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Cut-off Machine Uses

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  • Cut-off Machine Uses

    Yesterday I had a long discussion with a very nice and seemingly knowledgeable sales person at Home Depot about tools for cutting brick and pavers. In the end he felt strongly that the Ridgid 14" Abrasive Cut-off Machine used with an Abrasive Masonry blade was the most flexible and best option. I was very pleased with the help and with the purchase, until I just finished reading the Operator's Manual.

    Does anyone know if cut-off machines can and/or should be used with abrasive masonry wheels?

    The manual emphasizes that the only purposes for this machine are for cutting all types of metals and pipes.

    Please help! Should I return the cut-off machine and buy something that is only for cutting brick and pavers and block?

  • #2
    Re: Cut-off Machine Uses

    The tool is not meant for cutting masonry, but with a masonry blade it probably can. The problem with using this tool for cutting masonry is it will kill you.

    Oh, did I say kill, I meant to say KILL!!

    Airborne silica generated by this tool when used with an abrasive blade will get in your lungs and the lungs of anyone who breathes the dust in the area. This method generates minute particles that will lodge way down in your lungs, further down than even asbestos. And just like asbestos the affects are not visible until years later when it is too late. Fact is it's ALWAYS too late to do something about exposure to silica dust unless it is before you are exposed. Once its in there it ain't coming out, except by the knife.

    Silicosis is a serious disease and even occasional exposure should not be tolerated. Masonry saws are made the way the are because of this health threat. They use water to weigh down the silica particles so they can not become airborne.

    Do yourself and your family a favor and use the right tool for the job.
    Last edited by Bob D.; 06-19-2009, 10:09 PM.
    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


    • #3
      Re: Cut-off Machine Uses

      I would say the dust from cutting masonry would destroy the saw fairly quickly. Most of the guys I see doing it are using a diamond blade in a 4" grinder. Whatever you end up using healing takes a long time so be careful and know your equipment and what you are cutting.

      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!


      • #4
        Re: Cut-off Machine Uses

        I would go diamond blade if at all possible, the abrasive blades are so slow,

        I my self have not seen much difference between the metal or the abrasive masonry but there is a large difference in the diamond blades when cutting,

        I do not think it should hurt the machine much, as the grit off metal cutting is not very good either, some places sell "cheap" diamond blades, not there not the quality of the good ones but when I first started I bought a cheap diamond blade and cut all the block I needed for a basement, the blade was about $100, I had a few abrasive blades I tried and yes you can cut with them, If your only cutting a few brick or block the abrasive is probably the best for the dollar, but if you have some to do, get a dry cut diamond blade,
        the big thing is the purpose of the saw is not designed for masonry work, (it is more IMO) on the way the materials are held, and supported,

        the nicest way is a wet tray saw,

        a 7" diamond blade in a skill saw would work well, or the thin 4" in a grinder, and cut both sides,

        (renting machine desigend for the work, may be an option depending on how your plan is and how much your going to try to accomplish in a day),

        like said use some form of breathing protection,

        as far as the company saying they can or can not be used on the machine, would probably be more a liability issue with them, as like said it was not designed to cut / hold that kind of materials, (not that I think it is much of an issue or see in my mind a danger any greater than cutting steel or other on it),
        I think the blades are the same in arbor size, (at least the blades I have used, all Had the same arbor size).
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
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        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.


        • #5
          Re: Cut-off Machine Uses

          a 7" diamond blade in a skill saw would work well
          I used this method years ago when putting down some 24"x24" concrete patio pavers. I bought a cheap skill saw and a diamond blade which was three time the price of the saw. I figured the saw would get trashed so I bought a disposable one not wanting to get all that dust in the internals of my good saw. I made about 50 cuts on those patio pavers then used the same saw and blade to cut about 35 feet of asphalt drive. I wanted to straighten up the edge so I could put down a border of paving bricks. So I laid a 20' 1x6 down alongside the cut offset by the width of the saw's base and used that as a guide. The blade did not cut all the way through the asphalt but got close to 90% of the way down. I broke the rest off using a brick chisel and hand sledge. Left me a nice clean straight edge.
          "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


          • #6
            Re: Cut-off Machine Uses

            They make a tool for cutting brick. It looks like a gullitine. Think of a snap cutter but for brick and actualy does a great job.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.


            • #7
              Re: Cut-off Machine Uses

              You are right Ben, that's a good option to using a saw. You can probably rent one at HD if your store has a rental section. They have more than what is on the floor, so be sure you ask someone who works in the tool rental section if you don't see what you want, they will know where and how much.
              "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



              • #8
                Re: Cut-off Machine Uses

                depending on how long you need to use it. how many cuts and is this a 1 shot project?

                renting the block or tile saw is fine if you knock it off in a day or weekend.

                a skill saw is great if you inject water. i've got one that has cut hundreds of feet of concrete and still is running.

                a 14'' block saw will cut it in 1 pass. a 10'' in a double pass.

                the trick to abrasive material is just enough water to keep it cool and dust free. too much water will not allow the blade to expose the diamond matrix.

                phoebe it is