Ideal Accessories for Your Polyurea Pump

Concrete is a diverse medium for use in residential and commercial spaces.  Concrete workers and interior designers are able to maximize the flexibility of concrete via its texture, color, and sheen, at a rate that is easy on the budget.  As miraculous as concrete seems, it also needs to be properly installed and maintained to avoid excessive cracks.  However, not all cracks in concrete are bad.  As a matter of fact, the installation of concrete requires certain planned cracks, called control joints, to ensure that the cracking is manageable and works with the functionality of the flooring.  The control joints work to manage the contraction and expansion of the concrete as it cures and dries.  Cracks are inevitable, but by creating control joints and utilizing the proper fillers, any damage from the natural contraction and expansion of the concrete is mitigated.  Ensuring the control joints are spaced out properly is the key to the reduction of unwanted cracks.

When the control joints are created, they need to be filled in order to provide the necessary cushion between the two pieces of concrete.    There exist two industry standard types of joint fillers:  epoxy control joint fillers and polyurea control joint fillers.  Polyurea joint fillers are the easiest to work with of these two fillers.  Fast setting with a flowable pour, the polyurea joint filler is a great choice for people who want to not only filly joints, but also for caulking and crack repairs.  Polyurea filler is also versatile in that it can be made in a variety of colors.

What is the Purpose of a Polyurea Pump?

While the polyurea control joint filler is versatile, it does require the combination of two chemicals at the time of placement in the control joint. Because of the fast setting aspect of the polyurea joint filler, you need a pump that allows you to merge and apply the compounds at a rapid pace.  Once the two compounds merge, they start to cure and dry.  Polyurea pumps apply the fast-acting, merged compounds to their proper place in the control joint quickly.  Typically a job for multiple people due to the dual components, the polyurea pump makes this a one-man job, reducing labor costs and allowing the joint filler to be applied swiftly and with maximum precision.

Top Accessories for Your Pump

Every great tool needs equally as great accessories.  The polyurea pump is no different.  Because the polyurea joint filler is applied to cracks, both planned and unplanned, it is important to ensure the cracks are clean and free of debris.  Many times, joints that have been filled will need a new application of joint filler.  In order to do this, it is important to remove any remaining filler to ensure proper cohesion.  This is where the crack chaser plays a vital role.  The U.S.SAWS 5” hand-held premium crack chaser is a prime example of a high-quality crack chaser.  This handy tool is small and lightweight making it perfect for use horizontal and vertical repairs.  It also comes equipped with dry diamond blades.

A power inverter is another great accessory for the polyurea pump.  In using a battery, the polyurea pump is freed from the constraints of the power cord.  Cord-free operation is handy for those tight situations where a cord can get in the away, or in times when a power source is not conveniently located nearby.  U.S.SAWS 1200W Power Inverter is a great choice.

Because of the quick setting materials in the polyurea filler, it is vital to clean the components to the pump quickly after use.  Having a replacement pump on hand is always a good call.  The U.S.SAWS Polyurea Replacement Pump works to prevent seal leaks and is much easier to clean.

Finally, as the tanks are a vital piece of the polyurea pump puzzle, it is always a good idea to have replacement tanks for the pump as well.  A spare resin tank and a spare hardener tank on hand will ensure that should there be any issue with your current tanks, you have clean, debris-free spares to use.

U.S.SAWS One Man Polyurea Pump

Priding itself on quality tools at the right price, U.S.SAWS has created its One Man Polyurea Pump.  This top-of-the-line pump is operated by a single user and delivers optimal precision while reducing the need for increased labor costs.  This pump comes equipped with a T handle that allows the operator to guide the pump along the control joint or crack easily and precisely.  The tanks are lower, which enables the operator to fill and refill the tanks with ease.  There is even an enclosed box for tool storage!  Cord-free operation is available via the storage space where a power inverter with a battery or a generator can be accommodated.  This polyurea pump is balanced and well-conceived for ease of use and efficiency.

U.S.SAWS is an innovator in the tool industry.  As concrete flooring gains popularity, U.S.SAWS remains on the cutting edge of tool manufacturing for concrete surface prep.  Contact U.S.SAWS today to find the right polyurea pump for your concrete job.

The Brilliant Belly Saw

Often time contractors find themselves stuck in tight situations where large diameter pipe needs to be cut, but the conditions are not optimal for the use of industry standard pipe cutters or saws.  Cutting pipe in cramped conditions can be a real nightmare.  Couple that with wet conditions and you could be setting yourself up for disaster.  That’s where the U.S.SAWS Belly Saw comes in and makes life a whole lot easier for those wet cuts in narrow spaces.

Applications of a Belly Saw

The belly saws supplied by U.S.SAWS are ideal for pipes ranging from 8 inches to 24 inches, 24 inches to 48 inches, and 48 inches to 72 inches in diameter.  Contractors and utility workers use these innovative saws for cutting subgrade pipes in tight conditions as it only requires 7 inches of clearance to work, eliminating the need to clear out excessive amounts of dirt to create the cut, which then saves significant time and effort.  If a pipe has burst and needs to be cut and repaired, having to clear out a wide area of sludge under and around the pipe increases the amount material lost from leaking out of the pipe and requires more effort and manpower to clear out, thereby increasing the total cost of the job.  The belly saw provides the workers the ability to make the cut quicker by reducing the amount of space needed for saw clearance and under safer conditions.

