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How to Cut Landscaping Bricks

By F.R.R. Mallory ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bricks are used in landscape design elements including borders, paths, walls, small patios, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces. Often a design plan dictates that some bricks must be cut to a certain size before they are placed. Have a few simple hand tools on hand so that individual bricks can be cut or shaped for immediate use.

Draw the cut line on the brick using a Sharpie pen so that the lines are easy to see.

Place your brick on soft ground or a sandy area so that the hammer blows you use on the brick are somewhat cushioned.

Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying brick shards. This is absolutely essential for safety.

Place your cold chisel along the line, tilted at 60 degrees. Tap the chisel. You are not trying to break the brick at this point; rather, you are trying to cut a 1/16-inch groove along the cut line. Tip the cold chisel from side to side and once you have cut the groove, continue along the line until the entire brick has been grooved.

Place the brick set in the grooved line. The brick set is like a large chisel with one side beveled and one side flat. Place the beveled side toward the waste side of your brick. The waste side is the portion of brick you do not want to use.

Tip the brick set 10 degrees away from the waste side and hit the brick set firmly with your hammer. The brick should break evenly along the grooved line. You may need to clean up the edge with a few taps on the chisel.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Sharpie
  • Straight edge
  • Safety glasses
  • 3/4-inch cold chisel
  • 3-inch brick set
  • Brick hammer

Tip

  • For large jobs with many bricks that need to be cut, you may want to use a power cutting tool like a circular saw or heavy duty grinder that is fitted with a masonry blade. For small jobs, the hand tools do an excellent job.

References

About the Author

 

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.