Road saws are not only meant for sawing through roads. These powerful tools, also known as concrete saws, are actually designed to cut through a range of hard surfaces including concrete, stone, masonry, bricks, and tile. Road saws rely on blades to function. You need to be extremely careful when choosing the blades because even with the right road saw, your concrete cutting project may not be as effective if you are using the wrong blades. Diamond blades are the popular types you will find, and here is your guide to choosing the right ones for your saw.
Know the Age of the Concrete and the Aggregate Used
The age of the concrete and the aggregate used have an impact on its degree of hardness. Concrete hardens as it ages. Harder aggregates also mean that the concrete itself will be just as hard. These elements are critical because you need to choose a diamond blade that can handle the level of hardness of the concrete. Some of the soft and abrasive materials and aggregates include bricks, concrete roof tiles, limestone and sandstone. Granite, engineering brick, and clay products make up some of the hard materials.
Diamond blades have sharp crystals (the cutting teeth) that are held in place with a metal bond. As a general rule of the thumb, choose a blade with a soft metal bond if you intend to work on hard materials and vice versa. A soft bond will erode faster when working on a hard surface to expose the new sharp diamond crystals and allow for efficient operation. On the other hand, when working on softer surfaces, you need a blade with a hard bond that won't wear off easily to ensure maximum utilisation of the diamond crystals.
Look at the Type of Saw You Have
For maximum efficiency, you need blades that correspond to the specifications of your road saw. Therefore, check your saw for horsepower, arbour size, blade size capacity, and the revolutions per minute (RPM) output. It is crucial that you use a blade that is designed for these specifications. If you choose a blade with the wrong combination of RPMs for instance, the blade will run either too slow or too fast, which means it will be ineffective and could wear out excessively and quickly.
Consider the Depth of the Cut
How deep do you need to cut? Having this information will help you know whether to use dry or wet diamond blades. Dry blades are usually ideal for shallow and intermittent cutting. They rely on the flow of air to prevent the build-up of heat, which is why they are ideal for intermittent cutting. On the other hand, projects involving considerably deep cuts will require wet blades because the water will be vital in reducing the excess amounts of heat that tend to build up during such operations. However, remember to check whether your road saw is compatible with wet or dry blades.