What Are the Best Tips for Brick Cutting?

Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch
A brick trowel and bricks.
A brick trowel and bricks.

Brick cutting can be performed manually or with an angle grinder. Beginners should avoid the advanced method which involves using one's judgment to determine the correct place in which to strike the brick. Instead, bricks should be outlined with chalk and a hammer and chisel used to strike cleanly through them. Alternatively, a machine that will make short work of large piles of bricks can be used. Safety measures must be adhered to in order to stop pieces of brick from damaging the eyes.

Safety goggles are a mandatory part of safe brick cutting.
Safety goggles are a mandatory part of safe brick cutting.

The technique used by professional builders to cut brick is unlikely to work for DIY enthusiasts who lack the skill and training of an experienced tradesman. These experts have the ability to identify a weakness in the brick and to strike it in the right place with a trowel. This method of brick cutting takes years of practice, and thousands of bricks must be cut before it is perfected.

It is possible to perform a similar brick cutting technique using a chisel and a hammer. A piece of chalk should be used to mark the area on the brick to be cut. A bolster chisel is probably the best choice to make the strike because it has a long edge and a handgrip on the shaft that will protect the hand of the striker.

Regardless of the person's experience level, neither this nor any other method of brick cutting should be attempted without safety goggles. Once the chalk line has been drawn, the brick should be laid on a hard surface. It is necessary to create a groove in the brick first which is why the chisel should initially be tapped lightly. If this action is performed correctly, one single firm strike should be enough to cut the brick. The chalk line will not need to be drawn once experience in brick cutting is gained.

An angle grinder can be used to cut large numbers of bricks at once. When the grinder is fitted with diamond tipped discs, it can quickly cut through dozens of bricks without any difficulty. As is the case with manual brick cutting, chalk should be used to mark the location of the cut. Safety goggles and ear plugs can be used to protect the eyes and ears from the dust and the noise created by the machine. As most angle grinders have a cable, it is important to watch out for this cable and to ensure that it does not get cut during the brick cutting process.

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    • A brick trowel and bricks.
      A brick trowel and bricks.
    • Safety goggles are a mandatory part of safe brick cutting.
      Safety goggles are a mandatory part of safe brick cutting.