View Full Version : Advice needed - concrete saw
06-30-2000, 09:34 PM
<p>I've read bits and pieces of threads covering the issue as time has permitted, but I would like to ask this knowledgeable group a question about saws.<p>I find myself doing more and more walls and paver projects than ever before, and I need the fastest, most economical method of cutting hardscape materials. Particularly:<p>Pavers<p>Wall Block (Miami, Anchor Windsor)<br>6, 8, and 12" cutwall (sandy creek, Oakfield, etc.)<p>concrete<p>asphalt<p>I do not own a saw at present, and have relied on archaic methods of spliting material or renting a tub saw. I feel like a saw would be a good investment, saving me money and time on every project.<p>O.K. What would be the recommendation for a first time saw? Money is not an issue. I want to buy the right saw the first time. Will a diamond tipped blade cut all these materials I have mentioned? How expensive are these blades?<p>Please advise.
I find that I need two different types of saws, one is a hand held "Partner" saw and a tub saw.<br>I like a 12" "Partner" saw for general use, cutting pavers and wall stone, plus for cutting Lannon stone, re-bar and what ever else that needs to be cut.<p>A tub saw is needed at times for cutting pavers and cap units, but we are using it less and less. <p>As for blades use diamond for brick and block only, fow lannon stone use a harder binder for your diamond blades, ashpalt and metal we use fiber blades. <p> <p>----------<br>paul<br>
Paul,<br>What exactly is a "Partner" saw? The brand name? Is it what might also be called a "chop saw" (handheld)? Like a chainsaw but with the round blade instead of the bar? If so, how do you hold a paver for cutting, or do you just use the tub saw for paverwork? Thanks for your input.<br>Bill
07-01-2000, 05:59 PM
Hello,<p>first of all, listen to paul and stonehenge, they know exactly what to get. They helped to guide me in the right direction and before I purchased my saw.<p>A "partner" is a type of "chop-saw" It is just one brand, and there are many others. And yes, they use the circular type diamond blades to cut concrete. <p>There are other brands too. Stihl, husqavarna, dolmar, are just a few to start with. If you have never looked or seen any of these, check them out. <p>Personally, I love the partner the I just purchased. (thanks all!).<p>Its a K950, and can handle up to a 16" blade. Pound for Pound, its probably the most light weight and most powerful saw out there. I have only had mine for about a month know, but love it. Been cutting 'keystone' and 'versa lock' wall stone and cap, and used it to cut in my first walkway the other week.<p>I use to only use a tub saw for the walks, but know cut them in with the chop-saw instead. It goes SOOOOO MUCH faster now. Just need a way to mark them, and you are set. You cut them 'in-place', or in other words you lay the walk and then cut them. <p>As for the tub saw, you still will need that too. I found I only needed it for a few cuts, so I just rent a electric one for the day to finish any of the cuts I couldn't get with the cut-off. <p>If you are interested, they have a good deal on the Partner at Alamia.com (the website- don't buy blades though, they can be bought for cheaper at other places) As for others, you can plan on spending in the range of 800 to 1000 on anything else, such as the stihl TS400, another popular choice.<p>As for blades, prices can go from 100 to 300. I'm using partner blades now. I purchased a 14" and a 12", and spent 150 on the 14" and the same for the 12" (bought it from alamia and found out my local supplier could of got it for much less, learning as I go now) The blades are a 'middle of the road quality, and if you want a high quality blade, you can expect to double the price. If I could, I would go with the highest quality next time. Though double the price, you get 3 or 4 times more life out of them. I had almost killed my 14" after one job where I cut about 20 keystone wall blocks, 100 cap units, and about 200 running ft of pavers in. <p>steveair<br> <p><br><font size="1">Edited by: steveair<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: steveair
07-01-2000, 06:00 PM
Sorry, my post popped up the same time as the last one, but I'll leave it anyway, our stories back each other up!<p>BRL, yes, partner is a brand name and it is exactly what your thinking of and describe. Stihl, Echo, Homelite and a ton of others make them. We use stihl saws here in the Air Force for our runway repairs (small fixes of course) We have dedicated walk behind saws, but for a back-up we bought some stands for the "K-12's" so they can be pushed along like a larger concrete saw. Other names they seem to have gotten along the years is : concrete saw, wet saw, chop saw, etc.<p>Paul is dead on about the blades. We use diamond tipped wet blades for concrete, and fiber blades for asphalt, stone, and metal. They come in very handy in landscaping and small construction applications. Many saws also have a kit to attatch a water source to them for water cooling. Wich is especially NEEDED for the diamond blades. Let me know if you have any more questions. Hope this cleared things up a little bit!<p>----------<br><a href="http://communities.msn.com/guidosequipmentpics/">"Guido"</a><br>David M. Famiglietti<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: guido
07-01-2000, 07:11 PM
Steveair - <p>I'm glad you like the Partner saw and are getting your projects cut in a lot quicker! And thanks for the vote of confidence.<p><p>I did want to make a note about using wet blades/water to extend diamond blade life - <br> We don't use water. We use dry blades only. I've found that the water holds the brick dust and deposits it deep into the crevaces of the brick, so any brick you cut end up looking lighter than non-cut ones, because this extra dust is irretrievably imbedded in the brick. <p>(I've heard of some solutions to this, like bringing 2-55 gal drums to the site, and only draw clean water from the first, to be left in the second, giving clean water. However, with all the time and work involved in horsing those drums around, it seems more cost-effective to just gear up for dry cutting (respirators) and go that way.)<p>It looks like the posts here have given a lot of good info. I hope it all helps you to make a good saw decision.
