Metal cutting has come a long way since the bonded abrasive disks of yesteryear. Wait, what am I talking about? Metal cutting saws are still shipping with abrasives. Heck, several brands are still innovating on the abrasive material! There’s a lot to be said for those $10 – $20 disks that keep our abrasive saws grinding. If you’re willing to look beyond the bargain bin borders though, you’ll find a metal cutting beast out there with an appetite for steel like you’ve never before seen. Meet the Diablo Steel Demon Metal Cutting Saw Blade with Cermet II technology.
Cermet is a combination of CERamic and METal carbide that dances through metal cutting applications smoother than Fred Astaire himself. But before I tell you all the wonderful things about this blade’s performance, let’s start with the basics.
We brought in several different metal chop saws, abrasive cut off machines, and metal cutting blades in an effort to find which one will have the best cutting characteristics for our current secret project. Not to worry, all will be revealed in good time – just not today. We’re looking for cutting speed, durability, and smooth finishes.
The Diablo Steel Demon Metal Cutting Saw Blade comes to our table with a 14-inch diameter and 1-inch arbor. The teeth are made from the aforementioned Cermet blend and carry with it ridiculously long wear capability. Diablo claims they get up to 3 times the life out of a Cermet blade compared to what you’ll get out of a standard carbide tipped blade. That’s not 3 times more than an abrasive, it’s 3 times more than carbide. Diablo is already pulling 40 times more cutting than abrasives in its carbide blades, so it doesn’t take much imagination to realize this is a long lasting blade.
One of the features that improves the durability and speed is Diablo’s Triple Chip Grind. This proprietary grind makes cutting more effiecient while reducing the amount of visible burring. Tri-Metal Shock Resistant brazing is what helps the teeth withstand the torturous nature of metal cutting that would rip off a normal blade’s tooth.
Stabilizer vents have been laser cut into the steel blade to reduce both noise and vibration during cutting. Even the coating on the blade, Diablo’s Perma-Shield, is a non-stick coating designed to help the blade pass through material easier.
You want to make sure that you’re using the right tool for the job. Abrasive cut off machines and chop saws look like the same tool, but they’re not. Abrasive cut off machines run at higher RPM’s for use with abrasives (obvious, right?) and blades like Milwaukee’s Steelhead Diamond Cut Off Blade. The Diablo Steel Demon Metal Cutting Saw Blade is designed for chop saws, running 1800 RPM or less. The blade isn’t designed for higher speeds and you risk premature failure if you use it incorrectly.
Now, having made sure we cleared that up, on to performance. We set up our chop saw with Diablo’s blade and some scrap angle iron as its audition for our project.
We’re a family-friendly online magazine, so I won’t tell you the first phrase that came to my mind. I looked up at Clint and said simply, “Butter. Hot knife through butter.”
Of course, that’s a completely overused phrase, but that’s what it felt like compared to the other blades. If Milwaukee’s blade easily cut a path through the metal (and it did), then Diablo’s simply touched its Cermet tooth to the edge and told it to part like the Red Sea. I made a few more cuts just because it was awesome to experience and then passed it off to Clint to try.
After getting over how fast we could cut and wiping the wide grins from our faces, we looked at the results a little more objectively. Diablo’s blade made far fewer sparks than any of the other blades we tested. It also left a solid finish, with just a little burring on the inside of one of our cuts.
It took us about 5 seconds after spinning up the Diablo Steel Demon Metal Cutting Saw Blade for the first time to realize how impressive this blade really is. It gives us the fastest, cleanest cuts (by far) that we found in any of the other blades we tried. But all this technology and performance comes at a cost, right?
Well, sort of.
MSRP was set to be in the $140 range for this blade, but online prices have been as low as $109. Granted, that’s a lot compared to a $15 abrasive disk on a cut off machine, but not as much as the $150 – $200 you’ll pay for other carbide tipped and diamond options. Add in the extreme durability of the blade that claims 3 times the life of a standard carbide blade and I have to wonder why anyone is buying the other stuff.
Technology is always changing and innovation is always moving us ahead. We’re far from the end of the road on this journey, but the Diablo Steel Demon Metal Cutting Saw Blade is the best we’ve ever used.
Diablo Steel Demon Metal Cutting Saw Blade Specifications
- Model: Diablo D1472CF
- Blade Material: Steel core, Cermet teeth
- Blade Diameter: 14″
- Arbor Diameter: 1″
- Kerf: 0.095″
- Teeth: 72
- Max Speed: 1800 RPM
- Price: $109 – $140
Diablo Steel Demon Metal Cutting Saw Blade Rated Materials
- Steel Studs
- Angle Iron
- Black Iron Pipe
- EMT Conduit
- Flat Bar
- Other Ferrous Materials