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How to Cut Concrete Pavers

By Robert Korpella
Trim pavers by employing one of several different methods.

Laying concrete pavers usually means you must trim some to get them to fit perfectly into the space where you want them. If rough edges after the cut matches the look you want, try a chisel or a splitter. But if you want a clean, smooth finish, a diamond-blade wet saw is the best choice. Whichever method you choose, first use chalk and a straightedge to mark where you must make the cut.

Chiseling the Pavers

Slip on a pair of safety glasses and a pair of heavy-duty work gloves. Wear a dust mask as well.

Scrape along the chalk layout line using a pointed corner of the chisel. You want a scored line all the way around the paver. The score should go about 1/8 inch deep into the paver.

Hold the chisel against the scored line at any point on the paver. Tap the top of the chisel with a hammer using a swift blow. You may have to repeat the blow more than once before the paver breaks in two.

Using a Splitter

Visit your local tool rental store and pick up a concrete block splitter.

Don safety glasses and a pair of work gloves.

Position the paver so the chalk layout line is directly under the splitter's blade.

Turn the splitter’s tightening wheel clockwise until the jaw firmly grasps the paver.

Grab the splitting lever and pull it down. As you apply downward pressure on the lever, the blade will eventually drive into the paver and split it.

Wet Saw Use

Rent a diamond-blade wet saw from your local hardware store or tool rental facility.

Put on safety glasses and wear hearing protection.

Fill the saw’s reservoir with water.

Position the paver on the saw’s table area with the cut line set so the blade will pass through it. Steady the paver by supporting it with the saw’s miter gauge.

Turn on the saw’s water pump, then turn on the blade.

Push the paver through the saw blade by guiding it with the miter gauge. Keep your fingers and hands well clear of the blade, which can cause severe injury. Turn off the saw and pump after making the cut.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Work gloves
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Block splitter
  • Diamond-blade wet saw
  • Hearing protection

Tip

  • Purchase about a half dozen extra pavers in case some of the cuts go wrong, and to keep them for future use if pavers become damaged.

About the Author

 

Robert Korpella has been writing professionally since 2000. He is a certified Master Naturalist, regularly monitors stream water quality and is the editor of freshare.net, a site exploring the Ozarks outdoors. Korpella's work has appeared in a variety of publications. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas.