Can You Cut Prestressed Concrete Lintels?

Prestressed concrete lintels are incredibly strong because they are made by casting the concrete around high tensile stretched wires that are anchored into the concrete.

The concrete is compressed by the stress in the wires. This makes it very strong so that it can overcome heavy loads, heavy stress, and lasts longer compared to regular concrete.

You basically have added protection around the concrete so that any stress or heavy load is taken on by the wires before it gets to the concrete.

The reasons for prestressed concrete lintels being so durable and practical are also the reasons why it is hard to cut.

However, they can be cut, preferably by concrete cutting professionals using the right tools and equipment.

Cutting or minor trimmings at the ends are okay and should not cause any problems but cutting near the centre can affect the lintel’s load capacity.

It is important to consult a structural engineer before any cutting is done. Before we go further, we have to consider the following:

  • Are you cutting prestressed concrete lintels that are already installed and part of your building, say a wall or flooring?
  • Are you cutting uninstalled prestressed concrete lintel pieces?

The answer to these questions means varying methods of cutting. However, whether the concrete lintels are installed or not, we highly recommend you hire professionals to do the work and not do it yourself.

Can You Cut Prestressed Concrete Lintels diamond blades

Factors To Consider When Cutting Prestressed Concrete Lintels

  • Type of concrete and reinforcing materials used
  • The design of the lintel
  • Intended purpose and other factors

What You Will Need:

  • A high-speed concrete saw with a diamond cutting disc or blade
  • A 9-inch grinder
  • A cutting or work table
  • Clamps and vices
  • Markers
  • Rulers or measuring tools
  • PPE like a face mask, goggles, gloves, etc.

A high-speed diamond cutting disc must only be operated by a professional who has proper training, experience in handling concrete saws and knows how to operate the equipment, and is fully aware of the health and safety requirements.

It is highly recommended to consult a structural engineer on how to cut, where to cut, and other important details to keep the structural integrity of concrete lintel.

How To Cut:

Step1 – Scour the Line Where You Will Cut

Use the 9-inch grinder to scour the line where you will make the cut. You will need to clean the metal so you can make a clear mark before you can cut the concrete lintel.

Step 2 -Measure and Mark

Based on the advice of your engineer, measure and make clear marks so you can make accurate cuts.

Step 3 – Make the Cut

Position the blade and start cutting. Make sure you have your goggles and other personal protection equipment on. Keep wiring organised and keep all other clutter to a minimum. 

Important Tip:

When cutting concrete, wet cutting is always recommended. It is safer for the diamond blade and for the person operating it.

Wet cutting keeps dust to a minimum and stops it from becoming airborne and getting inhaled. Concrete dust particles have crystalline silica that can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the lungs.

Cutting concrete is tricky enough, cutting a prestressed concrete lintel is even more complicated.

Why risk doing more damage than good by doing it yourself when you can get professionals to do it in a quick and cost-effective way?

MEGA SAW is Melbourne’s concrete cutting and drilling specialist. We deal with all kinds of concrete using top-of-the-line concrete saws and industry-standard equipment and tools.

We have over 20 years of experience and has been the leading expert ever since. Let us help you do the dirty work and we will get it done in lightning speed, quality guaranteed!

We have over 10 fully equipped vans ready to service both major and minor projects. 

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

How To Cut A Toilet Drain Through A Concrete Slab

Drains and pipes for plumbing are usually installed during construction and before the concrete is poured for the building foundations.

This means that a majority of the plumbing connections are inside the foundations.

So when you need to fix or replace a broken toilet drain or if you are installing a new one, it will be necessary to cut through the concrete foundation.

Cutting a concrete slab needs careful preparation and planning. If plumbing lines are housed inside the foundation, it is possible that other utility lines are there too.

Pre-Cutting Preparations

Before you start cutting, make sure you check for the following:

  • Determine the location of the existing plumbing system
  • If the home has in-floor heating, locate the coils to avoid damaging the whole system
  • Locate conduits and electrical lines
  • Get a copy of your home’s mechanical plans

Mechanical plans are filed in your local registry so if you do not have a copy, you can easily request for one from your local authority.

What You Will Need

Most concrete foundations in residential buildings are four-inches thick with steel rebar and steel mesh for reinforcement.

Therefore, in order to access a drainpipe inside a concrete slab, the following equipment and tools will be required:

  • A walk-behind concrete wet saw or hand saw with a diamond blade
  • A small sledgehammer (or pneumatic hammer)
  • A narrow blade shovel
  • Chalk and tape measure
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
    Goggles or protective eyewear
    Steel-toed boots

Step 1 – Measure And Mark The Cut

Using the mechanical blueprint of your house, measure and mark the area where you will cut the concrete slab for the toilet drain. Make sure that you measure correctly and cut accurately.

