Concrete is not easy to deal with. But this is an imperfection we have to overlook, at least if we are interested in the permanent, heavy-duty, weather-resistant surface it offers. It gets a bit more challenging when it is time to repair, replace, or cut our concrete. Fortunately, that is about to change.
Cutting concrete slabs, walls and floors doesn’t have to be daunting. You need to choose the right tools, protective equipment and understand how to cut concrete safely.
If you’re not confident after reading this post, or need deep or precise cuts, always contact concrete cutting experts to handle the project for you instead.
So what’s the best way to cut concrete? Let’s get to it!
Types of blades for concrete cutting
Diamond Blades are made of a metal blade alongside a diamond/metal composite, usually bonded to the perimeter. The cutting forces the metal composite to wear away gradually. This bares the fresh, sharp, diamond cutting edges.
Diamond blades are somewhat costly, especially when you are getting one for a standard 7-inches circular saw. However, the high price is justified by its extended lifespan and ability to outlive and outperform most abrasive-type blades in the market.
There are two types of diamond blades:
- The Dry-cutting diamond blades
- The Wet-cutting diamond blades
The rim in dry-cutting diamond blades is either serrated or toothed. The rim cools the blade while expelling waste. These blades are ideal for making a series of slowly deepening cuts. It gets the job done without overheating the blade. However, you may need to get used to the massive dust that comes with using dry-cutting masonry. So, it is best to seal off the perimeter and the duct openings with duct tape and plastic if you are working indoors.
The wet-cutting diamond blades may come with teeth or a smooth, continuous perimeter. The introduction of water has many benefits. It reduces the dust, lubricates the blade, and cools the unit. The speed and neatness of this type of diamond blade are remarkable. However, this is only possible if and when you use a saw that can distribute water and work in a wet environment. A better and safer option will be to plug your saw into a GFCI-protected extension cord. Ask someone to direct a small stream of water right in front of the saw continuously while you cut.
You can significantly save costs by hiring a track-guided, wet-cutting saw/saw blade unit instead of buying one. This is even more advisable for a massive, one-off project. You may get walk-behind saws to saw concrete slabs and other useful hand-held saws for related construction tasks.
Before You Cut A Concrete Floor Or Wall
Plumbing pipes, conduits and other things can be hidden in concrete. If you are concerned about what else you might cut, a “concrete x-ray” can tell you where cavities and metal exist. For this you’ll need a contractor with ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment.
Tips For Cutting Concrete
Here are some dos and don’ts of concrete saw cutting:
- Never use a wet blade without water.
- Dry-cutting blades work well with or without water.
- Wear the right protective gear when using concrete cutting blades, especially the dry-cutting versions.
- Always back the dry-cutting blade off when in use. Let it run free for about 30 to 45 seconds. This will ensure it doesn’t overheat.
- Avoid using undue force on the blade to cut. Instead, allow the weight of the blade and the saw to dictate the cutting force and speed.
If you can apply the steps and tips provided in this post, you can rest assured of getting it right with your next concrete cutting attempt. Always remember, it is very important to wear the right safety equipment and advice.