How to Cut Asphalt Without a Saw?

How to Cut Asphalt Without a Saw?

If you’ve ever had the need to cut asphalt without a saw, you know that it’s not an easy task. Asphalt is tough and difficult to cut through, especially with the wrong tools. In this article, we discuss how to cut asphalt without a saw and provide some useful tips on getting the job done right.

Why You Would Need To Cut Asphalt?

There are a number of reasons why you may need to cut asphalt without a saw, including creating driveway edges or installing drainage pipes and other utilities. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand how best to proceed so that your repair job lasts for years to come. [1]

Why You Would Need To Cut Asphalt?

Clean the Area

Before you begin cutting your asphalt, it’s important to clean the area of any debris. This will help prevent any dirt or rocks from getting into the cut and causing a weak spot in the asphalt.

Use a broom or leaf blower to remove any foreign objects from the area before beginning your work. [1]

Preparing to Cut

Before you begin cutting asphalt, there are a few things you need to do to ensure your safety and the success of your project.

  • Wear protective gear – Eye protection, hearing protection, long pants, and closed-toe shoes are essential when it comes to cutting asphalt. Also wear a dust mask if you have one.
  • Mark your cut lines – Take a piece of chalk and mark the line that you need to follow when cutting. This will help keep the saw blade straight and make your job easier. If you’re using a circular saw, you can even use a straight edge as a guide for keeping the blade on track.
  • Clear away any debris – Make sure to clear away any stones, dirt, or dust that may be on the surface of the asphalt. This will help keep your blades sharp and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Pre-drill pilot holes – If you’re using a circular saw, pre-drilling a few small pilot holes in the asphalt can help make your job easier. This will also help keep the blade from wandering and ensure that you make a straight cut. [1]

Diamond blade

A diamond blade is a great way to cut asphalt without the need for a saw. The blade has tiny diamonds embedded in it, which allows the blade to make precise cuts into asphalt surfaces. You can use these blades with either an angle grinder or circular saw, making them an ideal tool for any DIY project. When using a diamond blade, be sure to select a blade specifically designed for asphalt cutting.

When using a diamond blade, make sure you use the correct RPM for the blade size and thickness of your asphalt material to ensure an even, clean cut. You’ll also want to keep the blades cool by continuously applying water while it is cutting. This will help increase the life of the blades and prevent them from overheating. [2]

Chalk line

One of the most popular methods of cutting asphalt without a saw is to use chalk line or string. This involves marking the area to be cut with a line of chalk or string, then using an appropriate tool to cut in along the line. The tools used for this method can vary depending on how thick and strong the asphalt is, but commonly include chisels or blades.

Chalk line method is best for shallow cuts and works well for trimming the edges of asphalt, especially when preparing for a repair job. To use this method, mark the area you need to cut with a chalk line or string; then, using a chisel or blade, make sure to maintain an even depth while cutting along your marked line. It’s important to be very careful when using this method, as it can easily damage the asphalt if done incorrectly or with too much force. [2]


The hammer and chisel method is one of the most popular ways to cut asphalt without a saw. It involves using a sharp chisel, typically made of hardened steel, along with a heavy-duty hammer to chip away at the asphalt surface. This method works well for cutting into large asphalt surfaces, such as driveways or parking lots.

The first step is to mark the area where you want to cut. To ensure a clean, even cut, use stakes and string or marking paint to create straight lines. Next, using your hammer and chisel, make several 1-inch deep cuts along your marked line. Once you’ve made these cuts, it should be easy to break away the asphalt along the line.


This method is effective, but it can be time-consuming if you’re trying to cut a large area. Additionally, the chisel should be sharp and made of hardened steel in order to make clean cuts; using a dull chisel or one made from softer material will likely cause jagged edges. [2]

Chisel or regular screwdriver

The simplest tool you can use to cut asphalt is actually a chisel or regular screwdriver. You will need to hammer the point of the chisel into the asphalt and push down on it. Chiseling like this will eventually break through the asphalt and create an edge. This method works best for small sections, such as cutting out a driveway patch or even smaller sections around a manhole cover. [3]


If you don’t have access to a saw, but need to cut asphalt, the broom and hammer method is an effective alternative. This method involves using a sharp-edged chisel tool and a heavy hammer or sledgehammer to hit the chisel into the asphalt.

Start by marking out your desired area with chalk or paint. Then, use the chisel to create a small cut along the line you’ve marked out. Next, place the metal head of a broom in between the two cuts and start tapping it with your hammer or sledgehammer. Keep tapping until the asphalt breaks apart along your desired line. [3]


If you’re looking for an effective and cost-efficient way to cut asphalt without a saw, then you should consider using a grinder. Grinders are a great option because they can handle the tough job of cutting through asphalt quickly and easily. Plus, there’s no need to invest in expensive saw blades or waste time with manual labor.

When using a grinder to cut asphalt, it’s important to wear protective gear and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Make sure you choose a diamond blade that is designed for asphalt cutting and is the right size for your grinder.

