The Importance of Valve Exercise – Keep It Moving!

Valves are important for our water supply.  They are necessary devices utilized in the regulation of fluids and gases flowing in one direction through pipes and ducts.  The valve operates as a stopper that can completely shut off the flow or just slow it down just enough to ensure the proper flow speed and pressure is maintained.  Valves are everywhere and are a crucial component to the functioning of our cardiovascular systems.  Just like our cardiovascular systems need exercise to stay healthy, valves used by municipal water departments and wastewater systems need to be exercised to in order function optimally.  Fortunately, companies like U.S. SAWS have developed valve exercisers that are portable and battery operated to ensure all of the valves affecting the full gamut of water and plumbing systems, no matter how inconvenient a location, can be exercised to reduce any interruptions to our water supply.

Why Is It Important?

Millions of people rely on the public water supply, and it is crucial that the water directed to our homes is potable.  Valves control the flow of water and waste to and from our homes and businesses.  Maintaining the consistent quality and drinkability of water to the public is managed by valves.  Backflow is a key concern of many waterworks departments.  Backflow happens when non-potable water or other substance flows in a direction that is reversed from its intended direction.  Should an issue with backflow arise, the water supply for the community is deemed unsafe, and the community suffers an inconvenient and potentially disastrous interruption in the water supply.  In order to avoid any potential backflow issues, it is recommended that regular maintenance is performed on the valves to reduce stiffness and decay.  This is typically done by the use of a valve exerciser, a handy tool that every employee of the waterworks department should have in the toolbox.

The valve exerciser loosens and then re-tightens the valves to prevent malfunction.  As the contractor uses the valve exerciser, he or she is able to determine whether there is any decay or corrosion on the valve or if the valve is generally functioning at an optimal level.  Due to the severity of consequences should a water supply valve fail, it is imperative that municipalities perform regular maintenance on its water supply valves to ensure full functionality.  Regular maintenance and use of valve exercisers also reliefs the valves of gunk buildup and debris, keeping the environment safe for the operation of the valves.

How to Get It Done

Valves are not known for their convenient placement.  They are typically in hard to reach areas, many times on purpose to reduce non-municipal workers from accessing and potentially damaging valves and the water supply.  Accessing these restricted areas with a valve exerciser with enough space to turn the tool to loosen the valves can be an ordeal.  Nowadays, valve exercisers are portable, many with a convenient carrying case, battery operated, and lightweight to ensure the worker’s ability to use it in any tight situation or inopportune location.

One the valve has been located and the worker has him or herself into position, step one is to remove the valve cover.   Next, the drive shaft needs to be placed onto the valve nut.  Then the solid extension needs to be installed onto the gearbox output, engaging the twist lock mechanism will lock the solid extension into place.  Now it is time to attach the power head unit to the drive shaft.  Using a lower torque output is crucial to ensuring the valve is not overloaded, which could damage the valve.  When cycling the valve, make sure to use slower speeds, especially when the valve size is unknown.  If the valve is stuck and not moving, increase the torque in small increments to ensure no damage is being done to the valve.  This is the time to evaluate the valve and note how limber it is.  Once the valve has been exercised, pack up the exerciser in the handy carrying case and move on to the next one.

Valve exercisers, as simplistic as they may sound, play a vital role in ensuring potable water is available to the community.  This tool is vital for any waterworks employee and should be in every contractor’s toolbox.  Regular annual maintenance of municipal water supply valves will reduce the risk of backflow and the contamination of the community’s entire water supply, keeping everyone safe and drinking clean water.

Vale exercisers are crucial to municipal workers, and U.S. SAWS is an industry leader in providing all of your valve exerciser and companion accessory needs. Contact U.S. SAWS today find the right valve exerciser for your waterflow project.

Something New for 2022

U.S.SAWS has a comprehensive list of quality products to assist you with your toughest tasks. If you need hard-working, durable, portable and efficient tools, odds are you’ll find everything you need right here.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t add something special to the lineup when the opportunity presents itself.

The FSB-150H is our latest addition, and it packs a lot of punch into a compact, efficient frame. Let’s take a look at the newest product in the U.S.SAWS roster.

What is the FSB-150H?

Our latest offering is a hydraulic walk behind saw designed for tough jobs such as street repair and other utility tasks. It’s ideal for blades up to 20” in diameter and cuts as deep as 7.5 inches. It can operate in water, and at 110 pounds, it’s a portable tool you can take with you on your toughest jobs. The FSB-150H is perfect for use with concrete and asphalt, and its weight is balanced to minimize rocking, giving you a deep, steady cut when you really need it.

