How To Cut Pavers With An Angle Grinder (Quickly & Easily!)
Whether it be for a patio, porch, or driveway, the proper paving job can completely transform a property. Having the right paver for the job – be it tile, stone, or brick – also means making the right cuts, too.
You can use a few different tools to get the job done. One of the most efficient is through the use of an angle grinder. The process is relatively straightforward but easy to mess up. Make sure that you mark your paver properly, position it on a flat surface, and create a marked score. The rest is easy and you then have the pavers that you need to create a great outdoor aesthetic.
What is the Right Tool for Cutting Pavers?
No matter what kind of cuts you are making, the key is to have the right tool for the job. The right tool, however, depends on the situation that you are facing. When it comes to cutting pavers, you can get away with using an angle grinder or circular saw. If you are making a lot of cuts, a wet saw or splitter may be the best bet.
- Angle grinder. A common household DIY tool and likely to be in most toolboxes. Gets the job done fast and efficiently.
- Circular saw. If you don’t have an angle grinder in your kit, you likely have a circular saw. A circular saw is one of the most versatile tools that you can own and works just fine for cutting pavers.
- Wet saw/splitter. When you have to make a lot of cuts, you may find yourself going through a lot of blades. The wet saw or splitter is built to handle tasks like this. Depending on your local home improvement store, you may even be able to rent one.
- Hammer and a cold chisel. When all else fails, you can always use a hammer and cold chisel to get the job done. Using a chisel can result in some seriously precise work. That said, it also takes far longer than using a power tool to get the job done. So, unless you want to spend the afternoon doing even the smallest of tasks, this should be a worst-case scenario.
How to Cut Pavers with an Angle Grinder
Step 1: Gear Up
Before you can get started cutting your pavers, you first need to have the proper gear. We are working under the assumption that you have an angle grinder here. You also need to make sure that you have the right protective gear.
Have goggles and a good dust mask. Whenever you perform cuts, there is always the chance that debris could kick up and get into your eyes. Furthermore, you run the risk of getting dust and dirt into your lungs without the mask. Proper protection will also keep you safe from those small paver chips that can kick up during the cutting process as well.
Don’t overlook ear protection, either. Angle grinders are fairly loud and only get louder when cutting pavers. Just because you can hear when it is all said and done does not mean that your ears have gone unscathed.
Step 2: Get the Right Wheel Size
Yes, we save a step in the process by using an angle grinder. But did you know that there are two different types of angle grinders that are based entirely on the size of the wheel? When you have the right wheel for the job, the entire process is smoother and easier.
Angle grinders come in two basic sizes: 115mm and 230mm. When you opt for the smaller of the two, you aren’t able to cut nearly as deep. So, depending on the size of the material that you are cutting, you may have to go up to the 230mm option.
If you are cutting large slabs of material, a 230mm angle grinder would be the right choice. For smaller bricks, however, the 115mm option would work just fine. Half the battle is about having the right tools to get the job done.
Step 3: Having the Right Discs
Now that you know which angle grinder you may need for the job it comes down to the cutting discs themselves. When you are looking for quality, don’t go for the cheapest option available. The old saying is that you get what you pay for and using a cheap disc may come back to bite you.
If you are looking for clean, straight cuts, you can’t go wrong with a diamond disc. Diamond is an incredibly strong and durable cutting tool and has uses all across the industrial world. Moreover, they will last for far longer than cheap abrasive discs.
Step 4: Marking Your Paver
With the proper tools in tow, it is time to start cutting pavers. Well, sort of. The first thing that you should do is to mark your paver. Whenever you make a cut of any kind, mark off the point of the cut. It gives you the necessary reference point for where it has to be cut.
Furthermore, make sure that you keep your paver elevated off the ground. When cutting through the paver, you do not want the angle grinder to cut through and make contact with the ground. It will not only damage the disc, but it could lead to damage to the angle grinder, as well.
Measure twice, cut once. Make certain that your cuts are accurate by measuring multiple times before making the cut. Because once you make that cut, it is there to stay. There is no going back.
Step 5: Make Your Cuts
With your paver positioned on top of a step or a workbench, you will want to score your line. This allows for a more precise cut overall. The reason for the scoring is that performing a cut all the way through can be uneven. Scoring gives you a template to work off of, making for a better overall cut.
With your scoring done, go back through and follow along with the marked score that you have created. The result should be a clean, accurate cut all the way through.
How Do I Cut Pavers with a Masonry Wet Saw?
A wet saw is a great tool to have for making clean cuts all the way through a paving material. Any saw that you use with the capability of cutting all the way through the paver is basically a bigger version of the angle grinders that you used above.
Wet saws are generally used for cutting through ceramic tile. It is called a wet saw because water sprays out and onto the blade. The water sprayed during the cut helps to minimize dust and heat created by the cutting.
Step 1: Marking the Cut
You can’t perform an effective cut if you do not mark it off first. Mark on the top face of the paver using a pencil and a straight edge or square.
Step 2: Get in Position
Position your paver, making sure that it rests against a flat surface. Make sure that you line up the cutting line with the blade of the saw so that it is accurate.
Step 3: Make the Cut
Wait a beat before putting the saw onto the paver. That time lets the saw get up to full speed and the water start flowing. Hold the paver firmly while keeping your hands away from the blade of the saw. Cut slowly yet steadily until your cut has been performed. You can then remove the excess pieces and move on to the next cut.
How Do I Cut Pavers with a Brick Splitter?
Also known as a guillotine, the brick splitter is one of the few non-power tool options. It basically acts like a log splitter that cuts pavers and bricks instead of wood. For some, this is a preferable option because it is far quieter than a saw while also producing no dust.
If you use a splitter to cut concrete, make sure that you rent a splitter specifically designed for concrete. Using a brick splitter may not work for cutting stone pavers.
Step 1: Mark the Cut
You know the drill by now. Making a proper marking is the key component to getting an effective, accurate cut.
Step 2: Line up the Paver
Make sure that you position your paver on the base of the brick splitter. You want your marked line to be aligned with the cutting edge of the splitter for the most accurate results. Double-check yourself if need be.
Step 3. Split the Paver
When you are certain that your measurements are accurate and your paver properly aligned, all that awaits is the cut. Pull sharply on the tool of your splitter. When you do it right, it should split the material quickly. Not pulling down hard enough can lead to only a partial splitting of the material.
Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.
More by Ryan Womeldorf