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Recently, zirconia removal diamond rotary instruments have become commercially available for efficient cutting of zirconia. However, research of cutting efficiency and the cutting characteristics of zirconia removal diamond rotary instruments is limited.The purpose of this in vitro study was to assess and compare the cutting efficiency, durability, and diamond rotary instrument wear pattern of zirconia diamond removal rotary instruments with those of conventional diamond rotary instruments. In addition, the surface characteristics of the cut zirconia were assessed.Block specimens of 3 mol% yttrium cation-doped tetragonal zirconia polycrystal were machined 10 times for 1 minute each using a high-speed handpiece with 6 types of diamond rotary instrument from 2 manufacturers at a constant force of 2 N (n=5). An electronic scale was used to measure the lost weight after each cut in order to evaluate the cutting efficiency. Field emission scanning electron microscopy was used to evaluate diamond rotary instrument wear patterns and machined zirconia block surface characteristics. Data were statistically analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test, followed by the Mann-Whitney U test (α=.05).Zirconia removal fine grit diamond rotary instruments showed cutting efficiency that was reduced compared with conventional fine grit diamond rotary instruments. Diamond grit fracture was the most dominant diamond rotary instrument wear pattern in all groups. All machined zirconia surfaces were primarily subjected to plastic deformation, which is evidence of ductile cutting. Zirconia blocks machined with zirconia removal fine grit diamond rotary instruments showed the least incidence of surface flaws.Although zirconia removal diamond rotary instruments did not show improved cutting efficiency compared with conventional diamond rotary instruments, the machined zirconia surface showed smoother furrows of plastic deformation and fewer surface flaws.