The conventional method of cutting a paving slab straight across or diagonally requires the operator to firstly measure the cut (or align the cut with reference to the existing paving) and then draw a straight line from the start point to the finish point. Next, using a petrol cut-off saw the operator freehand cuts down the line to create a shallow channel that they can follow in order to cut the slab where it is required. From there, they continue the cut freehand until they have cut through the slab. This should happen using a steady water supply to the cutting area in order to control dust and cool the cutting point of the blade (in some cases the operator will make the cut dry which creates a cloud of dust in the cutting area and around the operator. Under the control of the HSE and under the law,anyone cutting is required to control dust. Dry cutting is illegaland is therefore banned on professional sites due to the clear and obvious health risks and wearing PPE is required at all timeswhen cutting).
Cutting is a frequent and necessary process when laying slabs or flag and floor stones.
However, the process has a number of problems;
- Drawing the line requires a straightedge. Not always to hand and generally left where the last cut was made, or simply not used.
- Free hand cutting does not ensure you get a straight line.
- In order to focus on following the line, the operator does not always adopt a comfortable and safe cutting stance.
- Following the line is difficult. Doing so with the line washed away or obscured by the water feed that runs along the line of the rotating disc makes an accurate cut even more difficult. (If the cut is made without suitable dust control, the result is the same obscured line but the operators also has to see through a cloud of dust).
- Cutting is slow because the operator has to focus on the line of cut, particularly at the start but also as he cuts further into the slab.
Using a Slab Cutting Guide eliminates all these problems;
- The operator only needs to mark the start and the end of the cut with a short line because the Guide only needs those two reference points. This makes the positioning of the guide easier and more precise.
- The Guide is fitted in only a few seconds, is very secure and gives the operator a guide face which they can run the blade along. This ensures a perfect straight line.
- The operator can adopt a comfortable position for cutting because all he is focusing on is following the guide face. This also makes cutting safer.
- No amount of water will obscure the line of the guide face on the Slab Cutting Guide. (Even if the operator is cutting dry, he can still follow the guide face with dust around him and around the cutting area).
- Cutting is faster because the operator is in a comfortable position and only focusing on following the guide face and the cutting process.
- With the disc blade following the slab cutting guide it is easier to keep the blade straight and upright in the channel you are cutting. This will reduce the risk of ‘kick-out’.