Diamond Blades can be dangerous if not handled professionally and correctly.
Safe use is not just common sense: it can actually make you cutting job easier and also extend the life of your blade.
Diamond tip blades cut more quickly than abrasive wheels. Normally a blade with a diamond tip will cut a paving slab in about one minute.
Before using a cut-off saw (variously known as disc cutters, skill saws, Stihl saws, con saws or ‘whizzers’) always check:
- Your cutting tool is in good, safe condition and that it complies with all safety requirements
- All guards are undamaged and are in place
- The machine flanges are of equal size and free from burrs
Always check that the diamond blade:
- Is free from cracks or signs of any other damage
- Is the correct blade for the application
- Has the correct bore size
- Has the correct peripheral speed for the machine on which it is to be used
- Is mounted correctly with the directional arrow pointing the right way
When cutting always:
- Start and run the machine to check for smooth running
- Place the blade onto the material. Don’t press down or force it: the weight of the machine should be adequate pressure
- Cut with a slow sawing or reciprocating motion, do not turn or twist the blade in the cut
- Use several passes to cut to the required depth, don’t drop the blade to its full depth in one pass
- Occasionally remove the blade from the cut and allow it to rotate and cool for several seconds
- Dust suppression is mandatory
Maintain an adequate water flow
Check your cut-off saw, control systems and RPE regularly. Maintaining an adequate water flow by cleaning and maintaining the water jets is essential and should be done at least every time the blades are changed. If wet cutting, ensure there is an optimum water supply, too much can result in the blade polishing and too little can result in a paste forming which may cause the blade to stick or jam.
Wear a respirator or face mask
Cutting paving slabs, kerb stones or other concrete or stone products produces enormous amounts of dust called respirable crystalline silica (RCS). Exposure to RCS dust can cause serious health problems. Either FFP3 filtering face masks or orinasal respirators with P3 filters should be used, masks should be face fit tested. Nuisance-grade dust masks do not protect your lungs.