For those tough cutting jobs
A concrete saw is a saw used to cut through concrete, masonry, bricks, asphalt or other extremely hard, thick materials. The blades are either abrasive or diamond-tipped in order to cut through these hardy materials, and the extreme heat created by the friction between the saw blade and the surface requires a steady stream of water to cool down the cutting edge of most large or commercial concrete saws.
Concrete Saw Safety
You can purchase or rent handheld concrete saws that look like big circular saws, as well as concrete chain saws or walk-behind concrete saws for big home-improvement jobs. Many handheld concrete cutting saws are similar to a circular saw, but with a diamond-tipped blade designed to cut concrete.
When using a concrete saw, wear protective clothing, including eye protection. Hearing protection is also important, because the noise up-close can be deafening. Also, it's a good idea to wear a dust mask – concrete, bricks and masonry tend to put off a lot of dust during cutting. Many saws have a water connection already installed, so be sure that it's attached to a water supply. Hold the saw in both hands, and move slowly, letting the saw do the hard work. Be careful not to turn or twist the saw while it's cutting.
Concrete Chain Saws
You can also opt for concrete chain saws, which operate the same as chain saws but with special chain teeth designed for the hard labor of cutting through masonry and concrete. Use the same precautions against kickback as you would with an ordinary chain saw. Don't stand directly behind the saw, but slightly to the side, hold it firmly in both hands with your left arm completely straight. The same protective clothing, eye and hearing protection apply.
Walk Behind Concrete Saws
For bigger jobs, you can rent or purchase walk behind units like Target concrete saws or Norton Clipper concrete saws, to name a couple of the top brands. Often, these saws are self-propelled, and they only really require guiding from behind, not pushing. They come with their own water tank for cooling the blades, and are generally available with a manual starter or an electric starter.
For walk behind concrete cutting saws, be sure the blade guard is intact and firmly attached before you start the saw, and make sure the wheels don't show uneven wear. The blade can jam while inside the concrete if the wheels are too worn or uneven, which can be a serious safety hazard. When using concrete saws indoors, be sure there is proper ventilation. And remember that if the concrete you're cutting has steel rebar inside of it, there are bound to be sparks flying when you cut the concrete.
Call in the Professionals
Unless you're really familiar with concrete cutting, you might not want to do it yourself. If you're not certain on the operation and safety procedures for using concrete cutting saws, you should consider hiring a professional concrete cutter to avoid any accidents or injury; you can also avoid concrete cuts that you're not happy with.