How to cut red bricks

Written by j.d. richards
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How to cut red bricks
Red clay is the predominant type of brick. (Brick image by Luke Haverkamp from

If you're designing brick ground cover, odds are you'll need to cut a brick to a specific size. Stores sell only full bricks, so you'll need to cut the bricks yourself. Cutting them with a circular saw, or a mitre saw fitted with a masonry blade, will surround you with a cloud of dust. Try this old-fashioned method for clean, handmade cuts. With a little practice, you can cut each brick by hand in about five minutes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Square
  • Pencil
  • 3/4-inch cold chisel
  • Brick hammer
  • 3-inch brick set (a broad-bladed chisel)

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  1. 1

    Mark the precise line of your cut using a square and pencil.

  2. 2

    Place the brick on soft earth if you want to dampen the impact and sound of your hammer blows. Holding the cold chisel at a 60-degree angle to the brick, score the cut line by tapping lightly on the chisel with the brick hammer. Repeat, holding the chisel at an angle opposite of the previous one, until you've made a 1/16-inch groove along the cut line.

  3. 3

    Hold the brick set perpendicular to the groove you just made. Face the bevelled edge of the brick set toward the end of the brick that you don't plan to use. Tip the brick set slightly away from that side. Deal it a single heavy blow with the hammer. The brick should split along the groove.

  4. 4

    Chip away any excess brick with the chisel end of your brick hammer.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear goggles and heavy-duty gloves for your protection and comfort.

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