Cutting concrete

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Cutting concrete

Concrete is an amazing construction material. While it’s cheap and versatile, it’s also a little inflexible and can be somewhat difficult to cut. Given the permanence of concrete, any crocked lines or mis-cuts will probably stare back at you for years.

This week we took delivery of another new Stihl two-stroke concrete saw, so thought we might chat about the vagaries of cutting concrete, especially concrete paths or slabs.

In the majority of cases, using a large two-stroke concrete saw with a diamond tipped blade is a much better option than a handyman skilsaw with a concrete disc. Our standard concrete saw has a 350 mm blade, so will cut down to around 125 mm, whereas most skilsaws will struggle to get beyond 75 mm, and then only after making a series of cuts. Check out our Stihl Concrete Saw at http://bit.ly/UHHStihlConcsaw

Purpose-built concrete saws are also fitted with a water connection to allow water to be applied to the blade. The water has a two-fold effect: it helps cool the blade and significantly reduces dust. It’s important to always have a water supply applied to the blade, even if it’s only a water spray from a 20 liter pail.

Cutting lines through slabs of concrete is relatively easy, so long as you don’t rush things. The cut line should be clearly marked on the concrete, either with chalk or spray paint and bold enough to remain visible through the water spray and concrete dust. With the saw warmed up and running, it’s simply a matter of pivoting the saw on its two feet and levering the blade into the concrete along the designed cut line. We’ve found that it’s best to take your time, avoiding too much pressure on the blade and letting the blade do the cutting. Applying excessive force will only wear out the blade quicker and often results in a crocked cut.

Using the full cutting depth 100 – 125 mm of the blade will usually cut through most slabs, allowing them to be easily leveraged out and removed. If you slab is thicker than 100 mm, then you may want to consider running a second cut about 40 mm parallel to the first line. It will give you a bit more space with applying a bit of ‘persuasion’ and reduce the risk of cracking the parts of the concrete you want to retain.

Check out our concrete saws at https://bit.ly/UHH_Conc_Cutting

Concrete saws are potentially dangerous machines, especially if used carelessly. There’s plenty of health and safety information on our website http://bit.ly/UHH9pJl5o4 or feel free to ask any questions you may have.

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