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Masonry Cutting and Sawing - A Comprehensive Guide

Masonry cutting and sawing - methods, tools and machines

Difficulty: Medium | Costs: approx. 35 euros | Workload: approx. 50 minutes.

It is quite common that you will need to cut masonry. Whether new or old building, renovation or refurbishment. In some cases it is possible to do this work yourself. In this guide we will show you how to do this and when you should get a professional to help you.

Table of contents

1. When does the masonry need to be cut?

Here are a few common cases when cutting masonry is necessary:

  • Installation of doors or windows.

    To do this, openings must be cut into the masonry, for example to be able to insert a window.

Sawing a cut-out for windows in masonry - sample image house construction site Opening for windows

  • Installation of electrical or plumbing.

    For electrical and pipe installations, the masonry is not cut in the classic sense. A wall chaser or slot cutter with a diamond blade is used to create a slot in which to route the wiring

Wall sawing and cutting with a slot cutter for electrical installations - craftsmen at work

  • Removing damaged masonry

    In the case of renovation or conversion work, it may be necessary to completely or partially remove a wall.

Subsequent removal of a wall/masonry by sawing

  • Cutting masonry to make openings for stairs or elevators

In the case of new buildings or conversions, necessary modernization projects may have to be implemented. For example, it may be necessary to install an elevator to have a handicap accessible building. Here, too, cutting of the masonry at the appropriate points will be provided in the planning.

2. What machines and tools are required to cut masonry?

In this text we only want to go into which machines can be operated by an average person himself.

Dealing with one

  • wall saw
  • concrete saw

should be carried out by a trained tradesman.

Banner image Guide : Cutting Stones - All Methods

2.1 Sawing and cutting masonry with an angle grinder

Cut masonry with the angle grinder and diamond disc

The angle grinder is the ideal machine for small and uncomplicated projects when sawing masonry.

With a diamond cutting disc that is made for your built-in material (masonry), you can make smaller cuts with a depth of up to 5 cm and a 125 mm diamond blade yourself.

  1. Mount and secure the diamond blade
  2. Mark the cutting edge with a pen and a ruler
  3. Plunge slightly above the extreme point so as not to cut over the mark
  4. Cut carefully and with little pressure along the cutting edge
  5. If necessary, take short breaks to cool the diamond blade
  6. If possible, please use a suction hood that sucks the dust directly. Alternatively, you can always ventilate the room as best as possible.
  7. Remove excess with a diamond cup wheel

Masonry Cutting Disc - For cutting concrete masonry walls, brick walls, aerated concrete walls

2.2 Milling masonry for electrical and pipe installations with a wall chaser

Wall chasers create a small groove, ideally wide enough for your pipes/cables. The width can be adjusted on most slot cutters or decided by selecting the appropriate diamond discs.

Our opinion: Another advantage is the often integrated dust extraction.

  1. Insert diamond discs and adjust the width and depth on the slot cutter
  2. Connect vacuum cleaner
  3. If possible, make a test cut and measure the resulting dimensions and compare them
  4. Mark the desired position of the groove to be created on both sides (two edges)
  5. Place the slot cutter on the masonry and cut it carefully
  6. A slow and careful approach is necessary in order to obtain the cleanest and most precise cuts possible.

Stone cutting disc in use when cutting stones

2.3 Choosing the right diamond cutting disc for masonry sawing

Choosing the right diamond cutting disc

With us you get the right diamond cutting disc for every material and every machine.

Buy a cutting disc for masonry

The correct selection is made by determining the diameter specified by your machine. Pay attention to the selection of the right hole. The angle grinder usually has a 22.23 mm mount.

In the second step you determine the material from which the masonry is made.

If you are unsure, you can use a universal cutting disc. This is not always 100% designed for the material, but with a few trade-offs in cut quality and performance you can be sure to cut through any material.

3. It is important to cut the masonry dust-free for the following reasons

The dust produced when sawing masonry can be harmful to health. It also makes it difficult to see, which can lead to unclean results.

It is prescribed by law which measures are to be taken to counteract an above-average dust exposure.

3. What options are there for cutting dust-free masonry and protecting yourself from fine dust?

These options are available to you:

  • Vacuum up dust directly. The machines often have an integrated dust extraction system.

  • Extraction hoods are available for the angle grinder. For 125 mm and even for 230 mm cutting discs

  • If necessary, you can ventilate the room thoroughly and suck up the dust directly with a vacuum cleaner.

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