Choosing a diamond saw blade is difficult because of the variety of blades available and the wide range of prices they sell for. Furthermore, the industry has no standard method of typing or grading blades, making it hard to compare blades from different manufacturers. DIAMOND BLADE BASICS A diamond blade consists of a rim of manufactured diamonds embedded in a metal matrix that's secured to a steel disk. The diamonds can either be distributed continuously or clustered into segments separated by slots around the edge of the blade. BLADES CUT BY GRINDING The operator pushes the rotating blade into the material to be cut. The blade begins to grind through the masonry. At the same time, the masonry begins wearing away the diamond-impregnated matrix at the blade's cutting edge. The exposed diamonds grind the masonry into fine powder, themselves cracking or fracturing as they grind. CHOOSING A SAW BLADE Before setting out to buy a diamond blade, you must answer several questions: What is the saw's speed rating? Is wet or dry cutting required? What type of masonry do you plan to cut? How much material do you have to cut? How smooth a cut is necessary?