U.S.SAWS manufactures and sells belly saws that are pneumatically or hydraulically powered.  These powerful saws with their Tiger Tooth blades make cutting PVC, HDPE, ductile iron and cast iron pipes a breeze, creating precision cuts every time.

Benefits of a Belly Saw:  Increased Safety

Wet and tight are never conditions that meld together to create a safe pipe cutting scenario.  U.S.SAWS has solved that problem through their belly saw. U.S.SAWS is always looking for ways to develop tools that protect workers.  Their belly saws do not disappoint in this regard.  These saws are water saws in that they are ideally used in wet conditions.  As safety is paramount in the design of these saws, U.S.SAWS first ensures that the saw is equipped with its top of the line Tiger Tooth saw blade.  Sharp blades make lessen cutting time, which then reduces the amount of time spent using the saw.  For cutting pipe ranging from 8 to 24 inches, the belly saw comes equipped with an 8 inch blade.  Pipes with diameters of 24 to 48 inches and 48 to 72 inches would use a belly saw equipped with a 12 inch Tiger Tooth blade.  The next safety feature of the belly saw is its clamshell design.  This shell design surrounds the saw and protects the workers from those sharp blades before, during and after the cut.  Another safety feature for these saws is how they are powered.  By using air or hydraulic power in small, cramped spaces, emissions are non-existent, and workers are not forced to breath in harmful fumes.  Finally, the vital safety feature of this water saw is the strap used to affix the saw to the pipe.  By strapping the saw to the pipe itself, the saw can be drawn around the pipe for a fast and accurate cut.  Further, U.S.SAWS supplies a “water kit” for use with steel pipes to suppress sparks.

Belly Saw
Hydraulic Powered Saw

Save Time with U.S.SAWS Belly Saws

Not only has U.S.SAWS taken safety into account for the development of their belly saws, they also want to ensure the saw is an efficient tool.  The entire purpose of the “tool” is to make a regular job easier.  U.S.SAWS understands that time is money, not only for the workers, but also for the municipalities or businesses employing the workers or supplying the materials flowing through the various pipes.  The 7 inch clearance space required to cut fully around a large diameter pipe is nothing compared to other tools used for similar jobs.  Less prep work means less time and money spent.  By requiring such minimal clearance for such a large job, the workers’ time normally spent on clearing space, can be used attaching the saw and focusing on creating an accurate cut.  Further, the accuracy provided by using the strap and wheel system requires less effort by the workers during back breaking work, and also enables the workers to make easy accurate cuts, reducing the need to fix a poor cut.

U.S.SAWS is an innovator in the tool industry.  In balancing safety and efficiency, U.S.SAWS has developed yet another saw that will revolutionize the world of pipe cutting.  Contact U.S.SAWS today to find the right belly saw for your business

The Importance of Concrete Surface Prepping

Since before the time of the ancient Romans, concrete has been a vital resource for use in the industrial and construction world.  Over the last several years, however, concrete use has spilled over into the interior design world as well.  Because of its price point, durability and variety, concrete floors are popping up all over commercial and residential locations.  Whether the building owner is looking for that “unfinished” industrial chic look or just sees the practicality of inexpensive flooring, concrete floors have become all the rage.

Concrete surfaces are known for their hardness (no dropped egg is going to survive a tumble in a kitchen with concrete flooring, although, a great rug will help in that regard).  They’re also known for their durability and versatility.  From utilitarian finishes to texted, chic colors and designs, concrete surfaces can bring style to the most humdrum of locations.  Of course, obtaining and maintaining that high sheen requires some work with concrete specific tools.

In order to get the finish you want, whether it is for a repair or a new floor, it is important to ensure the concrete is prepped properly prior to applying any finishing coats.

Remove Debris and Material

While concrete flooring is definitely a low-maintenance flooring option, there is some intense preparation that needs to be done to achieve and maintain that highly finished look.  Surface preparation is the key to ensuring your concrete flooring finish lasts.   The first step in proper surface preparation is to remove any debris or material that will affect the finished product.  Initially, this can be done with a broom and vacuum, but the process doesn’t stop there.  This work is done with concrete grinding tools and requires specific safety gear to protect the workers from hazardous fine dust particles that can get into their lungs.  The purpose of the grinding is to remove any damaged or weak concrete from the slab.  This also helps clean the surface of any oil or residues that may be on the concrete that would inhibit the finishing process.  After the concrete has been ground down, it is important to roughen up the concrete with the right abrasive technique.  Depending on the purpose of the flooring, there are several different techniques, such as acid etching, abrasive blasting, and water-jetting, that are used to roughen up the surface to ensure the sealants and overlays last.  Once the concrete has been roughened up, you can go ahead and add your sealant and overlays.

Cleaning and Repairing Concrete

 

With so many daily stresses in our lives, it’s great to know one thing can be simple, and that is cleaning up concrete flooring.  Tile flooring can get dirt and grime wedged in the grout in between the tiles.  Carpets can stain due to spills and dirt, some of these stains wind up being permanent.  Concrete flooring avoids all of these hassles.  It is easy to clean and maintain and just requires some maintenance every few years.  The properly finished concrete surface is resistant to water, stains, and abrasions.  This makes cleaning up dirty pet paws or spilled drinks a breeze.  Using a pH-neutral cleanser and avoiding harsh products like ammonia and bleach will help preserve the integrity of your finish.  Harsh cleaners will degrade the finish and react with the concrete.

