How To Cut Retaining Wall Blocks: Tools & Tips

professional mason with gray helmet on cutting retaining wall blocks with a saw in backyard with a green ivy wall

Retaining wall blocks can be used for many different projects in your backyard. It’s common to have large retaining wall blocks that need trimming to fit into place. Therefore, you need to know how to cut retaining wall blocks. In this article we’ll identify the tools and process that you should use.

Tools Required To Cut Retaining Wall Blocks

To ensure safety, you should wear a pair of goggles, gloves and steel toe boots. You are probably already equipped with these safety items and are more focused on the saw. There are a few combinations you can decide between.

The best way to cut retaining wall blocks is with masonry saw. This will give you the best cut possible. However, if you do not have one and don’t want to buy a masonry saw, you have another option.

Assuming you have a skil saw, you can adapt it to cut retaining wall blocks. You will need to swap out the standard blade with a masonry blade instead. Additionally, you could always choose to hire a mason to perform the cuts for you.

How To Cut Retaining Wall Blocks Step By Step

Now let’s discuss the process once you get to a place where you are ready to cut the block. First, measure and mark the retaining wall block on both sides where you want to cut it. Then, start with the top, then flip the block over and cut the underside. A light tap is usually all you need to beak the block into two pieces

When using the saw, go slow and be prepared for some kick back. This usually occurs as you hit small pebbles in the concrete. You’ll also want to make sure there’s no windows around. These can get hit with a high velocity pebble coming off your saw blade.

It’s important to be smart about how you lay out your wall. This will help you minimize the number of cuts you make. Taking the time to plan out the first course can save you hours. Not to mention the additional cost in material if you’re cutting a bunch of blocks unnecessarily.

Masonry expert showing how to cut retaining wall blocks to fit an existing retaining wall with gray blocks


We encourage you to take our safety recommendations for both your attire and procedure. Use a masonry saw or a skil saw with a masonry blade to cut your blocks. Plan ahead and keep your work area free of windows or anything else that could break. Now you know how to cut retaining wall blocks and can finish your wall or other structure.