Concrete Planers

Concrete scarifiers, also known as concrete planers or milling machines, remove concrete faster and more aggressively than grinders. In order to chip away at the concrete surface, multi-tipped cutting wheels, or flails, rotate at high speeds. Depending on the job, you can choose from a variety of interchangeable cutter assemblies.

The range of equipment choices includes small handheld units with cutting widths of 2 to 3 inches, as well as self-propelled walk-behind machines with working paths of 4 to 16 inches. There is a wide range of production rates for walk-behind models, depending on the size and horsepower of the machine, the material to be removed, the hardness of the concrete, and the type of cutter used.

Many machines allow you to adjust the cutting depth, and some models can remove as much as 1/4 inch of material in one pass. Self-leveling scarifying heads on more sophisticated models automatically adjust to contours in the floor. With scarifiers, you can choose from a variety of power options (gas, electric, diesel, or air) and hook up a vacuum to collect debris and dust.

An individual cutting wheel is mounted on a shaft attached to a removable drum. For increased scarifying action and faster production rates, machines with more shafts per drum generally hold more cutters per loading. Make sure the machine has quick-change drums so that cutters can be swapped or replaced quickly.


It is possible to perform a wide range of profiles with scarifiers thanks to a variety of interchangeable cutting wheels and drum setups. Applications include:

  • Removing coatings 
  • Light or heavy milling
  • Grooving walkways to make them slip resistant
  • Removing trip hazards in sidewalks
  • Leveling misaligned concrete joints and uneven surfaces

The majority of cutters are constructed of tungsten carbide or hardened steel and available in a variety of designs to suit a variety of purposes. Different diameters and widths, number of cutting teeth, and tip types are available (blunt or flat for aggressive removal, sharp for gentler scarifying action, or angled for scraping). There are also many grades of cutters available, with ultra-premium grades offering a substantially longer service life and a more predictable finish. Manufacturers can advise you on the optimum cutter style and grade for your needs.


You may obtain varied finishes by modifying the spacing and pattern of the cutter assemblies, in addition to changing the cutter type. The smoother the finish, the closer the cuts are spaced. A gritty finish is achieved by using a wide spacing. To each task, some contractors bring drums supplied with various cutter kinds and layouts.

Scarifiers typically leave a rough finish and may cause ridges in the concrete. If you require a smoother finish after scarifying, you may need to grind the surface.

Although both tungsten carbide and steel cutters are capable of performing identical tasks, tungsten carbide cutters are more aggressive and endure longer, making them suitable for projects requiring high production rates or scarifying of high-psi concrete. Steel cutters have a lower life expectancy but are less costly.