Concrete cutting is often best left to professionals, to ensure a quick, clean, and precise cut with no risk of damaging to surrounding materials. However, if you are ready to tackle this job on your own, note a few quick tips for proper concrete saw cutting. As with any cutting job, be sure you wear proper eye, nose, and ear protection, and wear thick work gloves as well as steel-toed boots. If working indoors, it’s also vital to wear a breathing apparatus.
As with any building material, it’s vital to choose the right tool for concrete cutting. For floors and exterior slabs, consider a walk-behind saw, for better control and to keep you as far removed from the blade as possible. For walls and other such surfaces, you’ll need to choose between wet or dry saws. Water minimizes dust but does create a messy slurry, so make this decision carefully especially for indoor cutting!
It’s also good to use diamond tipped blades. Synthetic diamonds on these blades wear away during cutting so that new ones are exposed. Their tough, durable surface makes quick work of concrete cutting.
Always make marks where you’ll be cutting and remember to make them bold enough so that they’ll be seen through dust or slurry. You might put a strip of duct tape along the saw body where it touches the floor, to keep the saw from scratching the concrete as you work.
Start cutting the concrete with a series of shallow cuts. This allows you to ensure you’re staying on your mark and also allows the saw blade to cool between cuts. Once these shallow cuts are formed, increase the depth of the saw blade by 1/4-inch increments until you’ve cut the concrete your desired depth.
As you work, remember to avoid forcing the blade. Too much pressure increases the risk of splitting or otherwise damaging concrete as you work and of creating too much dust. If you try these tips and find that concrete saw cutting is overly difficult or you cannot make the depth of cuts needed for your property, call a concrete cutting contractor near you!