Abstract The author describes the “mechanical pre-cutting method” of excavation, which eliminates many of the problems typically associated with the use of explosives. Since its first successful use ten years ago, the mechanical pre-cutting method has been widely used in Europe. The method improves jobsite safety and results in more rapid progress—and, hence, cost savings—even when used for short tunnels. Developed for use in hard rock, the mechanical pre-cutting method has been adapted for use in loose ground. Under loose ground conditions, this method eliminates problems with decompression and settlement while accelerating the progress of the excavation.