Granite is one of the hardest types of stone. To cut granite or fabricate something out of granite, it is necessary to use a material that is considered to be harder than granite. Using improper tools can compromise the granite and put the operator at risk of injury.
The hardness of a material is measured against other materials on the Moh's scale for hardness. Granite has been assigned a value of “6” on the scale which makes it harder than most materials. Diamond, the hardest material in the world, has been assigned the highest value, “10.”
Few tools are hard and tough enough to cut through granite. Diamond-tipped saw blades are the most widely used blades for cutting through granite. Carbide-tipped drill bits are used to drill through granite.
Tools that are capable of cutting through granite are not necessarily cheap. A quality diamond-tipped saw blade can cost over $400 depending on the size and manufacturer of the saw blade. A set of quality carbide-tipped drill bits can also run several hundred dollars.
Most home-improvement centers and online stores like NexTag.com carry granite-cutting equipment. Saw blades and drill bits are available in many sizes, each size specific for certain applications.
Equipping diamond-tipped saw blades with collars helps control vibration. Cutting granite without a collar attachment can cause the granite to vibrate, which could result in chipping of the granite.
It is recommended that blade guards be attached to a saw that will be used for cutting granite. Blade guards keep chips from flying at the operator. They also provide a protective barrier to keep the operator's hand from slipping into the path of the blade. As always, protective gear such as goggles and dust masks should be worn while cutting granite.