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5 Saws Used To Cut Wood Flooring

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As with any project that involves a lot of wood, ultimately some pieces will need to be cut. Even it's as small as cutting quarter round moulding to as large as trimming down sheets of plywood for a subfloor, you'll need a proper saw to cut it properly. 

A good saw is required for any new, repair, or remodeling flooring projects. Be mindful that by "wood flooring" in this post, I am referring to cutting/trimming solid hardwood, engineered, floating click-lock, and laminate based flooring systems.


And in the broadest sense, using a saw blade with fine teeth rated to cut wood/laminate floors will give you a better looking cut that one with less teeth, as a general reference.


In this post, I'll go over various saws that can do the job of trimming wood floor pieces and accessories to the needed size, as well as tips and tricks. 


In no particular order, they are as follows:



1. Reciprocating Saws


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In my post Top 10 Demolition Tools, I rated this as the most important remodeling saw for getting the job done for tear outs and rip ups. This also definitely pertains to flooring too.


For any old/rotten subfloors, or just hardwood floors where a large area needs to be removed at once, use a reciprocating saw. 


As for reciprocating saw blades, choose ones rated for wood. But, if you believe nails are in the subfloor, opt for the metal saw blades as well, since a blade tooth from the larger wood rated blade can easily break off in high speed, which can be very dangerous.


And as with any power tool, always be safe. Be aware of what you not only cutting with a reciprocating saw, but also whats underneath too. Plan out the cuts so you aren't destroying electrical wiring, HVAC ducting, or water pipes as a precaution. Failure to do so can lead to even bigger problems with repair.



2. Miter/Table Saws

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This type of saw (shown in the main image at top) is a great choice for making various cuts on almost all types of wood flooring and moulding pieces.


For example, any angle cuts can easily be made using a powered mitre saw. It saves time versus a hand saw, and gets the job done quicker and smoother. Since some versions of this saw aren't portable, create an open work space where wood floor planks and moulding can easily be cut.


Using a double beveled sliding compound mitre saw, you can cut any intricate angles easily with a few adjustments to the saw.Even for just basic cuts on solid hardwood floor planks up to 6 inches in width, using this saw is crucial to get the installation going along quickly and accurately.




Just like other saws, having the right blade is important. Use smaller teeth rated for flooring planks. Using larger (framing type) teeth will result in jagged, rough edges from the cut. While cuts are usually hidden by moulding or transition strips, be mindful to get the correct tooth count for your table saw.



This saw is one of the most widely used today, so if haven't gotten one yet for your workshop, consider purchasing one. Or for just one or two projects, renting one can be available if your local Home Depot has a Tool Rental Center.


A final note, a table saw has the blade coming up from it's surface, so you can bevel or adjust the cut of the flooring plank itself. This type of saw is generally the largest, so you'll need a larger work space, like outside of the room where the install is taking place to make the cuts.


3. Jigsaws


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This type of saw is generally thought of for intricate corners and rounded areas, you can actually do accurate straight cuts using this type of saw. This does make it convenient and compact for smaller work spaces.



Just like any cuts you'll do for flooring planks (wood or laminate), place a small amount of tape (masking or painters will do) and cut with the surface side up. The tape reduces the amount of splintering, so attempt to do this with any wood flooring cut you'll encounter.



4. Circular Saw


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A circular saw is sort of like a table saw, just with the portability of a reciprocating saw. This makes it great for basic cuts, or for a more skilled installer, good for basic cuts for wood flooring as well.


One of the most popular uses for cutting wood floor planks with this saw, is cutting the planks lengthwise, also known as a rip cut. While a table saw can do this for you, this portability and ease of a circular saw makes it a better choice sometimes.



As with all power saws, be safe and use safety goggles and a breathing mask. DO NOT wear gloves though, as this can potentially catch and injure yourself in the blades.



5. Jamb Saw


The final powered saw for floors discussed here is most likely the one that isn't as common...but is crucial for some flooring installation projects.


Shown in action above, a jamb saw lays flat against the floors surface to gouge and open up holes in the bottom of door jambs, edges, and mouldings so that a new floor can easily be installed there. 


Professional installers use this to give that finalized edge to floors, so that absolutely no gaps are seen in the edges where it meets those areas. While they are available to buy at your local Home Depot, you can refer to the store's (if available) Tool Rental Center for ones for rent.


To read the instructions on how to use this underrated yet very important saw, please click here for more info.


Saw Safety


Of course with any power tool you use in any project, safety first! Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions on how to not only operate the saw, but doing it without risk of injury too. Never alter or remove any safety bars or features on the saw.


Always use the right size and type of saw blade for the saw so you can get the right cut. Refer to the manufacturer of the saw for the correct one as well as proper way of putting it on the saw.


Hopefully with these tips, you'll get the right cut for your wood/laminate flooring. While there are other power saws out there to alter the edge of a wood floor, like a router or a hole saw from a power drill, the ones listed above are the ones most commonly used in any flooring install project.

Any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask here!



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Posted 2016-01-05T00:32:13+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL Joseph_HD_ATL