Splitting a cinder block

This group helped me out so much with my last DIY question that I'm going to turn to you again.
1. What is the best way to split a cinder block in half using either a brick set or 7 inch (circular saw) masonary blade? 2. What is the best way to smooth the cinder block halfs after I split them?
These blocks are being used in patio steps so I want the edges to be as clean as possible so they look nice (I'll be painting them white). I've already split one cinder block with a brick set and another with the saw, but I'm not happy with either because of the rough edges I'm getting. So, I'm looking to this group to tell me the proper way to do the splitting.
Thanks for your help! Bill White
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Why not just buy the size you need? If you watch real builders you won't see them cutting many blocks. Block comes in just about any size you want in 2" increments.
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Thanks Greg. I just called a local supply store and they do have them so I think that's the route I'll go.
Thanks a lot! Bill

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As a retired, licensed, Chicago mason contractor, I'd advise against even touching 'cinder' block. Cinder block will not last very long in or on the ground plus they will leech acid into the soil. Not sure where you got them, as they haven't been made in maybe 40 years.
I 'think' you mean CONCRETE block, and sawing them neatly, requires a diamond blade on a wet saw. I masonry blade on a skill saw will work but just barely.
But seeing as your local CONCRETE block/brick company makes all kinds of size combinations, I'd buy the proper size, and trim they with a wet saw.
I also suggest AGAINST painting them, buy blocks that already have color added to the mix. Once you paint them, you will have to paint them every few years ... forever. And painting a patio setup is sure to take mucho paint and fade, chip, wear off, very quickly.
If you must paint them, stick to neutral earth tone colors. In 40 years I've never seen a patio or stairs, that were painted white every look clean.
Hope my suggestions are because of many years of experience. I'm not trying to dump on your ideas, but I made more money fixing poor choices than I did when I started from scratch.

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Thanks a lot for all the good info. You're right about the term "cinder". I used it in the same sense that people still call aluminum foil "tin" foil. In fact, I just heard a teenager on TV call it tin foil a few weeks ago. So, I imagine concrete blocks will continue to be called cinder blocks for many years to come.
I only wish I got to hear your good advice a month ago. But, I now have a yard full of grey blocks and only a few days to prepare the house for a wedding shower. Certainly not enough time to haul everything back and buy colored blocks. On the plus side, I find my power washer to be a huge asset so, hopefully, it'll help me keep the patio looking new.
Thanks a lot for your help! Bill

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