Cutting laminate flooring is not the easiest DIY flooring project to tackle, the material of laminate can wear down blades quickly and leave them dull, meaning it is important to choose the right blade for the job.
The best circular saw blades for cutting laminate flooring need to be thin and have durable tips made from either carbide or diamond to stop them from wearing down too quickly. You also have to consider the teeth and size.
To ensure you get the best finish on your laminate flooring, we have put together an extensive guide below which will cover the different saws you can use for this project, why use a circular saw blade, how to find the best one and how to cut your flooring.
We will additionally cover how to install the flooring once cut and some essential tips for the process.
So without further chat, let’s get into the guide!
Which Saw Should I Use For Cutting Laminate Flooring?
Before we get into how to choose the best circular saw blade for cutting laminate flooring, we must go over the other types of saws you can use for this laminate flooring project so as you can be certain you are buying the right one.
We will list the different types of saws you can use for a laminate flooring job below.
The vertical straight blade of jigsaws makes the saw a great option for making round and straight cuts, you will however need a stand for cutting with this saw and they are not as good for accuracy due to them being freehand.
Miter saws are excellent for making angled smooth cuts in these kinds of flooring materials and are stationary for better accuracy. For cutting a layer of laminate flooring you will typically need a round mitre saw blade with 80-100 teeth.
If you need to make one or two small cuts in your laminate flooring, rotary tools could be a great choice, but not for larger flooring projects.
Circular saws are great for cutting laminate flooring as they are portable and give you more control over your cut, by using the saw with one hand you can hold the piece of laminate flooring steady for a straight cut, the only downfalls are that they are not the best for accuracy and long rip cuts without a rail guide.
For long rip cuts in laminate flooring, a table saw can be a good choice thanks to its stand and accuracy as it can hold the flooring for you while you cut.
Benefits Of Using a Circular Saw Blade
Using a circular saw tool and blade for cutting laminate flooring has several advantages compared to other tools if you are on the edge about whether or not you should use one for this flooring task then we have listed the benefits below.
- They are portable – Circular saws are very portable and can be taken anywhere, especially if you buy the cordless model.
- You can make versatile cuts – You can use circular saws for all kinds of cuts, whether a plunge cut, cross-cut or finish cut.
- There are left & right-hand models – Circular saws can be functioned with both hands left and right according to what you are comfortable with.
- Affordable -Circulars saws are pretty affordable for any DIY’er compared to other tools such as miter saws.
- Multi-use – You can use a circular saw for cutting all kinds of materials, not just flooring from plastic.
Types Of Circular Saw Blades
There are different categories of circular saw blades on the market which vary in size, material and number of teeth.
We will cover all the basic types of circular saw blades below.
- Ripping blades – Generally have little teeth and are perfect for making fast and tough cuts.
- Plywood blades – Great for use on fine material and have a lot of teeth.
- Cross-cutting blades – These are used to cut against the grain of the wood with more teeth and cut at a low speed.
- Combination blades – General purpose blades that can be used on a variety of materials for different cuts.
- Finishing blades – The finishing blades have a high number of teeth and are used for making precision cutting that will be visible.
- Dado blade – These circular saw blades are great for cutting dados, rabbet cuts and grooves.
- Thin kerf blade – Excellent for making thin cuts in wood with little waste, they will however flex in tougher wood.
What To Look For In The Best Laminate Flooring Circular Saw Blade
Now we know all the different types of circular saw blades on the market, we will cover the main points and specs you need to be looking for in a circular blade for cutting laminate flooring below.
It is always better to buy a specific type of circular saw blade for cutting laminate rather than a general-purpose combination type as it will give you better results.
- Material – One of the most important features to consider in your circular saw blade for laminate has to be the material type. For cutting laminate we recommend choosing circular saw blades with either carbide or diamond tips as you need durability. Carbide-tipped teeth are very resistant to friction and heat while diamond teeth are one of the most durable blades out there for cutting laminates.
- Compatibility – Your disc cutting blades must be suitable for the type of circular saw that you are using, for example, some miter saw blades and circular saw blades can be interchanged but you still need to make sure it fits properly otherwise it could pose a safety hazard.