Repairing concrete is easy as pie too, with the right tools.  A properly finished and well maintained concrete floor should last between eight and fifteen years.  Sometimes, no matter how well-loved the floor may be, repairs will need to be made.  The extent of the repairs will depend on whether the concrete surface issues are structural or aesthetic.  Preparing the area for repair is an important step.  All cracked and flaking bits of concrete need to be removed from the surface area. The original sealant will need to be removed.  Dust, debris, and oils all need to be removed prior to starting any repair work.  If you are repairing a crack in the concrete, it is important to remember that concrete shrinks, and your current concrete floor has already completed its shrinking cycle.  You will want to ensure any filler you use to repair the cracks is a low shrinkage filler to ensure bonding does not fail.  Once the crack(s) are repaired, treat the concrete surface again with whatever abrasive technique is proper for your particular flooring to roughen it up, and then reseal the floor and polish until it is as shiny as you want it.

Walk Behind Joint Cleanout Saw
Walk Behind Joint Cleanout Saw

Prevent Further Issues for Long Lasting Finish

 

In order to maximize the durability of your concrete surface, make sure to maintain it regularly.  Removing and resealing the surface every few years will help prevent cracking.  Ensuring you are not using harsh chemicals to clean your floor will help preserve the sealant and the shine.  As the sealant is the top section of your flooring, this is where several eye-catching issues may arise.   If you are doing the prepping and finishing the floor yourself, make sure to follow all manufacturers’ directions regarding sealants.  Many issues, for example, bubbles in the surface, will become non-issues when you read the manufacturers’ instructions and learn the limitations of the product you intend to use.  Preventing problems is much easier and less costly than having to solve problems.

U.S.SAWS is a leader in the concrete tool business, and their inventory of surface prep tools is versatile and extensive.  Contact U.S.SAWS today to determine what tools you need to achieve that high gloss concrete finish.

Core Drilling with the Cordless Core EZ

As concrete gains popularity in the municipal, commercial and residential world, the need for specialized tools to work with this durable material increases.  Concrete core drills are a must-have for construction and utility workers alike.  Core drilling machines and core drilling bits are useful tools for cable installers, electricians, plumbers, and air conditioning technicians.

Core Drilling Machines

Core drilling machines are a form of drill used by a variety of industries, but particularly the concrete industry, that drill a hole and, upon removal of the drill bit, extracts a core sample.  A concrete core drill is equipped with a specialized bit that not only drills into the concrete, but because the core drill bit is hollow, it drills into the concrete and extracts the material, leaving a perfectly cylindrical hole with which to work.  These concrete core extractions may even be tested to determine strength and durability. While popular for use with concrete, core drilling machines are also good to use with wood, stone, and even ice.  These particular tools are useful for the installation of plumbing systems, and even for electrical wiring or cable installation.  Heating ventilation and air conditioning systems require large, cored-out holes for the creation of ducts, which aids in creating climate-controlled areas of homes and businesses.  With the right concrete drill bits, concrete drilling machines are able to cut neat, clean holes with diameters ranging from three-fourths of an inch to six feet.

As with all concrete cutting power tools and machines, it is important to use the proper safety gear when using core drill bits especially when dry cutting concrete.  Make sure you wear protective eye coverings and a mask or respirator over your nose and throat.  Dust particulates that are released while cutting can cause serious health problems when inhaled.

U.S.SAWS’ Cordless Core EZ

U.S.SAWS’ Cordless Core EZ is a top-of-the-line, high-precision core drilling machine.  This machine is lightweight, comparatively speaking, weighing in at sixty-five pounds.  No offset holes are required with this tool because traditional rigs are not necessary, as the Cordless Core EZ is mounted on a center guidepost.  The center guide post works by drilling an anchor hole, setting an anchor pin, removing the nuts from the anchor bolt, mounting the guidepost, adjusting the anchor point, and tightening the guidepost until it is secured and centered.  It’s important to ensure the guidepost is well lubricated and clean.  Then the gearbox and grinder are slid over the guidepost and locked in via the locking pin on the hex drive.  This guidepost allows for accurate and efficient drilling, by reducing vibration and supporting the weight of the core drilling machine throughout the entire drilling process.  The Cordless Core EZ makes easy work of all vertical drilling floors and horizontal drilling walls, with clear instructions for the easy removal of the related cores.  This entire unit comes with a wheeled carrying case for easy portability.

Core Drill Accessories

Besides supplying top-of-the-line core drilling machines, U.S.SAWS is also the place for all of your quality core drill accessories.  Better quality tools and accessories will increase the likelihood of the accurate and successful performance of the tools.  The Premium Core Bits are the right core drill bits for the Core EZ.  These high-end drill bits make easy work of advanced coring in concrete, brick, and block.  The drill bits are available in sizes ranging from three-inch bits to ten-inch bits.  U.S.SAWS also supplies a reputable Hudson Sprayer.   This 3.5-gallon sprayer makes the perfect water supply piece for your Core EZ for all of your wet cutting and wet drilling needs.  For all of those times you find yourself needing to drill at an angle, U.S.SAWS offers an Angle Drilling Washer, making the job that much easier. These washers are important to have, especially in those tight-fitting situations where angled holes are necessary.  Finally, the Cordless Core EZ’s mounted guide post system requires a top-rated concrete anchor to ensure stability.  U.S.SAWS offers a 3/8’-16 x 5” length zinc plated concrete anchor to ensure the guidepost system is secure.

