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How to Cut Concrete Block, Pavers and More

Posted by: Erika Green on August 29, 2021

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Whether you’re planning to install concrete paversbuild a walkway or demo a concrete area, cutting concrete yourself isn’t as hard as you think. With the right tools from The Home Depot Rental and proper safety precautions, your installation or demo project can come together in a weekend. 

If you’re tackling a concrete project yourself, make sure the materials you’re cutting are no thicker than six inches, which is a common depth for concrete wall block, pavers, patios and sidewalks. Anything greater than this depth is best left to the Pros. 

Rent Concrete Cutting Tools & Equipment 

The Home Depot Rental has several concrete cutting tools depending on your project. If you’re demoing a concrete wall or patio, consider renting a breaker or demo hammer. These tools make breaking up masonry, tile and concrete easy. For larger demo projects, we recommend adding a towable dump trailer rental to your list to haul away concrete scraps when you’re finished. 

Projects that involve concrete cutting both for demolition and installation will require a concrete saw. The Home Depot Rental carries a variety of concrete saw rentals to match the size of your project. Lightweight gas concrete saws are ideal for handling concrete, asphalt and masonry with powerful engines that start easier and vibrate less.  

Before getting started, always wear protective eyewear and a mask to guard against rogue particles and dust. You’ll also want to review the operations manuals for each rental tool before getting started.  

How to Cut Concrete to Install Concrete Pavers or Build a Walkway

Step 1: Prep the Area

Cutting Concrete can be messy. When it comes to cutting concrete outside, make sure you close any open doors or windows to prevent dust from entering your home. Keep a safe distance between you and any outdoor furniture or belongings to prevent them from being damaged or covered with concrete dust.  

Step 2: Measure and Mark a Chalk Line 

Determine where you want to cut and mark your cut lines with a thick line of chalk. Make sure the line is thick enough to see even when you trickle some water over it prior to cutting.  

Step 3: Gather Your Materials 

In addition to your concrete tools, you’ll need a garden hose to wet the chalk line slightly. This will help keep the dust at bay. It’s also a good idea to have a guide board handy. Using a 1-inch scrap of wood along the chalk line will help you keep the blade straight for a better cut. 

Step 4: Cutting Concrete 

Before you get into cutting concrete, set the proper blade depth. If your materials are on the thicker side, consider setting the blade depth to a quarter- or half-inch and make a series of shallow cuts, rather than one deep cut.  

Now it’s time to start cutting concrete. Power up your gas concrete saw and start your first cut along the edge of the guide board. Maintain a firm, two-handed grip on the saw as you move it forward slowly. You don’t want to push the saw down into the concrete. Rather, let the saw do the work as you guide it through the paver or block. Repeat the process for cutting concrete pavers or similar areas to complete the project. 

If your DIY weekend project is to build a walkway, a concrete saw rental is ideal. A concrete saw will allow you to cut blocks and pavers for areas that may be uneven, narrow, or just need a custom fit. Thinking about a walkway build? Add instant curb appeal in a weekend.  

Throughout the cutting process, clean and clear dust buildup from the saw and working area to ensure your tools make the best cuts. 

When to Cut Concrete After Pouring It Yourself 

Pouring a walkway or a concrete countertop? You’ll probably need to make cuts in the concrete after it’s poured. Knowing when to cut concrete after pouring is critical. Saw concrete as soon as it can withstand the saw without raveling—the dislodging of aggregate partials that will cause a messy, weakened edge. Cutting concrete should happen within 6-18 hours after pouring depending on the thickness and temperature and should never exceed 24 hours. 

The Home Depot Rental has everything you need to mix and pour concrete, including cement mixersCutting concrete doesn’t have to be hard. Get the tools you need to complete this DIY project in a weekend.