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Old 06-29-2005, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 12
TypeRx is an unknown quantity at this point
Guillotine Cuttter vs. Power Tools

Hey guys -- I am putting up about 300 linear feet of seat wall and retaining wall using Unilock Quarrystone. All of the seat wall is rounded. Since I need to make quality cuts so the wall looks "smooth" on both front and back, I need to make sure I am using a suitable tool.

I have never used a guillotine cutter but have heard that they are not extremely precise (but precise enough) but that they allow very quick cutting, especially of large blocks.

So, I wanted your feedback -- have you used these cutters? Do they take lots of elbow grease? Are they too inaccurate to make them usable?

I know a cutoff saw or wet saw is pretty much a requirement for the pavers I will lay as those cuts need to be more clean. But, for my application, will the guillotine cutter work well?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Bill Schwab is an unknown quantity at this point
We have a Remo brand guillotine cutter that sat for years until we began installing more retaining walls. For cuts within the cap, we use our 20" table saw. For end caps, we use the guiilotine because it will provide a similar edge to what the factory puts on caps, then we tweek the corners with a meat tenderizer to round them off.

For pavers the thing is usless. There are a few brands that cost into the $1,500.00 mark that are pretty precsion tuned, and can snap an accurate line of 1" sometimes less. If you only have a few ends caps to do, you can excersize care using a stone chisel and form a break the will create the look you are trying to achieve.
Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

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Old 06-29-2005, 06:14 PM
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Location: Wisconsin
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I've lost my skills with the guillotine-style splitter - I used to be able to make some pretty tight cuts with one. But with the advent of cutoff saws it's hard to justify their use. If you're cutting a retaining wall, I'd use a cutoff instead of the old splitter, except for end pieces as Bill mentioned. Otherwise you're going to have some pretty big gaps between pieces where a rough face isn't marrying up to another rough (or a smooth) face.

This discussion has been included in the site beginner's brick paving page.

Last edited by Stonehenge; 02-24-2006 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 12
TypeRx is an unknown quantity at this point
Thanks for the feedback -- I guess I will just rent a cutoff saw rather than the guillotine. I have a lot of cuts to make . . .

The primary reason I was interested in trying the guillotine was that it seems safer, less loud, causes much less dust, and is more user-friendly. But, it seems as though it is not the best tool for the job.
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