Diablo Demo Demon carbide tipped recip blades
I usually end up burning through a fistful of bimetal recip saw blades on a remodel job cutting through roofing, siding, drywall, flooring, framing, and loads of nails. I was skeptical about how well Diablo Demo Demon carbide tipped blades would fare through nails; usually carbide tips chip and break off when they hit metal. But if they did work as Diablo claimed, they may last longer than regular blades. I didn’t hold back on recent gut-rehab and remodeling projects, and used 6 in., 9 in., and 12 in. Demo Demon carbide tipped blades interchangeably with bi-metal blades made for nail-embedded wood.
The Demo Demon carbide tipped blades did last longer than bi-metal blades, especially cutting through old plaster and asphalt roofing that dulled bi-metal blades quickly. Embedded nails didn’t slow the blades down much and there were no missing teeth after days of use. It’s hard to quantify if the Demo Demon carbide tipped blades last 10 times longer than ‘standard blades’ as Diablo claims. I suppose it would depend on the materials being cut through and what constitutes a ‘standard blade.’ But no doubt that they are durable.
The carbide teeth on the Demo Demon blades are thicker than bi-metal blades so they carve out a wide kerf. In some cases this was an advantage and kept wood from binding back on the blade body. There was a little speed penalty with the carbide teeth. I’m not sure if it’s due to the thickness of the carbide teeth or the geometry of the teeth and gullets but the Demo Demon carbide tipped blades were slower cutting than bimetal blades. And we lost about 25% to 30% of the run-time on battery operated recip saws when using the carbide tipped blades; this wasn’t an issue with corded recip saws.
I checked to see what other professional tool testers had to say about the Demo Demon carbide tipped blades. A 2012 review by Michael Springer in Tools of the Trade magazine seemed meticulously done. He quantified blade performance through a series of tests rather than subjectively evaluating them on the job where perceptions can affect the outcome. Michael’s results showed that bimetal blades cut faster and lasted longer when cutting through nail embedded wood than carbide tipped blades. He when on to note that the Demo Demon carbide tipped recip blades were his recommendation for cutting through abrasive nail-embedded materials (think asphalt shingles, fibercement siding, drywall/plaster, thinset encrusted subfloor).
My experience corresponded with Michael’s evaluation. Basically the right blade for the task at hand. Given the premium cost for the carbide tipped Demo Demons (about $1/blade inch), I’d use them for those abrasive material cutting tasks and stick with bimetal blades for cutting through clean, nail-embedded wood at a little less than half the cost per blade and higher cutting speed.