How to Cut Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers are an attractive and relatively inexpensive way to decorate your driveway, walkway, or anywhere they will fit. Using these concrete slabs on your next driveway or patio project will save you the hassle of hiring a cement truck or mixing bag after bag of concrete yourself. Concrete pavers come in two varieties—interlocking slabs and architectural slabs.
Interlocking slabs tend to be the more durable of the two and can hold up to heavy-duty wear and tear. While architectural slabs aren't as indestructible as their counterparts, they do offer more freedom from a decoration and aesthetic point of view. However, the best thing about any concrete paver is that the only requirements for installing them are a flat surface and some time to lay them out.
Occasionally you will have to cut a concrete paver to get it to fit in a particular spot. Unless the dimensions of your patio, driveway, or walkway are such that the slabs fit exactly, you will have to make some adjustments. The following list details the different ways you can go about cutting concrete paver slabs to suit your needs.
1. Cut Pavers the Old Fashioned Way
If you need to make a cut in a concrete paver, the old fashioned way of doing it requires the fewest tools. However, it does require some elbow grease and a sensible pair of safety glasses.
Take a chisel and scratch out the line you need to cut. Hold the chisel directly on the line, and with the lump hammer, bring it down in a steady, forceful manner. Place the chisel and strike it with the hammer over the length of line. You may have to make a second or even third pass. When the slab splits, there may be some uneven edges, but they can be chipped off with the chisel as well.
2. Use a Hand-held Saw
Another method for cutting concrete pavers is to use a hand-held power saw such as a Skillsaw with a masonry blade, or a cut-off saw.
Set up workhorses or, preferably, a work stand with adjustable sides to secure the pavers. Depending on the thickness of the concrete, you may have to raise the blade and cut through only a portion of the paver. Lower the blade and make a second and third pass if necessary. This method does not work for angled cuts unless you can secure the brick paver with something other than a work stand.
WARNING—If using this method, it is critical you use either a carbide or diamond-tipped blade. Do not attempt to cut a concrete slab with a blade meant for wood.
3. Use a Table Saw
If you have access to a table saw, use it to cut the pavers. Again, you will have to change the blade to either a carbide or diamond-tipped variety. Most table saws have more power than a hand-held saw, so one pass ought to do the trick. Like the hand-held saw, the table saw does not work well for angled cuts.
4. Use a Specialty Brick/Concrete Saw
Specialty saws are made just for cutting brick and concrete. They can either be rented or purchased. They are essentially small table saws with a guide for straight cutting. They usually attach to a hose to keep the cutting area wet. This keeps the blade cool and the dust to a minimum.
All of these methods work for cutting concrete pavers. The job could be done with common household tools or could require more expensive machinery. The biggest obstacle you will face when taking on this project with power tools is cutting angles. For that, unless you can secure the pavers while you cut them, you might be better off using a lump hammer and chisel.