Unlike Surface Preparation Equipment, which is a broad term encompassing different machines for different applications, sawing equipment does one thing – Cutting. Yes there are different kinds of cuts, (Dual-Line, Single-Line, Plunge, etc.) but saws cut.
The particular saw needed usually depends on 2 simple things: Distance & Depth.
Here’s a brief description and what’s needed for Short-Distance and Long-Distance Cutting
Definition – Shorter run concrete and asphalt applications include:
- Contraction joints in concrete slabs
- Patch repairs in asphalt
- Traffic loop sensor installation
- Trenching for piping in homes and smaller commercial buildings
- Shallower cutting applications
What’s Needed – Short-Distance cutting can usually be solved with smaller, Walk-Behind Saws. These come in a variety of power options / sizes and are pushed by the operator. The largest walk-behind saws accommodate blades around 18 inches. This means the deepest depth achievable with smaller saws is approximately 6.75 inches.
Walk-Behind Saws are simple and homeowner friendly.
Definition – Longer run concrete and asphalt applications include:
- Highway, road, and bridge repair
- Utility installation
- Large commercial construction (warehouse, airport, etc)
- Contraction joints / trenching in wide spaces
- Deeper cutting applications
What’s Needed – Long-Distance cutting is solved with large, Self-Propelled Saws. These are significantly larger than Walk-Behind Saws. SP Saws are propelled through cuts by drive systems and require higher horsepower motors / engines. A variety of depth capabilities are available including depths much deeper than those of walk-behind saws. Usually the smallest Self-Propelled saw accommodates 20-inch blades, and then sizes/depths grow from there.
Self-Propelled Saws are more complex and used by experienced operators, however those outside the construction profession can learn these machines.