Best Concrete Saws – Complete Buyer’s Guide

What is a concrete saw?

According to Wikipedia, “A concrete saw (often known as a consaw or road saw) is a power tool used for cutting concrete, masonry, brick, asphalt, tile, and other solid materials. It can be a small hand-held cut-off saw, a big walk-behind saw or other styles, and it may be powered by gasoline, hydraulic or pneumatic pressure, or electric motors.

A concrete saw is super heavy duty, and actually comes in a few different varieties. 

Gas powered concrete saws are typically only used for outdoor applications because of the fumes/exhaust they create that you don’t want blowing around inside the house. Electric concrete saws on the other hand are better for uses in an enclosed space, like working in a basement. 

You’ll also find a walk-behind concrete saw and a handheld variety, with walk-behind versions often being more expensive but can really save your back some strain when you are doing long stretches of concrete cutting. 

In general, you want a handheld concrete saw for it’s portability and doing things like cutting wall openings. If you are concrete cutting longer distances along a straight line and need a strong, straight cut then you’ll probably want to invest in a walk-behind. 

The Different Types of Concrete Saws

Gas-Powered Concrete Saw

  • Best for outdoor jobs or jobs that have no electrical wall socket available.
  • More powerful than the electric option
  • Long-lasting and sturdy 
  • Gas-powered concrete saws require regular maintenance 
  • I do not recommend using this indoors or in a place with minimal ventilation. Gas-powered concrete saws create a lot of exhaust fumes and dust.
  • Very noisy
  • Pretty heavy, it can be exhausting to handle it for long periods of time. 

Electric-Powered Concrete Saw

  • Great for indoor use since they produce less fumes and dust in comparison to gas-powered concrete saws. This also means they are better for the environment which is a big plus.
  • Not as noisy
  • Lighter to hold since it has no fuel chamber
  • Not a potential fire hazard 
  • Easier to start than gas-powered concrete saws
  • Maintenance is easy on these saws
  • Available in both corded and cordless options.
  • It can’t be used during the early stages of construction or locations that don’t have an electrical socket
  • Since they have electrical cords it does pose a tripping hazard

Battery-Powered Concrete Saw

  • Battery-powered concrete saws are basically cordless electric-powered concrete saws. This means that the benefits are the same.
  • You can carry a fully charged spare battery if you don’t have the option to charge a battery on location. This is a pretty big bonus.  

Important considerations when buying

It is crucial that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you are looking for the best concrete saw. In order for you to perform a concrete cut well, you need to be sure that you have the proper type of diamond saw blade. For example:

  • ​What diameters of diamond saw blades can the concrete saw accommodate?
  • The arbor size
  • The blade’s quality
  • The match of the saw blade and the type of concrete you will be cutting (asphalt, reinforced by metal bars, concrete with pebbles or rocks,
  • Diamond saw blades are usually for wet-cutting: If you have an inadequate amount of water you are using, it will be very easy for the diamond blade to break or even for the steel core to break. 
  • Whether faster speed or longer lifespan is needed -this is a decision you need to make.
  • The horsepower of the concrete saw: the bigger the horsepower, the bigger the impact the blade will receive when cutting

Risks of Using a Concrete Saw

It’s crucial that you understand what risks are associated with using a concrete cutting saw. There is a ton of dust that flies about when you’re concrete cutting. Think of the construction workers along the highways and how much dust is flying around you as you drive through a construction zone. You need to keep some things in mind.

  1. Stones, rocks, sand, etc…can have a big amount of crystalline silica- used to make bricks, tiles, etc. Cutting these things produces dust that is airborne, but that also has very fine particles that you can’t even see with the naked eye in normal lighting.
  2. You need to make sure that you are using plenty of water when using a concrete cutting cutting saw, as this will cut down on the dust particles flying through the air.
  3. Diamond saw blades are better than more abrasive blades.
  4. The best concrete saw should have a local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system and this will get the majority of the dust that is let out during your cutting jobs.
  5. You should always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when operating a concrete saw.​

Best Gas Concrete Saw

This saw by Husqvarna is not a cheapy, but listen to all that it can offer you. Weighing in at 27 pounds, this gas-powered concrete saw measures 24 x 12 x 12 and is manufactured in Sweden. It is a wet-style concrete saw, so you won’t have to worry about the dust particles flying so much when purchasing this particular concrete saw. The diamond blade length is 14 inches.

What We Like​

  • Vibration in the engine doesn’t affect the frame
  • Lightweight – if you have an old school concrete saw you’ll notice a huge difference
  • Ergonomically feels good while you are using it. 
  • Plenty of power compared to other saws in its class

What We Don’t

  • The Price (but it’s worth it)

Best Electric Concrete Saw

Now, this particular concrete saw is the best concrete saw out there for those of you on a tighter budget. This saw is power-cord electric rather than gas. Its dimensions are 26.5 x 1 x 1 and it comes in a cool blue, black and silver color. It has a 220 volts of amperage.

RC (CEO of rocketcityrebuilders) says:

“This saw is great for what it is made for, which is mostly to tooth brick walls or cut limestone or landscape block. It is NOT for slicing up cured concrete slabs!!! I got my moneys worth out of it many times over before I burned it up and through it away. I’ve owned at least a thousand Makita tools (NO LIE!). Some for over 30 years. I plan on buying this tool again the next job that I require it! ADVICE, If you choose to buy this tool, just like a chainsaw. Don’t lend it out! And most important, is all ways use water!”

Official product description: “Ideal for cutting split face block when building retaining walls, the Makita 14-Inch Angle Cutter with Diamond Blade provides 25 percent more cutting capacity. The tool base adjusts, allowing up to a 5-inch cutting depth. It can even be removed for cutting closer to walls. The cutter features a built-in vacuum attachment port for efficient removal of dust and debris and guide wheels on the tool guard for smooth traveling. With ball bearing construction and externally accessible brushes, this angle cutter comes with a 1-year warranty.”​

What We Like

  • Plenty of power at 15 AMP and 3,500 RPM
  • Fairly light weight (just a pound more than the Husqvarna)
  • Electric and fume-free for indoor use

What We Don’t

  • Base plate lacks durability

Best Budget Concrete Saw (Electric)

The Evolution 12 inch disc cutter is an excellent choice if you need a concrete saw without spending a lot of money.

It’s electric like the Makita, which means it can be used for enclosed spaces and not just outdoor use thanks to the lack of harmful fumes. It is also equipped with a spindle lock system which means that changing out the diamond blade is very quick and easy.

The handles and grips are well thought out on the Evolution, so when you hold it you really feel pretty comfortable while you work.

The 12 inch blade isn’t as common as a 14, but I think you’ll find that the stock blade is pretty heavy duty and durable and won’t need to be replaced for quite awhile. ​

The cutting depth is 4 inches which should suit most jobs. The other benefit of electric over gas in this case is that the Evolution is ready at a moment’s notice – no need to leave a gas saw idling or starting it up to make a cut here and there throughout the day. 

What We like​

  • The Price. You really can’t do much better at this price point
  • Super lightweight at 21 lbs. – easy to handle and maneuver 
  • Electric and fume-free for indoor use

What We Don’t

  • Occasionally trips a 15 AMP breaker
  • Not recommended for wet use – makes a ton of dust

Best Walk-Behind Concrete Saw

​If you are in the market for a walk-behind, you should consider the MK Diamond 14 inch concrete saw. It features a reliable 6.5 HP Honda engine that is known for starting up easier and running reliably time after time. 

It has a variable cut depth up to 5 5/8 in, and it allows you to get within 1 inch of a curb or a wall. For it’s power, it’s actually fairly light weight and seems easy to move around the jobsite compared to older walk-behind models. ​

Pretty much every review you read on this saw boasts how smooth and reliable it runs once you’ve got it going, but some struggle getting the throttle and choke just right to get it started up at first. Odds are, once you have the hang of it you can expect pretty quick starts – but it might take a bit to get used to. ​

What We Like

  • Integrated water system keeps blade wet on both sides
  • Features both left and ride side cutting ability
  • Wet and dry applications

What We Don’t

  • Starting it up can be tricky if you’re inexperienced

Wrap-up

Obviously, concrete saws have a huge variability when it comes to cost because of the different sizes and styles you can choose from. The answer on how much you should spend really depends on how often you plan to use it.

Is cutting concrete something you do to make a living?

Well, then remember the old adage that if you buy on price, you buy twice. Don’t make too many sacrifices if it’s something you’ll be using every day.

On the other hand – if you’ll use it only on occasion then something like the Evolution model we reviewed earlier would be just fine.

Best of luck making a decision!​

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Brian, Woodworker

2,153 satisfied customers

Licensed Contractor – 17 years

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Russ Thompson
About Russ Thompson

Hey I'm Russ and I have been a contractor for over 20 years. I know what the cost of having the right tools and materials for the job. My passion for woodworking and helping others by workshops in my wood shop. I have beginner classes all the way up expert trade classes. Check out my bio for more.

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