Best Cut Off Saws for Hardscaping

Best Cut Off Saws for Hardscaping

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Every hardscaper relies heavily on their saw. There is no other way to get those perfect cuts and lines in your retaining walls and interlock designs without having a trusty saw in your truck. Something that will be there when you need it most. A saw that will not cause you to curse and swear trying to get it to start. One that is not going to make you break a sweat trying to just lift it.

There are many things that you need to consider before purchasing your first or next saw. That is why we have put together this post of our top four best rated cut off saws, why we and so many others we have surveyed and talked to suggest these saws, and their pros and cons. All of this to help you make your purchasing decision on your next saw.


Best Cut Off Saws for Hardscaping

Best Cut Off Saws

Your cut off saw is likely one of your first purchases when deciding to become a hardscaper, unless you follow our tips to starting a landscaping business with no money where we suggest renting almost every piece of machinery first before getting some contracts and money into your pocket.

However, even with following these tips you are likely in the market for a cut off saw sooner rather than later. At least in our market, renting a cut off saw each day that you need it is not economically viable for your business. Renting is fine to use for the first few jobs while you are trying to get your business up and running and it is a good way to test a few different brands of cut off saws while you can.

To put this into perspective, it is approximately $69.99 to rent a saw per day in our market. At this price, our newly purchased saw would pay itself off using it for 16 days. So if you foresee yourself needing a saw for more than 16 times, then it is likely worth it to make that purchase.

This is also the same thing we consider with every single piece of equipment we own in our hardscaping business. Other things need to be taken into consideration such as tax deductions when purchasing the piece of equipment, repairs, and upkeep. These are good things to consider if you are looking at purchasing a larger piece of equipment, but for something like a saw that you will be likely using almost every single day in your business it is more obvious that you will need one in your truck at all times.

We could mention at this point that it could be worthwhile to borrow a cut off saw from someone, but likely you will not know to many people with a cut off saw just laying around not being used. Especially if you know a lot of hardscapers.

What You Need to Consider for Your Next Cut Off Saw

Once you are ready to make your purchase, you need to figure out which cut off saw is the right one for you. There are a few different options as far as brands and sizes are considered.

  • Fuel

  • For the most part, you only have one fuel source to consider which is a gas mixture, though battery powered cut off saws are fairly new to the market if you are looking for something smaller. However, we do suggest that you look to purchase a gas powered cut off saw first as the size will allow you to cut through thicker pieces of concrete. In some situations with walls, the batter powered cut off saws are too small to cut through even with flipping it over and making another cut. Though these battery powered cut off saws are interesting, they are still fairly new on the market and have some things to improve.

  • Size

  • Continuing on discussing about size, gas powered cut off saws are large enough to get you cutting through pavers and most pieces of wall even if you do need to make a couple of cuts. Most are either 12″, 14″, or 16″ referencing the blade size. Not that this is the diameter of the blade and the blade does not completely go through what you are cutting, only half of it. Therefore a 12″ blade gives you about 4.75″ of depth in cuts, a 14″ blade about 5″ depth, and a 16″ blade gets you to about 5.75″ of depth.

    Knowing which products you are likely going to be installing is important when deciding which size to choose. Both sizes will cut through whichever paver you wish to cut, but if you are getting into curbs, walls, and steps that you may need to cut you may wish to purchase a larger saw. Unfortunately a larger saw means that you are carrying something that is heavy when cutting.

  • Weight

  • Weight can be important, especially when you are doing a lot of cuts. Eventually, you will really start to feel the weight of the saw in your arms over long periods of time. So the less the saw weighs, the less it will begin to strain you and the better you will feel after doing all of your cuts on a project.

  • Displacement

  • Displacement is the volume that is displaced by the piston on its upward stroke and is measured in cubic inches or centimeters. The easiest way to put it is that the larger the displacement, the more power that is generated in the explosion of the fuel that drives the piston. The higher the displacement, the more powerful your machine is. The more powerful the machine, the easier you are going to be able to cut.

  • Dust Control

  • Dust control is a very important thing in a lot of places. In fact, it is mandatory in a lot of places as you can get hit with hefty fines. That is why cut off saws come equipped with a hose hook up attachment that allows you to attach a hose when cutting.

    In addition to this, there are newer attachments and saws on the market that provide dust control without needing to use water. This is extremely beneficial as using water creates a slurry (mixture of concrete dust and water) on the surface of your stones and if this dries, it hardens, and stains the stones requiring a cleaning solution to remove it.

  • Price

  • A good cut off saw costs some money of course. Though the cut off saws at the top of the market tend to cost a similar amount, there is still a small difference between several brands and the models within those brands that we can discuss in greater detail.

Best Handheld Gas Powered Cut Off Saws

Based on the above categories and the cut off saws that we believe and those we have surveyed to be the best on the market, we have compiled a chart comparing the best cut off saws available to you at the time of writing this for your hardscaping business.


