If you’re about to take on a surface preparation project that involves using a concrete grinder to remove a coating from concrete or you need to polish a concrete floor, you know having the right diamond tooling is essential to getting the job done right. This means getting the right grit, and it also means choosing the right bond. But what does bond refer to with diamond tooling? Our surface preparation equipment company is sharing an in-depth look so you can shop for tooling with confidence.

What Does Bond Mean?

Diamond chips are embedded into a material, often metal or resin, and that material is called a bond (as in, the diamonds are bonded into the surface). As the tooling grinds or polishes the concrete, the concrete dust wears down the bond, exposing the diamonds as you grind to seamlessly maintain an even, continuous cut into the concrete surface.

Choosing the Right Bond of Diamond Tooling

The general guideline when choosing a bond is to pick a hard bond when grinding soft concrete and a soft bond when grinding hard concrete. That may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important you follow this.

When you’re grinding a soft concrete, more dust is created, and it’s a thicker, heavy dust. The dust interacts on the matrix of the tool and if you choose a soft bond, it will wear away too fast. You’ll get a fast cut, but it may not be an even, consistent cut, and just as bad, you’ll wear out your diamonds in no time. A hard bond will keep the diamonds open, but won’t wear out quickly, getting you the results you need.

With hard concrete, the opposite happens. Minimal dust is created, so if the bond doesn’t wear away, the diamonds get trapped in the surface and glaze over. You need to continually be exposing fresh diamonds and keeping them open and able to cut, it’s going to take you a lot longer to finish the task. Instead, a soft bond will wear away, continually exposing the diamonds and keeping them open and cutting at the grit you want.

Choose the wrong bond, your productivity, profitability, and results will suffer. Choose the right one, and you’ll have an easier time and the surface will be what you envision.

Testing Your Concrete

If you’re not sure if your concrete is hard or soft, it’s a good idea to buy a Moh’s hardness test kit which rates the hardness of rock, mineral, and other similar materials, including concrete. Containing several small picks, you can do a scratch test on the concrete to see how hard it is. If a #4 pick leaves a scratch, but a #5 doesn’t, the rating would be around a 4.5, so that or anything below should be used with a hard bond. If your concrete scratch test is between 5 and 6, a medium bond would be best, while anything above 6 should use a hard bond.

Shop Our Wide Selection of Diamond Tooling

We have a wide variety of diamond tooling available in soft, medium, and hard bond. If you’re not sure what type is right for you, or you want a price quote, reach out to us today at  (815) 472-9744 or by filling out our contact form to get started!