Dewalt recently announced a new line of Elite series power tool accessories, which will include a variety of saw blades and other cutting tools.
Dewalt Elite Framing Circular Saw Blade
The first Diablo Elite accessory was just put out on display at my local Lowe’s – a 7-1/4″ 24T circular saw blade (DWAW71424) for framing applications. This is a fast-cutting saw blade designed for both corded and cordless 7-1/4″ circular saws.
Dewalt makes a very bold claim, that their Elite Series 24T circular saw blade delivers up to 2X the life compared to Diablo’s saw blade. They make sure to advertise this on their product page, on the front of the display stand at Lowe’s stores, and also on Lowe’s sales page. In the fine print, Dewalt says that their new Elite 24T blade delivers up to twice the life of the Diablo D0724R 7-1/4″ 24T saw blade. They say that this was done in lab tests, testing both blades against cutting double-stacked 3/4″ x 48″ particle board.
I grabbed one of the Dewalt Elite Series blades and headed to the circular saw blade aisle, where I compared this $13 blade against their $10 blade.
The carbide tooth insert is shaped very differently, and is also smaller. Dewalt says that utilized a “proprietary welding and coating process” and also used “technology inspired by Lenox industrial bandsaws.” The new Dewalt Elite circular saw blade is made in China. The only cashier was helping a very long line at the self-checkout registers, and so I’ll have to pick up a test sample another time.
Dewalt Elite vs. Diablo?
I would have thought that Dewalt might take a shot at Milwaukee, their biggest competitor in the cordless power tool industry, but Diablo is also an extremely popular saw blade brand. Dewalt vs. Diablo makes sense. On Lowe’s website, they say that this blade is a Lowe’s exclusive. Ah, so perhaps this isn’t just a Dewalt vs. Diablo comparative statement, but perhaps Lowe’s vs. Home Depot proxy competition.
It will be interesting to see how Dewalt’s other Elite accessories, featuring “unmatched cutting durability,” will be advertised.
Lowe’s vs. Home Depot
It has been a very long time since I’ve seen a good rivalry between competing brands. Back in 2011, I reported about Kobalt vs. Ridgid marketing where Lowe’s and Kobalt made the first move and were quickly and fiercely retorted by Home Depot and Lowe’s.
There have been a couple of smaller x-color brand beats y-color and z-color brands marketing battles in the interim, but nothing like that Kobalt vs. Ridgid competitiveness, at least not until now.
Is Dewalt Elite the start of a new Lowe’s vs. Home Depot rivalry that will play out through some of both retailers’ exclusive brands?
I came across a FLEX vs. Milwaukee demo station at a Lowe’s store earlier this month.
So, while Dewalt Elite vs. Diablo could simply be taken at face value to be circular saw longevity claims, it could also be a part of a larger Lowe’s vs. Home Depot sparring competition.
Bring on the Popcorn
Here’s Dewalt’s Elite Series promo banner, where they’re quite sure of themselves, saying their accessories are “Built to Lead.”
This is a version of the “up to 2X the life of Diablo saw blade” signage that I saw in-store.
Dewalt says that, with respect to the double-stacked 3/4″ x 48″ particle board, their Elite Series blade makes up to 320 more cuts compared to Diablo’s.
Or, this translates to the Dewalt Elite saw blade cutting up to 1282 more linear feet compared to the Diablo blade.
The math works out – up to 320 more cuts in the double-stacked particle board would be 1280 linear feet.
I don’t know about you, but I feel that advertising claims like these make power tool accessory launches so much more interesting.
Generally, these claims would have gone through Dewalt’s legal team, with a thorough review as to their accuracy and repeatability. Blade longevity is just one important factor when it comes to circular saw blades. What about cutting performance? Speed? Efficiency when used with a cordless saw? Surface finish?
Dewalt Elite Saw Blade Pricing and Availability
Dewalt has been comparing their Elite blade to a Diablo framing blade that retails for $9.97. That blade, D0724R, is said to deliver “5X life, 2x durability. But, Diablo also has their “Amped” Demo Demon saw blade for demo and framing applications, D0724DR. Their more premium blade is said to deliver “up to 10x cutting life” and is priced at $14.97. If Diablo’s 10x life blade is advertised according to a common “standard 1x” blade as their 5x life blade, then perhaps the Dewalt Elite $13 blade longevity compares to that of Diablo’s $15 blade.
Things can get awfully messy when it comes to pricing. Diablo’s 40T blade is available right now at $14.97 for (1) or $9.88 for (2), and I have also seen promo pricing on their 24T blade in the past. So if or when that Diablo deal returns, you’ll be able to get 2x Diablo blades for $10, or 1x “up to double-life” Dewalt blade for $13.
But if we ignore potential promos, the Dewalt Elite saw blade retails for $13, and they’re comparing it to Diablo’s $10 saw blade.