Diablo saw blades have one of the best reputations of any blade manufacturer and are famous for their quality, longevity, and value. So, they’ve got a great name, but are they really worth the hype?
They manufacture an impressive array of saw blades, everything from general-purpose blades to ripping blades, as well as concrete and metal cutting blades. They’re particularly renowned for their thin kerf design, which is significantly narrower than traditional saw blades.
I’ve had the opportunity to use a variety of Diablo blades, both circular saw blades, as well as table saw blades. They are without a doubt a major improvement over standard saw blades from other manufacturers and tend to hold an edge for significantly longer.
Diablo Blades – First Impressions
Right off the bat, you can tell these blades are quality. They look and feel like a high-end blade, and even the red coating feels like it can withstand some serious wear and tear.
I’ve got the D0740A 7-1/4 40 Tooth Finishing Blade here in front of me, but I’ve noticed similar things with their other blades as well.
The renowned blade geometry is also readily apparent, with a narrow blade kerf that tapers out right at the end of the teeth. If you examine a typical saw blade, you’ll find they’re significantly thicker, and use a good deal more steel than a comparable Diablo blade uses.
This offers a number of advantages to the Diablo blade. Firstly, it allows for increased accuracy and efficiency when making cuts. It’s also easier on the saw’s motor – which is why these blades tend to work so well in compact saws.
Laser-cut stabilizer vents around the blade perimeter work to reduce noise and vibration, and help keep the blade cool when under prolonged use.
You’ll also notice several L-shaped heat expansion slots on the body of the blade. These are intended to allow the blade to heat buildup while maintaining a consistent cut quality.
Most saw blades nowadays feature carbide teeth, but Diablo’s are particularly good. They utilize an exclusive shock-resistant TiCo Hi-Density carbide formula that’s designed to maintain blade sharpness for up to four times longer than typical carbide.
In my experience, these claims are accurate, as I’ve been using this blade heavily for almost a year and it remains razor sharp. This means these blades will last longer before you need to change them, adding to their overall value.
Diablo’s signature red Perma-Shield coating not only looks iconic but also helps to keep the blade free from gumming and corrosion. This can be a serious issue with other blades, particularly ones without a strong protective coating.
Uncoated blades will gum up with a pitch, causing the saw to kickback, creating burns along the side of your cuts, and making cuts less precise. When this happens you need to give the blade a cleaning, which is fairly easy to do, but still takes time.
Having used a variety of different saw blades, including the cheapo framing blades that come with most circular saws, I can safely say these blades have impressive performance. They make cuts nearly effortless, and due to the think kerf design, are easier to use and less prone to kickback.
Cutting through both hardwood and softwood boards results in a nice clean finish with no chipping or ragged edges. Switching between a standard blade and a Diablo is immediately noticeable for me, and more than enough reason to swap out old blades.
The last thing I wanted to touch on is the blade’s value proposition.
Diablo blades are priced competitively, and for the level of performance and durability, you’re getting more than you pay for. The above blade retails for just $15 to $20, so it’s not actually much more expensive than other brands.
Consider the fact that these blades are going to last longer than other blades, and you’ll actually be saving money provided you use the blade often enough.
All in all, I’d consider myself a serious Diablo enthusiast. Having used a number of their blades, I’d be more than happy to shell out the dough for more when the need arises.
And it’s definitely not just me that feels that way. Take a look at any number of job sites, garages, and woodshops, and more often than not you’ll find saws with their original manufacturer blades swapped out with Diablo blades.