The Right Tool For The Job - Concrete Removal

Concrete is tough.  It’s made to last.  It’s made to take a beating and still stand up strong, stable and resilient.  It’s not meant to give in easily.

Concrete puts up strong resistance and if you don’t have the right tools, demolishing and removing it can be arduous and time-consuming.    Concrete demolition is heavy duty work, but with the right equipment and understanding of what’s required and which tools are most appropriate for the task - it can be pretty straightforward.

  • What are you demolishing?
  • How big is the job?
  • Does it require a high level of accuracy?
  • What kind of concrete are you dealing with?
  • Will you be breaking up the concrete entirely or just drilling holes through?
  • How big are the holes you need to drill - and how many?

There’s a big difference between drilling through concrete and high-impact demolition and different tools are required for each project.

Getting all the information beforehand is a useful exercise and could save considerable time and effort down the line.  You may also find that paying a contractor to do the work is not necessarily the best option either. 

With a range of specialised concrete equipment available for hire including pneumatic scabblers, hydraulic splitters, demolition saws, jackhammers, masonry drills and rotary hammers, you may find you can do the job yourself using hired equipment just as effectively and of course, far more economically.

Following is a snapshot of some of the most common concrete removal projects and what type of equipment should be used.  Of course, it’s always advisable to get expert advice before starting any concrete removal job because the requirements of each one are unique and each piece of equipment performs a slightly different function. 

Cutting sections out of a concrete slab                  

A jackhammer is the default tool for this type of job, but when a high degree of accuracy is required (for example cutting a drainage channel or cutting through a brick wall to install a doorway or window), it’s advisable to use a demolition saw to demarcate where the section is to be cut.  By first sawing parallel cuts on the slab, the jackhammer can then be controlled to remove the required section. 

Demolishing large sections of concrete

When there’s an extensive area of concrete to be removed (for example a patio or driveway), it can be helpful to cut the slab into smaller, more manageable sections before using a jackhammer.  A demolition saw can be used to make cuts across and down the concrete surface and then a jackhammer can be used to break up those sections into smaller, more manageable pieces for easier removal.

Jackhammers come in various different sizes and options and it’s important to choose the most appropriate one for the job.

Most jackhammers are categorised by weight which correlates to the impact energy that they’re capable of making (measured in joules).  The heavier the equipment, the more powerful they are.  For example, a breaker hammer is the biggest hitter and is used for breaking up large slabs of concrete and pulling up tiles, whilst a hydraulic breaker can be used for small to medium projects where electric power isn’t available or not easily accessible. 

Splitting concrete pillars, piles and barriers

For heavy duty projects, heavy duty equipment is required.  But it’s also crucial to choose equipment appropriate to the job.  For example, a hydraulic operated splitter is used for splitting concrete pillars, piles and barriers whilst pneumatic air rock drills are used for underground anchor drilling and running core drills.  These machines come in various sizes and capabilities, so it’s advisable to discuss your requirements with industry professionals who can make informed recommendations.

Removing concrete on vertical surfaces

Some concrete removal jobs require a greater degree of control over the equipment eg when working with vertical surfaces and tight spaces.  Lightweight handheld pneumatic scabblers are ideal for these types of jobs where removal or roughing up of concrete in small, hard-to-reach areas and walls is required.

Drilling holes in concrete

Many construction and maintenance projects require holes to be drilled in concrete.  A rotary hammer is the right tool, but it’s critical to choose the right type of hammer, the right bit/tool interface system and the right drill bit to achieve optimal results.  

If you hire concrete equipment in Perth from Concrete Hire, the team is there to ask and answer questions to make sure that you have the right information and equipment to get the job done properly.  With over 25 years of experience in the concrete and construction industry, we make sure all your concrete equipment hire needs are met and that you achieve optimum results, on time and on budget. 

View and book your concrete equipment online at or give us a call on 0418 222 273 and discuss your needs with our experienced, friendly team.