Everyone knows when you pour fresh concrete you need to build-in control joints so that if/when the concrete is stressed there is a controlled path for how the concrete will crack. This is the common practice but there are several ways which those concrete joints are installed. “Early Entry” saw cutting is method which refers to cutting while not fully cured or 2 – 10 hours after being poured. Husqvarna Soff-Cut is a well know name for Early Entry cutting but there a couple new kid in town from Diamond Products Core Cut with First-Cut Early Entry Saws. Of course they’ve got several reasons why their saws are best.
Since the concrete is being cut while not fully cured (essentially still wet) the skid plate guard system is a very critical piece to any early entry saw. The First-Cut system uses 2 heavy duty springs at each end to apply proper down force. Each guard will need replace about every 3 or so diamond blades, which is another critical part of this equation.
Of course you cannot just throw on any random concrete diamond blade, all early entry saws should be used with early entry blades, specific to this unique application. The First-Cut blades have no “break-in time” and don’t require water when used properly. Since there is still a great deal of moisture in the concrete there will also not be any silica dust kicked into the air and the cut should be extremely smooth and accurate.
Diamond Products is launching two sizes of First-Cut Concrete Saws with several motor options for each. The First-Cut 6” saw can cut up to 1-3/4” depth and equip with a Honda GX160 CC148HXL-EE ($2199). The larger First-Cut 14” saw can cut up to 3” depth (up to a .500” width blade) and equip with a Honda GX630 CC190XL-EE ($10,995).
When comparing the Diamond Products First-Cut vs Husqvarna Soff-Cut, DP has made a few improvements so the First-Cut can outperform the Soff-Cut designs, based off common user complaints: First-Cut has 5 wheel stability vs 3 wheel, telescoping handles, more durable pointer guard, adding lifting hooks and of course more powerful Honda motors (vs Soff-Cut lower HP Subaru).
At the ARA (American Rental Association) show just last week the new First-Cut Saw actually took home the 2015 Innovation Product Award for all “Concrete Working Equipment” which is a pretty big deal considering all the new machines out each year.
For any concrete cutting equipment, blades or other tools there is a lot to know with diamond grades, bond specs and many other variable. You can always contact the pros at Ohio Power Tool 800-242-4424 and they will be more than happy to help you find the right tool for the job.