- Arbor size – Circular saw blades and miter saw blades are both held by an arbor which is located in the centre of the saws via a shaft. The arbor hole of your circular saw blade must always fit the arbor size of your saw otherwise it will not fit. Three-inch saw blades have a standard arbor size of ¼-inch arbor holes, 6-inch saw blades have 1/2-inch types of arbors while 7-10 inch blades have a ⅝-inch arbor. Any saw blades with a size of over 12-16-inch will have a larger arbor hole of 1-inch.
- Teeth – Typically for cutting laminate your blade needs to have pretty sharp metal teeth, tungsten carbide teeth are often found in larger numbers while diamond teeth are often fewer for slower cutting. We recommend going for a plywood carbide-tipped teeth blade which has over 50 sharp teeth for cutting laminate since you need precise and smooth cutting.
- Blade size – Circular saw blades can range in sizes between 6-inches and 12-inches, make sure it is the right size fit for your saw, larger teeth and blades often house more power, so the size of 10 and 12 inches is great for laminate flooring.
- Kerf – An extra-thin kerf on your circular saw blade will allow you to get a more detailed cutting process on laminate and reduce the waste made from laminate down cutting, choosing a blade kerf that is too large will pull the blade to the side creating large chips in the laminate which are harder to hide.
- Expansion slots – Choosing a blade that has wide enough expansion slots stops the blade from getting too hot during use and stops the possibility of the blade flexing under heat.
- Coatings – Coated circular saw blades are much stronger than non-coated models, even if you use HSS blades on your circular saw. Not only do coated circular saw blades cut better but they are scratch-resistant and are less likely to overheat when cutting through laminate flooring.
- Vibrations – Try to choose a circular saw blade that has fewer vibrations for extra accuracy when cutting through the laminate.
- Price – More expensive circular saw blades will often be more durable, remember what you get it what you pay for, coated blades and diamond blades will often be the most expensive.
How To Cut Laminate Flooring With a Circular Saw
If it’s your first time cutting laminate flooring with a circular saw you might be a little overwhelmed but not to worry, once you have the right blade on hand for cutting laminate you are ready to go.
We’ve listed a simple step by step guide which will take you through the process of cutting laminate flooring with a circular saw down below.
- Circular saw blade.
- Circular saw.
Step By Step Guide
Cutting Straight Lines
- Step one – First of all mark out where you want to cut on your laminate with some chalk and measuring tape.
- Step two – Use a spare plank as your cutting guide for straight cuts and make sure your flooring pieces are turned over so as any chips will only be seen on the backside, clamp the flooring in place for stability.
- Step three – Cut through the laminate board slowly ensuring an even cut.
Cutting To Width
- Step one – To make a rip cut with your circular saw lay a full piece of your laminate board over the second to last pieces then measure how much it overlaps.
- Step two – Cut out of the laminate scrap with your circular saw to match the overlap with a 1/4-inch spare left.
- Step three – Place the guide on top of the piece of laminate which is against the wall then run it down the length of the board marking the last piece for cutting, cut then on the waste side of the flooring and wipe away any chalk.
Cutting Around Pipes
- Step one – Measure the length and width of the flooring according to the centre of the pipe then make a mark where the centrepiece would be.
- Step two – Use a hole saw half an inch large than the pipe hole to make a hole then cut the board in half with your circular saw, fit the pieces together around the pipe.
- Step three – Glue the pieces of laminate together around the pipe.
Tips For Using a Circular Saw To Cut Laminate Flooring
- Measure right – Stick by the rule of measure twice and cut once, if you mess up your measurements when cutting flooring then it will lead to an unprofessional look with uneven edges.
- Wear safety equipment – Always ensure that you are wearing the necessary protective equipment when using your circular saw to cut laminate, this means cutting outdoors when you are not enclosed, wearing goggles and a protective mask are a must-do.
- Use the right blade – As we mentioned above, using a blade with thinner teeth, high-quality coating, the right arbor diameter and a thin blade kerf will allow you to have pro-grade cutting quality on your laminate flooring.
- One plank at a time – Two cuts on laminate flooring will never be the same and will differ slightly in measurements, therefore it is important to only cut one plank at a time with your circular saw, trying to cut multiple pieces at once can mean your flooring will be uneven and have a poor finish.
