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Saws, Blades Offer Hardscaping Opportunities for Contractors

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Feature Story

Whether it’s a renovation or new construction on a residential or commercial project, the impact of creatively designed, professionally installed hardscaping cannot be overestimated. Today’s concrete pavers offer versatile, durable surface applications with the added bonus of little or no maintenance cost. The use of large concrete pavers, or paving stones, as well as segmental retaining wall systems is a trend that continues to gain popularity on commercial and residential construction projects. Each presents a unique set of challenges for the mason contractor charged with delivering the hardscape designer’s vision.

Torrance, Calif.-based MK Diamond Products Inc. provides mason contractors with saws and diamond blades to meet their cutting needs for large pavers, bricks and other popular masonry materials required for hardscapes of all types.

“We’ve built our reputation by listening to the users: the masonry contractors who rely on our saws and blades to get the job done,” says Robert Delahaut, president of MK Diamond. “We make sure our products meet all safety requirements. We give users what they need, at a price they can afford, made with the quality they have come to expect.”

Products meet demand
MK Diamond’s MK-1280 brick saw and MK-5000 block saws series are good examples of that partnership approach to saw development. The MK-1280 is designed for landscaping, paving and masonry jobsites, and it’s simple to operate and requires limited maintenance. Versatile, powerful, portable and accurate, this saw is designed for cutting large-format bricks and pavers. It has a 16-inch blade capacity allowing 5 ?-inch depth cut and a length of cut up to 28 inches. The Micro V-belt system provides greater horsepower transfer than traditional V-belt systems. The closed-back design with vacuum port helps with dust control when dry cutting, and a garden hose-style connection is built in for wet cutting. Its cast aluminum blade guard with stainless steel water tubes will not bend or rust. The blade guard gives 180-degree coverage for safety. The drop-down blade shaft is built with sealed, permanently lubricated, heavy-duty bearings for easy replacement. It includes a rip guide and the 16-inch MK-414PBSL diamond blade, a Supreme grade, dry-cutting blade for hard brick. The MK-1280 is available with a Honda GX240 gas engine or a two-horsepower Baldor electric motor. These options have the kind of power that masonry professionals need to cut large pavers, and design changes allowed MK Diamond to produce the saw less expensively than other masonry saws – a savings MK Diamond passes along to its customers. An available transportation cart offers benefits and portability. Sitting on wheels 10 inches above ground level, it permits uninterrupted cutting that saves time and is more ergonomically friendly for the operator.

The MK-5000 Series Block Saws provide powerhouse options that maximize jobsite performance. The Electric Series is available with five-, 7.5-, nine- or 10-horsepower Baldor motors. Blade guard options are from 14 to 24 inches. The MK-5000 Gas Series is powered by the Honda GX270 Cyclone engine or the GX390 Cyclone engine, and both are available with 20- or 24-inch blade guards.

Common features include the precision screw feed mechanism, which allows the cutting head to be easily raised or lowered to the precise cutting depth required. The self-leveling blade guard provides optimum blade coverage for operator safety. The open-back design accommodates material up to 20 inches long and allows an eight-inch-high block to be cut in a single pass. For easier and safer transport, the saws include fork-lift feet and built-in tie-downs. The MK-5000 conveyor cart is built from heavy-duty cast aluminum, and a skid-resistant rubber top is permanently bonded to the table top for wear resistance. Water-flow control vents channel water during cutting operations to the water pan, and the nylon conveyor cartwheels have permanently sealed bearings.

An adjustable water supply ensures maximum blade protection. The gas saws come with belt driven, self-priming, centrifugal water pumps that can be disengaged for dry cutting, and the MK-5000 electric series comes with an electric water pump.

Concrete pavers and clay bricks come in a variety of shapes and colors, but hardscape designers depend on the skill of mason contractors to execute the circular patterns and sweeping curves that so appeal to consumers. Additionally, popular outdoor kitchens, spas and swimming pools often require detailed custom cutting to properly house appliances and/or showcase water features and surface designs.

“Permeable paver systems are a growing trend in line with today’s green direction in construction,” says John Chrysler, PE, executive director of Masonry Institute of America. “A great many pavers and concrete bricks are manufactured to size, but the final execution of the design depends on the skill of masonry contractors to cut and fit the masonry units to curves.”

For these challenges and to augment the designs possible with Segmental Concrete Retaining Wall units, mason contractors need dependable, versatile blades that can accurately cut the pavers, bricks and interlocking concrete masonry units. MK Diamond’s blades meet the mason contractors’ needs for implementing intricate hardscape designs with exceptional performance and durability. The new, re-engineered 414PB (Penter Brick Blade) offers superior cutting speed and long life. It produces consistently clean cuts on difficult materials, especially hard/dense bricks. The turbo segment design provides additional cooling and cutting performance. The TPX-40 Supreme Grade wet/dry diamond blades are multi-application blades designed for maximum performance and speed. The laser-welded TPX-40 cuts bricks, granite, block pavers, concrete, bluestone and asphalt. The new segment over the gullet design helps reduce noise by as much as 10 decibels, while providing efficient removal of cutting debris. The additional core cutouts of the design provide improved cooling during deep cutting, which helps keep the core from warping.

As concrete and clay brick pavers grow in variety, hardscape architects will expand the design and style options for residential and commercial structures, challenging mason contractors to provide even more intricate cutting and placement with manufacturers like MK Diamond supplying the saws and blades that help them do the job. The investment in the right saw(s) and blades repays the mason contractor with jobsite accuracy, efficiency and safety.


MK Diamond Products Inc. is a manufacturer of precision diamond blades and equipment for cutting, coring and polishing all types of masonry, concrete, tile and stone products. MK Diamond Products Inc. has been American-owned since 1868. For more information call 800-421-5830, or visit www.mkdiamond.com.

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