Choosing the best masonry saw blades is critical when cutting through rigid materials like concrete pavers, blocks, asphalt, green concrete and cured concrete, even with steel rebar. Here, we will discuss three tips to help select the right blade for the job. Understanding the quality and material used to produce the blades will offer a better lifespan expectation. In addition, knowing the bond grade of each wheel lets the user know which blade works best, from the softest asphalt to the most critically hard-cured concrete.
What are the Types of Masonry Saw Blades?
There are several different types of masonry saw blades sold. Available in various sizes, the most common are 4” to 24”. Some are specified for all-purpose cutting, while others are appointed for a specific material.
Some blades are made for wet cutting, which uses water to keep the blade cool while cutting through the material. Then there are dry blades that use the built-in notches to cool the blade down by air. It is safe to use dry blades for wet cutting, but it is not recommended to use wet blades for dry cutting.
There are many to choose from, but here are a few blades to give a general idea of what to look for when selecting the right blade for the project.
- Hard Material Turbo Drop-Down Blade: The Diamond Vantage X400 VORTEX blade has a turbo rim blade with a supreme grade for cutting through hard materials. It is 12X.125X1/20mm with a 9mm rim height. The drop-down segments protect the core, and its VORTEX turbo design allows a smooth and quick cut. The primary use is for all hard concrete, granite, bricks/pavers, and multiple hard materials.
- Alternating Turbo Segment Blade: The Diamond Vantage X101 measurements are 14X.125X1/20mm and have an alternating turbo segment laser welded to allow faster cutting. Its tall 12mm segments give it a longer blade life. It is best used on gas and electric high-speed hand saws, walk-behind saws, and stand-up masonry saws. The primary use is for old, hard concrete, bricks/pavers, and multiple hard materials.
- Turbo All-Purpose Heavy Duty Blade: The Diamond Vantage AP201 Turbo is designed for the all-purpose bond grade, has a 12X.125X1/20mm measurement, and has turbo alternating segments that promote faster cutting. The heavy-duty blade has a wedged segment undercut protection with a 15mm segment height. The applications are used for asphalt, cured, abrasive, and green concrete, bricks, and blocks. It is best used on gas and electric high-speed hand saws, walk-behind saws, and stand-up masonry saws.
Choosing the Right Masonry Saw Blade
It takes planning to choose the right masonry saw blade. Once the project's estimate and contract are determined, knowing the materials that need cutting is the next step. The materials may be blocks, bricks, combination, cured or green concrete, asphalt, or even other hard to cut materials.
Depending on the materials, there are two options for cutting, wet and dry, which require different blades. The mason will also need to know which equipment is used for the job. Smaller jobs will use a high-speed hand-held saw, while more significant jobs will require a walk-behind saw with low or high horsepower or a masonry table saw. It is critical to use a suitable blade diameter. A 14" blade will cut a depth of five inches. Knowing this will help with the size needed.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Masonry Saw Blades
There are different bond/segmented hardness levels to determine which blade is suitable.
Soft Aggregate: Asphalt, Green Concrete and lightweight concrete blocks fall into this category. It takes the balance of a blade with fast cutting, long life, and speed to cut. Using hard bonded blades is necessary for these softer, more abrasive materials. Too soft a blade bond, and it will not have a very long life.
Hard Aggregate: It is best to use soft bond blades to cut cured concrete, old concrete, concrete with rebar, granite, refractory brick and other hard materials. Soft bonded blades allow the blade to grab into the material and cut. Too hard a bond and the blade will just bounce off the hard material. Similar to two steel pinballs bouncing off of each other. If too hard a bond is used, the blade stops cutting and most likely will become damaged beyond repair. It is also a safety risk when this happens as the blade segments can come loose, fly off and create a very dangerous situation.
How to Match the Right Masonry Saw Blade to the Job at Hand
The quality of the blade is the first thing to look into when matching the blade to the job. Cured concrete and other hard materials use softer bond blades. They have diamonds in the rims or segments at the cutting edge. The segment is worn down as the blade spins, exposing the industrial diamonds to keep cutting.
Jobs that use green concrete or asphalt take a more resistant metal, giving a longer lifespan and cutting to the blade. All Diamond Vantage blades are specifically matched to the material being cut, making them more durable and safer to use.
The diamond quality and the segment height are other things to look into when choosing the right masonry saw blade. In these situations, the diamond quality is more important than the segment height. Together with the diamond concentration and quality, the segment height will have the blade outlasting many of the competitors blades.
3 Tips for Selecting the Correct Masonry Saw Blades
Masonry saw blades are not like other blades with teeth. They grind through the materials to make a clean cut. The blades are made to perform precision cuts with the diamond particles, which is meant to work better with each use. It takes the proper tools to do any project, and the primary goal must be to do the job efficiently.
These are three good reasons and tips to keep in mind when selecting the correct masonry saw blade.
- Watch the Quality and Material: When facing a project, quality and material are everything to provide the perfect finish. The manufacturers begin with a circular core and use their equipment to attach the diamond particles to the blade's edge. Various metal powders are added to the diamonds to create the bond. These metal powders are different depending on the materials being cut. Bronze for example is a soft metal and would be used in a bond to cut hard bricks. While carbide powder, which is a hard metal, would be used in a blade to cut abrasive materials, such as concrete blocks or pavers.
- Look at it as an investment: Every tool is an investment. Each blade can be costly when purchasing different bond grades, but in the long run, the user will know they have the proper blade to do the job for a long time. The more projects the blade takes on, the more money the contractor makes. The purchase of each masonry saw blade pays for itself and more each time it is used. They can swap out for different projects, and it is good to know when the blade is needed; it is at the contractor's discretion.
- Know the Bond Grade of the Wheel: There are certainly varying qualities of diamond blades. The price levels of the blades directly relate to the speed of cut as well as the overall life. In the blades there are different qualities, sizes and amounts of diamonds. The metal bond doesn’t do the cutting, as it is only there to hold the diamonds in place. So the higher the diamond quality and or amount, directly affects the tools performance. Generally speaking, the higher priced blades perform much better than the low-cost ones.
Choosing TSC Fabrication Solutions
The high quality of masonry saw blades gives construction workers the best tools to cut the many materials that may be found on a construction site. It leaves a precision cut that is professional and decorative. When the contractor knows which blade works best for the job, the saw blades will keep the contractors in business for years to come. The customer will remain happy and call them back for more work when needed.At TSC Fabrication Solutions, we supply contractors with the ideal masonry saw blades for the job. Our team will answer any questions to help you choose the ideal tool for the project at hand. Many different saw blades and other fabrication tools are found on our website. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or issues, contact TSC Fabrication Solutions today!