Short Distance & Long Distance Cutting – What You Need

EDCO 18" Saw

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


Short-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.


Long-Distance Cutting

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.


Short Distance & Long Distance Cutting – What You Need” Comments

  1. My friend works in construction and was talking about this the other day. I was a little confused, so glad I found this article to clear things up! I didn’t realize that there was a type of concrete saw that was homeowner friendly. I just assumed you would need to hire someone for concrete sawing jobs. Thanks for the information!

  2. Avatar Lea

    Hi Jason Stanczyk,

    Great article!

    I appreciate that you’ve shared this article about short & long distance cutting on concrete. This is very informative to those who do DIY projects, specially people who are not professional in this field. Most DIY are done at home, better that they have the knowledge on the right kind of concrete cutting tool is going to use.
    Thank you very much, hope to read more articles about this.

  3. I just got hired on at a job that works with these kinds of tools and does this kind of work. I’m really nervous and want to make sure that I’m prepared and ready to go for it. This helped me understand how these kinds of tools work and I hope that I can get this all figured out soon.

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