How to Start a Machine-cut stone manufacturing business.

How to Start a Machine-cut stone manufacturing business.

stone quarry in Juja, Nairobi, Kenya
Demand for machine-cut building and construction stone is very high in Nairobi and Kenya in general.
Currently, one has to wait for an average of 2 days to get an order as the queue is usually very long. The Lorries in the video below are all waiting to get a chance to load. Most of them will get their chance the next day.

In Nairobi, the best machine-cut stones are found in Juja near Thika area.
The most prudent method of acquiring land is to approach a land owner and lease a few acres of land.
You then acquire the stone cutting machine.
The machine has diamond cutting teeth which can easily cut through stone. See the video below.
The machine is laid on a rail track. The rail track sets the size of the stone. The most common stone sizes are 200mm thick, 150mm thick and 100mm thick. All stone size prices are the same.
machine cut stone quarry in Juja,Kenya


The stone price varies with the quality of stone. When the quarry is new, i.e. the stones on the top layer of the quarry are soft; these can go for as low as 15 shillings each.
A Caterpillar Dozer is used to level the ground for the stone –cutting machine to move on. See the video below.
The stones on the lower section of the quarry are hard and sell for 27 shillings per piece.
A piece is of dimensions 200mm by 400mm by 200mm.

Structural tests
The soft stones can not be used on external walls or where the building structural design is made such that the masonry walling carries the load.
If used for structural walls, this can lead to the building collapsing. If used on external walls, they sip water into the house when it rains.

How to check the stone quality.

In the many years of experience in the course of my constructions, I have deduced an easy way to recognize a strong stone form a weak stone. A strong stone contains specs of glittering sand.
A weak stone contains specs of white spots.
Another easier way is to lift the stone till shoulder height and drop it against another stone. If it crushes, then its weak. The disadvantage of this method is that some porous stones will not break when dropped against other stones but when rained on, they sip in water into the house and get weak over time when exposed to rain. These kinds of stone should be used internally or when used externally, should be plastered.

Frank Gichuhi

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email Telephone +254721410684


  57 comments for “How to Start a Machine-cut stone manufacturing business.

  1. cece
    January 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Sounds like a brilliant idea Francis. The cost of stone also seems quite low compared to other places. In Kedowa (near Kericho), they sell the stone at sh 12/ft which is then dressed on one side for about sh8/ft. Since machine cuttingdresses all sides, it makes lots of economic sens. I think this is where masonry construction is headed to. I have been searching for this kind of machine on the internet but not finding any. Do you have some information about it?

  2. djfredour
    January 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    great piece of information, how can one get these kind of stones in provinces like kisumu? and at what prices?

  3. Chris
    February 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm


    Can you tell us about the use of hydraform in buidings in Kenya. I understand the cost is much lower and this could revolutionise low cost housing projects.


    • admin
      February 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Chris. Thanks for your comment. Hydrafoam is very suitable in areas where masonry stone is not available. Fortunately for Nairobi, stone is readily available and sells for around KES 25 per piece in Kiserian, Njiru and Juja where there are major quarries.
      In any given Bill of Quantities, walling is approximately 15% of the total cost of the house. Hydrafoam walling therefore will only constitute 15% of the total cost of the house so if there are any savings, this is negligible.
      For a housing project to realise savings, all other major elements such as roof, windows,doors and finishes have to be very cheap.

  4. September 23, 2011 at 6:59 am

    for a total solution to provision of low cost housing, check out this link

  5. stanley
    October 13, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Thanks for this information,am a land agent in thika and currently i have about 20 acres of land which consist of this type of stone around thika.Please contact me if you have any person interested.

    • October 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Ok Stanley.

  6. Salim
    January 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Admin, you say that the wall is 15% of the total housing cost. With hydraform blocks, you do not use extra cement to mortar the blocks thus saving alot on costs. while the normal blocks require cement in between to stick them together to form a wall.
    I stand corrected.

