Like other construction products, Block Paving can be cut using a different cutting tools and with Pavers the choice is usually between a Petrol Cut-off Saw (Disc Cutter) or a manual Block Splitter. But different to most, the method of setting up the cut can vary significantly as everyone looks to the quickest way to get all the cuts done.
At the start of the job, it may be that lots of halves need to be cut for the start of a ‘stretcher bond’, or a lot of ‘triangle corners’ need to be cut for a herring bone bond. These will usually be best cut with a petrol saw and will involve marking every cut to ensure accuracy and limited wastage.
Particularly with the petrol cutter methods for final cutting can include laying the pavers and ‘pinging’ a line, then removing the pavers to cut to the line, over-laying the pavers to be cut and either removing them to be cut or cutting them in situ and removing the over-cuts. Some will attempt to run the saw down the finish line once all the pavers have been laid. All these methods have to include consideration for controlling dust and to comply with the HSE and the legal requirements with the inclusion of necessary PPE.
A ‘splitter’ cuts singularly with every cut being undercut so that the rough edge does not interfere with the paver it is being laid up against. This is hugely wasteful as every off-cut is being discarded. Rough edges can be untidy and the accuracy of the cut-line can make or break presentation. But with one person laying and one person splitting the two key benefits are that it is quick and there is no dust control to consider!
So the things to weigh up are the splitter’s speed v’s the petrol saw’s quality. And more commonly these days the quality wins out over the speed and controlling dust is taken as a requirement.
Speed and quality can both be achieved with a petrol saw and the use of a Small Brick Jig and the Jig will also improve your accuracy and significantly reduce your wastage as cuts are clean, square and accurately positioned and repeated. The Small Brick Jig will also make cutting wet a lot easier as you cut to an edge rather than a line so controlling dust is easier. The process is often quicker as well because the cuts are easily repeatable and continual marking is not required.
For angled cuts, once the angle has been set up then a simple mark to show the length of the next cut will always make cutting accurate and neat. For the starter cuts, a Small Brick Jig will help you quickly cut halves and triangular corners with no need for any marking up or measuring.