Choosing the type of diamond blade (Continuous Rim, Side-Spoked, Gulleted, etc. – see Making the Cut – Diamond Cutoff Wheels), is important in blade selection, but blade thickness and diamond grit play crucial roles as well.
Choosing the Best Diamond Blade Thickness
A blade’s thickness (kerf) is measured at the periphery and includes the plated diamond thickness.
Blade Diameter Blade Thickness Available
1-1/2” to 4” 1/16”, 3/32″
5” to 7” 3/32″
8” 3/32”, 1/8″
10” 3/32”, 1/8”, 5/32″
12” to 14” 1/8”, 5/32″
How Blade Thickness Affects Performance
Thinner blades (1/16”) trim slightly faster and produce less dust
Thicker blades (3/32”+) trim slightly slower and produce slightly more dust
With small diameter blades (1-1/2” to 4”), making straight cuts is faster with a 1/16” blade but as more side pressure is applied when making radius/curved cuts, it’s advisable to use a thicker blade (3/32”).
Larger blade diameters 5” to 16” need to be thicker to retain their rigidity to avoid warping.
Choosing the Best Grit for Electroplated Diamond Blades
While there are many diamond grits available, 3 in particular (35/40, 45/50. 60/70) are used in the majority of electroplated diamond blades and tools.
Diamond Grit Characteristics
30/35 Very Rough
When speed of cut is important and a finished, smooth edge is of less importance. This grit will leave small nicks on the edge of gel coated parts (especially if they’re thin). Only recommended on blades 3/32” thick or thicker. If used on 1/16” thick blades, blade life will be greatly reduced.
40/45 Rough / Medium
This general purpose grit produces a largely nick-free finish and is recommended in 95% of all blade applications. The exceptions are gel coated or acrylic FRP laminates where a finer grit will be preferred. 45/50 grit offers a good compromise between speed of cut and finish and can also be used on 1/16” thick blades.
50/60 Medium / Medium Fine
Recommended for trimming gel coated or acrylic FRP laminates or when a smooth, nick-free edge is important. However, blade life is reduced compared to a 45/50 grit blade.
80/100 Very Fine
100/120 Extremely Fine
The right combination of blade type, thickness, and grit can make a big difference in your specific trimming job. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us for help.