Also, there’s no belt, so having one slip on the job is eliminated. The lightweight, strong frame makes it compact and light enough to travel to wherever you need it, and the 2500 PSI engine ensures it’s strong enough to handle the challenging jobs that require rugged durability and professional precision.

A Major Advantage

You know that the FSB-150H can handle your outdoor projects with easy, but there’s another feature that makes it even more valuable. The saw has no exhaust fumes, making it just as useful for indoor projects and tight spaces, while still providing the necessary power and accuracy. Trench cutting, restoration, and any inside task is no problem for this walk behind saw, and any job site that has both indoor and outdoor work only needs the FSB-150H to get everything done.

Some jobs require smaller saws, and others need heavy-hitters. To take full advantage of the tougher jobs without sacrificing accuracy in your cuts, this new model checks off all the boxes, while adding lightweight maneuverability and the ability to work in confined and indoor spaces just as effectively as outside. In the past, it might have been necessary to sacrifice power for portability, or vice-versa. In some cases, extra machines might have been required, adding to the expense and challenges of bringing extra equipment to the jobsite. But with the FSB-150H, You get the advantages of an exhaust-free walk behind saw that has the power to take on whatever project where it’s needed.

A Good Fit for the U.S.SAWS Lineup

When you come to us for your work needs, you know that you’ll get great value and a tool that will help you complete tasks correctly and on time. They need to be strong, versatile and stand out from the competition in terms of quality and reliability. When we add a product to the lineup, it needs to not only meet those requirements, but offer unique benefits on its own that you can’t find elsewhere. This walk behind hydraulic saw meets that responsibility and exceeds the lofty expectations of our valued customers, and we’re proud to add it to our roster of efficient and effective tools for a variety of jobs.

If you have questions about the FSB-150H, or any other product you see here on the website, we’re happy to help. Just use our contact page for a prompt response.

Duravac vs Ultravac: Which is Right For You?

Here’s something that won’t come as a surprise to you: Saws create dust and debris. The most powerful, accurate and user-friendly tool is still going to leave you with some cleanup responsibilities. It’s just part of the job.

To clean things up right, you’ll need a dedicated tool for getting rid of the inevitable dust and debris, and leave a tidy finish to the workplace. And just as we have the right saws to get the job done, U.S.SAWS also has a lineup of powerful and efficient vacuums to make sure the dust leaves when you do.

On this website, you’ll see our top tools in this area labeled Duravac and Ultravac. Both sound strong and effective, and both of them are. But which one is right for your jobs? Let’s explore them here.

 What Duravac Delivers

Looking at the Duravac Dust Collectors, the words you’ll notice first are “lightweight” and “durable.” These vacuum systems are perfect for a variety of jobs, are easy to use and travel easily. Wherever you do your best work, a Duravac can tag along and set up shop right where you need it.

Many jobs need the benefits of light, maneuverable equipment, but still require powerful cleanup abilities. You can’t sacrifice one for the other, and that’s where Duravac shines. The models you see on our website might be light and portable, but they’re heavyweights when it comes to effectiveness. As OSHA-certified dust collection systems using certified HEPA filters, they’re ready to remove harmful dust and debris from any construction, restoration or abatement project. And when space is a concern and portability is an advantage, the Duravac Dust Collector 220B and 221B models will be at the top of the list for project managers.

The Ultravac Difference

Ultravac also has portability and ease-of-use benefits, making them a referred partner in a variety of jobs. In addition, the Ultravac 1250 is a workhorse in large products that create a large amount of dust and debris. And this OSHA-certified model works especially well with gas-powered equipment used in surface prep jobs. If you’re using block saw equipment or have a tough masonry task, the 1250 is a heavy-duty option that fits in well with the rest of your tools and will keep up with the debris resulting from the work.

It’s important to have tools that fit your workspace, so a machine that works well with gas-powered equipment can be very valuable. But sometimes you need a little more. The 1250-G is a gas-powered vacuum that can handle your toughest job environment with a large filter and sizeable dustbin (12.5 gallons). It also has wide, flat wheels that mitigate the risk of slab indentations when performing early-entry joint cutting. These projects require durability and precision, and the Ultravac1250-G allows you to accomplish both without any obstacles created by cleanup. And with an all-steel tube frame and polyethylene body, this vacuum will stay on the job for the long haul, providing several years of excellent service.

