How to Cut Concrete

If you're about to cut concrete for a project, there are many factors to consider. For example, you need to know what type of concrete structure you're making and whether you have the right tools for the job. Ensuring you have all the proper safety gear is also a critical part of the process.

While cutting concrete takes a high level of precision and care, you can maximize performance with the right skills and knowledge. This quick guide to cutting concrete will help you increase job quality and keep your workers safe during concrete applications.

Safety First

Before you can start working with concrete, you need to take the proper safety measures. Dust, debris and the incorrect use of equipment can all cause job site hazards if you're cutting pieces of concrete without the right tools and gear.

You can reduce safety risks in a few ways. First, make sure your workers have the training to use the equipment properly. You'll need safety gear, including earplugs, gloves, goggles and steel-covered footwear. Using high-quality ventilation methods and wet-cutting instead of dry-cutting can also help protect workers from dust inhalation.

Invest in a High-Quality Blade

The type of concrete saw you need may depend on the application. For example, smaller cutting jobs require handheld saws, while walk-behind saws are often better for larger projects. Types of blades include:

  • Diamond blades: If you need to work your way up toward deeper cuts, a diamond blade is the ultimate dry-cutting tool. It's durable and well-suited for more demanding applications.
  • Abrasive blades: While abrasive blades are slow and quick to wear out, they are useful for making shallow cuts into dry concrete.
  • Wet-cutting blades: Wet-cutting blades are designed to operate on wet concrete, and they're ideal for workers who are looking to reduce dust during the process.

Whatever type of concrete-cutting project you're working on, you need a blade that fits the application. Renting saws can be a great option for both short-term and long-term concrete projects.

Plan the Cut

Once you've taken all the necessary safety measures and prepared your blade, it's time to plan the cut. To improve accuracy, mark the concrete slab where you want the kerf to be. Then, cover the area you're cutting with a little bit of water to minimize dust.

Another important part of the preparation process is to place a guide board at the cut line so you can produce a straight, clean kerf.

Make Careful, Shallow Cuts

Now, you can start cutting. It's critical to keep both hands on the saw, maintaining only a small amount of pressure as you guide it down onto the concrete. Start by making a shallow cut that's about a quarter of an inch in depth.

After you've run the machine for about 45 seconds, stop it and let it cool off for around the same amount of time. Continue making shallow cuts at these intervals until you've reached the desired depth.

Contact The Cat® Rental Store

The Cat® Rental Store offers a wide selection of saws and other equipment for construction and groundskeeping applications. You can browse our selection to find a saw that meets your needs or call us at 1-800-RENT-CAT to learn more. Feel free to request a quote online with specific product questions. Rent whatever you need from the people who do whatever it takes.

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