5 considerations for investing in concrete cutting machines
by Thomas Techow
July 17, 2017

Concrete projects are present at most construction jobsites, and there is an obvious need for high quality products to do work more efficiently. But how should professionals go about choosing a new concrete cutting machine? When purchasing a concrete cutting product, there are several factors to consider to ensure a quality investment. There are five features all construction professionals should think about when investing in a new, handheld, concrete cut-off machine.

1. Lightweight

Thanks to new and ever-changing technology, cut-off machines come in smaller packages than ever before, but they still pack a powerful punch. Well-engineered, lightweight designs provide professionals with the power to get jobs done while helping to increase maneuverability. Lightweight products also reduce operator fatigue, which results in less downtime and less time spent on the job overall. Industry professionals want equipment that is easy to carry as they move around to different construction sites. Fortunately, manufacturers have met and continue to improve the market demand.

2. Power & Ease of Use

When searching for options, it is important to seek products that are ergonomically comfortable, but don’t hold back on power. Luckily, the current trend is toward these types of equipment featuring simple operation and excellent maneuverability. For example, battery-powered products make it easy for users to obtain superior cutting performance and control. And while battery-powered products continue to gain popularity in the market, contractors still need the power and the cut-depth options that are available in gasoline-powered, handheld cut-off machines. Manufacturers have seen an increased interest in electronically controlled fuel injection systems, which provide for easier starting and a higher power-to-weight ratio.

3. Dust Control

Construction regulations remain a topic of discussion. This elevated attention has triggered an increased focus on dust control and the inhalation of respirable crystalline silica. One of the most effective dust suppression techniques when cutting concrete is using water to bind the dust before it enters the air. Products with an onboard water connection and control help to suppress dust when wet-cutting concrete. An optional, pressurized water tank provides water flow when a water hose is not accessible, and carts offer an accessory tank when utilized. Additionally, regulations prevent industry professionals from using gasoline-powered products indoors, due to exhaust gases, and require virtually every concrete cutting job to be done outside. A zero-exhaust emissions concrete tool is a valuable asset to a construction professional’s arsenal of equipment.

4. Versatility in Concrete Cutting Capability

Professionals should also consider purchasing a product that can make more than one type of cut so they are able to accomplish more on the jobsite. For example, deep cutting, an application used in renovations, is becoming a popular service offered by general contractors in addition to general construction, hardscaping and design-build. In previous years, subcontractors had to be hired for deep cutting tasks, adding to project costs and time. Owning one tool that can meet various cutting needs is ideal for industry professionals. Tools featuring a large maximum cut depth enable general contractors to offer these deep-cutting services themselves, which helps reduce internal costs.

5. Time & Cost Savings

With any equipment purchase, professionals should look for products that help reduce their operating costs and time spent on each job. Battery-powered cut-off machines are a great addition to a fleet of gas-powered equipment because they feature instant start features that make switching between tasks easy. Construction budgets benefit from this timesaving feature as well. With reduced fuel and maintenance costs, and because battery equipment is easier to operate, there is less training required for employees.

Cut-off machines are a necessity on most, if not all, construction jobsites. Determining how to invest in this type of product can be challenging, though. Ensuring the equipment is lightweight, comfortable and delivers well-rounded performance is essential for professionals. Factoring in environmental and health concerns encourages users to invest in products like cut-off machines that not only get the job done, but get it done accurately and under budget.