It is highly recommended to consult a structural engineer to ensure the accuracy of the cuts and to avoid damaging the structural integrity of the concrete.

How Cut Toilet Drain Through Concrete Slab measure

Step 2 – Cut The Concrete

Set the depth of the diamond blade of your concrete wet saw to 4 ½ inches (for the common four-inch concrete slab foundation).

If your concrete foundation is thicker than four inches, set the depth of the diamond blade half an inch more than its thickness. Cut along the chalk lines to avoid damaging important utility systems.

Do not forget to wear your Personal Protective Equipment when cutting. Cutting through the concrete foundation takes time and energy depending on the thickness and the steel reinforcement used.

The more time you spend on cutting, the more exposed you are to health and safety risks. Protect yourself at all times.

Step 3 – Dig And Clean Up

After cutting the concrete slab, you will need to use your sledgehammer (or pneumatic hammer) to break concrete strips into chunks so you can remove the pieces.

Once you have removed the concrete, dig the remaining trench and remove any sand or soil.

Step 4 – Remove The Broken Drain And Install The New One

Make sure the water is shut off and then remove the broken drain pipe and install the new one.

If you are installing a completely new drain for a new toilet, connect the new drain to the current plumbing system. Secure the drain and pipes to avoid leaks.

How Cut Toilet Drain Through Concrete Slab sledgehammer

Step 5 – Seal The Concrete

Once you have put in the new toilet drain, seal the cut foundation with new concrete. Consult your structural engineer regarding the cement mixture to ensure that the strength matches the original concrete slab.

When it comes to broken plumbing, the need to cut concrete is unavoidable.

For adding new toilets or for any bathroom renovations, if possible, plan the location so that you can run the drain line outside the foundation and tie it into the main drain line in the yard.

Important Reminders:

  • Always consult your structural engineer before cutting concrete slabs especially foundation concrete.
  • Do not operate the concrete saw if you have no experience or prior knowledge in handling the equipment.
  • Always wear protective gear when operating the concrete saw or when you are near the operations.

Cutting concrete foundation slabs is not easy because it requires a walk-around concrete saw (depending on the size of the job).

This is quite a large and intimidating machine that needs experienced hands to operate. That’s why it is highly recommended to let the expert handle this type of job.

MEGA SAW has over 20 years of experience in concrete cutting services. We can get the job done quickly but safely.

We provide a wide range of concrete services designed to make your life easier. We also use top-of-the-line equipment that will ensure quality work and reliable service.

Don’t risk your health and safety. Avoid making more damage to your property too. Leave the work to the experts.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

What Material Can Concrete Cutters Not Cut Through?

Concrete cutters are built to cut through the toughest concrete. Typically, there is no type of concrete they can’t cut. There may be very few exceptions, though like exceptionally hard materials.

However, when you talk about regular concrete and natural stone materials that are often dealt with in construction operations, there is no concrete that most concrete cutters can’t slice through.

Most concrete cutters and saws use industrial-grade diamond blades to cut concrete. Diamond blades can cut through anything that is not stronger or tougher than diamonds.

Diamond is known to be the hardest material on earth. Some concrete – natural or manmade like sapphire, diamonds, metals used in high-grade vaults, etc, may be challenging to cut through but it can be done. 

It is difficult to find any type of concrete that modern cutters cannot cut. Concrete cutting is an innovative industry that is quick to find solutions to any difficult problems.

If there was a material that was difficult to cut, chances are, the industry will invent a new machine to cut through it.

Reinforced Concrete

This is not something your regular concrete saw can cut. Forget about chiselling and jackhammering. Concrete with heavy rebar is tough to cut but a diamond blade can do the job.

A water jet machine can also cut through rebar with precision. Depending on the thickness of the concrete and the quality of the rebars, the cutting may take some time but it is doable.

Ultra-High Performing Concrete

This is a very strong, durable, high tensile ductility and very tough kind of concrete. Only diamond blades can cut through it.

You will need the assistance of a structural engineer in determining the type of saw or cutter you can use, the size of the diamond blade, and other considerations.

This is a challenging material to cut through but with the right equipment and people, it can be done.

High Strength Concrete

High strength concrete can resist strong force without breaking. It has a compressive strength of 6000 psi. That is a tough concrete to crack!

Cutting this type of concrete will require a diamond blade. With professional help and right tools, you can cut through high-strength concrete without too many dramas.

What Material Concrete Cutters Not Cut Through Diamond blade

Sapphire, Diamonds And Other Natural Stones

These natural stones can be cut although it can be very challenging. Diamond cutters can cut through diamonds and gemstones.

