Are you interested in learning about successful concrete sawing techniques? Let’s start by looking at the two basic saw types ideal for concrete sawing:
- Handheld saws
- Walk behind saws
Difference between Handheld and Walk Behind Saws
Handheld saws as the name implies are handheld tools, which are relatively easy to use. A good handheld saw should be lightweight, portable and flexible.
You can use them for cutting wall openings or for small surface jobs, such as, access to holes, or curbing. Proper access to holes allows you to place posts in existing slabs.
Walk behind saws, on the other hand, are much larger than handheld saws. To use them, you have to walk with them. With this kind of saw, you have to remain standing throughout the sawing process.
Walk behind saws also pack more horsepower. Their cutting rate is also considerably faster than the handheld varieties.
The size, weight and power of walk behind saws combine to allow greater force during the cutting process.
However, due to their size, walk behind saws require more room for maneuvering. For cutting of short runs however, handheld saws are a better option. The single side blade mounting in walk behind saws allows close wall cuts.
Gasoline powered concrete saws emit harmful fumes, making them unsuitable for confined spaces such as basements. In cases where high windows are present in the project space, even the presence of a fan will not be of any help.
However, in garage areas, and factories with ventilation at floor level, the use of fans seems a practical choice for controlling exhaust fumes.
With electric hand held saws, however, the need for proper exhaust isn’t so critical because no fumes are emitted.
Due to being electric powered, these saws only lend themselves to dry cutting. This, however, poses hazards related to dust that emanate from the cutting process. You will not be able to use it in the basement.
The best saw for enclosed spaces is however, the pneumatic saw. These utilize compressed air for operation and can be of walk behind or handheld varieties.
In addition, these also offer flexibility of use for dry or wet cutting, leading to better dust control. Rental costs of pneumatic saws are high because of the need for a large portable air compressor.
The unit itself sits outdoors with a big hose reaching the places you require for proper cutting. Chain saws are your best choice when you want to make a small cut into a wall.
Pneumatic powered chain saws, equipped with diamond chain for concrete cutting are also available. These are so powerful they’re able to cut through a 15-inch wall effortlessly in one pass.
Concrete cutting involves grinding using blades designed for the purpose. Eventually, the blade will wear out during the grinding process.
One of the most cost efficient options for such projects is of course the aggressive blades and these are ideal for short jobs. One can use it until it completely wears down.
Diamond blades have the ability to resist wear and tear, making them a popular choice for cutting and grinding jobs. These remain laser welded to segments with steel hub.
As they wear with use, they will drop off within the cut, allowing a new row to emerge to take its place.
Compared to the abrasive variety of blades the diamond ones are quite expensive and for good reasons too. They signify enhanced durability, resistibility, and faster cutting besides a host of other benefits, which makes the extra expenses easier to bear.
The narrow swath related to these blades signifies a narrower cut with less dust emanating from the process.
Hints for Optimizing Cutting Results
When cutting concrete, how deep you want to go is an extremely important consideration. In most cases, these cuts are mostly 2 to 4 inches deep.
As a result, the cement considerably weakens; leaving the smooth joints on surface visible. After this, you can break off the concrete pieces easily using an air hammer or an electrical breaker.
It is important to remember that asphalt saws are different from those intended for cutting concrete. Asphalt saw blades are usually more aggressive yet softer than concrete blades and yield to both dry and wet cutting methods.
Aggressive blades are the best for short jobs. General blades work well with asphalt over concrete, but you require extra care when cutting asphalt over gravel.