Contact U.S.SAWS to discuss how we can make core drilling easier for you.

Handling a Walk Behind Saw

As the use of concrete rises to meet commercial, residential and municipal demand, the need for concrete cutting saws has expanded. Concrete has gained popularity due to its durability and erosion resistance, as well as the ease of sourcing materials to create concrete and its fireproof nature. Beyond that, the ability of the material to transform from a basic sidewalk into being used as luxuriously polished, high-end flooring at economical rates has gained acclaim from utility workers to interior designers.  In order to ensure the concrete is meeting the needs of its intended use, workers must ensure they are using the right tools to handle the job.  Concrete cutting is back-breaking work, and concrete workers around the world applauded the advent of the walk-behind saw.  These power saws offered an option beyond the general handheld saw for larger concrete cutting jobs.

What is a Walk Behind Saw Used For?

A walk-behind saw is exactly what it sounds like.  It is a large saw that has a frame, handle and wheels, allowing operators to use it from a standing position and walk forward or backward as necessary while sawing.  Many are even self-propelled.  Walk-behind saws are the perfect saws for cutting sidewalks or asphalt or even concrete flooring in warehouses or basements.  Many times these saws are used for repairs or modifications like additions are being done to commercial or residential buildings.  Walk-behind saws are also great for road workers who need to repair parking lots or patch up roadways.  Many of these power saws come with diamond blades for precision cutting.  Cutting a large and thick slab of concrete is made much easier through the use of a walk-behind saw with a diamond blade.  These concrete and asphalt cutting saws allow for larger engines with more torque, allowing operators to complete projects at a faster rate.

Safety Measures to Take While Operating a Walk Behind Saw

As with any saw, it is imperative for the operator to understand how each particular saw they intend to use works and take any precautions necessary in the operation of the saw to prevent injury.  Concrete cutting saws like walk behind saws come with a multitude of potential hazards and their instructions for use should be followed to the letter.  Serious or even fatal injuries can occur if these power saws are not handled appropriately.

Eye protection, or even a face shield, should be worn to ensure no dust or debris gets in the eyes.  A mask to cover your mouth and nose or even a respirator is necessary.  Concrete cutting is well known for creating fine dust and particles in the air.  You definitely want to avoid getting that dust in your lungs.  Gloves will protect your hands from any cuts or heat that may be generated from using the saw.  Ensure you are not wearing loose-fitting clothing during the operation of the walk-behind saw.  Loose-fitting clothing increases the risk of entanglement in the blade.  Steel-toed boots offer a protective covering for your feet in case there are any issues with the blade.

Inspecting your saw prior to use is also helpful in preventing injury during use.  Ensure that the blade is properly fastened and check for cracks or warping prior to use.  Make sure there are no worn or missing parts to your saw.  During use, do not force the saw.  Forcing the saw may cause the blade to jam or break or even overheat.  It is also important to make sure there are no bystanders to avoid injuring them as well.

Understanding the material you will be cutting ensures you are using the proper tools for the job.  Having the proper tools helps protect you from injury.  Make sure you are using specialized wet blades for any wet cuts you plan to make.  Dry blades, obviously, should be used for dry cuts.

The FSB-150 Heavy Duty Walk Behind Air Saw

For utility and transportation workers needing to make street repairs or cut sidewalks, U.S.SAWS has the perfect Walk Behind Saw for the job.  The FSB-150 Heavy Duty Walk Behind Saw is a game-changer.  The FSB 150’s weight is perfectly balanced, removing any potential rocking motion from the saw.  Weighing in at 110 pounds, this walk-behind saw is compact for easy transportation, with a heavy-duty frame to reduce vibration.  This package through U.S.SAWS comes with a gearbox, 20” blade capacity, water feed kit, whip hose, oiler, wrenches, and 1 quart of ice-free oil.  This power saw is fume-free for use in confined spaces, protecting you from carbon monoxide inhalation.  As an added bonus, it is operational in water as well!

Contact U.S.SAWS today to locate the perfect concrete cutting, walk-behind saw to fit your needs.

Diamond Tooling: Best Applications

When we think of diamonds, our first inclination is to think about stunning diamonds set in gold or platinum and displayed in rings, necklaces, and even crowns across the world. However, diamonds are also one of the hardest materials on Earth, ranking as a 10 (out of 10) on the Mohs scale of hardness, lending itself to many more unique uses other than fantastic jewels.  For instance, diamonds make fantastic tools not only due to its hardness, but also because it is chemically inert, corrosion resistant, and abrasion resistant.

Diamond Tooling:  How Is It Used?

Diamonds are used in a wide range of cutting tools including saw blades, diamond chains, and diamond pipe beveling.  One industry that predominantly utilizes diamond tooling technology is the concrete grinding industry.  A growing trend among business owners and homeowners alike is concrete flooring.  Concrete is a versatile material that, when polished with a concrete diamond grinder, produces a beautifully smooth surface that can be sealed, coated, and/or painted at a reasonable cost.  Diamond grinders for concrete floors contain bits of diamond that repairs pits and divots in the concrete.  The size of the bits depends on the intensity of the job.  If you’re faced with a challenging job that requires intense grinding efforts, larger diamond bits are the best option.  If the purpose of the job is to polish, the smaller diamond bits are the right choice.

