The Concrete Network

Watch videos on concrete saw cutting to learn when and why different types of concrete saws and blades are used.

Concrete Saws and Saw Blades

Time: 06:06

Get an introduction to the various hand-held and walk-behind saws Harris uses to cut patterns and designs in concrete. Learn what each concrete saw is used for, the right saw blade to use for different special effects, and how to control dust and cutting depth. See demos of these saws and blades in action.

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Decorative Concrete Scoring and Sawcutting

Sawcutting Patterns and Designs in Concrete

Time: 05:56

Harris creates a decorative floor medallion using a variety of diamond cutting tools, including a walk-behind saw with a special pivot that allows it to cut perfect circles. Also get tips for enhancing a sawcut design with stains and dyes.

Concrete Hand Grinders

Time: 05:45

See the decorative effects you can achieve in concrete with a hand-held diamond grinder, from straight lines, to circles, to free-form designs. Also learn what blades to use and how to control dust.

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Hand-Held Concrete Grinders

Dust Control for Concrete Saws

Time: 02:09

Controlling dust is important when using any type of concrete saw, grinder or cutting machine that creates airborne dust particles. Get an overview of the different types of dust control equipment, ranging from a simple wet-dry vac to sophisticated machines equipped with HEPA filtration systems.

Mongoose Concrete Saw

Time: 05:12

This video provides tips for cutting patterns in concrete floors using the Mongoose concrete saw. This saw comes with unique diamond blades specifically designed for these types of concrete saws. The blades come in a variety of widths to allow for customization of the thickness of the sawcut and pattern. After chalking out your pattern, line up the saw's front and back guides along the line. This saw also comes equipped with a radius cutting attachment for creating circle designs.

Barracuda & Shark Engravers

Time: 04:31

Decorative concrete contractors often engrave graphics into the concrete surface. The engraving tools of choice for most decorative applications are either the Barracuda or the Shark. Each tool is air-driven, meaning they require an air compressor to operate. You need an air compressor with the capacity of 10 to 12 CFM and a maximum capacity of 90 to 100 pounds pressure. Be cautious about using gas powered air compressors indoors or near combustible materials. Before turning on the air compressor make sure there is proper ventilation. These tools can be used in both a freehand form as well as with reusable polyurethane templates available from the engraving tool manufacturer. When using templates, pre-stain the area in which a pattern will be engraved. Then use the engraving tools to chisel a relief in the concrete surface. Wear the right safety equipment when using these high performance tools: eye protection, ear protection and a dust mask are all musts.

Wasp & Dremel

Time: 05:00

How to use the Dremel and Wasp concrete engraving tools for making detailed sawcuts and patterns in concrete surfaces. The Dremel tool uses thin diamond-tipped drill bits and works well for creating detailed graphics, finishing sawcuts near walls, or touching up patterns. The Dremel is not designed for cutting long straight lines. The Wasp is a pneumatic (air-powered) tool powered by an air compressor capable of 10-12 CFM and 90-100 pounds pressure. This tool is used for engraving, or fracturing the concrete, to create detailed designs.

Crack-Vac Concrete Saw

Time: 05:10

The Crack-Vac Concrete Saw is used for decorative concrete score cutting. This is a dustless concrete saw, meaning all airborne dust particles are captured in a dust bag. This is a great tool when working inside a finished home. Originally designed to chase cracks on concrete floors, many decorative concrete artisans now use the Crack-Vac for score cutting patterns in concrete floors. One tip for cutting concrete with this tool is to extend your chalk lines well beyond the end of the saw cut. This will allow you to keep the alignment needle on the saw straight though the entire scoring process.

Blades and Grinders

Time: 08:33

The concrete grinder, combined with a variety of concrete blade options, is like an artist's brush for decorative concrete contractors. When used properly, skilled contractors can create freehand designs and intricate patterns. When selecting the proper grinder for your toolbox, consider how it feels in your hands as well as the RPMs (revolutions per minute). You should have a very high RPM grinder for cutting in concrete. This smooths out the joint and prevents the blade from wobbling while it is spinning. Different designs can be created by changing to varying sizes of blades. Blades typically come in 2 inch and 4 inch sizes in addition to numerous blade widths: 1/16 inch, 1/8 inch, and 1/4 inch. Professionals often use a continuous rimmed blade (no segments) to create a smooth grinder cut. Be sure the blades you are buying have high quality diamonds. Use the tools that come with the grinder to change the blades. You may also want to try using a crack-chase blade to make decorative cuts. This makes a V-groove in the concrete and is used for free-form art. Make sure you take the proper safety precautions including eye protection, ear protection, gloves, and a dust mask. Many contractors use a shop vacuum to capture any dust that the grinder throws off. And lastly, don't be afraid to get creative with your grinder.

Concrete Cut Off Saw

Time: 04:22

The cut-off concrete saw is used to cut contraction joints, sometimes called control joints, in a concrete slab. The joints are cut to encourage the concrete to crack where a joint has been pre-cut instead of in the middle of the slab. Cut-off saws are most often used on decorative stamped concrete patios, or driveways and pool decks where there are deep texture patterns. In this case, using a concrete groover is inappropriate. Additionally, a walk-behind saw on wheels does not work well either. The reason is that the saw will move up and down with the texture pattern creating an uneven saw cut. When cutting a contraction joint be sure to calculate the appropriate depth the saw cut needs to be. A true contraction joint, or control joint, is ΒΌ of the slabs overall thickness. For example, if your slab is 4 inches thick, the control joint needs to be cut 1 inch deep. To get the saw started, use the choke to prime the gas lines. Follow up by giving the saw a little gas before you start the engine. Be sure your control joints are cut straight by first snapping a line with talcum powder, and then use a 1 inch by 4 foot piece of lumber as a guide. For safety, use eye protection, ear plugs, and an OSHA approved respirator.

Knee Pads & Respirators

Time: 02:03

It is important to follow the proper safety guidelines on the job. Be sure you always have the proper knee protection and respirators. Using knee pads will extend your concreting career as well as help prevent the need for knee surgery later in life. There are a number of knee pads and respirators to choose from. Perhaps the most important factor in selecting a respirator is making sure it is OSHA approved. Secondly, be sure that the respirator is the right one for the job you're doing. For example, if you are working on a job with only airborne dust particulate (fractured concrete in the air), you will need a different respirator than if you are applying a concrete dye that has chemical vapors. The cartridge on the respirator should indicate its proper use. If the cartridge says "chemical cartridge," it can be used when spraying products like acetones, xeylene, or acids.

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