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CHOOSING THE RIGHT BLADE FOR YOUR HARDSCAPING PROJECT

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, outdoor living spaces are the hottest new trend in backyard design with 94.5% of homeowners surveyed putting them at or near the top of their wish lists. Whether it’s a simple walkway, a fire pit or a complete outdoor kitchen, you can bet there will be rocks, blocks and concrete involved. And chances are some (or a lot) of it will need to be cut.

“Use the right tool for the job” is a mantra learned early and heard often from construction sites to kitchens. Chances are you have at least half a dozen different types of saw blades for cutting wood, metal, and plastic. But how about for your hardscaping projects? The “right tool” rule applies there as much as it does for wrenches and screwdrivers.

Choosing the right blade isn’t that complicated if you ask yourself three basic questions: What’s the material I’m cutting, how thick is it, and what’s the shape of the cut?

Hardscape materials vary in both hardness and abrasiveness. Poured concrete and concrete blocks are relatively soft and easy to cut. A general purpose diamond blade works fine. For pavers with a higher psi, a high-quality blade cuts better and lasts longer. If you need to cut asphalt, go with a blade designed for it. Asphalt is much more abrasive than concrete and stone and will wear out blades made for those purposes quickly.

A 16” blade will cut through most SRW blocks in a single pass, saving time and making neater cuts. A 14” blade is easier to use and is a better choice for pavers, which aren’t as thick as blocks. A 6” diamond blade on a grinder is great for cutting scoring lines for larger cut-off blades because it’s easier to guide. Plus you can verify that your cut lines are where you want them before using the big blades. The bigger blades will follow the score line, too, making the cut easier and more precise.

Big blades are great for cutting straight lines, but cutting tight curves is best done with a 6” blade. If you need a deeper cut, use the 6” cut for a guide, then angle the larger blade slightly for an easier cut.

Sophisticated landscaping and outdoor living spaces are some of the fastest-growing items on homeowners’ must-have lists. Ace Cutting Equipment has the right blades for the job and the saws to use them with. Visit our newly designed web site, Acecutting.com, to see the many ways our American-owned family business is always on the cutting edge when it comes to equipment and supplies for the concrete and masonry cutting industry.