How to Cut Through Blacktop
When you install a deck on your home or make some other improvements near your driveway, you may need to remove small portions of blacktop. You can cut through blacktop with a circular saw and a special diamond asphalt blade. Diamond asphalt blades are available at home improvement centers in both a wet and dry cut. Most general projects only require a dry cut blade. Due to the weight of blacktop, it is a good idea to have a friend help you move the cut pieces.
Mark the area you are cutting with a grease marker or other marking mechanism. Dig around the edge of the blacktop with a small garden shovel to find the thickness of the asphalt.
Adjust the depth of the circular saw deck. There is a knob on most circular saws near the rear of the saw. Turn the knob counterclockwise and push the saw deck toward the top of the saw. You want the blade depth below the deck to be the depth of the blacktop. Turn the deck adjustment knob clockwise to secure it in place.
Put on your leather work gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask. Plug the circular saw power cord into an electrical supply. Position the blade 2-inches above one corner of your mark in the blacktop.
Squeeze the trigger on the saw and allow the blade to reach full speed. Gently lower the blade into the blacktop at your markings and begin cutting. Cut from one corner to an opposite corner. When you reach the opposite corner raise the saw out of the blacktop and release the trigger.
Cut the remaining three sides just as you did the first side. The corners are still solid near the bottom of the blacktop. Insert a cold chisel into the saw cut lines near the corners and tap the end of the chisel with a hammer to completely free the piece of blacktop.
Lift the piece of blacktop away from the area, using a shovel or crowbar to pry it up. Ask a friend to assist you in carrying the blacktop to an area for disposal.
Things You Will Need
- Grease marker
- Circular saw with diamond asphalt blade
- Leather work glove
- Safety goggles
- Dust mask
- Cold chisel
- For large pieces of blacktop over 2-feet square, cut blacktop into several pieces to remove.
- If cutting larger portions of the driveway, rent a paver saw from a home improvement center. Paver saws are larger and better able to handle large jobs. Your rental agent will advise you of the proper use of their paver saw.