How to Use a Wet Stone Cutting Saw
Cutting various types of stone is one of those jobs that requires a very specific type of tool. While there are countless varieties of saws that will cut wood, and even tile can be cut using a manual tile cutter, when it’s time to cut natural stone for your patio, granite for your kitchen counters or marble for your bathroom, you’re going to need a masonry saw, which is a wet saw that is specifically designed to cut through big, thick slabs of very hard material.
Why are masonry saws used to cut stone?
As you’ve gathered from the name, masonry saws were first designed to cut brick, but as long as you have the right type of blade on them, these wet saws are appropriate for other types of material that are similar to brick, including the various types of stone, concrete, tile, etc. A good masonry saw is the ideal stone cutting saw because it is large and sturdy enough for heavy, bulk slabs of stone. Generally, the cutting head is the moving piece on a masonry saw, so you don’t have to worry about sliding that bulky piece with laser precision – just line it up in the right place, keep it steady and easily guide the blade into the stone.
The other important characteristic of masonry saws that makes them the right tool for cutting stone is the ability to wet cut. They will either be fitted with a water tank and pump or a hose attachment so that water flows over the blade and stone while cutting. This not only reduces the amount of dangerous silica dust particles that become airborne, but it also extends the life of the blade and makes cleaner cuts by reducing friction and heat.
Using a stone cutting saw
The first step to cut stone with a masonry saw is to make sure you have the proper blade. Very hard materials like stone, brick, concrete, etc. must be cut with special diamond blades, and since not all types of stone have the same hardness or abrasiveness, you need to pick the diamond blade that is specifically designed for your material.
Once the correct blade is properly fitted to the masonry saw, it’s always a good idea to check for signs of damage and make sure everything is in working order before you start cutting stone. This would include checking the blade, power cord, belts and oil in the motor, water pump, etc. It’s extremely important to ensure that water is flowing freely over the blade before you start cutting. And of course, make sure you are wearing the appropriate attire and protective equipment.
With the masonry saw powered off, line the stone to be cut up with the blade on the saw’s bench, stabilizing it if necessary. Turn on the water pump, power on the saw, and gently slide the diamond blade into the stone along the cutting line. The blade will have a natural speed that it wants to move through the stone – don’t force it to go any faster than that, because all you’ll do is wear our your blade faster. Take care when finishing the cut that the pieces won’t fall off the masonry saw and break or cause injury. If you need to cut through a very thick piece of stone, it’s a good idea to make several shallow passes instead of one deep pass.