Norton Abrasives Products and Accessories
Norton Abrasives Products and Accessories
Do-It-Yourself/Contractor Markets - North America

Cutting Concrete

Do-It-Yourself Project


Concrete can be cut with any number of tools. Generally, there is an abrasive product to fit any tool you already own to cut concrete. Silicon carbide abrasive or diamond rimmed saw blades are used to cut concrete.

Abrasive vs Diamond Blades


Abrasive blades are still the least expensive, “up front” cost alternative to cut concrete. However, with the continuing decline in diamond blade pricing, diamond is becoming the lower “total” cost solution. There are a number of other benefits that can be derived by using diamond instead of abrasive blades:

  • Diamond Blades are at least two times (2X) faster cut. (This gap widens as concrete mix gets harder.)

  • There is less downtime due to fewer wheel changes with diamond blades.

  • There is no shelf life for diamond products.

  • Diamond Blades have a constant depth of cut.

Since diamond blades are rimmed with a diamond section mounted on a steel core, the wheel diameter can wear only to the rim diameter allowing a constant depth of cut through the life of the blade.


Step 1

With any project safety comes first. The cutting of any material using a power tools creates dust and flying chips. We recommend the use of safety glasses with side shields or safety goggles, work gloves, a work apron or close fitting clothing, hearing protection, and an approved dust/mist respirator.


Step 2

Make sure you are in a secure area. Remember to obey all manufacturers' instructions for power tool use. Prior to cutting, with the power off, try doing a dry run by bringing the blade down to the work surface before final cutting when it is too late. Let the blade do the work. Slowly ease the blade to the work surface and allow it to cut. Don't force or jam the blade into work piece. The blade should be allowed to air cool at least 10 seconds for every minute of cutting to ensure blade integrity and reduce premature wear. Inspect diamond blades frequently for signs of heat cracking or fatigue of diamond segments. Once you get the hang of it the process can be done faster as long as the blade is allowed to cool.

While there is no rule of thumb to advise on how long your diamond blade should last or how fast it should cut through concrete, there are some relative measures based on concrete hardness. Harder concretes include precast and concrete pilings. You should expect a slower cutting action from your diamond blade but you should see longer life. Medium hardness concretes include concrete pipe, sidewalks and curbs, and green concrete (5 - 30 days old). With medium hardness concretes, you should see average life and average cut rate from your diamond blade. Soft concrete is prestress. It is very abrasive and will cause short blade life but a very fast cutting action.


Safety Instructions


Comply with ANSI Code B7.1, B7.5 and OSHA regulations covering blade speeds, safety guards, flanges and mounting procedures.


Be certain that the appropriate guard assembly is securely in place during use.


Inspect the blade for damage during transit or from previous use. Do not use the blade if damage is evident or suspected.


Be certain that the equipment is disconnected from the power source before installing or removing the blade.


Always read the equipment operator's manual before use.


Be certain that the mounting flanges and both sides of the blade are clean before mounting the blade. 


Ensure the blade is mounted on the correct size shaft. Tighten the flanges securely, but do not over tighten. 


Make sure the blade you are using is specifically recommended and marked for dry cutting.


Do not exceed maximum operating speed (RPM) marked on the blade.


Always use face protection, hearing protection and an OSHA approved respirator for the material being cut.


Do not make long, continuous cuts. Allow the blade to air cool for approximately 10 seconds for each minute of cutting.


Inspect diamond blades frequently for signs of heat cracking or fatigue of diamond segments. 


Use diamond blades only on tile, concrete and masonry construction materials. Do not use these blades on plastic, metal or wood.


Only cut in a straight line. Do not twist the blade in the cut or attempt to make a radius cut.


Do not force the blade into the work piece. This practice may result in damage to the blade and the equipment.


Cutting generates dust - avoid inhalation of dust. Breathing dust can cause serious injury or even death. Always wear personal protective equipment and use respiratory devices appropriate to material being cut.


Diamond blades contain a chemical known to the State of Californiato cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Diamond Blade Depth and RPM Guide

Blade Diameter

Max. Cutting Depth

Max. RPM

3 3/8
4 1/2
1 1/4
1 3/4
2 1/4
2 3/4
3 1/2
3 5/8
4 5/8

Further information on safety procedures can be acquired by calling or writing Norton or the American National Standards Institute.

Shopping List

Safety Equipment
Diamond Blades

Norton Project Planning Form

 Facebook Icon

Related Documents

Diamond Blades Make Your Toughest Jobs Sparkle

Diamond Blades Promo
Norton's full selection of diamond products answer every application need and performance expectation.