How to Cut Flagstone

Cut flagstone can be used as flooring for patios, as a material for retaining walls and fences, or even as roofing. In the landscaping industry, one of the most common uses for flagstone is building walkways.

Cut flagstone is often used for building walkways because of its durable, weather resistant, and long-lasting   properties. Flagstone also matches well with other outdoor decor, and adds a charming, rustic aesthetic to your yard. Learning how to cut flagstone effectively will help determine the overall aesthetic quality of your walkway—or whatever else you decide to build with flagstone.

There’s multiple methods for cutting flagstone, so whether you have power tools—like a circular saw or grinder—or whether you have simple hand tools like a chisel and hammer, it’s easy to cut flagstone in the design you want.

Supplies needed:

  • Flagstones
  • Edging
  • Gravel or Leveling Sand like Polymeric Sand

Tools you might need for cutting flagstone:

  • Work gloves
  • Hose (preferably with a sprinkler or spray attachment)
  • Baby sledge hammer
  • Line or laser level
  • Rubber mallet
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Garden spade
  • Board (2×2’s work great) to level sand
  • Round point shovel
  • Metal rake
  • Tape measure
  • Broom
  • Chisel
  • Tamper
  • String
  • Chalk or Chalk Line

How to cut flagstone with circular saw

Step 1: Put on a pair of heavy gloves, goggles, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your eyes, hands, and body

Step 2: Outfit your circular saw with a masonry bit

Step 3: Use chalk to make your measurements on the flagstone. Make sure when you make your measurements you’re considering the amount of mortar you’re planning to apply

Step 4: If you’re cutting a small piece of flagstone, use clamps to hold it in place

Step 5: Start making the cut with the saw. Don’t press down on the saw or try to speed up the process. Just allow the weight of the saw to do the work

Step 6: With the help of your masonry bit, you should have cut almost all the way through the flagstone while still leaving a small portion attached. Use your hammer to tap lightly along the bottom of the flagstone where the cut has almost penetrated through the other side. The piece should break off easily. If it doesn’t, stick a chisel into the groove you created in the flagstone and tap the top of the chisel with a hammer to break the piece away.

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How to cut flagstone with a grinder

Step 1: Put on a pair of heavy gloves, goggles, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your eyes, hands, and body.

Step 2: Use chalk and a ruler or tape measure to make your measurements on the flagstone. Make sure when you make your measurements you’re considering the amount of mortar you’re planning to apply.

Step 3: Run your diamond wheel for a minute or so to make sure that it’s not defective.

Step 4: Place your stone on a flat surface, like a workbench. Use a clamp to hold the stone in place while you cut. Ensure that your feet will not be in the space where flagstone could fall and land on them.

Step 5: Start making the cut with the grinder. Don’t press down on the grinder or try to speed up the process. Just allow the weight of the grinder to do the work. Turn the grinder wheel away from any sharp angles in the stone so that these dangerous pieces do not have any chance of flying towards you.

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How to cut flagstone without power tools

Even if you aren’t using power tools, you should still put on a pair of heavy gloves, goggles, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your eyes, hands, and body from any small pieces that could fly off and hit you. The best way to cut flagstone without power tools is to use a hammer and chisel.

The good thing about using a hammer and chisel to cut flagstone is that you have more control over your design, and can make more precise shapes in your flagstone. A hammer and chisel will also give your flagstone a more “imperfect” and rustic look that works really well with the stone, and looks great in lawns and gardens.

In the following section, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to cutting flagstone using a hammer and chisel.

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How to cut flagstone with a chisel

Step 1: Put on a pair of heavy gloves, goggles, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your eyes, hands, and body.

Step 2: Use chalk and a ruler or tape measure to make your measurements on the flagstone. Make sure when you make your measurements you’re considering the amount of mortar you’re planning to apply.

Step 3: Line up the chisel with the chalk line on the flagstone. Then, using the hammer, tap gently on the top of the chisel to create a small initial groove across your chalk line. Keep going back over this line until the groove gets deeper and deeper. Don’t rush this process. Just keep making the groove deeper and deeper, bit-by-bit, until the flagstone eventually breaks on its own.

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