    • January 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Salim. Please rephrase your question. Do you mean that since you save on mortar while using soil blocks you will save alot? What i mean is that even if you saved 99% of walling, you will still remain with 85% of the rest of the house cost to deal with.

  7. Salim
    January 11, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Thanks for your reply. If you save 10% of the 15%. I think we would be saving 10% of the total cost. Today in Mombasa, the cost of building a whole floor is around 6M. 10% of 6M is 600,000shs which isnt bad at all. Consider if you had your fence as a wall or wanted to construct shops that require 1 window and a door.
    My surprise is that,this hasnt picked up so much in Kenya compared to other countries in Africa who have made beautiful houses by the way.
    Is it people are too ignorant to change or is it a class issue.

    • January 11, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Welcome Salim. If you save 10% of the 15% total cost, you will save approx less than 1 % of the total cost which is small.
      The cost of construction is measured by m2 unit so that its easier to compare costs. For example, the whole floor you describe should be described in m2 so that we can deduce the unit cost.
      Unfortunately Kenyans do not tap into construction experts such as architects, Quantity surveyors and Engineers for most of their constructions unlike other African countries e.g South Africa. This makes them construct using expensive methods. The best way to reduce construction costs is to use a holistic approach. See details here
      Its mostly the fact that consultants are few in Kenya and Kenyans themselves do not see the importance of using consultants .

  8. JAMES
    January 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Hi Frank,
    Thanks so much for this vital information.Meanwhile, Please ask Stanley (above) to get intouch with me through my email? Alternatively, you could provide me with his email address.

  9. Farida
    December 24, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Help Francis is stonecutting business still viable since you wrote this article

  10. Musembi
    January 28, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I ave quarry can u get somebody with machine whom we can share

  11. Mbaya
    May 7, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Hi Frank
    I am looking for someone with stone cutting machines willing to partner with me for the venture. i have about 5 acres of Quarry.

    The quarry is within some unexploited area and machine cut stones are retailing at 40/= per piece in the neighborhoods. Link me if there are any interested parties.

    • May 7, 2015 at 10:23 am

      ok. will do that.

      • paul Njenga
        February 17, 2016 at 1:02 am

        Hi franck
        does it matter which part of kenya?I have a quarry but i don’t have the machine.Can i get a person with the machine we make a ?deal

    • caleb
      June 4, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Hi can you assist me link up with h looking for a quarry

    • kahindi william
      September 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      contact me on this email. i have a stone cutting machine

      • george
        September 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

        am also looking 4 the machines. i operates some quarries but i use th old method

    • December 12, 2015 at 6:09 am

      Hi mbaya do y still hv the 5 acre.
      Where is the land?
      Is it in meru.
      Are u still looking for a partner

  12. tom
    May 15, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    I have aquarry site and we have been using old method of cutting stones ie cheselling and ithink its high time we be efficient. The only problem the stone is very hard. Advice

    • kahindi william
      September 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      where is the quarry located at?

  13. faith karanja
    May 30, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    hi.i am the owner of a percel of land ready 4 machine cut stones in juja along ndarugo river.

    • kahindi william
      September 7, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      would you be willing to lease some of that land?

    • Michael
      January 11, 2016 at 6:19 am

      Hi Faith,
      Is the Land for quarrying the machine cut stones still available.

  14. Michael Macharia Mwangi
    June 19, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Hi frank,

    Am looking for a stone cutting machine for hire …I have six acres land which I want to mine.

  15. SHEWIT
    July 17, 2015 at 6:57 am

    I am looking stone cutting machine in Kenya new one.
    Can you tell me pls where can i find.

    • Joe
      September 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      HI Shewit, Am also in the market for a reliable stone cutting machine, please advise the top three models in the market whose parts are readily available in Kenya. I will also share any info i stumble upon within my search. @ Bwana Francis (Admin) any pointers from your End?

      • H Nyoike
        February 16, 2016 at 10:30 am

        Are you still interested in a stone cutting machine?