However, these stones are not used in construction and building operations. This is not something that we should worry about. The jewellery industry has a solution for that.

Final Thoughts

There is pretty much nothing concrete cutters today cannot cut through. There may be some types of concrete that are harder and take time to slice through but they can definitely be done. 

When dealing with hard and tough materials, even with regular concrete, you should seek professional help. Highly trained technicians can easily do the work for you with precision.

You can save time and money when you entrust the work to the experts.

MEGA SAW has been Melbourne’s #1 concrete cutter for over 20 years now. There is no residential or commercial cutting job that we cannot do. We guarantee the highest quality of work in a fast and reliable manner.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

How Can Water Cut Concrete?

A high-pressure, high flow water jet with an abrasion can cut through thick concrete, even those with heavy rebar. This is usually done through a small orifice like a water hose.

Nowadays, there are water jet cutting machines that can function with a high level of precision. 

Cutting concrete using a water jet has become very popular these days because it can cut through thick slabs of concrete and other thick industrial materials like ceramic, metal, and all kinds of stones.

How Is This Done?

The process simply uses three key elements – water, an abrasive substance, and a high-pressure machine with an orifice like the end of a hose.

It basically works like soil erosion but elevated a thousand levels, accelerated to so many degrees, and concentrated by orders of magnitude.

A water jet is usually used for removing unwanted areas of concrete usually when renovating a house or building, or removing damaged areas. It is also used to expose rebar.

The pressure on the machine can be adjusted according to the need and the work at hand. For example, when exposing underlying support structure, water pressure is lowered so the water jet will only cut through the concrete and not the rebar.

Using water jet for cutting concrete is also called hydro demolition. Hydro demolition is a quicker, more precise and more convenient option than sawing, chiselling, or jackhammering through concrete.

It yields better results and does not cause cracking and chipping so there is less damage to the concrete and the rebar.

How Can Water Cut Concrete slab rebar

Advantages Of Using Water Jet When Cutting Concrete

  1. It is safe. Most water jet machines are robot-operated. It can be maneuvered from a safe distance away from flying debris, dust, and other harmful materials. It can be operated at a safe distance without affecting its precision, control and quality of work.
  2. It gives concrete a smooth edge because it does not stress the concrete. There is no burring, deformation, chipping, cracking or thermal stress. Just clean smooth edges.
  3. It is very versatile. It can cut through curved and flat surfaces, thick or thin. It can even cut through hard to reach areas. Water is easily manipulated and can work well in confined spaces. 
  4. It is fast and efficient. Perhaps the fastest cutting method there is and it does the job with accuracy and precision and fewer errors. Most mistakes happen because of human error so this is all but eliminated.
  5. It saves time and money. Water jet cutting is very affordable. And because it is fast and robot-operated, you get to save on time and labour.
  6. It is environment friendly. 
  7. There is less dust production. 
  8. It keeps the structural integrity unharmed.

Safety Reminder:

Water jet cutters are relatively safe but there are dangers that are still present. Any equipment that can cut through concrete can easily cause bodily harm if safety protocols are not followed.

Always stay safe by following safety guidelines and wearing of personal safety gear. 

Here are some safety rules to remember:

  • Wear the required safety gear before you start the work and make sure everyone within the area does too.
  • When operating manually (no robot), keep your hands/fingers at a safe distance from the nozzle. If the water jet can cut through concrete, it can easily cut your fingers is you are not careful.
  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from abrasive particles. This can cause severe and permanent damage to your eyes.
  • Make sure that the work area is clean from clutter and debris.
  • Keep headcount to a minimum when operating the water jet machine. No bystanders, please!
  • When working outdoors, put up safety covering to control flying debris.
  • Keep covers and guards on at all times.
  • Do not improvise or tamper with the machine.
  • Follow operating procedures and instructions.

When dealing with concrete and machines that can cause severe bodily harm, forget about DIY-ing it! Leave it to the professionals. Hire concrete cutting experts like us, MEGA SAW, to do the hard work for you.

The risk and dangers to your health are not worth the money you think you will save if you do it yourself.

In fact, if you are not familiar with the machine and have no experience cutting concrete, chances are very high that you will cause more damage to the structure. 

Let us take care of the concrete cutting work for you. Our prices are affordable and very competitive and our service is of the highest standard possible.

We have been the leader in concrete cutting and drilling in Melbourne for the past 20 years and use only state-of-the-art equipment for residential and commercials projects.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

How To Cut A Thick Concrete Slab

Cutting thick concrete slabs neatly and with high precision is not an easy task. In fact, cutting any kind of concrete is hard.

You need to have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to be able to do a decent job. It also helps if you have excellent hand-eye coordination and strength. 

