Aimed at:- Professional builders and construction workers.
Pros:- It really works, a very efficient way of cutting apertures even in walls over 9 inches thick.
I first saw the Husqvarna K760 Cut-n-Break at the Executive Hire Show early in the year and I remember thinking at the time that it was a brilliant solution to cutting apertures in masonry and concrete. Since then, I have discussed it with various tradespeople and, as expected, they often expressed some misgivings about how a dual disc system would work, and also the “hassle” (their words) of having to break the masonry in the resulting channels cut before being able to cut any deeper. Then my own doubts started to creep in, so when the Cut-n-Break was sent for review I thought now is my chance to decide the issue once and for all.
Husqvarna is synonymous with quality and this machine is no exception. Everything is put together very well, in its most compact and neatest configuration. The covers for various vital parts are robust and well sealed against the dusty and very tough conditions under which this machine will work.
Husqvarna has built in a number of key design features that really do make this machine easier to use and ensure that it has a long working life. For example Active Air Filtration centrifugally circulates air to filter out heavier particles so that they do not get inside the engine with the inevitable wear that will result. A Smart Carb feature maintains high power and reduces fuel consumption.
I was also very interested in the Dura Starter and EasyStart System because there is nothing I hate more than pulling on motor starting cords with little result except hopeful sputtering. The Dura Starter system is a dust sealed starter unit in which the starter pulley and other components are literally sealed in so that they are virtually maintenance free. The EasyStart System reduces the pull resistance in the starter cord by up to 40% by reducing engine compression during starting. In my view this was very effective. It took me only two pulls to start the brand new motor on this machine once I had filled up with fuel and set the controls correctly. It was also able to idle happily at rest without constant blips on the throttle that two stroke machines sometimes need. With vibration from machines now a Health and Safety issue, the Husqvarna isolates the user’s hands from engine vibration by having both handles mounted on strong springs, although gloves are still recommended – for general protection, grip and extra vibration absorption. But with very respectable official vibration readings on the front handle of 1.9m/s2 and 2.8m/s2 on the rear handle, users can work significant parts of the day with this machine.
When I first picked it up, the Cut-n-Break felt very heavy, and at 11.1 Kgs with cutters it is not lightweight. But in truth once I was actually using it, the weight is a safety factor, along with the gyroscopic forces generated by the spinning cutters as they tend to keep the machine in the cut and help avoid kickbacks. These kickbacks, which at the least could be very frightening and at worst, fatal, are to be avoided at all costs. You get the picture; you have to keep your wits about you when using it.
The system of dual cutting discs is a very ingenious way of cutting in deep.
The outside of the specially-designed diamond discs are mounted flush so they do not drag against the sides of the cut, but the cut can only proceed as deep as the middle of the discs to the drive housing. Once the length of the cut has been done, the specially designed crowbar provided with the kit is used to break out the centre of the channel. Contrary to the misgivings expressed by my trade friends, breaking out the bits was very easy especially with bricks, as they tend to break off with the mortar layers. Once the cut channel is clear, the discs can be reintroduced to the channel and the process starts again and is repeated until you reach the other side of the wall! The arm holding the discs allows a depth of about 400mm to be cut – well past the depth of a typical double-skinned brick wall.
The tradesmen were also doubtful about how easy it would be to finish the required aperture, as clearly it would be highly dangerous to use the K760 to cut a horizontal channel across the top. The answer, for a double skin brick wall at least, seems to be to cut a couple more channels in the middle of the aperture and then use a hammer to knock out the rest – I assure you it comes out more easily than you think. In concrete, an SDS breaker would do a similar job of knocking out the middle. In either case making an accurate aperture would be quicker than knocking through by hand. Some builders use a single disc cutter that works well enough on single skin brick walls if the disc is big enough, but is not really an accurate nor safe enough method to be used on a double skin brick wall. So the Husqvarna double disc system provides a safer and more efficient way of cutting apertures in masonry.
I must also point out that the built-in dust suppressing water system built into the machine operated very well. Without it, the user would very quickly disappear into a cloud of dust, so simple safety procedures demand that the water system is used every time. The result of using it is the inevitable fine sludge that can coat the front of the machine, the floor and surrounding walls, but it is fantastically effective at reducing dust to an absolute minimum.
When it comes to summing up this machine I am happy to say that I think I was right and the doubtful tradesmen were wrong. It is a powerful monster that will repay careful, safe and considered use, but the results speak for themselves. Making apertures in masonry is set to become a lot easier if the Husqvarna K760 Cut-n-Break has its way.
For more information, please visit www.husqvarna.co.uk