Synthetic diamonds are used in diamond tooling. Synthetic diamonds allow manufacturers to control the size and shape of the diamond bits.   Chips of diamond are then suspended in a bond, typically of resin, metal, carbides, or a hybrid.  The type of bond depends on the job.  Resin-bonded diamond tools are the most popular as they are the most aggressive and have the most applications.  Metal bonded diamonds are excellent for removing adhesives.  Carbide bonded diamonds are best for jobs involving sticky adhesives, where a smooth finish is required.

Diamond Blades

Diamond blades are the best tool for “cutting concrete,” be it for a sidewalk, flooring, or even countertop.  While we say the blades cut the diamonds, the process works less like a diamond “knife” and more like an intense friction that grinds a piece of concrete to create a “cut.”  Diamond blades are known for their durability and ease of use.  They are perfect for the construction crew or even the DIY homeowner.  The larger the slab of concrete the more difficult it is to cut, but with a diamond blade, cutting through slabs of concrete is a breeze.

Heat plays a major factor in the performance of a blade, and diamond blades are no different.  Diamond blades work best for wet-cutting concrete surfaces.  Wet cutting ensures the longevity of the diamond blade while reducing heat and reducing the number of dust particles in the air.  Dry cutting, generally with a segmented blade, is not off-limits with diamond blades, however, but it is usually used for smaller jobs and should be done outside due to the amount of dust created.

U.S.SAWS has a wide variety of diamond blade saws for all jobs great and small.

Diamond Chains

Chainsaws benefit from synthetic diamonds as well.  The chains contain utilizes diamond segments which are fused to the chain in place in the usual chainsaw teeth.  Much like the diamond blades, the diamond chains grind away materials in order to create a cut and are used with concrete, bricks, and stones.  The benefit of these diamond chains is that they are much safer to operate than the standard chainsaw as they do not produce any kickback.  Diamond chainsaws also use a long, flat guide bar that allows the saw to cut deeper than any circular blade. While diamond chains may come at a higher cost, the benefits reaped from no kickback and deeper, cleaner cuts make the price tag much more palatable.

U.S.SAWS offers multiple diamond chains and chainsaws, including a Heavy Duty Gas Concrete Chain Saw with ProForce Diamond Chain.  This incredibly versatile gas-powered saw offers guide bar lengths of 12” to 16” and uses a powerhead series of diamond chains.  It is best used on concrete and stone.

Diamond Cup Wheels

Another handy diamond-infused concrete tool is the diamond cup wheel.  Much like sandpaper, the diamond cup wheels are measured by grit.  The diamond cup wheel is mounted to the concrete grinder and used as an abrasive force to grind down concrete for a smooth finish.  Much like the diamond blade, diamond cup wheels may be used for wet or dry cutting.  They also come in a variety of grits depending on the job at hand, from adhesive removal to profiling hard surfaces.

 

U.S.SAWS is able to take care of all your diamond cup wheel needs, including a 5” 4 Single Row Quarter Round PCD Cup that is great for handheld grinders being used to remove thick coatings like epoxy or urethane.

Contact U.S.SAWS today to add some diamond power to your toolbox.

 

Top 5 Must Have Tools for an Underground Contractor

As an underground contractor, you know your role in installing and repairing various pipes and cables is vital to an area’s infrastructure. Getting the job done swiftly, efficiently, and correctly is mandatory. In order to get the job done, you need to ensure you have the best underground tools on hand to finish the project. The top five tools for any underground contractor’s toolbox are:

  1. An air-powered belly saw;
  2. A chainsaw;
  3. A cordless pipe beveller;
  4. A battery-powered valve exerciser; and
  5. A manhole cover lifter.

 

Without these tools, an underground contractor’s job becomes a lot harder. Let’s take a closer look at each of these underground tools.

What Is a Belly Saw and How Does it Help?

One underground tool that makes the job easier for underground contractors is the air-powered belly saw. These air-powered belly saws are a great option for contractors who need to cut underground pipes.  Belly saws are designed for easy and safe operation in tight spaces.  At U.S.SAWS, their belly saws are equipped with Tiger Tooth blades that remain shielded by a clamshell cover until it is time to cut, protecting the user from accidents.  The saws work by attaching the saw to the pipe itself using the saw’s strap.  The blade is then guided by four spring-loaded wheels to ensure a straight and accurate cut every time. Air-powered belly saws are a great underground tool that will allow you to cut through just about any material, including PVC, HDPE, ductile iron, cast iron.  Since these saws are air or hydraulically operated, they not only add the benefit of being exhaust-free, but also are operable in wet conditions. These saws can handle pipes with diameters up to 24 inches and only require 7 inches of clearance.

