A diamond saw blade is a tool used for cutting and grinding very hard, dense materials. These blades are frequently used in masonry applications, and are used to cut brick, block, concrete, and stone. They have a circular shape that allows the blade to rotate very quickly, and are available in a wide range of sizes and quality levels. A diamond saw blade may be used on demolition saws, concrete saws, or any other power tool used for cutting hard materials.
Most saw blades are designed for either wet or dry cutting. During a wet cut, water is supplied through a mechanism in the saw itself, or may be sprayed from an external source. The moisture helps to keep the saw blade from overheating, therefore extending the life of the blade and saw. Wet cutting also helps to keep noxious dust under control when working with masonry or stone. When performing a dry cut, make sure to wear a dust mask and take frequent breaks to allow the blade to cool down.
Diamond blades consist of a solid steel core surrounded by a circular pattern of cutting teeth. The cutting teeth are made from diamond crystals and metal powder that are pressed together at high temperatures. To make a diamond saw blade, the teeth are welded onto the steel core. They may also be joined to the core using electroplating techniques to create a more secure connection.
When choosing a diamond saw blade, it is important to understand the concept of bond. Bond refers to how hard or soft the teeth of the saw are, and is determined by the ratio of diamonds and metal dust used during manufacturing. A hard-bond blade will wear very slowly, and should be used for cutting softer materials like brick or limestone. Soft-bonded blades will wear more quickly, and are best used for cutting very dense or hard materials. On a soft-bond blade, the worn diamond crystals will fall away more quickly, exposing fresh diamonds that are capable of cutting hard stone or masonry.
Those looking to purchase a diamond saw blade should consider the cost of the blade as well as the diamond content. Blades with a high diamond content will cost more up front, but will also last longer and may be more cost-effective over time. Many home improvement stores rent these blades along with gas and electric-powered saws. The blade is measured before and after each use, and renters are charged based on the amount of blade that was used for their project.