U.S.SAWS Can Help

Whatever your projects require, we have the tools to help you complete them quickly and efficiently in a safe and clean workspace. From saws to vacuums, we’re here to help with quality products and superior service. Simply use our contact page with any questions.

Walk Behind Saws and Cutting Surfaces

Concrete saws are a necessary tool for any contractor’s workshop.  As concrete proves itself to be a widely versatile material and more businesses and residents choose concrete for their spaces, the contractors’ reliance on concrete saws will increase.  One way to reduce the back breaking nature of concrete surface prep is through the use of a walk behind saw.

Cutting Concrete with a Walk Behind Floor Saw

Cutting concrete is an essential part of concrete surface prep.  Concrete requires specialized cuts in its surface to prevent cracks.  There is no way to prevent cracking in concrete, but contractors are able to control the location of the cracks by initiating the cracking purpose on first, before the concrete fully sets and cracks.  These intentional cracks are control joints.  Control joints are created by using a walk behind floor saw equipped with wide tires to limit indentations in the fresh concrete.  Once the control joints are placed, they are filled with a variety of joint fillers, including polyurea and epoxies.  Over time, as repairs or remodeling occurs, those joint fillers need to be removed before any work can be done to repair or resurface the concrete.  Walk behind saws are a fast and efficient option or what could be laborious work.

The purpose of the walk behind saw is to let the saw do the work.  The control joints are not deep cuts, but do need to be precise.  U.S. SAWS manufactures walk behind saws and walk behind joint clean out saws that are powered by air, hydraulics or gas.  These saws are equipped with heavy duty frames that reduce vibration which could interfere with the cut.  They even come with water feed kits to allow for wet cutting of concrete which will reduce the amount of silica dust produced from the cutting action.

Cutting Asphalt with a Walk Behind Saw

Asphalt is a much softer surface than concrete and requires the use of a different blade to cut the surface. Asphalt requires a diamond blade with a hard bond, as opposed to a soft bond.   Because the surface is different than concrete, the way in which the surface is cut changes as well. Cutting asphalt, just like concrete is not a walk in the park.   Prior to cutting asphalt, it is important to fully clean the surface.  Cleaning the surface ensures there is no debris in the way when you do your cut.  Large debris can damage the saw or even cause injury to the operator if not removed prior to cutting.  It’s critical that cuts in the asphalt are precise.  In order to ensure those cuts are precise, marking the area to be cut is key.  In order to cut a swath of asphalt out to provide access to the area beneath it, the saw operator must cut the initial side, then lift the saw in order to reposition it.  If the saw is not lifted and merely turned, the operator risks damaging the saw blade.

Tips for Cutting Concrete with a Floor Saw

The first tip for cutting concrete with a floor saw is to ensure the surface is clean.  Removal of any debris is the key to a precise cut.  As with asphalt, larger debris hit by the saw during the cutting action can cause damage to the saw, can cause injury to the operator, and can cause the cut to be thrown off its trajectory.  Second, make sure you are wearing your safety gear.  Wearing safety gloves, safety goggles and a face mask will help ensure you complete the job in a healthy manner with all digits in place.

U.S. Saws is an innovator in the tool industry.  As concrete flooring gains popularity, U.S. Saws remains on the cutting edge of tool manufacturing for concrete surface prep.  Contact U.S. Saws today to find the right walk behind saw for your concrete job.

Early Entry Saws and Choosing the Right Vacuum for Collection

Concrete cracks are a natural part of handling concrete, but they can be a nightmare for contractors.  Fortunately there are ways to get ahead of the cracks and reduce the potential for unsightly cracks.  Predetermining the location of intentional cracks, or control joints is the best method to ensure the crack is managed and aesthetically pleasing for the project owner.  It is crucial that these control joints are placed before the concrete is fully hardened.  While a contractor may saw through hardened concrete, cutting a straight line may prove difficult, and as time passes, unintentional cracks may also form.  Many contractors choose to cut control joints within the first six to eighteen hours, but early entry saws allow contractors to get an early jump on control joint cutting as these saws allow the cuts to occur just a couple of hours after the concrete has been placed.

