Anyone who has ever worked with concrete knows that, while it’s easy to work with it in terms of basic construction, breaking through concrete blocks or pillars can be an incredibly difficult and labor-intensive task, when you don’t have the right tools on hand. But you can do the job using a circular saw and some common hardware tools. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to cut concrete blocks with a circular saw, so that you can cut concrete easily and effectively.
Which tools and equipment to use?
Using a circular saw for concrete cutting is not as simple as cutting wood with anything else, but it can be done easily if you know what you’re doing and if you have the right equipment. Concrete saws are specialized saws; and these special type of circular saws are called concrete circular saw, also known as Grinder and Worm drive saw, and these two saws require a special type of blade, which is called a diamond saw blade. That gives cutting performance with enhanced blade durability. There are some tools for cutting efficiently with precisions and ensuring the safety of both the saw blade and the person using it. To ensure personal safety and the tool safety, you would require a wired connection and a GFCI circuit breaker in the plugging socket. In case of any water leakages, that will protect you from electric shocks. Besides, you need the following Safety tools as well
- Worksite grade gloves
- Hearing protection for extreme noise
- Concrete dust respirator mask (for better breathing)
- Protective goggles (for saving eyes from dust)
- A water line ( for cooling the blade and minimizing the dust in the air)
- Vacuum extractor
- Blade and handle guard
Having this equipment will increase work efficiency and will reduce the chance of any damage to the saw and you. You will also require some tools for cutting concrete with the circular saw blade, and these tools are
- Measuring Tape (for making lines)
- Chalk (for making lines)
- Hammer (for breaking unwanted parts)
How to cut concrete blocks with a circular saw?
You can cut concrete with many tools but cutting concrete of specific shapes for a special requirement will require a circular saw blade; after ensuring all the safety measures with proper tools and gears. You need to follow the following five steps of sequential guide for cutting the concrete in the shape of your choice.
Step one: Setting up the blade
Firstly you need to set up the standard blade of your circular saw with the diamond teeth blade. The replacement process of changing blade may vary slightly from saw to saw, but you can easily replace your saw blade with a diamond-shaped blade by following a basic guide. In short, to replace your blade, you will need to wear your gloves and remove the bolt that attaches the blade with the main saw body. You can remove the bolt with a wrench that fits the bolt. After that, remove the washer from the blade and pull up the lever of the lower guard. It will set the blade free for removal. Now you can remove the blade and add the diamond-shaped blade at the same position, and put the washer in the right position of the shaft. Screw the bolt in using the wrench. This is how you can replace your traditional saw blade with a diamond saw blade. But make sure to lock the blade’s free movement while replacing the blade and also disconnecting the electricity supply of the blade.
Step two: Adjusting the depth of the blade
Based on the requirement of your cutting thickness, you have to adjust the depth of the blade. You may want to cut into your concrete at a specific depth, and for that, the depth of the blade available for cutting is also required a changing, and you can change the depth of the blade using the lever and the knob located at the side of the circular saw. Although adjustment may vary based on the requirement. A standard preference is to keep blade extra depth a quarter of an inch to increase the blade durability and increase more stability while cutting through the concretes.
Step three: Marking the cut area
After adjusting the blades cutting depth next task is to outline the marking area with chalk and measurement tape. Outlining in the concrete block for marking the cutting areas specifed is important. It helps to locate where you need to cut precisely. It ensures that you have the desired shaped concrete. One simple tip is to use a length measurement unit for accurate cutting area.
Step four: Making the first cut
Now having everything ready, make sure you have equipped yourself with safety gear, especially the mask and goggles and industrial grade gloves. Also, make sure (if possible) to use a socket for electric connection attached with GFCI circuit breaker for reducing the chance of electric shocks. Before making the first cut, drip some water on the cutting outline to ensure low dust in the air and less heat generation in the blade edge. Firmly hold the saw blade, pull of the lower guard of the blade if there any, and slowly bring the blade down on the cutting line.
Step five: Parting the concrete block
Once you have made all the cuts accurately, you will need to part the edges of the concrete from the required portion. You can do the job with a hammer or wrench depending on the thickness of the concretes; make sure not to use much power on parting the edges. It may damage the work.
After following all five stages with circular saw safety precautions, you will have your desired shaped concrete blocks easily, without injuries. (Toolshaven.com)
Other saw options
Many types of circular saw blades are available that can be used for cutting concrete, but other types of saw won’t be as much effective as the concrete circular saw. Although another good alternative can be metal cutting circular saw. Which is a heavy-duty circular saw that can cut through concretes blocks easily. (Housegrail.com) But, plexiglass cutting circular saw blade should not be a good choice.
Cutting concrete requires strong and heavy circular saw blades which are difficult to use, but these heavy saw blades are easy to get injured with. And for this reason, make sure to use industrial-grade gloves for protecting your fingers and also use the respiratory mask for better breathing and goggles for protecting your eyes from concretes dust. You can also use hearing protection.
Related Reading: How to get a straight cut with a circular saw?
Without proper guidelines and correct knowledge of required equipment and tools, it is not easy to get the perfect shaped concrete block with accurate cutting. Following these steps mentioned above can help you greatly to cut concrete blocks with a circular saw blade.