If you have ever tried to cut through your slab or wall, you’d know it can be one hell of a job. Despite your incredible strength, your saw just never went through, eh?
At that point, you might even start asking, could it be that you didn’t apply enough pressure on your saw? Or could it be that your walls are wet?
Well, those reasons do not necessarily contribute to why your concrete is almost indestructible. By nature, concrete is rigid and can withstand dents and pressure.
Regardless, concrete cutting is achievable. For that, you must first know the basics of concrete formation. But that could be another textbook case. As such, the best solution is to hire an expert like Sprinklrite for help!
In any case, you should know a few tips to get started. That is why we have compiled this piece: a guide detailing five tips to help you hone your skills at concrete cutting, even as a beginner!
Find The Best Saw For Your Concrete
The first step to effective concrete cutting is getting the best tool for the job. Should you use hand-held or walk-behind saws?
Before we answer the question, you should ask, what concrete are you cutting?
Well, not all concrete is the same in strength, texture, structure, and component. Some are lightweight, and others tend towards large. In other words, what worked for concrete A might be completely inefficient against B.
That said, let’s go back to the question: hand-held or walk-behind saws?
Hand-held saws, because of their nature, are best for lightweight jobs. Since you can move them around, they fit a range of minute concrete cutting duties (especially walls). Regardless, they come with powerful horsepowers.
Walk-behind saws, on the other hand, are the best fit for heavy-duty concrete cutting. If you have jobs such as floors and roads, then choose walk-behind aids. And like their hand-held alternative, these heavy-duty cutters come with incredible horsepowers.
Another factor you should consider here is the method of cutting. Will you be doing the dry or wet type?
If you choose dry cutting, then take the work outdoors. For wet cutting, do it indoors.
The Best Saw Still Needs The Best Blade
Understood, you now know if your concrete needs a hand-held or walk-behind saw. Even at that, a saw is only as good as its blade.
Moreover, the blade is the one to cut your concrete. For that reason, you equally need the best to get a fast and effective result.
But, how do you know the best blade? Are there any factors to note?
- Diameter – the diameter of your chosen blade should be a match for its saw. In particular, the arbor size on the latter should fit the hole on the former.
- Type – concrete saw blades are of two kinds: diamond and masonry blades.
Of the two blades, the diamond type is the widely used and most flexible. It can work with both dry and wet cutting methods. Even better, it cuts concrete with great accuracy regardless of the depth or length.
Pro tip: use a serrated-edges diamond blade for dry cutting and the smooth-edges alternative for wet cutting.
Check The Concrete, And Your Saw Blades Even More
Ordinarily, you would expect your concrete walls and floors to have just gravel, stones, water, and sand. We hate to break this gen to you, but concrete contains more than just that!
In many cases, you would find extra components such as electrical pipes and wires. You might even find glasses and nails at times.
For those reasons, it is quintessential that you do another round of inspection of your concrete before you start cutting. Else, you won’t get effective results.
Besides the concrete, you should do a final inspection on your blade too. Already, we said diamond blade saws are the best aids. Well, that’s if you sharpened the edges. A worn-out tool will never bring desirable and accurate cuts. Worse: it would overheat, break, and ultimately cause you severe injuries.
Lastly, ensure you have spare saw blades. When you do, you won’t waste time and resources when one wears out.
Pro tip: if you would be doing lots of concrete cutting, it’s better you engage an expert. But if you won’t, ensure you invest in high-quality diamond saw blades.
Cut Your Concrete Precisely And Timely
All your saw, blades, and inspection have prepared you for this stage. So, get ready for work.
But don’t fret! Concrete cutting is not particularly strenuous – at least, not when you follow the steps we will explain in this section.
So, shall we begin?
The first foundation to your precise cut is to mark down your points. Target the joints on your concrete – they are often easily maneuvered.
Now, mark the joints with a marker and draw a line around the area.
The second step is to perfect your timing. Failure to appropriate time, and you will experience difficulties cutting your concrete regardless of your “best” saw and blade. What difficulties?
- You will wear out your diamond saw blade
- Your concrete will suffer cracks
- You will distort the shape of your wall/floor/slab – raveling; it means your saw blade will pull out the particles of your concrete. Unfortunately, that would make the whole process messy.
That said, what time is the most appropriate? When should you cut your concrete?
Cut your concrete just before it dries – at the early stage. Perhaps that’s a bit confusing; wait out 12 hours before you start cutting in cool weather. For dry seasons, reduce the time to 4 hours.
When you follow the appropriate timing, you will achieve a smooth and precise cut on your concrete. And the best part: you won’t waste any time.
But before you can get that, you will do this:
The third and final step: ensure you cut your concrete deep and with steady but mild pressure. Putting the material on a raised, flat surface will help too.
Pro tip: do a test on your concrete until your blade no longer ravels out its components.
Protect Your Environment, And Yourself Even More
While working, you might forget to use your Personal Protective Equipment, PPE. We understand that you might discard the aids and get all thrilled by concrete cutting.
However, we will advise you to wear safety gadgets – always. Getting clean-cut concrete is beautiful, but you should do it safely too.
And like you have protected yourself, do the same for the environment. For example, pick all electrical material from the ground – and do the same for sharp objects. Overall, ensure you don’t litter the surroundings with your concrete waste.
Concrete cutting is not as hard as you might have thought. Yes, it requires expertise and patience. Even at that, you can perform clean cuts on your walls and floors even as a beginner.
However, don’t experiment on expensive homes and offices if you’re not sure of your skill. If that’s you, engage experts for help. Luckily, we, Sprinklrite, are one!
Reach out today to discuss your concrete cutting needs, and we’ll be in touch!