When it comes to your car’s wheels, there is so much choice that you may not know where to look. Diamond-cut alloys are increasingly popular due to their shiny and sleek finish, providing your car with a luxurious, high-end feeling. If you’re thinking about getting diamond cut alloy wheels, here are five things you should know before you buy them.
Lathe - a machine for shaping metal, or other material, by means of a rotating drive which turns the piece being worked on against changeable cutting tools.
Alloy – a metal made by combining two or more metals.
Corrosion - damage caused to metal by a chemical reaction.
What Are Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels?
‘Diamond cut’ is a type of finish that is applied to an alloy wheel. It leaves the wheel with a dual tone and a shiny surface. This is achieved through a process of painting, cutting, and lacquering. It gets its name ‘diamond cut’ from the machine that is used to produce the alloys, which uses a diamond-hard tip.
5 Things You Should Know About Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels
Here are five things you should know about diamond cut alloy wheels.
1: They look brilliant
The number one reason people decide on diamond cut alloy wheels for their car is that they simply look fantastic. They are strikingly shiny – they look impressive no matter the car. Many high-end car manufacturers such as Audi and BMW fit their vehicles with diamond cut alloys as standard due to their esteemed look.
They’re also easy to keep looking fantastic too. Due to the cuts in the alloys, they require little polishing and buffing, and stay shiny and sparkling with little interference, truly standing out from your tyres.
2: They are more prone to damage
Although they look fantastic, they are more delicate than traditional steel alloys. They are more prone to stone chips and cracks which can lead to erosion, meaning if you do a lot of off-road driving down gravel tracks or cross country, diamond cut alloys probably are not the best choice for you.
Diamond cut alloys are only fit with one layer of lacquer protection, which means water can easily seep underneath, causing corrosion to the rest of the alloy. So again, if you live somewhere with a particularly rainy climate, it may be worth considering whether diamond cut is for you.
3: They improve braking and acceleration
These aren’t just pretty to look at! Since diamond cut alloy wheels weigh less than traditional steel cut alloys, you get an improvement in acceleration and braking. Many diamond cut owners say that driving is smoother and easier due to the reduction in weight. The composition of a diamond alloy also allows for a more fluid movement.
4: The production is not straightforward
Producing diamond cut alloys for your vehicle is a long, highly mechanised process. It cannot be done without a Computer Numerical Controlled lathe, which is where the diamond cut gets its name – the machine’s lathe uses a diamond tip. Here is a step-by-step process of creating diamond cut alloys:
- First, the wheel is painted the desired colour and left to dry completely.
- The wheel is mounted in the machine. The machine takes precise measurements of what needs to be taken away using a laser. It is vital that this is as accurate as possible to ensure the shine.
- The wheel spins at a high speed whilst the diamond tip strips an extremely thin layer of the painted alloy. The part which is stripped now looks shiny and two-tone in contrast to the unstripped part, but due to the high precision, there is no visible dent or groove in the alloy.
- A lacquer is applied to the wheel to lock in the paint and preserve the shininess of the wheel.
As this process takes material away from the wheel, it can only be done up to twice on each alloy. This means if you damage your alloy by hitting a curb or a pothole, you can have your wheels repaired, but after the second time, you’ll have to buy a new one.
5: They’re more expensive than their counterparts
Due to the complicated process of creating diamond cut alloy wheels, they are a more expensive choice when it comes to alloys. In turn, repairs cost more too.
The price varies on the make and model of your car, and the size of your alloys, so if you decide to get diamond cut alloys, be prepared to pay a bit more for them. That being said, many people believe it is worth every penny.
How Much Do Diamond Alloy Wheels Cost?
The price of brand-new diamond alloy wheels will differ depending on the car you drive and the size of your alloys. According to Checkatrade, the average cost of diamond cut alloy wheel refurbishment treatment is about £115 per wheel. You can expect to pay more for new ones.
How Long Do Diamond Cut Alloys Last?
According to Auto Care HQ, diamond cut alloy wheels will usually begin to show signs of corrosion within two years. This could be more frequently if you drive on gravel roads or at high speeds, both of which increase the chance of stone chips.
What Is The Difference Between Alloy Wheels And Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels?
How Many Times Can You Refurbish A Diamond Cut Wheel?
Why Should You Choose A Diamond Cut?