If there’s a local lapidary/rockhound/gem & mineral club in your
area, check with them. Sometimes members have used equipment for
sale. If not, maybe you can take a look at some of the units they
Since you intend to use the saw for slabbing as well as
trimming, the slabbing requirement pretty much defines the what
is needed in the way of a saw.
For slabbing the saw should have a a vise to clamp dopped or
undopped material in a fixed position. The vise should be
adjustable (left/right, similar to a meat slicer) to the blade,
so the material can be repositioned for repetitive cuts without
the need for loosening the material in the vise. The vise should
also have some means of automatic feed. Some machines use a motor
driven lead screw & others use a cord with a weight attached to
feed the material into the blade.
For cutting 2 inch diameter material, a 6 in. blade is required.
Blades are available in several thickness’ & plated or sintered.
The thinner blades are subject to warpping if the material is
forced into them. A good general purpose blade is aprox. .025 to
.035 in. thick. Percentage wise, there’s not a big difference
between the price of a 6 & 10 in. saw. In addition to being able
to cut larger material, the 10 in. will cut faster than a in. The
cutting is done by the outside edge of the blade (circumference).
The circumference of a 6 in. is 18.84 in., while that of the 10
in. is 31.41 in. The 10 in. will cut 60% faster when run at the
same rpm as the 6 in.
2 mfgrs. of saws are: Raytech & Gemstone Equipment. There are
probably others, but I’ve used both of these saws in the past. A
10 in. saw from Raytech is in the $600 range & is available from
many different suppliers. A 10 in from Gemstone Equipment is
about $475. The Gemstone Equip address is: 750 Easy St., Simi
Valley CA, 93065, 800-235-2275. They have a catalog with lots of
I’ve got no connection with either company, just a satisfied
user of both companies products.
FWIW: I run the saw room for our local lapidary club, we have 5
saws from 10 to 36 in.