Concrete cutting isn’t a layman’s job. It requires skills, knowledge, the right tools and safety gear to achieve the right cut without damaging the rest of the concrete slab, or the operator. Ideally, you should always engage the services of an experienced concrete sawing team to do the job but if you want to take a project on your own, here are a few tips for sawing concrete the safe way.
For most construction jobs, concrete cutting usually involves cutting up to several inches in depth. That much concrete cannot be cut with the help of just everyday tools. Specialised heavy-duty power tools are required to cut concrete beyond a particular depth.
While handheld saws can be used for small jobs, for serious cutting, a walk-behind saw is the best tool for the job. As far as the blades are concerned, most contractors prefer diamond blades though some also like to use abrasive blades. In terms of type, it could either be dry or wet cutting. Both have their own advantages and limitations in particular conditions.
Tools and Gear You’ll Need
In order to safely saw the concrete, you will need certain tools and gear. Here is what you’ll need:
- Concrete cutting saw
- Diamond blade
- Chalk for marking
- Steel-capped footwear
- Earplugs, gloves and goggles
Always choose the right tools for the job. A diamond blade lasts much longer compared to an abrasive blade. Wearing proper safety gear is important to make sure you do not get hurt if something goes wrong.
Things to Consider When Sawing Concrete
There are several things you need to seriously consider before you get on with sawing concrete. It will help you do the job right the first time and also make sure that everything gets done without any hiccups.
Prepare a checklist
- Make sure the saw is ready to cut by setting the right depth. If the depth is too deep, you will need to make multiple cuts instead of doing one cut at a time.
- You need to make sure that the concrete saw is doing the job. Do not push it or it will damage the blade as well as the machine.
- Make sure the surface is properly marked.
- Always wear proper safety gear.
- Make sure you are following the local safety standards.
Safety Measures You Need during Concrete Cutting
The most important part of cutting concrete safely is choosing the right tools for the job. A variety of blades are available in the market. Choose one based on the type of concrete such as aggregate fill or reinforced concrete. Here are a few more safety tips:
- The cut should always be made in a straight line
- Set the right depth for the saw blade
- Start the motor away from the ground and let it warm up a bit before going full throttle
- Perform a close inspection of the machine before you start working
- Do not hesitate to stop in case something doesn’t feel right
- Wear proper safety gear
- Make sure there are no distractions when you’re cutting concrete
- If there are other people in the area where you’re cutting concrete, it is a good habit to put up signs to make them aware you’re working there
Pros and Cons of Dry Concrete Cutting
There is both wet and dry concrete cutting. While most professionals prefer wet cutting, dry concrete cutting also has certain uses. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of dry concrete cutting:
- The blades used for dry concrete cutting are more heat resistant which means they last longer
- In most cases, dry concrete cutting makes use of portable tools which means you don’t need a power source nearby
- Dry cutting is often clean
- Dry cutting is much more straightforward as it is limited in scope
- Since dry cutting doesn’t involve water, it can create a lot of dust. Use dust extractors and respirators to minimise the risk of inhaling concrete dust
- Curved cuts cannot be made with dry sawing
- It usually takes longer to make a dry concrete cut compared to a wet concrete cut of a similar length
Overall, concrete cutting is a task for professionals. It requires a lot of training, experience, skills and the right tools to make the perfect cut. If you are planning to cut concrete on your own, make sure you are aware of the right tools for the job and that you have the proper safety equipment to keep things safe. If you have any doubts, don’t shy away from engaging the services of a professional concrete cutting team to get the job done right the first time.
Hire a Professional Concrete Sawing Company in Sydney
Sydney Sawing & Drilling is one of the premier concrete-cutting companies in Sydney. Our team of professionals has plenty of experience in sawing concrete right. We have the necessary skills, training and tools to do the job right the first time.