and encoutner some of the follwing terminology:
- Silent Core
- Premium Core
- Steel Core
- Rigid Core
- Copper Core
- Solid Core
- Reinforced Core
- Stiff Core
From the list above it is clear that diamond blade cores vary in quality and performance. Knowing which type of blade core performs well with a particular material is learned through testing different blades and determining which types of core work best with a given surface and cutting environment.
The blades segments are the rectangular "teeth" that line the edge of the blade. These segments contain the crystals that actually grind away the stone surface in a narrow path to turn one piece of material into two separate pieces. In everyday terminology, stone workers use the term "cutting" but in reality, a diamond blade actually "grinds" away the stone to form a
Diamond blades are manufactured using a variety of methods. The common ways that diamond blades are manufactured include:
- Vacuum Brazing
Each of the above manufacturing methods uses a particular way of affixing the diamonds to the blade. Each kind of manufacturing method produces blades suitable for certain kinds of cutting on specific materials.
The bond of a diamond blade refers the way in which diamond crystals are held in place by a sintering process. A blade's bond is made up of various blended metal powders and plays an important part in the overall performance of the blade. How so?
The diamond blade's bond holds the diamonds that actually do the grinding. It has to perform a number of functions in order for the blade to wear in the right way and at the proper speed. This controlled wear is a contributing factor to the blade's efficiency. If the bond wears away too quickly, the diamonds would not be used to their full potential. Conversely, if the bond did not wear, the diamonds would break up and the blade would become dull and lack the ability to "cut" the material.
In addition to the aforementioned role, the bond also acts to move heat away from the cut. Keeping the edge of the blade as cool as possible is important because heat can cause damage to the blade which in turn can become a safety issue.
Diamond blades are available with different "edges". The edge of diamond blades are described using an array of terms. Some of these include:
- Continuous Rim
- Split Segment
- J Slotted
Each of the above rim types lends itself to cutting particular materials. However, what really matters is the overall design of the blade. So when it comes to choosing a diamond blade to cut a surface, think about all the aspects of the blade rather than fixating on one aspect of the product. For example, low price is appealing and in some cases it is the right option. However, often times there is a reason why a blade may have a higher price tag. So before selecting a particular blade, familiarize yourself with which material(s) the blade is designed to cut. Then make your decision.
Selecting the Right Diamond Blade
As mentioned above, there are diamond bridge saw blades designed to cut a variety of materials. And each blade will have advantages over its counterparts. For example, you will see
blades for cutting quartz and blades for cutting marble slabs. These blades may have different design elements and perform differently on the same material.
When selecting a diamond bridge saw blade for use on a given material. First, make sure you know exactly what material you will be cutting. This might be more difficult than it sounds. Some materials resemble others from which they are very different. For example,
quartzite is often mixed up with marble. Furthermore, even though these stones look alike, they are very different from one another. One is a very hard stone and the other is a soft material. So, just because a slab looks like a particular material, it does not mean that a diamond blade will perform the same on both.
After you you are sure that you have correctly identified the type of stone that you will be cutting you need to find the proper blade. There a re many blades on the market for each kind of material. So be sure that you select one that is of the proper quality and price. You might find that a low price blade is what you need if you are simply doing one or two jobs with that material. On the other hand, you might need a high performance blade. This will no doubt be more costly.
In conclusion, we have taken a look at some of the basic features of diamond blades. The core, segments, bond, and rim of diamond blades are contributors to their performance on specific materials. In the end though, knowing which blade to go with will really depend on the material you are cutting and what amount of work you will be doing with that material.