Sharpening Your Edge

Dec. 1, 2002
In the competitive world of equipment leasing, rental companies that provide cost-effective solutions for a broad range of applications, answer frequently

In the competitive world of equipment leasing, rental companies that provide cost-effective solutions for a broad range of applications, answer frequently asked equipment questions, and provide one-stop convenience will enjoy a sharper competitive edge. Since certain projects can be completed using a variety of methods, rental centers that offer a wide selection of cutting, grinding, drilling and coring equipment as well as diamond blades, cup wheels, core bits and abrasives will earn rave reviews from customers and are in a better position to obtain impressive returns on their equipment investment.

On any typical day, rental centers receive requests for dozens of different applications that require the right combination of equipment and accessories. Whether it's a contractor looking for a flat saw or a core drill to remove existing concrete or a residential contractor who wants to drill into an existing stucco structure for a remodeling project, every customer is looking for solutions that address the specific application of their particular project.

With any project, the best method to match jobsite demands with appropriate diamond blade and abrasive solutions begins with answers to a few relevant questions:

  • Does the application require cutting, coring or grinding?
  • What type of equipment will be used?
  • Are wet or dry consumables (blades, bits or cup wheels) needed for the application?
  • What is the base material?
  • What size blade, bit or cup wheel is required?

The first step in the selection process is determining whether the application requires drilling a hole, grinding concrete, or cutting through base material. Once this has been decided, it is necessary to review the type of equipment to be used. If the application requires cutting, there are several types of saws that can be used such as circular, hand-held, masonry or walk behind; for coring there are different styles of core rigs available that produce anchor as well as through holes; and for grinding there are many styles and sizes of grinders from which to choose.

In order to choose the equipment, it is necessary to establish whether the application calls for wet or dry cutting, coring or grinding.

Because exposure to concrete dust can be discomforting, many contractors prefer wet applications to help reduce the amount of airborne particles. When the project requires heavy-duty wet cutting, it is recommended to use a blade specially designed for this purpose in order to increase the speed and life of the blade, which also helps increase productivity.

Equipment with built-in exhaust ventilation systems to remove dust during coring, cutting, grinding and drilling can be used for dry application use. These dust removal systems not only help provide a better work environment, they allow for cleaner cutting and coring in areas such as hospitals, food establishments or computer rooms. If the rental customer has a small project or wants to have a quick set-up time, dry may be the way to go. If water is absent, dry may be the only way to go. In most cases, the equipment being used ranges from a hand-held gas saw or circular saw to an angle grinder or dry core rigs.

Many manufacturers have blades that can be used either wet or dry for contractors working in areas that may require both wet and dry applications. These blades are manufactured for a variety of equipment including hand-held gas saws and masonry saws.

Whether cutting, coring, or grinding base materials such as reinforced concrete, brick, block, masonry, granite and tile need to be taken into consideration.

Although it may seem time consuming and intrusive, the answers to these questions will help select the most appropriate blade, core or abrasive products for cutting, grinding or coring.

Safety and security

After the basics of the job are addressed, two additional factors must be considered when selecting diamond blades and abrasive products: safety and security. For the operator and anyone near the worksite, matching the appropriate diamond blades and abrasive products with the equipment being used will help ensure safe operation. Proper maintenance and anchoring the rig securely in place is necessary to core a hole properly.

Once again, a few quick questions help navigate the process:

  • Does the equipment RPM match the RPM rating of the blade? To help ensure safe operation, the RPM of the equipment should not exceed the maximum RPM rating of the blade. This will help prevent blades from possibly breaking and segments flying into the surrounding area.

  • Do the blades arbor size and drive pinhole match the equipment design and specifications? Different blades feature distinct arbor sizes and drive pinhole configurations. Optimum performance requires an exact match for these two specifications to obtain proper fit and safe operation.

  • Are the blades appropriate for the style and size of safety guard attachment? The blade diameter must fit within the guard area, and the guard must be specifically designed for the type of blade, to deliver safe, proper performance.

  • Is the equipment properly serviced between rentals? There is no margin for error with this part of the process. Manufacturers provide detailed maintenance procedures that must be performed as recommended to keep saws, grinders, drills and other equipment working at peak levels. In turn, proper maintenance also helps the tools deliver safe and trouble-free results on every jobsite.

Keeping current

To accommodate the ever-changing demands of the competitive equipment marketplace, manufacturers are constantly introducing or reengineering their product offerings. Everyone wants to be the first to offer better, faster, stronger tools and accessories that help save time and money without sacrificing jobsite productivity or performance.

For rental companies, this means staying updated on the most recent developments, trends and topics related to diamond blades and abrasives. Keeping current with the latest information is essential, and there are numerous opportunities to incorporate manufacturers' news into your regular schedule of responsibilities. Read leading rental industry publications for announcements, articles and product reviews. Visit manufacturers' Web sites on a regular basis for updates on new blades and abrasive products as well as equipment, tools and related accessories. When customer requests are challenging to fulfill or unexpected questions arise, take advantage of the toll-free information services offered by most leading manufacturers.

