Cutting Concrete

DIY How To - Cutting Concrete

Cutting concrete can be a daunting task for a DIYer. But, it’s easier than you think. Whether you're cutting concrete blocks or slabs, walls or floors, here are some simple steps to cut through concrete safely and efficiently.

 

1

Invest in a diamond blade

When you’re standing in the store aisle looking at the cost differences, you may be tempted to reach for that abrasive masonry blade. Before you make that final decision, consider the total cost of the job and how quickly and easily you want to finish the project.

Abrasive masonry blades are appropriate for a job requiring a few, shallow cuts. They’re going to wear down quickly which will require you to adjust the blade every foot or two and replacing the blade more often.

Diamond blades will help you finish the job in about half the time. They are rimmed with a diamond section mounted on a steel core; so, the wheel diameter can only wear to the rim diameter, allowing a constant depth of cut through the life of the blade. You’ll spend less time replacing blades and will get more use with their longer shelf life.

 

2

Choose the right diamond blade for the job

The depth of your cut will determine the size of the blade you need and the max RPM to use for your project. Use our guide to determine the right specs for the job.

Diamond Blade Depth and RPM Guide

Blade Diameter

Max. Cutting Depth

Max. RPM

3-3/8

4

4-1/2

6

7

8

10

12

14

11/16

1

1-1/4

1-3/4

2-1/4

2-3/4

3-1/2

3-5/8

4-5/8

12000

12000

12000

10000

7500

7500

5300

6360

5460

 

3

Prep for the job

There is going to be dust and a lot of it. It’s worth it to put in a little time upfront to limit the mess and make sure the job will go smoothly.  

  • Outline where you want to cut using a chalk line or a chisel so you stay on track.

  • Close off any indoor spaces with protective sheeting and tape – including any vents – to ensure the dust is contained.

  • Turn off any fans or recirculation units.

  • Put on your face and hearing protection and make sure to use an approved respirator for concrete cutting.

  • With the power off, complete a test run by bringing the blade down to the work surface before the final cutting. This will ensure everything is aligned and ready to go.

And though it probably goes without saying, make sure you’ve read all the manufacturer’s instructions. For a full list of our safety instructions, visit our diamond blade do’s and don’ts.

 

4

Start cutting

Let the blade do the work, slowly easing the blade to the work surface and allowing it to cut. Never force or jam the blade into the work piece. Run the blade for about a minute, and then let the blade air cool for at least 10 seconds. If you follow this process and remember to check for signs of heat-cracking and fatigue, you’ll get more professional with every cut.

 

Share: