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What Can You Use To Cut Concrete Block?

Man holding the concrete block

It would be nice if concrete blocks worked exactly as you would expect and there was never a need to cut them. Ask anyone who has ever worked with concrete blocks, however, and they will tell you that cutting them is a routine chore. How can you do it properly?

The best way to cut a concrete block is to use a circular saw with a masonry or diamond blade. It will cut through the concrete block easily with a minimal amount of work. If possible, a circular saw with a wet saw attachment should be used.

Throughout this article, you will see that there are numerous ways to cut concrete blocks. Some of them are going to work quite well and others will work in a pinch if you don’t have any other options available.

What Can You Use To Cut Concrete Block?

Although it is important to consider the tool that you are using when cutting concrete blocks, that is not the only thing to keep in mind. Quite honestly, the blade choice is going to have a much bigger impact on your ability to cut through concrete than any other factor.

The best choice for any type of saw is a masonry blade. Fortunately, this type of blade is relatively inexpensive and they are easy to come by. In fact, you may want to have some extra masonry blades on hand to ensure that you are using one that is cutting properly.

Any type of diamond blade that is made for masonry will also be an excellent choice. These are not only capable of cutting through concrete blocks, but they can also cut through a concrete slab and many other types of material as well.

As we mentioned at the outset, it is important to use a wet saw if at all possible. There are circular saws with this type of attachment but not every circular saw is going to work well if you add water to it.

The water serves a number of different functions but most importantly, it helps to keep dust to a minimum. As we will discuss shortly, concrete dust is deadly dust so you want to avoid it if at all possible.

The water used in the wet saw will also help to save the blade because it keeps it from heating up too quickly. In addition, water provides a type of lubricant that allows the saw to cut properly and easily.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/04/2022.

Now that we’ve discussed the basic tool that is used for this job and the saw blade that is preferred, you need to consider the method you are using. This can also have an impact on the overall job.

For example, it may be possible to cut the whole way through a concrete block without much difficulty. Some saws are able to do this without even complaining about it. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is the best option available.

At times, you may find that setting the saw blade to a minimum depth and making several passes on the concrete block is the best option. This is often best if you are using a lightweight tool and don’t want to wear it out cutting too much concrete.

Of course, using a power saw is only one of the options that are available. Another common option is to use a chisel and break the block at the proper point.

To use a chisel properly, you would have to score the concrete block at least 1/8 inch deep. You can then hit the chisel at that point to break the block completely. It’s a method that is popular because it works well and is quick if you have the method down.

One other thing I should mention is the need to be cautious when cutting concrete blocks. There is silica in the block and when you cut it, you will have airborne dust that can easily be breathed into the lungs.

No amount of silica is acceptable. You need to wear a mask to reduce how much silica you are breathing in. This is something that you should not overlook because it could mean your life.

When silica gets into your lungs, it works its way into the walls of your lungs. It doesn’t break down and it never comes back out again. Rather, your lungs form scar tissue around the silica and it could eventually lead to a deadly disease known as silicosis.

Always wear at least an N95 mask when cutting concrete blocks. You can also use water to reduce the dust or cut with a chisel because that will reduce the dust to next to nothing.

You should also wear other PPE to protect yourself during this dangerous task. This will include gloves, and there are numerous options available. Typically, an all-purpose glove or heavy-duty leather glove are preferred when cutting concrete blocks.

Finally, make sure that you are protecting your eyes with safety glasses. The concrete dust can irritate your eyes and a small piece of concrete could blind you if it hits in the wrong way. Safety glasses may not be comfortable but they are more comfortable than being blind.

We will now consider some of the specific ways that you can cut a concrete block. You can then choose the one that works best for you.

Can You Cut Block Wall With Concrete Saw?

tools to cut concrete block

Most people would simply reach for a concrete saw if they had to cut concrete blocks. It seems like a logical choice, but is it the proper choice?

Using the concrete saw is an excellent way to cut through concrete block. This is especially true if the block is already in place and you’re trying to cut an opening out of it. Concrete saws are large enough to cut the entire way through the block to create a doorway or window.

In most cases, a concrete saw is going to cut the concrete block dry. That is why it is very important to wear a mask while you are cutting the block in this way. It creates an incredible amount of dust that could be deadly.

Don’t forget your hearing protection when you are using the concrete saw as well. It can really make a lot of noise and could hurt your ears quickly.

Can You Cut Concrete Block With Chisel?

tools to cut concrete block

If you have a hammer and a chisel, do you have what is needed for cutting concrete blocks? Is it better to use a saw or will a hammer and chisel suffice?

One of the most common ways of cutting concrete blocks is using a hammer and chisel. Mark the line where you will cut the block and then score the block to weaken it along that point. You can then tap the chisel with a hammer using the line as a guide. A heavier tap should break the block at the right point.

A skilled Mason can cut a concrete block with a hammer and chisel and leave behind a straight edge very similar to what a saw would leave behind. It’s a skill that should be learned, and it can work to your benefit.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/04/2022.

Can You Cut Concrete Blocks With Angle Grinder?

tools to cut concrete block

Angle grinders are often used for quick work. Can they make quick work of cutting concrete blocks?

As long as you are using a diamond blade suited for masonry, you can use an angle grinder to cut a concrete block easily. Angle grinders are often preferred for tight work and for cutting smaller holes in a block.

The holes that are left behind by a diamond blade with an angle grinder can often be beneficial for installing electrical outlets.

Can You Cut Concrete Block With Circular Saw?

Circular cells are a very popular tool. Should you use one when cutting concrete blocks?

Circular saws are very popular tools for cutting concrete blocks. With a diamond blade installed, you can use a circular saw to cut completely through the block or to score the block so you can use a chisel to break through.

If you are cutting with a dry circular saw, make sure you wear a mask because it will create a lot of dust. That dust contains silica, which is potentially deadly.

Can You Cut Concrete Block With A Sawzall?

tools to cut concrete block

Reciprocating Sawzalls are considered some of the most convenient tools we have in our toolbox. Is it a good choice for cutting concrete blocks?

You can use a reciprocating saw to cut quickly through a concrete block. Always choose a proper diamond or carbide blade that is suited for cutting masonry. You should also purchase a long blade so you can cut through as much of the block as possible with a single pass.

Can You Cut Concrete Block With Chop Saw?

Chop saws are known for their precision and for getting the job done. Can you use a chop saw for cutting concrete blocks just as easily?

A chop saw can cut through concrete blocks quickly and easily if you use a diamond blade. It’s a good option if you have to cut multiple concrete blocks to the same size. You should also choose a chop saw that is large enough for the job.

Most people don’t have a chop saw large enough for cutting standard masonry blocks. You may need to rent a saw at your local hardware store for that reason.

Just be prepared to clean up the saw before taking the back or you will pay a cleaning fee. While blowing out the saw and cleaning it, make sure you wear a mask.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/04/2022.

Can You Cut Concrete Block With Miter Saw?

tools to cut concrete block

Miter saws are often preferred when we have to cut strange angles. It makes short order of most work, but can it be used for concrete blocks?

If you choose a miter saw, all that is big enough it can cut through the concrete block without a problem. Use a diamond blade and if you are cutting multiple blocks of the same length and at the same angle, you can make a small jig to help keep things in line.

Miter saws are not preferred for this method but if you have a lot of work to do, it can help to get the job done.

Can You Cut Concrete Block With Skill Saw?

A skill saw is a type of circular saw. It is portable and convenient, but can you use it for cutting concrete blocks?

You can cut through concrete blocks using your skill saw quickly as long as you are using a diamond blade. Wear a mask to keep from breathing in the concrete dust and then cut along the marked block to get it down to size. A skill saw can also be used for scoring a concrete block prior to cutting it with a chisel.

Can You Cut Concrete Block With Tile Saw?

tools to cut concrete block

Title saws are often used for cutting porcelain, ceramic, and even stone tiles. Should they be used for cutting concrete?

Concrete blocks can be cut with a tile saw and in some cases, it is the preferred method. That is especially true if you are using a wet saw because it will cut through the block with minimal effort and dust.

Concrete blocks tend to be fairly fragile and for that reason, cutting it with a saw, such as a tile saw, is a preferred method.

Can You Cut Concrete Block With Hand Saw?

If all else fails, you may want to use a handsaw for cutting concrete blocks. Is this a possibility?

A handsaw that is well-suited for cutting concrete can be used for cutting concrete blocks. It needs to have the right type of blade that is for cutting masonry and the saw itself needs to be designed to stand up to that type of work.

How To Cut Concrete Block Properly

Confused man standing

There may be a number of methods you could use to cut concrete block but that doesn’t mean all of them are the best method. If you want to cut concrete blocks properly, you need to follow these steps.

The best way to cut through a concrete block is with a power saw. This could be a circular saw with a diamond blade or a concrete saw. In either case, you would cut through the concrete block and it would leave behind a clean, straight edge for you to work with.

Follow these steps if you want to use a power saw for cutting concrete blocks:

1. Saw Choice – It is important to choose the saw you will use in advance. A circular saw is portable and can work for cutting individual blocks. A concrete saw is large and works well for cutting openings out of existing concrete block walls.

Choosing the proper blade is also important, as you would want to use a diamond blade to cut through the concrete block effectively.

2. Set Depth – Don’t overlook the necessary step of setting the depth of the saw. In some cases, you would set it very shallow and make multiple passes as you continue to extend the blade further. In other cases, you can cut clean through the concrete block by setting the depth of the blade slightly lower than the block width.

3. Safety – It should be stressed that concrete contains silica and breathing in silica dust is highly dangerous and potentially deadly. When cutting concrete dry, always wear at least an N95 mask or a respirator. You should also wear safety glasses, hearing protection, and gloves.

4. Cut – As is the case with any type of cutting, it is important to allow the saw to do the majority of the work. This will help to save the saw and increase its lifespan. It’s also important for the lifespan of the blade.

One other method for cutting concrete blocks is to use a hammer and chisel. This is an excellent choice if you just need to get the block down to size but you don’t need a perfect edge. Follow these steps:

1. Mark – The block should be marked in the area where you want to cut it. This will provide you with a guide to getting the job done.

2. Safety – Silica will not be as big of an issue when using a chisel and hammer. You should still wear, at least, safety glasses, gloves, and a mask. You might also consider upgrading to a face shield for extra protection.

3. Score – Use the line and a straight edge to score a mark at least 1/8 inch deep. This will help to weaken the block at that point so that it breaks along the line and nowhere else.

4. Strike – This point in the process is where you begin striking the hammer to the chisel. Do it lightly at first as you work your way along the line. Doing so will weaken the block further. You can then strike the block harder with the hammer and chisel, causing it to break at that point.

The proper way to cut concrete blocks is to use a circular saw. The saw should be equipped with a diamond blade and if possible, you should use water to minimize dust and extend the lifespan of the blade.