Shark or Flux Scaler | Which is It?

kaleidocrete pattern lionNow and then we get the question, “Isn’t the Shark the same as a flux scaler?”

A few years ago we asked ourselves the same question. As a matter of fact, we tested several flux scalers, also called needle scalers, on concrete. We thought we were on to something.

After wasting a lot of money and time, we were overwhelmingly disappointed because they were slow and took a lot of air to operate. Not good for decorative concrete installations!

Nevertheless, comparing the two, there are some things that LOOK similar.shark

A needle scaler has large “needles” that chip rust from steel and flux from a weld.

A Shark, on the other hand, has small specifically hardened teeth called impactors that eat away at the concrete. The teeth leave a fine textured kerf. The teeth are arranged and reconfigurable to your cutting needs. The mouth of the Shark is shaped to contain the impactor array in cutting formation.

There are several other attributes that set the Shark apart;  like strategically placed No-Mar plastic cushions to reduce the chances of marring the finished surface, a specifically heat treated and sized piston recoil spring, optimized air/power displacement, and an integral nozzle that blows cutting debris out of the openings of the template. All characteristics that make the Shark different from a scaler and perfect  for decorative concrete engraving!

kcreteThe Shark, Barracuda and Wasp – the KaleidoCrete family – are tools we’ve developed specifically for decorative concrete. They are made to work within the confines of a template to produce amazing images.

To learn more about the Shark and other KaleidoCrete tools, click here.

Diamond Blades – Necessity, not Extravagance

We admit it, there are cheaper blades on the market than the precision-crafted diamond blades we offer, but cheap isn’t the best value. Before you waste your money on a discount blade, check this out…

  • Made to our specifications – Our Diamond Engraving Blades have the correct grit and diamond content to perform perfectly on our tools. Critical for the clean, crisp designs Engrave-A-Crete installers are famous for.
  •  Engineered to cut quickly – That means less labor and more profit.  You get home faster so you can serve up diamonds of your own!
  • Last longer – Cheap import blades initially cut just fine, but in nothing flat their diamond  edge is gone. You’re left trying to force cuts with a dull blade. That’s when profanity-inducing crooked cuts, raveled edges and depth variances happen. Not what your customers want to see or hear!
  • Self-sharpening – Matrix is uniquely designed to expose new diamonds at precisely the correct rate so your blade stays sharp.
  • Built tough – With multi layers of diamonds and a specially blended matrix, you can engrave even the strongest concrete easily.  Flex those incredible muscles of yours if you want, but it’s not necessary for an awesome cut.

Engraved brick pattern using The Cobra

We could sell cheaper blades and still make the same profit margin, but that wouldn’t be fair to you. We sell the best so you can produce the best. We owe it to you. You owe it to your customers.

Charm Your Customers – Give Decorative Concrete a Face Lift

It happens all the time – you get a call from a potential customer looking for someone to remove a decorative concrete stain job they don’t like. Maybe it’s a DIY job that’s ugly. Maybe they’ve moved into a home with decorative concrete floors or a driveway they really don’t like at all.  Can you solve the problem for them?

Yes! There are several options you can offer your prospect, and each one will result in a surface that’s pleasing without the expense of removing the existing decorative concrete stain.

First, evaluate the surface to be sure the decorative concrete stain isn’t lifting or peeling.

If the surface is in good condition, then consider adding engraving to the surface with Engrave-A-Crete tools…

  1. Use the Mongoose (411, Air or X) to engrave a tile pattern. Show the prospect examples of square tile, diamond tile, double line tile and Ashlar slate designs. Free form curves can also add lots of interest to an otherwise drab floor. An epoxy backfill in the cuts using metallic or standard colors ads real pizzazz to interior surfaces.
  2. KaleidoCrete tools provide other options.  A flagstone pattern is easy to install and adapts to any size space.  Our online template catalog features thousands of design choices, and custom templates offer virtually limitless possibilities.
  3. The Cobra can be used to engrave dramatic brick, cobblestone, block and tile designs in circular, arched and fan patterns that radiate to any diameter you and your customer choose.
  4. Blastin’ Betty and Sandroid also use templates to create custom or stock template designs. Both tools make quick work of intricate and beautiful designs, saving you time and your customer money.
  5. Don’t forget borders! Often the entire look of a decorative concrete surface changes dramatically with the simple addition of a border.
  6. As we discussed in our April 4, 2012 blog post “Grout Line Choices – Keep Your Customers Happy,” adding sealer after engraving will change the look of the project. Refer to Methods A and B in the post to assist you and your customer with sealer choices.

So resist the temptation to run from out-of-favor decorative concrete stain jobs. Instead, view them as a canvas for your engraving art. It’s a face lift your customer will be proud of.

The ‘X’ is Coming! The ‘X’ is Coming!

More than Xtremely Xciting, Engrave-A-Crete’s new ‘X’ is Xactly what the world of decorative concrete has been waiting for.

What makes the ‘X’ such a big deal? It could be the fantastic new features that give the ‘X’ superior performance. It could be the ergonomic design. It could be the pointer system designed for absolute accuracy. It could be the  increased durability. It could be the Made in the USA and Full One Year Warranty assurances. Or, it could be all of those.

Students at February Discovery and Training Seminar  got hands-on experience with the ‘X’, so they know.

Folks attending the Concrete Decor show at Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX were introduced to the ‘X’ so they found out too.

Soon you’ll know.  THE tool + THE system = 10,000 Designs.



Blastin’ Betty | Floor Prep + Decorative Concrete

Blastin’ Betty, star of Blast Force Systems, is the number one choice for floor preparation in a decorative concrete project. This easy to use blast force machine will quickly remove almost anything stuck on concrete.

Blast away —

  • Old carpet glue
  • Sealers – no matter how ancient
  • Paint marks
  • Existing acid or pigmented stains
  • Pigmented concrete dyes
  • Epoxy coatings
  • Overlay coatings

Just remember to not go too fast or you could bounce over the surface and create an uneven blast, and don’t go too slow or you could blast away more of the concrete surface than you would like.

Also, be sure to go in multiple directions on the concrete in order to get a nice evenly blasted surface.

Blastin’ Betty is a ‘powerful gal’ to have on your team. Tim Boyles of Concrete Relief in Oakland, TN, prepped 1002 sq. ft. of concrete in approximately 5 hours with Blastin’ Betty and the PulseBac vacuum system. “Blastin’ Betty Does Site Prep | Concrete Relief in Oakland, TN”

If you have any questions, feel free to call Chris Mirabal, our tech specialist at 1-800-884-2114 x106, or email him at You’re welcome to ask questions in the comment area below or on our Facebook page.

When Blastin’ Betty is done prepping the floors, she can work magic with a template to create a beautiful design on that same floor.