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Concrete pavers are a popular flooring option to use outside. They are similar to tiles used outside and can come in many sizes, colors, and shapes depending on what the customer would like to use. Depending on your goals for the backyard, you may need to cut into the concrete paver to get the size you want to use.
How to Cut Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers can be strong and difficult to cut through. Due to the tough nature of the concrete, it is hard to use some traditional tools to get the work done. Some of the methods you can use to cut into the concrete paver includes:
Cutting Pavers with a Circular Saw
For this method, use a circular saw. This will help to make a clean and easy cut to get the work done. A powerful circular saw with the right blade will cut concrete pavers relatively easily.
You should focus on a diamond blade to help with this one to ensure that the blade will not wear out and get old on you in the process. Concrete is strong so a regular blade may work temporarily, but not for long.
Before you get started, you need to use a few safety precautions to help.
- Make sure that the paver is left on a non-slip mat to help it stay in place when you do the cutting.
- You can also consider clamping the paver to your work surface if you would like.
Once that is ready, the steps you need to cut the paver with your circular saw include:
- Mark the cut: You need to mark the line that you want to cut, going across the top of the paver. Use a square and a pencil to help with this. You can transfer the line over to the bottom face of your paver.
- Set up the blade on the saw: Your paver needs to be on a non-slip mat on the surface you plan to use. With that in place, adjust the blade to cut a shallow depth, usually between 1/8 to ¼ inch.
- Cut the top side: With this ready, you can cut along marked line, starting with a shallow cut right to the surface. You must make a few passes, adjusting the depth of the saw until you get the cut somewhere between ½ to 1 inch.
- Cut the bottom side: With the top side done, you need to work on the bottom side. Flip your paver over and do the same cutting process on the bottom.
- Break along the cuts: The paver needs to be flat on the work surface. Use a hammer to help break the paver along the lines you just cut.
And with that, the paver is cut into the size that you would like. For straighter lines, try using a circular saw rip fence.
Depending on how thick the paver is when you get started, you may need to make a few passes along it to get the results on both sides. It may be slow going, but it will work out well.
Read our guide on how to cut pavers with an angle grinder if that’s the route you elect to go.
Cutting the Pavers with a Wet Saw
If you do not want to use a circular saw to get the work done, another option is a masonry wet saw, otherwise known as a tile saw. A wet tile saw works well because it helps you get a clean cut all through the paver.
These are similar to the saw used to cut into ceramic tile. These are kind of neat because some water is designed to spray on the blade while you do the cutting to help minimize the amount of dust and heat that happens during the cut.
This is a pretty simple method to use, but to make it happen you need to do the following.
- Mark the cut: Use a straightedge and a pencil to mark the cutting line where you want to cut.
- Position the paver: You need to place the chosen paver onto a saw sled, allowing it to rest fully on the back of the sled. Line up the cutting line with the blade and then slide that sled to the back.
- Turn the saw on: Turn the saw on at this point, giving it time to go to full speed. You should notice water flowing over the blade when the saw is running.
- Make the cut: You can hold the paver right against the sled, making sure your hands are not near the blade. Push the sled slowly and steadily to the blade until it cuts into the paver.
- Move the sled: You can slide the sled back at this time, take out the paver pieces, and turn off the saw.
Using a Brick Splitter
This method can go by different names, but it is basically a non-power tool that will work in a manner similar to a log splitter. The only difference is that it will cut into your pavers and bricks. This method is preferred over some of the others because it will not produce any dust as you do the work and it does not make as much noise as a power saw will.
If you plan to cut through a concreate paver, which are sometimes harder than a brick, you need to check that the splitter you use is designed to handle concrete. Sometimes these brick splitters will not work with any of the stone pavers that you would like to use. The steps you can use for this method includes:
- Mark the cut: Like the other methods, you need to mark the cutting line on the top of the paver with a straightedge and a pencil so you know where to cut.
- Align the paver: Make sure that the paver is positioned on the baes of the tool to help the marked line align with the cutting edge.
- Split the paver: When you are ready, you can pull down sharply on the handle to get the paver to split up nicely.
As long as the brick splitter is designed to handle some of the strength that comes with the concrete paver, you will find that this is an effective method to help you get things done.
Using a Hammer and Chisel
If you have a layout in the backyard that only needs a few concrete pavers to be cut, you may be able to get the method done without needing a special tool to help. Sometimes something as simple as a chisel and a hammer will get it done. Some of the steps you can use to help get this done using a hammer and chisel include:
- Mark all the sides: You need to make a cutting line on top of the paver. You need to be able to transfer this same line to all three sides of the paver to make this easier.
- Score your paver: With the lines in place, you can slowly tap the chisel into the paver with the help of the hammer, right on the cutting line. Do this until a shallow groove shows up on all sides. Be careful not to do this too hard or the paver may break.
- Break along the scored line: With the indent in place on all four sides, you can position the chisel edge into the groove right at the center of your paver face. Do a sharp hit to the chisel using your hammer to break the paver on the grooved line.
This method may take some practice. If you have a few extra pavers around you are not using, consider practicing a few times to help you get the hang of it before doing the work on the pavers you plan to use in the design.
Tips for Cutting Concrete Pavers
Cutting into your pavers is a great way to add the exact shape and style to your backyard that you would like. Sometimes the hard concrete is difficult to get through. Some of the things that you should consider trying to make this process easier includes:
- All the methods we discussed above will work for a straight cut. If you want to make a curved cut, you should use the circular saw or angle grinder.
- Adding painter’s table to the base of the circular saw before cutting into the paver will help to keep it safe.
- Use proper eye and ear protection as you go through cutting the paver.
- Try a few practice runs with some extra pavers if you have some to spare to make this easier.
- An angle grinder is also a great way to grind bumps and edges that might show up.
With a little bit of creativity and the right tools, it is easy to cut into the concrete pavers and create the backyard look that you have always dreamed about.
A concrete paver is a great option to use in your outdoor landscaping. They are strong and durable, making a them the perfect choice to use outside, even if that may make them difficult to cut into when you want to make some changes. Using one of the methods above, you can cut into your concrete paver and make your yard look exactly how you want.