Chainsaws Built for Pipe Cutting

Air-powered chainsaws are versatile underground tools. There is one for every job.  They are safer than gas-powered or electric chainsaws, especially in wet or tight spaces. If you are looking to cut pipe for a demanding job with minimal excavation, an air-powered chainsaw may be the answer for you. These chainsaws come equipped with a pipe clamp to ensure no operator fatigue comes into play with little to no kickback. This pipe claim also allows for safe bottom-up cuts.  U.S.SAWS utilizes a PowerGrit chain that can be used to cut ductile iron, HDPE, PVC, cast iron, and the like. They also come with a concrete chain for concrete pipe, reinforced concrete, and concrete structures.  Square corners may be cut without overlapping cuts. Also, these chainsaws can cut irregular shapes, making them more adaptable to your needs than the belly saw.

The Cordless Pipe Beveller

A cordless pipe beveller is another must-have underground tool for an underground contractor. This handy item is a quick, easy, and safe way to cut and bevel any plastic pipe. For contractors working with sewer pipes, the cordless pipe bellever is an all-in-one solution. Its small size and battery operation allow it to make easy work of cuts and beveled edges in tight spaces without being tethered to an electrical cord.  The cordless pipe beveller is adjustable for all sizes of pipe and is a lightweight solution for work in trenches.   Some retailers, like U.S. Saws, offer reasonably priced cordless pipe bevellers that come equipped with a quality DeWalt 20V grinder, 16 flute beveller, two batteries, a charger, and a carrying case.

Battery Powered Valve Exerciser

Valve exercisers are a must-have tool for contractors working with waste and water facilities or municipal water departments.  The key to working with waste and water departments is being able to access the worksite and regulate the flow of water, and the valve exerciser is the way to do it.  The advent of the battery-operated valve exerciser made the process of opening and closing valves easier on the workers, making access to difficult locations easier with less manual labor.  The U.S.SAWS VEX-400 is a perfect example of a solid, portable valve exerciser with the power and safety features needed for successful valve work.  These exercisers are made of alloy aluminum and hardened steel which use a Metabo drill motor as their power source.  Safety features include a trigger handguard, stable foot base, overload protection, and a shear key that will break before the gearbox, preserving the integrity of the exerciser and its user.  This device has a rotation counter that tracks turns rotating in either direction, comes with three batteries for a full day’s work without the need for recharging, and has multiple extensions allowing the user access to a wide range of valve depths.  This powerful tool also has variable torque settings ranging up to 400 peak ft/lbs.  After use, it breaks down for easy transport in its carrying case.

Manhole Cover Lifter

The fifth and final must-have underground tool is the manhole cover lifter.  Most underground contractors, whether they are dealing with electricity, gas, telephone, waste removal, or water will come face to face with a manhole cover on the job.  Manhole covers have been known to weigh hundreds of pounds and can prove to be a real obstacle for workers.  There are many varying sizes and weights of manhole covers and companies like U.S.SAWS provide access to a variety of tools to meet any underground contractor’s manhole cover lifting needs. Magnetic manhole cover lifters are the most popular and take some of the risk of physical injury out of the removal of manhole covers. The U.S.SAWS ROBOTRON Utility 4 Magnet Break N’ Take is a handheld magnetic cover lifter that makes easy work manhole covers up to 325 pounds.  This underground tool utilizes neodymium magnets, which are among the strongest magnets in the world.  Heavy lifting jobs may require a Supreme Duty Collapsible Dolly with 10” hard wheels and a mega duty magnet will get the job done.  This lifting system can handle covers up to 900 pounds.  This heavy-duty manhole cover lifter keeps the operator at a safe distance while lifting, can fold down for easy transport, allows for two lift positions, and is compact and lightweight.  There are even manhole cover lifters with barriers for the protection of the worker and the general public.

Contact U.S.SAWS today to discuss updating your underground toolbox!

The 5 Best Tools for a Concrete Surface Prep Contractor

Concrete flooring is a rapidly growing trend for business owners and homeowners.  When prepped properly, concrete can be an inexpensive solution for beautiful and durable flooring.  However, much like any material, concrete flooring needs to be repaired and sometimes replaced.   Prior to any repair work or replacement that concrete surface will need to be prepped for the project with the proper concrete saw and other handy items.

The five best tools for a concrete surface prep contractor’s tool box are:

  1. A concrete grinder;
  2. A joint clean out saw;
  3. A dual component polymer pump;
  4. A gas powered dust collector; and
  5. An early entry saw

Let’s take a look at the benefits of each of these tools.

The Most Innovative Concrete Grinder on the Market

Every concrete surface prep contractor needs a concrete grinder to remove all of the inconsistencies and flaws in a concrete surface and provide a smooth and usable floor.  Even old concrete floors can be ground down and polished to a renewed perfection.   Long over are those days of back breaking handheld concrete grinders.  Modern technology has devised ways to create powerful grinders while also allowing the user to remain in an upright position.  The TC-7 Stand-Up Edge Grinder, available through U.S.SAWS, is the most innovative concrete grinder on the market.  This powerful machine will not only grind down high and uneven spots in the concrete but also functions as a polisher for concrete surfaces.  The TC-7 gives the operator total control, allowing for the front, back, and side to side adjustments, an adjustable outrigger wheel for various head pressure, a durable aluminum chassis, and a U-shaped frame allowing the operator to remain in a standing position, all with a shock-absorbing grip.

