How to cut concrete blocks?

The article aims to answer the question “How to cut concrete blocks?”. It will also discuss the tools and materials you would need while cutting the concrete blocks.

Read on to know more:

How to cut concrete blocks?

  • Dry-cutting diamond or wet-cutting diamond blades may be used for the task at hand. 
  • You may use a circular saw or a portable cut-off saw for this method, but wetting the concrete beforehand will help reduce the amount of dust that is emitted throughout the cutting process. 
  • If you want to cut concrete with a wet-cutting blade, you’ll need to utilize a “walk-behind” concrete-cutting saw, which may be done using a variety of instruments. You’ll also receive a larger cutting depth with this job-specific saw rental than you would with a circular or portable cut-off saw. 
  • For example, a 7-inch circular saw can only cut to a depth of 2-14 inches, requiring you to smash the remaining concrete away; on the other hand, a 14-inch wet-cutting blade fitted to a concrete-cutting saw may achieve a clean cut of 4-5/8 inches.
  • Ensure that concrete dust does not enter your house by preparing the work area. Use drop cloths to protect yourself from the elements if you’re working in a basement or garage. 
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheets should be taped over any air intakes if you are in close proximity to them.
  • The concrete block may be marked with chalk line (for long, straight edges) or with chalk. To get the thickest line, use as much ink as possible. A trickle of water is great for cutting concrete, since it will keep dust at a minimum, and you don’t want the line to vanish.
  • Ensure your own safety at all times: Make sure you’re well-protected with your heavy gear, including shin guards, knee pads, and steel-toed boots. Wear a filtering mask that fits correctly at all times. 
  • Make sure that the GFCI-protected extension cable is plugged into the power source when using an electric saw instead of a gas-powered saw to avoid power surges, shocks, and overloads.
  • Try to control the flow of water coming from your garden hose so that it falls exactly on the area where you want to cut. 
  • When working on a horizontal, flat surface such as a patio slab, keep the surface moist by extending the hose to the work area and turning the water on to a trickle. Maintain a constant stream of water across your chalked line by holding the hose steady.
  • The use of water might be more difficult while operating vertically, such as cutting through a concrete retaining wall. You may either ask a buddy to mist the concrete with a hose while you work, or you can skip this step entirely.
  • A “guide board,” which may be any 1″-deep scrap wood as long as the cut line, should be placed at one end of the cut area, whichever side is most convenient for you.
  • For best results, adjust the blade depth to a maximum of a half-inch deep using the depth lever or knob (see the owner’s handbook for details). While working with little cuts, this will assist you to retain a stronger grip on the saw. 
  • Unless you’re using a large walk-behind saw that can handle the depth, it’s safer to make many shallow cuts rather than one deep one since you have greater control and the blade has a chance to cool down.
  • Start cutting along the guide board after starting the saw with the lowest RPM setting. Sleekly slide the saw forward against the guide board, keeping a solid, two-handed grasp on any saw you’re using. 
  • Do not force the saw into the concrete; instead, let it do the cutting. Just keep in mind that at this stage, you don’t need to cut any deeper than 1/4-inch. Using this initial guided cut, you can verify that the remainder of the project’s cuts are straight.
  • Remove the saw from the concrete and allow it to spin freely; this allows the saw blade to spit out any obstructing particles and cool down. Continue cutting and chilling for 30 to 45 seconds at a time until you’ve completed the job.
  • Remove the guide board after the guided cut has been completed. Return to the 14″- to 12″-deep cut and continue to make sporadic cuts lasting no more than 30 to 45 seconds. A 2″-deep incision in the concrete may be made using a series of straight, shallow lines.
  • Despite your best attempts to keep the concrete moist, dust will accumulate throughout the cutting operation. Clear your mind by taking short rests. Clean it up with a broom or a wet/dry vacuum.
  • Shut off the saw and use the depth lever or knob to raise the blade depth by 12-inch increments. When you’ve completed Steps 7 and 8 and established the new width, you may resume cutting.
  • To finish the job, use a sledgehammer once you’ve cut as deep as you can with your saw’s maximum blade depth. Concrete may have been entirely sliced through using a walk-behind wet saw.
  • Use a broom and dustpan or a wet vac to sweep up the work area and store the saw and power cable. Then, while wearing your safety gear, hammer away at the concrete that has been cut. 
  • Start close to the cut line, but not directly on it. Swing the sledgehammer hard enough to crack the concrete while staying one to two inches away from any cut lines. Pry out pieces of concrete as you break it with a pry bar.
  • To achieve a neater cut, go back and gently tap away the extra concrete after you’ve knocked away most of the concrete surrounding the cut line you made. There are certain exceptions, such as if you’re laying a new slab of concrete over an old driveway or patio that has been worn, cracked, or otherwise damaged.
  • You’ll need a claw hammer and a mason chisel to clean up the saw-cut line. Chisel blade flat on the concrete and hammer hammer hammer the top of chisel so that concrete crumbles away bit by bit until you’ve cleaned off all the rough edges to your satisfaction.
  • You may use the crumbled concrete to fill in your yard, sell or give it away to someone else, or take it to a landfill.

