The Right Tools for the Job: Cutting Stones

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Although each stone requires its own special set of tools, there are some general categories that can be helpful to know. The tools you need will depend on the type of stone you’re working with and what the final product will be, whether it’s a piece of jewelry or building material. Regardless of your project, it’s always important to have the right tools on hand so that you can save time and money. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of stone cutting tools used today.


Choosing the right saw blade


When you’re cutting stones, your choice of saw blade will be determined by three factors: thickness, hardness and composition. Thicker, softer stones should be cut with a diamond tipped saw blade while harder, thinner stones can be cut with a tungsten carbide tipped blade. If you’re not sure what type of stone you have, it’s best to err on the side of caution and use a diamond tipped saw blade.


Measuring and marking the stone


When working with stone, you’ll need to measure and mark your stone before cutting it. This is a step you can’t skip if you want your finished product to look polished. One of the most important parts of this process is marking out where you plan to cut on your stone. First, find a point that’s at least two inches from any edge and make sure it’s in a corner or along a straight line. Use that point as one end of your measuring stick, then use a straight edge to draw an outline all around the outside of the stone and mark off where you’ll cut.


Applying water to the stone


When you are cutting stones, it is important to apply water to the stone and not the blade. This will help keep the blade from getting too hot and prevent the cracking of the stone. If you want to cut a straight line, first make a mark on your stone where you want your cut to be. When using a saw or chisel, always begin by making light cuts in one direction before switching directions. To get nice even surfaces with a mallet and chisel, tap lightly at first before applying more pressure with each blow as you work around both sides of your marked line.


Cutting the stone


It is important to use the right tools when cutting stones, so that you don’t get hurt. Generally, stone cutting tools are divided into two types, wet and dry. Wet stone cutting tools are used in water or with a lubricant such as oil or soap and dry stone cutting tools can be used without any water or liquid at all. The type of stone you are working on will also dictate which type of tool is best to use.

Main photo: alireza naseri/


Peter Bowers

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