A Quick History of Diamond Blades

What is a diamond blade, and what does Penhall do with them? As concrete is a fairly hard substance, we need something even harder to cut it, and there are very few materials in the world that are harder than diamonds[1]. A diamond blade is a saw blade with diamonds set in a mixture of metals and welded on to the blade’s base. Our diamond blades don’t exactly cut though, they grind away at the concrete at high speeds, producing the desired cut. Here at Penhall, we use our diamond blades and core bits to do a variety of jobs, from basic flat saw cutting for roadwork to drilling for HVAC work to cutting egress windows in your basement to any number of services for large industrial projects.mkdiamond

Diamond blades were originally invented by pharmacist Richard Felker, who produced the first blade by attaching natural diamonds set in a metal powder and olive oil mixture to a steel core[2]. Felker’s blade was originally designed for lapidary use, but later modifications in the designs eventually lead to the concrete saw blades we use today.  Rather than the natural diamonds that were used in the first blade, current diamond product manufactures use synthetic diamonds that are specially engineered to best suit the concrete aggregates that they will be cutting. As the aggregates (mixture of minerals and rocks) used in concrete changes depending on where the concrete was produced, different types of diamond blades may be needed to cut efficiently and effectively.

Aggregate Map

Cutting the flint and chert mixture in Louisiana with the same saw that you would use for the dramatically softer limestone aggregates of Florida would produce drastically different results.

Don’t worry though, no matter where the job or what the size, Penhall always has the right blade for you.