Brick saws, also known as masonry saws, are a very important specialized tool in construction used by professionals, amateurs and hobbyists alike. But they do not work the same way as, say, a lumber saw does when it cuts through wood. So, how does a brick saw work? It all comes down to the diamond blades that this machinery uses. Read on to learn how diamond blades allow brick saws to cut through the toughest materials, like brick, stone, concrete, etc.
How does a brick saw work? Understanding diamond blades
What you have to understand about how brick saws work is that they don’t actually cut through things. Instead, what actually happens is the saw blade grinds through bricks, stone, and similar materials. It can do this thanks to the synthetic diamond particles embedded in the outer edge of the blade.
You may recall that diamond is the hardest material known to man. This means that it is capable of scratching other materials. Essentially, brick saws work because tons of tiny diamonds make tons of tiny scratches in the brick, until they have scratched and grinded all the way through to the other side.
With all that scratching, though, the diamond crystals can’t stay sharp forever. Brick saw blades are designed in such a way that the soft metal that holds the diamonds in place wears away just as the top layer of crystals gets dull, exposing a new layer of fresh, sharp diamonds.
As you might imagine, this all happens very fast as the brick saw motor spins the diamond blade at high speeds. The rubbing of diamonds against brick creates a lot of friction, and this means things can overheat very quickly. A common solution to this heat that most brick saws use is a water cooling system or “wet cutting”. Using either an external water source or an integrated tank with water pump, the saw pours water over the diamond blade and the brick underneath it during cutting. Wet cutting in this way has many benefits, including a longer blade life and a safer, less dusty work environment for the operator.
Using a brick saw to cut brick, stone and more
The basic procedure for how to use a brick saw is fairly simple, but it depends on how the equipment is designed. Generally, there are two main formats for these machines: the first has a stationary table with a cutting head that moves the blade from one side of the brick to the other, and the second has a sliding table to push the brick into the blade, which stays fixed in place. There are also models where the assumption is that the size of the brick doesn’t call for back and forth motion, and the blade simply goes straight down into the brick and back up again.
To use the brick saw, just mark your cutting line, place it correctly on the saw table so that it is aligned with the diamond blade, turn on the water source, and power on the machine. Then, gently guide the blade through the brick (or vice versa) without applying too much pressure.