07-01-2000, 09:58 PM
<p>Thanks so much to all. I appreciate the excellent information. Is there a distinction between a "wet blade" when purchasing, or does the term refer to an ordinary blade when using water as a coolant? <br>
Buy only dry blades, they can be run with water but a wet blade can only be run wet.<p>----------<br>paul<br>
07-02-2000, 03:29 PM
Hello,<p>Just wanted to comment on cutting wet vs. dry. The partner K950 comes with a wet hose system alread attached that works very well. You just need to pick up a quick connect garden hose at your local hardware store and hook the garden hose right up. <br>I believe most other brands have the option, but you have to pay extra for it......<p>I'm still not sure if cutting wet is really much better than dry though. Run into two problems with wet. First, I use pencil to mark my cuts (especially for cutting wall cap) and the wet saw erases the mark before you can start cutting already. Second, it makes a MESS. You endup getting soaked along with everything around you. I've being wearing a full rain suit during cutting, and it gets real hot quick, but you have too. I tried cutting without the suit for a few hours and the concrete/water mix soaked through my cloths and gave me one hell of a rash all over my body. Concrete spray is nasty stuff that you do not want to have on you all day. <p>As for dry, I think I will go more this way too like stone said. Just got to have that respirator or you really get choked out. <p>Only problem with dry is if you are close to a house/building/parking lot. After cutting one block, the dust storm will engulf the whole area. I had to wash the clients car the other day and it was on the other side of the house! They even had dust on their kitchen counter! Sometimes, you just have to cut wet though.<p>and stone/paul,<p>I looked into that quickdraw and they wanted over a 100 bucks for the dam thing. So, I decided against it and bought a bow compass from my local drafting supply store. It works great..<br>The needle end rides right along the plastic pave edging and it can be adjusted for the measurements I need. Been using a sandstone marking stick in it to scribe my line. Just couldn't see spending all that money. Think I'm still gonna have my mechanic weld up something a little heavier duty though. <p><p>steveair<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: steveair
07-02-2000, 07:58 PM
Forgot to warn about all the dust. We usually walk around the house before starting, and warn the customer to close all windows, garage doors, etc. Afterwards we take a handheld blower to the house and surroundings to knock the majority of the dust off. <p>as a side note - we also use that same blower to clean off retaining wall block before applying adhesive for the caps - faster and more effective than sweeping.<p>When getting a respirator, don't get those ones that aren't much more than a starched white piece of fabric strapped to your head. The dust will all get around the sides of it and into your lungs. You can get something like a 6200 series half-face mask from 3M (the mask is rubber) for about $20. The filters for this application are about $4, and can last most of a season (doing a lot of cutting). I get mine at a welding supply co.<p>As for the question about wet/dry blades - they are sold as either a wet blade or dry blade, and follow Paul's advice - you can run dry blades with water, but don't run wet blades dry.
Just aword on dust control, DON'T CUT BRICK NEAR A FRESH AIR IN TAKE AT A OLD PEOPLES HOME! We did a job at one and set off the fire alarm they responded with 15 fire trucks and 25 ambulances from four towns away. Alot of unhappy firemen and city officals. Not to mention county fire marshall. <p><br>I could write a book on diamond blades, last catalog I got from one company had 30 different blades in it just for 12" saws, remember the harder the brick the softer the binder (thats the steel holding the diamonds) you need, for softer stone use a harder binder.<p>----------<br>paul<p><p><font size="1">Edited by: paul
Lot's of great info in these posts. Thanks guys! I'm saving up for a saw and looking into all of the options also. Thanks for saving me some of the leg-work. The K950 reference helped me realize that I've used a "Partner" before. I remembered the model # but not the brand. I was using a friend's (Gen. Contr.) for cutting block & concrete & was wondering if it could be used for pavers. Thanks for the help.<br>Bill
07-08-2000, 01:10 PM
Hey guys, Steveair just put up some awesome pictures of some paver work and retaining walls on my site. The sidewalk will give you an idea about his saws. Check them out, just click on my blue signature block below.<p>----------<br><a href="http://communities.msn.com/guidosequipmentpics/">"Guido"</a><br>David M. Famiglietti
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