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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Good "Look" At Diamond Slurry Sprays - Avoiding The Deception of Appearances

Gaining an in-depth understanding of superabrasives, including natural and synthetic diamonds, involves years of experience and education well beyond that possessed by the average reader. And it can be somewhat overwhelming to the prospective buyer when they are peppered with Scanning Electron Microscope photos and the output of the myriad other equipment used in the SA chemist's lab - all as proof that a particular seller's product is the best. One could dive deeply into this rich pool of images and data and be lost for weeks.

In this article, however, I wanted to get away from these highly technical arguments for buying these products and discuss something that anyone looking at these products can see just by looking at the bottle. 

When I receive my slurries from the chemist, they are delivered in large clear glass bottles.  Long ago when I first started testing slurry formulas to find the ones that were most effective, I left several of these bottles on the shelf for a couple of weeks when I went away on vacation. When I return to the untouched bottles, I found, to my horror, (particularly in the cases of the 1 and 2 micron formulations) that the liquid in the bottles was crystal clear, with just the smallest amount of off-white powder glazing the bottom!  It looked to me as if there was almost no diamond at all in the formula.  After all, I could see hefty piles of white powder sitting at the bottom of the bottles of my future competitor's products, so I certainly expected to see a similar amount of this magic dust in mine. As I had paid dearly for these slurries, I immediately phoned the chemist who proceeded to further my "education" on superabrasives.

As I have written before, microns are extremely tiny things.  The period at the end of this sentence is 400 to 600 microns across.  This makes a particle the size of one or two microns not only invisible to the naked eye, but also invisible to a powerful light microscope.  In fact, an expensive Electron Microscope called an SEM is needed to see these very small abrasive particles. The chemist, who had over 20 years of experience working with superabrasives, reminded me that, given their size, these tiny particles cannot be seen by visually inspecting a bottle of them in solution.  "The white powder at the bottom of the bottles you saw," he told me, "was another substance or mixture of substances.  Without having a bottle of these products to inspect, I can't tell you what they are, but I CAN tell you what they aren't - diamonds."  He went on to say that there were undoubtedly some diamond particles mixed in with the white stuff, but not necessarily any more than were anywhere else in the bottle. 

This was an important part of my education in superabrasives and I thought I would pass it along to those of you who are thinking of buying these products. When you are considering diamond slurries, your eyes will tell you little to nothing about the contents of the bottle.  The information reminded me of something that Obi Wan Kenobi said to Luke Skywalker when teaching him the ways of the Force: "Your eyes can deceive you; don't trust them."  It is a good rule of thumb to follow when evaluating diamond slurries.

As I have said it many other pieces on this subject, there is one test and one test alone that counts - using the product.  So if you are interested in really keen blades, I'm afraid you are going to have to buy 'em and try 'em.  I recommend ours. They are up to 35% less expensive than competitive products and they work. Use the product for a full 7 days.  If you aren't satisfied, return the sealed bottle containing the unused portion of the slurry and receive a FULL refund*.  If you have any questions before buying, including which product(s) will work best for you, email us at

*Refunds made only for products returned with tamper-evident neck seal intact and no other signs of tampering. Refund offer is restricted to ONE bottle of any of our Premium Diamond Slurry Products, one time only. S&H charges cannot be refunded. Refunds will not be made to competitors buying our products for testing or to commercial buyers - in other words, you must be a legitimate consumer to qualify.

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