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recommend me a professional saw to cut concrete for egress window. one that will cut all the way through from one side to the other, for both concrete blocks and poured concrete.

Thanks
 

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I'm a Mac
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I'll second the concrete chainsaw

Word of advice, charge accordingly and properly, chains do not last long and bars need replacing quite often too.
 

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Sub it to someone who does it for a living.

We needed a doorway cut into a 12" concrete wall. There was a window there already, so it was essentially half done...

Guy brings his expensive tools. Laid it out on the wall, cut it. Dead flush on the floor, mind you. Packed up his stuff and left. Might have been 4 hours, at most, start to finish.
 

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Sub it to someone who does it for a living.

We needed a doorway cut into a 12" concrete wall. There was a window there already, so it was essentially half done...

Guy brings his expensive tools. Laid it out on the wall, cut it. Dead flush on the floor, mind you. Packed up his stuff and left. Might have been 4 hours, at most, start to finish.
Exactly. A few years back I had a basement doorway done cut with a ring saw (wet cut) in 10" poured concrete. They cut from both sides, then chipped the middle. Amazingly straight cut in about 1/2 day. Little mess, too.
 

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MarkJames said:
Exactly. A few years back I had a basement doorway done cut with a ring saw (wet cut) in 10" poured concrete. They cut from both sides, then chipped the middle. Amazingly straight cut in about 1/2 day. Little mess, too.
Yep. This was two big chunks to get rid of and a little water to mop up.

Wasn't my money, but it was money well spent.
 

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Sub it to someone who does it for a living.

We needed a doorway cut into a 12" concrete wall. There was a window there already, so it was essentially half done...

Guy brings his expensive tools. Laid it out on the wall, cut it. Dead flush on the floor, mind you. Packed up his stuff and left. Might have been 4 hours, at most, start to finish.
Pay a sub to do the first 3 egress windows you do, then reconsider whether to buy a saw. It's not that expensive, and you can get some other remodeling work done while they come in and take care of it.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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I have used a few different kinds, heres what I have found:

ICS concrete chain saw - Works awesome! can cut from outside only, drawbacks are, it is dirty as hell and slurry gets everywhere. The chains are expensive but I always have them in my bid. Water goes everywhere, cutter is soaked and if it is a finished basement, good luck. I have made a plastic wall just inside and had an employee with a wet vac on the inside trying to keep up but still messy as hell.

14" Quickie Saw - Very dirty, hard to hold for a level cut as you have to cut from both sides. Exhaust fumes in the house on the inside cut. Takes quite a bit of muscle and skill to make a good straight cut. The ICS chainsaw is much better suited to this job.

Huskqvarna cut and break saw - Works awesome, all cuts are from outside and makes very little mess if you leave small window you are cutting in until after cutting. This is what I use for all of my finished basement egress windows. I always cut completely cut through the bottom first, shim the hell out of it and then cut the verticle sides. The whole block will cut out in one piece and you can bust it up to take out. The cut and break takes a bit more time as you are making multiple cuts but it can cut up to 16" in depth from one side. Blades are in a pair and a bit expensive but last pretty well, you can definetly tell a new blade cut from a almost done blade in speed of cut. The cuts will be dead nuts on if you pay attention and it works great for finished basements. I use electric cut and break so I or my guys are not breathing the exhaust the whole time. Does take a 20amp circuit or you need access to be able to reset the 15amp breaker a few times. They do make a gas powered though.


I have seen companies that specialize in cutting the holes, they mount a jig to the wall and cut it quickly, with what appears to be little effort. But they are quite expensive and I would rather put the money in my own pocket. If I did more, I might look at purchasing the specialized equipment, but not at 6 to 8 a year can I afford it yet.
Hope this helps
 

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I've had experience with subbing out cuts as well and being pleased with their work, but lately my company has been doing the work ourselves. There are a few factors that you need to consider:

How often do you see yourself making cuts through a wall like that? If it's less than 3 times a year, don't even bother buying the equipment. It's a lot easier for you and probably the owner to just sub that out.

If you're going to do it more often, either keep doing it yourself or delegate the cutting work to the same veteran employee that you plan on keeping for the long run. From my experience, making cuts like this has a high skill-threshold and having experience in it makes the work cleaner and faster the more often you do it. Our Husqvarna saw (K770, I think) cost us about $1,300 and we use it all the time for our commercial work in NJ, saving us a bunch of time and money now, since, like I recommended, the same guy does the concrete cutting and he's a pro at it now.
 
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