Recently we meet with the good folks at Freud Diablo to demo some of their new cutting products. One of those product that caught our eye was an upgrade to their 3 most popular Steel Demon metal cutting circular saw blades: 8” D0842CF ($54), 12” D1260CF ($99) & 14” D1472CF ($119). The big upgrade being, tips are now made with Cermet 2 instead of Tungsten Carbide which honestly didn’t mean much to us at the time. It did raise the questions what is “Cermet” and how/why is it an improvement? After doing some additional research, we found out Cermet is a pretty big deal, NASA is using the tech to make new spacecraft parts. It is not technically carbide (even though they put “Cermet 2 Carbide” on blade), it is a composite material made from Ceramic (cer) and Metallic (met) material, the outcome of Cermet is a harder material that is more resistant to heat than traditional tungsten carbide. Cermet 2 (or Cermet II) is the specific composition which holds up best to brazing and grinding, needed to more securely put teeth on a saw blade.
This is not a total new concept to cutting tools as more precision industrial tools have used this before. It is the first time we’ve seen it used in standard 14″ metal cutting blades (especially under $120!). The benefits Freud is claiming with their Cermet 2 tooth blades are up to 3X-5X cutting life (in video you can hear him say up to 20X) and the ability to cut all ferrous metal, both traditional steel and stainless steel with the same blade. See the live demo above which drives that point home.
Even thought these are the 3 most common size metal blades, there are not too many options in actual metal cutting saws, most of which are pushing their own metal blades. Recently SKILSAW (Freud’s sister company) announced they would be going after professional metal cutting saw business in 2016 with the launch of an 8” worm-drive metal saw and 12” metal chop saw both of which will come with the new Freud Cermet blades. That still leaves an opening in the 14” saw market and since Milwaukee no longer has a 14” metal saw option the majority of new saws that can use these blades will be either Dewalt DW872 ($449) or Morse Metal Devil CSM14MB ($489).