How to Cut a Brick in Half Without a Saw

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Power saws can be tricky to control, especially for beginners. One wrong move, and you may pulverize a brick instead of splitting it in half, wasting material and money.

Fear not, my fellow DIY enthusiasts! After trying out different tools over the years, I’m here to guide you through how to cut a brick in half without a saw. With a few simple tools and techniques, you can successfully split bricks for your home improvement projects.

How to Cut a Brick in Half Without a Saw

To cut bricks in half without using saws, you can use a masonry chisel, hammer, brick splitter, nipper and pliers, angle grinder, or a multi-tool with a masonry attachment. Mark the spot and create a groove as a weak spot. With a few firm taps using your tool, the brick should split in half.

An orange brick piled together with cement and some rocks.

Remember, practice makes perfect when cutting bricks without a saw. As I’ve gained more experience, my cuts have become more precise. Just take your time and observe safety measures when handling any tools for your home improvement projects.

Easy Tool Guide for Cutting a Brick in Half Without a Saw

Remember that practice makes perfect, so keep going even if your first few attempts don’t go as smoothly as planned. With persistence and a steady hand, you’ll soon be cutting bricks in half like a pro using any of these tools!

ToolBest For
Masonry chiselSplitting small bricks
Brick splitterCutting thick, hard bricks
Nippers and pliersSplitting small bricks
Angle grinderPowering through thick bricks to ensure smoothness
Multi-toolCutting small to medium-sized bricks

Methods for Cutting a Brick in Half Without Using a Saw

When I need to cut bricks and don’t have a saw, I have efficient ways to achieve a clean and accurate cut. In every method, be sure to set up a workbench and prioritize safety to avoid accidents.

Cutting a Brick in Half Using a Masonry Chisel and Hammer

I’ve successfully cut countless bricks for various DIY home improvement projects with just a chisel and a hammer. It’s even one of my favorite tools for cutting fire bricks and Wooden Dowel without using saws. Here’s my friendly step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Place the brick on a flat surface and draw lines on all four sides using a pencil or chalk. This will be your cutting guide.
  2. Set the brick on a bed of sand or a rubber mat to prevent damage and irregular breakage when hammering.
  3. Hold the chisel at a slight angle on the cut line and gently tap it with the hammer to create a groove. Repeat this along the marked lines on every side. Gentle taps with the hammer on the chisel are better than forceful strikes to avoid damaging the brick.
  4. Place the chisel in the groove you’ve created and firmly strike it with the hammer. Repeat this process on each side until the brick splits in half.
A steel hammer used in cutting bricks in the workplace.

Cutting a Brick in Half Using a Brick Splitter

I tried a brick splitter once, and it was way easier to use than a saw. This handy tool makes the process straightforward, efficient, and safe, regardless of the type of brick. Let me guide you through the steps to achieve a clean, accurate cut.

  1. Position the brick so the cutting line aligns with the splitter’s blade.
  2. Push down on the handle, applying even pressure to ensure a straight cut.
  3. As the blade penetrates the brick, it will cleanly split in half.

Cutting a Brick in Half Using Nippers and Pliers

Nippers and pliers were among the first tools I had as a DIY enthusiast. As someone who wants a straightforward approach while avoiding buying expensive tools, I discovered they are also practical solutions for breaking bricks, especially concrete ones. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Place the nippers on one edge of the brick, just about the halfway mark.
  2. Apply steady pressure and nibble away small sections, working across the brick.
  3. Ensure to keep the cut smooth and even before taking off too much brick material in one go.
  4. Grab your pliers and carefully pinch any excess material from the cut line.
  5. Work along the length of the cut until it’s even and tidy.
  6. Once the brick is cut, you might find some uneven or rough edges. To create an even and neat finish, grab a brick-rubbing stone.

Cutting a Brick in Half Using an Angle Grinder

Aside from cutting bricks, I also like using an angle grinder when cutting steel and fire bricks without a saw. It’s a powerful tool that helps me achieve clean and precise cuts, especially as a beginner who needs to work on sand-lime bricks. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cut a brick using an angle grinder:

  1. Cutting bricks with an angle grinder can be quite messy due to dust and debris. Make sure to do this outdoors, away from open windows or doors. Lay down a tarp or drop cloth to collect the dust and minimize cleanup.
  2. Before starting, wear your safety gear, including goggles, gloves, and a mask. The angle grinder may fling small pieces of brick into the air, so it’s essential to protect yourself.
  3. Use a diamond blade designed for masonry work, as it’s coated to cut rigid materials like brick and concrete.
  4. Use a pencil or chalk to mark a straight line on the brick where you want the cut to be.
  5. Adjust the guard to help protect your face from debris flying off the brick.
  6. Hold the angle grinder firmly with both hands, turn it on, and follow the marked line while applying gentle pressure.
  7. After cutting, gently tap the brick to break it along the cut line.

Cutting a Brick in Half Using a Multi-Tool With a Masonry Attachment

Whenever I need a more precise cut on clay bricks compared to when using a chisel, I opt for a multi-tool with a masonry attachment instead. It’s a handy tool I also typically use for cutting laminate flooring without using saws. Here’s the simple process I have developed:

  1. Secure the brick firmly in a vise or on a stable work surface.
  2. Attach the masonry blade to the multi-tool, keeping in mind safety precautions.
  3. Carefully score the brick along the desired cutting line using light pressure.
  4. Gradually increase pressure to deepen the score line until I reach the desired depth.
  5. Once the cut is deep enough, gently tap the brick with a mallet to separate the halves.
  6. After splitting the brick, focus on smoothening the cut edges. I use a combination of the multi-tool with a sanding attachment and manual methods such as sandpaper or a rubbing brick. 
A green masonry Makita Chipper used for cutting bricks on the work-field.

Related Questions

What Is the Best Tool for Cutting Bricks?

If you are looking for precision and clean lines, a circular saw with a masonry blade or an angle grinder are the best tools for cutting bricks.

Meanwhile, a masonry chisel and hammer could be sufficient and more cost-effective for small-scale projects. However, the right tool depends on your specific project requirements. 

Can You Cut Bricks by Hand?

Yes, you can cut bricks by hand using a masonry chisel and hammer. Start by measuring and marking the desired cut line on the brick using a thick marker or chalk. Use the chisel and hammer to score the brick along that line, and then strike the chisel with enough force to split the brick.

What Is the Easiest Way to Split Bricks?

The easiest way to split bricks without a saw is by using a masonry chisel and hammer. This technique allows for quick splitting with minimal tools and is best for simple projects.


In case you want to avoid saws, you can use a masonry chisel and hammer, brick splitter, nipper and pliers, angle grinder, or a multi-tool with a masonry attachment to split bricks in half. Explore various methods, take safety precautions, and you’ll soon find the perfect technique for you.

Categories DIY