Given the considerable hassle, a lot of DIYers probably shy away from trying to replace their own floors. But, there is a tool out there that makes replacing floors fast, easy, and hassle-free, it’s called a flooring saw.
In this article, I am going to go over the uses and advantages of using a flooring saw.
What is a Flooring Saw?
The flooring saw is a portable power saw that is used for installing wooden and laminated flooring. The floor saw has a circular saw on guide rails which is attached to a metallic base. The saw blade that rotates at high speed (up to 11,000 RPM) can cut solid hardwood flooring, engineered or plywood, laminate flooring, and vinyl planks.
One of the best saw for flooring is the SKIL 3601-02 Flooring Saw.
Do I need a flooring saw?
If you have ever tried installing your own floor before, then you know what a hassle it can be. You have to have at least two kinds of saws; most often, you will need a regular table saw and then a specialty miter saw as well.
Because both kinds of saws are fairly big (especially table saw), you aren’t going to be able to fit them inside a single room and still be able to work comfortably. So, you have to also add the hassle of making constant trips back and forth.
- Note: The flooring saw is for wood, vinyl, laminate and other softer material. To cut ceramic or porcelain tiles, you should either use a tile cutter or a wet tile saw.
Floor Saw Blade
While the general purpose contractor circular saw blade will work for most materials, it is better to choose the right blade according to your flooring type.
- Solid Hardwood Flooring: Exotic hardwood such as mahogany, oak, birch, cherry, etc. got dense structure and hence it is better to use carbide-tipped blades.
- Engineered Flooring: High speed steel (HSS) plywood blades works well on engineered wood.
- Laminate Flooring: Use an 80 to 100 teeth blade with carbide tip. HSS blades will get heated and become dull due to the abrasive nature of laminates.
Uses of a flooring saw
What makes a flooring saw useful is the wide variety of applications it has. While this is a specialty saw, it is definitely not a saw that you only bring out on very specific occasions, to the contrary, there are actually a lot of different things that you can use a floor saw for.
Cutting wood and laminate flooring
Obviously, as you would expect from the name, one of the main (but certainly not only) uses of a flooring saw is to cut wood flooring. You can use this saw to cut solid hardwood flooring, vinyl/PVC, engineered wood, and laminate flooring. It has more than enough power to easily cut through even the most difficult wood. So, no matter what kind of wood flooring you have, a flooring saw will be able to cut through it extremely easily.
Cutting wood blocks
In addition to cutting wood and laminate flooring, you can also use a flooring saw to cut woodblocks. Obviously, this is extremely useful for flooring jobs as you are able to cut out your own floorboards, but it is also something that can be useful for a wide variety of jobs.
Making a variety of cuts (Miter and Cross Cuts)
One of the main advantages of a flooring saw is the sheer number of cuts that it can make.
With a simple table saw, you are rather limited in the types of cuts that you can make unless you use a miter gauge. You can make rip cuts easily enough, but making more accurate cuts is very difficult. However, flooring installation requires different types of cuts and hence demands multiple kinds of saws. You need to be able to make accurate rip cuts, but you also need to be able to make accurate miter cuts and crosscuts, which is very difficult with a regular table saw. This is why a miter saw is essential for flooring.
However, a flooring saw is able to make all the cuts that you will need when doing flooring. It is able to make standard rip cuts like any circular or table saw. For those who are unsure of what a rip cut is, it is one of the standard woodworking cuts. A rip cut involves cutting parallel to the grain along the length; you are effectively ripping the wood apart.
A flooring saw is also able to make cross-cuts, which involves cutting across the grain. Cross-cuts aren’t easy on a standard table saw. You should have a cross-cut sled to do it accurately. Also, they require a saw blade that has a large number of smaller teeth (fine blade). However, a floor saw is able to make both kinds of cuts.
Finally, a flooring saw is also able to make miter cuts. Miter cuts are angled (aka, any cut at an angle besides 90-degrees) and are essential for complicated woodworking projects like flooring. Usually, you need a specialty miter saw to make these sorts of cuts, but a flooring saw can make them easily enough.
Advantages of using a flooring saw
Now that I have covered the various ways that a flooring saw can be used, I want to move on to talking about some of the specific advantages of using a flooring-saw over other kinds of saws.
One of the major benefits of a flooring saw is how easy it is to move it around when compared with other, traditional table saws. If you want to move your table saw or miter saw around, you have to lug around a heavy table, which can often require multiple people (depending on the weight of the saw).
Flooring saws are attached to a small metal table that gets laid flat on the ground. It has a handle on it, so moving the saw around is as simple as picking up the handle. The saw isn’t particularly heavy, so most everyone will be able to move the saw around on their own. For added maneuverability, flooring saws tend to come with some mechanism for wrapping the cord around the table, so you don’t even have to worry about carrying that around either.
It saves space
Depending on the size of the room that you are working in, you may not have the luxury of a lot of space. Now, normally this would require you to set up your saws somewhere else and then make trips back and forth between the two work areas. However, that is not the case with a flooring saw because it saves you space.
A flooring saw allows you to ditch the table saw and miter saw and use one saw for all your cutting needs. This saves a ton of space and will allow you to work in cramped conditions that you wouldn’t normally be able to work in.
Based on what you have read so far, you probably think that a flooring saw is quite pricey, given that it can do all the kinds of cuts that usually require specialty saws. But, you would be wrong. Given the sheer amount of jobs that it can do, a flooring saw is actually quite economical.
Obviously, exact pricing will vary among different models and from location to location, so I can’t give you an exact price range. But, you will be surprised at how affordable they tend to be.
Although the portable flooring saw is very versatile, it has a couple of disadvantages.
- The motor of the machine is loud and I strongly recommend the use of ear protection.
- When it comes to sawdust, this tool is messy. The build-in dust bag helps, but connecting to a shop vacuum will keep the area clean.
While many of you may not be familiar with flooring saws, hopefully, this guide has given you everything that you need to know about this useful tool.