What Type of Diamond Blade Should I Use?
Professional tile setters almost certainly have run into a situation where they need to cut a new type of material they are setting. This can range from thicker or harder porcelain, delicate glass tiles or a mixed material mosaic sheets that can have everything from tile to aluminum. Depending on what the customer or designed wants installed, the tiler needs to decide the best way to cut the tile to fit wall or floor installations.
With all the different types of diamond blades in the market, how do we decide which is best for our job? This is dictated by the type of material you are cutting and the tool being used to cut the material. Once you have determined the kind of tile and the tool you are using, the next thing to consider is what type of diamond blade for cutting.
Types of Diamond Blades for Tile
For all intents and purposes, we will talk about 3 different types of diamond blades: continuous rim, segmented and turbo rim blades. Below you will get a brief overview of these types of diamond blades (NOTE: this is general information to guide you towards the best blade for the job, if you have more intensive questions regarding diamond blades, please contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Continuous Rim Blades
Continuous rim diamond blades are usually equipped with a softer bond that cuts through material that can chip easily, such as porcelain, ceramic, granite, stone and glass tile. The solid continuous edge works to make a flush cut without any chipping Most continuous rim blades are designed for wet cutting with a water feed system. These blades can range from 4" - 14" and can be used on angle grinders, hand-held saws and wet tile saws. Some continuous rim blades, such as the T3 Razor Blades, are equipped with a slot (not a segment) that assists in heat reduction during the cut to increased blade life.
Segmented blades offer a more durable, longer life blade with a medium to hard bond for wet or dry cutting of materials. Most segmented blades create a fast smooth cut with the potential for chipping. The segmented style is perfect for marble/granite slabs, concrete, asphalt, brick, block and other building materials. Segmented blades are usually larger in size, 10" - 14", and used on masonry saws, concrete walk-behind saws and cut-off saws. The segments, sometimes referred to as gullets, work to improve air flow and remove slurry as the blade cuts to maintain cutting performance and increasing blade life.
Turbo Rim Blades
The new turbo rim blades feature a continuous rim with a serrated, mesh-style edge for faster cutting speeds and a smooth cut. Turbo blades usually have soft to medium bonds to handle a wide variety of materials such as ceramic, stone, marble, granite masonry and other building materials. These blades range in size from 4" - 10" and are used with angle grinders, hand-held saws and wet tile saws. The turbo rim cuts faster either wet or dry by removing the material quickly while still leaving a smooth finish.
What are Diamond Bonds?
Diamond is bonded to the metal of the diamond blade and determine the rate of diamond exposure during cutting. Bond strength will determine which materials the blade can cut best. If you have harder, denser materials (porcelain tile), use a softer bond diamond blade that can expose diamond easier for a fresh cut and a smooth finish without chipping. If you have a softer, more porous material (asphalt, green concrete), use a harder bond diamond blade that can handle the abrasive nature of soft materials, for long-lasting blade life.