diamond blade use - cost factor

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by meets1, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,857

    We just finished a big paver project, walls, steps, etc. Mason walked over from a new house next door and we started chatting about business hiden cost etc. He asked about the blades we were using and how we charge for the use of saw and blades. I have to admit he kinda got me on that one. Maybe that was one of those hidden cost for us. I usually charge per sq ft and consider the project (hand digging, buried linies, ect and price it out) The mason told me he charges different amounts per job that he does - some he cuts all day, others just finshing cut to wrap the job up.

    So how long does a blade last for you guys. Do you charge out for that blade/saw combo, and how expensive are those blades your using.

    Messages: 1,343

    We are like you. We price by the sq. Ft. And include those costs in our price. Should we? Good question, based on materials and cutting should we be itemizing additional tbings,?
    Makes me think. Thanks.
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  3. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I don't know how long ours are lasting but the ones we buy are around 200.00. Something to possibly consider....after alot of cutting on a job we did I went to get an extra blade for the hand held saw 9took the table saw blade with me)and the guy asked if I would want the one I brought with me sharpened. Kind of suprised me with that but I let him sharpen it and it was really alomost better than new...I was very impressed by having it re-sharpened,
  4. jwilkers2vt

    jwilkers2vt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Personally, I charge in my prices the "hours" labor I think that it will take to cut what is needed. Mostly based on previous numbers/experience. The price of our saw/blades is included in our project overhead. Most of the blades I have bought last about 500-1000 ft. Depending on how many binds my guys put them in. At $200 a blade that is somewhere between $.20-.40 per linear foot cut. It can add up if you are cutting a soldier course on a 50 ft walk, that is 100 ft of cutting, or $20-$40. It adds up, but to itemize it is a little cumbersome. Project overhead is just easier as a % of total bid price for me.

  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,627

    First of all - charging by the square foot to install pavers is the deadliest mistake you can make. No two properties are the same. Some have steep slopes. Some have nowhere to stage materials. Some are wide open easy access. Some have driveways you need to protect. I could go on and on. You jus never know....one day there may be an industry forum that is focused on topics like this :)

    As far as diamond blade cost recovery. Yes, I DO factor in the cost of diamond blades on an individual job basis. I have "Diamond Blade" listed as a line item on my job cost sheet. it's NOT difficult.

    Those of you that are buying $200 blades - you can STOP wasting your money. STOP NOW.

    Effective immediately - do NOT pay any more than $85 to $90 for a 14-inch blade.

    I used to buy the $200 blades for about 10 years.

    The recession came and I was forced to buy the cheaper cost blades. (the recession has taught me ALOT about business and life)

    We saw NO difference in the cut between a $200 blade and an $80 blade.

    Here is an example:

    Say a $200 blade will cut 400 linear feet of pavers (400 LF is not an actual number, it's used only as an example).

    Ok, well I ASSURE you that ONE cheap $80 blade will cut at least 70% of what a $200 blade will cut.

    400 x 70% = 280 linear feet

    280 LF X 2 (2 $80 blades) = 560 linear feet.

    So for $200 you're getting 400 linear feet.

    And for $160 (2 cheap blades) you're getting 560 linear feet. That's 160 additional feet and you're gaining that with $40 less!

    My diamond blade rep that I used to buy $200 blades from called to see if I needed blades. I had been ignoring his calls. So finally I talked to him and I said look "I can buy (2) $80 blades from our local supplier and get more linear footage out of them than I can with one of your $200 blades".

    The sales rep was straight forward with me. He said "you are 100% correct, you do not need a $200 blade". (but he then tried to sell me $80 blades!)

    Folks, I'm cocky. I'm arrogant. And I'm confident. People have cursed me out on this forum for me being me.

    Key to success is: You have to be confident. If you have no self confidence - you can't expect your clients to have confidence in you. But here is another trait I have: I'm a very quiet person. I'm a thinker. And I think and I think, and I think. I observe, and I observe, and I observe. I'm quiet because my mind is processing. If anyone doubts my theory on diamond blades - then I challange you to prove me wrong! We been buying $80 blades for almost 4 years now, and I have NO intentions of ever going back to the $200 blades.


    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I just bought three last month and it cost me 1,100 dollars. They last close to a year. I find that you do get what you pay for.The ones that I buy are rated 4 and 5 diamond. I think the difference between a 2 diamond and a 4 or 5 is huge. Maybe Andrew is comparing the difference between a 2 and a three?
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,627

    I'm not concerned with comparing diamonds for cryin out loud. I'm looking at dollars!

    It's human nature to believe in what you invest. No one wants to be a victim of being taken for a ride. It's embarassing. Especially when we're super duper looper bad A$$ hardscapers.

    But when it comes to blades - you do not get what you pay for :)
  8. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I have a $$ figure I use per foot of perimeter edge, I do use this figure where are needed and don't use it when they are not needed (such as a straight walkway that uses all full pavers with very little needed cuts). I then have a figure added in for curved borders in which all the pavers for the soldier course need to be cut. All of this is figured in to my job cost which is used to build my proposal.
  9. Krafty

    Krafty LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from St. Louis MO
    Messages: 704

    Ditto on the cheaply blades we started using them over a year ago and have seen no difference in how long they last. I have bought them as cheap as $65.00. We also charge by the estimated liner ft of cuts per job.
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,627

    The real factor isn't in blades it's in pavers. Techo bloc is a denser paver. They are harder to cut.

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