If you’re occasionally cutting a few bricks, a hand saw with a masonry blade will do the job, but when there’s a lot of cutting to do, a stationary brick saw is faster, more accurate and safer. But before you buy a masonry saw, there are some things to consider:
Wet Cutting vs. Dry Cutting
Wet cutting lubricates and cools the blade, resulting in easier cutting and extending blade life up to 30%. A disadvantage of wet cutting is that the bricks have to dry out before placement, slowing down productivity. And, of course, when it’s freezing cold, wet cutting becomes impractical.
Dry cutting lets you use the bricks immediately, but it creates dust and particulate matter in the air, creating a health hazard not only for the saw operator, but for other workers, too, especially indoors. Protective masks should always be worn when dry cutting.
Chemicals and colorants can accumulate in the slurry and discolor bricks as the concentration builds during the day, too. This is why a lot of engineers and architects specify dry cutting only. Keep in mind that some saws can be used for either/or wet and dry cutting, so make sure you know the saw’s capabilities before you purchase.
Gas Saws vs. Electric Saws for Brick Cutting
Brick saws are available in both gasoline-powered and electrical models. Some are even convertible from one power source to another with little trouble. Electrical saws come in 120 and 240-volt versions, and some are switchable from one voltage to the other.
Your choice of a gas vs. electric saw will depend largely on the site’s conditions. If electricity is readily available, an electric saw is the way to go since it runs quieter and doesn’t have exhaust fume concerns.
A gas-powered saw is called for on outdoor jobs where electrical connections aren’t practical and a suitable generator isn’t available.
Choosing a Saw Blade for Block and Brick Cutting
There are saw blades designed to cut blocks, brick, and combination saw blades that will cut both. Not surprisingly, combo blades represent a compromise, but are a decent choice when working with a mix of materials in small quantities and add the benefit of time saved from changing blades.
Keep in mind that blocks are much more abrasive than brick, and will thus wear out your saw blade faster than a dedicated block blade will.
The saw you choose will dictate the maximum blade size, but if you go with a larger model, there are options. For instance, a great choice to cut through a block in a single pass would be a 20” saw.
As bricks are a lot smaller, a smaller (and less expensive) blade will do the job. A 14” blade would be sufficient and save you the cost of the extra diamonds on a bigger blade.
Remember that saw blades are designed to run at a certain surface speed, so it’s important to adjust the saw pulleys to the right speed for the blade you’re using.
Great Masonry Saws and Cutting Blades
For maximum versatility in a masonry table saw, you can’t beat the IQ360 14" DUST-FREE TABLE SAW. It’s the world’s first 14-inch dry-cut masonry saw with fully-integrated dust collection on a singular power source. This 115v, 16 amp saw cuts stone, brick, pavers and tile inside or outside while maintaining a safe, dust-free work environment. It’s lightweight and compact, too, for easy transportation to and from the jobsite.
No matter what size or type of masonry saw you have, you’ll find high-quality diamond blades for cutting all types of material on all types of saws at Ace Cutting Equipment and Supplies. We carry everything from 4” hand grinder blades to massive 42” blades for walk-behind saws. Call us today at 888-283-2597 to learn more.
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