Cool Blocks Vs Ceramic Guide Blocks

For those that are wondering the difference between Cool Blocks and SpaceAge Ceramic Guide Blocks, here are a few of the differences:

What is the Difference?

Cool Blocks are made out of graphite impregnated phenolic resin laminate. Ceramic Guide Blocks are made of aluminum oxide powder that has been compressed into shape under  tremendous pressure, then heated at over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  This process was developed by Nasa for the tiles on the space shuttles, and were designed to withstand the extremely hot temperatures encountered on re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere. The advantage of this ceramic material is that it stays cool even under enormous friction and heat. Alumina Oxide Ceramic will withstand heat over 8 times that of phenolic resin.

Ceramic Guides are More Durable

Another superior quality of the ceramic guides over Cool Blocks is the hardness.  SpaceAge Ceramic Guide Blocks are rated at 9.5 hardness on the Mohs Scale – almost as hard as industrial diamonds.  This obviously makes them more impervious to wear than fiberglass phenolic, which is what Cool Blocks are made of.

Most home workshop hobbyists will never need to replace their SpaceAge guides.Our commercial clients order from us more often but our ceramic guides last longer than cool blocks guides do because of the material used. In “Bandsaw Fundamentals” (page 30) you will find a review on each type of block and ceramic blocks beat out Cool Blocks in terms of longevity.

Ceramic Guides Remove “Gummy” Residue

According to this ebook (page 91), another of the big advantages of ceramic guide blocks is when one is cutting things that can easily “gum” up a bandsaw such as materials with wood pitch, sap, or other sticky materials. This is a great advantage if you are using woods like pine that have high sap content. Ceramic guides will keep most gummy materials from “gumming up” your bandsaw engine. Cool Blocks are not made to do this.

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