The devil is in the details

Two brands are better than one — that's one of the ideas behind Freud America's composite-material saw-blade series, manufactured by Freud Tools under a trademark license agreement with Trex Co. The "Trex Blade" attacks the market with a double dose of branding, as well as a sharp-edged technology story.

The red color saw blade is a trademark of Freud (Freud was acquired by Bosch in 2009, but operates as a separate entity.) Recently, it became the only company that can market a red reciprocating saw blade. The Trex Blade is also covered with what Diablo calls a Perma-Shield non-stick coating.

The tip is the thing. Diablo manufactures its own carbide used in its "modified triple chip tooth grind" tip for efficient and clean cuts. According to Freud Tools CEO Russell Kohl, the design also eliminates swirl marks and makes for longer cutting life than other blades.

Before it launched the Diablo brand in 2000, Freud studied the market and knew it had to appeal to the Spanish-speaking buyer. "Hispanic users made up more than 50% of the market in a lot of the builder categories," Kohl said. A widely known Spanish word seemed likely to catch on. Here's evidence that the plan worked: During the residential building downturn, Diablo sales have doubled, Kohl said.

The co-branded blade comes in three sizes: 12 in., 10 in. and 7 ¼ in. and is designed for use on hand-held, miter and table saws. The price point of the blade shown here is about $30.

Stamping the Trex name on the blade has the effect of "expanding Trex's brand presence into the tool departments of retailers across America," said Kaplan.

It's not the first Diablo blade co-branded with a specific building material. Five years ago, the Diablo HardieBlade was introduced as the only approved PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) tipped fiber cement blade recommended by James Hardie Building Products. The product went to market promising 50% less dust and longer life than other blades.

Says Trex CEO Ronald Kaplan, "We're addressing the needs of both contractors and DIYers, who for 20 years have not had the opportunity to purchase a saw blade designed with the efficiency, longevity and precision to cut composite materials."

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