  16. Dan
    October 1, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Hi gentlemen. The top two models are Pavoni and MACA. All are from Italy. Many people prefer Pavoni though its abit more expensive than Maca. Both are engine driven. There are other models like Rajani, which is manufactured locally and Magisa from Italy. Other models include: Damico, Magisa and various chinese models which are electric, meaning u have to have source of oower either electricity or a generator. The electric ones are far less expensive compared to the engine driven ones.

    • mwilaria
      June 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      How much is the Pavoni model?

    • Lucy Kiarie
      September 14, 2017 at 7:54 am

      Hi Dan, how can i contact you. i need a pavoni model. i have a quarry.

  17. Isaac
    December 14, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Looking for someone to partner and start a stone cutting using a machine. I have experience in that business and looking for capital input either in shares or loan. I am looking for Ksh. 15000000. (Fifteen million)

  18. gideon
    January 12, 2016 at 10:02 am


    I buy machine cut stones.If you have quarry currently running kindly contact me


  19. February 1, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Hello everyone,

    Are you looking for splitter machine for granite or any hard stone?

    See our web site and contact!

    • Victor
      June 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Im interested in starting the stone cutting business, kindly give me details and price of the machine. Victor

  20. H Nyoike
    February 9, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Hi. I have a Pavoni machine that i want to sale. It has recently been serviced and is in excellent working condition.

    • April 25, 2016 at 6:14 am

      Hi Nyoike.Do you still hav e the machine ? Kindly contact

    • July 4, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Nyoike, do you still have the stone cutting machine? How much is it?

    • Lucy Kiarie
      September 14, 2017 at 7:55 am

      Hi grace, do u stll have the machine? i need one contact me

  21. paul Njenga
    February 17, 2016 at 1:05 am

    I have a quarry in ol kalou but no machine.Kindly hook me up with guys with machine we make a deal

  22. kate
    March 1, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Hello everyone,I’m starting a business in supply of building materials.Anyone interested or any referrals please

    • Peter
      November 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Hello Kate

      I need like 3600 ft of very hard and very black machine cut stone from juja to be delivered in ongata rongai. What is the price per piece?

  23. Sylvia Juma
    March 12, 2016 at 3:04 am

    hi I’m Sylvia in Mombasa looking for someone we come up with a deal or negotiate with coz I have an 8acre piece of land that needs à machine to be worked on the place is in kilifi any one interested reach my email

  24. Ruto Kip
    July 2, 2016 at 9:13 am

    How do you know if a stone is suitable for building?
    Is there a way to determine hardness of stone so as to know the suitable machine for cutting them?
    What is the average cost in KES/USD for a granite stone cutting machine?
    We have around 2 acres on land covered by stone at home and I am interested in knowledge of the same.
    Kind regards.

  25. Samir
    July 14, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Francis,
    Your article is very interesting. What licenses and permits are required for one to start this stone cutting business?
    Thank you

  26. Amin Ahmad
    October 18, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Hi, Planning to start stone cutting business.
    Any idea price of used Maca machine.
    And availability contacts. Also contacts for new ones to compare prices. Also used Dorser good running condition.

  27. Juliet
    January 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Hi I am Selling a 3 acre quarry land in ndarugo at 11 million.

  28. Dennis
    February 18, 2017 at 3:01 am

    hi Dan,interested in stone chopping machine although I am not familiar with prices for the various models in the Kenyan market.I am based in mt Elgon.

    • Kagia
      April 4, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      hi,am in a position to assist you…kindly contact me .Thank you

  29. Evanson
    May 27, 2017 at 7:59 am

    How much is the stone cutting machine? Lets talk about the cheapest one..

  30. Eng. Casimir
    June 25, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Hi there I just wanted to know if there are specific rock types that are machine cut for construction industry. I have the same Idea of owning a quarry in western Kenya but I have not been able to come across the rock deposit same as the one in Juja.

    • lennox sifuna
      August 23, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      Hi sir my name is sifuna have been to ndarugu lukenya specifically looking and researching over the quarry bussiness I just realised it’s a good one but I realised there are different types of machines each pavoni,maga and Chinese which machine that is good for the bussiness and it’s pocket friendly thanks

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