Cutting Block

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Henry, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 549

    Is there an easier way to cut wall blocks than a gas demo saw? I just can't seem to cut a block straight with this thing.
     
  2. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 404

    Sorry partner... i don't know any other way myself....
     
  3. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Lol,

    sorry had to laugh at this one.

    My best advice is experience. If you have cut a lot of block and still are having problems, then give up! .............just kidding.

    A few things that may help. First of all, what size blade are you using? If you are only using a 12" saw/blade, then some of the larger blocks are a little trickier as the blade doesn't go as deep and the exactness of the cut is more important.

    I find a 14" blade to be a good for most brands of block. It doesn't go all the way through, but the extra depth of cut helps out when getting the two cuts to meet in the middle.

    If you really want to, you could bounce up to a 16" blade and just about cut all the way through most blocks. The problem is 16" blades are big $ and most of the common cut-off's don't accept a blade that big.

    I run a partner k950 and it has a big enough guard to run a 16" blade, but I never have run one on it yet. Just too expensive. I find a 12" is a great all around blade for cutting pavers and blocks, but will switch to the 14" if there is alot of block cutting.

    Also, your technique may be off. For those having trouble, I tell them to first cut a line down the face of the block, then do the cuts on the top and bottom to split it. At least this way the face is straight, and that is all that really matters most of the time.

    Besides cutoffs, other options are block splitters and then big table mounted type saws. Block splitters are quick, provide decents results, and are a real time saver when you need a lot of 'end cut' blocks for walls and don't want to split them by hand, but are limited to the angles and precision that may be needed. The big table type saws are excellent, however, to purchase a model big enough to cut wall block is a large investment, is a major pain to transport/set-up, and requires some serious power (I think you need 220 power supply for many of them in this type of category)

    steve
     
  4. creative concepts

    creative concepts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    I purchased a MK saw at the begining of last season and it is the best investment I've made in awhile. It is a dry saw so you have to put up with the dust but it has a 14" blade and works excellent on both pavers and blocks. The only down side of cutting blocks is you have to flip it over but it creates a straight cut. It cost me $850.00 new and the blades run from $100 for the cheap ones to $300 for the good ones. Hope this helps

    Chris
    Creative Concepts Landscape Design & Management

    P.S. You also don't have to worry about the mix ratios or keeping the thing tuned right (i.e. variations in humidty, etc...) since it is electric
     
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Hey chris,

    Are you are referring to that new BX 3 saw that MK came out with?

    I've seen one at my local supplier and they keep telling me how great it is, but I'm not sold yet. Does it bog down alot? I just have trouble with something that small being able to cut pavers and block with any kind of speed.

    I was thinking it might make a great second saw for jobs where there are alot of cuts, but not sure yet. I currently run your typical everday 1 1/2 HP wet saw with 10" blade and am really wanting something faster with more power and bigger cutting. I really can't see the BX 3 being any improvement, but maybe I'm wrong.

    steve
     
  6. creative concepts

    creative concepts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Steve,

    That's the one. I used to run only wet saws but figured I would give this a try. My personal experience is that it cuts BETTER than a wet saw if you can deal with the dust. I had a 1 1/3 hp wet saw with a 12" blade and the BX 3 cuts about 3x faster than the wet did. Even though it is dusty, I think clean up is easier because you can just sweep up or blow the debris rather than hosing it down. It actually cuts through a full 6" block in one shot in about the same time as a demo saw (maybe even a little faster) but with the acuracy (sp?) of a wet saw. I never had any problems with it bogging, even when cutting through 8" blocks. The blade seems to last longer than your typical demo saw (I guess due to the lack of the wobble factor) as well.

    Hope this helps in your decision. I will pm you to let you know where I got it from.

    Chris
    Creative Concepts Landscape Design & Management
     
  7. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    If you've got wobble in your blades, one of several things could be wrong:

    Your blade has no diamond left

    Your blade is not made to cut the material you're cutting

    Your blade is not rated for the speed your saw is rotating it

    Your blade is a cheapie

    Any of those things can be dangerous.

    I'm not familar with the saw mentioned here but $850 new is really cheap. I'm accustomed to paying $2-2.5k for a 14" 5hp tub saw.

    I'm skeptical that there's a saw out there that can cut through block faster than my Partner K950 16" (with the 16" blade), except maybe a K1200 16" (insert Tim Allen sound effect here). Seeing that it's electric, I don't think there's a way for that thing to cut anywhere near as fast as the gas saws mentioned here - the amp draw to do that pretty much eliminates the use of household voltage, unless you want to run to the customers fuse box every few minutes to flip the tripped breaker. Or, you have to pay for and bring your own generator on site, which then you have two motorized things to break, and aren't saving any money long term.

    Sorry to beat up the electric saw, I've just used a few of them and found them to not have the oomph we need.
     
  8. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    chris,

    thanks for the info. I've never really got a good testimonial for the saw yet, so it's good to finally get one. There's a place called Wingle supply up here that sells them....I think the price is the same, 850, and that includes a blade.

    stonehenge,

    you share my thoughts exactly on electric saws, as I am thinking of a new gas powered tub saw for my next purchased.

    However, besides chris now, I've heard the BX 3 actually does a good job from a few people and am curious to give it a shot. I will have to get a demo of one this spring to see what it is all about. It uses a different designed blade than what I am use too that supposely works faster with less power. I agree that bigger is usually better for saws, but just want to give this thing a try.

    A K1200, now that's a saw! Just don't think my back would appreciate running that all day!

    steve
     
  9. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 404

    You guys really swear by that Partner saw huh?? Well.. the reason I ask is its about timeI get a new cutoff and was looking at the Stihl's too. You think the Partner is far superior though???
     
  10. creative concepts

    creative concepts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Stonehenge,

    The wobble I meant was operator wobble when you have an inexperienced person using...LOL. I agree the gas powered saws are very very nice but dollar for dollar I feel that the BX 3 cuts just as well and just as fast without spending the $2k for it.

    Chris
    Creative Concepts Landscape Design & Management
     

Share This Page