Planning to upgrade your home with a flagstone patio, walkway, or swimming pool area? Learn some effective methods to cut flagstone so you can create your own beautiful patio surface.
Do you like putting puzzles together? Cutting and fitting flagstone pieces together is kind of like assembling a giant puzzle (with pieces that weigh 20 pounds or more!) Although you can sometimes find flagstone pieces that will fit nicely together, in most cases you need to shape and cut the flagstone edges for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
So let’s look at several different ways how to cut flagstone so you can get ready to start your project! You’ll learn how you can cut flagstone with a…
Let’s start with the power tools!
Now before you go firing up your power tools, first you need to make sure to properly mark the piece of flagstone you’ll be cutting.
In most cases, you’ll just need to place it next to its partner piece or patio edge and simply mark a rough line on it with a piece of chalk or even the top of a chisel.
Now it’s time to fire up the power tools!
One of the best options for quickly making a lot of cuts with low dust is a gas-powered cut-off saw with a hose attachment and a diamond blade. Most homeowners don’t have one of these masonry saws lying around but don’t worry. Check with your local hardware store since most offer masonry saws you can rent for a few days.
Important! – Large cut-off saws aren’t for the total beginner. They’re large, heavy, and powerful. Only use one if you’re already comfortable using similar power tools like an angle grinder or circular saw.
Once you’ve marked the stone with a piece of chalk or the end of a chisel…
Insider tip! – If you want the cut edge to look more natural, use a hammer to lightly tap the cut edge to break a few small pieces off and give the edge a more rustic look.
If you’d rather not deal with a big cut-off saw but still don’t want to cut the flagstone by hand, try method #2.
Grinders come in a variety of sizes. While you can use a small 4-inch angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut flagstone, it’s better to use a larger 7-inch grinder with a diamond blade. It’ll be a little heavier but it’ll get the job done a lot faster.
Cutting flagstone with a grinder is similar to using a large cut-off saw like we mentioned in method #1.
Tip! – If you need to cut curves or shapes, a small angle grinder works really well!
What if you want to create a more symmetrical pattern with a lot of clean straight lines? In this case, you can use a circular saw. Just make sure to switch out its wood blade for an appropriate diamond blade.
Remember! – Use a circular saw only for straight cuts. You can’t use it to cut curves.
Tip! – Make sure the surface of the stone where you will be pushing the saw is relatively flat. If you need to, you can lay pieces of wood on either side of the cutting area which will give the saw a smooth surface to ride along.
If you’d rather not deal with the expense, loud noise, and dust of a masonry saw, you can still cut flagstone with a hammer and chisels.
Don’t think that this means you’re Fred Flinstone living back in the stone age. A lot of professional masonry contractors use hammers and chisels when installing flagstone patios.
You should have a variety of chisels and a large hammer or small handheld sledgehammer to get started. Follow the following steps and practice on a few test pieces of flagstone before moving on to your patio stones.
Tip! – In theory, this process is quite simple. However, it takes practice to learn how hard to strike the hammer and chisel to get accurate and clean cuts. And different types of stones will break in different ways. That’s why it’s important to practice with a few test pieces before getting started.
It’s also best to choose the right material according to its affordability and ease. Better still, you can even employ professionals like Alexander and Xavier Masonry in Garland, Texas to do the masonry work.
So there are a variety of ways to cut flagstone. If you want more regular shapes and don’t mind using some power tools, try the gas-powered masonry saw with water or a large 7-inch angle grinder. Or you could really get to know the stones and create a more natural-looking surface by using a hammer and chisel.
Whichever method you choose, don’t forget your personal protective gear to protect your eyes, ears, and lungs.
And if you’d rather hire a professional masonry contractor and you’re in the Garland, Texas area, give us a call at Alexander and Xavier Masonry and we’ll give you a FREE quote on your new flagstone patio project.
Call us today!