Diamond Burs – Dental Tools For Carving and Grinding Stone in Lapidary and Jewelry Making


Diamond burs are the highest-performing tools for carving and grinding stone in lapidary and jewelry making. These sintered burs have a diamond head mounted on a steel mandrel shank that is 3/32 in wide, 35-45 mm excluding the diamond portion. Each bur has a variety of point shapes. Use larger coarse grit burs for bulk removal and rapid pre-forming, then gradually work your way up to the finer grits for precise gemstone cutting and detail work.

Diamond is the hardest known material on earth and when it is bonded to chrome steel through a special metallurgical process it creates a cutting edge with superior cut ability and durability as compared to carbide burs. These burs also have less vibration and chatter when in use and have a longer lifespan as compared to their carbide counterparts. Unlike tungsten carbide, however, diamond burs have the potential to chip when applied with excessive pressure.

While both diamond and tungsten carbide burs come in several different shapes, heads, necks, and blade geometry or grit size each has its own unique purpose within the dental industry. Carbide burs are mainly used to slice away hard surfaces such as enamel and bone while diamond burs are most commonly utilized for more precise cuts such as those needed when placing crowns or veneers.

Both diamond and tungsten carbide burs are available in single-use and multi-use versions. Single-use burs are ideal for sterile and precise procedures while the multi-use ones can be sterilized for repeated use. In both cases it is important to apply a minimal amount of pressure when using a dental bur as applying too much can cause the tool to break or chip.

When it comes to a specific grit, the more grit a diamond bur has the better it is for reducing tooth structure for purposes such as shaping and fitting crowns or porcelain veneers. Carbide burs are typically preferred for more precision cutting but diamond burs are able to cut through materials that carbide burs can not such as Zirconia or lithium disilicate.

Generally speaking, diamond burs are the higher-priced option as they offer more longevity and can be re-used for multiple procedures. Carbide burs, on the other hand, are more cost effective as they can be used only once before being discarded for a new one. Regardless of which bur you choose it is always important to rinse your bur after each use and wipe it with a clean dry cloth before storing. This will help keep it sharp and ready for your next job. Likewise, make sure to use a lubricant while working as too much friction can cause the bur to heat up which will decrease its lifetime. When in doubt, consult your user manual for further guidance. diamond burrs

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