Although concrete cutting is best left to the professionals due to the dangerous and vigorous nature of the job, in this article, we will take a look at what is required to cut through a thick slab of concrete.

What Is Needed For Cutting Concrete?

  • For concrete slabs under 10cms, you will need a circular saw with at least seven inches blade, 15 amps minimum. 
  • For concrete slabs thicker than 10cms, you will need at least a 14-inch blade.
  • Markers like chalk or bright coloured crayons or pens.
  • Measuring tools
  • Personal Protective Equipment

How Cut Thick Concrete Slab PPE

Things To Do Before You Start Cutting

  • Clear the area from clutter, obstacles, and anything that can cause harm or accidents.
  • Make sure that other people within the area stay clear from your workspace.
  • If you are using gas or fuel-powered concrete saw, make sure the area is free from anything that can spark or easily combust.
  • If you are using an electric wet concrete saw, make sure your cords, extension lines, etc are waterproof. 
  • Keep your electrical cords organised to avoid tripping yourself and other people involved in the process.
  • Measure properly for accuracy.
  • Make clear marking on the concrete slabs.
  • Consult a structural engineer to make sure that your measurements are correct.
  • Always wear protective gear.
  • Follow safety protocols.
  • Check the concrete saw. Make sure it is in perfect running condition.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter-protected extension cord.

Where To Cut?

Depending on the thickness of the concrete slab, the cuts must be spaced between 24 to 36 times the slab thickness.

And depending on the amount of reinforcement the concrete slab has, control joint spacing is normally set at 3 to 5 metres apart. You can reduce the cut spacing for high-shrinkage concrete. 

A good rule of thumb is cutting the concrete slab a quarter or a third of the slab thickness. So for a 25cm concrete slab, you cut 5 to 6cms. 

How Cut Thick Concrete Slab Sawing

How To Cut?

  1. Layout the joints to be cut. Clear your workspace. Get rid of any clutter and debris that can hinder the smooth operation of the concrete saw or cause any accidents.
  2. Mark properly using bright-coloured chalk or pens. Make the lines as thick as possible. Make sure that you use a good marker so the marks will not wash away especially when you are using a wet saw.
  3. If you are using a wet saw, check and make sure the water runs all the way down to the blade. A wet saw with a diamond blade is highly recommended for a smoother and safer job.
  4. Position the blade against the slab and start following the marked areas. Take your time and go easy on the blade.
  5. Do not push the blade too hard, just guide the blade and let it do its job.
  6. Use a guide board and start at one end of the cutting area, whichever is easiest for you. 
  7. When done, remove the saw from the concrete and let it spin freely for a minute to spit out any dust or particles and to cool the blade down. Repeat the process until all cuts are done.
  8. Allow 30 to 40 seconds in between cuts to let the blade cool down. 
  9. Unplug the concrete saw when done. Clean it and tuck away all tools. 
  10. Clean the area and get rid of the dust and water. 

Safety Equipment

Cutting concrete is not an easy job. You put yourself in harm’s way every time you operate a concrete saw. Protect yourself at all times.

Losing a toe or a finger is a real danger that goes with the job. Educate yourself in proper handling and operation of concrete saws. Wear the required personal protection equipment or PPEs.

Safety first, at all times. Better safe than sorry!

Important cutting tips:

  • Do not push the blade too hard.
  • Do not twist the blade.
  • Do not let the blade spin in the cut.
  • Use blades with soft metal segment bonds when cutting concrete with heavy rebar.
  • Do a safety check on your concrete saws before and after using.

Cutting concrete is a job for trained professionals so it’s safer to leave it to the experts. That’s where Megasaw comes into the picture.

We service residential and commercials projects, delivering only the best concrete cutting and drilling solutions for our clients.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

How To Cut Concrete To Make A Door Opening Square? 

Sometimes it is necessary to have to cut through old concrete walls when renovating. Although it is ideal to cut concrete within a few hours after it is poured, it is still possible to cut through old concrete without causing too much damage, if any at all.

When cutting concrete walls, you have to consider a few things:

  • Ductworks
  • Electrical conduits
  • Piping
  • Mechanical and electrical systems
  • Other building materials that run your walls

It is important to know what is inside your walls before you start cutting. By doing so, you avoid damaging any important pipes and lines saving you time and money in repairs.

Once you have mapped out the cables and pipelines inside the concrete wall, it is time to determine the right tools and equipment to use. 

Things You Need

  • Chalk or Marker
  • Straight edge
  • Tape
  • Plastic Sheets
  • Tape Measure
  • Rotary Drill
  • Sledgehammer
  • Concrete Saw (preferably diamond blade)

Then most importantly, you must make sure that you use the right PPE or Personal Protective Equipment:

  • Respirator
  • Goggles
  • Face Mask
  • Ear Protection
  • Helmet
  • Coveralls
  • Gloves
  • Safety Boots

Now It’s Time To Cut!

