The first thing to understand when measuring the life of a diamond blade is the unit of measure that represents the actual amount of material removed by the diamond blade. Material removal when referenced for diamond blades is expressed in inch-feet. The unit of inches describes the depth of cut of the blade and the unit of feet is used to indicate the distance of travel. So for example a blade this is used to make a 30 foot long cut 5 inches deep will have removed 150 inch-feet of material. It is also possible that a blade that is used to make a ten foot long cut ten inches deep will have removed 150 inch-feet of material. So to get the amount of material removed it is simply a matter of multiplying the length of the cut in feet by the depth of the cut in inches to get the total inch-feet removed.
Some general notes about applications:
Using a blade designed to cut dry in a wet cutting application will significantly reduce the life of the blade but improve the cutting speed.
Increasing the horsepower will reduce the footage and in some drastic cases result in catastrophic failure of the steel core.
On average an economy blade will strive to achieve somewhere in the 800 to 1500 inch feet when used exactly as specified on the label.
A premium product when used as specified on the label and in the appropriate application is estimated to achieve in the range of 3500 to 5000 inch-feet.
While laser-welded premium diamond blades may be 5-10% more expensive in initial purchase, that cost is well offset, during use, in saving time and money with fewer blade changes. Economy blades just don’t measure up.
Using low-cost mass-produced sintered diamond blades to save money up front is not only potentially dangerous but it will also end up costing more in the long run as they simply can’t keep up with cutting hard concrete repeatedly. So, multiply the number of economy blades it takes compared to one premium blade by the labor to change the blade each time and it’s simply money out of your pocket.
At Norton, we know that performance-driven cut-off saws and technology-driven diamond blades are the primary instruments to any job site crew and we deliver all the muscle you need.
Whether the work is being handled by a large contractor or a homeowner, it’s equally important that safe practices are followed for use of diamond blades and equipment.
High-speed blades mounted on hand-held cut-off saws can rotate up to 6,300 rpm for a 12” diamond blade. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why safety has to be the number one priority.
Diamond blades are designed by manufacturers for specific applications, such as hard and soft materials and wet-and-dry-cutting situations. Due to these variations it’s critical the proper diamond blade is used for the appropriate job and the saw operator has been trained how to use the products and what actions to take.
For additional safety and use tips, refer to the Rx for Diamond Blades produced by the Concrete Saw Manufacturers Institute (SMI). Remember, your actions can prevent segment loss and personal injury. Know and follow all of the blade’s and saw’s safety rules.
For additional information on this topic or if you need any other abrasive safety information, please review ANSI, OSHA and all literature provided by
the diamond saw blade and machine manufacturer. You may also contact the Norton / Saint-Gobain Product Safety Department at Tel. (508) 795-2317 •
Fax. (508) 795-5120 or contact your local sales representative with any safety related questions.