When it comes to styling the wheels on our cars, alloy wheels have always been the go-to type of wheel to equip. Alloy wheels are so desired that even steel wheels come with plastic covers that mimic alloy designs. Alloy wheels can come in many finishes and one of these finishes is the very popular diamond cut alloy. Here’s everything you need to know when encountering diamond cut alloy wheels in the showroom.
Table of Contents
- What are diamond cut alloy wheels?
- How are diamond cut wheels produced?
- Which manufacturers use diamond cut alloy wheels?
- Are there any downsides to diamond-cut alloy wheels?
What are diamond cut alloy wheels?
Many car manufacturers mention alloys’ when marketing or advertising their product. ‘Diamond cut’ is a kind of finish given to an alloy wheel that makes it much more aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. This finishing is done through a specialised machine on a painted wheel. Done properly, a diamond cut alloy wheel will have a dual tone finish with the bared metal having tiny grooves and a high lustre. So, any time you see a car with two tone finish on the wheels that shine excessively, you know that those are diamond cut alloys.
How are diamond cut wheels produced?
Producing diamond cut alloys is a highly mechanised process. It requires special machines called Computer Numerical Controlled lathe, the tip of which is a very hard metal or diamond. These machines then strip the painted part away which gives the car a two-toned finish. Let us explain it to you in steps:
Step 1: The wheel that needs a diamond cut is painted in the desired colour and left to dry.
Step 2: The painted wheel is mounted upon the diamond cutting machine which precision measures the areas to be ‘diamond cut’ via a laser. Hence their other name – laser cut alloys.
Step 3: The machine operator then gives the instruction to the machine via the computer as to how the design should be.
Step 4: The wheel spins at a very high speed during which the diamond tipped or any hard metal tipped lathe strips a very thin layer of the painted alloy. The stripped part now reveals a high shine, two-tone finish.
Step 5: The wheel is lacquered to lock the paint and keep the shiny part shining for longer.
Which manufacturers use diamond cut alloy wheels?
Previously diamond cut alloys were restricted to premium car manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW. Today, mass car producing manufacturers reserve the diamond finish alloy for their product’s premium variant. Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Mahindra, Renault, Volkswagen and almost all car manufacturers have the option of diamond cut alloy wheels with their premium models.
Are there any downsides to diamond-cut alloy wheels?
Unfortunately, yes. Diamond cut alloys are substantially more expensive than steel wheels or powder coated alloy wheels. This is due to the process taken to produce a diamond cut alloy wheel. Another drawback of diamond cut alloy wheels is that they can’t be roughed up, unlike their steel counterparts. This is because unlike steel, alloys are more prone to breaking or cracking if they receive extreme duress. Alloys are strong and while jumping over the occasional speed breaker won’t do them much harm, going off road is not recommended.
What are diamond cut alloy wheels?
Diamond cut is a finish on painted alloy wheels which makes it aesthetically pleasing. Diamond cut alloys are dual toned and feature a high lustre finish.
Are diamond cut alloy wheels better?
Diamond cut alloy wheels are lighter than traditional steel wheels and more stylish, so if you want your ride to stand out, or better handling of your car, then diamond cut is the way to go. However, we would not recommend going off road frequently as these are more prone to cracking and very expensive to repair and even more expensive to replace.
How much do diamond cut alloy wheels cost?
This depends mostly on the wheel size, design and car manufacturer. Bigger wheel sizes or intricate designs are costlier and while a Maruti Suzuki diamond cut alloy wheel may cost you somewhere to the tune of 8 to 10k, a Mercedes Benz diamond cut alloy wheel will cost in the 20 to 40k range. Then again it also depends on the car model.
What is the difference between alloy wheels and diamond cut alloy wheels?
Plain alloy wheels can be powder coated, anodised or painted and do not undergo a strict process like diamond cut alloy wheels.
Why are steel wheels stronger than alloy wheels?
A combination of carbon and iron makes steel wheels durable, more shock absorbent and cheaper to manufacture. This is the reason why trucks use steel rims because these can bear substantial amounts of weight and stay put for long periods of time.