Tools of the Trade: Concrete Saws

CS Unitec - Pneumatic Cut-off Saws
Product overview: CS Unitec's heavy-duty, high-performance Pneumatic Cut-off Saws are designed for wet or dry cutting of concrete, reinforced concrete, masonry and other tough materials.

CS Unitec's hand-held cut-off saws are available in three models. The CSH-100 5- horsepower direct-drive saw has a maximum blade capacity of 14 inches, allowing it to cut up to 4 inches deep. It weighs 22 pounds, has a no-load speed of 5,250 rpm and consumes 90 cfm at 100 psi. The CSH-125 9.5-horsepower gear-driven saw also has a maximum blade capacity of 14-inch and a 5-inch depth of cut. Weighing 26 pounds, it consumes 92 cfm at 100 psi and has a no-load speed of 3,200 rpm. The CSH-150 is also gear-driven, has a depth of cut of 7-inches and a maximum blade capacity of 18 inches. It weighs 28 pounds and, like the CSH-125, consumes 92 cfm at 100 psi and has a no-load speed of 3,200 rpm.

Why contractors need it: With no belts, pistons, fuel lines or carburetors, these saws require very little maintenance. Furthermore, since they are air-powered, they produce no gas or engine fumes. They are ideal for working indoors or around water.

For the store owner: MSRP for this series of hand-held saws ranges from $2,050 to $2,480. Each saw comes with an inline oiler for motor lubrication. At shipping, the saws range from 26 pounds to 32 pounds.

Makita USA - DPC7321
Product overview: Makita USA Inc. has released the DPC7321, a new 14-inch Power Cutter. The DPC7321 combines EPA Phase II-compliant exhaust with Makita's five-stage, foam-paper-nylon filter system and Advanced Directional Air Flow for cleaner air and better performance.

The reinforced aluminum blade guard has a 70-degree range of limitless positioning with a marked knob handle, while the cutting arm position simply changes from center position to flush (outboard) position, allowing cuts directly adjacent to curb edges, walls or directly above the ground.

The DPC7321 has plenty of power: the 73 cc engine and improved ignition system with larger flywheel and rare earth magnets are designed for more power. The power cutter also has a best-in-class 37-gallon fuel capacity.

Why contractors need it: In addition to the power and performance, the DPC7321 has a range of ease-of-use features. The starter grip and decompression valve are located on the same side for faster starting, while the on-off-choke operating switch is on a single lever for operator convenience. The cushioned operator grips with four vibration-absorption rubber buffers are designed for increased operator comfort. The large volume exhaust is ported to direct debris away from the operator, while aluminum guard and wheel pressure plates are designed to reduce weight.

For the store owner: The DPC7321 retails at $859. A Makita Dolly & Gravity Feed Tank, model DT2000, is available separately and retails at $579.

Multiquip - SlabSaver
Product overview: Weighing only 106 pounds, the SlabSaver concrete saw from Multiquip offers a host of performance-enhancing features in a compact, lightweight package. Features include a front and rear pointer that drops into the cut to ensure a straight line, polyurethane wheels with permanently sealed ball bearings, a 3/4-inch blade shaft assembly, and a standard 5/8-inch blade arbor.

Available with a 6.5-horsepower Honda GX200 engine or a 7.0-horsepower Robin engine, the SlabSaver cuts up to 3 1/4 inches deep with a 10-inch blade and can also accept 5-inch, 7-inch and 9-inch V-groove blades. The SlabSaver is operator-friendly, with a simple PosiLok control for easily raising and lowering the blade. It features adjustable blade depth control and handle height. Only one person is needed to operate the machine, and it cuts right to the wall, making it ideal for use in tight spaces.

Why contractors need it: It is small enough to exceed the demands of a job requiring pinpoint accuracy yet powerful enough to slice through any number of materials. It is ideal for cutting control joints in green concrete and decorative lines in cured concrete. For the store owner: The list price for the 6.5-horsepower model is $2,150, and the MSRP for the 7-horsepower model is $2,180. Both saws are shipped in a crate.