The concrete saw which is also known as cut off saw is a saw which is used to cut hard materials such as concrete, masonry, asphalt or like tiles. However, there is a whole other saw for cutting tiles called the tile saw. But this article of ours is only about how to use a concrete saw.
The concrete saw is a very important piece of tool for the construction site and the construction workers especially. It is used for cutting heavy concrete, stamped concrete or asphalts for making grooves or inlay works or simply just for cutting slabs or blocks or floors or walls; different shapes or just the whole thing. Cutting concrete with anything is a tough job. And with a concrete saw it becomes much harder. Using a concrete saw is a bit difficult than other typical saws. Mastering this tool requires adequate knowledge, training, skill, and expertise. Any mistake while using this tool can bring horrifying situations.
During the use of concrete saw, its safety precautions should be kept in mind act should be taken accordingly. The user of the concrete saw must wear safety gears like eye protection, ear protection, gloves, boots, etc. It is also recommended for the user of the concrete to use a respirator instead of using normal musk like the ones worn in case of using other saws. You can easily understand the reason behind this recommendation.When cutting concrete with a saw, a huge amount of dust and debris of cement are produced. Besides, the fumes of carbon monoxide are also produced. We all know that it is one of the most harmful gases which can cause death on the spot if too much of it is inhaled. So to ensure that any fatal accidents do not occur, it is better to use a respirator.
Safety of surroundings
When cutting with a concrete saw, the user should also make sure that no children or pet animal or any other animal is not around the working area. And if other adults are present there, be certain that they are also an expert of concrete saw and aware of its risks. If not, then send them away.
Safety while cutting
When you are in the middle of the cut, do not ever change or even try to change the direction of the saw by twisting it or by taking any hard turn. You will end up with a broken blade or broken saw or might even hurt yourself or ruin your work by making unwanted cuts. So be careful about what you are doing.
Types of concrete saw
There are different types of concrete saws available for cutting concretes of different stature different places.
- Handheld concrete saw
- Walk-behind concrete saw
Handheld concrete saw: The handheld concretes saws are the ones which are small in size and used for lightweight works. Thanks to their small shape, they are easily movable. These types of saws are best for an indoor environment. They are also operated by electricity.
Walk behind concrete saw: The walk behind concrete saws are for heavy duty and large in size. They are the best tool for cutting concrete. If you have a large concrete cutting project, these saws will be the best option for you. They are powerful, work more, faster and make better cuts. The other types of saws also do that. But they are the all in one package of best concrete saws.
Types of concrete saw blades
There are also many varieties of concrete saw blades available for a different type of structure of concrete, type of cut, type of saw, type of environment and lastly, type the user wants to use.
The most common typed of concrete saw blades are:-
- Abrasive blade
- Diamond blade
The abrasive blades are very cheap and easily available. The abrasive blades are made of corundum. They can cut through concretes and asphalts. But they are not suitable blades which can be used for any situations. The abrasive blades are not as fast and as strong as the diamond blades. They also wear off very quickly. They could be a good choice if you only need to cut concrete of less area just for once or twice. Another disadvantage of these types of saws is they become very hot very quickly. So hot that sometimes the blade starts to glow because of the heat produced from the friction between the blade and the concrete.
Diamond blades are not actually made of diamonds. The tip of the blade i.e. the teeth part of the blade is made of diamond. these diamond blades can cost you a bit more than the abrasive blades, but they will give you much better-cutting results more for a long time than the abrasive corundum made blades. The quality of the cuts diamond blade makes is way better than the other blade. They are faster, tougher and obviously stronger than their rivals.
The diamond blades for concrete saws have a special feature. There is a weak metal coating on the edge surface of the diamond blades as protection. Underneath that surface the actual diamond teeth are present. So when you will cut with a diamond blade, at first you have to wear out the metal coating on the tip of the blade by making a slight cut.
Another advantage of the diamond blades is that they do not wear out and become unsuitable for working like the abrasive blades. When the teeth of the diamond blade wear out, it falls off automatically on its own. Then a new set of teeth appears which can cut as much as the fallen sets could cut. So they can be used for more time and for larger projects.
The diamond blades are also two types:
Dry cutting blade: The dry cutting blades are used for making cuts without the need for water. So a huge amount of dust is produced if this type of blade is used.
Wet cutting blade: The wet cutting diamond blades are the peaceful blades. They are used with water so they do not produce any dust. They make smooth, fast and clean cuts.
Note: You have to use the wet blade for wet cuts and the dry blades for making dry cuts. Do not mix up.
How to use the concrete saw
Installing the blade
To install the blade into concrete saw, at first you have to remove the back cover and the arbor cap. Then take out the old blade (if any) or just put the new blade by sliding it onto the arbor shaft. Be sure that the blade arrow is pointing in the right direction. Now reattach the nut over the blade and also the cover. And you are done installing the blade! It would be better for you if you check the flatness, core fatigue, damaged segment on both the blade and the arbor.
Using the saw
- Connect the water tank hose if it is not connected.
- Check if the belt is tight or not.
- If the bearings on the arbor shaft are not greased than lubricate them. Otherwise, you will face difficulty while cutting.
- If you are using a dry blade then mark your cutting line with chalk. It would be enough. But if you are using a wet saw, the water will wash out the chalk marks. So you have to use a crayon so that the mark remains intake.
- Now start the saw.
- Let it go to full speed.
- Open the water valve in case of wet cutting saws.
- Slowly adjust the blade to the ground.
- You can use a cutting guide to guide the saw through the cut. If you do not have a cutting guide then you can simply guide the saw with your hands by following the mark.
- Do not force the saw. Just guide through the cut. Let the spin of the blade and the weight of the saw do all the work for you.