Can I Cut Concrete with A Circular Saw? Considerations with Know-How

Last Updated On May 7, 2023

“I’ve owned a circular saw for woodworking and now I want to use it to cut concrete to expand the sidewalk. But can I cut concrete with a circular saw, or do I need a new tool?” If you have the same query, read on, dear friend.

Yes, you can cut concrete with a circular saw using a diamond blade. Wear safety gear, mark the cutting area, and slowly guide the saw along the line. Keep the blade cool to prevent overheating. If unsure, consider hiring a professional.

In this post, we’ve shared all the considerations for cutting concrete with a circular saw and the know-how to finish the project conveniently.

Can I Cut Concrete with A Circular Saw?

A circular saw is mostly used for carpentry and woodworking projects. Its powerful motor and high-speed cutting motion make the saw suitable for penetrating tough materials like concrete. 

To avoid a mishap, DIYers will need to properly prepare the circular for such a risky task and follow the proper procedure.

The following are some crucial considerations for cutting concrete with a circular saw.

Concrete Thickness

You can use a circular saw for shallow concrete cutting projects. Wondering how deep can a circular saw cut? A circular saw can slice through slabs, concrete walls, or sidewalks under 6” thick efficiently. Anything thicker than 6” is best left to an expert.

The limitation is that a typical circular saw can’t go through deeper than 2.5” in most cases. Hence, a circular saw with a concrete cutting blade is preferable for cutting thinner concrete, like 1 x 1 foot square of concrete.

For cutting slabs, it’s a good idea to cut the top inch with a circular saw and break off the rest with a sledgehammer.

Though a circular saw delivers precise cuts through concrete, it will be time-consuming as the saw overheats due to overuse.

For cutting thicker concrete than 6 inches (15.24 cm), it’s ideal to use a concrete saw, angle grinder, or jackhammer. Even cutting concrete with an angle grinder is extremely straightforward. 

Cutting Technique: Wet vs. Dry Cutting

You can choose between the two most common concrete cutting methods: wet and dry. The wet method means using water as an assistive agent during the cutting of concrete. 

It’s preferable to cut concrete for longer, preventing the blade from overheating and weakening.

Conversely, the dry technique ensures sufficient airflow to let the blade spin freely and keep the blade cool. Therefore, this cutting method is preferable for short-time cutting.

Though both methods are effective for cutting concrete, the dry cutting keeps the space dry. On the other hand, the wet cutting method reduces health risks and is helpful for abusive cutting as dust particles can’t enter in air.

Whatever the process you apply, make sure you have attached the right blade to your circular saw,

Ideal Blade for Cutting Concrete

Abrasive corundum masonry blades and diamond blades are mostly effective for cutting concrete.

Between them, an abrasive corundum masonry blade is relatively inexpensive and delivers a slower cut. Its blade moves quite slowly and may wear down quickly. Plus, this concrete cutting blade can’t penetrate deeper; hence it is mainly used for shallow cuts. 

Conversely, diamond blades are a costlier option, however, cut through concrete amazingly. Despite this, this blade ensures faster and more efficient cutting through concrete. 

Apart from using proper equipment, applying the right know-how is also important to make the concrete cutting job successful.

How to Cut Concrete With Circular Saw

The following is the step-by-step procedure of efficiently cutting concrete using a circular saw. If you don’t know how to cut concrete slabs, apply this process. 

1. Use the Right Blade

Based on your budget and preferences, purchase diamond blades or an abrasive corundum masonry blade. To install the blade into the circular saw, turn off and unplug the machine. 

Then press down on the arbor lock on the saw to lock the blade. While placing the blade, make sure its teeth are facing the cutting direction. 

Tighten the arbor nut properly with a wrench, as over-tightening will make it hard to replace. And then close the arbor lock.

2. Prepare the Workplace

If you need to cut concrete in the garage or basement, cover all the essentials with drop cloths to prevent making them dirty with dust.

Before working outside, cover the air intake machine with a drop cloth, close all the windows in the house, and alert neighbors for preparation.

3. Mark the Place

Mark the desired cutting spot in the concrete using a marker or chalk. Make a thicker line so it doesn’t disappear while trickling water over it.

4. Wear Safety Gears

Wear heavy-duty clothes, knee pads, shin guards, and steel-toed boots to protect your ears, eyes, and skin. A right-fitting filtration mask is also a handy piece of equipment to protect the lungs.

5. Prepare a Guide Board

A guide board is a helpful tool to make a straight cut in concrete without shifting the blade. In this case, you can use a 1-inch thick scrap wood piece as a guide board and secure it to the concrete using screws.

6. Adjust Blade Depth and Start Cutting

Set the blade depth as desired with a knob or depth lever, keeping the machine off. Though you can cut deeper, it’s better to start with a 1/2-inch to 1/4-inch depth and stick with it or increase the depth if required. 

Once you have adjusted the depth, turn on your circular saw and set the speed setting at the lowest. Hold the saw tightly with two hands and start cutting, maintaining a steady grip. 

Instead of mowing the lawn quickly and causing damage, go slowly. Plus, take breaks after cutting for around 30 to 45 seconds continuously to remove dust and prevent overheating the blade. Then spin the saw for a while to clear out debris from the motor and the blade.

7. Remove the Guide Board

After finishing the first cut, use it as a cutting guide instead of a guide board. It means you can now remove the guide board and keep cutting the concrete until you reach the destination.

8. Increase the Cutting Depth

For cutting deeper, turn off the saw and adjust the blade depth as required. Instead of increasing the depth one at a time, do it in 1/2-inch increments a couple of times until you reach the desired depth. It’ll let you finish the job without damaging the saw, avoiding any hazards.

9. Use a Sledgehammer

Start hammering close to the cut and move the broken concrete pierce out of the way to make a clean and convenient cut. This step is preferable for the dry cutting method to wet.

10. Clean the Edge

After finishing the cut completely, clear the edge off left behind or stick out concrete using a claw hammer and mason chisel.


1. Can a circular saw cut a concrete paver?

Miter saws or concrete saws are mostly used to cut concrete pavers. However, you can also apply any normal circular saw to cut concrete pavers. Just make sure you install a diamond masonry blade instead of the simple saw blade.

2. How deep can you penetrate concrete with a circular saw?

A typical circular saw can’t cut more than 2-1/2 inches deep using its 7-1/4-inch blades. Despite this, some compact saws can cut around 3-3/8 inches deep using 6-1/2-inch blades.

3. What can you cut using a circular saw?

A circular saw is a versatile DIY tool that is commonly used to cut sheet goods, framing lumber, masonry, roofing, and metal. You can also use a high-end circular saw to cut curves.

Final Words

Still, wondering as can I cut concrete with a circular saw? It’s absolutely possible to cut concrete using any standard saw. Simply measure the thickness of the concrete, install the appropriate blade, and use the above-described technique to get the job done quickly. 

Lastly, don’t overlook the safety gear, especially when you will be dealing with excessive dust and concrete particles.

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