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I would be working in an enclosed environment so I don’t want anything too bulky and preferably handheld that’s why I wanted to go with a sledgehammer as you can probably tell I’m new to all this stuff so please be gentle, if the sledgehammer idea wouldn’t work what would be the ideal tool for breaking up limestone?

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    Probably. What sort of limestone? Floor? Wall? Sculpture?
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 12:59
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    Details would help. Pictures would help more.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 13:27
  • Being accurate is essential, a sledgehammer is much stronger than your shin or kneecap...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 19:19
  • for fractured limestone you should watch colinfurze youtube dig his "secret" tunnel using a hydralic digging bar. youtube.com/watch?v=0dYMRj9whp4 Commented Oct 29, 2022 at 0:03

2 Answers 2

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Wear safety glasses and earplugs. I'm quite serious.

As commented, depends what you are breaking up, and how much, and to what extent speed is a factor.

A sledge will break rocks. A jackhammer will typically break rocks faster. An electric jackhammer might be the happy medium for "an enclosed environment" if there's a lot to be done, and electricity, without getting into the noise and hoses of an air-powered jackhammer.

Then again, you might prefer to drill the rock full of holes (limestone drills pretty easily) to make breaking it up faster/more controllable (drilled holes plus feathers and wedges can let your sledge work more effectively at splitting rock in two rather than chipping off the edges.)

Again depending what you are breaking up, a diamond saw (wet are rentable, but you need to buy the blades - dry you can just use a cheap or unloved circular saw, and add effective dust filtration to your personal protective gear) to cut slots may be beneficial in making it easier to break up.

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A hand held sledgehammer less than 5 pounds should be used on a stone much bigger than your palm. Furthermore, I’d recommend a canvas laundry bag so your rock chips don’t fly away and get lost negating your labor and effort. As mentioned above, larger stones ,fist size or bigger, will have to be strategically weakened or compromised some how before breaking. They make masonry cutoff wheels for angle grinders if you have one. Some diamond wheels can be run dry. Cutting slits or wedges would do well.

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