Early Entry Saw Cutting

Early entry saws are a game changer in the concrete industry, and U.S. SAWS is a leader in the industry.  The U.S. SAWS SRX-2000 Early Entry Saw is a top choice for cutting control joints in freshly placed concrete.  After letting the concrete cure for a few hours, use this saw to place predetermined control joints to ensure the inevitable concrete cracking is under control and precisely where you want it to occur.   Once the control joint is cut, the crack will follow along that line.  One great feature provided by U.S. SAWS for their early entry saws is a skid plate.  The skid plate attaches to the saw and helps produce a smooth, straight, clean cut without any spalling.  The SRX-2000 is equipped with upcut blade rotation.  This rotation pushes the debris out of the joint a it cuts.  In order to ensure the saw does not leave any marks on the green concrete, this saw has 4-inch wide polyurethane wheels.  Easily transportable and quickly stored, this saw is a great addition to every concrete contractor’s warehouse.

Dry Cut with the Right Early Entry Saw Vacuum System

While the goal with early entry saws is to cut the control joints while the concrete is still “fresh,” sometimes the concrete has dried more than expected.  When dry concrete is cut with a saw, debris is expelled in the form of silica particulates.  These particulates are not only time consuming to clean up after dry cutting, they also, when inhaled, may cause grave damage to the lungs of anyone who has inhaled the debris.   Keeping the debris from dry cutting under control and protecting workers handling the saws is a crucial final touch in cutting control joints.  Thankfully the U.S. SAWS has developed the Ultra Vac 1250-G, a heavy duty vacuum that works well with early entry saws to ensure all of the dust and debris created by the dry cutting of concrete control joints is collected before it can cause any messes or health problems for the saw users.  This vacuum will attach to early entry saws near the blade guard for efficient collection of debris.  It is even equipped with wide tires to reduce any marks on the fresh concrete and has front and rear handles for easy stowing.

Control joints are a necessary component of concrete work and U.S. SAWS is an industry leader in providing all of your concrete finishing needs. Contact U.S. SAWS today to add an early entry saw to your workspace and to not only ensure you have the right vacuum system for your saw, but that it is also OSHA certified.

Considering a Dust Collection System

Surface prep is dirty work.  Concrete grinding and cutting is notorious for causing a large amount of debris, especially if it is a dry cut.  Including a dust collection system in your kit not only makes post-job clean up faster and more efficient, but also can save your life.

Particle dust from surface prep gets everywhere, into all of the nooks and crannies, coating surfaces it comes in contact with.  Worse, this dust is small enough to be airborne and can be inhaled by workers not using the proper safety masks.  The dust particulates contain known carcinogens which linger in the lungs and may eventually cause respiratory distress or even lung cancer.

Ideal Solution for Dust Collection

Dust particles released on job sites can be hazardous to your health, and that of your co-workers and the people who utilize the location at which you worked.  In order to cut down on airborne dust particles, it is important to use some sort of dust collection system.  Advanced dust collection systems like U.S. Saws Ultra Vac 1250 Dust Collector have changed the game for contractors.  This specific dust collection system comes equipped with:

  • Top of the line large HEPA (or High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which are capable of filtering out about 99.7% of various airborne particulates, even concrete dust;
  • Two 120V motors providing extra sucking power;
  • Durable steel frames that can withstand constant use;
  • High capacity dust bins that allow you to reduce the amount of times needed to empty the bin, which always risks releasing more dust back into the air;
  • Front and rear handles for effortless transport.; and
  • It is OSHA certified.

These high powered performers allow contractors to completely clean the project site after a long afternoon of surface prep.

Performance Options

It is important that the dust collection system perform optimally to ensure it is removing as much particulate as possible.  In order to ensure your system is set up to do handle that heavy-duty job, make sure it is equipped with powerful motors to ensure the system will provide the proper suction needed to remove the dust.  Another important piece of the dust collector that improves performance and ensures safety is an extended hose for hard to reach places.  The U.S. SAWS Ultra Vac 1250-G is a gas powered machine that used wide, flat wheels to ensure that all of the hard work just put in on that concrete floor doesn’t wind up with indentations in the clean-up process.

Vacuum Capacity

Vacuum capacity is a serious consideration for contractors hired for heavy-duty surface prep work.  High capacity dust bins help reduce the amount of times collected dust is stirred up and potentially re-released in the air.  Many dust collection systems come equipped with Longopac bagging systems.  These dust collection bags allow for the bags filled with dust to be removed from the dust collection system in a sealed manner, allowing for a cleaner environment as opposed to opening a dust bin full of particulates and allowing them to potentially contaminate an area again.

