Wheel Finishes: Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels and Repair

Diamond Cutting Service

Although powder coating is The Wheel Specialist’s most popular and durable alloy wheel refurbishment service, diamond cut finishes are also a very desired finish. Many cars are fitted with diamond cut finished wheels.

The Wheel Specialist can reproduce this finish. Diamond cutting is a very precise process and takes longer to reproduce than a powder coat refurbishment. The refurbishment of a diamond cut wheel is impossible to do as a touch up/ mobile as it requires the use of lathe.

Corrosion in diamond cut wheels is very common, applying lacquer to a polished surface simply defies gravity it is very difficult to achieve a long lasting finish when applying lacquer to a shiny surface, small stone chips allow water in behind the lacquer and in time causes the lacquer to deteriorate and appear cloudy.

Diamond cutting involves removing a thin layer of alloy from the wheel using specialist lathing equipment. Diamond cut wheels can only be refurbished a number of times as too much alloy would eventually be removed. You may wish to consider our powder coat refurbishment as a durable and long lasting refurbishment method instead.

With our bespoke in house diamond cutting lathe we will provide you with the highest quality finish and the quickest turnaround time.

Diamond cutting can be applied to the full face and lip of the wheel, combined with an application of base coat paint can produce some spectacular finishes. See some examples below.

Click here to find out more about our Diamond Cutting Process

Questions and Answers about Diamond Cutting

What is a diamond cut wheel?

This is an alloy wheel which has been put on a lathe and part of or the entire painted surface of the wheel machined off to leave a shiny alloy finish. A small part of the actual alloy is machined off to create this finish. It is then lacquered over to prevent corrosion.

You will be able to see if your wheel is diamond cut if on close inspection you see very fine lines created by the cutting machine and the appearance is very shiny. This may be harder to distinguish if you wheels are of poor quality, old or corroded.

Not all wheels can be diamond cut as this depends on the profile of the face of the wheel, your Wheel Specialist technician will advise you if it is possible.

Does a diamond cut finish last?

Diamond cut wheels will not retain their finish for as long as a powder coated wheel. Any damage to the lacquer however small will allow water to seep in-between the lacquer and the alloy leaving “milky patches” on the diamond cut finish area. Always ask your Wheel Specialist technician if you have any concerns with your wheel.

How many times can you re cut/refurbish a diamond cut wheel

Depending on the diamond cut wheel repair required this is usually 1-2 cuts, however if the technician feels that the wheel will be compromised in any way and weakened they will not cut the wheel and advise a Powdercoat finish for your refurbishment. Each wheel is assessed individually at The Wheel Specialist. It is important to inform the technician if you know if your wheel has been cut before.

Are there different types of diamond cut wheel refurbishment?

Yes there are different standards/types of diamond cut alloy repair. It is vital that you go to a specialist that has the correct equipment/a bespoke lathe and full experience in wheel refurbishment. Check that they have comprehensive insurances and will give you the best advice for not only for the finish but more importantly on the safety of your wheel. With 30 plus years of experience, full insurances, and purpose designed Alloy wheel Diamond Cutting Machines you can be assured that you and your diamond cut wheel repair are in the best hands with The Wheel Specialist.

Please note Diamond cut wheel refurbishment is excluded from the standard TWS Guarantee.

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Many cars are fitted with diamond cut alloy wheels. They are a desirable, shiny wheel finish, which can be applied to the full face and lip of the wheel. When combined with a base coat, spectacular finishes can be achieved. Customers who already have diamond cut alloys on their car may wish to repair a damaged alloy to match up with the appearance of the other wheels, or this option may be the best choice for customers looking for a smooth finish. As the top layer of the alloy is removed, chips and dents can be repaired in this way.

Corrosion is common in diamond cut wheels, due to the difficulty of applying a lacquer to a polished surface. Over time, chips allow water to get behind the lacquer, causing a cloudy appearance as the lacquer deteriorates. However, repairs are possible:

The wheel is gently blasted to remove old layers of lacquer and paint, to give a smooth surface for the repairs. Air is removed from the alloy by gently heating, and then a first stage powder coat finish is applied and cured. A second coat can be added if a particular effect is required.
Once cooled, a thin layer is cut from the alloy using a specialist CNC lathe. A clear lacquer is applied and the wheel is returned to the oven for a final curing. The Wheel Specialist’s bespoke diamond cutting lathe allows for the quickest possible turnaround time.

Diamond cut alloys have a high shine finish, and allow for a wide range of wheel finishes. Base coat paint can be used to create impressive, eye-catching wheels. However, not all wheels are suitable for diamond cutting. The profile of the face of the wheel can prevent the alloy from being cut. As the process involves actually removing the top of the alloy, these repairs can only be made one or two times before the wheel is compromised and weakened. A specialist will inspect the wheel to ensure the right finish is applied.

If the diamond cut finish is not suitable, other wheel finishes are available. Colour change or customised alloy wheels will truly give a unique look to the vehicle. After the wheel has been prepared, a powder coat finish is applied and cured, before a special or bespoke finish is applied. A wide range of colours are available, whether you want to match the alloys to your car or create dramatic effects with marbling or bright colours.

If the damage to the wheel covers only a small to medium portion of the wheel, cosmetic repair can be used to blend the damaged area back into the rest of the wheel. The wheel is carefully prepared and then the damage is removed with sanding media or metal fillers. The profile is then sanded to match the rest of the wheel, before it is covered with a colour-matched wet paint to hide any discernible edge. The alloy is then sealed with a lacquer to ensure the longevity of the repair.


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