As they have for the past several years, Diablo Tools showed off their latest and greatest innovations with their Diablo Red Fire event held just before the opening of STAFDA this year in Atlanta. “Game Changer” has been the name of the game for Diablo and we typically expect to see some significant changes within their product line – and we did – but we also saw a couple of brand new concepts coming to market next year.
Diablo Red Fire Upgrades
Diablo Carbide Tipped Recip Blades for Metal
Diablo is still evolving their line of metal cutting reciprocating saw blades. The Diablo Next Generation Carbide Tipped Recip Blades for Metal have a new carbide blend that’s allowing them to claim up to 50 times longer life than bi-metal and can cut through things you wouldn’t want to try with other blades.
Anyone who’s cut through metal knows you have to feather the cut, and that’s why you don’t see a standard weight applied in this test. Diablo cut through stainless steel pipe, cast iron pipe, a Grade 8 bolt, and boron pad lock with this blade. Not four blades – the same blade did all the tests.
Diablo Carbide Tipped Recip Blades for Wood
Diablo made a couple of tweak for their Next Generation Carbide Tipped Recip Blades for Wood. First, it got a new carbide blend like the metal blades. They also moved to a variable 5/7 variable tooth design for a slightly more aggressive cut than we see in the current generation’s 6/8 design. This opens the door to a bigger gap which makes for faster cutting but could allow hardened fasteners in. We’ll have to wait and see when we get them in our hands.
The test you see here put the new blades up against a demo cocktail of asphalt shingles, flashing, and wood embedded with fluted masonry nails. This isn’t what you’d always be cutting through, but it’s a good test to show how tough the blades are. You’ll notice Diablo is getting some competition from a couple other carbide blades from Milwaukee and Lenox. Both made it though the mess, though notably slower.
Diablo Steel Demon Metal Cutting Blades
Diablo is going to have a few new SKUs in the metal cutting department. Known for its hot-knife-through-butter cutting, these Steel Demon blades with Cermet II ceramic characteristics are for cold saws. They claim up to 5 times the life of their competition and are quite happy cutting through ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including stainless steel.
The test we saw wasn’t about cutting speed or spark generation, it was about noise. DeWalt’s blade (which is a very good one in my opinion) topped out at 116 decibels while Diablo’s Steel Demon peaked at 111. 5 decibels doesn’t look like much, but it’s nearly 4x the sound pressure level and makes an impact on how long you can work without ear protection according to OSHA standards.
Diablo Demo Demon with Amped Tracking Point
The next generation of Demo Demon circular saw blades – which happen to be a favorite of mine – now move to an Amped Tracking Point. We heard about the Tracking Point last year with Diablo framing blades. Instead of just a left/right tooth geometry, it adds a third in the center to help keep cuts efficient and straight. With the Amped Tracking Point, the tooth has some additional bevel ground into the left and right teeth to make even more optimized.
The demolition mess Diablo concocted for the test was the same as for the Recip Blades, but they replaced fluted masonry nails with lag bolts. It’s a little hard to tell from the camera angle, but Diablo bested their competition by more than doubling the distance it was able to cut before giving up. Again, this is hardly what you’d find on the jobsite (unless David C. Smith was involved), but it takes dozens of feet of demo and shrinks it down for demonstration purposes.
Diablo Red Fire New Products
Diablo Carbide Tipped Pruning Blade
I know I’m not the only one who’s thought about taking a reciprocating saw out to the yard to avoid grabbing a chainsaw for trimming duties. It can work, but your standard wood blade isn’t that efficient in this task. Diablo’s new Carbide Tipped Pruning Blade feature a very aggressive tooth count to get you through even hardwoods. Your chainsaw will likely still be faster, but a cordless recip saw will be a lot more convenient!
The smaller tooth count means nails can easily get between teeth, so you can use this is wood cutting applications, but only clean wood.
This test simply featured the new Pruning Blade against a standard wood blade. For the wood blade, it wasn’t an issue of teeth getting ground down, it was getting gummed up by the heat and sap.
Diablo Carbide Tipped Hole Saws
Now before you go an remind me that carbide hole saws have been around for a while already, hear me out. What Diablo did to change the game in this category is give their new Carbide Tipped Hole Saws a higher tooth count than the wood models on the market today and fewer than the metal hole saws. This gives it the ability to cut through wood well and adds nail embedded wood to the menu. When it comes to metal cutting, it can cut fast while adding thick metal, including cast iron, to the mix.
Diablo showed off both nail embedded wood and cast iron cutting applications with impressive results.