Using Your Diamond Blade

It would be almost impossible to outline all operating and safety procedures to suit all saws on all work sites in all conditions. However, here are a range of factors you need to consider when using diamond tools. These guidelines are not exhaustive. If in doubt on any issues, contact your site supervisor, the saw manufacturer, the blade manufacturer or your local Occupational Health and Safety Commission.

Preparation:

  • Identify onsite hazards and plan to control the risks they present
  • Have a plan of what you are going to cut.  Is there any rebar, sewer lines,  electrical lines or gas lines where you will be cutting? Check again you are cutting in the right spot.
  • If stressed components or components affecting the integrity of a building are damaged during cutting, operators can be at serious risk.
  • Ensure you have selected the right type of blade, correctly sized,  for the material you are cutting, the type of machine you are using and it's horsepower, and the speed of cutting you need. If in doubt, contact the saw or blade manufacturers.
  • Check the blade for any damage from transport, or from the last time it was used
  • Make sure the saw is in correct working order (with all safety guards in place), and will be safely operated by trained users
  • Ensure the blade is mounted in the correct direction.  If your blade does not have a direction indication on it, you should be able to see a "comet tail" behind exposed diamonds if the blade was "broken in" at the factory. This indicates the rotation - the tail should be behind the comet.
  • Ensure the blade is mounted firmly. Check the mounting flanges are equal diameter, and do not have excess wear or flatness. If using adaptors on the centre hole, ensure they cannot come loose and allow the blade to wobble
  • Make sure the blade has adequate water cooling on both sides of the blade.  Do not cut dry except with a blades specifically design for dry cutting.
  • Do not use electric saws for wet cutting, unless specified as suitable by the manufacturer.
  • Do not use hand held saws for inverted cutting
  • Ensure adequate ventilation is allowed for petrol or diesel powered saws
  • Ensure adequate collection of hazardous dust as per local legislation
  • Ensure the user is wearing appropriate personal protective equipment eg hearing protection, safety eye wear, dust mask etc. Consider using a PAPR (powered air purifying respirator)
  • Ensure adequate lighting
  • Plan for the removal of debris and rubble
  • Have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit nearby
  • Beware of sun damage to the operator

Positioning:

  •  Properly support and clamp the material being cut if necessary e.g. concrete pipe, to prevent pinched cuts
  •  Make sure there is an exclusion area around the cutting area adequate to keep other workers, general public and animals safe.
  •  Don't stand in direct line of the blade during start-up or operation.
  • Never work off ladders, crates, drums or chairs. Always use proper access equipment if the work cannot be reached from the ground
  • Hand held saws should not be operated above shoulder height or below knee level.
  • Be aware concrete and masonry cutting and drilling equipment can be heavy, and the operator may be required to carry it around on site, then hold it in an awkward position for a long time. Use correct manual handling techniques.
  • Adopt the correct grip and stance to control the saw
  • Be aware of vibration fatigue and how to manage it
  • Be aware of slippery floors, and unstable or uneven surfaces
  • The risk of harm increases when working alone, even if that is just out of sight of other workers

Cutting:

  • Open up the diamonds on a new blade with shallow cuts in soft, abrasive material (eg. limestone)
  • For normal cutting, multiple shallow cuts (step cuts) are better than one single deep cut
  • Be aware of the correct area of the blade to cut with to reduce kickback, pushback and pull in.
  • Do not force the blade - allow the blade to do the work.  Forcing or twisting the blade can cause bluntness, excessive wear, overheating, distortion and segment damage
  • Do not side grind.
  • Check the blade periodically for heat marks, cracks in the steel core or segments, or excessive wear underneath the segments
  • If your slurry colour changes to brown or red, you are most probably cutting the dirt or sub base. This will wear your diamond blade quicker, so raise your blade.
  • Don't allow the blade to deflect in the cut.
  • Don't attempt to cut curves
  •  Never leave running machines unattended
  •  If you're going to change directions on a floor saw, make sure your machine is off and the blade is up out of the cut before changing direction.
  • If the blade glazes up, redress the blade by cutting an abrasive material like limestone, or our dressing stones, to remove some bond and expose diamonds so cutting can continue.

These guidelines are not exhaustive. If in doubt, contact the saw manufacturer, the blade manufacturer, site supervisor or local Occupational Health and Safety Commission.

Disclaimer: the information on this website is provided in good faith and believed to be reliable and accurate at this time. However, the information is provided on the basis that the reader will be solely responsible for assessing the information and its veracity and usefulness. UDT shall in no way be liable, in negligence or howsoever, for any loss sustained or incurred by anyone relying on the information, even if such information is or turns out to be wrong, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading.

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