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How To Cut A Trench In A Concrete Slab

How To Cut A Trench In A Concrete Slab

A trench is a narrow but deep excavation or depression in the ground that creates a small gap between grounds. Different from gully or ditch, it is usually deeper compared to its width. It is normally built or dug for military defensive purposes.  

In some construction or masonry projects, there are times when you encounter a trench that needs to be cut or filled with concrete. Trench work could go in different ways. You may either have to fill a trench with a concrete slab or cut concrete away to dig a trench to install pipes, plumbing or drainage. 

Landscapers have the upper hand when it comes to digging trenches as they usually only need to cut into the soil, sand, and probably some loose rocks. They do not face some challenging materials for structures to cut, that’s why they can do the job much easier. To add more ease and efficiency to their job, they can use an excavator to help them in digging trenches. 

Things become challenging when the surface is covered by concrete, cement, or asphalt as these materials are not as soft as the soil. It takes a greater amount of effort to dig a trench on these kinds of surfaces. However, cutting a trench can be efficient and straight forward if you have the right tools and equipment. You can use the following tools to cut a trench in a concrete slab or surface. 

Special trencher

It is a piece of construction equipment functions as a cutter or digger of trenches. It is commonly used for digging surfaces to lay pipes or electrical cables, for installing drainage, and in preparation for trench warfare. It comes with different sizes, such as walk-behind models, attachments for a skid loader or tractor and heavy tracked heavy equipment.

Trench cutting floor saw or chainsaw

This is a chainsaw-like trencher that functions as a digging tool to cut the ground. The belt is driven around a rounded metal frame or boom, the angle is adjusted to manage or control the depth of the cut. 

Trench digging shovels

It is a tool for digging narrow and bottom tranches of about 4 inches wide and up to 18 inches deep. 

How to cut a trench in a concrete slab using a trencher saw 

This iis a power tool used for cutting concrete, masonry, brick, asphalt, tiles, and other similar materials. The blades in this type of saw are mostly diamond saw blades to cut concrete or any hard and solid materials. 

Instead of using a conventional road saw, you can opt for a trencher road saw which has more cutting power due to the presence of two perfectly parallel blades in which the width can be adjusted in between them. Using this advanced tool can slash your work time in half compared to using a traditional road or floor saw which only has one blade. 

But if you do not have access to a trencher road saw, using a conventional road or floor saw is okay. They can do the job of cutting for you. You just have to make two passes of cutting, one for each side of the trench. It will prolong your work but it is certainly possible to cut a trench in concrete or hard materials. Using this traditional saw does not only double your work time but it is also prone to mistakes as you have to be extra careful that your cuts on two separate sides are parallel. 

For both trencher, road saw and traditional road or floor saw, though the numbers of their blades differ, they are used the same way and have similar safety precautions. 

You must allow the machine to do most of the work and avoid forcing it to operate too fast or too deep. It is also necessary to align the saw with your cutting line marks properly before operating the machine because this type of machine works mostly in straight lines and does not work well when steered from side to side. 

If there’s anything in your line mark that has to be changed or adjusted do so before switching on the machine. Before turning the trencher saw, stand on the side of it but not too close. Make sure to take some precautions and safety measures. Do not forget to wear your protective gear like a respirator mask and goggles.