On the surface, there may be little difference between diamond tools. Unfortunately, many make the mistake of assuming that all diamond tools are equal and choose the least expensive option. Ironically, in the long run, this often costs customers more in wasted time and the number of tools required to finish a job. Understanding the difference between high and low-quality diamond tools will equip you with the tools, so to speak, to make an informed decision and start your next job on the right foot.
In this blog, we take a look at how the quality of diamond tools is compared and hope to offer some helpful insight for when you’re ready to purchase your next cutting tool, block saw, wire saw, floor saw, concrete hand saw, core drill, or other related equipment.
Grade and grit of diamond
Synthetic diamonds used in diamond tooling can be produced in all different shapes and sizes. Coarse diamonds are larger and tend to cost more than fine-grit diamonds. On the other hand, coarse-grit diamonds are better in quality and more effective at grinding away material.
High-grade diamonds are stronger, withstand higher temperatures and are more uniform in shape and characteristics than low-grade diamonds. High-grade diamonds will last longer and be more effective in their performance than low-grade diamonds, so they are higher in quality and contribute to a higher-quality diamond tool.
High-quality diamond tools feature a high concentration of diamonds. As the diamond is the working part of the tool, the higher the concentration of diamond in the tool, the more effective it will be.
During manufacturing, diamonds can be arranged into uniform patterns within a segment. Arranged diamond segments allow for constant contact between a diamond and the material at any given time. Tests show that arranged segments last 10-20% longer and cut 20-30% faster than non-arranged segments (when the same bond and diamond grit concentration is used). Therefore, a higher-quality diamond tool will feature an arranged cutting segment.
Concrete characteristics vary from country to country and state to state, with each aggregate significantly impacting blade performance. In some cases, when the aggregate used in the concrete is particularly ‘sharp’ and causes the segment to wear horizontally to the point that the segment width is as wide as the steel core, the tooling must be fitted with sandwich-style segment. Using a blade without the sandwich-style segment will cause the blade to jam in the cut or prematurely wear the machine. Producing the proper bond for a particular application requires years of trial and error and a specific mixture of metals. This experience and expertise lead to a higher quality, albeit higher priced, diamond tool.
Making an excellent diamond tool once is hard, but making a great diamond tool every time is significantly more challenging. High-quality diamond tools are manufactured by companies that have internationally recognised manufacturing certificates. These certificates are awarded after rigorous testing and quality control procedures. These procedures help to ensure that there is a consistent quality between segments. This ultimately means knowing that the diamond tool will work the same every time and won’t be a letdown in its longevity or productivity.
Figure 1 Lower Quality Blade Segment - Low Concentration
Figure 2 High Quality Segment - High Concentration
Figure 3 High Quality Segment - Arranged Segment
Figure 4 Segment Analysis Under Electron Microscope To Assess Condition of Segment Prior To Shipment
Laser-welded vs sintered blades
Laser-welded blades cut faster and have a longer lifespan than sintered diamond blades. Laser welding is generally accepted as the safest, most robust and most secure method of joining the diamond segment to the steel rim. The process is fast and efficient, but laser welding is predominantly used on higher-quality diamond blades because it is far more expensive than sintering. Laser-welded blades are a better quality product and are considered a premium tool for use in a professional setting.
In conclusion, high-quality diamond tools will last longer, work faster and perform more efficiently. Investing in higher-quality tools and accessories may seem daunting initially, but they will save you time and money in the long run.
If you’d like to find out all there is to know about how quality affects your diamond tooling and its impact on your specific job, reach out to our expert team. With more than 25 years of industry experience to back us, we’ll help you find a solution to your tooling needs. We’re specialists in supplying and maintaining diamond cutting, drilling and grinding tools. We proudly stock a wide range of products from Australia’s favourite brands, including Weka Diamond Core Drills, Pentruder, Sima, and many others.
Get in touch with Taman Diamond Tools Solutions on (08) 9355 3588 or visit us in-store and be certain that you’re getting the right tools for the job, every time.