Single blade saw or horizontal diamond wire saw?

Single blade saw or horizontal diamond wire saw?

The stone blocks from the quarries are very massive. To cut them into products, they are first sawn by different types of equipment.

quarry stone blocks

Primary sawing must make it possible to have slabs of different thicknesses to prepare the realisation of paving, worktops and wall coverings but also thick slabs to prepare the realisation of massive and urban elements.

It is the sawing machines that cut the sawn slices to the required dimensions.

So we do have two types of stone cutting. A primary one, which is sawing with the different types of saws, wire saws, disc saws and a secondary one with the numerically controlled cutting machines.


Primary sawing is the operation that takes place after the extraction of raw stone directly from the quarry. This action can be different depending on the nature of the materials of the desired final thicknesses and the type of sawing machine. Here we will see the difference between single-blade frame saws and diamond wire saws, especially horizontal ones.

The single-blade frame saw

BM single-blade chassis

The blade frames have a single blade with diamond segments. It is generally used to remove the first layers on blocks or to saw thick slabs for the funeral, construction and road industry. The single-blade frame is ideal for squaring marble blocks and for sawing blocks in thick layers using a single diamond blade. As diamond is used, cutting is done with non-stop water sprinkling to avoid overheating of the segments which would cause them to become detached and premature wear.


The block is usually placed on a trolley on a rail with wedges for levelling and plastered to ensure its stability. The stone block is driven and positioned under the blade. The blade performs a horizontal reciprocating movement thanks to a mechanism connected to a belt-driven by an electric motor. The lowering of the blade is adjustable, it is carried out in parallel on the two uprights thanks to a worm screw. In order to be able to saw thicknesses, the carriage is motorized on a rail and moves forward automatically.

example of a single-blade chassis blade


  • Compared to other sawing systems such as large saw blades, the single-blade chassis offers good performance and generates much less noise.
  • The sawing quality is very average because you can see a marking of the blade on the edge.
  • Hydraulic tension is quite problematic, regular leaks lead to tension drops and therefore to poor sawing. (A lot of maintenance required)
  • Oil leaks mixing with the watering can cause stains on the stone.
  • The movement of the carriage is unreliable due to the high loads supported.
  • The blades wear out quickly and fewer and fewer diamond manufacturers manufacture them.
  • The blades are difficult to transport because they are too bulky for the transporters.
  • Block cutting capacities are limited by the size of the diamond saw (Example: 3.50m long by 2.30m high).

In short, this type of sawing is economical, but at what price, because the quality is not necessarily there. All in all, single-blade saws are ideal for squaring blocks.

The horizontal diamond wire saw

The diamond wire was invented by the company Diamant Boart at the end of the '70s for the extraction of marble in the Carrara quarry in Italy. In the '80s, in view of the interest encountered and the performance obtained, the wire was used to square blocks and saw thick slabs.

horizontal diamond wire for stone

Two types of beads are made:

  • Electrolytic beads: This is a cylindrical steel ring on which a diamond layer is applied by electrolysis.
  • Concrete pearls: This is a ring composed of an amalgam of diamond grains and metal powder.

Horizontal sawing: a revolution

TSH machine for sawing stone horizontally

This patented innovation brings added value to various applications and provides many advantages: quality, economy, productivity, time-saving, flexibility and safety. The diamond wire saw for horizontal cutting of primary blocks works differently from a vertical cutting diamond wire saw.


Thibaut's innovation is based on a unique and patented system of automatic wedge insertion between slices.

horizontal diamond wire saw Thibaut

This innovation makes block cutting 100% autonomous. Thibaut, therefore, called this machine the TSH, which brings new solutions in production planning and allows very important productivity gains. The sawing concept and Thibaut's patented automatic wedge insertion system make the process safer and more autonomous. The insertion of up to 264 wedges (depending on the model) is done automatically by a robot arm.

What are the advantages with a horizontal diamond wire saw?


  • -Fewer unused scraps: after extraction in the quarry, the blocks need to be rectified. This necessary operation leaves crusts that can represent up to 20% of the extracted block.
  • -Automated cutting allows you to run the machine at night or during the weekend without an operator present on site. On average, a horizontal wire runs 6,000 hours per year (for about 4,000 hours for a vertical wire).
  • -Lower cost of abrasives: a shorter wire coupled with a more precise watering system and a more stable machine allows you to lower your diamond cost per slice (minimum 20%).
  • -When cutting horizontally, the wire passes only once in each cut. With a vertical wire, it has to go back and forth with the risk of scratching both slices.
  • -The precision of the horizontal cut (1 mm) allows an exceptional flatness to be obtained. The surface preparation will then allow a faster polishing, thus reducing the cost in abrasives and energy.


The TSH has been designed with operator safety as a primary concern.

TSH2200 automatic wedging between each slab of stone
  • -The slices are cut horizontally. It is no longer necessary to tilt them for transport. This avoids one of the most accident-prone stages of the production phase. Every year, too many people are injured or sometimes die after mishandling a block or slice.
  • -The length of the wire is only 14 metres (and not 18 or 22 as on a vertical wire). A shorter wire means less tension and a more moderate arc, which reduces the risk of breakage.
  • -The machine is equipped with stainless steel side panels. If the cut edge were to rotate, they would limit the movement and automatically stop the machine, thus protecting the operator.
  • -The blocks are only placed on wedges. This makes the slices more stable.
  • -Possibility to program slices of different thicknesses on each block without manual intervention. This automation reduces risks and increases efficiency.
  • -Automatic wedge insertion system. The wedges are automatically inserted using telescopic arms. Their patented design allows them to expand and perfectly fit the cutting edges.
  • -No more need for struts, slices are cut and safely stored in a single operation.


  • -Uses 70% less electricity than a vertical wire.
  • -A concept that limits the amount of rock lost. The machine is also capable of sawing block offcuts and crusts reducing the amount of material to be recycled.
  • -The quality of the sawing produces flatter surfaces.
  • -Reduced use of energy and abrasives for slab polishing.
  • -A machine built for the long term: the life of the horizontal wire exceeds 100,000 hours.

Final conclusion

TSH1800 Thibaut horizontal cutting of stone slabs

Compared to a vertical diamond wire saw, the horizontal allows me to produce twice as many m² of sawn stone.

According to a client with a vertical diamond wire saw and a horizontal diamond wire saw.

In summary, horizontal sawing is economical, of high quality and safer for operators. All in all, horizontal diamond wire saws are the ideal machines for all types of applications: block cleaning, thick or thin blocks or even large slabs.

Sources : / Wikipédia / Thibaut

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