Joint Clean Out Saw

When resurfacing concrete, a joint clean-out saw is a concrete saw must for any surface prep contractor.  Concrete joints are widely used to control cracking in concrete slabs due to expansion and contraction of the concrete. The joints are placed in predetermined locations and are usually at a depth of ¼ of the thickness of the concrete slab.  When it’s time to resurface the concrete, these joints need to be cleaned out in order to properly grind and polish the concrete.  U.S.SAWS Mark-III Joint Clean-Out Saw is the tool for that job. This precision saw is designed to clean out the joints between the slabs, remove whatever filler was used, and make accurate cuts up to two inches deep.  This concrete saw makes accurate cuts by allowing the operator to see the blade, even though 98% of the blade is covered for dust control purposes.  You’re now able to see the blade but without a cloud of dust!  This saw blade is also adjustable and has a depth lock to prevent overcutting.

Easy to Use and Inexpensive to Maintain Dual Component Polymer Pump

Now that you know the must-have tool for cleaning out a concrete joint, we need to find the best tool for applying the new concrete filler into the freshly carved joints.  Dual component polymer pumps are the easiest tool for the job.  The dual-component system allows you to mix and dispense the polymer filler into the joints through the use of one device.  U.S.SAWS’ Dual Component Polymer Pump is an easy to use and economical option for surface prep contractors.  This polymer pump comes standard with a 1:1 component ratio, but also has a 2:1 component ratio available.  The aluminum mixing manifold is easy to clean.  The Dual Component Polymer Pump has two 6.5 gallon semi-transparent tanks that allow the contractor to keep easy tabs on material levels. If dispensing is a concern, this model’s dispensing wand has variable speed control and start/stop control allowing precise fill for each joint.  While this machine is not designed for single component polyurethates, it goes above and beyond for polyuria, polyaspartic and epoxy materials.

Gas Powered Dust Collector

Dust is inevitable with any concrete surface prep job.  While many of the above-listed tools have unique ways to minimize dust and maximize the operator’s vision, dust is still a factor that contractors have to handle not only for cleanliness on the job site, but also for health purposes.  Concrete dust is very fine and has the potential to make people sick if inhaled.  A gas-powered dust collector can make short work of the residue left behind from your concrete saw and has the power to remove those fine particles of concrete dust.  These dust collectors are not your run-of-the-mill home vacuum.  These are heavy-duty industrial vacuums equipped with high-power gas engines to clear out any leftover residue.   Gas-powered dust collectors are great for masonry and block saws as well as concrete.  The Ultra Vac 1250 – Gas Dust Collector is a great option for anyone using a concrete saw.  This vacuum system is constructed with all-steel tube framing and a polyethylene body that can take significant abuse.  Powered by a Honda GX240 gas engine, it has a 12.5 gallon dust bin for those large projects and a 25 foot hose with a 3 inch diameter.  The front also has front and rear handles for easy handling. Options for his dust collector include HEPA filters and Longopac bagging systems.

Early Entry Saw

An early entry saw is a fine concrete saw to have for creating contraction joints in fresh concrete.  Early entry saws can cut into fresh concrete within 1 to 4 hours of finishing.  Having a properly cut joint is crucial to the quality of the concrete slab.  A poorly carved joint will not provide the proper plane needed to guide the stress crack.  The SRX-2000 Early Entry Saw by U.S.SAWS is an essential concrete saw for a prep surfacer’s toolbox.  This concrete saw allows for the sawing of crack control joints within one to two hours of concrete finishing.  Four-inch wide polyurethane wheels allow the saw to move across the freshly finished concrete without marking the surface.  Joint chipping and spalling are minimized via the skid plate.  The blade guard on this early entry saw is equipped with a vacuum port that controls dust while dry cutting the concrete.  The maximum cut depth for this saw is 1 and 5/8 inches and comes with an easy release depth control lever.  The folding handlebar compacts this concrete saw down for easy storage.

Contact U.S.SAWS today to discuss your concrete surface prop tool options!

How Tight Should a Chain Saw Be?

Great equipment can only be effective when it is used and maintained properly. It is crucial for the performance of your chain saw and for your personal safety to ensure your chain saw has the proper tension before use.  All chains are susceptible to stretching and sagging over time. The potential extent of the stretching is dependent on the specific type of chain saw you use. Tension that is too loose and tension that is too tight each come with their own risks.  In order to avoid those dangers, it is recommended that you check your chain saw before initial use on a project and also a few times during operation to make sure your chain saw is running optimally.

How to Tell if Your Chain Saw Has the Proper Tension?

As with everything in life, your chain saw requires balance.  Ideally, your chain saw chain should have the perfect tension for the job for which it is intended.  Each task requires a different tension.  For instance, concrete and iron ductile cutting chain saws require a looser tension than wood cutting chain saws.  Generally speaking, the chain should be a little loose on the chain saw guide bar, but not loose enough that the drive links come out of the bar nose. The bar links should feel like they are raising up, but not actually come out of the guide bar.

Testing the tension of the chain is a fairly easy task.  Gently pull the chain away from the guide bar to see if the links remain engaged. They will want to lift up slightly, but not enough to become dislodged from the guide bar.   Moving the chain around the guide bar with your hands is also a common way to test the tension of the chain saw chain.  A properly tensioned chain saw will move smoothly with little force.  If the chain is too loose and comes off the bar, you will need to tighten up the chain before use following the guidelines outside in the manufacturer’s manual.  You also need to ensure the chain is not too tight.  If there is no give to the chain when you pull up slightly, and it sits rigidly along the guide bar, the tension needs to be adjusted to loosen it up before use. In this instance, you should also consult the manufacturer’s manual to ensure you are properly tightening the chain.

