How to Cut Asphalt with an Angle Grinder

What’s a good way to cut asphalt? Using an angle grinder! An angle grinder is a versatile tool to cut different objects like metal and cast iron.

Using an angle grinder you can get the job done as fast as possible. It cuts straight lines through the asphalt, enabling you to focus on the areas to repair.

How to Cut Asphalt with an Angle Grinder

8 Steps to Cut Asphalt With an Angle Grinder

Step 1: Prepare the Work Area

Before you begin cutting the asphalt, ensure the grinder cord is long enough to enable you to work in the outdoor area. If not, have an extension to enable you to cover the entire work area.

Next, remove any rocks and obstacles that may prevent you from carrying the asphalt accurately.

You can sweep the area to remove any tiny rocks and metallic pieces to prevent the grinder from picking up any dust or failing due to interactions with foreign objects. This will keep the blade safe from wear and tear.

Step 2: Mark the Cut

Mark the Cut

You need to define the area you intend to remove while cutting the asphalt. You can draw a white line in chalk to ensure you cut in a straight line.

If you plan to fill a hole, you need to create a margin of about three to four inches. This method may remove the material, but it will save you from patching the same spot later.

While marking the spot, use a clean and straight edge to make the line as thin as possible to avoid overlapping.

If you find it easy following an A-line cut that has already been scored, you can use a chisel and a hammer to dent the pavement in line with the chalk line.

Step 3: Put on Protective Equipment

Asphalt tends to break into chunks or tiny pieces during cutting. These pieces may be harmful to the eyes and can also cut the body. You need protective equipment such as goggles and overalls.

You also need a face shield to protect your face from dangerous debris. Masks are essential for keeping you safe from the dust and tiny debris that may irritate your nose.

Some people also prefer earplugs or earmuffs due to the noise from the blade interacting with asphalt.

Step 4: Inspect the Angle Grinder before you Begin Cutting

Put the handle is the side of the hand with more strength and control. Ensure the vent is clear to allow air circulation to facilitate cooling.

Make sure the blade matches the duty ahead; the appropriate blade for asphalt cutting is a diamond blade.

You should use right size angle grinder to cut the asphalt. Shorter blades are not sufficient for cutting; you can use a 125mm angle grinder.

Ensure the guard is in a perfect position between your face and the blade. The guard is essential to prevent any injuries while cutting, and you should never use the grinder without it.

Step 5: Plug the Grinder

Plug the grinder into the power extension port then turn it on. Allow the disc to spin for about two minutes before you begin using it.

During this time, inspect the spinning blade for any deformities and ensure it spins perfectly at full speed. You can also identify any errors that may make the disc fail; do not use the grinder unless the problem has been fixed.

Step 6: Cut Asphalt

Cut Asphalt with angle grinder

Plunge the blade into the asphalt at 90 degrees. Do not tilt the blade; ensure you cut along the line already drawn.

Tilting may mess with the original size of the repairs hence requiring more time and material. Ensure the blade is deep into the asphalt, then cut until the end of the line. You can then proceed with other lines in the same manner.

While cutting, be careful to identify when the blade has passed the asphalt into the dirt below. Once the blade passes the asphalt, there is a change in the resistance, and it becomes easier to maneuver.

Do not proceed past that point to avoid cutting into the rocks in the ground or damaging the blade with soil particles.

Step 7: Remove the Blade from the Asphalt and Turn it Off

You can inspect the cut to ensure it is straight and smooth. If the cut edges appear jagged, it is an indication that the diamond blade is too soft and has a weak bond with the asphalt.

Before you proceed to the next line, you can change the blade to give you a perfect cut next time. You can also inspect the blade for any potential damages.

Step 8: Finish the Asphalt Cutting

After replacing the blade as needed, you can finish all the marked lines. Then, remove all the unwanted asphalt using a shovel to ensure you restrict within the line.

You can also remove them by hand but ensure you are wearing gloves to avoid cuts. If the asphalt pieces are huge and heavy, break them into manageable sizes using a sledgehammer.

Cutting asphalt with hand tools is simple when using the right blade and following the described stages. These steps guarantee your safety and keep the grinder safe for future use.

