If you have to cut pavers, whether concrete, brick, or stone, the wet saw is one of the best tools at your disposal. However, wet saws are fairly large and complex tools, so they do need to be used properly. Therefore, today, we’re going to teach you how to cut pavers with a wet saw the right way.
As long as you’re careful and safe, it really shouldn’t be a problem.
Is a Wet Saw the Right Tool for Cutting Pavers?
If you have never heard of a wet saw before, this is a special type of brick and stone cutting saw that has a water system. This is mostly what makes this type of saw ideal for cutting bricks, pavers, and other such things.
That water system constantly keeps the blade and the stone wet, which therefore prevents dust from flying up into your face and getting all over the place. There is also the fact that wet saws, because they are specially designed for cutting this exact type of material, are already outfitted with the proper blade.
You should know that there are actually two different types of wet saws, which include benchtop models that are fairly large and designed for cutting thick pavers, as well as smaller and more portable wet saws. These handheld and portable wet saws are convenient if you are always on the go, although they’re not nearly as good for cutting thick pavers as benchtop models are.
With benchtop models, it’s likely that you only have to make a single cut. With the handheld models, you might have to cut from both sides, which is not very efficient. Therefore, today, we’re going to focus on using benchtop wet saws to cut pavers. Keep in mind that a wet saw is the best way to go if you have many pavers that need to be cut.
However, if you only have a few pavers that need to be cut, and the cut doesn’t need to be very clean, using a stone-splitting chisel and a hammer is ideal. Moreover, you do also have special paver splitting tools. These are also ideal if you only have a few pavers that need to be cut.
How to Cut Pavers Using a Wet Saw
Cutting pavers with a wet saw is very easily done, and very fast too, but you still need to do it the right way. This is especially the case when it comes to safety, as these are large and dangerous power tools.
Step 1: Inspect and Prepare Your Wet Saw
Seeing as you will likely be cutting many pavers with this kind of wet saw, it is recommended that you inspect it first, just to make sure that it can easily move back and forth and that the blade is in good condition.
Seeing as a wet saw requires a water source, now is also the time to hook up your hose. A normal garden hose will work just fine. Once the garden hose is hooked up to the wet saw, you can turn the hose on, as water will not come out of the wet saw until you turn the wet saw on.
Step 2: Measure and Mark the Paver
You now need to measure the space in which the paver is going to go. Make sure that your measurements are accurate. Then, transfer those measurements over onto the paver using any marking tools at your disposal.
We do recommend using a measuring tape, a ruler, and a T-square to make sure that everything is lined up straight.
We also recommend using white chalk to make your markings, as white chalk will be very visible, and it also washes away easily once you are done. Using a pencil is not recommended.
Step 3: Properly Position the Paver
The next step here is to properly position the paver on the sled of the wet saw. This is one of the big benefits that a wet saw has, as it has a sled that moves back and forth. This feature more or less allows you to cut pavers of any size.
So, make sure that the back end of the paver rests firmly against the rear lip of the wet saw’s sled, as this will help keep it in place.
With this done, you also want to align the mark that you made in the previous step with the blade of the wet saw. Without turning the wet saw on, just move the sled back to see that it is indeed lined up with your marking.
Step 4: Power Up the Wet Saw
You now want to turn on the wet saw so that it spins at full speed. At this point, water should be coming out, and the water tray should be continuously filled with water. If everything seems to be working fine, move on to the next step.
Step 5: Make the Cut
To make the cut, hold the paver and the sled by the left and the right side. Make sure that your hands are nowhere near the center of the paver since you obviously don’t want to cut your fingers off.
With your hands properly positioned, simply move the sled as far back as it will go, so that the blade cuts through the paver until the cut has been completed. Before you turn the saw off, retract the paver and the sled, then turn the saw off. After the saw is off you can remove the cut paver pieces from the sled. Your cut is now complete.
Mistakes to Avoid, Tips and Tricks
Lastly, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- You definitely want to inspect the sled of the wet saw first just to make sure that it slides along its tracks properly. You also want to inspect it to ensure that there is in fact a continuous flow of water.
- When using a wet saw, always wear breathing protection and eye protection. Although the water will help cut down on dust, there will still be some dust, and it can be quite toxic.
- If your pavers are too thick, you will need to make a cut from both sides. If cutting from both sides, make sure that your markings and measurements are extremely accurate, or else the cuts won’t line up.
The wet saw is indeed one of the very best tools to use to cut pavers, and you should now know exactly how to do it.