Wet vs Dry Cutting
There are two different methods when cutting: wet and dry. Wet cutting is by far the preferred option - water is a diamond’s best friend! As an unwritten rule, any dry blade can be used wet, however, a wet blade cannot be used dry. Even a few seconds of dry cutting is sometimes enough to damage a wet blade.
Using water helps to increase the lifespan of a diamond blade by reducing some of the heat generated by the friction, especially on abrasive materials, and therefore preventing the blade from overheating. Overheating can cause a blade to crack and lose its segments prematurely. Also, with too little coolant the swarf (fine particles) is not removed from the cut fast enough which can lead to undercutting (see troubleshooting guide for blades).
Dry cutting ideally should only be resorted to if the area needs to be kept dry or electrical power tools are being used, making it unsafe to use water around the power source. The fine dust created when dry cutting on masonry, glass and other hard materials presents a safety hazard to those in the vicinity. The water helps minimise the amount of dust generated. Should you be dry cutting, this is best done outdoors, using a vacuum attachment. It is also important to let the diamond blade cool off periodically by letting it spin freely outside of the cut.
Always wear a dust mask when dry cutting to prevent yourself from inhaling dust which can lead to serious lung disease.
1. Do not force the blade. Let it do the cutting itself.
2. The higher the horsepower, the more torque a blade has and the harder the bond can be.
3. Rule of thumb: 1 horsepower per inch of blade diameter is required for efficient awing.
4. The smaller a blade is, the lower the cutting depth, but the higher the power and speed of cutting.
5. Multiple shallow cuts, also known as step cuts, are better than long single cuts.
6. If the slurry changes colour you are most likely cutting into the subbase.
7. If the direction arrow on your blade has worn away, check in which direction the comet tails behind the diamonds are pointing. Using the blade in the opposite direction to what was intended will reduce the blade’s lifespan.