A lapidary trim saw, also known as a lapidary slab saw, or a diamond saw, is a machine used to accurately cut through medium to large-sized semi-precious materials, minerals, core samples, and glasses. The best lapidary trim saw will be safe to use, will be very portable, and will cut through almost 3 inches of solid rock (Source).
There are two main types of lapidary saws. The difference lies in the blade size that they use. Trim saws will typically have smaller, thinner blades, where slab saws use thicker blades that are engineered for heavier cutting.
Trim saws use blades that are about 4” to 6” inches in diameter and between .004” and .012” thick. Slab saw blades, on the other hand, range from about 6” to 36”, with thickness around .025” (Source).
Lapidary Trim saws are specialty tools, with lots of different factors to take into consideration. This can make a purchasing decision somewhat overwhelming.
Before you purchase a lapidary trim saw, consider the price, warranty, and maximum cut size. It’s also important to consider the size of the machine and the types of blades it can support.
In this guide, we will examine the top model in each category. After reading our lapidary trim saw reviews, you will be able to make the perfect cut on even the finest and hardest precious materials.
Whether you are crafting a piece of jewelry or making a set of custom marble tiles, this roundup will help you select the right unit.
How Much Will A Trim Saw Cost?
Table of Contents
- 1 How Much Will A Trim Saw Cost?
- 2 Comparing the Top 5 Models
- 3 1. Hi-Tech Diamond 6″ Lapidary Trim Saw – Best Overall
- 4 2. Tutu Home Bench Polisher Grinder – Best 7 Inch Lapidary Trim Saw
- 5 3. PMC 4″ Diameter Mini Jeweler’s Saw – Best 4 Inch Lapidary Trim Saw
- 6 4. Hi-Tech Diamond 10″ – Best 10 Inch Lapidary Saw & For Large Cuts
- 7 5. SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw – Best Trim Saw for Cutting Flat Materials
- 8 Lapidary Trim Saw Brands
- 9 Factors to Consider When Buying A Lapidary Trim Saw
- 10 How to Use a Lapidary Trim Saw
- 11 Ready to Buy a Lapidary Trim Saw?
As mentioned before, lapidary trim saws cost between $80 and $800 respectively. Many factors are factored into the cost. Some of these factors include the size of the unit, blade quality, and brand you choose.
Comparing the Top 5 Models
|Hi-Tech Diamond 6″ Lapidary Trim Saw|
|Tutu Home Bench Polisher Grinder|
|PMC 4″ Diameter Mini Jeweler’s Saw|
|Hi-Tech Diamond 10″ Lapidary Slab Saw|
|SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw|
Comparing The Best Lapidary Trim Saws: Our Top 5 Picks
1. Hi-Tech Diamond 6″ Lapidary Trim Saw – Best Overall[amazon_link asins=’B01N4R2TRF’ template=’ProductAd2′ store=’10bestranked20-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e985bab8-f9c9-46c4-971d-cf8ccc906398′]The Hi-Tech Diamond 6″ is ideal for cutting gems and stones of all thickness and denseness.
The cutting speed is adjustable so you can work at whatever pace is most comfortable for you. The ball bearing motor delivers speeds from 800rpm to 3,400rpm.
The machine comes with a built-in coolant reservoir that holds up to 16 ounces of water. The saw table is removable and sits directly about the tank making cleanup easy.
This saw comes with two different kinds of 6″ blades to accommodate various materials. One blade is designed for cutting rocks and minerals such as turquoise and corundum, while the other is made for cutting glass and fine agates.
2. Tutu Home Bench Polisher Grinder – Best 7 Inch Lapidary Trim Saw[amazon_link asins=’B07QB6DBP8′ template=’ProductAd2′ store=’10bestranked20-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7f78bed1-d4ca-460d-9391-ca4461088d33′]The Tutu Home Bench Polisher and Grinder isn’t just a trim saw. It also is designed for grinding, polishing, and carving.
It is an all-in-one lapidary tool. That means more time working on your project and less time switching back and forth between tools. With an adjustable angle ruler, this cutter is ideal for getting just the right angle.
It also comes with two separate blades that can cut objects up to 30mm. Blade speed can be easily adjusted from 0 to 10000rmp with the simple turn of a dial.
This particular saw is designed to be used with or without water, whatever you prefer using for your specific project.
3. PMC 4″ Diameter Mini Jeweler’s Saw – Best 4 Inch Lapidary Trim Saw[amazon_link asins=’B01N9ZPKC7′ template=’ProductAd2′ store=’10bestranked20-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0c7016b6-825a-4210-8471-6cdcaab1f416′]At only 9 pounds, this mini saw is not only portable but powerful. Cut precise angles with the help of 2 miter slots.
Skip the muddy mess with this dry saw. The diamond blade is tough enough to cut through stone and ceramic.
4. Hi-Tech Diamond 10″ – Best 10 Inch Lapidary Saw & For Large Cuts[amazon_link asins=’B01NAWA5V9′ template=’ProductAd2′ store=’10bestranked20-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’52fa93bd-480f-4dbb-9ce7-ac3e3f4c8191′]If you’re looking for a saw that will cut large rocks and minerals into a more comfortable to handle size, you’ve found it. The Hi-Tech Diamond 10″ has a powerful motor that will perform even the largest cuts at 1725rpm.
This saw isn’t only durable and rustproof, but the material is easy to clean as well.
The coolant reservoir holds up to 32 ouches of water and is conveniently located directly be in the base of the machine. The reservoir can be quickly drained by merely removing the built-in drain plug.
As with the smaller Hi-Tech saw on our list, the 10″ version also comes with two blades. One for large rocks and minerals and the other for more fragile materials like glass or topaz.
5. SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw – Best Trim Saw for Cutting Flat Materials[amazon_link asins=’B003HIWR08′ template=’ProductAd2′ store=’10bestranked20-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’92508cd5-501b-473b-8a6f-5d7ca4dee318′]This product is ideal for those who cut stone and tile for home improvement projects of all kinds.
While the SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw is primarily marketed to tile cutting, it can also be used for cutting granite slabs and small rocks.
This tabletop saw is primarily made of stainless steel, so it resists corrosion.
It comes with an adjustable rip fence and miter gauge, so your cuts will always be straight and accurate regardless of the angle.
The water cooling reservoir keeps the blade from overheating and minimizes dust at the same time.
Lapidary Trim Saw Brands
Each brand of saw has its pros and cons as well. Every brand is known for one aspect of a project or another. Some brands are more well-known in the lapidary community than others. But that doesn’t always mean that those particular brands are the best.
So you don’t get too overwhelmed by all the options, we’ve provided a little information about the brands of saws we recommended. Reading this will help you make an informed decision about what saw is best for you.
Hi-Tech Diamond is one of the oldest and best-known suppliers of lapidary equipment. They have marketed tools that cut, grind, carve and polish since 1984.
Their machines are all manufactured in the United States in Westmont, Illinois. They work to provide durable and precise equipment for beginners to professionals.
Their focus is mainly on the lapidary and glass industries, making them a trustworthy brand that knows the trade well.
Tutu Home is a company that sells primarily through Amazon. They sell a wide range of products, including power tools and other high-tech products. However, their primary market is LED lights.
Their products have been sold around in the world in over 200 countries. They have a 92% satisfaction rating.
The other good news is that Amazon offers free tech support with this product. So if you have any problems setting up or need any troubleshooting done, they’ve got you covered.
PMC Supplies specializes in the jewelry making industry. Their products are high-quality and reasonably priced.
This is an excellent company if you’re looking for someone that knows the industry well. They also offer a large variety of other jewelry making tools, so it’s a good place to one-stop-shop.
They have 98% positive feedback on Amazon and give plenty of support with their products.
SKIL focuses on creating compact, lightweight products while still powerful.
They have been in the business for over 90 years, and every SKIL tool is eligible for a five-year warranty. That’s great news if you use your saw on a daily bases. Just be sure to register your saw in within 30 days of purchasing it.
Amazon also promises free tech support with this saw, so you’ll have the help to get started.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Lapidary Trim Saw
Buying a trim saw is a pretty significant investment depending on which make and model you opt for. That’s why before you make your decision about which lapidary equipment is the best for you, there are a few things you will need to take into consideration.
Dimensions and Weight
As you probably noticed in the table, the sizes of each saw vary greatly. The size of lapidary saw you decide to go with will greatly depend on whether or not you will need to move the blade frequently. Weight also matters when thinking about where you could put your lapidary trim saw, whether on a regular flat surface or a top-rated saw horse.
Other factors that might affect the size you choose to purchase might be the size of the workbench, or where the saw will be stored when it’s not in use.
Remember, too, that bigger saw cut larger stones. That’s why it’s essential to keep in mind the type and size of material you will be cutting through.
Above, we have the RPM (revolutions per minute) listed with each saw. This is referring to the speed of the motor, rather than the speed of the blade.
While you don’t want an overly slow motor, it’s still good to keep in mind that faster isn’t always better. If the RPMs are too high, the machine can lose torque.
It is recommended that you use slower speeds on thicker, denser materials. So again, think about what you will be using the saw for the majority of the time.
Saw Blade Thickness
Keep in mind that not all saw blades are created equal. For example, if you opt to use a tile-cutter-style saw, you’ll find that the blade is much thicker than a traditional lapidary trim saw blade.
If you plan on trimming small gemstones, a thinner blade is the way to go. That way, you won’t cut away more than necessary on the tiny object.
As with every purchase you make, when it comes to trim saws, you get what you pay for. Look for materials that are built to last and corrosion resistant like stainless steel.
If a brand offers a warranty with the purchase, it’s usually a good sign that the tool will last several years. They are standing by their product. Of course, normal wear and tear will occur over time.
How to Use a Lapidary Trim Saw
If you are new to using trim saws, don’t worry. The process is straight forward and simple. Depending on the saw you decide to by, a few steps will vary. For example, a dry saw won’t use water.
After getting your saw set up, it’s time to start cutting using a lapidary machine.
- Find Your Shape
When you decide what kind of shape you want to cut out of your stone, you can draw it directly onto your stone with a pencil. This gives you the chance to make changes if needed.
Once you’ve drawn your shape or line on the stone, you’re ready to cut it out.
Lubricate your saw blade with water and water aide. (Unless you’re using a dry saw.)
- Align your stone.
- Turn on the saw.
The speed you decide you set the blade at will largely depend on the density of the material you’re cutting.
- Push the stone through the blade.
Make short, straight cuts.
An Important Safety Reminder
Always wear safety glasses and a dust mask to prevent small pieces from entering your eyes and dangerous dust from harming your lungs. This is a must for any cutting task, whether you’re using wood saws like these top jamb saws, or metal cutters like these greatest dry cut metal saws.
Ready to Buy a Lapidary Trim Saw?
Before you go out and spend the money on a lapidary machine, make sure you research the saw thoroughly. You will also want to have clear in mind how you plan on using the lapidary equipment. Remember that different materials require different saw sizes, styles, and blades.
Getting an efficient and affordable lapidary trim saw is possible. Whether you plan on cutting thick slabs or small gems, the right saw is out there for you. Searching for more power tools? Read this best plunge router review for the basic info and top options for plunge routers.
Other lapidary saws on the list are used primarily for cutting thinner, more tile-like materials. The greatest toe kick saws are great for these kinds of materials, but they are mainly used for flooring.