I am looking for a disc cutter to cut paving slabs. Do you have any advice?

A number of companies offer cut-off saws or disc cutters ideal for cutting slabs and stone. I haven't seen them all in action but I would suggest you take a closer look at those supplied by Makita, Husqvarna and Stihl.

Makita offers a range of three units. The DPC6410 has a 64cc engine, which is fitted with a 12in (30.5cm) disc, has a wheel speed of 5,100rpm and cuts to a maximum depth of 100mm. It can be fitted with a trolley, which is useful if you need to cut long straight edges along concrete pathways. Model DPC7311 has a 73cc engine, 14in (35.5cm) wheel that rotates at 4,300rpm and cuts to a depth of 122mm.

The newest Makita model is the DPC8112. It has an 81cc engine, delivering 6hp, a 16in (40cm) wheel with a maximum speed of 3,800rpm and cuts to a depth of 14.5cm. All Makita disc cutters feature decompression valves to aid starting and have a dust suppression kit.

Husqvarna's line-up of petrol-powered cutters includes high-powered models with 94cc and 119cc engines, capable of taking 300mm, 350mm or 400mm disc blades to cut to a maximum depth of 150mm.

Stihl's portfolio includes a 64.1cc model and two with 98.5cc engines that deliver 6.8hp. These units take 12in (30.5cm) or 14in (35.5cm) wheels and can be mounted to a cart for prolonged cutting. New last year was the TS410. This cut-off saw is compact and powerful. It can be fitted with 12in or 14in wheels and really comes into its own in terms of low maintenance, reduced fuel consumption and low vibration.

Whichever cutters you look at, do check out the air filter. Cutting concrete or stone generates huge amounts of dust and a filtering system is essential.

Also remember that disc cutters should only be used by qualified operators and that their use is regulated by the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Abrasive Wheel Regulations 1970.

A new wheel must only be mounted onto a machine by a person who has attended a course on the safe mounting and use of abrasive wheels.

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