Difference Between Carbide & Ceramic

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In the construction world words like ceramic and carbide refer to cutting tools such as saw blades. Each one has a particular function and is best suited for specific materials. Choosing the wrong tool can lead to chipped or jagged edges and added stress on your tools. Learning the difference between carbide and ceramic will lengthen the life of your tools and save time spent on the job regardless of the profession you are in.

Cemented Carbide

  • Cemented carbide is derived from tungsten carbide which has been melted at extremely high temperatures inside of a mold. The molds are pocket-shaped when they create tips for saw blades. Makers remove the cemented carbide tips from the molds, place them on the tips of saw blades and braze them to stay securely in place. They then grind the tips to form a very sharp cutting edge.

Carbide Blade Uses

  • Carbide blades cut through a large variety of materials such as wood, plastic and metal. The hard carbide tips provide smooth cuts when you choose the right blade based on the material you are cutting. There are differences in blade choices based on the number of teeth the blade has, rounded or pointed, and rated for specific materials. When used correctly, the carbide blade will last a long time, and be sharpened for reuse.

Ceramic Blades

  • Ceramic blades are formed in the same manner as carbide blades, with the exception of the materials used to coat the tips. Another difference is that ceramic blades can have a completely smooth edge, or without teeth. Ceramic blades are steel blades that are edge- or tip-coated with very small bits of diamonds. This is why you will often hear this type of blade referred to as a diamond blade.

Ceramic Blade Uses

  • Ceramic blades are commonly cut through ceramic tile, porcelain marble, concrete, and masonry The diamond coating creates clean smooth cuts in these materials. This type of ceramic blade can operate in wet or dry applications.

New Ceramic Blades

  • There are new ceramic tip blades coated with titanium carbonitride. This material is creates metal cutting tools but, at time of publication, was being used to construct tips for wood-cutting blades. These blades provide clean smooth cuts in all types of wood including hard woods. Ceramic blades for wood cutting are more expensive than carbide-tipped blades but can be worth the cost for the faster cleaner cuts they provide.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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