Just like the term “blade” is probably not the most appropriate for a narrow, diamond-impregnated grinding wheel, “cleaning” is also not an accurate term for what we’re doing to our diamond blade. Occasionally when cutting, you’ll find that your handheld paver saw will pull or grab as you’re cutting (sometimes it can almost yank the saw right out of your hands). Often this is the result of a spent blade; look at the segments of the blade, and if there are no diamond pieces left, or the segments that used to be ¼” tall are now 1/16” tall, the blade is spent, and it’s time for a new one. Even if the blade looks like there are still diamond segments in it, like the blade in the foreground in the picture below, the blade is done and it’s time to pony up for a new one.
But sometimes it’s the result of the segments getting gummed up in the material you’re cutting, and just need to be cleaned. But don’t worry – there’s no soap or scrub brushes needed for this cleaning. All that is needed to clean a diamond blade is a piece of cement or concrete (a retaining wall block or concrete paver sometimes works well for this). Running the paver saw at full speed, make a few shallow cuts at a few angles. This will allow the segments to throw off whatever is gumming them up and making them ‘grabby’. I’ve also heard that using a piece of asphalt can also work for cleaning, though I’ve found that asphalt usually gums ours up instead of cleaning them out. About 10-20 seconds of cleaning and your paver saw should be ready to cut like a knife through butter again.