As carbide is used in more saw blades, two companies are becoming leaders in reciprocating saw blades for wood cutting: Diablo and Milwaukee. Carbide's advantages go beyond speed. In fact, many bimetallic blades with higher tooth counts and geometries will cut faster than either of these blades. The advantage is longevity. Carbide lasts much longer than bimetals – in some cases 50 to 75 times longer – and easily pays for itself many times over. But the question remains in the Diablo Demo Demon vs Milwaukee Ax Carbide debate – who's faster?
We set up some real-world-to-science tests to see which blade would cut faster through 2 x 12 PT pine embedded with five 16D nails. For the first test, it's straight up Clint (Diablo) vs. Kenny (Milwaukee) and whatever technique we want to use to get the fastest cut.
- Diablo: 25.95 seconds
- Milwaukee: 27.06 seconds
If you watch the video, you can see that there are some very obvious differences in our technology, so we can hardly call it a deterministic difference. But yes, Clint did add a notch to the win column.
On a controlled setting, we put 10 lbs on a Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall with a button and let the blade and motor work like we did in our cordless reciprocating saw shootout.
- Diablo: 38.6 seconds
- Milwaukee: 26.9 seconds
Without the wobbly downforce, Milwaukee is the clear winner in terms of speed.
Milwaukee's edge in the controlled test came down to blade design. The Milwaukee's teeth are the same throughout the length of the blade, while the Diablo has a variable tooth design that changes as the length changes. You'll get some different results when you adjust your shoes or use blades of different lengths. We could argue that the shorter length was the better choice for this test – but for consistency in the class we've included the 9" length for both, which is what you're most likely to find in the field length.
Remember, this is just a test for Diablo Demo Demon Vs Milwaukee Ax Carbide. It doesn't take into account blade life or the materials you'll encounter other than PT and standard galvanized nails.
Milwaukee Ax Carbide vs Diablo Demo Demon Carbide: What We Used
Carbide Teeth Milwaukee Ax
Diablo demo demon for cutting wood with carbide teeth
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall One Button
2 x 12 pressure treated pine with five 16D galvanized nails embedded