How to Cut Landscape Blocks Without a Saw

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

While power saws are reliable, they are sometimes hard to control, resulting in chipped, uneven cuts. Whenever I work on landscaping projects, I use different tools depending on the control and precision I need in breaking or cutting blocks. 

I’m sharing the various tools and methods how to cut landscape blocks without a saw that even a DIY beginner can follow.

How to Cut Landscape Blocks Without a Saw

When cutting landscape blocks without saws, you can use a chisel, drilling hammer, scoring knife, angle grinder, or block splitter. Measure and mark the exact spot where you want to split the block. Gently tap it with your tool, working your way along the line until it shows a noticeable split. This

It’s crucial to use the right tools when cutting blocks by hand. Regardless of the tool, patience and persistence are key, as these methods require some effort to achieve good results.

Tools and Techniques for Cutting Landscape Blocks Without Using a Saw

With just a few simple tools and a bit of patience, cutting a landscape block without a saw becomes an effortless task, even for the most inexperienced DIYers. Happy cutting!

Easy and Safe Techniques for Cutting Landscape Blocks Without Saws

These methods have helped me cut various types of blocks, including brick, stone, or concrete, for my landscape projects without needing a saw. I am able to cut 45-degree angles with some of these tools too. Remember to wear appropriate safety gear when working on home improvement projects like this. 

ToolBest For
Hammer and chiselImproving control for small cuts
Block splitterCutting massive blocks in uneven sizes
Drilling hammerSmashing large landscape stones
Scoring knifeCutting and trimming small landscape stones
Angle grinderCutting blocks efficiently and accurately

Using a Hammer and Chisel to Cut a Landscape Block

As a DIY project enthusiast, I like to find ways to get the job done without relying on heavy or expensive equipment. When it comes to cutting landscape blocks, using a hammer and chisel solves this problem. 

I also recommend the combination of hammer and chisel for cutting a wooden dowel without using saws. Perfecting your technique might take a few attempts, although practice makes perfect! Here’s how I do it:

  1. Place the block on a stable surface.
  2. Using a pencil or a marker, draw the desired cutline.
  3. Score the cutline using a cold chisel and a hammer.
  4. Set a brick-set chisel vertically in the center of the groove.
  5. With a firm grip on the chisel, I gently tap on it with the hammer to score a line along the desired cut. 
  6. Hit the chisel with the hammer until the block breaks into two pieces. Be patient. Repeated gentle taps are more effective than forcing it with one powerful blow.

Using a Block Splitter to Cut a Landscape Block

Block splitters are my alternatives whenever my saws are unavailable because they help me clean and make precise cuts. In effect, I achieve professional-looking finishes on home improvement projects. 

It’s also a great option when I don’t want to use an electric tool. To use a block splitter effectively, follow these simple steps:

  1. Position the landscape block on the splitter, lining up the desired cutting point with the splitter’s blade.
  2. Apply even pressure to the block splitter’s handle, causing the blade to push down on the block and create a clean, even split.

Using a Drilling Hammer to Cut a Landscape Block

Cutting landscape blocks without a saw is a straightforward process, and using a drilling hammer is an effective method. Particularly for a traditional landscape block, I observe that the solid force from the hammer effectively smashes the blocks.

This is why it’s good to have a drilling hammer handy, especially if you need to cut fire bricks without using a saw. Here’s a brief overview of the steps involved in this technique:

  1. Mark the desired cutting line with a pencil or chalk.
  2. Place a chisel on the marked line.
  3. Use a drilling hammer to strike the chisel, creating a groove along the marked line.
  4. Continue striking the chisel, gradually deepening the groove.
  5. Once the groove is deep enough, apply force on the chisel to split the block.

Using a Scoring Knife to Cut a Landscape Block

Another method I’ve found effective for cutting landscape blocks without a saw is using a scoring knife. This is a money-saving tool for DIY newbies who only typically have a scoring knife at home.

One time I had to do an emergency repair on a decorative landscape block for a retaining wall, and I only had a scoring knife with me. Surprisingly, it’s sturdy enough for cutting and breaking small landscape stones. Let me take you through the steps in this process:

  1. First, lay out the blocks on a flat surface and measure the area you want to remove.
  2. Mark the desired cut line using a straight edge and a pencil.
  3. Next, take a scoring knife or a utility knife with a strong and sharp blade.
  4. Hold it perpendicular to the block and carefully score along the marked line. Apply consistent pressure to create a clear, deep groove.
  5. Once the groove is deep enough, place a scrap piece of wood underneath the scored line to elevate the block slightly, allowing room for the cut to open when pressure is applied. 
  6. Grab a hammer or a mallet. Tap gently along the scored line until the landscape block breaks cleanly along the cut.

Using an Angle Grinder to Cut a Landscape Block

An angle grinder is one of my go-to tools because of its versatility, making it an effective tool for breaking landscape blocks or cutting steel without a saw.

What I love about an angle grinder is that despite its size and power, I can control it for intricate cuts for paving patios, walkways, or driveways. To use an angle grinder to cut landscape blocks, follow these simple steps:

  1. Using a straight edge and a pencil, mark the cutting line on the landscape block where it needs to be cut.
  2. Attach a diamond blade to your angle grinder. 
  3. Adjust the blade guard to cover as much of the blade as possible while allowing for the cut’s depth.
  4. Hold your angle grinder firmly with both hands, ensuring a steady and secure grip. 
  5. Power on the angle grinder and let the blade get up to speed before beginning.
  6. Slowly progress through the block by moving the angle grinder along the cutting line, keeping the blade steady and straight.
  7. Be cautious to avoid overheating the angle grinder or landscape block. Periodically stop cutting and allow the blade to cool down if needed.

Related Questions

What Is the Best Way to Cut Landscape Blocks?

In my experience, the best way to cut landscape blocks, even without a saw, is to use a chisel and hammer or a block splitter. These tools offer more control over the shape and size of your cut.

How Do You Cut Concrete Blocks by Hand?

You can cut concrete blocks by hand using a hammer and chisel. Like cutting a landscape stone, place the chisel on the line and create a groove by tapping it lightly with the hammer. Gradually apply more force to deepen the groove, and eventually, the concrete block will split along that line. 

Which Tools Should You Use to Cut Blocks by Hand?

A cold chisel and a hammer are sufficient for cutting blocks by hand for most block materials. A cold chisel’s shape allows you to apply concentrated force on a precise point, resulting in a cleaner break. Meanwhile, a sturdy hammer will provide the necessary force to break the blocks.


In my experience, cutting a landscape block without a saw can be a bit challenging yet achievable. You can use a hammer and chisel, drilling hammer, scoring knife, angle grinder, or block splitter instead. With some practice and patience, I’m confident you’ll be able to create a beautiful outdoor space for your home.

Categories DIY