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

1. Invest in a diamond blade

As you stand in the store aisle looking at the cost difference, you may be tempted to reach for one of those abrasive masonry blades. Before making a final decision, consider the total cost of the job as well as the speed and ease with which you want to complete the project.

Abrasive masonry blades are good for jobs that require a small number of shallow cuts. They will wear quickly, which will require you to adjust the blade every two feet and replace it more frequently.

Diamond blades will help you get the job done in about half the time. They have diamond-encrusted edges mounted on a steel core; therefore, the grinding wheel diameter only wears down to the rim diameter, allowing a constant depth of cut for the life of the insert. You will spend less time changing inserts and will get more use out of them because they have a longer shelf life.

2. Choosing the right diamond insert for the job

The depth of cut will determine the blade size you need used for your project. use our guide to determine the right size for the job.

12 inch40×3. 0×10mm20
14 inch40×3. 2×10mm24
16 inch40×3. 4×10mm28
18 inch40×3. 6×10mm32
20 inch40×3. 6×10mm36
22 inch40×3. 8×10mm38
24 inch40×4. 0×10mm42

3. Preparing for the job

There will be dust, and lots of it. It pays to take a little time in advance to limit the mess and make sure the job runs smoothly.  

● Use a chalk line or chisel to outline where you want to cut so you can stay on track.

● Close off any interior spaces – including any vents – with protective cloth and tape to make sure the dust is contained.

● Turn off any fans or recirculation devices.

● Wear your face and hearing protection and be sure to use an approved respirator for concrete cutting.

● With the power off, complete a test run by lowering the blade to the work surface prior to final cutting. This will ensure that everything is aligned and ready to go.

While this may be self-explanatory, make sure you have read all manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Start Cutting Allow the blade to complete its work by slowly placing the blade on the work surface and allowing it to cut. Do not force or jam the blade into the workpiece. Run the blade for approximately one minute, then allow the blade to air cool for at least 10 seconds. If you follow this process and remember to check for signs of thermal cracking and fatigue, you will become more professional with each cut.

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