Best Cut Off Saws for Hardscaping

  • Hilti Cut Off Saw

  • Hilti starts us off with a few different choices of saws at the lower end of the spectrum on the price scale. The greatest feature that these saws have to offer is the auto choke feature. No more playing around with the choke to get your cold saw started. Simply press in the ignition, prime the bulb, and pull the chord. We have had no problem starting ours after years of use.

    DSH 600-X

    Blade Size: 12″
    Weight (lbs): 21.7
    Displacement (cc): 63.3
    Price (CAD): $929

    DSH 700-X

    Blade Size: 14″
    Weight (lbs): 31.75
    Displacement (cc): 68.7
    Price (CAD): $999

    DSH 900-X

    Blade Size: 16″
    Weight (lbs): 31.75
    Displacement (cc): 87
    Price (CAD): $1599

    Pros
    • Wheel attachment
    • Auto choke
    • Less expensive than alternatives
    Cons
    • Heavier than alternatives
    • Mid-range power



     

  • Husqvarna Cut Off Saw

  • Husqvarna’s saws are small which allows more portability and getting into tighter situations more easily than the alternatives. They also provide exceptional power which are noted by most of its users. It is these two factors that have drawn an increasing number of contractors to its saws in recent years despite the higher price tag in comparison to its competitors.

    K970

    Blade Size: 14″
    Weight (lbs): 24.2
    Displacement (cc): 93.6
    Price (CAD): $1880

    K970 Rescue

    Blade Size: 14″
    Weight (lbs): 25.75
    Displacement (cc): 93.6
    Price (CAD): $2170

    K1270

    Blade Size: 16″
    Weight (lbs): 29.5
    Displacement (cc): 118.8
    Price (CAD): $2592

    Pros
    • Small size
    • Powerful
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Mid-range weight



     

  • Stihl Cut Off Saw

  • Stihl is a well known brand within the industry. There is no doubt that it is one of the more recognizable names and has a proven track record for its reliability. It is the most recommended saw that we have come across. These range of saws that we cover are the lightest and some of the most portable. Though the price is in the mid-range and the power is one of the lowest.

    TS 410

    Blade Size: 12″
    Weight (lbs): 20.9
    Displacement (cc): 66.7
    Price (CAD): $1349

    TS 420

    Blade Size: 14″
    Weight (lbs): 21.4
    Displacement (cc): 66.7
    Price (CAD): $1399

    TS 440

    Blade Size: 14″
    Weight (lbs): 24.5
    Displacement (cc): 66.7
    Price (CAD): $1649

    Pros
    • Small size
    • Brand recognition
    • Lightest
    Cons
    • Mid price point
    • Low power

     

  • IQ Cut Off Saw

  • IQ Power Tools provides the most innovative option on this list with their dustless vacuum technology to keep your job site, neighbor’s yards, and your lungs clean of dust. These are the perfect saws to keep within any dust laws that are in your region so there are no fines coming your way. In addition to keeping your job site clean, it also keeps it clean of slurry. This is the mixture of water and the dust created by cutting that will harden onto your stone if not cleaned.

    Not only does this provide an option to keep your job site clean, but also to keep your stones from looking horrible and having to clean them with a chemical to get them looking properly. We are excited about this new technology, though it does come with its downsides like the maintenance, size, and weight. We featured a couple of their table saws to round out the list as well.



    iQPC912 VSK Cut Off Saw

    Blade Size: 12″
    Weight (lbs): 34
    Displacement (cc): 93
    Price (USD): $1950

    iQ360XR Table Saw

    Blade Size: 14″
    Weight (lbs): 65
    Displacement (cc): Electric
    Price (USD): $1950

    iQMS362 Table Saw

    Blade Size: 16.5″
    Weight (lbs): 150
    Displacement (cc): Electric
    Price (USD): $2750

    Pros
    • Innovative dustless vacuum system
    • Powerful
    • Clean job site
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Heavy
    • Large
    • Cut off saw has a small blade size



 

Diamond Blades

When it comes to tools, we have had a lot of good luck with Ox Tools. They have withstood our abuse time and time again, so we have stuck by them. Their saw blades are no different. Their blades are rated to cut through various materials which can help in situations where you need to cut through more than just concrete.



Conclusion

We hope this guide has helped you make your decision when purchasing your cut off saw. First and foremost, do not get caught up in the idea of having this beautiful piece of equipment in your truck if you are not going to get your use out of it. If you are only thinking of starting a hardscaping business, do not go out and purchase equipment without knowing if this line of work is for you.

Once you have decided that this hardscape life is for you, then you need to consider whether you have the cash flow to make this much-needed purchase. Likely if you are starting or have a hardscape business, investing in a good cut off saw is a no-brainer. The question is then of timing and when you have the cash to purchase it. There are a lot of positives to renting a saw for a short period of time including trying and testing the different brands of saws on the market to find the best one for you.

Once you have the cash to make your purchase, look through this guide one last time and figure out which cut off saw is the right one for yourself. Make that purchase and never look back.

 

We would love to hear from you about this guide, your comments, your suggestions, and how it helped you. Please leave a comment below.

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