We must admit that getting a new concrete saw blade or replacing an old one isn’t a very easy process because of the teeming options you find in the market. But then, whether you are a pro or a newbie, there are certain key considerations you should bear in mind before buying your concrete saw blades. These tips are necessary to help you get the most effective and the most suitable blades for a successful job. Just in case you’ve been thinking that ANY concrete saw blade will serve your purpose, you will discover otherwise shortly!
Concrete blades are metal discs with sharp-toothed edges used to cut through concrete via a spinning motion. They are attached to the often handheld mechanical devices called the concrete saw which may be powered by hydraulic, gas or electricity. If what you want to buy is the entire concrete saw or just the blades, what is most important to look out for is the quality of the blade because that is exactly what gets the job done!
What is the nature of the concrete you intend to cut?
What blade diameter is perfect for your concrete saw?
Should you buy Rip blades or Crosscut blades?
How wide should the blade gullet be?
These are core decisions that will guide you as you buy the next set of blades.
1. Nature of Concrete
It will interest you to know that concretes differ. Some concretes are made of pure asphalt while others are interlaced with metals, pebbles or rocks. Rip blades are best for concretes involving hard materials like metal bars and rocks especially if you are not interested in having a very smooth surface after cutting.
2. Teeth Configuration
Consider the shape, size and number of the blade teeth. You will discover that some blades have more teeth which are often smaller while some others have large sparse teeth. Do not overlook this! If you want a very smooth cut, go for the crosscut because they have more teeth but could be slower. However, if your attention is on getting more concrete sawed off quickly, opt for the Rip blades instead. Regardless of what teeth type you prefer, you should know that your blades will always accumulate residues, and when this happens, you need your pitch solvent to clean them off. It is also advisable that you use a lot of water so as to reduce dust and make the process less tedious.
Common tooth types available in market are the Flat Top for ripping, the Alternative Top Bevel for crosscutting and the general purpose Combination Tooth. It is however recommendable that you avoid the Combination Tooth and go for the special purpose ones in order to get the adequate sawing outcome.
3. Gullet Width
This factor deals with how wide your gullet should be. The gullet refers to the space found between the teeth on your saw blades. Again, the wider the gullet, the bigger the chips cut off but smaller gullets leave you with a smoother surface. Whether you prefer very wide or slightly wide gullets depends on the job at hand.
4. Blade Diameter, Kerf Size and Thickness
The diameter of the blade is the overall size of the blade. This is determined by the size of the saw. Sizes range from 165 x 20mm to 254 x 30mm. The kerf size (the chunk of the material that the blades rip off at a time) also depends on the blade diameter and tooth configuration. The larger the kerf, the faster your work. Whatever the size of the saw is, ensure you get a blade that can fit perfectly into it for safety and effectiveness. You should also consider the thickness of the blade. You don’t want a light blade snapping into two while working. Instead, buy those that can absorb the heat and vibration of hard concrete.
As you make your selections considering your work needs and your budget, remember to put safety first. You should buy concrete saws with Local Exhaust Ventilation system (LEV) that will keep dust and other dangerous items away from your skin while working. Buy wisely!