Let’s be honest, cutting concrete (or at least, cutting it well) is a challenge. And that applies to the professional, as well as the enthusiastic DIYer. Add in the fact that you only get one chance to get it right and it becomes clear why it’s a task that strikes fear into many – especially the perfectionists out there.
So let’s take a look at ways to master the task. Because with a little patience, knowledge and practice, it really is possible for even the novice to master the art of using a concrete saw.
1. The key is in the tech
Cutting concrete is no longer the arduous endeavour it was when the only tools at your disposal were a chisel and sledgehammer. The wonders of the 21st century brings us highly advanced concrete saws that range from entry level options right through a range that includes hand-helds, self-propelled, petrol and electric models. A crucial aspect that should determine your hiring or purchasing choice should be to go for the highest quality you can afford. In addition, don’t settle for anything less than diamond cutting blades, as these are essential to ensure a strong, even slice through even the toughest of concrete structures.
2. It’s all about the planning
Take some time to draw up a plan of exactly what it is you want to achieve. And this doesn’t simply mean an image in your mind of how you expect the job to pan out. Mimic the pros and use chalk to mark out the location of your cuts on the concrete itself. That way you have a map to follow, ensuring you don’t go accidently ‘off-piste’ halfway through the process.
3. Safety gear – always!
At the very least you should be wearing gloves, ear defenders and goggles. Flying pieces of concrete are akin to deadly missiles, so you and anyone in the vicinity needs to be wearing personal protective equipment. No excuses…
4. The first cut is the deepest
OK, not literally. But that all-important initial pass sets the tone for the rest of the mission. Begin by making a single surface cut, so defining the location that you’ll be cutting. In addition, this breaks up the density of the concrete, allowing for smoother, more effortless incisions.
6. Gently does it
The blade is what does the actual work. There’s no need to exert pressure, as the weight of the saw is all that’s needed to make the cut. Your job is navigator; in other words, your concern is with the steering of the tool, leaving the machine to do all the hard work.
7. Follow the 30 second rule
Every 30 seconds or so, retract the blade from the surface. Let it run freely for a few seconds before cutting again. This allows air to circulate and prevents the saw from overheating.
Other golden rules include taking your time, being patient and practice, practice, practice. And never be afraid to take advice from a professional, both about the right piece of kit necessary for the job and the best techniques for getting it done.
Concrete Hire in Perth, WA, has been providing equipment and their extensive knowledge to pros and amateurs alike for over two decades. With an extensive range of concrete saws and all related concrete and building apparatus for sale and hire, they’re the go-to favourite for builders in the know in the central metropolitan area and further afield. To find out how they can fulfil your building equipment needs, get in touch on 0418 222 273