How to Increase Diamond Blade Performance
Compared to your run of the mill saw blades, diamond blades are costly; or so it seems. Just looking at the price tags of various blades you can see that a diamond blade is going to cost you more up front. And if you choose a blade that is on the higher end of the quality spectrum, you will pay even more. So, what kinds of practices can you adopt to increase diamond blade performance and make them last longer? Are there any maintenance tips that blade owners should be aware of? how can you get the most out of your diamond blades? We will consider those topics in this article.
Proper Practices Extend Blade Life
One of the biggest differences you can make to extend the life of your diamond blade is to adopt proper cutting practices that contribute to a longer blade life and use the correct type of blade for the material. Some of these practices will need to be performed every time you use the blade and others will be necessary only periodically. The idea is that you should be aware of the fact that you ability to increase diamond blade performance is directly related to using it in the proper manner. Knowing this will motivate you to follow the blade manufacturer’s guidelines.
Common Problems That Arise
There are a number of issues that come up during the cutting of a slab. Here is list of some of the most common problems faced by fabricators. This is not a complete list of issues, but it gives you a good idea of some of the problems that can arise simply from cutting improperly.
- Blade Discolors Or Burns
- Wobbly Blade
- Cutting Is Very Slow
- The Blade Walks When Cutting
- Segments Fall Off
- Blade Overheats
- Arbor is Out-of-Round
- Shortened Segment Life
- Cracking of Core
- Blade Is Out-of-Round
- Segments Do not Wear Evenly
- Blade Doesn’t Cut the Material
- Loss of Tension
Each of those issues is a result of one or more blade usage techniques not being followed.
When using a diamond blade there are several facets of the project that can impact the performance of the blade. Here are some of them:
- Hardness of the Bond
- Grit Size
- Hardness of the Material
- Quality of the Blade’s Diamonds
- How Many Diamonds the Blade Has
- Height of the Segments
- Depth of Cut
- Power of the Saw
- Amount of Water
- Water’s Flow Rate
Now that we have enumerated some common problems and listed some of the factors that affect performance we are ready to consider some effective techniques for getting the most out of your diamond blades.
Making Your Diamond Blade Perform Better, Longer
As we have mentioned already, how you use the blade and the techniques you employ will make a difference not only in the life of the blade but also in the performance, some techniques to help are listed next.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Recommendations
Regardless of whether you are wet cutting or dry cutting, always follow the guidelines of the manufacturer on how to properly use your blade. The manufacturer of the blade most likely has performed extensive tests on the tool and has already found many of the optimal settings for the blades usage. If the blade is a wet blade, do not use it for dry cutting. If the blade is a wet/dry blade be sure to use the recommended specifications for the type of cutting you are performing with the blade.
Be Alert And Inspect Equipment Regularly
Make sure you are alert to any changes in the way the blade performs or looks. Regularly inspect the blade for any of the following signs that something is wrong:
- Core Flatness
- Segment Damage
- Fatigue Cracks
- Damage to Arbor Hole
By looking for anything in the blade’s appearance that could indicate an issue will give you the best opportunity to correct any issues you may find.
Proper Blade Installation & Machine Set Up
Before installing the blade, be sure to inspect it for potential problems. Make sure you use the correct blade for the material you are cutting. Also, run the blade using the proper specifications according to the saw and blade manufacturers’ guidelines.
While cutting be sure to allow the blade to cut and do not try to cut too quickly. Additionally, if you are wet cutting be sure you have the appropriate supply of water. Both the amount of water and the flow of the water matter. If the blade overheats it can cause a variety of problems including:
- Core Cracks
- Segment Loss
- Overheated Blade
- Uneven Segment Wear
- Excessive Segment Wear
Use the Correct Blade for the Material
One of the easiest ways to increase the life of your diamond blades is to use them on the proper material. If the blade is a wet blade, use it in a wet cutting environment and only dry cut with blades that are made for dry cutting. Using the incorrect blade for a given material can result in a mismatch in the bond and the material. This mismatch can cause all sorts of issues, one of which is glazing. This happens when the blade’s bond is too hard for the material. This causes the diamonds to be underexposed and then the blade doesn’t cut until it has been dressed to open the diamonds back up.
In the end, there are a number of things that can be done to get the most benefit from your diamond blades. However, they all involve knowing what the correct protocol, equipment and procedure are and then working within that framework. When you use the correct equipment properly and make sure that your saw and blades are in good shape you are sure to get the longest life and best performance from your blades.