Asphalt is prone to wear and damage from heat expansion, freeze-thaw cycles, and heavy use. When repairing asphalt roads, driveways, and paths, keep these tips for cutting asphalt with a diamond blade in mind.
Choose the Right Blade
While universal blades are versatile, they aren’t the best choice for cutting asphalt. As a softer material than concrete or stone, asphalt requires a blade with a hard bond that wears off more slowly than the soft-bonded blades suitable for harder materials.
Asphalt blades provide a solution to the specific challenges of cutting asphalt. These blades fit either handheld or walk-behind saws for dry or wet cutting. They are segmented to help keep the blade cool and remove debris efficiently.
Mark Underground Pipes and Cables
Before you take on any cutting project, make sure you have called your local service to come out and mark the location of underground utilities. While it may be unlikely you’ll be cutting deeply enough to disturb pipes and cables, it’s best to know where you should be especially cautious. You never know what may have changed over the years or if past do-it-yourself projects have altered the underground position of wires, pipes, or cables.
Wear Proper Protective Equipment
Steel or composite hard-toe work boots, eye protection, and gloves are a given for any cutting job. Especially if you are using handheld equipment, personal protective equipment is essential to get you through the job with less chance of injury.
Sweep the Area
A clean work area is essential for safety and achieving a clean cut. If your saw encounters stray rocks, bits of gravel, or chunks of asphalt, it can throw them back toward you, potentially causing injury. Make sure you have thoroughly swept the area you’re planning to cut.
Use Chalk Lines
Marking your cut line with a chalk snap line is the most accurate way to mark your cutting line. Even if you’re just cutting out a small section, doing it with precision will make removal and replacement easier and neater.
Make sure your blade is not touching the asphalt when you switch it on. Allow it to come up to its full RPMs before gently lowering it to the surface. Allow the blade to sink in to your desired cutting depth. Then, move slowly along the cutting line you marked.
It’s best to handle deeper cuts with a walk-behind, wet saw with a larger diameter blade. A handheld saw can manage shallower cuts. Make sure your blade and saw are compatible. If you’re using a walk-behind, wet saw, ensure the water reservoir is full when you begin.
Cutting asphalt with a diamond blade is your best shot at a clean, straight cut for removing sections of asphalt. Contact Pro Blades Outlet with any questions you have about which blade is the best for your asphalt cutting job.