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[Source] Sintered diamond burs

I am trying to find a good source for cylinder-shaped diamond burs
approximately 2 to 3mm in diameter explicitly for cutting opal
doublets into the shape of Lake Tahoe for simple inlay into a gold
mounting. The burs I’ve been using are just not up to the job,
lasting little more than one seven dollar bur for one 3/4" long piece
of finished opal outline carving. I am using a Taurus ring saw to do
the rough outline, their slimmest blade works pretty well but leaves
very small chips along the edges, so I stop about a millimeter from
the edge I want and switch to a diamond cylinder bur in my
flex-shaft, with a table that mounts to the flex-shaft handle from a
Matt wax trimmer at right angles to the bur. I’m looking for help
with finding the correct grit, and as I said a sintered bur I guess,
that will last longer than what I’ve found so far. Any advice from
those stone cutting brains out there would be greatly appreciated.
Much Thanks from Lake Tahoe, Nevada where we are parched and need



If you don’t use a good lubricant or cutting oil, diamond tools will
not last, sintered or not. They will last longer AND cut smoother.
Fine rubber “wheels” work great on opal.



Try looking at Mountain Mist, one of the “carver’s choice” sites
where you can find all sorts of sintered burs.

Hope that helps, Carol

A problem with most diamond burrs is they are electroplated onto
ordinary steel and the quality control is almost nonexistent at the
cheaper end. Whether they last is often a matter of luck but I tend
to buy them as cheap as possible by the 10+ and treat them as
disposable. You can get them for pennies each from India, Pakistan
and China and as long as you buy a box full the postage isnt too bad.

Other than that you need to find a company that does proper sintered
bits and these are getting harder to find as the plating method
means that it is easier to get an individual shape made at a low
cost. Hav a word with your dentist and ask them what suppliers they
use as dental bits used to be better than those aimed at the hobbyist
with a finer particle size and proper sinter coatings


Hey Wayne, I forgot to mention that I am flushing constantly with
water. If I need a better set up,tell me what you would use please.
The diamond points I was using were from Stuller pg. 111 Fine grit.

The best sintered burrs I have found have been supplied by Mountain
Mist products, Tom Hay is a great guy to deal with and very helpful
if you need help choosing the right burr for the job.

Christine in the Ridge with summer nearly here again.

You might try the Brassler Company out of Ga.

Andy The Tool Guy Kroungold
Phone 800-877-7777 ext 4194


I think you are confusing sintered with plated. Not the same thing
at all. Sintered is a much better quality and longer lasting
product. Not cheap, but usually worth it.

I have used plated and sintered diamond products for almost 35 years.
As a faceter, a well-manufactured, top of the line plated disc will
last a few months, costs maybe $120. A sintered disc will last many,
many years, but costs almost $400. Obviously, the sintered is cheaper
in the long run, but, in my experience, most jewelers and bench
people are “cheap”…so they hurt themselves. And, many workers use
the small tools with no lubricant or with water. They need to be used
with a proper oil to maintain life, but, of course, many
manufacturers will say water is fine. That’s nonsense and
self-serving. A good water-soluble oil is proper with ALL diamond
tools. All.

Wayne Emery

I don’t know whether the quality has changed since I was an
assistant and saw this company’s burs firsthand. They were always
durable and came in different grits. They used to give out diamond
nail files to us “girls” in the dental offices. Those nail files are
still like new 20 years later.

Brasseler Burs. Below is the link to their Lab page, more likely to
find shanks that fit a flexshaft there. Many burs they make are
about 1 mm in diameter for intraoral use.

I don’t think you have to be a dentist to buy from them. I have
bought equipment from them and I’m not a dentist. Now I get dental
junk mail addressed to “Dr. - (my name)”…

Connie L.

Dear Wayne,

I use both, according to size of bit/drill etc. My comments about
buying cheap electrobonded tools are based upon the apparent
attrition rate of the more expensive bits on this particular job.
Why wreck a $10 bit when a 30c bit will do under the same
circumstances. I use Shell Ilocut oil for my bigger saws, a water
soluble for my smaller ones and water on my drills etc as generally I
have to due to the materials I work with. One of my students (day
job) is doing research on a new bonding method for abrasives in metal
that is rather interesting, simple as a plating bath but has the more
precise profiles of a sintered product and greater depth of abrasive
than the normal coated products so has nearly the tool life of a
sintered continuous bonded product at a fraction of the cost.