Are you planning to cut a concrete slab? Do you have any experience with cutting concrete? Are you aware of the right tools to use for cutting concrete? Concrete is strong and durable. It is essentially used in construction to ensure that nothing can cut through it. However, there are times when you need to cut through concrete. Sometimes, you need to make an addition to the structure or renovate something.
There are thousands of videos and guides available online on cutting concrete but it’s not as simple as it looks. It is a complex task and you should not attempt it without proper tools and proper training to use those tools. Don’t forget that these powerful tools can cause some serious damage. Also, using them incorrectly may lead to unintended cracks and breakage which is why it is best left to professionals.
With this in mind, here is what you need to know about cutting through a concrete slab successfully:
1. Gather The Right Tools
The first step in your concrete cutting journey is gathering the right tools for the job. You will need a concrete cutting saw, blades, safety equipment, a pry bar, a dust mask, goggles, ear protection, chalk line, and measurement tools.
When it comes to choosing a concrete cutting saw, there are different types of saws such as a circular saw or a walk-behind saw. The biggest advantage of a walk-behind saw is that it cuts really deep and is the best tool for cutting a really thick concrete slab. With a handheld circular saw, you will need to make several cuts and may also need to use a sledgehammer to get the job done.
Several types of concrete cutting blades are available in the market such as abrasive blades and diamond saw blades. For concrete cutting, experts recommend choosing a diamond saw blade as these blades make really clean cuts when used properly. The next step is to select the right blade diameter. For concrete slabs up to 10 cm thick, a 7 inches blade should suffice but you will need a bigger blade for thicker slabs.
2. Prepare The Worksite
Make sure there are no obstacles, debris, or any other clutter in the area. If you’re going to use an electric saw, make sure everything is waterproof. In the case of a gas-powered saw, there shouldn’t be anything nearby that can easily combust. Use a chalk line to accurately mark the lines where cuts need to be made.
Get ready by wearing appropriate protective gear which should include steel-toed boots, safety goggles, ear protection, a dust mask, and other things such as kneepads. Make sure to wear long but tightly fitted clothes.
3. Start Cutting
Double-check everything before using the saw. Make sure water runs freely in case you are using a wet saw.
Put the blade against the slab and push the start button. Make sure you are gripping the saw with both your hands. Once the blade starts cutting through the concrete, don’t push the blade through the concrete. Always remember that it is the tool that is going to do the job and not your muscles. Don’t put too much pressure on the blade as it can cause cracks or cause the blade to break. Cut in 30 to 40-second intervals and allow sufficient time for the blade to cool down.
Once you are done with cutting the concrete, keep the blade running for a minute to get rid of any dust sticking to the blade. Unplug the saw when the work is complete. Don’t forget to clean your worksite.
Concrete cutting is tough. It takes hundreds of hours of practice with the right tools for a professional to learn the right technique and tools for the job. Without proper training and tools, it is quite easy to damage the concrete slab. The damage may not be immediately visible but poorly cut concrete slab often develops cracks. There is also the risk of personal injury if you don’t use the tools properly. This is why it is always better to hire the services of experts for cutting concrete. They have the necessary training, experience, and tools for the job.