How to Cut an Asphalt Driveway

Kenneth W. Michael Wills

As a homeowner, if you have an asphalt driveway, eventually you may need to cut away sections of it for repairs or to change your landscaping. Removing those sections with a jackhammer could prove very labor intensive and requires great precision to preserve the aesthetics of the driveway.

Cutting asphalt requires a specialized saw.

Your best option is to use a walk-behind asphalt saw with a wet blade. With this tool, you can cut the asphalt with ease and precision, while saving time and money.

  1. Sweep the area of the driveway you plan to cut to remove any debris.

  2. Mark the area you want to cut with a chalk line and then score the chalk line with a screwdriver to set as a guideline for cutting.

  3. Put a diamond wet-blade with hard bond on your asphalt saw. Hook the water hose to the water pump on your asphalt saw. The water is crucial for keeping dust to a minimum when cutting.

  4. Raise the blade off the ground, then roll the saw into place and lower the blade to the surface to prepare for cutting.

  5. Turn on asphalt saw's engine and start the water pump. Let the engine get up to speed then begin walking forward to cut the asphalt. Walk at a slow to moderate pace and do not force the blade. Make sure you cut in a straight line so you do not damage the blade.

  6. Change directions for your cut by raising the blade completely off the asphalt, repositioning the saw, and lowering the blade again.

  7. Stop walking once you complete your cut and raise the blade free from the asphalt surface. Turn off the engine and water pump to finish.


To set the cutting depth of the blade, dig out the edge of your driveway until you reach the base of the asphalt, which is usually made of gravel. Use your measuring tape and measure from the base to the surface of the asphalt. Set the depth of the saw blade according your measurements.