- Be patient – Installing and cutting wood flooring is time-consuming and you need to ensure that every piece is cut right, the average price of these typical products do not come cheap, so making sure they are cut right and fit right by being patient will save you money in the long run.
- Use a professional – Cutting laminate flooring is not an easy task, when in doubt it might just be easier to contact a professional to help with the job with laminate flooring experience.
- Have a work surface – You will have to use a steady work surface for cutting with a circular saw, this could be a piece of plywood for example for stability while you are cutting.
- Use a vacuum – Circular saws will create a lot of dust from laminate flooring so you need a way to remove this from your workspace, a dust extractor or vacuum would be a good idea.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cutting Laminate Flooring
How much do circular saws cost?
Circulars can cost you anything from £50-£200 and above depending on the brand and power of the model that you buy, the higher the price the higher the speed and power typically.
Which size should my circular saw blade be?
Most beginner circular saw blades will have a size of 7 1/4-inches but for cutting laminate flooring we recommend anything between 10 inches and 12 inches as you need a fair amount of power and depth.
Should I use a plywood blade for cutting laminate flooring?
Plywood circular saw blades made of HSS durable steel with a high number of sharp teeth are perfect for laminate flooring cuts thanks to their high precision and speed.
Which tool should I use for ripping laminate flooring?
For ripping large pieces of laminate flooring we would suggest using a table saw over a circular saw as they can accommodate larger pieces of material for long length-wise cuts.
How much does it cost to install laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring can cost anywhere between £5-£15 per square metre to install, cutting it yourself can save a huge part of the cost leaving installation left.
Is a Jigsaw or Circular saw better for cutting laminate flooring?
Jigsaws are much simpler to use than circular saws, you still need to use sharp teeth but they are easier to control, cutting straight edges along the grain of this wood however is not easy with a Jigsaw. Circular saws offer more power and are effective for straight cuts.
How do I avoid chipping laminate flooring?
Using masking tape along the edges of your laminate while cutting can help to prevent ruining the finish of the laminate, make sure the material is clamped too for stability and always use the correct kind of blade for cutting with fine teeth.
What is the difference between diamond and carbide-tipped blades?
Diamond blades are often more expensive than carbide-tipped blades as they are typically more durable, however, they do cut slower than carbide-tipped blades which are excellent for quick speed cuts in hard material.
Both are excellent choices of blade material for cutting laminate type flooring.
Are there any safety precautions for cutting with a circular saw?
When operating a circular saw you should always be wearing safety equipment, to begin with, such as goggles and a dust mask. Never set the depth cut more than 1/4 of an inch below and use the blade guard when the saw is not in use.
Always use a cutting guide and never operate the saw on the material it is not intended for with an improper blade.
What is a miter saw used for when cutting laminate?
Miter saws are also a great choice for cutting laminate flooring, especially when cutting straight edges, they are also easier to control and are great for cutting multiple pieces of the board at a time. You can also use a miter saw to make angled cuts in laminate flooring.
When should I replace my circular saw blade?
There will reach a point where your circular saw blade will need to be replaced, signs you need to replace the blade could be when it is missing teeth or damaged, or maybe it is not cutting through materials as fast as it used to be.
Never try and use your blade if it is damaged as it could fly off or even snap becoming a safety hazard.
Can I use an all combination saw blade for cutting laminate flooring?
You can use an all combination circular saw blade for laminate but it would struggle if it doesn’t have a thin kerf with a high number of teeth, resulting in a poorer finish, we always suggest using a plywood circular saw for this material instead.
How many teeth should my blade have?
For cutting laminate material we would recommend choosing a blade that has over 50 teeth up to 100 so as it can have a powerful cutting speed and a smooth finish with the extra grip.
What coating should my blade have?
Any carbide, titanium or diamond coatings on the tips of your blade will make it stronger and prolong the blades life span to reduces friction and scratches when cutting.
Overall, to conclude our guide, we would suggest choosing a plywood circular saw blade, with a 10-inch diameter, a high number of teeth and thin width/kerf for cutting laminate flooring as this will give the most precise finish without damaging the material.
Always make sure your saw blade fits the arbor of your model and that you mark properly where you need to cut on your flooring beforehand to stop any mistakes when cutting. Make sure to operate the saw with proper safety equipment too using a work stand to help stabilise the flooring.