1/10 SLIDES © Staff, Courtesy of Worx
If you’re installing your own laminate, vinyl, or wood flooring, you’re going to need a flooring saw. These tools will allow you to create the necessary cross cuts, rip cuts, and miters. Although there are a couple dedicated flooring saws that are designed to perform all these cuts, this term can also refer to any type of power or manual saw being used on your flooring. Regardless of the type of flooring saw you use, make sure you’re using the appropriate blade for the material being cut.
What to Consider
You'll always want to consider the blade you are using. Depending on if you're cutting wood, laminate, or vinyl flooring, you may need a special blade to avoid damaging the material or the saw.
If you want to be prepared for anything, you’ll need to be able to perform cross, rip, and miter cuts, so keep that in mind when choosing a saw. If you have the ability to make any of these cuts with tools you already have on hand, you can probably get away with choosing a specialized saw that only needs to provide the cuts you’re not able to. For example, if you already have a table saw that can make rip cuts, then you can get away with only purchasing a miter saw that only has to make cross and miter cuts.
For tackling any curves or awkward shapes in your flooring project, like those found around door jambs, you’ll want to have a jigsaw on hand. These wouldn’t be ideal for performing miter or rip cuts, though, so you’ll need to supplement your jigsaw with another saw.
The weight of the saw is another factor to keep in mind, especially if you think you’ll be moving around a lot. If you’re already hauling heavy flooring stacks, and crawling around on your knees all day, a few less pounds to carry around can make a big difference.
How We Selected
To ensure that all potential customers, regardless of their current tool setup, could find a useful option on our list, we did our best to present a wide variety of choices. We also made sure to provide options for all common flooring types, like wood, vinyl and laminate. It’s worth noting that after some consideration, we did decide to add two flooring cutters to our list. Though these tools aren’t technically flooring “saws,” they could definitely be a good fit for certain users, and we were concerned that they could be overlooked if we didn’t include them.
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1) SKIL Flooring Saw
Weight: 30 poundsPower Supply: Corded electricCuts: Rip/cross/miterProduct Number: 3601-02
This dedicated flooring saw blade is designed to provide the features necessary to cover all your flooring needs, including cross, miter, and rip cuts.
At just 30 pounds, it’s also light enough to transport, but still heavy enough to provide a sturdy and stable work surface. A built-in handle on the side of the platform makes it even more comfortable to relocate while you work.
Its miter gauge allows you to perform three different angled cuts—0, 22.5, and 45 degrees—and the die cast aluminum rip fence adds to this model's durability.
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2) DEWALT Miter Saw
Weight: 43 poundsPower Supply: Corded electricCuts: Cross/miterProduct Number: DWS780
With 14 mitre stops, this DeWalt saw should have you more than covered to handle any angled flooring cuts, and its comfortable handle and easy to use adjustment knob make it a breeze to operate. A small dust collection bag is a nice perk, although we’d recommend hooking it up to a shop vac.
This saw won’t provide the rip cuts that you’ll probably need, but if you already have a table saw, or can borrow one, that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. We’ve been a big fan of DeWalt miter saws like this one for years, and have always found them to be reliable, durable workhorses.
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3) WORX Tabletop Saw
Weight: 14.7 poundsPower Supply: Corded electricCuts: Rip/cross/miterProduct Number: WX572L
We love the compact size of this WORX table saw, which even at a low price, still packs an impressive amount of features. Its vertical blade and 16.89-inch platform make it possible to execute rip cuts on laminate flooring, and the miter gauge allows you to make angled cuts of 0 to 60 degrees from either side.
Nonslip feet give the entire unit a solid, sturdy foundation, reducing the chances of slipping and making inaccurate cuts. You can even use it as a scroll saw if you need to make angled or irregular cuts.
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4) Makita Circular Saw
Weight: 3.5 poundsPower Supply: Battery Cuts: Rip/crossProduct Number: SH02Z
This handheld saw would be ideal for those who don’t have the space, or the need, for a larger saw, and also don’t want to deal with the hassle of extension cords and power outlets.
Its light 3.5-pound weight makes it comfortable to use for those all-day jobs, and since it comes with a pair of 2.0Ah batteries, you won’t need to waste any time recharging batteries.
It won’t be ideal for cutting miters, though, so if you have a lot of angled cuts in your project, you may want to consider a different option.
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5) EAB Tool Laminate Floor Cutter
Weight: 20 poundsPower Supply: ManualCuts: Cross/miterProduct Number: 2100007
Even though this tool isn’t technically a “saw,” this manual cutter could be just as useful for anyone installing laminate flooring. It can perform angled miter cuts of up to 45 degrees, and can also be used for solid wood and engineered flooring, as long as they’re not thicker than 5/8-inch.
Even though its manual operation isn’t as fast as an electric model, its lack of power cords could be a benefit, especially on jobs where outlets are hard to come by. It also won’t create the dust and debris messes that powered saws tend to do.
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6) Norske Tools Laminate Flooring Cutter
Weight: 24 poundsPower Supply: ManualCuts: Cross/miterProduct Number: NMAP004
The adjustable platform of this Norske cutter provides a sturdy work surface when dealing with long boards, and can extend up to 41 inches long. The 28.5-inch handle provides a ton of leverage when cutting too, and the wide blade has an impressive 13-inch cutting capacity.
This kit also comes with a rubber mallet and tapping block, making it a great choice for those who are starting from scratch and want to hit the ground running. Thanks to a laser-etched miter gauge you can also easily create whatever angled cuts you may need.
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7) WORX Cordless Circular Saw
Weight: 7.85 poundsPower Supply: Corded electricCuts: Rip/crossProduct Number: WX523L.2
While it's true that handheld saws tend to be less accurate and more prone to wandering off your cut line, this WORX model features a laser line guide to help minimize these accuracy issues.
Our favorite feature of this saw is the fact that it includes three kinds of blades, six in total, so you’ll be prepared to use it on a variety of materials. A handy dust port also allows you to connect it to a shop vac to minimize cleanup, and the compact size is convenient for those jobs that don’t have space for larger platform saws.
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8) Makita Jigsaw
Weight: 3.8 poundsPower Supply: BatteryCuts: Cross/curvesProduct Number: VJ04R1
This jigsaw would be a great choice for anyone who needs to cross-cut laminate flooring, and thanks to its two battery packs, you won’t have to worry about wrangling or tripping over extension cords. It also weighs just 3.8 pounds, and combined with the three orbital settings, is comfortable to maneuver, even for long periods of time.
Its $150 price tag is also fairly reasonable, especially when you consider you’re also getting a pair of batteries and a hard-sided storage case. It doesn’t offer a tool-free blade changing mechanism, though it does provide a tool for just that.