In fact, manufacturers and rental centers are ideal partners to assist contractors and renovation professionals in finding safe, convenient and productive solutions for their equipment and accessory needs. When it comes to a temporary addition to their toolbox or workbench, most people will turn to a rental center. Because most contractors look for cost-effectiveness and convenience, rental centers that provide a wide array of equipment, diamond blades and abrasive products, along with problem-solving assistance and one-stop convenience, will continue to enjoy a sharper competitive edge.

Frank Hieronymus is a product manager for Tulsa, Okla.-based Hilti's Diamond Business Unit.


The new Sawtec supreme cup wheel is a diamond grinding wheel for use with concrete grinding tools. It features a unique combination of tapered long and short segments with larger diamond chips. Angled cutouts channel air down to the wheel surface, keeping the segments cool. A flat design allows the operator to conveniently use a single set of arbor and blade nuts when changing between Zec abrasives and the supreme cup wheel.
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The new Side Winder II diamond blades from Diamond Back are available in 12- and 14-inch models and feature a ribbed core that reduces friction and heat while providing faster cutting and application versatility. The blades' T-shape diamond segment design enhances fast-cutting performance. They are designed for cured concrete, brick, block, asphalt and green concrete as well as a variety of other materials. The T-shape design also provides undercutting core protection, preserving the integrity of the steel core while extending blade life and providing a greater return on investment.
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Metabo Corp.

The Slicer Plus is a cutting wheel featuring a new design that increases both wheel life and cutting accuracy. It is ideal for use on stainless steel, high carbon steel and other high-tensile strength alloys, as well as in applications such as cutting partially embedded rebar, heavy wire decking and corrugated metals. The Slicer Plus cut-off wheel is available for 4 1/2-and 6-inch capacity right angle grinders.
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MK Diamond

The new MK-225 “Hot Dog” porcelain tile blade brings improved performance to cutting porcelain tile. Using micro bead bond technology the MK-225 ensures a consistent cutting edge and eliminates the chipping of porcelain surfaces, even with the hardest tiles. Its patent-pending stiffening slot and ultra-thin kerf allow the MK-225 to cut with less drag and resistance. This decreased resistance means longer blade life and increased cutting efficiency. The MK-225 is available in 7-, 8-, 10-, 12- and 14-inch sizes.
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Star Diamond Tools

The Wonder Blade is a combination utility dry diamond blade that will cut concrete, asphalt and masonry materials on high speed, concrete and masonry saws. It provides fast cutting action in all material applications and features undercut wear segments to protect the steel core. The Wonder Blade is available in 12-, 14- and 16-inch sizes from Star Diamond Tools.
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The K650 Active III from Partner offers the Active Air Filtration system, which separates 80 to 90 percent of the cutting dust from the intake air before it reaches the air filter. The second filter stage comprises a three-layer, oil-impregnated plastic foam filter, while a pleated paper makes up the final dust obstacle. The system ensures a high output and reduces repair and maintenance costs. Other features include a reversible cutting arm, wet cutting kit and a fuel indicator.
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Norton Construction Products introduces its new line of high-speed abrasive blades, which are available in four specifications for cutting masonry, asphalt, ductile and metal. Twelve- and 16-inch sizes are available and arbor sizes of 1 inch and 20 mm accommodate popular high speed saws. In addition, safety and operating instructions are clearly marked in three languages — English, Spanish and French.
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Pearl Abrasive

Made of high-strength, lightweight aluminum, the Blade Roller cuts concrete, marble and granite. Non-marking wheels protect a project from marring while the saw travels along the material, allowing for cleaner, more controllable cuts.
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Target introduces its new TSD series premium diamond blades. The TSD-C is a low cost, general purpose blade for cutting most ceramic tile, quarry tile, granite and marble. It has continuous rim blade with .200-inch diamond depth. The TSD-S is designed for cutting concrete, masonry, brick and stone. It is diffusion bonded with a .275-inch diamond depth. The TSD-T cuts stone, tile, brick and masonry with a turbo continuous rim blade with a .275-inch diamond depth.
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Hilti offers six dry sawing high-speed blades for handheld and low horsepower walk-behind diamond sawing needs. The Super Premium blades include the Turbo (continuous rim) and General Purpose blades in three specifications: granite, general purpose/concrete and sandstone. The new Premium blades include General Purpose/Concrete, Turbo (continuous rim), and General Purpose (concrete, segmented). Available in sizes ranging from 12 to 16 inches, this line of premium and super premium blades is color-coded for easy selection.
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Diamond Products

The new Ultimate high performance, high-speed blades from Diamond Products provide fast, aggressive cutting for high speed, portable and brick saws. The blades are designed for cutting brick, hard paving brick, block, hard pavers and concrete. Available in three quality grades, Standard, Xtra Plus and Heavy Duty, the blades can be used wet or dry.
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