I need a saw blade (either for my circular saw or miter saw) that can cut clay bricks but am confused by the terminology surrounding them.

I know I can buy a diamond blade, but those are expensive, so I'm trying to buy one of the black discs that can cut masonry.

I'm confused because most of those discs seem to be called "cutoff wheels," and many say they are for cutting metal. So, questions:

  1. Is a "cutoff wheel" compatible with my saws as long as it is the right diameter? Or do I need to buy something that is labeled a "blade"?

  2. Can I use a cutoff wheel for cutting bricks even if it says it is for metal?

  3. Some of the cutoff wheels I'm seeing have different RPMs associated with them. Does that information matter for my purposes?

If there is something other than a cutoff wheel that I should be searching for, please advise.

  • Cutoff wheels are absolutely not for circular saws; they're for angle grinders. They shouldn't even be able to attach to a circular saw. Cutoff blades are a thing, but the are for metal, not ceramic. Aug 8, 2019 at 1:44
  • What size are the bricks?
    – Kris
    Aug 8, 2019 at 2:39
  • 1
    homedepot.com/tool-truck-rental/mobile/Paver-Block-Saw/…. Rent a brick saw don’t try to rig a wood cutting saw.
    – Kris
    Aug 8, 2019 at 2:43
  • Your circular saw probably won't have the torque to cut brick anyway. I tried using a 7" diamond blade in my Makita and it bogged pretty hard. I'd hate to have to cut a large number of bricks. I ended up buying a 7" angle grinder and a diamond wheel for it. The wheel was maybe $14 and cut hundreds of pavers.
    – isherwood
    Aug 8, 2019 at 14:35
  • aside: you usually don't have to cut all the way through a brick to make a clean break: the traditional score and chisel method work well.
    – dandavis
    Aug 8, 2019 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


Buy a blade to cut masonry, that information is usually made clear on the blade.

Do not buy a blade rated for metal either cutoff or other, metal blades will blunt easily and may well break with possibly serious consequences.

Make sure you have, and wear the recommended safety gear, good eye protection is more than common sense.

  • When you say buy a blade, should it be specifically labeled as a blade? Or are you saying to buy a "cutoff wheel" rated for masonry? Aug 8, 2019 at 1:42
  • 2
    There are abrasive wheels/blades/discs specifically for masonry. Search for "masonry circular cutoff disc" and you'll find examples. If I had only a few to cut, I'd do it that way. If I had to cut a dozen or two, I'd use a cheap diamond blade - it's much faster. For more than that, I'd rent a wet saw - the amount of dust created by dry cutting is astounding.
    – Mark
    Aug 8, 2019 at 4:18
  • The speed and power of a saw made for a metal, wood cutting blade may not be compatible with a black abrasive blade.
    – JPhi1618
    Aug 8, 2019 at 15:12

Cut-off wheels (particularly for metal) make lots of sparks, if your saw is made of plastic the sparks can damage it.

Cut-off wheels are intended for cut-off saws and for angle grinders, wheels can be found that do fit circular saws. howevwer as the wheels are easily fractured I would not advise using them in a hand-held circular saw. use a diamond tipped wheel instead, or use a cut-off wheel in a angle-grinder or cut-off saw, or rent a wet saw (you pay a rental fee and pro-rated wear on the diamond blade).

Also dry cutting mansonry makes a lot of silica dust, this dust is not good for the bearings in electric motors, (it's also not good for humans so wear a dust mask).

Rental wet saws come a frew different types "quick-cut(tm)" a kind of chain saw with a diamond wheel and hose connector good for in-place cutting. a drop saw type for cutting pavers before they are placed. and a bench saw type for trimming tiles

  • I can attest to the amount of dust involved in dry cutting. Some 40 or so years ago I used a circular saw with a masonry cutting blade (multiple blades were required because they wear down quickly) to cut a 2.5 foot by 3.5 foot opening in the back stucco wall of a garage to install a window. A phenomenal amount of dust! The circular saw bearings gave out just as I was finishing the cutting. I had intended to disassemble the saw and replace the bearings but that has never happened and the saw still sits on a bottom shelf in the garage.....maybe this winter.
    – Michael Karas
    Aug 8, 2019 at 10:44

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