When most people think about cutting laminate flooring I bet they think of using a miter saw and maybe a jigsaw for some of the specialty cuts but what they don't realize is that there are many different tools that will cut laminate flooring in the each have their own advantages and disadvantages associated with them.
Let's take a look at some of these pretty cool tools and I may even surprise you with a couple of them because you may have not known that they even existed.
Using some type of saw is the fastest and most common method to cutting laminate flooring but like anything else, it does have its drawbacks. For this example I am going to be using a miter saw which is the most common type of saw used and a circular saw which is less common but still very useful.
Using A Miter Saw: A miter saw is nice because all you need is a simple little mark and the saw will do the rest of the work. This is the ideal tool and can cut perfect 90 degree cuts or any other angle, up to 50 degrees for most saws.
You can use either a sliding model or a non sliding model, just make sure the blade is large enough to cut the entire width of the laminate flooring in one pass.
Some Of The Advantages:
A Few Of The Disadvantages:
A Circular Saw: You can also use a circular saw but it will require additional tools like a square and some type of work surface to cut the laminate flooring on. Sawhorses and a piece of plywood would make a pretty ideal workbench for this task and would be the easiest and most convenient method, in my opinion.
If you do use a circular saw with a workbench like we looked at above, keep in mind that it will create a lot of dust on the floor and if this dust is on top of the newly installed laminate flooring, it is very slippery and you can easily fall. It would be a good idea to keep the vacuum or broom and dust pan on hand to clean up the dust periodically.
A Jig Saw: A jigsaw a really comes in handy for some of those specialty cuts, like AC/heating vents that are sometimes in the floor but can also be used for crosscuts and rips as well. The jigsaw will be much slower than a circular saw or miter saw though so keep this in mind and it will usually burn through a good amount of blades.
you will want to use either a medium or fine toothed jigsaw blade to cut the laminate flooring, making sure the exposed side is up while you are cutting. If you notice that jigsaw base is scratching the word you can always put a couple of pieces of tape on it to soften the metal base of the jigsaw and prevent any scraping or gouging that may occur while cutting.
A Table Saw: A tablesaw will come in very handy for making rip cuts on laminate flooring and is the fastest and most accurate way to do these types of cuts. No other tool will cut laminate flooring lengthwise better than a tablesaw.
These are more of a specialty tool and are only recommended if you have a lot of these types of cuts to make because they tablesaw is only useful for these types of cuts and nothing else so keep this in mind when looking at buying a tablesaw just for a one time laminate flooring install.
I wanted to touch on some specialty tools that can make the process of cutting laminate floors a lot easier and way more convenient than some of the other tools I just mentioned.
These are smaller and more lightweight and some of them are even specifically designed for laminate flooring so they will make your job a lot easier, quicker and in some cases can create little to no dust in the process.
The Dremel Trio: The Dremel Trio tool is a very cool addition to have when installing laminate flooring because it acts like a plunge router and can make quick work of circular, square or rectangle or cutouts in some of your floor pieces. You will want to have plenty of bits on hand because the laminate flooring is a dense and hard material and will usually eat these bits up pretty quickly.
The Dremel Saw Max: The Dremel Saw Max is basically just a mini circular saw that is a lot easier to use and has a much smaller blade so it can make tighter cuts. These can be used for virtually any type of cut including crosscuts, rip cuts and can even come in handy for cutting out floor vents. These are lightweight, easy-to-use and a lot safer than a large circular saw, which takes a lot of the awkwardness out of using the tool.
I came across specialty flooring cutters that are specifically made for cutting laminate flooring and they work like a large paper cutter would. One of the best things about these tools is the fact that they make no dust whatsoever.
There are many different designs to these specialty cutters but they all function pretty much the same way and are used in the same way. You simply use leverage to cut the pieces, putting force down on the blade to cut the flooring. I have included a couple of pictures so you can get an idea of what they look like and how they work.