I am planning to put down wood laminate in my office/den, and am
wondering what type of saw is best for the cutting needed. One friend
used a jigsaw, which sounds like it would take considerable time and
eat up a lot of saw blades. I also have a handheld circular saw. One
thought I had was to buy a sliding mitre saw, but that could be pretty
expensive, though I do plan to install laminate in other rooms
eventually. And I suppose a sliding mitre saw wouldn't work for the
last row of planks where you have to trim the actual width.
All feedback is welcome, thanks!
When I did mine I bought a cheap 10A portable table saw.Getting the proper
blade cost me almost as much. I used that and a circular saw. You can
actually use a hand saw if your so inclined. I did when i just need a small
I have only installed it once, 3 rooms. Some cuts may have to be done with
a jig saw. It tends to chip along the cut line. My preferred tool was a
10" miter saw with the fine toothed carbide blade that came with the saw.
Smooth clean cross cuts with virtually no chipping. Not a sliding miter,
just your basic Delta compound miter saw. The compound function isn't needed
for the flooring but will come in handy in your future projects. After doing
several projects including this flooring job I am still using the same blade
4 years later. So if you get a good blade the flooring won't ruin it.
I used a circular saw with a 40 tooth blade and a rip fence for the rip
cuts. Minor chipping but well hidden under the shoe or baseboard. I recall
one or two cuts where the room wasn't square. I used a straight piece of 1 x
4 as a rip guide held in place with clamps. Do read your directions as you
cut the board face up with one saw and face down with the other. At this
moment I can't recall which was which.
Hope this helps you.
I put a fine toothed blade in my table saw.
Harbor Freight used to have a table that you can mount a circular saw
underneath. Not as good a Dewalt or other table saw but do-able. If your
careful you can find a power miter saw for $100 bucks. Just check it for
I used a table saw with a fine-toothed blade. Didn't use a carbide blade, and
that was a mistake...just about choked on the smoke on the last few cuts. Had
a couple of weird cuts that required a coping saw.
You can buy a 10" miter saw for less than $100, plus the cost of a good
carbide blade. It MUST be CARBIDE as the steel blades will dull in just a
few cuts. Tablesaw can work, but for a lot of pieced cut to length, the
miter saw is best. For the few pieces you may have to rip, the tablesaw is
the best. When you are done the blade will need sharpening. If you buy a
good blade, it can be sharpened 4 or 5 times.
From what I've seen, a $100 mitre saw is a Chicago Electric from
Harbor Freight. Are these decent? I have used a DeWalt in the past
and loved it. Not mine unfortunately, belongs to a theatre group I've
worked with, and it's not portable.
You will probably make 50 cuts for an average sized room. They are 1/3 the
price of a DeWalt. For what you are doing, it will probably get the job
done. It is not what I'd recommend for a serious shop, but this is probably
a one shot deal. Home Depot has Ryobi in that price range also. IMO, a
sharp blade is more important than the brand of tool for this job.
I bought a DeWalt 12" to do my flooring, but woodworking is a hobby of mine
so it was easier to justify the cost. The first shot at laminate, we used
up two steel blades to make maybe a dozen cuts. Carbide will last much
longer, but after doing a couple of rooms will need sharpening.
Ripping is another story. table saw is best, but it can be done with a
circular saw and some patience.
A 10" chop saw should work for Length cuts. A small portable Table Saw is
great for rips along walls. Hand held jig saw is nice for around doors. Chop
saw and table saw cuts, Finish side should face up. It's best to cut with
the finish side down for the Jig saw.
Most your edges should hide under base board ( if you remove base) or a base
shoe. You may want to buy an undercut saw for the door casing they are
about $10 to $20 there handy but a hand would also work. Sliding miter saws
are not cheap but it's always nice to have one.
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