“Green concrete is very abrasive and requires a special bond to deal with the abrasive nature of the concrete after it has been poured,” Delahaut explains. “Also, when cutting green concrete the cut is not very deep and is generally dry. Cured concrete is a completely different application as the concrete has set and is hard and generally cut wet. The challenge when cutting cured concrete is that the cut is full depth and the blade has to traverse cutting through the aggregate and possibly re-bar, which can present additional challenges.”
“Diamond Blades are rated on a scale of 1-10 on bond rating,” Thuenemann adds. “One is the softest for critically hard material with reinforced steel and ten is the hardest for your more abrasive material. A number five bond blade generally can cover most applications, but with limited performance and life.”
Premium vs. economy - There is also the question of whether it makes sense to invest in premium diamond blades or economy blades. According to Tremain, there is a time and place for both. “For smaller jobs or occasional use, a low-priced blade may be preferable,” he says. “For larger jobs or regular use, a higher-priced blade will actually be less expensive to use because it will deliver the lowest cost per cut.”
According to Skaff, it depends on your customer base. Premium blades will cut more over the life of the blade, so you’ll get the maximum ROI since the price per cut is lower. Low-end blades, on the other hand, provide less productivity but require less initial cash outlay.
“In the rental market, when you have lots of different people renting your blades, it might be best to go with something in the middle of the road,” says Skaff. “If you end up with a lot of wear and tear on your blade, you’re having it on a mid-level blade, which costs less than a premium one. Some people don’t want to tie up all their cash flow on one or two premium blades. They’d rather spread that around a little more.”
He continues, “On the other hand, if all your customers are pros and they prefer premium blades, then it makes sense to stock those because there is less downtime for blade changes. Downtime is huge in construction. Every time your customer has to stop and change his blade, it’s not just the few minutes it takes to do that. He’s going to use that time to also get some coffee or smoke a cigarette and suddenly, it’s a half hour of time, not just a few minutes. Anything you can do to minimize his downtime is a plus.”
The importance of training
Proper training of counter employees is vital to successful blade rentals. Skaff notes that reputable suppliers offer product training classes to review the dos and don’ts of blade rentals and owners and employees need to take advantage of this. “No one has the time for training, but rental businesses shouldn’t shut the blade manufacturer out on this. They should encourage employees to take part in product training.”