Choose the right blades for the job
Choosing the correct blade is paramount to a quick and clean uplift and is dependent on the machine that is being used as well as the site conditions, material being uplifted and the bond strength of which the floor covering has been adhered. Each stripping machine will have a specific maximum blade width that can be used and may operate differently from others, this along with the type of floor covering being uplifted will be factors in the choice of blades that are available to you.
Wolff Tools UK supply 6 stripping machines ranging from the 18v Junio battery powered hand held stripper up to the remote controlled Robo Stripper weighing 360kg, each has specific benefits and advantages for specific projects. Some of the available blades may be compatible with other machines with the same maximum blade width e.g. Turbo, Bi-Turbo and Robo Stripper share a maximum blade width of 350mm, this width of blade would not be suitable to use on other machines with a smaller max blade width e.g. Duro (max width 210mm) or Vario Silent (max width 250mm) and vice versa.
Luckily Wolff Tools UK have a handy machines brochure (please click here to download) that shows the compatible blades for your machine of choice (as well as the available accessories) and simplifies the choice of blades available. (See picture below)
Typically the choice of blade can be broken down into the following factors:
Straight Blades - Thickness
This is determined by the type of floor covering being removed. Softer materials such as textiles require a thinner blade (usually less than 1mm thick) whereas harder resilient coverings such as linoleum, vinyl and rubber require a slightly thicker blade (usually 1mm - 1.5mm thick). Removal of very hard material such as bonded timber will require a much stronger “special blade” (usually around 3mm in thickness) and are longer, these will be covered later.
Straight Blades - Width
This is firstly determined by the stripping machine being used, secondly is determined by the bond strength of the adhesive holding down the floor covering. For strong adhesive bonds (e.g. epoxy) a narrow blade would be used as the impact is concentrated to a smaller area whereas for standard bonds (e.g. dispersion adhesives) wider blades can be used as they wouldn’t require as much force to cut through the adhesive layer therefor allowing the impact pressure to be spread over the wider blade.
Straight Blades – Cutting the floor covering
When uplifting bonded textile or resilient floor coverings with straight blades the flooring should be cut into strips before using a stripping machine. These strips should be slightly wider than the blade of the machine and is done to allow the machine to cut through the adhesive layer without restriction. This is commonly done by hand with a knife but can consume knife blades very quickly and can be a slow and painstaking process, alternatively the Wolff Ergo Cutter Pro (please click here for more information) can be used for a much more efficient and faster cut. Pre-cutting may not always be required for all hard floor coverings such as linoleum and rubber as these have a high filler content and could possibly break off when the stripping machine is in action.
Special Blades – U Shape Blade
As an alternative to pre-cutting before stripping with a straight blade which is 2 processes, the U Shaped Blade can complete both processes simultaneously saving time and effort. A small area will need to be removed first to allow the blade to make contact with the adhesive line then the special blade will cut the floor covering at the sides and the adhesive line from beneath when in use. The U Shaped Blade is available with either a top cutting edge for hard floors or a bottom cutting edge for soft floors.
Special Blades – Serrated Blades
The Serrated Blades are used for removing floor covering with felt and fleece backings. These are different blades for oscillating stripping machines (such as the Duro and Vario Silent) as they use a sawing motion compared to the hammer action stripping machines (such as the Turbo, Bi-Turbo and Robo) which use a back and forth motion and a slightly different saw tooth edge. Both methods can achieve very good results with minimal need to abrade or grind afterwards.
Special Blades – Heavy Duty Blades
These blades are commonly used to uplift the most durable of floor coverings such as linoleum thicker than 2.5mm, rubber thicker than 3.5mm, solid and end grain parquet as well as multi layered wood. These blades share the same thickness of 3mm and length of 120mm which is typically much longer than standard straight blades, however can vary in width (100mm, 120mm, 200mm or 350mm). These blades would only be suitable to be used with hammer action or impact type stripping machines such as the Turbo, Bi-Turbo or Robo.
To simplify the recommended use of each heavy duty blade please consult the Blade Selector below.