How to Cut Stone With a Circular Saw

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If you browse the internet to find tools for cutting a stone, you will come across a paving stone splitter, hammer, etc. However, a circular saw is the most convenient and affordable tool.

In this post, I will help you learn how to cut stone with a circular saw with ease and safely.

How to Cut Stone With a Circular Saw

It’s not as hard as it may seem.

Materials Required

  1. Circular Saw
  2. Chalk Piece or Marker
  3. Water Source or a Bucket of Water
  4. Measurement Tape
  5. Rubber Mat or a Wooden Mat
  6. Table
  7. Hammer or Rubber Mallet
Measuring tape

Step #1: Equip the Right Blade

It would be best if you chose diamond blades among various options available in the market, like steel blades, abrasive blades, carbide blades.

While each has its respective pros and cons, you must also keep in mind that they are meant for a certain kind of use.

For instance, steel blades are intended to cut soft materials as they wear off quickly. Carbide blades can cut lumber, and they last longer but aren’t suited for cutting stones.

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Diamond blades don’t break or chip off and last much longer, making them suitable for this job. When you install the blade, remember that you must install the diamond blade in the opposite direction than the standard blade.

Warning

Fix the diamond blade carefully and check if it is not left loose, or else it might come off while you are using the machine. This can be highly dangerous but can be avoided by being careful.

Step #2: Adjust the Depth of the Blade

You can adjust the diamond masonry blade according to the thickness of the stone that you’re going to cut. For cutting an average-sized stone, the blade depth must be set to ½ inch.

If the stone is very thick, you must alter the blade from ½ inch to one inch. If the stone is thinner, it will require a depth of somewhere between ¼ inch to ½ inch.

Step #3: Wear Safety Gear

Necessary precautions mean wearing suitable gears to protect your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Using a dry diamond blade and cutting the stone is not safe; it creates a lot of harmful dust from the silica present in it.

The dust can be pretty lethal. It can settle in your lungs, leading to severe lung damage and breathing problems. So it is imperative to make sure that you do not cut the stone dry.

It would be best for you if you take protection to avoid any mishap. Generally, precautions include:

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  • Safety goggles or glasses or a PPE eye protection gear
  • Earmuffs
  • A thick double-layered dust mask

Step #4: Measure and Mark-up

The next step in this process is to measure the exact area you need to pave or fix the stone. After measuring it, mark the stone with the measurements you need cut off with chalk or marker.

Using chalk is a preferable alternative because you can clean the stone easily. The mark-up needs to be very precise. You can do it using a measurement tape — the clearer the marking, the more accurate the cut.

Step #5: Use a Viable Water Source

We have discussed the deadly effects of cutting a stone dry. Naturally, the next step is to use water to prevent dust smoke. You can use water in two ways:

  • By dipping the stone in water and then cutting it
  • By using an external water source while cutting it (You can do it through a spray pipe or a showering vessel)

Step #6: Make the Cut Using the Circular Saw

Here’s how you can go about it:

Man cutting a stone slab using a circular saw
  • Lay the stone on a flat surface. The surface that you choose to use plays a vital role. A slippery surface can be a hindrance in the whole process.
  • Once you have placed the stone carefully, switch on the circular saw’s motor and run the motor on the marked area. Gradually insert the blade through the stone.
  • Once you have finished cutting one side of the surface, flip it onto another side. Mark up precisely the same portion with the exact measurement just from the opposite side of the stone. Repeat the process of running the saw through this area.

Warning!

Ensure that you have your safety gear on and a water source is being used to prevent the dust from creating a cloud around and blocking your vision completely.

Step #7: Split the Stone

Once the cut has been made, simply hit the stone softly against any surface, and the cut area will come off quickly. 

This video guide will help you gain a visual understanding of how to go about the whole process of cutting stone with a circular saw effortlessly.

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There is another method of removing the required portion. Place the stone on an overhanging surface or a table. Hit the stone (the portion that’s not required) with a hammer or a rubber mallet.

The unrequired part will come off either in pieces or in one go leaving you with the required part. You can now use that portion to fix it on the pavement or patio or wherever you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hiring Someone to Cut Stones a Better Idea?

Using a circular saw is not a very daunting task. Of course, you need to be extra careful and follow all the instructions mentioned above. The first time can be intimidating for some, but if you do it just once, you will understand how it works, and the task will be a piece of cake for you.

So, the answer is no — you can do it yourself.

Can I Use a Carbide Blade to Cut Stone?

Carbide blades work well for cutting metal, lumber, or wood. But, if you use them for cutting stone, they will wear out very quickly.

Diamond blades are used in the construction industry to cut concrete, stone, or tiles. It doesn’t wear out quickly, making it the right blade to cut stone with.

Which Diamond Blade Should We Use for Cutting Stone?

You should always use a segmented diamond blade for cutting stone because it does the job faster and is meant for rough cutting.

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It also cools the blade and provides it with a little flexibility. On the other hand, a continuous rim diamond blade has a longer life but is mainly preferred for cutting tiles. 

Conclusion  

Make sure you have a few extra stones than you need since you will make some mistakes.

But as long as you follow the steps mentioned in this guide, you will be able to cut stones like a professional in no time.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.