The Danger of Running a Chain Saw with the Wrong Tension

It is important to reiterate here that monitoring the tension of your chain saw is critical to extending the life of your chain saw, as well as safeguarding you from potentially severe injury.  Loose chains and tight chains are both potentially dangerous.  Loose chains can cause warps in the guide bar, which then may lead to a string of other rapidly worn parts.  A safety issue with loose chains involves derailment.  If the chain is too loose, your run the risk of the chain coming off the guide bar completely, which may cause severe injury to the user, including a loss of limbs or digits or even a severe cut to the face.  Kickback is also a serious issue with loosely tensioned chain saw chains which can cause severe injuries.  Chain saw chains whose tensions are set too tight also open various parts to premature wear by applying too much stress, including the clutch and the bearings, or even damaging the motor, both of which are vital to operating the chain saw.  Chains that are too tight may cause the chain saw to heat up, which is also damaging to the other components and maybe a fire hazard as well.

Each chain saw from U.S.SAWS comes complete with a manual that outlines the proper method to test and adjust chain saw chain tension and to properly maintain your chain saw to ensure the longevity and safety of your tool.

How to Lift a Manhole Cover

Manholes play a vital role in the maintenance of your area’s infrastructure, and their concepts date back to the Roman civilization.  Many of our everyday utility needs, including electricity, gas, telephone, waste removal, and water, come from underground wires, pipes, drains, and sewers. Manholes are openings in the ground that provide utility workers easier access to the systems they monitor. These manholes are equipped with a heavy cover that requires certain tools to remove. Easy and quick access to these areas is imperative for the maintenance of our public utility systems.

Manholes have four primary purposes.  The first purpose is to provide easy and quick access to speed up inspections of storm drains and sewers, as well as for maintenance and blockage removal of these areas.  Second, sewers require the ventilation of gases to ensure no gas buildup occurs which may be potentially dangerous.  Third, manholes allow workers to change the setup of the sewer system, including joining systems or changing the direction of the underground flow.  Finally, manholes help with the actual laying of the sewer lines in consistent and convenient lengths.

Manhole covers are a crucial piece of the manhole as it protects the public and the utility system from any injury.  Historically, manhole covers were made out of varying forms of cast iron, many with unique patterns and designs.  Cast iron has been a popular choice for manhole covers due to its economy and durability.  The heavyweight of the manhole cover helps hold the cover in place as heavy vehicles drive over them.  A serious issue with the use of cast iron manhole covers is the weight of the cover, which has been known to cause injury to utility workers trying to hurry to remove it.

Using a Manhole Cover Lifter

Cast iron manhole covers are heavy and can weigh more than 250 pounds. Removing a manhole cover can be difficult, especially if it has been wedged, or even cemented, in place for an extended period of time. Manhole cover lifters come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from simple manhole cover hooks, or keys as they are sometimes called, to heavy-duty magnetic lifters with dollies.  Manhole cover keys are a practical approach to small, lighter manhole covers and come in a variety of sizes.  Ensuring you have the right kind of hook on your lifter for the specific manhole cover hole is important or you will not be able to remove the cover.  Manhole cover keys require you to use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury. Magnetic manhole cover lifters take some of the risk of physical injury out of the removal of manhole covers.  Of course, these magnetic lifters come in various shapes and sizes depending on the type of cover you need to remove.  Once you have the right lifter for the job, make sure the area is free of dirt and debris that would make the manhole cover difficult to dislodge, also ensure any magnets you are using are free of debris.  Some magnetic manhole cover lifters are multi-purpose tools that come equipped with hammers or scrapers to help dislodge stuck covers. Operating a magnetic manhole cover lifter requires the placement of the magnets on the manhole cover and then pulling back to remove the cover from the manhole.   Some magnetic lifters are able to turn off the magnets or have a quick unlock system that will release the manhole cover from the lifter when the job is done.

U.S.SAWS Manhole Lifter Solutions

Companies like U.S.SAWS have developed a variety of manhole cover lifters that provide solutions for all types and sizes of manhole covers, from handheld magnetic cover lifters to full system lifters with dollies, as well as any accessories you may need.  The Megatron 5 Magnet Break N’ Take is a handheld magnetic cover lifter that makes easy work of any manhole cover up to 350 pounds.  This tool utilizes neodymium magnets, which are among the strongest magnets in the world.

For those heavy lifting jobs, a Supreme Duty Collapsible Dolly with 10” hard wheels and a mega duty magnet will get the job done.  This lifting system can handle covers up to 900 pounds.  This heavy-duty manhole cover lifter keeps the operator at a safe distance while lifting, can fold down for easy transport, allows for two lift positions, and is compact and lightweight.

There are many accessories out there to enhance both the practical and safety features of magnetic manhole cover lifters.  The orange 42” Manhole Barrier offers more visibility of the worker and protection for the worker and the general public.  The Twin Magnet Spreader Bar allows you to add an additional magnet to your lifting system for increased stability and lifting force when lifting large or uneven lids.

Contact U.S.SAWS today to discuss your manhole cover lifting needs!

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