Cutting driveway blocks - angle grinder ?

Hi all, I need to cut some small driveway blocks. Though I know nothing about them I've got into my head that I need a small angle grinder with appropriate discs .. is this correct ? I'm surprised to see corded DeWalt models for as little? as 40. I'm having to temper my internet shopaholism with the need to find out what will do the job best for a reasonable price tag. I'm not going to have to cut too many and they're only 5cm thick - will an angle grinder do the job ? I may have to extend it's use to cutting some natural sandstone paving slabs - I don't mind if it takes a while. I've only started looking into this tonight so please forgive my naivety.
Cheers, Keith
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KD submitted this idea :

A small angle grinder fitted with a stone disk will do it, but it will be slow.
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Harry Bloomfield wrote:

A stone disc will be a waste of time - get a diamond one. You could use a small grinder to cut the surface then use a bolster to split the brick.
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KD wrote:

hire a block splitter
http://www.expresstools.co.uk/ishop/images/692/bir1078.jpg
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Go down your local friendly hire shop and hire a proper brick saw.
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Would this do? http://www.machinemart.co.uk/product.asp?p 1711003&r 89&g2
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Skipweasel
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contains these words:

... hadn't even seen this option .thanks :O)
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Guy King wrote:

How ... rustic ..
Paul.
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if you want a really nice finish then they should be cut with a diamond disc in a big, fixed cutter, if you are not bothered then use a brick bolster
mrcheerful
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A small angle grinder is extremely slow and you can get through a lot of discs. Best to hire a proper machine which works fine but can need a bit of brute force. Much quicker and cheaper.
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KD wrote:

Small 115mm angle grinder won't cut a 5cm block in one go, the guard will limit the depth of cut. You would need a 230mm machine.
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Dave
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wrote:

No, you need a big one - more reach with the larger disk.
Cheap 9" grinders are 40 quid and weight twice as much as a good 80 one. Diamond disks are cheap these days and eBay is a good source.
Or hire something.
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KD wrote:

A block splitter will do it, but is a bit specialised. An angle grinder is more useful as a general purpose tool.
Decent angle grinders are actually quite cheap. You will need a 230mm one for that thickness of block. Get a decent diamond disk to go with it and it will cut quickly and the disk will last for ages (i.e. longer than 100's of ordinary abrasive stone cutting disks). Don't forget decent ear, eye, and respitary protection when using a grinder for this - they make serious dust!
Background info here:
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/powertools/anglegrinder.htm
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Cheers,

John.

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wrote:
|Hi all, |I need to cut some small driveway blocks. Though I know nothing about them |I've got into my head that I need a small angle grinder with appropriate |discs .. is this correct ? I'm surprised to see corded DeWalt models for as |little? as ?40. |I'm having to temper my internet shopaholism with the need to find out what |will do the job best for a reasonable price tag. I'm not going to have to |cut too many and they're only 5cm thick - will an angle grinder do the job ? |I may have to extend it's use to cutting some natural sandstone paving |slabs - I don't mind if it takes a while. |I've only started looking into this tonight so please forgive my naivety.
My small Lidl one would not be man enough for that job. I would go to the local Tool Hire shop for a bigger one for paving slabs.
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Thanks all for your advice. Looks like I'll probably hire one as I think this may be a one-off exercise.
Cheers, Keith
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Read here first: <http://www.pavingexpert.com/ , and then you will better know what to hire...
Thomas Prufer
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I'm sure there are some blocks that a splitter works perfectly with, but my experience with them was disappointing. To make a good job, the cut faces need to be flat, and the splitter left my (Marshall concrete) blocks anything but flat. Their main advantages are speed and freedom from dust.
I had a lot to do, so I bought a chop saw (similar to http://www.machinemart.co.uk/product.asp?p 0710014 and a diamond disc - it made an excellent job, for straight and angled cuts, even for long slices down to 3/4" or so. It's also useful, with an abrasive disc, for cutting steel sections. I also bought a secondhand Stihl saw, again with a diamond blade, because I had a number of hefty edging blocks to cut.
A stihl saw would be OK for your blocks and your sandstone, and there are plenty for sale in local free ads papers. They need a certain amount of care and reasonably strong wrists and forearms to use safely. A small angle grinder might cope, if you use a diamond disc and don't mind cutting from both faces, but a 9" one would be better.
As an aside, are you sure about using 50mm blocks? I'm not convinced they're thick enough. Not that they'll break, but the limited thickness doesn't provide the "wedging together" effect of thicker blocks that block paving relies on.
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Kevin Poole
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Hi, Thanks for all the advice. I hadn't really thought about it but I reckon I'm alright using the 50mm stuff; it's just for edging a garden and a small path. Plus, it was on offer :O)
Cheers, Keith
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A slow but safe way is to use one of the larger wet tile cutters which will cost about 50 quid in the sheds. You'll probably have to do it a side at a time if you want a perfect edge, or just split it after making one cut.
I'm terrified of angle grinders for this sort of thing...
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On 10 May,

I have recently extended my drive with block paving. I own a 115mm and a 230mm angle grinder, both with diamond blades.
However, I hired a block splitter to do the job, /much/ quicker, and doesn't produce the dust storm from an angle grinder.
The angle grinder will probably do a (slightly) neater job, in a longer time with more dust. For a few blocks I'd use the angle grinder, but non-diamond blades don't last long, for more than a couple of dozen blocks to cut I'd go for hiring a splitter.
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