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No matter how carefully you plan the installation of your patio, walkway, or driveway, if you’re using pavers, some of them will need to be cut. Cutting pavers with an angle grinder can be done safely and effectively by nonprofessionals. You can even use an angle grinder to make curved cuts.
Assemble the appropriate materials for the job and follow this step-by-step guide. You’ll soon be enjoying the results of your labor — an even, beautiful, and strong outdoor surface made of pavers cut perfectly to size.
Using an Angle Grinder to Cut Pavers
- Cutting pavers generates dust, which will spread around the area. If you’re working indoors, use plastic sheeting to cover anything you don’t want dust to settle on. When preparing to work outside, close your windows and warn your neighbors to do the same.
- Lay a non-slip rubber mat on top of your work surface. It will help keep the paver steady and in place while you’re cutting. Place the paver on top of the mat.
- Measure your intended cut. Use a straightedge and a pencil to mark the cut line on the surface of the paving stone. Extend the line down the sides of the paver to help guide an even and straight cut.
- Put on appropriate protective gear. Goggles and a face mask will keep your eyes and throat free from dust. Cutting pavers will not create sparks, so you don’t need to worry about fire.
- Attach the disc to the spindle of the angle grinder. A diamond blade will quickly and easily cut through masonry. You can also use a silicon carbide masonry disc to cut your pavers. The diamond blade will be more expensive, but will also last longer.
- The size of the disc must be equal to the size of your angle grinder, and is noted on the surface of the disc as well as on the packaging. The maximum RPM is also listed in both places. The RPM on the disc must be equal to or greater than the maximum RPM of your angle grinder.
- Adjust the safety guard so that it is positioned between your face and any debris that may fly off the paver while you’re cutting. Connect the angle grinder to an appropriate power source.
- Activate the power switch, paddle, or toggle. The disc will begin to spin. Allow 60 seconds of warm-up time. Cutting before the wheel is at full speed increases the risk of injury.
- Lower the angle grinder so that the wheel begins to cut the pavers at a 90-degree angle. Maintain this angle throughout the cutting process. The rotation of the cutting wheel will pull the angle grinder through the material. Focus on controlling the angle grinder as it moves. Do not apply additional pressure.
- Smaller-sized angle grinders may not be able to cut through the paver in one pass. Take care to remove the blade at the same angle as it entered the paving stone. Wait for the disc to stop spinning, then set the angle grinder down.
- If necessary, flip the paver over and finish the cut from the other side. Disconnect the angle grinder from its power source and clean up the work area.
How to Cut Curves into Pavers Using an Angle Grinder
If you want to create a curved walkway using paving stones, you will need to make curved cuts.
How to Start the Curved Cut
- Mark the cut on all four sides of the paver. Score the cut line with the angle grinder, cutting a groove ⅛ of an inch deep.
- Flip the paver over and score the cut from the opposite side.
- You can now finish the cut with a cold chisel and ball peen hammer or with the angle grinder.
How to Finish the Curved Cut
You can finish a curved cut with the angle grinder, or switch to a cold chisel. Thicker pavers may require a cold chisel finish if your angle grinder is on the smaller side.
Finishing a Curved Cut with an Angle Grinder
- Cut off the majority of the waste using a straight cut that passes through the widest area of your curve.
- Remove the rest of the waste by making multiple small cuts along the line of the curve.
Finishing a Curved Cut with a Cold Chisel
- Insert the tip of a cold chisel into the groove you previously cut using the angle grinder
- Tap on the handle of the chisel with a ball peen hammer
- The paver should easily break apart, leaving a beautiful curve. If needed, you can use a grinding disc to smooth out the surface of the paver.
How to Prevent Overheating While Cutting Pavers
Applying additional pressure or weight to an angle grinder forces the motor to work harder, and excess heat may build up inside the machine. Allowing the machine to dictate the pace of the work is the easiest way to prevent this.
If the angle grinder feels hot to the touch, immediately stop grinding and remove the blade from the material. Then, let the blade spin freely for a few minutes. The cooling fan inside the angle grinder will draw air across the motor and return it to an appropriate temperature.
Finally, dust can clog the air intake vent, making it difficult for the angle grinder to cool itself down. If you are in the market for a new angle grinder and intend to cut pavers with it, invest in a model that has dust protection features.
An angle grinder earns its place in your toolbox through its power and versatility. With it, you can quickly and accurately cut paver stones for your outdoor flooring project. Curved cuts are possible, but it may be easiest to finish them with a cold chisel. Dust is a major byproduct of this task. Take care to protect your eyes, lungs, and workspace from particulates and projectiles while cutting pavers as the majority of angle grinder injuries occur outside of professional contexts.