A concrete saw is clearly one of the most powerful tools in the construction business. Concrete saws are used to cut through solid brick, concrete, asphalt, and stone with an extra sharp spinning blade. Additionally, these power tools are available in different sizes and shapes, with the hand-held saw being the most common and least expensive in the bunch. While usually operated with a gas and oil mixture, some construction companies also use hydraulics to operate heavy-duty concrete saws. Because of this, it is important to know how to safely work with a concrete saw to prevent accidents in the workplace. But first, here’s what you need to know on how to operate a concrete saw:
1. Make sure that the concrete saw creates clean and straight cuts by snapping cutting lines on the concrete using a chalk box. This warm-up procedure also keeps the blade from binding while cutting concrete.
2. Check the concrete saw’s gas levels, which in most cases, includes a fuel and two-cycle oil mixture. Refer to the manual and be sure to follow the guidelines of mixing the fuel when adding it to the saw.
3. Facing the blade away from you, place the concrete saw on the ground and switch it on. Some concrete saws feature a primer button, which when pressed, sends fuel to the engine which will make the concrete saw start quicker.
4. Make sure that the concrete saw stands firmly on the ground. Using one hand, grasp the saw’s handle and pull the cord using the other hand. As soon as the concrete saw starts, switch the choke in the “Run” position.
5. Hold the throttle control tightly so the saw operates at full power. Let the diamond blade gently sink into the concrete where the line was snapped. Do not, by any circumstance, turn the concrete saw while cutting because it can cause damage to the blade.
6. Walk forward to continue the cutting process. Take note that you may need to adjust the saw by raising or lowering it to control the cuts in a smooth fashion.
Some safety tips in handling concrete saw blades include wearing face, hands, and feet protection. This includes sporting construction goggles, earmuffs, and mask over the nose and mouth to protect cement dust from entering the lungs. Earmuffs help by protecting the ears from debris and loud noise. Protective gloves are also important to cover the hands from flying debris. It also reduces the chance of the hands being cut-off by the concrete saw’s razor-sharp diamond blade. Always wear thick boots and never operate concrete saws with sandals or barefoot. Finally, take regular breaks. The vibrations caused by the concrete saw can bring numbness to the hands, which uncontrolled can cause harm or injury.