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Wall chaser buying guide

Guide written by:
Arnold, Researcher / handyman, Birmingham

Arnold, Researcher / handyman, Birmingham

10 guides
In electrical and plumbing projects, it's often necessary to insert ducts or pipes; this is where the wall chaser comes in. It can be connected to a vacuum cleaner, allowing you to create clean grooves in concrete, wood and plaster. Let's cut to the 'chase'!

Important features

  • Disc
  • Cutter
  • Cutting depth
  • Cutting width

Wall chasers: disc or cutting head?





Disc chaser


Equipped with 2 to 6 discs, they can cut through any material almost effortlessly.

The discs in question are segmented diamond discs equal to pretty much any cutting task. These models are the most widespread and versatile models of wall chaser.






Cutter chaser


Similar in appearance to a router, these models are equipped with a milling cutter and can only cut relatively soft materials such as wood or plaster.

Don't try to use a milling cutter to make grooves in hard materials such as concrete or stone!


What's the right wall chaser for my purposes?





Disc and cutter wall chasers are different in terms of both ergonomics and technical characteristics.

A disc chasers looks like a circular plunge saw except that it can cut concrete; a cutter chaser looks like a router for grooving in wood or plaster.


The disc chaser is a powerful machine held in both hands, while the cutter chaser is more precise and only held in one hand.


Groovin' materials


Wood and plaster can be grooved with a milling cutter, i.e. the smaller, one-handed machine.

Concrete and other hard materials require the more substantial, two-handed disc chaser to make grooves in them.


What are the important characteristics of a wall chaser?

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Cutting depth


Cutting depth can be adjusted by means of a control knob, in a range of about 5-75mm.
 

Cutting width


Adjustable from 10-40mm with a set of spacers between discs, or on a cutter model, by changing the cutter diameter.

 

Number of discs


The more discs you have, the easier the work and the longer your groove will last! 6-disc machines are ideal for professionals requiring regular use. For home DIY use, you models with 2 or 4 discs.
 

Diameter of discs


This relates directly to the machine's chasing capacity. The greater the diameter, the more powerful the machine, the faster it runs, and of course the heavier it is!
 

Dust removal


Note that wall chasers produce a lot of dust and debris. This is why some models are designed to be connected to a vacuum cleaner. Make sure the vacuum is powerful enough to absorb the flow of particles produced by the chasing machine.


How to use a wall chaser?

As with any type of cutting or drilling work on walls or floors, make sure you've decided in advance:

  • What you want to embed: electric ducts, water supply or wastewater pipes
  • The depth of groove: base this on the size of your pipe or duct
  • The width of groove: same deal as for depth
  • The route of the duct or pipe through the wall or other surface
 
Once all these parameters are set, you can mark up your groove. This can be done any way you like: chalk line, pencil, ketchup... woah! Be careful, as the quality of your tracing has an impact on the quality of your groove.

If you trace freehand in pencil, it'll be difficult to ensure a straight groove. And with chasing, you definitely want to follow the straight and narrow path. Some high-end chasers are even equipped with a laser to help guide your cutting.


What precautions should I take when using a chaser?



There are lots, especially in renovation!

Check with a specialized detector that the wall or floor you plan to groove doesn't have any existing electrical ducts, heating pipes etc.
 
Always wear personal protective equipment: ear protection, goggles, breathing mask and gloves.
 
To make things easier for you, deep grooves (upwards of 20mm) in hard materials can be made in several passes, gradually increasing in depth.
 
Keep children and pets away to avoid injuries or at least provide them with protection... Well OK, if Fido doesn't appreciate being made to wear a noise-cancelling helmet, just get him out of the way!
 

Make sure you have enough length of cable
to make your groove without creating an obstruction or hazard.
 
Hold onto your chaser with a firm grip!
 
Make sure you keep sight of your groove while you're working... That's why it's a good idea to connect a vacuum cleaner to keep your track clear of dust.
 
If you're chasing in a wall made of hard material, work on a diagonal so as not to weaken the structure.


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Guide written by:

Arnold, Researcher / handyman, Birmingham 10 guides écrits

Arnold, Researcher / handyman, Birmingham

I'm a trained chemist working in the pharmaceutical industry as well as a self-taught DIY enthusiast. Oh, I'm also a new dad, but that doesn't stop me from tinkering because working with my hands is second nature to me. I'm motivated by the extra energy it gives me - and I love making things for my daughter.

The word 'tinkering' doesn't always describe what I do in my free time, though. I've already installed five kitchens, renovated a flat and built an extension for my own house. Over the last three years, I've pretty much done it all: insulation, plasterboard, electrical work, patching, painting, parquet, sanitation. That basically adds up to 60 m2 of work made entirely with my own two hands!

Lucky for me, my wife is passionate about decorating and interior design. It means I don't have to worry about things like colours and patterns.

My motto: great tools and materials are only half the battle, the rest is patience and attention to detail. So, if you need advice, look no further! We're here to help and we're passionate about what we do.

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