The mason's trowel was designed to spread mortar and butter brick, not to cut brick. But despite cuts and damaged eyes, masons all over the United States and Canada still cut brick with a trowel. The quick way unfortunately is often also the accepted way, even if it's unsafe. USING THE BRICK HAMMER The brick hammer is still one of the safest, most effective tools for cutting brick by hand. It should be the tool usually used to cut brick by hand. The mason holds the brick in the palm of his hand and strikes it with the hammer in his opposite hand. The brick hammer is used to cut soaps, clips, and header halves. TILE HAMMERS, SETS, AND CHISELS The tile hammer, as the name implies, is used to cut glazed tile and sometimes brick. Similar to the brick hammer but smaller, it makes a more accurate cut. Use the brick set to make precise straight cuts that will be left exposed. Place the brick on a firm surface, position the brick set on top of the brick, and strike the set with a hammer. Brick chisels are used to cut out old masonry or to fit brick around pipes or other accessories in the wall. SAFE SAWING Today, 90% of the brick cuts are made on the masonry table saw. Whenever you use a masonry saw check to make sure: the correct blade for the job is being used; you wear eye and ear protection; you cut slowly and steadily.