Author Topic: Diamond Blades (& other diamond tools) for Granite Quartz & Porcelain in a TS55  (Read 764 times)

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Offline ATS Diamond Tools

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We’ve been asked to put together an article giving advice on our products and maybe diamond tooling products in general. Hopefully this will answer some of the more common questions and start a thread on which questions can be posed that I’ll do my best to answer.

About 4 years ago we were approached by a joinery company that explained they like to install their own granite work tops but using carpentry equipment. It was an odd request and we explained that in most cases there will be at least some requirement for wet processing but they were adamant it had to be all done dry. At this point we had no idea who this company were, they collected all the products from us, we never mailed anything out. We also found out at a later date we weren’t the only company they were contacting in this manner.

We were given specifications of tools that they wanted blades to fit, mainly the Festool TS55 along with some other items. So we put together tool packages for them to test and fitted reducing rings where required, we gave them technical advice when asked and solved problems where we could. Eventually they went ahead offering these products and they rolled out into 600 stores around the UK and some in Europe. They then did the same exercise with man made quartz. At the same time we were approached by two other manufacturers – Bushboard and Max-Top who had seen what we were doing for the first company so we also put together tooling for some of their products, blades, router bits and polishing pads etc.

So that’s a brief background of how we ended up offering these products and It’s still a work in progress. When we’re presented with a problem we figure out a way of making something or repurposing something to solve the problem.

Things to understand when using a Diamond blade in a track saw when cutting hard materials.

Before we go through an explanation of what blade to pick or how to use it, understand that a track saw is generally cutting a work piece in the wrong direction when it comes to stonemasonry or tiling work. Any track saw or circular saw is designed to be pushed and the blade rotates to cut up through the work piece as it’s pushed. Compared to most tiling or stone application where a grinder or wet table saw would be used with the blade cutting in a downward motion and the tool pulled backwards through the work piece or the work piece pushed flat along a bench into the blade itself. There is an exception to this, FLEX make a product called a CS60WET, it’s a powerful track saw with a water feed. It works the same way a TS55 would but wet and with much more power and a 170/180mm blade. The water helps reduce (but not eradicate) breakout/chipping. It is a very effective piece of equipment and is effectively a portable bridge saw with a 3200mm+  cutting capacity.

We currently offer three types of blade to fit a track saw.

150mm Laser Welded segmented – This blade is designed to cut reinforced concrete, it will also cut granite, quartz and 20mm thick external porcelain. It is aggressive and there will be breakout/chipping but it will pretty much cut anything that’s hard, dense or abrasive.

150mm Economy Blade – This is a general purpose turbo fine design blade that would be used for slate, marble, limestone, lighter weight concrete slab general building work but with a reasonably fine cut. It works great in thinner quartz material or as a blade to use for one job and throw away.

160mm Pro Blade – This is designed for Porcelain. We found that Thin porcelain blades produce by far the best quality cut in man made quartz engineered stone. It will work to a degree on granite but the segmented blade is much more effective.


Incidentally, when we were developing this product line we got in touch with Festool UK directly (also the head office in Germany) to find out what the warranty situation was on their machines. It was pretty non committal to be honest with the suggestion that all warranties are void if used in this manner. However, we were informed that TS55’s were actively marketed (along with other products) in Germany for the stonemasonry industry and that they are provided with full factory support. So it appears warranty issues could well be a regional thing.

I’m conscious this article is growing in size so I’ll leave it there to start with and open the thread for questions if anyone has any. I’ll do my best to answer.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Cheese

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Thanks for taking the time to write the article.  [smile]  It's been an interesting read and has generated a few more questions on my part.

First off this is the blade I used to cut the 10mm porcelain.



I'm taking a 12" wide tile and cutting it into 3 strips 3 3/4" wide each. With the 1-2-3-4 cut photo I did not use any blue painters tape on the tile and placed the rail on the top surface of the tile and made the full depth cuts with a TSC 55. Chipping isn't real bad but there are areas that are better and worse. I'll also add that the edges have been smoothed slightly with your 400 grit diamond block. If you look close you'll see a slight chamfer.