Now that you have everything you need, you are ready to cut through the concrete wall. Remember not to rush and follow these steps:

  1. Mark the space on the wall where you plan to cut the square opening. Make sure you do not cut on an area where there are any utility lines. Use a tape measure to ensure you make accurate, straight cuts. 
  2. Do the same on the other side of the wall. Make sure that both sides have the same measure and are on the same level.
  3. Cover all entrances with plastic sheets and tape them in place to make sure that the dust is contained within the area. Cover all furniture, fixtures, and other items in the area to protect them from the concrete dust during cutting. 
  4. Ensure proper ventilation.
  5. Drill through each corner of the square outline using a masonry bit and rotary hammer. The holes will mark the boundaries of the outline and help guide you when sawing.
  6. Start cutting using your concrete saw. Start sawing over the marks on one side of the wall. Carefully cut along the lines. Start with shallow cuts.
  7. Do the same on the other side of the wall. Start with slow and shallow cuts.
  8. Knock the cut concrete slowly using a sledgehammer. 
  9. Chisel out any remaining concrete from the edges of the square opening.

Important Reminder:

Consult your structural engineer regarding your measurements and process of cutting out the square opening on your concrete walls before you start cutting out a new door. 

Safety Reminder:

DO NOT forget to wear your personal protective equipment. SAFETY FIRST!

Important Tips:

  • Use the wet sawing to minimise concrete dust. Wet sawing also keeps your saw blade from overheating. Overall, wet sawing is environment-friendly, more effective, and efficient.
  • Do a regular check and maintenance on your concrete saw. Do not use your saw unless it has been checked for any potential safety issues. 
  • Keep your work area clean and free from debris and anything that can trip you or cause any accidents.
  • Turn off and unplug any devices when not being used.
  • Make sure you know how to operate a concrete saw before you decide to do it yourself.

Get the Pros

For most projects, it may seem cost-effective to do it yourself. That is not true for concrete cutting. Handling the concrete saw itself is a challenge and very dangerous.

And if you are not an expert concrete cutter, you may cause damage to your walls and end up spending more money on repairs. Renting equipment is expensive too. So, leave it to the pros.

By hiring professional concrete cutters, you pay a one time fee with a guarantee that the work will be done properly and will be done on time. There will be no re-dos and delays, no damages, no extra time for repairs. 

Professional concrete cutters can do quick but precise cutting. This will make your renovation project run smoothly and without any delays. The best part is, you do not have to lift a finger or risk losing one.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website

Can I Purposely Put A Controlled Crack In Concrete? 

Concrete cracks. It is unavoidable. However, cracking can actually be controlled and minimised. How? By cutting and putting a controlled crack before the concrete cracks on its own.

By cutting the concrete in strategic areas, you preempt random cracking and keep the integrity of the concrete – visually and internally. 

The cuts you make on concrete to actually prevent cracks are called “control joints.” The depth and length of the control joints will vary depending on the type of concrete and its usage.

Making the cuts needs to be precise and timely. Otherwise, you will cause more harm than good.

When To Cut Concrete?

Timing is important when it comes to cutting control joints into the concrete. If you do it too soon can it cause ravelling which causes the aggregates to be pulled out of position, weakening the edges of the concrete that was cut.

On the other hand, cutting too late can cause even more cracking. When it comes to cutting concrete, you have to consider the following factors:

  • The concrete mix
  • Aggregates used
  • The hardness of the concrete
  • The type of equipment used
  • Weather conditions – if the weather is hot, you can start cutting as early as four hours after you pour the concrete. If the weather is cool, cutting needs to start 12 hours after the concrete was poured.

Cutting Tip:

The best way to determine if the concrete is ready for cutting is to make test cuts to check for ravelling. When the ravelling stops, you should start cutting.

Where to Cut Concrete to Prevent Cracking?

Cutting control joints should be strategic, otherwise, cutting is useless. Always consult a structural engineer before making the cuts.

Usually, control joints should be spaced at 24 to 36 times the thickness of the concrete. They should be spaced between 4 to 6 metres depending on the amount of reinforcement the concrete has.

You also have to consider the shrinkage of the concrete. This is why you need to consult your structural engineer when making the cuts.

