How long does a tile saw blade last?
There is no perfect wet tile saw without a proper blade. It is well known that using a diamond blade on tile saws is worth it. However, there are some things you would like to know if you want to get you one of these blades, such as how long does a diamond blade last, when to replace it or how to do it. In this article, we also offer you a tip about “dressing the blade”.
How to know when to replace a tile saw blade
If you want to know how to tell if a diamond saw blade is dull, you need to keep an eye on it and check these symptoms:
- Unusual vibrations when the saw is turned on.
- Slow cutting speed when working on an easy material.
- Obvious signs of warping or damage.
- Unusual thumping noises when cutting.
- You can see the steel core of the blade because it has worn through.
Another obvious sign that means you need to replace the wet tile saw blade is that your material gets damaged. We hope you don’t get to that point and check those other symptoms first. However, before replacing it, try to clean the blade first. If the surface of the tile gets chipped, it could be because the blade has some material sticked on it.
Remember that just because the diamond edge that grinds through the tile is smooth, it does not need to be replaced instantly. It does not have to be abrasive when cutting. You can keep working with it a few more hours while you can’t see any obvious damage or any of the symptoms above. Besides, you can make the most of your blade by dressing it. We will explain how to do it in this post.
How long does a diamond tile saw blade last?
To be perfectly honest, there is no simple answer to how long do diamond blades last. It depends.
It depends on the material you are working with, on the quality of your blade, if you are wet or dry cutting, the pressure you give to the saw, and the rpm of the tile saw. In short, it depends on the circumstances.
In conclusion, there are many answers to the question “when to replace a tile saw blade”. If you are working with a low quality diamond blade, but you are cutting under an ideal circumstance, it can last around 12 hours. However, if you are cutting very heavy materials, you don’t have a proper technique or you are dry cutting, the life expectancy can be half or less. On the contrary, if you work with a high quality diamond blade under normal conditions, the life expectancy can reach over 120 cutting hours.
How to improve the blade life on a tile saw
If you choose a high quality blade, it will last longer. However, we offer you these advices to make it last even more before you need to replace it:
- Always choose the indicated blade for the material you are working on. The diamonds on the diamond blade are bonded with metal, specifically thought to be slowly eaten away by the material you are cutting, revealing fresh diamonds that will cut longer. However, if this bond is too smooth or the material you are cutting is too abrasive, the life expectancy of your blade will be short.
- If you are dry cutting you must avoid a wet blade. Nevertheless, we recommend you use a dry blade for wet cutting.
- Don’t put too much pressure on the blade to make it cut faster.
What is “dressing the blade”?
When you are working on hard materials that are not as abrasive, the diamond pieces wear down faster than the metal bond. As a result, you find yourself with a dull blade. However, it still has potential in it. Avoid overheating the blade because the metal will melt and cover the diamonds. Without these diamonds, the blade is useless. To fix this, you can “dress the blade”, that means basically sharpening it.
To dress a diamond blade, you need to wet cut with your tile saw like you would normally do. Choose a material that will wear the metal away but not eat the diamonds too much. We recommend you cut through silicon carbide as the professionals do. If not, some hobbyists use a concrete slab that you can easily find on the hardware store.
How to change a wet saw blade
If you have checked the previous symptoms on “how to know when to replace a tile saw blade” and dressing the blade is no longer an option, it’s time for a change. In this section, we will explain how to replace a tile saw blade in a few steps:
- The saw must be unplugged.
- Use a hex key and a box wrench to loosen the central bolt on the blade backing plate. Remember that this is designed in reverse in order to avoid the bold coming undone while cutting. In short, it may be the opposite of right-tigh and left-loose. You will know if this is the case if you find the letter “L” on the bolt. This is the reason why it is less complicated to loosen the bolt using broth wrenches at the same time.
- Remember how the backing plate is set, and then put aside the bolt and backing. Then, you can finally get rid of the old, damaged blade.
- You may find an adapter ring around the blade’s arbor hole. Keep it. From now on, you just have to reverse the above steps but with a new wet tile saw blade.
- If you found an adapter ring before, push it into the arbor hole of the new blade.
- There are direction indicators both on the blade and on the saw (like small arrows or angle brackets). Match them up, they have to go in the same direction. This is essential, remember that diamond blades are created to cut in one and only direction.
- Mount the blade onto the arbor shaft.
- Put the backing plate back in the same position as it was before.
- Screw in the central bolt. You can start with your fingers and keep going with the two wrenches. Remember that in this case it is left-tigh, right-loose.
- Run a test to make sure that everything is in place and properly working before trying to cut expensive or important materials!