Asphalt grinders typically come in two sizes – 4-inch and 9-inch – so make sure you select the right one. [3]


Concrete Blade

A concrete blade is an essential tool for cutting asphalt without a saw. It is specially designed to cut through the tough, rigid material that makes up asphalt and can do so quickly and efficiently. To use it, you need to attach the blade onto your power drill or circular saw. Make sure you have eye protection before starting as there may be dust generated from the cutting process.

Once you have your concrete blade attached, you can start marking out the area that needs to be cut. It is important to make sure that your lines are straight and neat before beginning the cutting process. Once this is done, adjust your drill or saw speed to a low RPM to prevent overheating of the blade and ensure an even cut. This low speed will also minimize dust generataion.

Start the cutting process by making small incisions along your marked out line. Gradually increase the depth of each cut until you have reached the desired depth and width. It is important to take your time with this process and not rush in order to get a smooth, neat finish. [3]

Masonry Blade

Masonry blades are made from high-grade steel that is designed to cut through hard surfaces such as asphalt. They come in a variety of sizes and can be used with an angle grinder or circular saw. They work the best when you have a straight, clean cut line to follow.

To use a masonry blade on your asphalt, start by marking the area you want to cut. Make sure your line is clear and easy to follow. Next, attach the masonry blade to your angle grinder or circular saw and secure it firmly. Now you are ready to start cutting!

When cutting asphalt with a masonry blade, make sure to go slow and steady. This will help ensure that the cut is even and smooth. It is also important to wear protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, when operating any power tool. If you are cutting a large piece of asphalt, it may be beneficial to use an extension cord so that you can have enough length to reach the entire area. [3]

Masonry Blade

Using a Utility Knife

Cutting asphalt without a saw is possible with the use of a utility knife. This method may be suitable for small asphalt surfaces or areas that require precision.

Start by marking out the area you wish to cut with chalk, and then use the blade of your utility knife to score a line along this section. Once scored, place two pieces of wood on either side of the line and press down firmly to break the asphalt apart. It’s best practice to wear safety glasses when attempting this approach, as it is possible for small pieces of asphalt to fly off during the process. [1]

Using Scissors

Scissors are an easy and inexpensive way to cut asphalt without a saw. All you need is a pair of scissors with sharp blades for cutting asphalt. Before using scissors, make sure the asphalt is dry and clean to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the blades. To use scissors, simply place the blade on one side of the asphalt at the desired cut line and press down firmly. You may need to apply some pressure and disperse the heat while cutting to ensure that the asphalt is cut fully. Once you have completed your desired line, remove the scissors and press down on both ends of the line to break up any remaining pieces. [1]

Pull Bar

If you don’t have access to a saw, the Pull Bar Method is a great solution. This method involves using a pull bar and an asphalt cutter (sometimes called a highway rake) to break up the asphalt. First, use the cutter in order to create straight lines in the asphalt marked by scoring them with shallow grooves. These cuts will guide your pull bar for accuracy.

Next, use the pull bar to break up the marked sections of asphalt like a lever and mallet. You will need to apply force evenly on all sides of the cut lines. It’s important that you wear gloves during this process as it can be physically demanding and your hands will get dirty from the asphalt. Be sure to wear eye protection as well, as chips of asphalt can fly off the pull bar.

Once you’ve broken up the marked sections of asphalt, use your rake to clear away the loose pieces and smooth out the surface. If done correctly, this Pull Bar Method should create an even cut in your asphalt without the need for a saw or any other special tools. [1]

Using Multi-Tool

Cutting asphalt without a saw can be easily done with multi-tool blades that are specifically designed for cutting asphalt. It is important to note that these blades will not work with standard power tools and must be used with a multi-tool.

When cutting asphalt without a saw, you will need to wear safety glasses and protective gloves as the particles released while cutting can be dangerous. Additionally, you will need to make sure that the tool can handle the job correctly or you may risk damaging it beyond repairs.

Once these safety precautions have been taken, start by marking the asphalt with a chalk line in order to ensure accuracy when cutting. [1]

Rubber Mallet

If you don’t have a saw, you can still cut through asphalt with a rubber mallet. To do this, first mark the area where you want to make the cut. Then, heat up the marks with a direct flame or propane torch and wait for them to soften before striking at an angle with the rubber mallet. Strike lightly at first and then increase the force gradually if necessary. The heat will weaken the asphalt enough for it to crack along the marked lines.

Once you’ve made your initial line of cracks, drive a chisel between them and tap with the mallet until you can chip away at larger chunks of pavement. Keep repeating this process until you’ve cut through all of the asphalt in that area.

It’s important to note that this method is not ideal for cutting asphalt, as the rubber mallet can cause chips and breaks in the surrounding pavement. If possible, try to use a saw instead. But if you don’t have one available, the rubber mallet could be your best option. Just make sure you use caution when striking with the mallet so you don’t cause any damage to the pavement. [3]

Rubber Mallet

Drill or Spade Bit

One of the most common ways to cut asphalt is by using a drill or spade bit. This method involves attaching a large drill bit to a drill and then slowly drilling into the asphalt. It may take several passes with increasing bit sizes to achieve the desired result. It’s important to move slowly and carefully when using this method, as going too quickly could cause the bit to break.

