Can You Cut Concrete With a Circular Saw?

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Circular saws are known to take on various projects, from complex carpentry to regular woodwork. But out of the many materials out there, can a circular saw cut concrete?

If you don’t want to risk damaging your prized power tool, read along as our resident contractors explain how to utilize it properly. 

What is a Circular Saw Regularly Used For?

You may not know, but circular saws have toothed blades that move in a high-speed cutting motion. Because of this, it’s not a surprise that they’re a staple in many woodworking and carpentry projects.

Makita SP6000J1 Plunge Circular Saw

If you shop around the market frequently as our team did, you’ll notice that these cutting tools come in different varieties like hand-held or mounted types. They are commonly powered by electricity, but some models also use gasoline or hydraulics.

These tools are frequently seen in home building and furniture-making projects, utilized on common materials like plywood, firewood, timber, and metal.

Even though using a circular saw for concrete sounds uncommon, it is certainly possible. You can successfully cut concrete with a circular saw with the right blades and safety equipment. 

Makita XSR01Z Circular Saw

First, you must equip your circular saw with a diamond or corundum mason blade, then cut away!

Directions in Cutting Concrete With a Circular Saw + Dos and Don’ts

Safety is always a priority in any project, but you must practice extra caution with powerful cutting tools like a circular saw. 

Make sure to follow the following in using a circular saw for cutting concrete.

Circular Saw Blades That Can Cut Concrete

Abrasive Corundum Masonry Blade

You can cut concrete, asphalt, and stucco with corundum or hard aluminum oxide blades. The caveat to using this type of blade is that they are less efficient than other blades. You must repeatedly slice the surface for shallow cuts of 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep.

abrasive blade

And because they’re more affordable, it’s not surprising that the blades wear out faster than other alternatives in the market. Most of the time, they produce fine dust[1] and get so hot that they sparkle. 

Given how this blade type moves slower, we only recommend abrasive corundum masonry blades if you need to make a few shallow cuts.

Diamond Blade

As the name says, diamond blades consist of a metal blade with a diamond, or metal composite stuck at the end. 

Although it’s more expensive than other blades, its durable material makes it ideal for those who frequently cut concrete. Thanks to this, rest assured that a diamond blade for a circular saw will surpass the efficiency of an abrasive-type blade. 

dewalt diamond blade

Wet or Dry Cutting?

Although wet and dry cutting works well for various tasks, both methods are only effective depending on the job you’re trying to do.

You may not know, but dry cutting is more suitable for indoor cutting tasks. It’s an ideal cutting method for shaping, detailing, and finishing. Besides that, dry cutting can make deeper slices if the blade is allowed to free-spin and cool down.

You can only do this method safely and efficiently if the workspace is kept dry. We highly suggest this method if you don’t have access to water during the concrete cutting.

While wet cutting has less dust production, many DIY users find it messier. Despite that, it’s suitable for thicker building materials and continuous cutting. It also uses water to assist the operation, so the chances of blade wearing and overheating are lesser. 

metal cutting diamond blade

Can You Use a Circular Saw to Cut Concrete Pavers Too?

Massive concrete or miter saws are power tools often utilized for paver stone cutting, but a circular saw will also work well in these types of tasks. 

However, rather than housing your circular saw with a conventional blade, we recommend using the diamond masonry option when tackling concrete pavers.

Safety Reminders to Follow

Don Mask and Goggles

Using a circular saw requires the correct safety gear, as with any power tool. First, you should be wearing closed-toe shoes. If possible, get steel-toed shoes to safeguard your feet.

Wear protective glasses to avoid sawdust and debris from harming your eyes. And because dust is an inevitable part of cutting operations, wearing a mask should also be a priority.

Breath Buddy Respirator Mask

Finally, we don’t encourage the use of loose work gloves. Instead of protecting you, they can get stuck in the circular saw (or any other power equipment) and hurt you.

Keep Your Body Away From the Blade

You may think blade accidents only apply to reciprocating blades that rotate towards you, but did you know that it also applies to circular saws? The rationale for this situation is often the possibility of a kickback. 

If your circular saw kicks back during the usage, it’s not farfetched to think that it might hit you. We suggest keeping a distance from the blade to prevent this ugly scenario. 

Keep the Power Cord Away From the Blade

If you’re using corded cutting tools, the worst mistake you can make is to cut the wires during the operations. If you don’t want this inconvenience to happen, ensure that none of them are in the way of your cut.

keep the cord away from blade

Check the Condition of the Saw and Blade

Safety is a top priority before any task involving this power tool. So, before commencing any activity, check the circular saw closely and see if it powers up normally. 

On top of that, you must check if your blades are sharp enough to cut through materials. You might cause damage to the blade if you’re using it dull. Ironically, using dull blades might lead to injury.

FAQ

How long does a diamond blade last if used to cut concrete?

A diamond blade can last about 10 to 100 hours of cutting concrete. While there is no solid reference to this, this estimation is possible if you employ the right technique and use a good-quality diamond blade.

How deep should saw cuts be for concrete?

Saw cuts for concrete should be about 1 ½ to 2 inches deep. We recommend basing your cut on how thick the concrete is. A good measurement is ¼ of the concrete.

Conclusion

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics [1] if you have doubts about whether can you cut concrete with a circular saw. 

It’s critical to have a well-functioning concrete cutter on hand and to have it ready when you need it. You must take safety precautions before beginning to cut the concrete slab.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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