I was cutting up some brush last week with a generic pruning blade chucked into a Hackzall and I wasn’t making quick progress like I had expected. Just halfway through a 2″ branch, the blade started smoking. Plus, the tip was whipping about everywhere, making the cut even less efficient.
I’ve used carbide tipped Milwaukee Ax blades for pruning, but while they work fairly well in wet wood, I’ve found they tend to gum up, making them less effective. I figured a proper pruning blade would make much quicker work of tasks like this — I guess I was wrong.
So I started wondering if the Diablo carbide-tipped pruning blade was available anywhere yet. There was news of it last year, but I hadn’t seen indications that it was being sold yet.
A few days later, after several of the other tool reviewers I follow said they had seen them in stores, I found the Diablo Demo Demon Carbide Pruning blades at a local Home Depot.
These blades are designed for either pruning or cutting through clean wood — read no foreign objects like nails or screws. Diablo says these blades will cut 50X longer than standard pruning blades.
The 3 TPI blades have large gullets between the teeth to more effectively clear debris and are coated in Diablo’s non-stick Perma-Shield to reduce friction and gumming.
The 9″ model will run you $9 for 1 blade or $24 for 3 blades. The 12″ model will cost $12 for 1 blade or $32 for 3 blades.
All four options are available on the Home Depot Website and at Ohio Power Tool. I’ve seen several people say they are carried in their local Home Depot stores, plus I just picked up a 9″ blade myself last Saturday.
Even though I had already dumped all my brush, I still found a few thicker 2″ sticks on which to try the new Diablo carbide pruning blade. So I chucked the blade into a Hackzall and started making a few cuts.
I was really impressed with the blade. It cut very quickly and left a clean cut. At no point did it start smoking or flexing like a whip — it stayed straight and rigid.
I don’t have any more pruning work to do just yet. I’m waiting for sustained below freezing weather so I can do some trimming on my Red Oak trees (so I don’t accidentally expose them to oak wilt.) I’m looking forward to giving the Demo Demon carbide pruning blade a more sustained workout.