What tools do I need to cut concrete blocks?

  • Saw with a circular blade
  • Cut-off saws that can be handled with one hand
  • Diamond blade for dry cutting
  • Diamond blade for wet cutting
  • Mats and towels for cleaning
  • Duct tape
  • Shin Chalk Guards 
  • A pair of knee protectors
  • Boots with steel toes and goggles to protect your eyes
  • Wearing a hearing aid
  • Face shield that covers the whole face
  • Asbestos-blocking respirator
  • Hoses for your garden
  • Broom\sDustpan
  • Vacuum cleaner with wet/dry functionality.
  • Sledge\shammer
  • Hammer with a claw for prying things out

How to cut concrete cinder blocks?

  • Identify where the chopped cinder block will be installed and measure it. The correct fit is ensured by cutting the cinder blocks to the exact dimensions needed for your project. 
  • Measure the length of the area where the chopped cinder block will fit using a tape measure.
  • Measure the cinder block and write the result in white chalk. Make a mark with the chalk where you want to cut the block. Make a chalk mark 8 inches (20 cm) in from the end of a cinder block if the area it must fit into is 8 inches (20 cm) long.
  • Turn on the circular saw and put in the masonry blade. You can cut a cinder block with this particular blade. Remove the blade from the sheath by lifting the spring-loaded plastic sheath. Using a 34 in (1.9 cm) wrench, remove the circular blade’s holding bolt.
  • Before you start cutting the block, make sure you’re well protected. Using a circular saw to cut through cinder blocks will produce a lot of noise and concrete dust. When cutting or splitting cinder blocks, use a mask with ventilation to keep your lungs safe.
  • Inhalation of the dust spat up by this machine might be harmful to the lungs. A pair of earplugs or earmuffs may also help shield your ears from the noise of the saw.
  • The cinder block has been marked with a chalk line. With your non-dominant hand, hold the cinder block in place as you position the saw with your dominant hand. 
  • Circular saws have a notch on the metal surface in front of the blade that indicates where the blade is going to cut. Make sure this mark is perfectly aligned with the chalk mark you created before.
  • One calm, precise stroke will do the trick in this case. Start the blade by pressing the trigger on the saw’s handguard. At maximum speed, drive ahead with the saw to cut the cinder block. 
  • More of the blade will come into contact with the cinder block when the protective covering is pulled back during cutting. You can usually go past the barrier in a single pass. 
  • Continue cutting the cinder block if it hasn’t been bisected completely after the first two or three cuts.
  • A moist cloth may be used to clean the cinder block. The block will be coated in fine dust when you’ve completed cutting. 
  • By running a rag under water and then wringing it out, you may dampen it. Clean the cinder blocks by rubbing a towel over the cut sections. You’re now ready to put the block into action in your current project.

Conclusion

As intimidating as it may seem to cut concrete oneself, it may not be as difficult as you think. Unless you have the required tools and know-how, a DIYer can cut through slabs thicker than six inches, which would include most concrete walls, patios, and sidewalks.

When it comes to cutting concrete, only a diamond blade will do. In order to cut concrete, abrasive blades must be changed often, which may need many blade replacements throughout the course of one construction job.

Frequently asked questions (FAQS): How to cut blocks?

How to cut blocks?

Dry-cutting diamond or wet-cutting diamond blades may be used for the task at hand. You may use a circular saw or a portable cut-off saw for this method, but wetting the concrete beforehand will help reduce the amount of dust that is emitted throughout the cutting process. 

If you want to cut concrete with a wet-cutting blade, you’ll need to utilize a “walk-behind” concrete-cutting saw, which may be done using a variety of instruments. You’ll also receive a larger cutting depth with this job-specific saw rental than you would with a circular or portable cut-off saw. 

Bibliography

Steffani Cameron. How To: Cut Concrete. Retrieved from: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-cut-concrete/

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