Another thing to consider when using a drill or spade bit is the temperature of the asphalt. If it’s too hot, it can be difficult for the bit to penetrate and may also result in damage to the surrounding area. It’s best to wait until after sunset or early morning when temperatures are cooler before attempting this method.

Finally, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the right type of bit for the job. Different materials and thicknesses may require different sizes of drill bits or spade bits in order to achieve a quality cut. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and use only the recommended bits for your project. [3]

The Dremel Trio

The Dremel Trio is a powerful tool that can be used to cut asphalt without a saw. It works like a router and uses three cutting blades to create smooth, precise cuts in the asphalt. The blades are designed to cut through the tough asphalt material without getting clogged or bogged down. With its adjustable speed control, you can set it for the job at hand and get the perfect cut for your project. [3]

The Dremel Trio

Safety Goggles

It is very important to wear safety goggles and gloves when cutting asphalt. This will help protect your eyes and hands from the debris that can be created during the process. It is also recommended to wear a face mask, as there may be dust or fumes that could irritate your respiratory system.

Make sure you take all necessary safety precautions before beginning this task! [2]

Asphalt Maintenance

If you’re looking to take on a DIY asphalt cutting project, you may think that it’s impossible without the use of a saw. However, there are ways to cut through asphalt without having to invest in an expensive power tool. Here are some tips for safely and effectively cutting asphalt without a saw:

  • Use a sharp utility knife. A good quality utility knife with a sharp, metal blade is perfect for cutting through asphalt. Make sure the blade you choose is rated to cut asphalt and be sure to wear protective safety glasses before starting the job.
  • Consider a chisel and hammer. If your project involves removing an asphalt patch or small section of pavement, use a masonry chisel and hammer to break it up. Make sure the chisel is made of heat-treated steel and has a sharp tip. Place it over the area you want to break up, then hit it repeatedly with a hammer until the asphalt breaks away.
  • Use an angle grinder. An angle grinder is another great tool for cutting through asphalt without a saw. Be sure to wear safety glasses, long sleeves, and protective gloves while operating the grinder. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a diamond blade rated for asphalt. [2]

Asphalt Maintenance


What tools do you need to cut pavement?

You will need a few tools to be able to cut pavement without a saw. The most important tool you’ll need is an asphalt cutter or cold chisel. This tool has a sharp blade that can easily cut through asphalt and other materials like concrete and brick. You should also have a hammer, preferably one with a rubber mallet at the end for more control over.

What tool is used to break up asphalt?

A jackhammer is the most common tool used to break up asphalt. It uses compressed air to drive its hammer head and can easily break apart asphalt quickly and efficiently. You may also want to have a sledgehammer on hand, which is similar but heavier than a regular hammer and can be used for larger chunks of asphalt or concrete.

What is the best way to cut asphalt?

The best way to cut asphalt is by using an asphalt cutter or cold chisel. Make sure you wear protective gear and have a helper with you when using this tool. Start by marking the line you wish to cut and then use a hammer to start the cutting process. Slowly work your way down the marked line, tapping the blade of the chisel lightly to make sure it cuts in the right place. When you reach the end of the line, tap the chisel one last time and then lift it away from the asphalt. This should have created a neat, straight cut in your asphalt.

What is the easiest way to remove asphalt?

The easiest way to remove asphalt is by using a sledgehammer. Start by loosening the asphalt with a few strikes from the hammer and then use a shovel to scoop it out in small chunks, ensuring that you get all of the asphalt out. You can then finish up with a brush or broom to make sure you have removed all of the debris.

How do you cut asphalt at home?

The process of cutting asphalt at home is relatively straightforward. First, you’ll need to mark the line you wish to cut with a piece of chalk dust or paint. Then, use an asphalt cutter or cold chisel and a hammer to start making the cut along the marked line. Work your way down slowly while tapping lightly on the blade of the chisel until you reach the end of the line. Finally, lift the chisel away from the asphalt and you should have a neat, straight cut in your asphalt. Make sure you wear protective gear and have someone to help you when using this tool.

Does water destroy asphalt?

Water can cause damage to asphalt over time. As the water seeps into the asphalt, it weakens its structure and causes it to erode away. This is why you should always make sure your driveway or sidewalk is properly sealed with an asphalt sealant every few years so that it doesn’t become damaged due to water.

Useful Video: Cutting asphalt with circular saw 20 linear feet on driveway


Cutting asphalt without a saw is possible with the right tools and techniques. The most important thing to remember when cutting asphalt is to stay safe. Wear safety goggles, gloves, and a face mask at all times while working with any kind of material that produces dust or debris. Also, take your time and measure twice before you make any cuts so that they come out as precise as possible.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to successfully cut asphalt without a saw and get the job done quickly and safely. Happy cutting!