Diablo Laminate PCD and Recip Saw Blades

Diablo carbide face-off

At STAFDA this year, we were treated to a rare demo courtesy of Diablo. We’ve used Diablo blades for years, but what makes the company different is that they actually make their own carbide. In fact, they have somewhere around 21 different “blends”. The new ~$199 12″ Laminate PCD blade they demoed uses a series of polycrystalline diamond teeth and looks like something designed to cut Hardieplank (in fact, they have a very similar blade that is designed to do exactly that). The anti-vibration properties of this blade was really impressive—not to mention really evident from the rap test Russell Kohl did with a wrench. It sounded like the blade was laying on the ground, but it was suspended in the air, loose. They even had someone from the press repeat the test. No ring whatsoever, which tells me this blade is going to spin with very little vibration.

Editor’s Note: Please read our Diablo carbide tipped reciprocating saw blades review

Diablo Laminate PCD Blade – 12″

We next got to see their new laminate PCD flooring blade in action. While it’s designed for OSB, plywood and even veneers, the folks from Diablo did some hands-on with a stack of laminated, aluminum-oxide impregnated engineered flooring. That stuff eats traditional blades for lunch. Aluminum oxide is being added to make woods more durable. The problem is—it works. Consequently, it creates a new problem for cutting laminate flooring. Go through 15 or 16 cuts, and your blade might be done. Sliding saws do a bit better than fixed models, but it’s still an issue, and you still go through blades like candy.

Diablo PCD blade showdown
Freud Diablo did the demo by pitting their new blade against a standard 80-tooth blade that marketed itself as a laminate-cutting blade. The results were decidedly in Diablo’s favor.

Diablo tested its PCD blade against a $70 DeWalt TCG laminate flooring blade which, in my opinion, had no business being used to cut stacked laminate board. Still, they made their point. They claim 75x more life, but that number may actually be a bit conservative.

Freud Diablo PCD blade

While an 80-tooth blade like the competition will burn out (literally) after just a handful of cuts, Freud’s Diablo PCD blade kept right on cutting. In fact, the demo stopped because we all didn’t have time to watch them make good on their claim that it will make up to 2000 or more cuts in aluminum oxide treated laminate flooring!

PCD blade vs standard 80 tooth

Diablo Steel Demon Reciprocating Saw Blade

Next up was Diablo’s new Steel Demon reciprocating saw blade which is designed to cut at double the speed of bimetal blades with 4x the life. Diablo tested these with a 10-pound weight suspended from the front of the recip saw to give it a nice, steady cut through steel pipe.

Diablo recip blade cutting steel pipe

Enhanced Carbide-Tipped Demo Demon Blade

So what else was tested? How about cutting fluted masonry nails embedded in 2×12 lumber? This they did with their Enhanced Carbide-Tipped Demo Demon blade—18 seconds through 10 nails! There were also no teeth lost, which really showed that these blades aren’t just quick, they’re tough. Retail on these is around $9.97.

Diablo carbide face-off
Most of these competitor demo blades didn’t even get through a single nail in the time it took the Diablo to get through the entire board.

The real surprise of the event was a new blade that the company has kept under wraps. It will be available in April/May 2014 and features an improved blade geometry, enhanced carbide formula and even a modification to how Freud attaches the teeth to the steel body (the actual weld). This blade cut through the nail-embedded 2×12 wood at roughly 2-3 times the speed. And we were already impressed! On top of that, this blade also lost no teeth whatsoever.

Next-gen carbide blade
Over 20 nails so far, and not a single carbide tooth had broken free on this next-gen blade

Diablo’s blades have impressed me to no end in the past, but it’s really cool to see them continue to innovate. They already have one of the toughest recip saw demo blades in the industry but they made it better. If more companies follow this type of thinking, 2014 is going to be a great year for tools and accessories.

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