Concrete Cutting Tips

Once you have determined the right time to cut control joints into your concrete, complete the following steps:

  • Mark the areas you are going to cut. Use bright chalk powders to mark the areas. If you are wet-cutting, use a bright-coloured crayon to mark the spot.
  • Use the right saw for the type of concrete you are cutting. There are various types of concrete saws you can use in cutting concrete. For example, large floors will require the use of a walk-behind saw. For smaller concrete, hand-held concrete saws can come in handy. 
  • Choose the right saw blade. Diamond blades are more popular and highly recommended. They make more precise, clean cuts and produce less concrete dust.
  • Control the dust. Make sure you have dust collectors and other necessary tools in controlling dust. Concrete dust contains crystalline silica which is very harmful to your health. Crystalline silica can cause lung scarring and can cause Silicosis, a fatal, incurable, irreversible disease. Use the wet cutting method when making control joints. Wet cutting produces less dust and keeps the concrete dust from becoming airborne and getting inhaled.
  • Use waterproofed, GFCI extension cord when using electric saws. GFCi or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is an affordable device that is built into your power cord to protect you from power surges, overloads, and electric shocks. 
  • Use a guide board. Secure a straight smooth board outside the chalk line to use as your guide in making straight, clean lines. 
  • Do not force the blade. Do not push too hard. Just let the saw do the work. All you need to do is guide it in the direction you want to cut. Pushing the saw too hard can cause overheating and can damage the saw.
  • Try to form square patterns.
  • Make shallow continuous cuts.
  • Do not twist the saw blade. You will damage the blade, jeopardise the finish of concrete, and put yourself in harm’s way.
  • Use saw blades with soft metal segments when cutting concrete with heavy rebar.
  • ALWAYS use the required PPE or Personal Protection Equipment. The Australian Code of Practice for Concrete and Masonry Cutting and Drilling requires the use of the following:

Safety helmet

Safety footwear – steel-toed shoes are recommended

Safety goggles

A face shield

Hearing protection

Sun and weather protection

Gloves to improve hand grip  and reduce force and vibration

Respiratory protection when hazardous dust or fumes  cannot be eliminated

  • Avoid using loose-fitting clothing or jewellery. Long hair and long beards can be risky too.

Cutting concrete yourself is doable but we do not recommend it. Aside from the health risks, your lack of training might just cause more damage to your concrete and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. Let the professionals handle the work for you. 

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website

Is Concrete Dust Harmful?

Concrete dust can be very harmful. Even the slightest amount of exposure can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. Prolonged exposure can lead to lung cancer and other respiratory problems. 

It is for these reasons that it is essential to protect saw machine operators from this harmful situation. PPE or Personal Protection Equipment is an absolute must. Safety first before concrete cutting

Hazardous Materials in Concrete Dust (Wet and Dry)

Crystalline Silica – harmful to human skin and has the potential to cause lung cancer. Recent studies show prolonged exposure to crystalline silica is connected to lung cancer and other respiratory problems.

Alkaline Compounds like Calcium Oxide – corrosive to human tissues and can cause minor to severe health issues.

Chromium – even the smallest trace amount can cause severe allergies.

Harmful Effects of Concrete Dust

Eyes – can cause minor irritation up to severe and permanent damage. All trace compounds found in cement dust can get into the eyes and cause damage to the eye tissues.

Respiratory System – when inhaled through the mouth and nose, concrete dust can cause an allergic reaction, irritation of the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. 

Prolonged exposure can lead to lung cancer and other respiratory diseases like silicosis. Silicosis happens when silica particles scar your lungs. Silicosis is irreversible and incurable.

Skin – concrete dust can cause allergies, skin irritation, and other skin problems. This can range from mild and moderate skin issues through to more severe issues like:

  • Skin irritation
  • Rashes
  • Cracking of the skin
  • Skin ulcers
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Chemical burns

It is important to avoid the harmful effects of concrete dust. First, you should always opt for wet sawing where possible. It does not completely eliminate dust but it reduces dust production significantly. 

For personal protection, these are the following steps one can follow to be safe:

Personal Protection

  • Use alkali-resistant gloves. This will not just protect you from cement dust, it will also be your first defence from any sawing accidents.
  • Use coveralls with long sleeves and full-length trousers to keep the dust away from your skin. Make sure that your sleeves are pulled down over the gloves and the trousers are tucked inside your boots. Use duct tape over them to make sure that dust and mortar do not go inside.
  • Use water-proof, high-cut boots.
  • Use proper respiratory protective equipment like a P, N, or R 95 respirator. Dust is unavoidable but inhalation can be avoided.
  • Use proper goggles and do not use contact lenses.

Work Conditions

  • When cutting concrete, cut wet instead of dry where possible. This will help to minimise dust production.
  • Mix dry cement in open areas or well-ventilated areas.
  • Use different sizes of cement blocks whey laying concrete to avoid or at least minimise cutting or hammering to make them fit.
  • Work upwind from the dust sources. Avoid the dust as much as possible.
  • Do not wear any accessories like watches, rings, and necklaces, because dust can accumulate on and around them.
  • Avoid mixing cement on site. Use a ready-mixed concrete as much as possible.


