Increasingly, contractors are using early-cut saws to make cuts in concrete slabs within a few hours after final finishing. Not only do early-cut saws allow workers to cut joints sooner, the saws also reduce the depth of cut required because the cuts are made before stresses build up in the concrete.

Most of the saws featured in this article have maximum cutting depths of 2 inches or less and use 9-inch-diameter or smaller dry-cut diamond blades. Five models are described, including a self-propelled saw with variable speed control, a saw for textured concrete that rides on steel tracks instead of the slab surface, and saws that have extendable handles to limit the need for operators to walk on the concrete surface during cutting.