How to break up concrete by hand

Written by g.k. bayne
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to break up concrete by hand
Build muscle smashing concrete. (Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Breaking up concrete, although perhaps a little labour intensive, can also be a wonderful workout. This workout is not only physical in nature, but an excellent way for venting frustration. By following a basic process in the breaking up of the concrete, you can also save some valuable cash by utilising minimal tools.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Leather gloves
  • 2.26 kg (5 lb), long-handled sledgehammer
  • Square point shovel
  • Wheelbarrow

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Don the safety glasses to protect your eyes and the leather gloves to keep blistering of your hands to a minimum.

  2. 2

    Grab the sledgehammer and move to an outside area of the concrete you want to break up into pieces. Think of the concrete as a chessboard by seeing small squares on the concrete about 30 cm (1 foot) in size. Within these small squares, imagine two diagonal lines forming two triangles. These four lines that are making an imaginary "X" in the square are the strike or hit lines you wanting to make contact with the sledgehammer.

  3. 3

    Begin at the lower corner of the first square and strike the hammer against the concrete. Work the hammer blows up to the imaginary cross point of the "X." Then work the hammer back down the other side of the "X" till you reach the other opposite side back down to the edge of the concrete. You can place anywhere from five to six hard blows of the sledgehammer along the two lines. In other words about 10 to 12 blows of the hammer along the lower legs of the "X."

  4. 4

    Strike the hammer just below the cross point a few times and the concrete should be breaking up by this point. Running up one side of the "X" and then down the other side will create fractures in the concrete. Then by working outward from the lower cross point of the "X," the concrete should begin to crumble.

  5. 5

    Use the square point shovel and load the crumbled concrete into the wheelbarrow so it can be removed from the area.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 a little at a time on the next upper half of the "X" and then on to the adjoining squares.

Tips and warnings

  • The old concrete can be used for filling in low spots or holes in the landscape and then covered by topsoil.
  • Check with local municipalities before placing heavy concrete in the trash as it may violate regulations.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.