Australian National Code of Practice requires sufficient training for individuals handling cement. They must be educated in proper methods, safety, hazards, and controls.

First Aid

Skin contamination and eye irritation must be handled right away. Call for medical attention immediately.

While waiting, wash with running water right away. Avoid touching and self-medicating. Seek medical treatment right away.

Silica Exposure

Silica exposure is a serious problem. As mentioned earlier, this can lead to Silicosis. If you start to feel symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, see your doctor immediately.

Silicosis can occur only weeks after getting exposed to concrete dust or it can take years before signs and symptoms manifest. 

Here are the three types of Silicosis to watch out for:

  • Acute Silicosis – this is caused by exposure to high levels of crystalline silica. This can happen within months, even weeks of exposure, and can lead to death in extreme cases.
  • Accelerated Silicosis – this can occur in five to ten years after exposure. This is a result of high-level crystalline silica exposure.
  • Chronic Silicosis – this is the most common type of Silicosis. This is due to prolonged exposure to low levels of crystalline silica. This usually occurs after ten or more years of exposure.

Other Safety Measures

  • Shower right away if possible. Wash away all dirt and cement dust.
  • Use washable or disposable protective clothing.
  • Do not eat or take a break near the area you are working on. You will be exposed to dust and possible inhalation.
  • Have an annual medical checkup to monitor your health.
  • Stay educated with proper practices, health effects, and protective equipment.
  • Use dust control equipment like local exhaust ventilation or dust collectors.
  • Remove collected dust right away. Do not let the dust get airborne.
  • Check your dust controls regularly.

Concrete dust inhalation and contamination are dangerous. If you have projects that need concrete cutting, leave it to the professionals.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website

What Types Of Concrete Saws Are There?

A concrete saw is a common tool for masonry and construction work. It is a common but very effective power tool for cutting concrete for different types of concrete work for both residential and commercial projects.

If you are wondering how a concrete saw is made, we have the answer right here. Concrete cutting is our thing!

Before we tackle the step by step by step process of making a concrete saw, let us first discuss some basic information about concrete cutting and types of concrete saws.

Two Methods of Sawing Concrete

  • Wet using water while cutting concrete is a popular and healthier way of cutting concrete. Water is sprayed manually or through a built-in pump that sprays water onto concrete as you cut it. It also keeps the blade of the saw lubricated and cool. This means the blade lasts longer and produces less dust. This means less dust is inhaled by the handler making it safer to use.
  • Dry – using the concrete saw as it is, with no water being used. This produces a lot of dust, which is very harmful when inhaled. A diamond-bladed saw is often used in dry sawing because the diamond keeps the blade cool so it doesn’t heat up so easily. A diamond blade reduces the dust produced from sawing but it does not reduce it as much as using water.  

Types of Concrete Saws

1). Based on how they are handled

  • Handheld concrete saw (small) – these are small, handy but powerful tools that are usually used for smaller projects or for areas that are hard to access when using larger equipment.
  • Walk-behind concrete saw (medium to large) – as the name suggests, they need to be held from behind when operating them. These are larger, heavier, and far more powerful than handheld saws. They can also get the job done faster.

2). Based on how they are powered

  • Diesel-powered concrete saw – these types of saws do not need an electrical source as they are diesel-powered. This makes them very convenient to use and can be used anywhere. They are recommended for dry sawing because they usually have a dust-containment feature. It still produces some dust and some fumes, so it is often used for outdoor jobs. 
  • Electric-powered concrete saw – these saws are usually lighter, less noisy and do not produce a lot of dust. They are often used indoors as you need an electrical outlet to use it. They are easy to start, convenient, faster and environmentally-friendly. 
  • Battery-powered concrete saw – these are cordless concrete saws that are usually charged and connected to an electrical source when the battery runs out of power. They are very convenient and can be used anywhere in any given condition. They are also less of a working hazard due to the absence of a cord.

3). Based on Usage

  • Chain Saw and Ring Saw – these are usually small, handheld saws that are used for smaller projects. Because they are small and compact, they are often used in hard to reach areas or any projects where access is an issue. They are ideal for cutting bricks, concrete pipes, floors, and walls. 
  • Floor Saw – these are used to cut mostly flat surfaces like roads, pavements, floors, slabs, and much more.
  • Wall Saw – wall saws usually require a track-mounted system because they are used on vertical surfaces. Wall saws are used to make openings for windows, doors, ventilation ducts, etc. They are also called a track saw. 
  • Wire Saw – wire saws are made of diamond-laced cables that are pulled through concrete to get the job done.

