First Cut’s the Deepest: A Guide to Concrete Saws

For many industries, it's vital to have a walk-behind concrete saw on site.  These devices are one of the safest and most efficient ways to cut concrete, requiring only one operator and a steady guide.  However, this heavy industrial tool is not a 'one size fits all' piece of equipment.  In fact, there are several types of walk-behind saw you can purchase, each suitable for different circumstances and for different purposes.  As this can be an extremely expensive piece of kit, this guide aims to help you decide which of the types would suit you best.

Push Walk-Behind

This is exactly as it sounds—a piece of equipment that requires you to push it from behind in order to cut with it.  As it is manual, this piece of equipment requires more physical labour to operate it, but it is versatile.  It's as precise as the person operating it.  It is likely to be much cheaper than a self-propelled saw but will also be much more low-powered.

Self-Propelled Walk Behind

This removes the physical labour required in the push saw. It will still need to be guided and operated by a skilled individual, but it will cut much faster and with more power behind it.  You can also expect these saws to be much more expensive.

Green Saw

A green saw is required to cut set concrete which has not completely hardened yet.  This type of saw can also be used for other materials, such as asphalt.  These saws can be used for practical purposes, but they are often also used to decorate concrete 1-2 hours after it has been finished with.  If your project is only dealing with pre-set concrete, this is not a piece of equipment you will likely need; it is not as versatile as the other two types of saws.

Of course, even within each category, the types of saws can vary.  You'll need to make sure that the particular saw you're purchasing is suitable for your needs.  Will it operate at a high enough power or speed?  Is it able to cut deeply enough?  What kind of power does it run off—electric or gas?  Before making any purchase of a specific unit, you should speak to a specialist in order to confirm your needs.  Let them know which of these types of saw you're looking for and why, and they will be able to direct you to the best machine for you.