Carbide-tipped saw blades have emerged as the go-to choice for wood cutting, and two prominent companies, Diablo and Milwaukee, have risen to the top as leaders in reciprocating saw blades. While speed is one aspect where carbide excels, it’s not the sole determining factor. In truth, many bimetallic blades with higher tooth counts and unique geometries can outpace both Diablo and Milwaukee blades. However, the true advantage lies in the longevity of carbide. Lasting up to 50 to 75 times longer than bimetals, carbide blades easily justify their higher cost. But the question remains: in the ongoing Diablo Demo Demon vs. Milwaukee Ax Carbide debate, who reigns supreme in terms of speed?
Real-world Testing: Who Cuts Faster?
To settle the score, we conducted a series of tests that pitted the Diablo against the Milwaukee blade. Our objective was to determine the blade that made the fastest cut through a 2 x 12 PT pine board embedded with five 16D nails. In the first test, we gave Clint (representing Diablo) and Kenny (representing Milwaukee) the freedom to employ any technique they desired to achieve the quickest cut.
After careful analysis, we found that Diablo completed the task in 25.95 seconds, while Milwaukee took 27.06 seconds. If you watch the video, you’ll notice distinct differences in their technology, making it challenging to declare a definitive winner. Nevertheless, Clint managed to notch a victory in this round.
In our controlled setting, we affixed a 10 lb weight to a Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall with a button and allowed the blade and motor to work their magic, similar to our previous cordless reciprocating saw shootout.
The results were as follows: Diablo clocked in at 38.6 seconds, while Milwaukee achieved a faster time of 26.9 seconds. Without the influence of unsteady downward pressure, Milwaukee emerged as the clear winner in terms of speed.
Analyzing the Results
Upon closer examination, Milwaukee’s advantage in the controlled test was attributable to its blade design. Unlike Diablo, which features a variable tooth design that changes as the length of the blade changes, Milwaukee’s teeth remain uniform throughout the blade’s length. Adjusting the shoes or using blades of different lengths can yield different outcomes with Diablo, and while we could argue that the shorter length was the optimal choice for this test, we opted for consistency by including the 9″ length for both blades, as it reflects the most common size found in the field.
However, it’s important to note that this test solely focused on Diablo Demo Demon Vs Milwaukee Ax Carbide and did not take into account blade life or other materials that one might encounter, aside from PT lumber and standard galvanized nails.
The Blades in Question
To give you a visual representation of the blades we used in our tests, here are images of both the Milwaukee Ax with Carbide Teeth and the Diablo Demo Demon, both equipped with carbide teeth.
Milwaukee Ax Carbide Teeth
Diablo Demo Demon with Carbide Teeth
We also utilized the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall with One Button, a reliable powerhouse for our controlled test.
And let’s not forget the test material itself: a 2 x 12 pressure-treated pine board with five 16D galvanized nails embedded.
In conclusion, while Diablo and Milwaukee continue to contend for the crown of speed, it’s crucial to consider the specific requirements of your woodworking projects before making your final choice.