Diamond Saw Blades
There are several different types of diamond saw blades including circular saws, band saws, ring saws and wire saws. Blades are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Cutting is accomplished by small diamond crystals that are embedded in the blade scratching away material that is being cut. The diamonds can be synthetic or natural. The grit size can range from 20 to 400 mesh depending what the blade is to be used for. For example, in the case of a circular saw diamonds can be in a sintered metal rim, in a resin bonded rim, a hybrid bond, a nickel-plated rim or the diamond grit can be pressed directly into some metal rims. It is important to choose a blade that is appropriate for the material that you will be cutting. Hard materials like agate wear out the diamond faster than softer materials. Abrasive material like sandstone wear out the diamond slower but wear out the bonding agent faster. In a nut shell, a softer bonding agent is better for cutting harder materials because it will wear away faster and expose new diamond. A harder bonding agent is better for soft abrasive materials because it will slow down the wear on the blade and make it last longer.
Consider blade thickness. A thick blade is more forgiving and can handle lateral loading more than thin blades. A thin blade can save material when cutting an expensive piece of opal.
Cooling and lubrication. Mineral oil versus water. Mineral oil is a good lubricant, but it does not cool as good as water. Water is a good coolant, but it does not lubricate as good as oil. Mineral oil and water booth have their advantages and disadvantages. Mineral oil is the recommended coolant when cutting hard material while water is the recommended coolant when cutting material that would absorb the mineral oil or doing small trim cuts.