How to Cut an Asphalt Driveway

Step 1: Clean the Area

Cutting driveways means you will have to deal with extensive lines and areas. The first process is to sweep the entire driveway before you begin. You can use a broom or movable sweepers to ensure the entire area is clean.

As you sweep, ensure the area is free from any dust. Before you begin sweeping, ensure the section is dry – wet surfaces can retain rock particles that will damage the blade. You can inspect the all area after sweeping to ensure it is clean.

Step 2: Mark the Cutting Line

You need an additional hand to ensure the lines are straight. You also need to widen the cutting zone to give you good solid edges to work on.

Square up the edges to make sure you get a better repair. After determining the edges, make a line using white chalk. You can then dent the line with a hammer and a chisel or use a screwdriver to give the blade a path as you cut.

Step 3: Start Cutting

Before you begin cutting, measure the depth and the thickness of the asphalt to help you set the machine. You can achieve this by digging up a section of the driveway to see the depth.

After setting the depth, you can proceed to cut the asphalt along the line. Cut the asphalt along the first line until its end. Then, lift the blade and move it to the next section. As you turn the saw, ensure the blade is off; turning the saw while the blade is running can break or bend it.

Step 4: Complete the Cutting

After cutting the asphalt with the angle grinder, you can inspect the cuts, remove the asphalt, and proceed with the repairs.

Is an Angle Grinder Right Tool for Cutting Asphalt?

An angle grinder is a perfect tool for cutting asphalt. However, the usability depends on the amount of asphalt you intend to remove. It is perfect for small cuts and shorter repairs such as driveways. You need bigger machines for longer and extensive repairs or you can use a sledgehammer to break the asphalt.

It is not also suitable for extremely deep asphalt due to the limitations such as the size of the blade. Diamond blades are durable and suitable for asphalt cutting, but they can be damaged, especially if used on thicker asphalt.

Other tools such as hammers and chisels may help you remove a section of asphalt quickly. Angle grinders are reliable and efficient because they help you cut through lines and produce straight edges which are easy to repay.

They also help you to conserve the time and materials needed to repair the driveway. You should use other tools as a last alternative to angle grinders.


1. What blade do you use to cut asphalt?

The perfect blade for cutting asphalt is a diamond blade. It is the most preferred due to its structural integrity and durability when interacting with hard rocky surfaces.

Make sure the diamond blade you get is the appropriate size for your angle grinder. While many homeowners have smaller 4.5″ diameter blades, a larger one like a 9″ angle grinder may be better for cutting asphalt. If you have a 9″ angle grinder, look for diamond blades that say they are suitable for cutting asphalt or concrete, such as the GoYonder 9 Inch Diamond Saw Blade*.

Other blades from other materials may help, but they are likely to break before you finish or become soft and blunt too quickly, wasting your time and money.

2. Can you grind down asphalt?

Yes, you can grind asphalt using a sledgehammer. You can also use special machinery to help you break asphalt into pieces before you melt it for reuse. Grinding and reusing it promotes sustainability since disposing of asphalt may be harmful to the environment.

3. Is 2 inches of asphalt enough for a driveway?

Yes, but it would depend on how frequently you use the driveway and the number of vehicles using it. If you have heavy vehicles such as trucks, two inches is insufficient. If you use the driveway frequently or many vehicles use it, two inches will not be enough.

4. Can you cut asphalt with a concrete blade?

A concrete cutting blade will cut through asphalt fast, and it is a better choice for cutting asphalt. It is durable and hard, allowing it to dig into the asphalt with less resistance.

Angle grinders can help you cut asphalt depths up to four inches. The diamond blade is the best choice for cutting asphalt with an angle grinder due to its stability and structural integrity. Before cutting asphalt, you must inspect the blade for any deformities and ensure the grinder is up to the task.

I hope this post will be helpful with your home projects.

*Paid Link: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Should you decide to purchase a tool through this link, I will get a small commission. The price of the tool won’t be any different to you.

Arthur Kyser Morn

Hey Guys! It's me Arthur Kyser Morn, aka AKM, the proud founder and author of Tools Auditor. I'm a content marketer, a dad of 2 lovely sons, and a handyman. I love trying out new tools, and together with my team, I've been creating helpful guides since 2017 with tools and DIY tips.

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