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Cutting and Modifying Concrete Blocks    View Complete Residential Retaining Wall Manual

SAFETY FIRST: Always wear safety glasses when splitting or cutting concrete retaining wall blocks. A dust mask is recommended when cutting blocks.

  • Use a masonry saw with a diamond cutting blad or a metal chop saw with a dry cutting diamond blade.
  • NOTE: Masonry saws and metal chop saws are available for rental at most retail centers.

Cutting Caps - For Curves

Capping Curves

Capping a curved retaining wall takes a bit of cutting and fitting, but produces a beautiful finish. Be sure to wear appropriate safety gear, including protective eye wear, dust mask, and hearing protection when cutting, and operate power saws carefully.

Modifying capstone for curved walls

Cutting capstone for curved walls

  • Place two caps on top of the wall, spaced so a third cap will fit tightly between their widest point.
  • Set another cap on top of the first two caps in the center and mark where they overlap on the bottom of the center cap.
  • Remove the center cap and cut along the marks. Then set in place so the three fit tightly together.
  • For complete details see instructions on building curved retaining walls.

Cutting Caps - For Corners

Cutting Caps at corners

Cut caps at 45 degree angles

Capping Corners

  • Cut caps at 45 degree angles to complete the inside corner and give the wall a custom finished look. It's a good idea to secure caps with a high strength construction adhesive once they are all cut.
    More options for finishing your retaining wall.