How to cut natural stone paving slabs

Why would I need to cut paving slabs?

Not all paving projects are the same and even the most uniform design will demand that some of your paving stones are cut to fit the space you’re working with but don’t feel daunted by the task ahead. Cutting paving stones by hand is comparatively easy and there are tools and techniques to suit every kind of natural stone.

How to cut paving stones

  1. Hammer and chisel

This is the simplest way you can shape your slabs, requiring the fewest tools and it is perfect for anyone who doesn’t relish the thought of wielding a massive power tool.

You’ll need:

● A pitching chisel or bolster chisel

● Lump hammer

● Safety glasses

● Protective gloves

● Tape measure

● Chalk or pencil

● Spirit level

How to cut paving slabs with a hammer and chisel

  1. Measure the paver length: You need to measure the space you’re paving and using chalk or pencil clearly mark the size you need the slab to be. Ensure lines are straight by using the spirit level.
  2. Use the hammer and chisel to cut a shallow (1-2mm) channel into the paver. Once you have scored the paver, you can split the slab by hitting it with the rubber mallet. If it doesn’t break right away, cut the channel a little deeper.
  3. Tidy up any uneven edges by chipping away any excess stone with the hammer and chisel.
  4. When you’re happy with the straight, even edges to your freshly cut paver, slot it into its space and tap it with a rubber hammer to ensure it’s secure.

Great for:

● Natural stone paving

● Indian stone paving

● Jobs where you don’t need a precise finish

2. Power saw

You’ll need:

● A tape measure

● Chalk or a pencil

● A workbench

● Four C-clamps to hold he slab in place

● Power saw or angle grinder with a diamond-tipped blade designed specifically  to cut stone

● A rubber mallet

How to cut paving slabs with a power saw:

  1. Using the measuring tape and chalk/pencil, measure the space where the paver will be slotted and mark the cutting line on both sides of the paver.
  2. Fasten the paving slab to the workbench with the C-clamps ensuring it does not move.
  3. Begin cutting through the paver with the power saw, using the marked line as a guide. Once you’ve cut about 1cm through one side, turn the paver over and repeat the process on the other side.
  4. Continue until you have cut all the way through and then lay your newly carved paver into place.

Great for:

● Porcelain paving

● Granite paving

● Concrete paving

● Where you need clean, straight lines

Slab splitters

There are several types of these available, including electrically-powered and hydraulic versions, but the most common is a simple lever press that squeezes the paver between an upper and lower blade until it snaps.

Great for: Heavy duty paving stones

How to cut curves into paving stones

If you want to get more creative with your natural paving slabs you can create curved edges

A curved edge or circle can bring a new dimension to your outdoor space, but you’ll need to cut your pavers at an angle to achieve this. While you can use a chisel and mallet for the job, you are likely to get a more precise edge with power tools.

Many of the steps are the same as the straight line cuts, but you chalk the cutting line as a flowing smooth curve across multiple pavers.

Of course if you don’t feel you’re up to this task you can also buy curved paving slabs to suit your design instead.


Need inspiration for your paving project? View our natural stone paving range here, or get in touch with our team at The Premium Paving Company for specialist advice today. 


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