Choosing The Right Concrete Saw

It is important to know what, how and when you are cutting the concrete so you can use the right concrete saw that is perfect for the job.

When you have determined what type of concrete saw you need, you can start by following these steps:

  • Determine the type of blade you will be using – are you using a corundum or diamond blade, handheld or walk-behind? Depending on the usage and how it is powered, you can start choosing the size and the type of blade you will use.
  • Enclose the blade with a blade guard – this is a major safety requirement. Do not operate a saw without a blade guard. This is to protect the user from any accident or bodily harm. 
  • Add a water pump or a water source – a wet saw poses fewer health hazards compared to dry saws. Incorporate a built-in water pump so your concrete saw will produce less dust.

Adjustments will have to be made if you are going to assemble a cordless, electric or gas-powered concrete saw. 

Safety Tips

When assembling your DIY concrete saw, make sure that you have turned the power off. Always use complete protective gear.

Saw blades, whether diamond or conundrum made, are very dangerous. SAFETY FIRST! It is better to be safe than sorry.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website

How Does A Concrete Saw Work?

Concrete cutting is a basic trick in masonry and construction work. You are able to control and prevent cracking on concrete in specific areas, making the concrete both strong and visually appealing.

You will need a strong concrete saw to accomplish this. Taking all of this into consideration, let’s now take a look at how a concrete saw actually works.

First, we’ll discuss the basics and then learn how one goes about getting concrete cut.

How Does A Concrete Saw Work?

A concrete saw applies the strength of sharp rotating blades against a concrete surface to carve a way through it.

Concrete saws are powered either by using gasoline, electricity or batteries as a power source.

They work just like a wood saw except that they need a more powerful, stronger binding to tear through the concrete material.

Concrete saws usually use diamond blades for faster more efficient work. It is like rotating sandpaper only sharper and more powerful. It does not require pressure, unlike a wooden saw.

Concrete saws only need guidance from the user to cut through concrete.

The most important part of the concrete saw is the blade. The blade does most of the work and gets most of the effect of wear and tear.

It is important to handle the saw properly and give the blade the proper care so it can last longer. The most common factors that can lead to excessive blade abrasion and wear are:

  • Pressure or pushing the blade too hard when using
  • Using a ben spindle when using the concrete saw
  • Cutting the concrete at high speed
  • Using the wrong kind of blade for the type of concrete 

A concrete saw is more effective when you know where to cut. Knowing the right joint spacing is very important because you have to consider concrete shrinkage.

That is why you should consult an engineer or concrete cutting experts on this. These professionals will be able to help you out with the following:

  • Forming square patterns
  • Continuous saw cuts
  • Selecting the right areas that do not have steel reinforcements from one square to another
  • Forming larger squares and cutting interior joints for hotter weather conditions.

Remember that it is better to have smaller cracks than spending more money on maintenance and repairs.

Controlling fast-setting concrete cracks in larger areas is important rather than risking expensive repairs and maintenance costs.

For the concrete saw to work properly and the blade to last longer, follow these tips:

  1. Do not twist the blade when using it.
  2. Use soft blades with metal segments when cutting concrete with heavy rebar.
  3. Do not let the blade spin in the cut to lessen blade wear.

Safety Reminders

Safety first! You are far more important than the equipment you are using or the structure you are working on. Always be careful, keep safe and put on your safety gear.

Don’t forget the following:

  1. Do not use a concrete saw without a blade guard. Keep your fingers and the rest of your limbs safe. 
  2. Anticipate some push and pull, sudden jerks and surprise malfunctions from the equipment.
  3. Always check if the saw is working properly before using it. Broken or damaged equipment can cause a lot of problems and serious bodily harm.
  4. Always wear your safety gear! This includes:
  • Safety goggles – protect your eyes from harmful dust produced during cutting
  • Mask – concrete dust contains silica which if inhaled can cause lung scarring and other serious, irreversible lung damage. Avoid inhaling cement dust by using a face mask that will cover both mouth and nose.
  • Gloves – use the proper gloves for cutting concrete to protect your hands.
  • Earplugs – cutting concrete can be loud so using earplugs is recommended.
  • Steel-toed footwear – when dealing with concrete, your feet are always at risk, even more so when handling both concrete and concrete saw. 
  • Other Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) – other PPEs that may be required for safety purposes.

A concrete saw can only be as effective as the user handling it. How your equipment works depend on your handling and knowledge of the equipment and the type of concrete you are cutting.

Cutting concrete is not easy. It is a lot of hard work and can be very dangerous if you are not familiar with using a concrete saw or if you do not have much experience. 

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website

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