When installing an outside outlet or light, I'm use to outlining the box to be cut in and using a roto hammer or hammer drill and chiesel to cut out the hole. I had a helper recently mentioned an air tool that might make this job a whole lot easier and neater. Anyone have any suggestions as to what he might be talking about or some other tool that might make it easier? Thanks for the input.... Steve By the way, I'm talking about brick here. I forgot to mention that:)
Fein Multimaster is state of the art for straight cuts.
For circular cuts there are some tungsten carbide hole saws specifically designed for rough cutting exterior walls. These are NOT the ones used to knock-out sheet metal. They have a gritty, ultra rough, abrasive style edge. It permits attack on stucco and brick.
Normally pitched to plumbers, IIRC they are imported from Denmark. I just can't remember the band name.
Skip the air powered tools. Just too much trouble to set up for field work. They suck down energy -- meaning that you need 25Amps at 240V to keep up with your tempo. Most of that energy is lost in compression and expansion.
When I was cutting into block and concrete I used a side grinder with a diamond wheel to outline the cut and the air chisel to break out the meat but like Tesla says, you need a lot of power. I only have a 1HP compressor with a big tank but I had to chip a while, stop and let the tank fill up and chip some more. If you just had those little sausage tanks on a pancake compressor you would be there a while.
I have a smaller Bosch 11224VSR SDS rotary hammer that works pretty good for that kind of stuff. It can drill the outline and inner holes for the box location quickly and has enough chipping power with a 3/4" or 1-1/2" chisel to make fairly clean cuts. If I use anything larger, like an 1-1/2" hammer, I'm asking for trouble, like cracking the mortar joint and popping the whole brick loose. Although, I have been thinking of trying my big hammer with a heavy-wall core bit to make a hole for a round fixture box at some point.
I also use a 4" angle grinder with the dry-cut blade as mentioned. It does work great cutting brick, but it's kind of hard to use for something like a one-gang box without over cutting the corners. I've got one of those Rockwell Sonicrafter multi-cutters, but I have never tried to cut brick with it before.
On the one gang you drill the corners and connect the dots with the angle grinder to get a clean edge. You are still chipping out most of the meat. A 2" - 2 1/4" hole saw would help you there. I do find the air chisel gives you pretty good control without really banging the wall that hard.
I used to use the old 1/4" masonary bit trick. (drill a ton of little holes). Then I went to the grinder with a diamond wheel. Before putting up the tools (for a pen and code book) I was using the grinder and a small chisel bit that fit in my SDS drill.