How to cut asphalt

8 Steps To Learn How To Cut Asphalt With Confidence

As you might imagine, cutting through asphalt is extraordinarily difficult – even for a seasoned professional who’s been doing it for years with the best equipment! Unlike some other concrete surfaces, asphalt is a dense and complex mix of aggregates bound by bitumen – which means it’s rough, tough and super-abrasive. All those embedded rocks and the toughened hardness of a road creates a serious barrier, meaning learning how to cut asphalt not just a matter of basic know-how, but something that requires highly-specialised tools and finely-honed techniques.

All sound a bit daunting? Well, certainly from the perspective of those who’ve successfully done it before, asphalt cutting can definitely be done efficiently and perfectly – with the right approach and the best gear.

The essentials of asphalt cutting

How to cut asphalt? It’s about preparation and equipment choice – both of which are just as critical as the actual execution. You’ll need a high-powered concrete saw capable of hard-core road sawing with a specific asphalt-appropriate diamond blade – but that’s not all. Don’t forget to factor in the asphalt thickness, the type of asphalt aggregate we’re dealing with, and then the perfect selection of the blade specifications and the right techniques for the specific job.

Step-by-step guide to cutting asphalt

Need us to break it down a little more? Let’s dive into everything you need to know about the best way to cut asphalt for your particular project:

1. Choosing the right saw & blade

The first step in asphalt cutting is selecting the appropriate saw. You’ll need a high-torque, petrol-powered concrete saw, which is absolutely ideal for the task. For the blade, a diamond blade designed for abrasive materials just like asphalt will ensure a clean cut and maximised blade longevity.

2. Pre-cutting preparation

Before you start cutting, make sure the asphalt surface is as clean as possible, and then mark out those cutting lines as exactly and clearly as possible. This will all prevent unnecessary blade wear whilst also maintaining precision all the way through your critical cuts.

3. Cutting depth

Adjust the blade so that it cuts about 5-7mm deeper than the actual asphalt thickness. Why’s that? That will help you achieve a nice, full-depth cut whilst not putting too much strain on your precious and expensive saw.

4. Water cooling system

Ideally, use a saw with built-in water cooling, which is there not only to cool that hard-working blade but also to reduce harmful messy and extreme dust. It will keep your blade potent for longer and also keep things safer for the cutter.

For a small, quick job, you might get away with dry asphalt cutting, especially if you use diamond blades that can cope with the heat.

5. Cutting technique

Just doing straight cuts? Use guide boards, which are straight wooden or metal edges that are secured in place. Then, maintain a steady and moderate speed as you move forward, allowing the blade to do its thing without overheating.

6. Handling overcuts

You don’t want to overcut those corners, so you’ll need to pre-plan the end points of each cut to avoid damaging the areas surrounding your cut line for a perfect, clean finish. So mark out those end-points with chalk or paint, and slow down as you approach your precision-stop.

7. Multiple passes for thick layers

If we’re dealing with exceptionally thick asphalt here, think about whether you’ll need multiple passes with your powerful blade – steadily increasing the depth in small steps to avoid straining the saw.

8. Post-cutting measures

Happy with your cut? Clean the area of debris and dust and check the condition of your saw and blade. Do your regular maintenance to ensure the equipment and blade are in tip-top shape for your next project.

Call us today to find out more

Call Mark or Jason today and speak directly to a skilled, professional, concrete cutter to discuss your project today.

Saw cutting asphalt: Just need a real expert?

Mastering the art of asphalt cutting is not easy! Whether you’re cutting asphalt driveways or something else at your place, realise that it involves quite a bit more than a basic understanding of the right tools and techniques for the perfect, precision cut. Simply looking for professional-grade results in asphalt cutting? Consider giving the hard-working and ultra-experienced team at Hard Core VIC a call – because we have all the expertise, local experience and after-job support you can imagine.

Servicing Melbourne metro, all surrounds and the Mornington Peninsula, we can handle every concrete cutting & concrete drilling project under the Aussie sun! Give Hard Core VIC a shout today for a fast quote, quick service and a great price.