Concrete can be difficult to work with. However, this is a flaw we must overlook if we want to enjoy the durable, weather-resistant, heavy-duty surface concrete offers. And when it comes to repairing, replacing, or cutting concrete, things get a little more difficult. Fortunately, that is about to change.
It doesn’t need to be difficult to cut concrete slabs, walls or floors. It is important to use the correct tools and protective equipment to safely cut concrete. Also, local concreters or concrete cutting specialists are available to help you if you feel unsure or need precise or deep cuts.
So what’s the best method to cut concrete? Let’s get started!
Different types of concrete-cutting blades
There are different types of concrete cutting blades but diamond blades are the most common being used for concrete cutting. Diamond blades are usually made from a combination of a metal and a diamond/metal alloy, which is often bonded to its perimeter. The metal composite will wear down slowly as a result of the cutting. This exposes the diamond-cutting edges.
A standard 7-inch circular saw will come with a diamond blade. Diamond blades are quite expensive but the blade’s long life expectancy and superior performance make it worth the extra cost.
Diamond blades come in two types:
- The Dry-cutting Diamond Blades
- The Wet-cutting diamond blades
Dry-cutting diamond blades have a rim that is either toothed or serrated. The rim cools and expels waste. These blades can be used to make a series of gradually deeper cuts. The blade can be used without heating it. You may have to adjust to a large amount of dust involved in dry-cutting masonry. If you’re working indoors, you should seal the perimeter and duct openings with plastic and duct tape.
Wet-cutting diamond blades can have teeth or a continuous, smooth perimeter. The introduction of water has many benefits as it helps reduce dust, cools and lubricates blades. This type of diamond blade is remarkable for its speed and precision. However, this is possible only if your saw can handle water and work in wet conditions. An easier and safer alternative is to connect your saw to a GFCI-protected extension cable. Ask someone to continuously direct water in front of your saw while you are cutting.
It is possible to save significant money by renting a track-guided wet-cutting saw/sawblade unit rather than buying one. For a large, one-off job, this is even better. Walk-behind saws can be used to cut slabs like concrete house slabs, as well as other hand-held tools for similar construction tasks.
Before you cut a concrete floor or wall
Concrete can hide plumbing pipes, conduits, and other items. A “concrete x-ray” will show you the location of cavities and metal if you’re concerned about cutting other things. You will need to hire a contractor who has ground penetration radar (GPR) equipment.
Tips for cutting concrete
These are the tips and tricks for concrete saw cutting.
- Never use a damp blade without water.
- The dry-cutting blades can be used with or without water.
- Protective gear is essential when you use concrete cutting blades, particularly dry-cutting ones.
- When dry-cutting, always turn the blade off. Allow it to run for 30 to 45 seconds. This will prevent it from overheating.
- To cut, avoid using too much force. Instead, let the weight of your blade and saw dictate the cutting force as well as speed.
You can be sure to succeed with your next concrete cutting project if you follow the tips and steps provided here. Remember to always follow the safety advice and equipment.