Additional Dust Tips

It is crucial to understand the size of the job you are going to perform before you get started.  Many times contractors will try to utilize a standard shop vac to manage debris from surface prep; however, these shop vacs are unable to handle heavy-duty jobs and may also violate OSHA regulations, which can land the contractor into legal trouble.

Another way to reduce the amount of dust and debris released into the air is to use a dust shroud with your concrete grinder.  Dust shrouds attach directly to the grinder and collect dust before it can be emitted into the air.  Using an top of the line dust collection system in conjunction with a dust shroud will make your job cleaner and more efficient to clean up at the end of the day.

Contact U.S. SAWS today to ensure your dust collection system meets not only your job’s needs, but is also OSHA certified.

The Dos and Don’ts of Wet Tile Cutting with Diamond Blades

Diamond blades.  Doesn’t the name sound luxurious? In the world of tile cutting, there is nothing stronger than a diamond blade.  These blades are perfect for cutting tile, glass, concrete and porcelain and have the capability to do so in wet or dry conditions.  They are usually made of stainless steel and have diamond chips adhered to the blade.  Typically a cleaner cut is made with a diamond blade when the diamond fragments are more exposed.  As the blade use wears down the fragments, the cuts become less clean and precise.

When cutting tiles, no matter the material, the key to the perfect fit is a clean, precise cut.  An experienced contractor will have a sound understanding of when to use and when not to use diamond blades.  Let’s explore some of those dos and don’ts for wet-cutting.

Wet Cutting Diamond Blade Dos

Diamond blade water cutters are a must have for every contractor’s tool box.  These saws can be your best friend for wet cutting tile if used properly.  One would assume the first DO for wet cutting tile would be water, but it isn’t.  The first DO of properly using these diamond blade water cutters is pre-inspecting the blade before use.  You want that diamond blade to complete fast, precision cuts.  You are able to ensure that precision and smoothness by inspecting your blade for any cracks or obvious wear and tear.  Not only will a worn blade ruin a perfect cut, it can also be dangerous.  It is important for everyone that you have a smooth, precise cut and finish that cut with all of your digits intact.  So take a minute and inspect your blade before every use.

The second big DO of wet cutting tile is the use of water while cutting.  Ensuring there is a steady supply of water for the blade is crucial to the blade’s performance.  Water is such a vital component to the process because it reduced friction during the use of the blade, which ensures the blade is operating optimally during the entire cut.   The goal is a fast, clean cut with perfect precision.  That can be achieved by using properly prepared diamond blade combined with a continuous stream of water.

The third key DO of wet cutting with diamond blades is ensuring you are wearing all of the proper safety gear.  Don’t let the glitz of that diamond blade cloud your common sense.  Safety gear is the key to protecting your eyes, fingers, feet, and other body parts from serious harm.  That includes eye protection, gloves, steel toed shoes, and ear protection.

Wet Cutting Diamond Blade Don’ts

The DON’TS are just as important as the DOS when using a diamond blade.  First, DON’T operate your diamond blade saw without reading the manufacturer’s operating manual.  It is imperative you are versed in how the blade fits into the saw and how to operate the saw to avoid malfunctions, poor cuts and injury.  Take the time to read the manual and familiarize yourself with the tool before use.

Second, DON’T use your new blade on a saw that does not meet the correct specifications for the size of your new blade.  The saws that work with diamond blades are made for particular saw blades.  Using a blade that is too large or small for the saw you have will set you up for failure and potentially severe injury.

Third, DON’T operate your water cutter without a blade guard.  The purpose of the blade guard in wet tile cutting is multifold.  Of course a blade guard is there as a safety feature to protect your fingers.  It also, however, ensures that the water that is splashing off of the blade during use hits the guard and makes its way back to the blade, reducing friction to the blade as it cuts and preserving the longevity of the blade while keeping cuts smooth and precise.  That pesky blade guard also does a good job of keeping you dry while operating the saw.

A fourth DON’T is also mentioned in the DOS, but is worth reiterating here.  DON’T operate your diamond blade without safety gear.  Heavy duty gloves and goggles may not be en vogue, but losing a finger does is an expensive way to get out of remodeling your master bathroom.  Wear the gear and reduce your risk of harm.


Contact U.S. SAWS today to discuss your diamond blade options.


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