The greatest feature in a walk behind concrete saw with vacuum is the vacuum dust control.
This really saves your life when cutting concrete and is certainly a better way of escaping potentially severe health consequences (think Asthma and acute respiratory conditions) because of inhaling dust.
These tools also saw other solid materials including asphalt, brick, tile, granite, steel, and more and are a handy device for any construction worker.
I will introduce you to the best walk behind concrete saw with vacuum in this article and also share some useful tips to help you when shopping for one.
First off, the basics.
Why use a walk behind concrete saw with vacuum
Regular concrete saws are a health hazard since they cause you prolonged exposure to airborne dust – it contains dangerous respirable crystalline silica (RCS) particles- when cutting.
Now, due to its ultra-fine nature, RCS dust can penetrate deep into your lungs and trigger chronic issues such as silicosis and lung cancer.
A walk behind concrete saw with vacuum is equipped with a vacuum dust control system that captures the dust (and silica) at the source (as its being generated).
This helps lower dust concentration in your surroundings and considerably minimizes your exposure.
Types of walk behind concrete saws with vacuum
There are two major variations in these power tools:
1. Gas-powered walk behind concrete saws
A gas-powered concrete walk behind saw delivers tremendous cutting power.
Their major downside is the blaring noise and unsafe fumes, especially when working in enclosed and poorly ventilated sites.
2. Electric walk behind concrete saws
These are not as powerful as the gas powered models and will, as a result, cut slower.
They might struggle on harder surfaces too.
On the upside, they’re quieter and you obviously won’t be bothered by the obnoxious gas fumes and noise, like when cutting with gas units.
What to look out for when shopping for a walk behind concrete saw with vacuum
These saws are quite pricey and you don’t want to commit a blunder when choosing.
Here are the features to focus on when comparing these masonry saws:
· Cutting Depth
The 14-18 inches blades- common in most of the top walk behind concrete saws- cut about 5 to 6 inches for the most part.
There are, however, more versatile models with bigger blades.
I am yet to meet someone who hates versatility in power tools and you, certainly, won’t be the first.
The engine is key and you must be careful here, lest you end up with an underpowered tool.
Examine these factors:
- The horsepower– the higher, the better (it will cut more strongly and faster).
- The make– Honda and Briggs & Stratton engines seem to win favor.
- Two stroke or four stroke?– Barring a few brands, concrete saws come with two-stroke engines (they are simpler to maintain and use fuel more efficiently)
A powerful motor is also desirable as it improves cooling thereby extending the engine’s life.
· User friendliness
You ultimately want a tool that’s user friendly and hence a breeze to use/maintain.
Look for features that permit fast blade replacement and access to various parts.
A straightforward raise/lower system (for the blade), vibration dampeners, and soft grip handles all help deliver a smoother cutting experience.
A longer power cord is also great as is enhanced maneuverability.
· Overall construction
You’re paying a decent amount of money and you want a tool that holds up.
This means that features like quality craftsmanship, strengthened housing/frame, and rust-resistant materials will interest you.
· Safety considerations
You might occasionally be working on fresh concrete and you don’t want a tool that causes damages so additions like polyurethane wheels come top of your list.
In addition, you may want oversized wheels to boost general stability.
· Storage and transport
A compact unit takes up less space and will be easier to bring to the jobsite.
Besides, an adjustable, folding handle helps make transport and storage less stressful.
Diamond saw blades cut more quickly than the abrasive saw blades.
Moreover, they require less water (for wet cutting) and you should go for them, if possible.
Also, check the arbor size- you want one that fits the blade sizes you typically use snugly, again for safety reasons.
Walk behind concrete saw with vacuum: our recommended products
Here are 2 models that we feel have what it takes to serve all your needs…
1. SKILSAW SPT79A-10 7-inch worm drive Walk behind concrete mower
You will fancy this option if versatility is what you ask of your tools.
The worm gear – the first time it’s used in walk behind saws- means you will control the rotational speed and achieve higher torque.
For starters, this unique setup has the gears at 45° angles to spur greater torque at slower blade speed.
Unsurprisingly, it makes concrete cutting appear incredibly easy.
The folding handle along with a pivoting pointer means peerless precision and convenience.
The built-in dust management system takes the dust out of the equation, whether used wet or dry.
Plus, you’ll have it for years thanks to the anti-corrosion components.
It also features large feet for stability when slicing through tough concrete surfaces.
It fits 7 inch blades.
- Immensely durable electric unit.
- Soft on your body.
- Safe and stable to use.
- No reservoir- uses a hose connection instead for wet cuts.
2. TOMAHAWK 6-inch Early Entry Concrete Walk Behind Saw
This is powered by an extraordinarily powerful 5.5HP GX160 Honda Engine and could be a brilliant alternative if you’re after maximum power.
Specially engineered for your professional concrete contractor business, this is peerless when it comes to cutting concrete slab joints and indeed many other insanely demanding jobs.
Working with this is a thrill- the design accommodates lovable features such as polyurethane wheels (to allow you safely cut fresh concrete) and provides nice characteristics like seamless blade change.
Additionally, the operator station, as well as the lower/raise lever, are conveniently located to help you effortlessly engage the saw’s 6-inch blade.
The heavy-duty protective frame and durable parts point to a unit that will give you an income for years.
This cuts straight up to 1-3/16 inches, assisted by the precise pointer wheel.
Don’t forget to attach the vacuum attachment to the OSHA-approved dust port to get rid of the silica dust.
- Cuts faster and with outstanding power
- Instant start up.
- Nice extras including comfortable grip handles.
- Bulkier than the Skilsaw electric concrete saw.
Other ways to mitigate against airborne dust
Implement the following tricks to further reduce the dust:
- For wet cutting operations (these are safer), apply water adequately to your blade and concrete floor to help wash out dust particles that escape the saw.
- Ensure the area is properly ventilated when dry cutting to reduce the amount of dust you inhale.
- Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as ventilated goggles when cutting.
Wrapping it up
With the introduction of a walk behind concrete saw with vacuum, you no longer have to choose between your job and your health.
Of course, your target is to get one that suits all you concrete cutting needs and I have included tips to help you select.
Whatever your choice, don’t forget to observe the other mitigation measures when on the jobsite.