Comparison Review: Diablo Saw Blades vs. Irwin Saw Blades

Introduction

Thanks to technology, there are now many different kinds of saws around, and you can make just about any cut with them. However, with this wide variety in saws comes an equally wide range of saw blades.

You can find various blade sizes, materials, finishes, and more. Merely looking at an online store’s list of saw blades is already very confusing. One easy way you can filter the myriad of saw blades you are seeing is by considering the brand. For example, today we are going to look at Diablo and Irwin saw blades because these companies are known manufacturers of these parts.

We provide an overview of what these brands offer as far as saw blades are concerned and also discuss the different kinds of saw blades available.

Diablo Saw Blades vs Irwin Saw Blades

Blade Material

Diablo Saw Blades

Irwin Saw Blades

Wood

Yes

Yes

Vinyl

No

Yes

Fiber Cement

Yes

Yes

Laminate

Yes

No

Composite (plastic)

Yes

No

Metal

No

Yes

Steel

Yes

Yes

PVC

No

Yes

Aluminum

Yes

No

Buyer's Guide

How to pick the right saw blade

For this article’s buying guide, we differentiate the numerous types of saw blades.

  • Crosscut

You need a crosscut blade if you are cutting perpendicular to the wood grain. Crosscut blades give you a fine cut but do not work very fast.

  • Rip

Most of the saw blades proliferating the market today are rip blades. They cut more quickly than do crosscut blades but do not cut as smoothly.

  • Finishing

Finishing blades are fine-toothed saw blades designed for projects that require very smooth cuts. These blades often have 40 TPI.

  • Metal cutting

While you can cut corners by cutting metal with saw blades meant for wood, that will substantially compromise the material and even the saw itself.

  • Nail cutting

When working with used or reclaimed wood during renovations, for example, you will need saw blades specifically meant for safe nail cutting.

  • Dado cutting

You should pair dado cutting blades with a table or radial-arm saw when working on projects that need you to cut grooves, dadoes, tenons, moldings, and more.

  • Dry diamond

These saw blades are ideal for cutting such material as porcelain, ceramic, and other materials you commonly encounter during masonry work, among others.

These are the most common types of saw blades. If you are not too familiar with an upcoming project, we advise that you do a quick search first to determine what kind of blade you need. There are framing blades, combination blades, and more.

Product Comparison Parameters

How do we compare two products?

  • Variety

Sure, there is too much variety sometimes, and that causes problems, but we simply cannot do without it. Regardless of whether you are a hobbyist quietly working in a cramped basement or a full-time contractor, you definitely encounter many different projects that require different saw blades. This is where variety comes in. You want a trustworthy brand with an impressive arsenal of blades to choose from.

  • Buyers’ opinion

We could not possibly try all of the saw blades from Diablo and Irwin, so we decided to go over many of the customer reviews they have garnered over time. We looked for consistently mentioned hits, misses, and other relevant information to get a feel of how the saw blades really are. We believe this is a good way to gauge the overall workmanship of a company, and word of mouth is always reliable.

  • Price

Budget is always a concern, regardless of whether you are a novice woodworker or an in-demand contractor. Despite the fact that both manufacturers have such a huge lineup of saw blades, we were able to roughly see a pattern. In general, Irwin saw blades are cheaper than Diablo ones. Their minimum prices vary by a few dollars, and the maximum prices can vary by as much as a few tens of dollars.

  • Material/Technology

The material from which a saw blade is made is important because it needs to match what the saw blade is supposed to be used for. When shopping for saw blades, you will typically come across carbide-tipped ones, for example. Carbide is known for its strength, which is why it is often used by manufacturers.

1) Diablo Saw Blades

Why use Diablo saw blades and who are they for?

We think Diablo saw blades are for anyone who is willing to invest in their woodworking tools and prefers to go with a safe option. We are saying these because Diablo saw blades are generally more expensive than those by Irwin, but we think the features and good reviews are enough reason for the markup.

Diablo offers numerous saw blades that have a wide range of applications. You can find anything from general purpose saw blades to highly specialized and multipurpose ones. They have saw blades for circular saws, trim saws, table saws, miter saws, and low-RPM metal saws.

These saw blades are designed for aluminum, wood, fiber cement, steel, laminates, and composite plastics. They have framing, ripping, general purpose, combination, finishing, polishing, dado, and a bunch of specialty blades. Saw blades in each category often further come in different sizes.

We checked the reviews of many of these saws on Amazon, and they are largely positive comments from pleased buyers. This is one of the reasons we think Diablo saw blades are a safe option. You cannot go wrong with good word of mouth.

Main Features

  • Polycrystalline diamond tips
  • Non-stick Perma-Shield coating for heat reduction
  • Stabilizer vents and heat expansion slots
  • Tri-metal shock-resistant brazing
  • Titanium cobalt high-density carbide material
  • Laser-cut kerf and arbor

Q&As

What are the smallest and biggest blade sizes?

The smallest saw blade measures 4 ⅜ inches to 16 5/16 inches. The former is a finishing saw blade, and the latter is found among the company’s framing and general purpose saw blades.

Pros

  • A wide variety of types and sizes
  • Backed by many favorable reviews
  • Includes specialty saw blades for certain materials

Cons

  • Isolated quality issues

2) Irwin Saw Blades

Why use Irwin saw blades and who are they for?

Irwin has 14 types of saw blades. Coincidentally, these are also made in Italy, just like Diablo’s. Irwin blades are generally a bit cheaper than Diablo ones, and they also have several lines dedicated to different materials, tools, and projects.

You can find saw blades for general woodworking, dado cutting, and other applications for fiber cement, metal, vinyl, PVC, gutters, and steel materials. These are meant for various corded and cordless saws as well.

Irwin saw blades do not have as many reviews as those made by Diablo. However, we did notice that the vast majority of the comments are positive, and customers who have bought Irwin saw blades for their tools seem to be very happy with their purchase. The company also has some blades that manage to maintain high average ratings even with hundreds of ratings. This says a lot about the quality of Irwin’s saw blades.

As mentioned, Irwin’s blades are slightly cheaper than Diablo’s, but the price difference is not that substantial, especially if you are looking at both companies’ lower-end saw blades.

Main Features

  • Welded construction-grade carbide teeth
  • Precision and ring tensioning
  • Heat-resistant non-stick coating
  • Perimeter venting
  • Ultra-thin kerf
  • Aggressive hook angles
  • Laser-cut plate with expansion control slots

Q&As

What sizes are Irwin saw blades?

So far, the smallest we saw was a 6 ¾-inch saw blade, which is designed for cutting ferrous steel. The largest available right now is a 14-inch saw blade, which is under the same category. The sizes in between are quite typical (e.g., 7 ¼, 8, 10, 12 inches).

Pros

  • Generally less expensive
  • Extra thin kerfs
  • Construction-grade carbide material

Cons

  • Lacks certain specialty saw blades

The Final Cut

We think Diablo wins by a bit of margin. They offer a wider variety of saw blades and can hence provide solutions for more diverse projects and materials.

The price difference versus Irwin’s saw blades is not that significant, so we do not think it will be a deterrent.

However, if you are not in need of any highly specialized saw blade, we believe Irwin’s saw blades will be a good option.