As I previously mentioned, the porcelain tile will have Schluter trim around it so a small amount of chipping will be ok because the grout will cover it up. I'm ok with the amount of chipping except on the 3-4 cut in the middle of the photo, that will be difficult to hide.



The chipping in the 3-4 cut led me to try using blue painters tape on the surface of the tile to minimize it. In the 5-6 photo you can see that the chipping is less AND these cuts have NOT been smoothed with a diamond block. These kerfs are "as cut".



1. In your experience, is this amount of edge chipping normal?

2. So from reading your tutorial I'm now wondering that if I cut the tile upside down if I would get a better edge? However the back of the tile is rather bumpy and rough to place a rail on. [sad]

3. If I were to lightly score the tile first, at a .5mm-1mm depth, will that help? The 2nd pass would then be at full depth.

I'm interested in the Flex CS60WET.
4. Is there a notable reduction in edge chipping compared to my results?
5. If there is a significant difference, how much water does the Flex saw pump out and would it be practical to be done inside a house?

I'm trying to get around having to haul my 100# wet saw into the basement. The tiles are 12" x 24" so a small wet saw isn't an option.
That's the reason the track saw/track grinder option is appealing. Also, inside a finished home, dry is better than wet. [big grin]

Thanks...
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 10:44 AM by Cheese »

Offline Michael Kellough

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@Cheese I don’t know a lot about tile cutting but was the face up or down? Would it make a difference?

Offline Cheese

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@Cheese I don’t know a lot about tile cutting but was the face up or down? Would it make a difference?

Hey Michael, with the 2 tiles I've cut so far, on one the face was up and untaped and on the other the face was also up but taped.

Now I'm thinking about still taping the surface but cutting the tile upside down to eliminate some chipping.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Please post the results, and good luck.

Offline ATS Diamond Tools

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1. In your experience, is this amount of edge chipping normal?

2. So from reading your tutorial I'm now wondering that if I cut the tile upside down if I would get a better edge? However the back of the tile is rather bumpy and rough to place a rail on. [sad]

3. If I were to lightly score the tile first, at a .5mm-1mm depth, will that help? The 2nd pass would then be at full depth.

I'm interested in the Flex CS60WET.
4. Is there a notable reduction in edge chipping compared to my results?
5. If there is a significant difference, how much water does the Flex saw pump out and would it be practical to be done inside a house?

I'm trying to get around having to haul my 100# wet saw into the basement. The tiles are 12" x 24" so a small wet saw isn't an option.
That's the reason the track saw/track grinder option is appealing. Also, inside a finished home, dry is better than wet. [big grin]

Thanks...

I'll take your questions in order.

1. Yes I'd expect this level of chipping on a dry cut when cutting up through the finished face.

2. This is the anomaly of using carpentry tools for purposes for which they weren't originally designed. I think cutting upside down would substantially reduce the chipping but it comes with associated problems. You can't see what you're doing and the reliance on the back of the tile being reasonably flat.

3. Scoring the tile then cutting to one side of the score will likely reduce chipping, this is what tilers do when running a ceramic or porcelain tile through a wet saw.

4. The CS60 WET is a substantial piece of equipment and pumps out too much water to be used indoors. Think of it more as something more appropriate for landscaping when cutting stone or 20mm thick porcelain. It's overkill even for a pro tiler unless they do a lot of thicker material.

5. See answer to 4.

Offline Cheese

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Thanks for the speedy reply.

I think the next step will be to cut the porcelain upside down and see how that goes.  [smile]

I may also try scoring first and then judge the results.

Offline ATS Diamond Tools

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It'll be interesting to see what difference it makes.

I was having a conversation with someone today on this subject, they suggested turning the blade around and pulling the saw back towards you rather than away. This would provide the same direction of cut as if using an angle grinder.

In theory that would work, but any snags would lead to the machine jumping off the track.

I can't see that taping would make any difference at all.

Offline demographic

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Might as well mention it as I dont thnk anyone has yet but never dry cut this type of stuff without extraction and a good face mask, that stuff will kill you or the people around you.